Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Countdown To Easter - Cakes, Makes, Food & Bakes.

My Foodie Christmas Advent Calender proved so popular I though I'd do a #CountdownToEaster in a similar vein with an Easter post every night at 8pm on my Foodie Quine Facebook Page. Thankfully I'm only doing 7 days as opposed to the 24 that I did in December. It was definately one of these things that seemed like a good idea at the time... If you missed them catch up here Advent Calendar 2013 Days 1-12 and Advent Calendar 2013 Days 13 - 24

Back to Easter. If you've not been following on Facebook or missed some along the way here's a round up of what I've made so far. I'll be adding daily until the Easter Bunny arrives on Sunday. I'd love to hear about any successes (or failures!) if you give any of them a try.

Fried egg, Black Olives, Cheese String, Streaky Bacon
Easter Bunny Fried Egg


100g Marg

3 Tbsp Golden Syrup

200g Digestive Biscuits

120g Maltesers (1 box)
200g Mini Eggs
300g Milk Chocolate

Melt the marg and syrup in a saucepan and remove from the heat.
Put the digestives, maltesers and 100g of the mini eggs in a sealed bag and bash with a rolling pin.
Mix the bashed ingredients into the melted ones.
Spoon into a greased tray bake tin and flatten.
Melt the chocolate and pour over the top of the biscuit mix.
Bash the remaining 100g of Mini Eggs and sprinkle on top of the chocolate.
Refrigerate until set then cut into chunks.
Malt-Easter Tray Bake, Easter Egg Chocolate Tray Bake


300g White Chocolate

200g Mini Eggs

170g Mini Marshmallows

Hundreds & Thousands

Melt chocolate and mix through marshmallows and bashed mini eggs. 
Spread in a greased/lined swiss roll tin. 
Sprinkle with hundreds & thousands. 
Refrigerate until set. 
Cut into slices as large as your mouth allows

White Chocolate and Marshmallow and Mini Egg Easter Tray Bake

Tunnock's Teacakes
Mini Marshmallows
Giant Chocolate Buttons
Milk Chocolate
Royal Icing Sugar or Ready made White Icing or White Chocolate

Melt your chocolate and brush it on to completely cover the teacake. 
Stick on the mini marshmallows in a single layer all the way round the bottom of the teacake.
Continue in layers until the whole teacake is covered. 
Pop your sheep body in the fridge to set.

Make up icing, melt white chocolate or use ready made icing to draw sheepy faces onto the giant chocolate buttons. I used black nonpareils to give them pupils. Attach the faces to the marshmallowed bodies with either chocolate or icing. Herd them back in the fridge to set.

Easter Lambs Sheep Tunnock's Teacakes

Jus-Rol Bake-it-Fresh Cinnamon Swirls Dough (in the chilled section next to ready made pastry)
Sliced Almonds

Cut the dough into 6 slices. 
Use 4 for bunny faces and form the remaining 2 into 4 sets of ears. 
Assemble with raisins for eyes and almonds for buck teeth. 
Bake as per instructions on the pack.
Easter Baking Cinna Bunnies Jus-Rol

Easter Baking Cinna Bunnies


These were made by Foodie Boy & Girl. You'll need blue and yellow plastic eggs, a black Sharpie, googly eyes and a hot glue gun.

Easter Minion Eggs Despicable Me Minions

I'll be back tomorrow night with another Easter idea... Like my Foodie Quine Facebook Page to see it first.

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Scottish Gin Tasting with Gin Infused Canapés

There really is no denying my love of Gin. A quick flick through my Facebook, Twitter and Blog posts will see the juniper infused tipple cropping up with alarming regularity. My own drinks cabinet of gins has grown from the standard Gordon's, Beefeater and Bombay Saphire to encompass more boutique offerings such as Martin Millers which I discovered at a Gin & Teatime Tasting Event. My current selection includes Hendricks, 3 flavours of Edinburgh Gin (Elderflower, Spiced Orange and Raspberry), Caorunn, Blackwoods, Martin Millers, Gordons Crisp Cucumber and Opihr plus my own homemade Rhubarb, Bramble and Raspberry Gin infusions.

