Jersey Royals with Wild Garlic and Lemon

Thursday, 24 May 2018
Post in collaboration with Tesco

Jersey Royal new potatoes typically signify the start of Spring and are one of the most warmly anticipated seasonal produce items in the food calendar. In this recipe I've combined them with wild garlic, butter and lemon for a taste explosion of Spring flavours. Serve this vegetarian dish as a hot side or a warm salad. 

My paternal Grandfather Alexander Cameron was a Potato Farmer on The Black Isle. As a little girl I recall nothing better than the taste of his homegrown new tatties served with salty butter. The main varieties he grew were Duke of York, Epicure and Kerr's Pink, much of which was sold to the local chip shop. I don't know about you but when I think of new potatoes the ones that spring to mind are Jersey Royals. So how come my Granda wasn't growing them? Because he wasn't in Jersey is the simple answer! In this instance the clue is in the name and Jersey Royals can only be grown on the island of Jersey. 
(please tell me I'm not the only one that didn't know that?!) 

Cookery Courses & Foodie Experiences in Aberdeen City & Shire

Thursday, 17 May 2018
This post was originally published in 2016 as the result of an enquiry on my Foodie Quine by Claire Jessiman Facebook Page from someone looking for recommendations of foodie experiences in and around Aberdeen that could be suitable as Christmas gifts. It was and continues to be a very popular post and following the announcement of the upcoming closure of Nick Nairn Cookschool it seemed like a timely opportunity for an update...

Please do let me know of any Cookery Courses and Foodie Experiences in Aberdeen City and Shire that I've missed as I'd be happy to include them. 

Spiced Courgette, Carrot and Feta Fritters

Sunday, 13 May 2018
Fritters are surely the single most delicious way to deal with a glut in the garden! These lightly spiced vegetarian courgette (zucchini) and carrot fritters contain feta cheese for a tangy flavour. Whilst they work well as a side they are also great for breakfast and surprisingly tasty served cold in a packed lunch or picnic.

Spiced Courgette Carrot and Feta Fritters

My Granda Monearn was a fantastic gardener. A greenhouse full of the best smelling and tasting tomatoes ever, luscious strawberries protected under a net and laid on straw and three carefully weeded and precisely laid out vegetable patches. I also vividly recall him storing his onions in old pairs of my Granny's American tan tights! I'm assuming that there must have been some method in such apparent madness?! My own exploits in vegetables haven't been quite as fruitful partly due to the fact that I only have a couple of raised beds, nevertheless nothing tastes better than something you have lovingly grown yourself, protected from the ravages of weeds and slugs and harvested with your own fair hands. I was delighted to be approached by Aberdeen's Duthie Park as part of their National Gardening Week event line up to host a Vegetable Cookery Workshop within the Education Room of the Winter Gardens. Alas all my ingredients came from the supermarket - bar the foraged wild garlic - but hopefully the event provided some inspiration to the real gardeners who attended.

Edible Scottish Adventures - April 2018

Friday, 11 May 2018

Eek! 11th May already?! That means I'm seriously behind with my monthly retrospective for April. As I said last month - better late then never. Although it looks like this may be becoming a habit. Must try harder! Time to take a quick look back at what you might have missed in April across my social media and on the blog. The algorithms of Instagram, Twitter and Facebook don't always want to let my followers see everything I post so this retrospective monthly roundup is my cunning way of attempting to beat the system. Expect barbecued tomahawk, sunshine, street art, dogs, pizza and lots of wild garlic!

Royal Wedding Lemon and Elderflower Drizzle Muffins for Harry and Meghan

Tuesday, 1 May 2018
Make your own muffin versions of Harry and Meghan's wedding cake. Elderflower and lemon are THE top baking flavours of 2018 as the Royal couple have chosen them for their wedding cake. This quick and easy muffin recipe incorporates lemon and elderflower in both the sponge and a sugary drizzle.

