Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Breakfast Week

Last week (20th - 26th January) was Farmhouse Breakfast Week which is an annual celebration championing the importance of Breakfast. Throughout the week people across the country shared photos of their breakfasts taking part in #breakfastwatch on Twitter. I took up the challenge to "Shake Up Your Wake Up" and came up with the following. Alas I don't breakfast like a king every week but the challenge certainly reminded me of the sheer wealth of wonderful breakfast produce available.
SUNDAY - Coddled Egg and Smoked Salmon
MONDAY - Porridge (with salt) topped with Oatmeal
TUESDAY - Melon, Grapes, Coconut Yoghurt and Mini Weetabix
WEDNESDAY - Smoked Salmon and Scrambled Eggs
THURSDAY - Venison and Cranberry Sausages with Baked Beans
FRIDAY - (Burns Night) Haggis Butteries
A word about my eggs. They are free range from a local farm. Fernieflatt Farm. They come in a whole variety of shapes, sizes, textures and colours and quite often there is the excitement of a double yolker. Supermarket eggs just don't compare.
Bonus!
Fernieflatt Free Rangers on my Egg Skelter
I wanted to cook up something special for the final day of my breakfast challenge and was inspired by the Burns Night Stack of Marcus at Country Wood Smoke to try my hand at making tattie scones. The lovely @MissKazzieB obliged with her recipe and it was the perfect chance to try out the Griddle Pan I received at Christmas.
TATTIE SCONES
Makes 8 scones
200g mashed potato
25g butter
50g plain flour
1/4 tsp baking powder

Mash the butter into the potato (you may need to warm it if its leftovers)
Sift in the flour and baking powder and mix until thoroughly combined.
Divide into two balls and chill in the fridge.
Liberally flour your surface and roll out gently to form two circles about 1/4" thick.
Cut the circles into quarters and prick with a fork.
Heat a gridle or heavy frying pan.
Smear on some butter with kitchen roll.
Once hot cook scones for about 3-4mins on each side until golden brown.


I served my scones with Stornaway Black Pudding and a poached egg. FAB-U-LOS! Do give them a try. They are actually very easy to make and I'm pretty sure they will become a weekend breakfast regular.
I've added this post to the "Cooked or Baked" Breakfast Club event run by Fuss Free Flavours and currently being hosted by Farmers Girl Kitchen. You can see the other ideas within this months theme in the blog hop below. 
I've also added my tattie scones to the No Waste Food Challenge for Mashed Potatoes. Love Food Hate Waste.

Monday, 28 January 2013

Meal Planning Monday - Ask the Family

It's #Meal Planning Monday so here we go again. Last week I cooked The Hairy Dieters with added haggis. Another couple of wow dishes from the biker boys plus a couple of also rans. The Paprika Chicken and Chicken and Ham Tangle pie were both really good and will be made again. There was an abundance of sauce left over from the paprika chicken which I blitzed and turned into a bowl of soup for my lunch. The chilli salad bowls were an amazing concept but I didn't rate their chilli recipe and the roasted cod with ham and peppers was disappointingly bland.
Paprika Chicken
Chilli Salad Bowls
Roasted Cod with Ham and Peppers
Masala Marinated Chicken with Minted Yoghurt Sauce
The Masala Marinated Chicken was really good but got very smoky in the oven and by the time the chicken was fully cooked the crust was charred. Would do it again but definitely need to cover with tinfoil midway. We also celebrated Burns Night in style which you can read all about here along with my Whisky Neeps recipe. As for the haggis I promised to report back on our favourite of the two I bought. We hadn't tried either before and opinion was split as to which was the best but both were were deserving of their champion Haggis maker accolades.
My famous Whisky Neeps
Davidsons of  Inverurie at the back and Scott's of Huntly at the front
it's Irn Bru not Whisky!
This week I asked boy and girl to pick some dishes for the meal plan and I chose the others. Foodie Loon is just going to have to eat what he's given.

Monday - Shepherds Pie (chosen by girl)
Tuesday - Seafood Risotto

Wednesday - Arbroath Smokie Croquettes, sweetcorn fritters and beetroot relish
The remainder of my Feast of Fish Croquettes from the freezer with sweetcorn fritters at the request of boy.

Thursday - Asparagus and Potato Soup (chosen by girl)
Not what you would expect my chicken nugget loving and vegetable hating daughter to choose! I made it once and tricked her that it was vegetable soup and she ate it all up and has been requesting it ever since! 

Friday - Orange and Lemon Chicken with Cous Cous (chosen by boy)
This is a favourite dish with us all. Chicken thighs tray baked with red onion, thyme, marmalade, and orange and lemon segments. I'll share the recipe in next weeks post.

