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.


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
Looking for a Cookery Class or food experience in Aberdeen City or Shire? Learn a new skill in cooking, baking, butchery, chocolate, BBQ, breadmaking, fine dining, vegan, plant based and more with one of these providers or tutors. Public classes, corporate team building, children's cookery classes, private lessons, confidence to cook, chef for a day, kitchen hire, birthday parties - there's something to suit every taste and budget.

Please do let me know of any other Cookery Courses or Foodie Experiences in Aberdeen City and Shire that I've missed as I'd be happy to include them in this listing.

Cook at the Nook 

CFINE, 2 Poynernook Rd, Aberdeen 

Public Classes 
CFINE's fully equipped modern training kitchen in Aberdeen offers professionally led cookery courses. 
Each class is run by a trained chef/food enthusiast who will guide you in the art of cooking in a number of disciplines including Indian Cookery, Modern Scottish, Fine Dine and Italian Cuisine, sharing their skills and experience in a hands-on environment. 
Trainees will leave ready to impress friends and family with a host of newly acquired skills. 

Corporate team building 
We offer a range of options for your staff team to get involved as part of a team building away-day. The activities can be suited to your needs and are fun and informative, and can prove eye-opening for participants.
The day can be arranged around a number of themes including food waste and food poverty/insecurity.
In the past we have done:
· Ready-steady-cook style competitive games using surplus or 'waste' food
· Creative cooking with an emergency food parcel
· Scenario based challenges like budget planning/cooking on a very low income.

Community Classes
Cook at the ‘Nook are running cooking classes where we aim to use surplus food where possible to make healthy, tasty meals on a budget. Also part of the course is that we work with our partner organisation who could help you or your group whether that be:
· Home Efficiency
· Employability
· Balancing a Budget
What services can we offer the community?
· Join one of our own Cooking on a Budget Courses
· Run your own Cooking on a Budget Course
· Hire Cook at the ‘Nook for a Community Event
· Basic Cooking skills
· Basic Knife Skills 

The Bread Maker
50/52 Rosemount Viaduct, 

£100, 10am - 3pm, max 6 in a class, everything you make you take home

The Bread Maker is a commercially focused social enterprise. Situated in the heart of the city it offers a very unique course taking participants through the bread making process. 
We will give you the confidence to produce bread in your own kitchen, giving you a real talking point of any meal. 
The course covers every aspect of bread making from scratch, including hand mixing, proving, finishing and firing. Breads covered are un-yeasted breads, various whites, wholemeal, ciabatta, foccacia and pizzas. 

Garioch Community Kitchen 
Wyness Hall, Jackson Street

Garioch Community Kitchen is a Scottish Charity that provides practical cooking sessions for members of the local community.
  • Adults Cookery Classes
  • Childrens Cookery Classes
  • Children's Birthday Parties
  • Private or Commercial Hire

The Mixing Bowl

The Mixing Bowl is a community food interest group that meets monthly for talks, tasting, demonstrations and cooking workshops. The events are run by local food enthusiasts.
Meetings are usually held at St Devenick’s Church Hall in Bieldside unless otherwise specified. Costs vary depending on the event content but are generally between £10 to £15. Everyone is welcome but places need to be booked in advance via the website

Cook’s Day Off - Samantha Pack
Samantha Pack, the owner, Italian-British, passionate about food 
I love teaching; my style is “hands-on” workshops hence the groups aren’t more than 8/10 people (depending on the type of class).

Best selling class is Macarons: people will learn all the tricks of the trade and they are able to reproduce this beautiful delicacy. All my classes are open to any skill level.

Classes I am currently teaching:
  • GLUTEN FREE: I finally nailed the right flours combination that allows me to prepare the best fresh gluten free tagliatelle and pizza. 
  • ITALIAN BAKERY: Ciabatta bread and Pizza, restaurant style. 
  • ITALIAN DESSERTS: Tiramisu, almond Biscotti and Amaretti.
  • PASTA PARTY: how to prepare fresh pasta and learn how to use the pasta machine. Preparation of three sauces: tomatoes, basil pesto and Bolognaise.
  • CONFIDENCE TO COOK: open to THREE students only. Allows me to run almost a 1 to one class. It’s perfect to who has a very low confidence on cooking. My program covers all the possible skills. We will start from knives skills and then bakery, pasta and sauces making, puddings.

Angus & Oink
BBQ School

Cocoa Ooze 
New Jasmine House, Greenbank Place, East Tullos, 
2 hour workshop - £38.50 

Come and try our tasty chocolate making workshops with our master chocolatiers. Whether it's someone's birthday, hen party, girls day out or just an excuse to get together and learn the art of chocolate making, Cocoa Ooze can cater to all occasions. 
You and your group will learn how to make truffles & chocolate bars and experiment with flavours. Taste testing is a crucial part in making the chocolates so you will be delighted to hear that we do encourage this. Whatever you make on the day you will be able to package and take home with you. That is of course if you don't eat it all at the workshop.. 

