Monday, 15 January 2018

Haggis, Neeps and Tatties Pancakes

Post in collaboration with McIntosh of Strathmore

A delicious Scottish breakfast treat, these Haggis, Neeps and Tatties Pancakes are the ideal way to kick off your Burns Supper celebrations. But they are far too good to save just for breakfast or just for Burns Night. Haggis is for life - not just the 25th of January.

Once Hogmanay is past and the New Year begins, here in Scotland and in many places around the world, the countdown begins to possibly the most Scottish of Celebrations. Burns Night. The 25th of January makes Dry January impossible! How could you possibly toast The Bard without a dram?! To accompany that dram you also of course need the holy trinity of Haggis, Neeps and Tatties. Whilst Rabbie had plenty to say about the dish in one of his most famous poems "Address to a Haggis" it's been been give a rewrite by Scottish ready meal manufacturers McIntosh of Strathmore with their own version... 

Nae need tae cut up wi' ready slight 
When we've done a'things fir ye just right 
Aye, a dish tae tak yer fancy an' appeal, 
This, oor Burns Supper ready meal 

You can find McIntosh of Strathmore Haggis Neeps and Tatties ready meals all year round in the chiller cabinets of Scottish supermarkets, however in the lead up to Burns Night 2018 they'll be resplendent in limited edition promotional 'Poetry In A Pack' branding. In addition to the single serving "Wee Burns Supper" packs in both traditional and vegetarian variants, there's also a large pack which is perfect for sharing. All the meals can be cooked in either a conventional oven or microwaved and will let you enjoy Burns without the hassle of peeling, chopping, mashing and boiling! There's really no excuse not to celebrate with your very own Burns Supper whether as as individual or family and everyone can be kept happy with the equally delicious vegetarian option. 

Celebrate Burns with McIntosh and you'll have pretty much everything you need for a traditional Burns Supper in minutes! Just add whisky and you're all set. If you fancy doing something a wee bit different with your ready meal how about my Haggis, Neeps and Tatties Pancakes? I reckon they would make the perfect breakfast come 25th January but perhaps hold off on the whisky at such an early hour (although I did serve mine with a whisky cream sauce...!) You could even make blini sized ones and top them with Scottish Smoked Salmon for Burns Supper Canapes. No matter how you celebrate be sure to share your snaps on social media using the #BurnsWithMcIntosh hashtag and checkout the selection of Quick Burns Facts to impress or quiz your guests. 

Haggis Neeps and Tatties 'Pancakes' 
Makes 8 

1 x 340g Haggis Neeps & Tatties Ready Meal (traditional or vegetarian) 
50g Plain Flour 
1 Free Range Egg, beaten 
Splash of Scottish Rapeseed Oil 

Tip the contents of your ready meal into a bowl and combine it all together with a fork or potato masher. 
Add the flour and beaten egg and mix thoroughly. 
Divide the mixture into eight 'pancakes' 
Shallow fry four at a time in a splash of Scottish Rapessed Oil. 
They'll need approximately 5-8 minutes on each side to ensure they are warmed through with a crispy golden exterior.

Some hae meat and canna eat,
And some wad eat that want it,
But we hae meat and we can eat,
Sae let the Lord be Thanket!

♥ Pin me for later... A delicious Scottish breakfast treat these Haggis, Neeps and Tatties Pancakes are the ideal way to kick off your Burns Supper celebrations. But they are far too good to save just for breakfast or just for Burns Night. Haggis is for life - not just the 25th of January.

Linking up to CookBlogShare and Recipe of the Week

Thursday, 11 January 2018

Wee Sleekit Cheese and Haggis Birls

Only three ingredients in this tasty treat which is perfect for Burns Night, St Andrew's Day or Hogmanay. Haggis and Cheese go burlin in Puff Pastry for an oh so moreish savoury Scottish snack which is so quick and easy to make.

Wee Sleekit Cheese and Haggis Birls

So we all know that I'm savoury over sweet, cheese not choc, crisps not sweets. You'll always find me in the kitchen at parties, ideally positioned next to the Cheese Straws! They really are the perennial party food favourite but could they actually be improved upon? Over the years I've eaten and made them with various cheese, herbs, spices and even incorporated a slice of parma ham. However with January being the month of all things Burns, I got to thinking about Haggis. Cheese and Haggis are a match made in heaven (take my Auld Alliance Comté Cheese and Haggis Toastie as an example par excellence) so could I combine them in an epic Haggis Cheese Straw? Only one way to find out!