Who's excited about the upcoming Royal Wedding? I most certainly am. Don't Harry and Meghan make just THE most wonderful couple? Being a step removed from the 'next in line to the throne' limelight of William and Katherine I reckon it's going to be the most non royal, royal wedding that we've ever seen. I've watched them all over the years. I was only 9 in 1981 for Charles and Diana and still have a collection of memorabilia. For Andy and Fergie were were on holiday but I remember watching bits of the proceedings through shop windows. Edward and Sophie, Charles and Camilla and even Zara and Mike. I tuned in to them all! My children joined in watching in 2011 for Will and Kate and some fantastic photos from then came up in my Facebook timehop recently. Seems that we like any excuse as a nation to celebrate and what better one than a Royal Wedding?

Wild Garlic Pesto Pinwheels

Wednesday, 25 April 2018
Preserve the flavour of Spring in Wild Garlic Pesto then use it to create the ultimate cheesy garlic bread. Using a soda bread base, these Wild Garlic Pesto Pinwheels are super quick and easy to make and oh so moreish. 

If brambles are the gateway drug to foraging, wild garlic is surely the next one down the slippery slope of never being able to go out for a walk without keeping your eyes peeled for free food! It's a sure sign that Spring is in the air when it starts to put in an appearance. It really is one of the most easily identifiable and unmistakable foragable foods. Take a look at the Galloway Wild Food Website for further identification and distribution information if you are unsure. It's smell is so distinctive and the taste, particularly early in the season, very pungent. You may very well smell it in the woods before you spot its long lush leaves. Look for it in semi shaded moist woodland areas, river banks are a good place to start. Later in the season it bursts into bloom with white flowers which are also edible. 

Ministers Slices - Date, Nut & Coconut Krispy Traybake

Thursday, 12 April 2018
One of my Grandma Monearns most regularly made recipes. A no bake chocolate slice with dates, nuts, coconut and rice krispies. She always referred to them as Ministers Slices but I've no idea why! Can't see that there's anything particularly religious about them but would love to know the origin of the name.

I'm sharing one of my Granny's recipes today. I've previously shared her Shortbread and her Cornflake Biscuits and this makes up the trilogy of what was always found in her biscuit tins. I've only ever known these as Ministers Slices but I've absolutely no idea why they are called that. I've Googled and can't find any reference to any other bakes with the same name. If you've heard of them or know why they might be called this then PLEASE do let me know as it's a bit of a mystery to me! My best guess is that they were submitted to a WRI cookbook or similar by a Minister.

Edible Scottish Adventures - March 2018

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

The plan was that this post would be published when I was far away from Scotland enjoying an edible adventure in Tenerife. However time caught up with me and and I didn't get around to completing and sheduling before we headed to the sun. My bad. So it's a week later than it should be but I'm sticking with the better late than never adage. 

Easter has been and gone for another year, time to say farewell to my Egg logo and revert back to Bitten Heart until I can unveil the Strawberry version in the run up to Wimbledon. I do hope the Easter Bunny was good to you and you didn't fall for too many April fools. I do always enjoy seeing the foodie ones. Time to take a quick look back at what you might have missed in March across my social media and on the blog. The algorithms of Instagram, Twitter and Facebook don't always want to let my followers see everything I post so this retrospective monthly roundup is my way of attempting to beat the system. Expect BBQ, brunch, bunny bums, Hungry Squirrels and a cover girl!

Unicorn Devilled Eggs with Smoked Salmon and Caviar

Thursday, 29 March 2018
Post in collaboration with Juliettes Interiors

You'll find all the multicoloured shades of a rainbow unicorn in this pretty pastel retro-tastic canape which is ideal for parties or picnics. Take your devilled eggs to a whole new level of sophistication by colouring them and serving with smoked salmon and caviar. 