Wark Farm 
Cushnie, Alford, Aberdeenshire
Butchery Experience - half day £75 (Butchery & Meat Cookery) whole day £120 (Butchery, Farming and Meat Cookery) 

Wark Farm is offering vouchers for half and whole butchery and meat cookery days, giving you the opportunity to test your knife skills, learn more about how to cook different cuts and find out what's involved in rearing organic sheep and cattle. 

Eat On The Green 
Udny Green,Ellon 

Chef for the day - half day £100 - includes a light lunch, full day £200 and includes a 4 course dinner 

Offering a unique experience for people of all cookery skills and abilities the Chef for a Day package gives you the opportunity for some one-to-one tuition and the chance to experience the buzz and excitement of a busy professional kitchen; learning new skills and techniques, whilst producing mouth-watering dishes which can be re-created at home. The day starts with a chat with Craig Wilson, owner/proprietor, following this you will meet with the kitchen brigade and then will be put to work helping to prepare for the busy lunch and dinner services. 

Kincardine Cookery 
Kincardine Castle, Kincardine O'Neil, Aboyne 

Group courses start at £75 and include a delicious lunch. Private lessons are tailored to your own foodie interests and tastes, and prices start from £150 plus ingredients. 

Louisa and Rupert were teachers at Leiths School of Food and Wine in London before moving up to Aberdeenshire in 2015. They currently run Kincardine Cookery, a private catering company, that also offers cookery teaching. They run regular courses throughout the year at Kincardine Castle and can provide private lessons for individuals or small groups in your own home. Courses cover everything from how to chop an onion to advanced pastry, bread and butchery skills. 

Brunch & Learn
Classes can be booked at

Nicola and Jo's plant-based classes are held once a month at No1 in Banchory in beautiful Deeside.
The classes are aimed at those who want to learn more about plant-based cooking and desserts.
Nicola has cooked her way around the world bringing international flavours to your plates and Jo runs Jo's Healthy Cupboard and has been making healthy treats and desserts for over 3 years.
Neither are trained chefs but both extremely passionate about plant-based and healthier cooking.
At a brunch & learn workshop you will watch as Nicola and Jo prepare delicious savoury and sweet treats with a different theme each month.
Guests also get to eat their food in a relaxing and fun environment. Everyone goes home with the recipes to make delicious plant-based food at home.

Union Square, Aberdeen 

Learn to cook Tasty Thai at Thaikhun - £59 per head 

Our Cookery and Cocktail classes run every Sunday at 10am and can hold up to maximum 15 people.
Course includes - One cocktail (Coconut Mojito), two courses, recipe cards and a Thaikhun apron. 

1 Union Terrace, Aberdeen 

Escape your home kitchen for a session learning how to master Thai food with us here at Chaophraya. 
Sessions run every Sunday at midday. £69 per person. 

Cooking classes feature: 
  • Welcome fruit punch on arrival 
  • Introduction to Thai ingredients and where to source them 
  • Watch a short demonstration by our Chef 
  • Try your hand at cooking two dishes 
  • Tasting session 
  • Chaophraya Apron 

Shirley Vass Venezuelan Cooking

Originally from Venezuela Shirley has lived in Aberdeenshire since 2003. 
Cooking workshops are held mainly at Number One, Banchory AB31 5SE. 
Workshops usually last 2 hours and the cost per person is £30.

I am not a trained chef, just a Mum who loves to cook and enjoys teaching others. I just want to initiate people into the world of the Arepa, perhaps the most famous and loved dish of the Venezuelan cuisine. During the workshop, participants will have the chance to learn more about the origins and evolution of the Arepa and actually prepare it along with the 3 most popular fillings. We would also enjoy a traditional Venezuelan homemade lemonade and time permitting we'll learn how to prepare some quick side dishes/tapas. After the workshop, we would all enjoy the product of our efforts. At-home cooking sessions, hen parties and Birthday cooking parties are also available. Arepas are gluten-free, and very versatile, which allows you to adapt it to a vegan or vegetarian diet. 

Little Buddha Bakes
Debbie Thornton
Raw & Vegan Food Workshops

North East Scotland College (NESCOL)

Aberdeen City Campus, Gallowgate, Aberdeen

Part time courses to help you master the art of recreational cooking and baking.
Subjects include breadmaking, cake decoration, can't cook need to cook! fine dining, Thai, Japanese, Indian, Itallan, Scottish, gluten free, vegetarian, home baking, desserts and more.

This post was originally published in December 2016 and revised May 2018. 