Saturday - Out at The Marcliffe Hotel for a Masquarade Ball. Going on previous experience the food will be fantastic.

Sunday - Lamb Shanks (chosen by boy)
Will do these in the slow cooker with lots of root veg and a mint gravy. Served with champ.

There were a bumper 53 blogs linking up last week. Head on over to At Home with Mrs M and see all the meal planning happening this week. There's bound to be something there to inspire you. Happy Cooking.

Friday, 25 January 2013

Great Chieftain O' the Puddin'-race

We love haggis in the Foodie Quine household and its something we eat on a pretty regular basis but also always serve up on 25th January to celebrate the birthday of the bard. I had to purchase a tea towel for the occasion when I saw the new Burns range on Urban Pirate. The matching apron has gone one my wish list while other items from the range may have been purchased for an upcoming birthday gift. Shh. Its a secret.
Haggis Tea Towel from Urban Pirate
In order to eat Haggis first you have to catch it. They are sneaky wee beasties which have evolved over time to have two long and two short legs which enable them to thrive on the steep Scottish hillsides. If you don't feel up to a haggis hunt they are widely available in good butchers and supermarkets particularly around the end of January. The traditional accompaniment is of course chappit neeps and tatties but I would highly recommend you give my whisky neeps a try. I'm not a whisky fan but I do love these. Buttery, sugary, sticky and sweet. You will never go back to mashed neeps once you have tried them. Even girl loves them.
WHISKY NEEPS
1-1/2lb swede peeled and cubed
1-1/2 oz butter
4 1/2 Tbsp demerara sugar
2 Tbsp whisky
S&P


Place swede in a pan with the butter, sugar, whisky and enough water to cover.
Bring to the boil and cook uncovered over a high heat until the water has evaporated to leave a buttery glaze.
Season, serve and enjoy.

Whisky Neeps will be on the menu here tonight along with Haggis from two local butchers Davidsons of Inverurie and Scott the Butcher of Huntly. I shall report back on our favourite. Both the Neep and the Tatties are from Fernieflatt Farm.
We were lucky enough to be invited to a fantastic Burns Supper last night held at The Stagedoor Resturant. I opted to avoid haggis and chose as follows
Lobster Ravioli Termidor
Grilled Seabass Fillet
Foodie Loon's Pan Fried Highland Venison
Raspberry and Drambuie Trifle and Traditional Cranachan
Fantastic night of great food, good company and lots of fun. I even managed a spoonfull from all of Foodie Loon's choices - Haggis, Venison and Cranachan. Wilst we were dining out the kids were left with the babysitter and a supply of Haggis Pies from JG Ross the Bakers. They also gave me some of their Haggis Butteries to try. For non Aberdonians let me explain what a buttery (aka rowie or roll) actually is. The closest description might be a flattened croissant but much denser. There is certainly a lot of lard and a lot of salt in them. The are especially delicious warmed and can be served with both sweet or savoury toppings. Its assumed that they were originally created to keep fishermen sated on their long North Sea outings.
The Haggis ones are slightly smaller than standard size and are officially called Nudgers. I had one for my breakfast this morning and very nice it was too. Would be great to accompany Scotch Broth and you could definately taste the haggis through it. Lets just not think about the calories.
Breakfast fit for the Bard
I'm off to another Burns Supper this afternoon at Boy and Girl's School. Foodie Loon will be piping in the haggis whilst I'll be serving and washing up in the kitchen. Good job I bought that tea towel. In preperation for the event I was in the school earier in the week making shortbread with the P6's. As we baked our Petticoat Tails I was shocked than none of the class actually knew what a petticoat was. But I was more schocked, and saddened that many in the class had never baked before. A sign of the times.
Enjoy your Haggis tonight if you are indulging and raise a toast to Rabbie. It doesn't necessecarily need to be to a haggis. Pupils at Insch Primary have come up with an equally good Ode to a Loaf.

Fit will we hae for our breakie today?
Rich golden loaf dreapin in butter,
Cut into sodgers tae howk out ma egg
Dusted in floor an jam the like.
Ma face is a clartit fae ma mou te ma lugs
I canna get enough of ma braw golden loaf
It goes doon nice and easy,
I could eat it a day.