What's the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a Chaise Longue? For me it's luxury, decadence, quaffing champagne, Art Deco and The Great Gatsby! It's a piece of furniture that I would absolutely love to own and I can totally imagine myself luxuriating on one wearing a silk dressing gown and being waited on hand and foot. Surely the height of glamour and sophistication? When I was invited to take part in a creative challenge and create a lunchtime menu inspired by my favourite Chaise Longue from the collection at Juliettes Interiors I didn't have to be asked twice. But which one to choose? I pondered over Neoclassical, Contemporary or Baroque, Leather, Velvet or Linen and Mahogany, Walnut or Gold Lacquer but in the end had to go with my initial gut instinct and the absolutely stunning Button Upholstered Italian Designer Turquoise Velvet Chaise Longue. Isn't she just gorgeous?

Going Nuts for Hungry Squirrel Nut Butters

Monday, 26 March 2018
Meet the Aberdeenshire producer. Going nuts with Susan Yule and Hazel Farquhar of Hungry Squirrel Nut Butters. Completely natural products, vegan friendly with no refined sugars, palm oil or artificial flavourings. Their delicious and nutritious Nut Butters bring all the Squirrels to the yard.

In my biog I state that I'm partial to Cheese, Gin, Peanut Butter and Rhubarb and that I'm permanently looking for the recipe that can successfully combine them all. (The hunt continues...)  Peanut Butter is something that I have loved for as long as I can remember. As a child it always seemed rather exotic and exciting - particularly in relation to the US of A and PB&J sandwiches! I actually know when my first taste of another nut butter was as I wrote about back in April 2013 on a visit to the Scottish Crannog Centre. Turns out that in Iron Age Scotland they may well have been eating Hazelnut Butter so the whole nut butter craze of recent years has actually been around for much longer that the hipsters would have us believe. I was very excited when I first heard via a mutual friend last year that there was a producer in Deeside who had started making a range of nut butters. I was even more excited when they gave me one of their Hungry Squirrel taster packs to try out. Alas I have failed to convert my daughter from Nutella to Hazelnut & Cacao but myself and my son are both particularly big fans of Crunchy ABC Mix and Cookie Dough. 

Classic Custard Creams Biscuits

Thursday, 22 March 2018
Custard Creams frequently top polls of the nation’s favourite biscuit. This classic homemade version is way better than shop bought with a crumbly melt in the mouth texture and a generous vanilla buttercream filling.

Classic Traditional Homemade Custard Creams Biscuits

Every Tuesday afternoon for the last four years I've headed to the STAR Community Flat in Seaton where I am 'The Cooking Wifie' for a small community cookery class. We work to a £10 a week budget in a very basic kitchen with a rather temperamental cooker. There is a lot of enthusiasm and a great deal of fun. Last week there was a request to make Custard Creams. This was something that I hadn't made for a long time so I dug out my childhood 'Recipes, Cuttings and Notes' book and unearthed what was my cousin's recipe. The quantities were in ounces and also seemed rather small so I instantly doubled the amount of ingredients and converted to grams. I also swapped margarine out for butter and added some vanilla bean paste to pimp up the buttercream.

Tunnock's Teacake Easter Bunny Bums

Monday, 12 March 2018
The perfect no bake chocolate treat for Easter. Using the iconic Scottish Tunnock's Teacake along with chocolate buttons and marshmallow tails to make oh so cute Easter Bunny Bums. 

Scottish Tunnock's Teacake Easter Bunny Bums

It's beginning to look a lot like Easter! I feel I can finally say that now that Mother's Day has passed. I was going to update to my Easter logo last week but held on with the Bitten Heart for a little bit longer to celebrate International Women's Day and Mothering Sunday. I was rather spoiled by my favourite teenage humans with breakfast in bed, flowers, fizz and vouchers. Following this we headed for a walk in Dunnottar Woods with Pippa from BorrowMyDoggy and Ice Cream at Aunty Betty's. A late lunch at The Creel Inn was delicious whilst the day rounded off the the final episode of Call The Midwife and a Bubble Bath. Much love to all those who found the day difficult for whatever reason. 

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