Scotch Lamb Mac and Cheese

Monday, 24 September 2018
Post in collaboration with Quality Meat Scotland

Lamb Mac and Cheese is Scottish comfort food at its best and then some! Scotch Lamb PGI stirred through creamy macaroni cheese before being topped with lashings of Scottish cheddar and baked in the oven until ooey and gooey. The best bits of macaroni cheese and shepherd’s pie all rolled into one midweek meal which the whole family will enjoy. 

Pastitsio is a Greek pasta bake made with spiced lamb mince, tomato sauce, bechamel sauce and layers of macaroni. As lovely as it sounds, I reckon the constituent ingredients could be made even better by giving them a Scottish twist. How about Scotch Lamb stirred through creamy macaroni cheese before being topped with lashings of Scottish cheddar and baked in the oven until ooey and gooey? Doesn't that just scream out midweek comfort food to you? The best bits of macaroni cheese and shepherd’s pie all rolled into one. What's not to like?

Beetroot and Chocolate Muffins

Saturday, 22 September 2018
One of your 5-a-day in chocolate and cake form. These Beetroot and Chocolate Muffins are quick and easy to make and super moist and moreish. Use beetroot to make a naturally pink icing to finish them off to perfection.

One of the runaway successes this year in our wee garden vegetable patch has been beetroot. So far I've roasted it, frittered it and I've got some chutney plans still to come. It's not so long ago that carrot cake was seen as a wee bit out there however now it's a fairly standard bake. Following close on its heels was beetroot and chocolate cake which is the inspiration for today's recipe. (for more vegetables in cakes inspiration do check out my blogger buddy Kate at Veggie Desserts) My go to for a fuss free bake are always muffins. I've got a fab wee cookbook that I bought from Lakeland years ago which the basic recipe came from and I've adapted it into a multitude of others.

75 International Rice Recipes from Around the World

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Post in collaboration with The Rice Association

Take a culinary journey around the globe in rice with 75 international recipes which showcase the versatility of rice from breakfast through to lunch, dinner and dessert Featuring dishes from India, Mexico, Greece, Asia, Spain, Japan, Thailand and more. Whether you’re looking for inspiration to use up leftovers, rustle up a quick midweek meal, or discover a new go to salad there’s something for you below in this selection of globally inspired rice based dishes.

#RiceWeek2018 National Rice Week is this year being celebrated between Monday 17th and Sunday 23rd September with an exotic journey around the world via rice. Rice is the perfect partner for any dish and is enjoyed all over the globe from risotto in Italy to curry in India. You can quite literally travel the world in rice dishes. In the UK we now eat five times more rice per person than we did forty years ago and consumption is still on the rise as more of us enjoy its taste, versatility and take advantage of convenient microwaveable packs. Surprisingly, as its not grown in the UK, rice is a true British favourite and features in so many of our most loved dishes from egg fried rice and chicken tikka masala to Granny’s favourite rice pudding! Outwith the home kitchen rice based restaurant eating accounts for 21% of all restaurants in the UK – with Indian food being the most popular, followed by pizza then Chinese.

Ultimate visitor guide to the Dundee V&A

Friday, 14 September 2018
The ultimate practical guide for those wishing to visit Dundee's new V&A Museum of design. Located in the regenerated Dundee Waterfront area, open daily from 10am-5pm with free entry. Designed by acclaimed Japanese architect Kengo Kuma and built at a cost of £80 million. Exhibits include Scottish Design Galleries, Charles Rennie Mackintosh Oak Room and Touring Exhibition Galleries (Ocean Liners: Speed and Style until 24 Feb 2019). Full onsite facilities with cafe, restaurant, picnic room, accessible for all toilets and gift shop.

Edible Scottish Adventures August 2018

Monday, 3 September 2018
Pinch Punch Slap Kick - just like that we're in September! 'Tis most definitely now the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness with the schools back and the nights fairly drawing in. It will be the C word before we know it! Time to take a look back to August and share what you might have missed. 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 opening parties, hungover breakfast, celebratory macarons, the return of BBQ boy, Glaswegian street food, adventures in London and Bake Off shenanigans.

My top 10 quirky places and things to eat in London

Friday, 24 August 2018
A collection of quirky places and things to eat in London from Borough Market to China Town. Avo-lato ice cream, bubble waffles, candy floss, cereal, hotpot, disco fries and more. I'm sharing my personal recommendations for hipster places, meaty places, divine coffee, breakfast to die for and a fistful of Instagram worthy eats.

First off a disclaimer. This is by no means anywhere near a comprehensive guide of quirky places and things to eat in London. Instead it's where we have eaten and enjoyed on our last two trips to the capital. Expect some hipster places, meaty places, divine coffee, breakfast to die for and a fistful of instagram worthy eats. Please do leave me your own recommendations of where we should head on our next visit as I know that there's a whole weird and wonderful selection of food trends out there just waiting to be discovered.

Aberdeen Airport Northern Lights Executive Lounge

Thursday, 16 August 2018
Post in collaboration with Aberdeen Airport

Start your trip in style at Aberdeen Airport in the Northern Lights Executive Lounge. Located on the first floor of the main terminal, guests can enjoy a relaxed pre-flight atmosphere with a complimentary selection of proudly local food and drinks.

