Saturday, 13 February 2010

Luminescent Colours and Two Cold salads

Late yesterday evening, I welcomed my nephews to my home. The youngest is on his school holidays, so the oldest decided to take time off from work too and come up and spend a few days with their favourite Aunty (thats me) and Uncle (thats D).
The oldest expressed an interest in going to a Sea Life place. We did consider Deep Sea World in Queensferry, Fife but as we had been there before, we decided to go to one closer to home, especially as it was quite new. Also, we like reviewing different places, as we are often asked what to recommend to friends and family when they come up to Scotland.
This one was Loch Lomond Aquarium. In comparison to the one in Queensferry, this one was actually quite disappointing on a number of levels.
The colours - luminescent comes to mind - on the first level were impressive though.
So were these otters shrieking to be fed. Ooh they look quite mift 'wheres my food?!' I think its a good local educational resource centre for schools and families, but other than that...mmmm...I can't shout about it. Sorry.
Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park is a lovely place though. Look at those snow capped mountains. Stunning. We've been there many times and will be happy to go again and again. Now that we no longer have an allotment, D and me are planning to do a bit more cycling, walking and wildlife watching, and this would be a place to explore a bit more. Well that is the plan.
It wasn't particularly warm today, but dry enough for us to walk around. We even decided to drive a little further into Balloch and walk to Balloch Castle. Of course it was closed. But that was okay, it was about the company and the clean, fresh air.
I made two potato salads for our day trip. The first is a chipotle potato salad. Yes, you know why this dish came about as I wanted to use the remaining chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. It was really good, the hint of the smokiness and spice was just right. This is another dish adapted from Moosewood Restaurant Simple Suppers.
The other was a straightforward pasta salad with tomatoes, olives and cucumbers.
Potato salad with chipotle mayonnaise
For the Chipotle Mayonnaise
4 hefty tablespoons of mayonnaise
2 tablespoons minced canned chipotles in adobo sauce. Mine were whole which I minced.
For the potato salad
Cooked new potatoes, chopped into bite-sized pieces. The potatoes I used were Charlotte grown in Scotland.
4 celery stalks
4 spring onions
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
1 x 400g can of Mexican style beans (pinto beans, kidney beans and black beans), cooked gently in water for 5 minutes, then drained and set aside.
For the Chipotle Mayonnaise
Whisk together all the ingredients.
For the potato salad
Finely chop the celery and spring onions. Cut the pepper into small pieces. Put all the chopped vegetables, cooked potatoes and beans into a large serving bowl. Add the chipotle mayonnaise and toss well. Add salt to taste. Serve at room temperature.


  1. Beautiful pictures. I love castles, but have never been to one... Your salads look really good, sounds like a wonderful day. Peace, Stephanie

  2. That picture of the Ray had me chortling, it's fantastic. That potato salad looks delicious.

  3. Looked like a great day out and those salds looook soooo tasty, yummy.

  4. I'm so glad you all had such a beautiful day together! I absolutely love all your photos, especially the close-up of the big sting ray! :-)

    I'm SO excited about your potato salad, as I too have some chipotle peppers in adobo sauce that are in need of a recipe! Thank you for the perfect yummy solution!

  5. We had heard rave reviews about The Deep in Hull, so we had a visit a couple of years ago. Our experience was similar to your's, disappointing. Your salads look delicious.

  6. Thank you Stephanie.

    Thanks Kath. I agree about the Ray photo.

    Thanks Kella, the chipotle flavoured one was the better of the two for sure, hence me sharing the recipe.

    Thank you Astra.
    The Ray is certainly the star here.

    I do hope you enjoy the chipotle potato salad, it really was good!

    Thanks Jo.
    I do feel bad, not saying positive things about places, but I can't fib if I found it dissapointing. It will be wrong.

  7. have a fab week MC. Time with loved ones is so precious and you get to see the world differently when accompanying youngsters on adventures :o)


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