It might surprise you to discover that over 70% of UK Gin is produced in Scotland. Seems like its not just whisky that we're good at. With this in mind I'm delighted to announce a Foodie Quine presents... GIN event. I know there are a number of my followers on the blog and social media who this will appeal to and I hope to meet some of you on the night. 
To be held at Dunnottar Wines and Sprits in Stonehaven there will be education and lubrication in the form of 5 Scottish Gins. There will also be sustination from Gin infused and inspired canapes. Cool Gourmet in Stonehaven recently held a Gin themed dinner which unfortunately I couldn't attend so I'm delighted that Isla will be providing canapes for this event.

Book your place via my Eventbrite page below. Any questions drop me an email claire@foodiequine.co.uk

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Savoy Fare Cajan Food Truck

October last year saw me heading along to Hammerton Store in Aberdeen for a Book Signing, Cajun Cook In, Meet & Greet and Cajun Music with Sarah Savoy to mark the launch of her book, The Savoy Kitchen. The sun shone and bemused Aberdeen shoppers almost cracked a smile when greeted with an impromptu busking session in the street.

It was a delight to meet Sarah and see her cooking up a Chicken & Sausage Gumbo in store on her very first visit to Scotland. She's been cooking since the age of 3 and has an absolute passion for sharing her love of authentic Cajan food and music. 
Eating authentic Gumbo and drinking beer in the sunshine sure beats a soggy Cajun chicken sandwich. A fab wee film clip made during Sarah's visit to Scotland gives a real flavour of what the book is about https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W6q3yuAEcV4 Meet the holy trinity of Cajun seasoning - salt, pepper and cayenne. Don't mess with Sarah's Gumbo.
Inspired and armed with first hand knowledge I was ready to make my first ever roux and subsequent gumbo. Sarah had warned me it would take a lot of time and a lot of patience and it would stink. The basic premis is that you cook up flour and vegetable oil for a very long time, stirring constantly until it turns a very dark brown in colour. That's your roux. Its certainly a labour of love. The flavour of my Gumbo was amazing but I reckon I overcooked my chicken as it pretty much turned to mush.
After 7 years of steadily building a very strong reputation for her cooking through restaurant events, catering, cooking demonstrations, international TV appearances, radio interviews, and The Savoy Kitchen cookbook, Sarah is now aiming to take her passion fro Cajun Food to the next level. Its a big ask but she's looking for crowdfunding support of €60,000 to establish the Savoy Fare Cajun Food Truck.
Its an ambitions project but Sarah is more than persistent and passionate enough to make it happen. She's lined up a fantastic range of rewards for potential investors. Everything from hot sauce and beer coozies up to Cajun cooking lessons or a full scale Cajun party with food and music for 150 people. Take a look at her quirky video below and have a read of the project proposal. I really hope someone see's the potential. Any dragons or business angels out there?


Wednesday, 2 April 2014

These are a few of my Favourite Things... at Adelphi Kitchen

Just imagine having the opportunity to work with a restaurant you love to come up with your ideal menu incorporating all of your favourite foods. My dream came true when Executive Head Chef Chris Toner and myself got together to plan an event at Aberdeen's Adelphi Kitchen. From the outset Adelphi Kitchen was committed to following in the footsteps of The Courtyard and La Stella to run foodie events with their suppliers and close friends. The first of those was Meat Feast #1 with Marcus Bawdon of www.countrywoodsmoke.com. I am delighted to have been given the opportunity to partner on event number two.

Black pudding, scallops, crackling, bacon, prosecco, wild garlic, crab, langoustine, elderflower, avocado, dirty steak, rhubarb, gin, popcorn, blue cheese, peanut butter, tea, vintage. These are a few of my favourite things. Yours too? Might see you there!

Adelphi Kitchen and Aberdeen Food Blogger Claire Jessiman aka The Foodie Quine present a four course taster menu highlighting seasonality, locality and a passion for provenance. Forget about raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens. Claire's favourite foodie things include black pudding, scallops, cheese, bacon, wild garlic, crab, langoustine, dirty steak, rhubarb, gin, peanut butter and tea. Who better than Chris Toner and Team AK to pull together these random favourites into an innovative foodie night out. Your hosts will explain the concepts behind the dishes and showcase the local suppliers and producers who provide the highest quality of raw ingredients right here on our doorstep.