Seeded, dusted, broon or white,
It disna matter its iways fine.
Fae the girdle to the ashet
The smell rummles roon and roon
my belly like a hairy worm.
It goes doon nice and easy ,
I could eat it a day.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Feast of Fish

If you've been paying attention you might be aware that I've been attending a Feast of Fish course. This was a six week evening class organised by Stonehaven Community Education Centre. We had four weeks before Christmas and two weeks after held in the Home Economics department in the local Academy. The dishes we made were

Fillet of Salmon En Croute
Crab, Smoked Haddock, Leek and Parmesan Tart
Steamed Sea Bass with Sweet Chilli Rice (missed this one as I was in Germany for the Christmas Markets)
Hearty Fish Pie with a Crumble Topping
Plaice Fillets Tartare / Plaice Goujons
Arbroath Smokie Crocouttes with Beetroot Relish

Salmon En Croute
Our first dish was Fillet of Salmon en Croute with spinach and cream cheese. I particularly loved the tiny aspic cutters we used to cut the pastry fishes and stars to decorate it with and have been seeking similar since but with no luck.
Crab, leek, smoked haddock and parmesan tart.
Week 2 was an amazing crab, leek and smoked haddock tart made with crumbly parmesan pastry. This was sooo good and I made another larger version which we ate over Christmas. This is definitely a dish I will make again and again.  I missed week 3 as I was in Germany but was back in time for week 4's Hearty Fish Pie which I froze and we subsequently ate on Christmas Eve. The savoury crumble topping was a revelation to me and I'd use it again. Flour, butter, rolled oats, parsley and cheese.
Sole Goujons
Week 5 required plaice but I was unable to get hold of any so opted for Lemon Sole as a substitute. I made and ate a portion of the fillet tartare in class (grilled sole topped with tartare sauce and a cheese, breadcrumb and cayenne crust) and took the goujons home to cook and eat the next day. Was very happy with my first go at making mayonnaise to use in the tartare sauce and won't be scared of it in future. Girl declared the sole goujons the best fish fingers ever. They should have been at £19.50 for four fillets of Lemon Sole.
Smokin Smokies
Our final Week 6 class showed a great way of using up leftover mashed potatoes and as such I'm linking the recipe up to the No Waste Food Challenge where the theme for this January is leftover mash. 

ARBROATH SMOKIE CROQUETTES WITH A BEETROOT RELISH
aprox 8oz mashed potatoes
pair of Arbroath Smokies
dash of double cream
fresh chives
S&P
flour
1 egg
breadcrumbs

Skin and bone the smokies and break the flesh into flakes. Add the fish, cream, chives and seasoning to the potatoes. (Go easy on the salt as the Smokies are salty.) Mould the mix into croquette (or fishcake) shapes. Place on a tray and chill slightly. Shallow fry until crisp and golden then pop in the oven for 20 minutes to ensure they are warmed through.
BEETROOT RELISH
1 large raw beetroot
3 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1 Tbsp light soft brown sugar
1 onion finely chopped

Peel and coarsely grate the beetroot and put it in a small pan with all the other ingredients and 2 tablespoons of water. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Allow to cool and chill before serving.

If Smokies aren't your thing you can use practically any other fish to make croquettes from smoked haddock to tinned tuna. Fishcakes, Stovies or Corned Beef Hash are my usual creations to use up leftover mash so I'm looking forward to trying out some other ideas from the No Waste Food Challenge. With the shocking amount of food wasted each year recently hitting the headlines we all should be making it our new years resolution to Love Food Hate Waste

Monday, 21 January 2013

Some Hae Meat and Canna Eat

And so its #mealplanningmonday once more. January is speeding past. Last week's meal plan with the Hairy Dieters was a great success and everything was made on every day exactly as planned. Not often that happens. Really loved the Cassoulet but would do it in the slow cooker next time, ideal comfort food. The biggest hit of the week was the Spanish Style Chicken Bake. Fantastic flavours and super easy to make. Weight loss was 1lb this week pleasantly surprised at that as the cakes and bakes from Pinnies and Petticoats would not have helped. 
Our Special Cassoulet
Salmon with Chilli and Ginger Sauce
Minestrone Soup
Spanish Style Chicken Bake
This week does of course contain Burns Night (25th January) so Haggis is obviously on the menu. I've kept with the Hairy Dieters for the rest of the week as really want to give the book a good trial and have included two dishes that have been recommended to me to try (the cod and the paprika chicken) Anyone else got any Hairy Dieters recommendations?


Monday - Paprika Chicken
Romanian style chicken, tomato and pepper casserole. Going to do this one in the Slow Cooker.



Wednesday - Roasted Cod with Parma Ham and Peppers
The bikers certainly seem to like peppers. This is an oven tray bake on a base of roasted veg topped with cheesy breadcrumbs and a drizzle of balsamic. 

Thursday - We're out at a Burns Supper and have already pre-chosen from the menu. I've avoided Haggis as will have it on Friday.