The Northern Lights of old Aberdeen, mean home sweet home to me
The Northern Lights of Aberdeen are what I long to see
I’ve been a wanderer all of my life and many a sight I've seen
God speed the day when I'm on my way, to my home in Aberdeen 

Perhaps best known now on the terraces of Pittodrie sung by AFC fans, my Mum used to sing this traditional Scottish song to me as a lullaby. Alas despite a trip to Iceland I've never seen the Northern Lights so they remain on my bucket list. Something else that many folks may wish to tick off their bucket list is to make use of an airport lounge prior to a flight. Once seen as elite and exclusive, only for those travelling in first class or suited and booted business travellers, many lounges are now available to all airport passengers on a paid for basis. You too can escape the hustle and bustle of the departure gates and chill out in style before you fly whether that be for business or pleasure.

International Sunday Brunch at Fairmont St Andrews

Wednesday, 8 August 2018
Post in collaboration with Fairmont St Andrews

St Andrews, the home of golf, is now home to a brunch like no other. The International Sunday Brunch at the 5 star Fairmont St Andrews Hotel is the only one of its kind in Scotland with an unlimited lavish buffet of continental charcuterie and international salads. A variety of entrees from the land and sea complimented by live cooking and carving stations. An impressive array of desserts, patisserie and ice cream completes the feast.

What does brunch mean to you? For me I'd say it's a late morning meal eaten instead of breakfast and lunch. (Often on a Sunday after a particularly heavy Saturday night...) But what about an International Sunday Brunch? At Fairmont St Andrew's it's SO much more than a late in the day full Scottish breakfast! Instead it's an unlimited lavish buffet spread of hot and cold dishes covering everything from salads to seafood, charcuterie to roasts, global flavours to traditional Scottish with a twist. All rounded off with a sumptuous choice of desserts, patisserie and ice cream. I'd been warned to arrive hungry and in preparation told everyone to skip breakfast in anticipation of the feast that was to come. There were a few dissenting voices and rumbling bellies at this request however upon our arrival in the Squire Restaurant for the start of brunch at 1pm and seeing the immense spread of food available we were all very glad to have complied.

Edible Scottish Adventures - July 2018

Monday, 6 August 2018

I'm sure I say this every month, but how on earth can we be in August?! The heatwave seems to be continuing and there's only 2 weeks left of the school holidays. Time to take a look back to July and share what you might have missed. 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 penguins, bagpipes, waffles, SUP-ing, flapjacks, the Rural and lots of cherries!

36 hours in Dundee, the city of Discovery, Design and the V&A

Thursday, 2 August 2018
Post in collaboration with V&A Dundee and Apex Hotels

The city of Dundee on the silvery Tay. So much more than Jam, Jute and Journalism, this UNESCO City of Design is just waiting to be rediscovered. Soon to be home to Scotland’s first design museum and the only V&A Museum outside of London. A redeveloped waterfront area is the gateway to a thriving independent food and bar scene, culture, theatre, museums, parks, street art and more.

For an new updated post with everything you need to know about visiting V&A Dundee head to my Ultimate Visitor Guide to the Dundee V&A or keep on reading for more Dundonian edible adventures...

Dundee has been the butt of many jokes over the years, particularly from Aberdonians. But the boot is very much on the other foot these days as whilst Aberdeen has suffered from the oil industry decline, Dundee has pulled itself up by it's bootstraps and totally reinvented itself. For the most part its been a city that I've passed through onto somewhere else rather than a final destination, however when I have stayed it's always been in the Apex City Quay Hotel and Spa right on the waterfront next to the Tay Bridge. Much of the excitement in the city at the moment stems from the redevelopment of the waterfront area including the opening of Dundee V&A. The first ever dedicated design museum in Scotland and the only other V&A museum anywhere in the world outside London. An invitation to visit the city for an event in conjunction with Apex Hotels, Dundee One City, Many Discoveries and V&A Dundee was one I could not refuse.

Bruschetta with Jerte Picota Cherries, Serrano Ham, and Goat Cheese

Monday, 30 July 2018

Post in collaboration with Jerte Picota Cherries

Perfect for a light lunch or as a canape, crunchy melba toast is topped with salty Serrano ham, piquant goats cheese, seasonal Spanish Jerte Picota Cherries and a sticky balsamic cherry drizzle. Cherry Bruschetta is an ideal quick and easy seasonal nibble for a Summer party.

I'm back with more seasonal Jerte Picota Cherries for which I make absolutely no apology about. These delicious fruity treats are only around for a short six week season so you need to make the most of them whilst you can. Following on from my recipe for Bulgar Wheat Salad with Cherries, Feta and Pistachios I'm once again channelling my savoury tooth and forsaking the traditional cherry and chocolate or cherry and almond combinations. The Flavour Thesaurus tells me that cherry and goat cheese are a perfect match - so who am I to disagree? 

Newtonhill Pipe Band, Pipers for Peace 1918-2018, Amiens

Saturday, 28 July 2018

I've mentioned on both the blog and my social media channels on countless occasions that I am either a pipe band widow or a pipe band groupie. All three of my family play with Newtonhill Pipe Band. Foodie Loon is a piper, boy a snare drummer and girl a tenor drummer. I have the choice to either stay at home in blissful peace or join them on their musical adventures. This usually entails trips to local school fairs, village galas, highland games and suchlike, but sometimes the opportunity arises to venture further afield.

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