Terry's Chocolate Orange and Orange Matchmaker Fudge

Monday, 10 December 2018
Such an quick and easy four ingredient festive fudge to make in the microwave. Zingy Orange additions from Terry's Chocolate Orange and Orange Matchmakers for a real taste of Christmas. No tricky temperatures or boiling hot sugar required.

There are some sweets that really only ever get eaten at Christmas. Two of them I used in a previous version of this fudge - After Eight and Candy Cane Fudge - which has proved to be really popular. This year I used two other festive favourites - Terry's Chocolate Orange and Zingy Orange Matchmakers - to make a version of the fudge with one of my Community Cookery Classes. When I shared it on Instagram Stories I was inundated with requests for the recipe. My teenagers liked the sound of it too and demanded that I make another batch. Needless to say I bowed to the pressure and remade and blogged the recipe.

Christmas Milkshake Straws

Thursday, 6 December 2018
Christmas Milkshake Straws are a great fun no bake festive treat. Ideal for kids to help make - and the perfect homemade edible gift. So simple but very effective and great fun to drink milk through as it turns chocolatey. 

I really can't describe this post as a recipe. It's more of a 'Christmas craft', or perhaps 'edible gift' covers it better. Whatever you want to call it, rest assured that you need absolutely no cooking (or crafting) skills to create these Christmas Milkshake Straws. They would be ideal for kids to help make and would be a fab homemade gift for their friends. I actually feel like a wee bit of a fraud sharing a recipe/instructions as once you've seen a photo of them you'll know exactly what to do. I can't believe that I haven't seen these all over Pinterest, could I really have invented them?! (probably not!)

25+ Quirky Scottish Recipes

Friday, 30 November 2018
Celebrate St Andrew's Day, Burns Night, Hogmanay or any other Scottish occasion with the collection of recipes with a distinctly Scottish twist. Scotch Beef, Irn Bru, Tunnock's Teacakes, Haggis, Scottish Salmon, Tattie Scones, Whisky, Shortbread, Arbroath Smokies, Scottish Gin and more feature in this roundup of more than 25 quirky Scottish Recipes. 

As Scotland's Patron Saint, poor old St Andrew doesn't always seem to get the attention he deserves. Celebrated on 30th November, St Andrew's Day is often overshadowed by the Burns Night celebrations of 25th January. However in recent years, particularly since 2006 when the Scottish Parliament designated St Andrew's Day as an official bank holiday, there has been somewhat of a resurgence in celebrations surrounding the date. In honour of the event I've pulled together a roundup of over 25 of my recipes with a particularly Scottish slant. 

HRH Prince Charles - Groussaka (Grouse Moussaka)

Monday, 26 November 2018
Are you game for a dish fit for a future king? Prince Charles revealed his love of 'groussaka' as he celebrated his 70th birthday. His version of the Greek dish Moussaka, but with grouse instead of lamb.

(Yes I know they are cuddly pheasants - anyone want to knit me a grouse?)

It turns out that I have something in common with HRH The Prince of Wales. When he celebrated his 70th birthday a couple of weeks ago (no I'm not 70!) he shared his love of game and in particular pheasant crumble and grouse moussaka. Game is something that I too love and I'll often choose from a menu when dining out but admittedly it's not something that I tend to cook at home. I've pondered on the reasons for this and there are a number which I suspect others can relate to. Firstly it's really not something that you can easily pick up in the supermarket, then there's the 'Bambi' factor, misconceptions of strong taste and tough texture and lastly worries about plucking and preparing. I suspect that Prince Charles doesn't have to factor in any of these as whilst he may well be involved in shooting he's not actually doing the cooking!

Gin Cranberry Sauce

Sunday, 18 November 2018
We wish you a Merry Ginmas! No festive meal is complete without Cranberry Sauce. This version includes Gin for a modern twist on the classic Christmas relish. Perfect to accompany a Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner and would make an ideal edible gift for any gin lover.

We wish you a Merry Ginmas! So far I've added the juniper spirit to Gin Butter and Gin Mincemeat, made a Mulled Gin and rounded up 10 Christmas Gin Recipes for UK Bloggers. Today it's the turn of Cranberry Sauce to get the Gin treatment. Most usually made with Port as the boozy component I whipped up a batch of Gin Cranberry Sauce to accompany a pre-thanksgiving turkey dinner. Fresh cranberries are just beginning to appear in the shops so grab a pack when you spot them and get ahead of the game with your Christmas prep. 

Small things make a big difference to Community Groups

Tuesday, 13 November 2018
Advertisement Feature in association with the Aviva Community Fund

Across the UK, community projects work tirelessly with often very little resources to help change and improve their local areas and services. This is something that I have seen first-hand through my own involvement over the years with various groups on both a personal and professional basis. Personally, I’ve been involved in a number of groups as my kids have grown up from toddlers to playgroup, PTA and out of school club, uniformed organisations, sports clubs and more. I’ve also volunteered for wonderful causes including the environment, cancer care, family support and running. Professionally I’ve worked with a number of fantastic organisations on food education projects for adults, children and disadvantaged groups. All of these initiatives help make a lasting difference and bring communities together. 

Ten must try snacks and drinks at Universal Orlando

Thursday, 8 November 2018
Ten items to tick off your foodie bucket list on a trip to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure in Orlando. Eat and drink your way through Butterbeer, Pumpkin Juice, Smoked Turkey Legs, Corn Dogs, Dippin' Dots, Voodoo Doughnuts, Cinnabon, Pumpkin Pasties and Toothsome Milkshakes.

