Sunday, July 30, 2017

Magical Moments at Zippos Circus

"Mummy! Zippos Circus is coming to Stonehaven," BabySumoKids excitedly told me when they saw a promotional poster. As children growing up in Malaysia, the closest our kids have gotten to a circus so far is bedtime stories or possibly seeing some footage on TV.

Their dream to see a circus show came true this summer, when they attended their first circus in Stonehaven. Scotland's Favorite Circus, Zippos Circus has been enriching the lives of British families and summertime visitors to the UK since 1986, and hopefully for many years to come.

Zippos Circus features two-hours of top quality entertainment for individuals and families or groups of all ages. The show will keep you entertained from start to finish with moments of laughter, surprise, shock, awe, amazement, amusement and bewilderment.

It was heartwarming for us to hear our children roar with laughter at the circus clown and cheer and clap with enthusiasm as the acts were individually introduced by our ringmaster and subsequently wowed us with their skills.  Nothing beats a live show in term of excitement and interaction.  Zippos tented arena houses a decent sized crowd, yet it is intimate enough whereby everyone gets a good view of the action.

The 2017 show is themed "Jigit" which refers to a word used to describe a skilful and brave person.

BabySumoKids were excited to attend their first circus

And we're pleased to be here!

Amazing ringside seats .. at the centre of all the action :)

Our host for the afternoon is none other than the World's Greatest Ringmaster, Norman Barrett MBE.
The agile Zulu Warriors jumped through hoops and formed human pyramids, much to our delight. What a fantastic start to the show.

We shrieked and laughed at the antics of Emilion Delbosq, with his modern take on clowning as well as Alexandru Lupu, the comedy fireman.  

What's a circus without some trapeze action? Kimberly Souren mesmerised the audience with her swinging trapeze, all performed without a safety net!

Mongolian circus princess Odka Amraa lights up the circus tent with her illuminated hula hoops.

 The Khadikov Troupe, the Cossack riders showed some amazing equestrian paired with their action stunts. 

The ringmaster with his world famous budgies got us ooh-ing and ahh-ing with their cute antics

Our jaw dropped as Juma the contortionist did his act.... I've never seen such a flexible man in all my life! He could even fit his whole body through a tennis racket.

Aeralist Laci Fossett making it look so effortless

The epitome of "Jigit" were the Lucius riders and their Globe of Death act. It was a heartstopping moment as not just two, three or four riders roar inside the Globe but FIVE! Not only that, the globe splits open when the riders are whizzing through it...  You have to see it to believe it! Absolutely exhilarating to watch.

Watch the highlights of our visit to Zippos Circus at Stonehaven in this YouTube video!

A fantastic 5-star performance!

It was a magical experience for our whole family; with incredible ringside seats, we were totally entranced by the circus acts throughout the show.

We highly recommend this activity to families or anyone looking for fantastic entertainment and a fun day out. Do check out their website for remaining shows and dates around Scotland and England.

As our ringmaster reminded us, "You are never to young, too old or too cool to attend the circus."


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Friday, July 28, 2017

Recipe: Brussels Sprouts with Crispy Bacon

I LOVEEEEEEEE Brussels sprouts, so whenever we come to the UK, I would eat my fair share as they're so reasonably priced here. I would often serve it as a side dish to our meat dishes, usually steamed or boiled. Last week, we had grilled lamb chops and I also cooked Brussels sprouts with crispy bacon and boiled new potatoes. Simple and good!

What's your favorite ways of eating Brussels sprouts?

Brussels sprouts with crispy bacon
Recipe by Baby Sumo
Preparation time: 1 minute
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Serves 2-3 as side dish

2 rashers streaky bacon, thinly sliced
1 tbsp olive oil
250g Brussels sprouts, trimmed

1. Cook the Brussels sprouts in a pot of boiling water for about 8-10 minutes, or until tender. Drain and set aside.

2. Heat oil in a frying pan. Add the bacon and cook for 4-5 minutes, until crispy and golden brown. Toss cooked Brussels sprouts in the bacon. Season with salt.

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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

The Adelphi Kitchen, Aberdeen - New, Exciting Menu

The Adelphi Kitchen, familiar to many Aberdonians and visitors to Aberdeen sadly closed its doors in 2016. Fortunately in 2017 ownership was taken on by CranberryCo Group and subsequently The Adelphi Kitchen has recently reopened.

