Bulgar Wheat Salad with Jerte Picota Cherries, Feta and Pistachios

Wednesday, 18 July 2018
Post in collaboration with Jerte Picota Cherries

A fresh and colourful bulgar wheat salad recipe that's sure to be a crowd pleaser. Sweet and juicy Jerte Picota Cherries combine with salty feta cheese, peppery rocket and crunchy pistachios for a flavour explosion. Edible flowers provide the finishing touch to this oh so summery dish.

I can't believe that I missed National Cherry day on 16th July. Here I am a few days later posting a recipe using cherries and on the 13th I posted a roundup of over 50 perfect pairings using Jerte Picota Cherries. So near but yet so far! Thankfully the cherry season lasts more than one day, but you still need to make the most of them when you can. Of the fabulous fresh cherry recipes I rounded up from my fellow food bloggers the vast majority were sweet in nature. Cakes, pies, smoothies, gateau, cupcakes, jam, crumbles, cheesecakes and more. There were a couple of nods to savoury with a salsa and a salad but no sign of any pairings with the savoury suggestions of lamb, goat cheese or smoked fish as hailed by the Flavour Thesaurus. 

50+ perfect pairings with Jerte Picota Cherries

Friday, 13 July 2018
Post in collaboration with Jerte Picota Cherries

A collection of over 50 recipes using fresh cherries. Perfect for the short but deliciously sweet season of Jerte Picota Cherries. Sold without their stalk, these delicious juicy Spanich cherries are the ideal fruit to snack on this summer. Ideal for bakewell, black forest, cocktails, clafoutis, crumbles, cakes, scones, compotes and so much more.

Better late than never - or so the saying goes. That's definitely the case this year for Jerte Picota Cherries which are officially back in UK stores this week (you'll find them in Sainsburys, Tesco, Morrisons and Aldi). They are usually available for a six week natural growing season from the end of June but a cold winter set them back this year. The Jerte Picota Cherry is a special variety of cherry, sold without stalks, that is native to the beautiful Jerte Valley in Northern Spain, 200km west of Madrid. 

Hush a bye don't you cry, Mammy’s off to the WRI

Wednesday, 11 July 2018
Originally published on the Scottish Women's Institutes website as a guest blog post

My maternal grandmother Jean Benzie was what I’d call a stalwart of the SWRI. Born in 1900 she was an active member for over 50 years. From the 1930s to the 1980s, she sewed and baked her way through Institutes in Turriff, Culter and Dingwall, along with holding various positions and participating in drama and singing events. My Mum vividly recalls her singing a WRI themed lullaby ‘The Goat of The Rural’.

Hush a bye don't you cry, Mammy’s off to the WRI, 
Here am I, what a guy, oh for the wings of a dove to fly
Off she goes powered nose, all dressed up in her Sunday clothes
Left alone, all on my own, I’m the goat of the Rural.

Jean Benzie

Edible Scottish Adventures - June 2018

Thursday, 5 July 2018

JULY. How on earth did that happen? School's out for summer! Hasn't the weather been absolutely glorious - long may it continue, as for us this will be a summer of days here and there rather than the usual fortnight abroad (roll on Orlando in October) Meantime the new seasonal logo has been installed, but before July can start in earnest I need to take a look back to June 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 culture crawling, kitchen tables, vending machines, chariots of fire, cranachan and peacocks!

Maggie's Kitchen Table and Aberdeen Culture Crawl

Friday, 29 June 2018

Last Friday I had a fantastic day as a result of a not so fantastic life event. Back in January 2016 my Mum was diagnosed with breast cancer. She is now doing really well and has a fantastically positive mindset following a double mastectomy and a tough couple of years of treatment including both chemotherapy and radiotherapy. It's only when you are faced with something like this at close quarters that you come to appreciate the network of care that is available outwith the NHS. For our whole family Maggie's Highland provided practical, emotional and social support. It really is everyone's home of cancer care and it felt only right to give something back.