I shared the making of my Haggis, Cheese and Puff Pastry straws on Instagram stories and Twitter and was delighted to see that so many people were as excited by them as a work in progress as I was. I was kind of surprised quite how many straws the quantities I used actually made. Perhaps enough to feed the 5000 or go into competition with Greggs (I'm currently considering Quines as a brand name...) I did think that perhaps I should scale down the recipe before sharing here however I've left it as is as you really can't have too many of these tasty twists.

The name was another issue. I set out to create Haggis Cheese Straws however folks seemed to be referring to them as Haggis and Cheese Twists. But was there perhaps an even better name for them? Chaggis Straws was rejected but then bingo with a combination of effort on twitter from @KeepCalmAndFannyOn @MichJBarclay and myself we came up with Wee Sleekit Cheese and Haggis Birls. 

birl (burl) Dialect, chiefly Scot. ~v. 1. to spin around, to revolve rapidly.
~adv. birlin’ (“Ah tell ye, efter a’ that dancin’ ma heid’s fair birlin’“).

Robert Burns - Wee,sleekit, cow'rin, tim'rous beastie (To A Mouse)

English - Small, crafty, cowering, timorous little beast.

Call them what you will - I'm calling them a huge success! Far too good to keep just for Burns night I suggest you birl them out for all occasions but they are clearly essential fodder for 25th Jan, 30th Nov and 31st Dec when we are all feeling at our most Scottish. I'll leave it up to you as to whether you accompany with Whisky or Irn Bru.

Wee Sleekit Cheese and Haggis Birls

Wee Sleekit Cheese and Haggis Birls

450g Haggis (traditional or vegetarian)
200g Scottish Cheddar Cheese, grated 
2 x 375g sheets of Ready Rolled Puff Pastry 

Preheat your oven to 200c
Remove the haggis from its skin and roughly chop into small pieces.
Unroll one sheet of the puff pastry, keeping it on its greaseproof backing for ease of handling
Sprinkle the chopped Haggis and grated Cheese over the top of the puff pastry sheet making sure you go right to the edges.
Unroll the second sheet of pastry and carefully place on top.
Push down on the layers gently with your hands before using a rolling pin to press all the layers together. 
Don't be too vigorous with the rolling pin, you can roll out to increase the size by 2-3 cm on each side but what you are really wanting to do it secure the layers.
Use a pizza wheel (or knife) to cut the Cheese/Haggis/Pastry in half horizontally and then cut vertical strips 2-3 cm wide.
Carefully remove each straw and give it a couple of twist before placing on a prepared baking tray. They will puff up a wee bit so give them room to do so.
Bake for approx 20 mins until golden brown and bubbling.
Ideally serve when they are still warm.

♥ Pin me for later... Only three ingredients in this tasty treat which is perfect for Burns Night, St Andrew's Day or Hogmanay. Haggis (traditional or vegetarian) and Cheese go burlin in Puff Pastry for an oh so moreish savoury Scottish snack.

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Edible Scottish Adventures - December 2017

This is a bit of a new style of post for me, I'll give it a go for a few months to begin with and see what you all think. The basic premise is that it's a roundup of what I've been up to in the previous month. Lots of my Edible Scottish Adventures don't make it as far as my blog, featuring only on my social media accounts (find me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter). However I know that Facebook in particular likes to play hide and seek so sometimes only a small percentage of my followers actually see my posts. So lets give a roundup post a try - here's what happened in December....

First up was the annual outing of my Christmas logo, as with all the versions of my branding this is by the fantastic Camilla Hammil. Find her at where she's also rather good at silk scarves.

For the first 25 days of the month I was finally able to countdown with #CheeseNotChoc thanks to the the wonderful Cheese Advent Calendar from So Wrong it's Nom. There was a real panic as they were all sold out at the first Asda I went to. I phoned another store - only 4 left but they couldn’t keep one for me! Abandoned all other plans and drove at great speed to the second Asda. Christmas was saved!

There's a new Ice Cream Shop in town. December saw the opening of the Mackies 19.2 Ice Cream Parlour in Aberdeen's latest development - Marischal Square. Indoor and outdoor seating (with cosy blankets) selling ice cream (obvs!) waffles, crepes, chocolates, hot/cold drinks and more. The shop is located 19.2 miles from their farm where the ice cream is produced.

My first recipe of the month was Gingerbread Men Hot Chocolate Stirrers continuing my ongoing festive Gingerbread Man obsession!