Located off of Union Street, Aberdeen's main street, The Adelphi Kitchen is a hidden gem specialising in steaks and seafood. The restaurant has recently launced a new menu on 21 July, featuring local and seasonal ingredients, and is a mix of favourite / classic dishes from the restaurants past, alongside new entries and weekly specials.

The interior is in keeping with the location, wooden planks are used as wall panelling and subtle tartan upholstered benches flank the dining area. The chalk board murals on the wall set the scene for a relaxed dining ambiance. As a family we thoroughly enjoyed our dining experience at The Adelphi Kitchen

The restaurant manager Alisha highly recommended the Crab Sandwich (£10), a newly introduced item to their menu and we loved it! A Southern fried soft shell crab is crowned atop toasted cornbread, made in-house along with spicy mayo and bacon butter. A mix of spicy, sweet and savoury and wonderful textures from the cornbread... totally amazing!

New on the specials is the Chilli and coconut king prawns (£7), with a mild satay sauce, charred baby corn and a refreshing Asian-style slaw. As soon as I was finished with photographing this dish, both our kids grabbed one each  and started singing praises of the "crispy prawn". The mini food critics liked it so much, they even declared this their favorite dish of the evening.

We fancied a burger and the Adelphi Burger (£17) certainly hit the spot. The impressive burger comes with a 6oz beef patty, BBQ pulled pork, spicy pepperoni and jalapeno cheese - very juicy and tasty! And not only that, it also comes with boneless buffalo chicken wings with a blue cheese sauce, house spiced fries and salad. For those who may not be able to take the spiciness, the chefs will be more than happy to personalise your burgers as each burger is assembled to order.

The Surf and Turf (£20) caught our eye so we ordered one to share. A beautiful medley of flavours and textures - we enjoyed the medium rare hanger steak - a steak cut which is full of flavour, immaculately executed by the chefs on the charcoal grill for a beautiful, smoky flavour. It was paired with a delicious spicy meatloaf, popcorn shrimp, roast potatoes, sesame carrots, mushroom and taragon gravy. Everything on the plate complemented each other perfectly. Get this before it's gone as it's on the specials menu this week!

For desserts. we shared three items from the menu. The highlight for me was the Rhubarb Custard and Jelly (£7) which not only looked like a work of art, but tasted amazing too! Three fluffy, crisp doughnuts are served with custard panna cotta, honeycomb and dehydrated, candied rhubarb. Another must-try item from Adelphi.

We also enjoyed the Double choco cookie brownie (£7) which is served with cookies and cream ice cream and deydrated strawberries, as well as the Keylime pie (£7) with its wonderful, tangy flavours, paired wit mini meringues and condensed milk cream. The kitchen team prides themselves in making their own ice cream and garnishes in-house.

Overall, a delightful meal with top notch service and delicious dishes with interesting flavours and textures. For those who would like some Scottish fare, we were told that they do a mean Cullen Skink, though we gave it a miss since it was a warm evening. We would happily recommend The Adelphi Kitchen to anyone looking for a satisfying meal in the city of Aberdeen.

Thank you to The Adelphi Kitchen for having us!

Check out the latest Lunch and Dinner menu here.

Opening times: Tue-Sat 12pm-2.30pm; 5pm - Late. Reservations recommended.

Service: Good.

Location: The Adelphi Kitchen, 28 Adelphi, Aberdeen AB11 5BL, Scotland.

Tel: +44 (0)1224 594131


GPS Coordinates: 57.146887, -2.095916

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Saturday, July 22, 2017

Recipe: Beef Burger with Avocado and Cheddar

Earlier this week, we were blessed with fantastic weather... 23°C called for a visit to the beach and also burgers on the patio on a beautiful summer's evening.

We got some beef patties from ASDA (sea salt and black pepper beef burgers), grilled for 17 minutes and then topped with Cheddar (back to the grill for another 3 minutes to melt the cheese) and paired with sliced avocado, spinach and tomatoes. An absolutely stunning burger - juicy patties complemented by the creamy avocado and melting cheese ;)

Lovely burger enjoyed with a cold cider

Beef burger with avocado and Cheddar
Recipe by Baby Sumo
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Serves 4

4 beef patties
4 slices mild Cheddar cheese
1 ripe avocado, sliced
4 tomatoes
A handful of baby spinach
4 burger buns

To serve

1. Preheat the grill to medium heat and cook patties for 17 minutes, turning regularly.

2. Place a slice of Cheddar on each patty and return to grill and cook for a further 3 minutes.

3. Cut the burger bun in half and lightly toast and butter the buns.

4. To assemble, place the spinach on the bottom bun,  followed by the beef patty, avocado, tomatoes and tomato ketchup. Enjoy!