Barbecued Chicken Wings with Nut Butter and Maple Syrup

Tuesday, 26 June 2018
Post in collaboration with Thermapen

A no fuss barbecued Chicken Wings recipe with a tasty marinade of Nut Butter and Maple Syrup. Pop them over indirect heat on the BBQ for sticky, sweet and nutty finger lickin' goodness. Ensure they are cooked to perfection with a Thermapen digital thermometer.

I love a barbecue as much as the next person but had pretty much always gone for the convenience of gas over the (perceived) hassle of charcoal. My 15 year old son appears to be on a mission to change my mind. He's always been a bit of a foodie, will eat pretty much anything (bar bananas and sultanas) and watches a lot of food channels on You Tube. He came across BBQ Champ on ITV and DJ BBQ via Food Tube and got bitten by the BBQ bug. I introduced him to barbecue guru Marcus of CountryWoodSmoke, Auntie Adele (she of the Gingerbread House) bought him the Grillstock cookbook, he joined the UK BBQ Facebook Group and they led him astray even further! To be fair - there are worse hobbies he could have...

Quick Green Spaghetti Sauce with Avocado, Peas and Spinach

Wednesday, 20 June 2018
A vibrant green sauce for spaghetti that's made in minutes. It's packed with goodness, super creamy and it coats the pasta beautifully. Taken from 'Living on the Veg' by Clive Gifford and Jacqueline Meldrum. A kids guide to life without meat.

Whilst I don't have any cookbook ambitions of my own I'm always delighted to support my fellow food bloggers with their successful publications. As such today I'm sharing a recipe from Scottish Blogger Jacqueline Meldrum of Tinned Tomatoes. Jac is based just down the road from me is Dundee and has been vegetarian for over 25 years. Her blog contains over 600 easy vegetarian & vegan recipes and despite the name, they don't always start with a tin of chopped tomatoes! However her co-authored book Living on the Veg isn't a cookbook as such. Instead its a kids guide to becoming vegetarian which includes a dozen recipes to get you started. 

Cranachan Flapjacks with Whisky Icing Drizzle

Monday, 11 June 2018
Post in collaboration with Hamlyns of Scotland

Scottish Cranachan Flapjacks with Whisky Icing Drizzle bring together all the flavours of this traditional dessert in a bite sized oaty snack. The combination of both oats and oatmeal in this flapjack, combined with honey and raspberry jam create both a texture and flavour sensation. Top them off with a drizzle of whisky icing - slàinte mhath!

Whilst Scotland is known for many great dishes and a fantastic natural larder I'm not sure if anything brings them all together quite like Cranachan does. This traditional dish combines honey, whisky, raspberries, oats and cream into a delicious dessert. I've used it as my inspiration for a twist on a flapjack made with Hamlyns Oats and Oatmeal. Raspberries are incorporated in jam form and honey binds the flapjack together. There's just a tablespoon of Whisky in the icing drizzle but if you'd prefer a teetotal version this can be substituted for water. The combination of both oats and oatmeal provided a wonderful texture and is something I'm going to be using in all my flapjacks going forward. 

Edible Scottish Adventures - May 2018

Thursday, 7 June 2018

Can you believe that we are in June? Almost half the year gone already. My teenagers have just moved up to their new classes and I've now got an S5 and an S3. Where have my babies gone?! Time to take a quick look back at what you might have missed in May 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 wedding celebrations, macarons, street food, percy pigs and study break edible adventures! 

BBQ Percy Pig Pork Loin Steaks

Wednesday, 30 May 2018
What better match for the BBQ? Juicy tender pork loin steaks topped with sticky caramelised Marks & Spencer Percy Pigs. Think gammon steak and pineapple - only better! This little piggy went to the barbecue...

I have a feeling that this might be a Marmite recipe. As in you will either love it or hate it. Certainly when I shared it as a work in progress on twitter and instagram the reaction ranged from 'Omggggg so clever' to 'was this a dare?'
Personally I think it's a work of genius but I'm prepared to accept that not everyone might see it like that. In my mind surely there is no better culinary match than Pork and Percy Pig. Pop down to your local butcher for some quality pork and M&S for the iconic gummy sweets and give it a try! Think gammon steak and pineapple - only better. 

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. 

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