I'm rather sad to have just taken down my special kitchen Christmas tree. As you may have guessed there is a food and drink theme to the decorations. Above are only a small selection. If you'd like to see more you can watch a Facebook Live tour of my Foodie Themed Christmas Tree. Please do tell me if you spot any decorations that I need for my collection, I'm on the lookout all year round (although I may need to get a bigger tree...)

The next recipe up was for a festive Cavolo Nero and Cranberry Nut Roast. However outwith December you can substitute dried cranberries for fresh. Nut loaf is for life - not just for Christmas.

Plenty of controversy caused when I asked my followers to rate their Christmas dinner. It seems that both Brussels Sprouts and Bread Sauce are most definitely Love/Hate items!

From the popularity of my post with 10 Christmas Gin Recipes I suspect that there were a number of my followers who had a very Merry Ginmas! I most certainly did. Also lovely to see the folks at Rock Rose making my Christmas Gincemeat with their very own gin.

Whilst at the same time Scottish Gin caused controversy when I shared a piece from The Herald. Revealed: Premium Scottish craft gins made in English factories.

Positively the last Gingerbread Men appearance of 2017 was my 'recipe' for Sledging Gingerbread Men

My After Eight and Candy Cane Fudge proved so popular that I had to make multiple batches and there was still none left come Christmas itself!

Final recipe before Christmas was Mincemeat Muffins. These are so good that I actually make them all year round.

I enjoyed a lovely afternoon tea (complete with Pink Fizz!) at Almondine on Christmas Eve Eve with the group of girls that I watch GBBO with. Everything they make is sublime and I can't recommend it enough, but you do need to book well in advance particularly if you want a Saturday. Their fame has clearly spread following their appearance on Bake Off Creme de la Creme.

Christmas Day itself was a feast full of delights from some fantastic local producers. Turkey from Barra Bronze, Epic Bacon from Piggery Smokery and Smoked Salmon from The Alexander Smokery. All three will again have my custom for Christmas 2018.

I must have been a very good quine as I received some amazing gifts from Santa, family and friends with more than a hint of Gin and a large dollop of Tunnock’s! (it's a suitcase not a fridge as someone thought!) I'm loving the Prue Leith book - its rather racy in comparison to Mary.

Bloody Mary with a side of maraschino cherry, pig in blanket, Brussels sprout, cornichon and gin olive is surely the Boxing Day breakfast of Champions! This may well become an annual tradition.

Irn Bru Ham was on the menu for Boxing Day and it seems that I was not alone. Again it was lovely to see and hear of others success with this ever popular recipe over Christmas.

My sister, aided and abetted by my two teenagers really excelled herself with this year's Gingerbread House. Stand alone blog post to follow but for now this is Camp Santa in all its glory. We finally demolished and ate it on New Year's Day.

Over 'Twixtmas' we headed down to Edinburgh for a couple of days to check out the Christmas Market. Plenty of mulled wine, hot chocolate and continental foodie treats on offer.

We also visited the Giant Lanterns of China at Edinburgh Zoo. These are absolutely amazing. Do visit if you can - you won't be dissapointed. They are there until 25th February - Chinese New Year

I ended the year with another rating game. Lets just say that the placement of Galaxy and Bounty caused almost as much consternation as that of Bread Sauce and Sprouts!

Lastly my best nine on Instagram from 2017. As per above - thanks for all those likes!

Thursday, 4 January 2018

Spaghetti Carbonara Frittata

Spaghetti Carbonara Frittata, a twist on the Italian favourite. The perfect midweek meal using eggs, ham and pasta (plus any other fridge leftovers). Wonderfully filling and works really well served cold for picnics or packed lunches. 

Did you know that 4th January is Spaghetti Day? Nope, neither did I. That was until I bought a Christmas Pressie for myself (aren't they the best kind?!) of a National Days Poster from  This fab hand drawn A2 poster provides a charming pictorial guide to 2018 with a calendar of national food/drink days, some of the big national events and a few of the large sporting events of the year. Yesterday was Chocolate Covered Cherry Day and tomorrow is National Sausage Day but for now I'm taking the opportunity to update and re-share a recipe for Spaghetti Day. 