Friday, 28 March 2014

Love Food Hate Waste - Leftover Vegetables and Black Bananas

I was delighted to be asked by Aberdeen Forward to do a second Cookery Demonstration for them as part of their Love Food Hate Waste project. You can read about the first one we did here where I made Tuna Fishcakes, Cola Chicken and Layered Fruit Crunch. Different menu and different location this time round. We were in Stonehaven as volunteers are being sought in the area to take part in a Zero Waste Scotland Fund Project where they weigh their food waste and record their recycling habits.

Aberdeen Forward - Love Food Hate Waste - Leftover Vegetables and Black Bananas

Our three course meal kicked off with what I originally called "Bottom of the Fridge Soup". So named as it can be made from whatever veggies you have languishing there unloved and unused. I tend to do either a red or a green version and as such it has been re-branded to make it sound as appetising as it actually is. There are no specific quantities given in the recipes below for the soup or the frittata. The idea being that you use what you have available to you and modify as necessary.
Red Soup with Honey & Ginger. Aberdeen Forward - Love Food Hate Waste
Tin of Tomatoes
Tomato Puree
Stock Cubes
Bottom of the fridge veggies – Carrots, Red Pepper, Tomatoes, Celery, Leek, Parsnip
Leftover Mash
Red Lentils
Ginger (fresh or lazy)

In a large pan sauté chopped onion and garlic in a splash of oil until soft.
Chop the ‘bottom of the fridge’ veggies into chunks, add to the pan and sweat off for a few minutes.
Add the tin of tomatoes, a litre or so of hot stock and a handful of red lentils and the seasonings.
Bring to the boil then simmer for 20-30 minutes until all the veggies are soft.
Blitz with a stick blender.

Use whatever combination of veggies you have available to you. But be careful with strong flavours like green pepper.
The addition of milk and/or cheese can be used to create a creamy soup.
Be adventurous with your seasonings. Chilli, Corriander, Paprika, Cumin, Worcerstershire Sauce, Tobasco and many others all work well.
Add a wee pinch of sugar (or honey) if the soup seems bitter.
Aberdeen Forward - Love Food Hate Waste - Leftover Vegetables and Black Bananas
Aberdeen Forward - Love Food Hate Waste - Leftover Vegetables and Black Bananas
200g mashed potato
25g butter
50g plain flour
1/4 tsp baking powder

Mash the butter into the potato (you may need to warm it if its leftovers) 
Sift in the flour and baking powder and mix until thoroughly combined. 
Divide into two balls.
Liberally flour your surface and roll out gently to form two circles about 1/4" thick. 
Cut the circles into quarters.
Heat a girdle or heavy frying pan. 
Smear on some butter with kitchen roll. 
Once hot cook scones for about 3-4 mins on each side until golden brown.

Try adding cheese, herbs or spices through the mix
I've even made a haggis version
Tattie Scones. Aberdeen Forward - Love Food Hate Waste
8 Eggs
Leftover cooked potatoes sliced
Grated Cheese
Herbs & Spices - garlic, smoked paprika and crushed chili 
Veggies – Peas, red onion, red pepper, mushrooms

Sauté the frittata ingredients in oil in a large frying pan. (If any meat used is raw, cook that first and then remove it from the pan to add back in later) 
Raw veggies will require longer cooking than any leftover cooked ingredients which will just need warmed through. 
Season well and add herbs and spices as desired.
Whisk the eggs together along with grated or crumbled cheese. Pour over the vegetable mix. 
The frittata can then be cooked purely on the hob, or popped in the oven (if frying pan is ovenproof) or finished off with extra cheese crisped under the grill.
Slice into wedges and serve. Any leftovers are great served cold.