Holidays in Orlando are just as much about the food and drink as they are about the theme parks! We're not long back from a fortnight's holiday in Florida and spent our first week staying onsite at Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure and visiting the new Volcano Bay waterpark. Our accommodation was at the Hard Rock Hotel which comes with the added bonus of early entry to the parks and fast passes. Our holiday kicked off in style with lounge access at Glasgow airport thanks to Holiday Extras

Maple Cinnamon Spiced Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Tuesday, 30 October 2018
Don't discard your pumpkin seeds this Halloween! Those slippery little suckers that usually end up in the compost bin are just a couple of steps away from a delicious snack – crunchy, flavoursome and oh so moreish. Roasted with butter, cinnamon and maple syrup they become an autumnal taste sensation that you just can't get enough of. 

Hopefully by now I've harped on enough about using pumpkin for both carving and eating that you know my thoughts on the matter. #lovefoodhatewaste There is so much more potential within them that just a spooky face and a tea light. To clear up any further misconceptions you absolutely CAN eat the flesh of supermarket carving pumpkins, you perhaps won't get as much as from a culinary pumpkin but certainly enough for a pot of pumpkin soup or a loaf of pumpkin bread. But today's recipe isn't about pumpkin flesh, instead it's focusing upon another discarded element - pumpkin seeds.

Pumpkin Soda Bread

Sunday, 28 October 2018
A quick and easy Autumnal Pumpkin Soda Bread that requires no yeast, kneading or proving. A perfect love food hate waste recipe to use up pumpkin flesh before you carve your Jack-O-Lantern. We really do need to realise that pumpkins are a valuable source of food and not just for decoration.

The second of my pumpkin recipes for 2018 urging you to eat as well as carve these wonderful orange fruits! (yes they are fruits not vegetables) I'm really delighted that my post about where to pick a pumpkin in Scotland has proved to be so popular. I'm pretty sure that the vast majority of the places featured have now sold out so please do double check before any last minute journeys to procure pumpkins. A sheet with a selection of my pumpkin recipes was available to visitors at Udny, Arnprior, Kilduff and Westerton Pumpkins and Pumpkin Soda Bread was one of the recipes included so I'm hopefull that some pumpkin pickers may already have given it a try. 

Pumpkin and Chorizio Soup

Tuesday, 23 October 2018
Soup is possibly the quickest and easiest way to make use of pumpkin flesh and this one is super tasty. Sweet pumpkin and spicy chorizio are a winning combination and this warming soup is packed with intense flavours. A hug in a bowl Ideal for Halloween and Bonfire Night.

'Tis the season for Pumpkins. I've said it before I'd I'll keep saying it but we really do need to realise that pumpkins are a valuable source of food and not just for decoration. There’s more than enough flesh to do both. 1.8 million pumpkins were carved in Scotland for Halloween last year with over 1.1 million thrown away. That’s enough pumpkins to stretch from Edinburgh to Stornoway. A truly frightening amount of food waste. 

Scottish Pumpkin Patches 2018

Wednesday, 10 October 2018
A comprehensive roundup of the best places to pick pumpkins in Scotland this Halloween. Fun for all the family at locations in Aberdeenshire, Fife, Angus, Perthshire, the Lothians and Stirling. Keep with tradition and choose a neep, get lost in a maze, meet farm animals, dig tatties, clamber on bales and lots more. Grab your wellies and warm clothes this Autumn and experience a Scottish Pumpkin Patch.

Halloween has changed a lot since I was wee. Then it was all about homemade costumes, neeps, apple dooking, guising and not a mention of trick or treating and pumpkins. You had to do a proper turn to get your sweetie. A joke would have had the door slammed on your face. However in recent years I too have turned to the dark side and officially become obsessed with all things pumpkin, fall, autumnal, thanksgiving and pumpkin spice! I do still however bow down before anyone who attempts to carve a neep. Those bad boys are seriously hard work. Simplistic carving is the order of the day and it takes time and dedication to create a neepie lantern. Saying that, the smell of a stubby candle burning the inside of a neep is a childhood memory I would rather forget. The examples below are from Mandy at Mud Pies and Isla at Cool Gourmet. I look forward to seeing what both ladies come up with this year.

A Peedie Taste of Orkney

Monday, 8 October 2018
Post in collaboration with Orkney Food & Drink

It's not just its Neolithic origins stretching back some 10,000 years that Orkney has to shout about, there's also a fantastic food and drink scene. Land and sea provides an abundant natural harvest and skilled producers and chefs turn those raw ingredients into fabulous cuisine. 2 whisky distilleries, 3 gin producers, beer, cheese, oatcakes, lamb, fudge, ice cream, bere meal and more. You won't go hungry on an Edible Orcadian Adventure.

Those following me on my social media channels may have noticed that I recently headed to Orkney for a peedie edible adventure. Orkney Food & Drink invited me to travel to the Islands along with a group of buyers and writers to discover a peedie bit about what makes Orkney special both in the food and drink sectors and beyond. Confused? Perhaps I should explain a peedie bit...

Peedie is the most commonly used dialect word in Orkney and means little or small. Go back and read the paragraph again - ideally with a lilting Orcadian accent - and you'll get the gist of what I'm talking about!

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