I first published the recipe below in March 2015 but its been a family favourite long before and ever since. A really tasty and wonderfully filling midweek supper dish. Exactly the same ingredients you would find in a traditional Spaghetti Carbonara, it's just the quantity ratios have been juggled. The recipe makes 4-6 portions depending on how hungry you are and if you serve anything alongside. It is however very much worth your while to keep at least one slice back to pop in the fridge. It makes an awesome cold breakfast the next morning, or you could pop it in your packed lunch box or take it on a picnic. The great thing with this recipe is that you can adapt it to suit whatever happens to be lingering in the fridge. I've been known to add peppers, mushrooms, salami and potatoes. You don't even have to use spaghetti, any pasta will do. In the wise words of Nigel Slater "I like it when people use a recipe as a starting point, going off piste and tweaking it until it is right for them. That is when I feel recipes are often at their best, as something to inspire rather than something to be followed word for word, robot style."

Spaghetti Carbonara Frittata

200g spaghetti
125g sliced thick cut ham
6 free range eggs
large handful of wild garlic - chopped (or chives/spring onions)
generous pinch of ground black pepper
100g strong cheese grated 
splash of oil

Cook the spaghetti in boiling salted water for 12 minutes and drain.
In a large bowl beat the eggs and add a pinch of pepper (no salt required as the ham is salty enough)
To the beaten eggs add chopped wild garlic/chives/spring onions, 75g of the grated cheese, the chopped ham and drained spaghetti and mix thoroughly.
Heat a splash of oil in a large frying pan then add mixture, spread it out and cook over a low heat for 8 minutes.
Meanwhile preheat your grill.
Sprinkle the remaining 25g of cheese over the top and grill for 5 minutes until the cheese is melted, bubbling and lightly browned.
Slice, serve and enjoy.

The ham that I used to make my pictured Frittata was actually my Irn Bru Ham whose recipe continues to provide so much interest worldwide, particularly for Christmas, Hogmanay and Burns Night. We enjoyed it ourselves on Boxing Day last year (still seems strange saying that - hello 2018) and I was delighted to have so many of you sharing your Christmas successes with it on my Facebook page. Super chuffed to have been a small part of some of my readers festive meals. Makes it all worthwhile. Although I'm not sure what's going to happen now that Irn Bru are planning to change the recipe! Alas I don't think I've got quite enough influence to prevent that happening so I suggest you start stockpiling. 

♥ Pin me for later... Spaghetti Carbonara Frittata, a twist on the Italian favourite. The perfect midweek meal using eggs, ham and pasta (plus any other fridge leftovers!). Wonderfully filling and works really well served cold for picnics and packed lunches.

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Top 10 Foodie Quine Recipes - 2017

Happy New Year! We're just about recovered from the Hogmanay hangover here in Scotland. That's the sole reason we need two public holidays at the start of the year ;-)  With the start of a new year it's also time to reflect upon the year gone past. In traditional time honoured food blogger fashion it's by means of a rundown of my Top Ten recipes published last year as clicked on by YOU my readers. I really do appreciate every click, like, comment, RT and share and thank you for all your support in enabling me to continue to share my Edible Scottish Adventures with you. In 2017 I celebrated my 5th Blogging Birthday with none other than a Tunnock's Teacake Croquembouche 

I hope that 2018 will be good for you and yours and would like to take this opportunity to wish you health and happiness for the months to come. Lang may yer lum reek! 

Without further ado here are the top ten, in true Top of the Pops fashion they are of course revealed in reverse order...

1. Chocolate Haggis (aka Shortbread and Whisky Fridge Cake)

It's always really interesting for me to look back and find out which of my new recipes have proved to be the most popular. I must admit that I was surprised that three of the top ten are vegetarian (2 of which are vegan) but possibly less of a surprise that the top three are all sweet treats with a late surge from the Gingerbread Men Rocky Road which was only published at the end of November. I've also taken a look at the stats for my most popular blog posts of all time. I wonder if anything will ever knock the Irn Bru Pulled Pork off the top spot? Let see what 2018 brings!

All time most popular posts on
  1. Slow Cooker Irn Bru Pulled Pork
  2. Singing Swede
  3. Irn Bru Ham
  4. Where to eat in Aberdeen
  5. Tunnocks Teacake Rocky Road
  6. Chocolate (and optional booze) Bouquet Tutorial
  7. Rhubarb Gin
  8. Easter Fridge Cakes - White Chocolate Bark and Malt Easter Tray Bake
  9. Pimm's Ice Lollies
  10. Chocolate Haggis

♥ Pin me for later... The Top 10 most popular recipes of 2017 on Foodie Quine. Chocolate Haggis, Creme Egg Tablet, Gingerbread Men Rocky Road, Vegan Tacos, Haggis Meatloaf, Salmon Encroute, Steak & Shrimp Kebabs, Gin Mincemeat, Veggie Skewers,  Pumpkin Korma.