Note: For homemade beef burger patties, see recipe here.

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Thursday, July 20, 2017

A Bat's Life at Drum Castle, Scotland

We enjoy visiting all the National Trust for Scotland (NTS) properties during our summer holidays here in Scotland. They regularly have fun activities for kids conducted by the Rangers for a small fee. Today, we attended the Children's Walk at Drum Castle to learn more about bats living in the castle grounds.

The Rangers started off by telling the children some interesting facts about bats, and we also got to see some preserved bats - they were really tiny compared to the ones we get in KL.

There are 18 native species, 17 which are known to be breeding in the UK and there are four that you will most likely see. The ones at Drum eats insects such as moths and midges, and we were astounded to learn that they can eat as many as 3000 a night.

Moths - bat food

We were also shown roosting sites for bats, both in summer and winter. They like it warm in summer so you will likely find them under the roof slates at Drum and in winter, they will be hibernating in the cellar.

The kids also got to make several bat crafts to bring home with them such as an origami bat, bat head band and also a twirly bat. All in all, a fun and educational morning for the kids. :)

Booking is via, you can also find more info about upcoming events on the website. There will be other opportunities to learn about bats at Craigievar (28/7), Castle Fraser (24/8) and Haddo House (1/9) this summer holidays.

Duration: 1 1/2 hours.

Price: £5 per child.

Location: Drum Castle, Drumoak, By Banchory, Aberdeenshire, AB31 5EY, Scotland.

Tel: +44 (0)1330 700334


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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Recipe: Pasta with Zucchini, Samphire, Mushrooms and King Prawns

We've been getting some really fantastic weather here in Scotland, so we would spend almost all day outdoors with the kids. So for dinner, I usually cook something simple and quick when we get home... such as this pasta with sauteed button mushrooms, zucchini as well as some samphire. Samphire goes well with seafood, so for our protein, I used raw peeled king prawns. Before serving, add generous servings of Parmesan cheese. Our kids loved this, very tasty indeed!

Pasta with zucchini, samphire and garlic butter king prawns
Recipe by Baby Sumo
Preparation time: 2 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Serves 4

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp butter
190g raw peeled king prawns
1/2 tsp chicken stock granules
60g samphire
50g white button mushrooms, sliced
1/2 zucchini, sliced
Fresly grated Parmigiano Reggiano

1. In a large pot of salted water, cook the pasta for 8-10 minutes, until al dente. Drain and set aside.

2. In a large frying pan, heat the oil over medium high heat. Add the garlic and saute for 2 minutes, until lightly golden, then add the mushrooms. Saute for about 1 minute, then add the zucchini and cook for 2 minutes.

3. Melt the butter and then cook the prawns for 1 minute, until they change to an orange hue. Add the pasta and samphire, and season with the chicken stock granules and toss well. Grate generous amounts of Parmesan cheese all over and serve immediately.

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Saturday, July 15, 2017

The Cowshed Chipper, Banchory, Scotland

Another fantastic chipper you should check out when you're in the Banchory area is The Cowshed. We had originally come here to eat at their restaurant but it was their off day, so we bought from their chipper instead. And boy, it was good!

We had the Large haddock supper (£8.20) and Breaded scampi (£6.70) and they were fantastic. I especially love the chips here, probably the best I've had from a chipper - crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside.

Place your order, pay and wait for about 15-20 minutes as your food is cooked to order

Another highlight for us here is the Haggis pudding (£2.50) - simply love the light, crispy batter. This is a must-try if you're ever visiting.

We also had the panko-crumbed Jimmy Buchan's langoustine's (£5.80) which is similar to the scampi. Nice and juicy!

There is a lovely outdoor dining area at the restaurant which you can use to enjoy your fish and chips takeaway. :)

This time last year

Looking all grown up this year ;)

Opening times: Mon – Thurs 12 – 2pm and 4.30 – 8pm, Fri – Sat 12 – 2pm and 4.30 – 9pm,
Sun 4.30 – 8pm

Price: Total bill £25.

Location: The Cowshed, Raemoir Rd, Banchory, AB31 5QB, Scotland.

Tel: 01330 820813


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