Lobster Ravioli Thermidore topped with Grilled Langoustine and Herb Butter
Grilled Seabass Fillet with Crab Risotto, Tempura King Prawn, Clam and Saffron Bisque
Raspberry and Drambuie Trifle 

Burns Night - Haggis, Whisky Neeps and Tatties

Saturday - Chicken and Ham Tangle Pie
Chicken, ham and leek in a creme fraiche sauce topped with a tangle of filo pastry 



Do check out other bloggers meal plans for this week. I'm hoping there will be lots of haggis included and don't forget to say grace.

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 thankit.

Friday, 18 January 2013

Pinnies and Petticoats Baby Shower

Its Pinnies and Petticoats cake club time again. Can't believe its been two months since our festive meet. Our very own bake club bun is almost cooked and as such this months theme is Baby Shower in honour of Mum-to-be Emma. A quick Google revealed all manner of eye watering bad taste baby shower cakes. I opted not to go down the sperm cupcake, cesarean cake or lifelike baby cake but to go for the cute factor with some animal biscuits. Big Mistake. 

The ice box animal cookie recipe can be found here and you can see what they are supposed to look like... All went well with making up the dough and even with the shaping and cutting but when I put them in the oven it began to go horribly wrong. The cookies spread out much more than I was expecting and all merged together.
The next tray I spread them out a bit more but they still lost their shape and depth somewhat in the oven and got a bit too brown around the edges. I still hoped that I might be able to rescue them with clever icing and decoration but I made a bit of a hash with that too.
The most hilarity came when I unveiled my creations to my Facebook and Twitter followers and asked them to guess what they were supposed to be. I can reveal that they are not teddies, cats, bears, kiwis, owls, robbins, pigs, cows or tigers. They are in fact supposed to be Lions and Penguins.
Lion and Penguins and Mutants. Oh My!
The snow and work commitments unfortunately prevented some of the regulars from attending but we still had a great turn out with some new faces and lots of wonderful cakes and bakes and interpretations of the Baby Shower theme. Alas no savouries this time. My cookies were joined by some cute almond ducklings in the biscuit corner. So sweet and slightly sticky.

Almond Duckling Cookies
One of my favourites of the night was the luxury bars. The plate of these was emptied very quickly. I must get the recipe. Crispy, gooey and calorific. I suspect condensed milk may be involved.
Luxury Bars
There was a lovely selection of childhood inspired bakes with marshmallows, sprinkles and krispies. A sweet treat down memory lane.
Children's Favourites 
Rice Krispie Hearts
Marshmallow Lollipops
Our Macaron Queen broke with tradition and instead made some amazing melt in the mouth vanilla meringues and the geometrically challenging Battenburg. Not content with one she did it three ways. Traditional, Sugar Paste and White Chocolate Ganache. 
Pink and Blue Meringues
Battenburg
I was in awe of the amazing pastel rainbow cake with cream cheese icing. Like a giant Jazzie with a wonderful surprise inside. We also had secret surprise cupcakes with a heart hidden inside. Very clever.

Pastel Rainbow Cake
Secret Surprise Cupcakes
More gorgeous cupcakes with sticky toffee and turkish delight flavourings and a wonderful pastel frosted plateful of cupcakes at profiteroles. The profiteroles in particular were to die for.
Sticky Toffee Cupcakes and Rose Water & Chocolate Cupcakes
Pastel Frosted Cupcakes and Profiteroles
Chocolate goodies a plenty with Tiffin and the easiest Chocolate Fudge ever. I do love Apple Cake and the apple squares fitted the bill perfectly. Another of my favourites.
Chocolate Fudge & Tiffin
Apple Squares
Pun of the night award goes to Karen for her "Bundts in the Oven". Not sure if she will have forgiven me for saying that her creation smelt like old lady drawer liners. I'm not a huge fan of flowery flavours in food. However they did taste much better than they smelt ;-)
Lemon & Lavendar Bundt Cakes with Lemon Drizzle
Miniature cakes fitted well with the theme and we had Gluten Free Baby Red Velvet Cakes and Mini Scones with Lemon Curd and Cream. I can not resist lemon curd. 
Mini Scones with Lemon Curd and Cream
Baby Red Velvet Cakes
Last but by no means least we had a giant Jelly Baby created by the boys. Looked amazing and we even got mum-to-be Emma to carve it up C-Section style. Alas the consistency was somewhat more akin to bouncy ball than gummy bear. Much hilarity.

Our next meet is scheduled for 13th February and naturally the theme is Valentines. If you fancy joining us have a look at the Facebook Page for all the details. The Pinnies and Petticoats baby is due on 14th February so we are keeping our fingers crossed that Emma can join us with either bump or baby!

My previous Pinnies and Petticoat blog posts can be found here