Use rice and/or pasta instead of or as well as potatoes
Any kind of cheese works grated or crumbled - try blue, feta or smoked
Make it meaty with ham, bacon, chicken, sausages, pork, beef
Frittata. Aberdeen Forward - Love Food Hate Waste - Leftover Vegetables and Black Bananas
125g Plain Flour
1 Black Banana
1 eggs
1 Tbsp Sugar
1 Tsp Cream of Tartar
½ tsp Bicarb of Soda
Pinch salt
Chocolate Chips
Butter to grease

The blacker the bananas the better for this recipe. Did you know you can freeze over ripe bananas to use in baking at a later date?

Sift together dry ingredients
Mash banana and whisk egg
Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in banana and egg.
Add milk until a dropping consistency is reached. 
Mix through a handful of choc chips.
Spoon onto a buttered girdle or frying pan.
Once the pancake starts to bubble turn over with a palette knife to cook the other side. 
Put in between a folded tea towel on a cooling rack to keep warm.
Black Banana & Choc Chip Pancakes. Aberdeen Forward - Love Food Hate Waste
A great turnout for the event with lots of good interaction and feedback from the group. As a follow up Aberdeen Forward asked the participants what they had learned and what they would now do differently. Always good to get positive feedback and particularly heartening to see such positive actions being taken onboard. 

It was good to clarifying some of the items that I was unsure about freezing.
Would happily attend another event.
I hadn't realised the extent we would be fed
I am definitely going to make meals from what I have in my fridge and freezer rather than buying in more food that I don't need
I am now more aware of the cost of wastage, both to the environment and monetary

I thoroughly enjoyed the cooking demo and it definitely got me thinking about food waste
Didn't think of freezing bananas and often bin them - not any more.

I'm linking this post up to the Credit Crunch Munch blogger challenge run by Fab Food 4 All and Fuss Free Flavours. Check out the blog hop below for more blog posts which will help you save money whilst still enjoying great food. 

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Craigie's Farm, Deli and Cafe. South Queensferry, Edinburgh

It's always lovely to get an invitation in your inbox. Especially when it involves meeting up with fellow bloggers, journalists and food enthusiasts over tastings, demos and lunch. The invite came from John and Kirsteen Sinclair, owners of Craigie's Farm Deli and Cafe in South Queensferry. I'd already briefly visited Craigie's on a recent trip to Edinburgh and been impressed with what I saw so decided to RSVP in the affirmative and take a road trip to the central belt to find out a bit more about everything that's 'growing' on at Craigie's.
Craigie's Farm, Deli and Cafe. South Queensferry, Edinburgh
The weather was grim but the welcome was warm. A great group of bloggers, foodies and journalists were in attendance but it was particularly good to finally meet up with three who I've been chatting to for ages online but had never met in real life. Hilary from My Monkfish, Rachel from A Wee Pinch of Sugar and Wendy Inside Out Chef. Introductions made John told us a bit about the history of the farm before we were split into two groups for our tour. The Sinclair's have had tenancy of West Craige since the 60's when it operated as a dairy farm until pasteurisation regulations forced change to continue profitability.
Jam Kitchen at Craigie's Farm, Deli and Cafe. South Queensferry, Edinburgh
Fruit production began in the 80's along with a small informal farm shop. A barn was converted in the 90's to a larger shop open 6 months of the year. 2007 saw the opening of the new shop and cafe with capacity doubling in 2009 to include a Butchery. John's mother Anne heads up the Jam Kitchen where they produce a range of over 40 different jams, jellies, marmalades, chutneys and vinegars predominantly made from farm produce. The preserves are made in exactly the same method as you would use at home but on a bigger scale. Beetroot chutney and summer fruit jam was bubbling away during our visit ready to be poured into traditional 1lb jars.
Bakery at Craigie's Farm, Deli and Cafe. South Queensferry, Edinburgh
Next stop on our tour was the bakery where a fantastic looking and delicious tasting selection of homebakes for the cafe are made from scratch. Empire Biscuits, Carrot Cake and Rhubarb & Orange Cake were in progress. Scones of all varieties and traybakes are also big sellers and a new 'Cake of the Week' puts in an appearance every Thursday. 
Cairn O'Mohr Wines at Craigie's Farm, Deli and Cafe. South Queensferry, Edinburgh
Tasting time and the opportunity to meet three of Craigie's suppliers. Our first port of call was Cairn O'Mohr wines hosted by Linzey. The Perthshire winery have been producing for almost 27 years. We tasted a selection of their fruity offerings encompassing Cider, Still and Sparkling Wine and non alcoholic Sparkling Elderflower. I'm definitely going to have to pay a visit to their visitor centre sometime soon. Meantime I impressed by sharing that I had a bottle of their Rhubarb Rhubarb in my wine rack and they we'd enjoyed their Bramble Wine and Autumn Oak Leaf wine at our Burns Celebrations.
Supernature Rapeseed Oil at Craigie's Farm, Deli and Cafe. South Queensferry, Edinburgh
Lynn of Supernature Cold Pressed Rapeseed Oil was next at the tasting table. I'm a big fan of Scottish rapeseed oil for its health benefits, provenance and versatility. Supernature is light in colour and taste and works very well with infusions. An impressive range of 11 flavours with two more on the way. Whilst I loved both the Coriander and Lime I was very interested in the two newcomers. White Truffle and Black Truffle. I was lucky enough to get a sneaky sample of the White Truffle Infused oil home with me. Its flavour is intense and instantly transported me back to our Tuscan holiday. I shall definitely be seeking out more once my 100ml is gone.
Scottish Artisan Cheese at Craigie's Farm, Deli and Cafe. South Queensferry, Edinburgh
Last but by no means least was Tanny Gill, a man with an absolute passion for cheese. With an amazing back story culminating in 4 years on Mull making cheese. He gave us a whistle stop tour of Artisan Scottish cheeses including Paddy's Milestone, Jezebel, Arran Blue and Fearn Abbey Brie. These were accompanied with charcuterie from Great Glen Game and Rannoch Smokery. I could have quite happily foregone lunch and just devoured the remainder of the cheese.
Lunch at Craigie's Farm, Deli and Cafe. South Queensferry, Edinburgh
An amazing spread of meats, cheeses, quiche, frittata, salads, breads and chutneys filled the heaving table for our Foodies Lunch. A real showcase of the food produced in the cafe and sold in the deli. Seasonal, local and absolutely delicious. We were absolutely stuffed and had completely forgotten about the promised Rhubarb and Orange Cake. There must definitely be a second stomach for pudding as we all managed it. Time for a wee browse round the deli to make some purchases before heading home beef olives, scotch eggs, rhubarb, seaweed oatcakes and piglet biscuits. I'd told my daughter that there were newborn piglets at Craigie's and she asked me to take one home. Biscuit form was the best I could do. They were soooo cute. Possibly the favourite part of my visit.
Newborn Piglets at Craigie's Farm, Deli and Cafe. South Queensferry, Edinburgh
Thanks to Craigie's Farm, Deli & Cafe for inviting me and to Scene & Herd PR for hosting the event. A thoroughly enjoyable place to visit. Definitely one of Edinburgh's best kept secrets. 

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Tunnock's Teacake Sheep for Aberdeen FC

Its been a long time since Aberdeen Football Club had anything to celebrate so a cup final clash against Inverness Caley Thistle has got Dons fans in a bit a a frenzy. The sheep are indeed on fire. What better to mark the occasion than some Tunnock's Teacake woolly friends. If you don't understand the sheep connection unfortunately I am not in a position to clarify. Lets just go with what Foodie Loon told the Bairns. Aberdeen is a country team and there are a lot of sheep in the country.
Tunnock's Teacake Marshmallow Sheep - Easter
Tunnock's Teacake Sheep for Aberdeen Football Club
You will need...

Tunnock's Teacakes
Mini Marshmallows
Giant Chocolate Buttons
Milk Chocolate
Royal Icing Sugar or Ready made White Icing or White Chocolate
Tunnock's Teacake Sheep for Aberdeen Football Club
I could only get mini marshmallows in a mix of pink and white so the surplus will be need to be used for pink pigs, elephants or poodles. Or perhaps just eaten straight from the pack. 
Tunnock's Teacake Sheep for Aberdeen Football Club
Melt your chocolate and brush it on to completely cover the teacake. Stick on the mini marshmallows in a single layer all the way round the bottom of the teacake. Continue in layers until the whole teacake is covered. Pop your sheep body in the fridge to set.
Tunnock's Teacake Sheep for Aberdeen Football Club
Make up icing, melt white chocolate or use ready made icing to draw sheepy faces onto the giant chocolate buttons. I used black nonpareils to give them pupils. Attach the faces to the marshmallowed bodies with either chocolate or icing. Herd them back in the fridge to set.
Tunnock's Teacake Marshmallow Sheep. Aberdeen Football Club. The Dons. COYR
Eat and enjoy whilst cheering the Dons on to Cup Final victory. If truth be known only one sheep remains for the big match. Dolly will be duly set on fire when the title is clinched. Watch this space...

The Dandy Dons only went and won the cup! Not exactly their finest performance but with the score still 0-0 after extra time it all came down to penalties and when it counted they duly hit the back of the net. To celebrate we attempted to set the sheep on fire. Alas a wee bit of smouldering and charring was all that could be mustered. Perhaps we should have doused him in something alcoholic first. I reckon Foodie Loon will be pretty well doused at whatever time he rolls in. Plenty sair heids in the Granite city the morn.
Tunnock's Teacake Sheep for Aberdeen Football Club. The Sheep are on Fire.
Tunnock's Teacake Sheep for Aberdeen Football Club Scottish League Cup Winners 2014

Friday, 14 March 2014

Cake Club with all Natural Ingredients and No Processed Food

When the theme of the March Pinnies & Petticoats Cake Club was announced I must admit that my heart sank. All Natural Ingredients - No Processed Food. Doesn't really sit well with cakes and bakes in my book. I so haven't got into the whole clean eating paleo diet malarkey. I was stumbling around in the dark about what to make and then I had a lightbulb moment. Savvy Spreads had sent me some of their product to try. Made using 100% natural ingredients it could be the perfect base for my bake.

I checked the labels and all seemed good. All natural, sweet, luxury spread. Suitable for vegetarians and no gluten containing ingredients. I really wasn't sure how it would work incorporated into a bake but reckoned that a savvy brownie could be a good option. 
3 eggs
100g flour
400g Chocolate Spread (I used 300g Savvy Chocolate and 100g Savvy Chocolate Agave)

Beat with an electric wisk, pour into a well greased tray bake tin and bake for 12 - 15 minutes at 160 degrees.
A new venue for Cake Club this month. Our previous home at Tiger Tiger shut its doors for the final time on 1st March. Amicus Apple made us very welcome in our new location in a swanky private room upstairs with our own bar and barman. A great turnout of bakers and lovely to welcome some new faces. I wasn't the only one who struggled with this theme but everyone had made a valiant effort. Plenty of nuts, oats, carob, coconut oil, agave syrup, seeds, honey, fruit and vegetables putting in an appearance.
Sea Salt Water Biscuits
Fig & Camambert Flatbread
Broccoli, Red Pepper and Gruyere Puffs
Cheese & Seed Hearts
Chocolate, Spelt and Coconut Cake
Oat and Carob Cookies
Mini Wholemeal Beetroot Loaves with Homemade Maple & Cream Cheese Frosting
Raspberry Muffins with Hazelnuts and Ground Almonds
Honey & Almond Cake
Parsnip, Honey and Lemon Fruit Loaf
Honey Shortbread Hearts
Walnut & Cardamom Granola Bites
Red Pepper and Lentil Wholemeal Tartlets
Healthy Flapjacks with sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, apricot, raisins, apple and bananas
Coconut Brownies
Paleo Fruitcake
Coffee Cake Banana Bread
Healthy No Bake Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
Berry and Orange Muffins with Almond Flour and Honey

This was definitely the most challenging theme we have tackled at cake club. Gluten free was a walk in the park in comparison. Confession time. My three favourite bakes of the night were by far those who had strayed from the path and used refined white flour. For me a cake, bake or biscuit is supposed to a treat and unfortunately all natural just didn't hit the spot for me.

Next Pinnies & Petticoats meet is Wednesday 16th April, 7pm at Amicus Apple. The theme is Cocktails & Canapes. Much more up my street. I'll definitely be taking the bus to this one having seen the extensive Cocktail list at Amicus Apple. The penguins might even put in a guest appearance.