Spiced Courgette, Carrot and Feta Fritters

Sunday, 13 May 2018
Fritters are surely the single most delicious way to deal with a glut in the garden! These lightly spiced vegetarian courgette (zucchini) and carrot fritters contain feta cheese for a tangy flavour. Whilst they work well as a side they are also great for breakfast and surprisingly tasty served cold in a packed lunch or picnic.

Spiced Courgette Carrot and Feta Fritters

My Granda Monearn was a fantastic gardener. A greenhouse full of the best smelling and tasting tomatoes ever, luscious strawberries protected under a net and laid on straw and three carefully weeded and precisely laid out vegetable patches. I also vividly recall him storing his onions in old pairs of my Granny's American tan tights! I'm assuming that there must have been some method in such apparent madness?! My own exploits in vegetables haven't been quite as fruitful partly due to the fact that I only have a couple of raised beds, nevertheless nothing tastes better than something you have lovingly grown yourself, protected from the ravages of weeds and slugs and harvested with your own fair hands. I was delighted to be approached by Aberdeen's Duthie Park as part of their National Gardening Week event line up to host a Vegetable Cookery Workshop within the Education Room of the Winter Gardens. Alas all my ingredients came from the supermarket - bar the foraged wild garlic - but hopefully the event provided some inspiration to the real gardeners who attended.

Edible Scottish Adventures - April 2018

Friday, 11 May 2018

Eek! 11th May already?! That means I'm seriously behind with my monthly retrospective for April. As I said last month - better late then never. Although it looks like this may be becoming a habit. Must try harder! Time to take a quick look back at what you might have missed in April 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 barbecued tomahawk, sunshine, street art, dogs, pizza and lots of wild garlic!


Royal Wedding Lemon and Elderflower Drizzle Muffins for Harry and Meghan

Tuesday, 1 May 2018
Make your own muffin versions of Harry and Meghan's wedding cake. Elderflower and lemon are THE top baking flavours of 2018 as the Royal couple have chosen them for their wedding cake. This quick and easy muffin recipe incorporates lemon and elderflower in both the sponge and a sugary drizzle.

Who's excited about the upcoming Royal Wedding? I most certainly am. Don't Harry and Meghan make just THE most wonderful couple? Being a step removed from the 'next in line to the throne' limelight of William and Katherine I reckon it's going to be the most non royal, royal wedding that we've ever seen. I've watched them all over the years. I was only 9 in 1981 for Charles and Diana and still have a collection of memorabilia. For Andy and Fergie were were on holiday but I remember watching bits of the proceedings through shop windows. Edward and Sophie, Charles and Camilla and even Zara and Mike. I tuned in to them all! My children joined in watching in 2011 for Will and Kate and some fantastic photos from then came up in my Facebook timehop recently. Seems that we like any excuse as a nation to celebrate and what better one than a Royal Wedding?


Wild Garlic Pesto Pinwheels

Wednesday, 25 April 2018
Preserve the flavour of Spring in Wild Garlic Pesto then use it to create the ultimate cheesy garlic bread. Using a soda bread base, these Wild Garlic Pesto Pinwheels are super quick and easy to make and oh so moreish. 

If brambles are the gateway drug to foraging, wild garlic is surely the next one down the slippery slope of never being able to go out for a walk without keeping your eyes peeled for free food! It's a sure sign that Spring is in the air when it starts to put in an appearance. It really is one of the most easily identifiable and unmistakable foragable foods. Take a look at the Galloway Wild Food Website for further identification and distribution information if you are unsure. It's smell is so distinctive and the taste, particularly early in the season, very pungent. You may very well smell it in the woods before you spot its long lush leaves. Look for it in semi shaded moist woodland areas, river banks are a good place to start. Later in the season it bursts into bloom with white flowers which are also edible. 


Ministers Slices - Date, Nut & Coconut Krispy Traybake

Thursday, 12 April 2018
One of my Grandma Monearns most regularly made recipes. A no bake chocolate slice with dates, nuts, coconut and rice krispies. She always referred to them as Ministers Slices but I've no idea why! Can't see that there's anything particularly religious about them but would love to know the origin of the name.

I'm sharing one of my Granny's recipes today. I've previously shared her Shortbread and her Cornflake Biscuits and this makes up the trilogy of what was always found in her biscuit tins. I've only ever known these as Ministers Slices but I've absolutely no idea why they are called that. I've Googled and can't find any reference to any other bakes with the same name. If you've heard of them or know why they might be called this then PLEASE do let me know as it's a bit of a mystery to me! My best guess is that they were submitted to a WRI cookbook or similar by a Minister.

Edible Scottish Adventures - March 2018

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

The plan was that this post would be published when I was far away from Scotland enjoying an edible adventure in Tenerife. However time caught up with me and and I didn't get around to completing and sheduling before we headed to the sun. My bad. So it's a week later than it should be but I'm sticking with the better late than never adage. 

Easter has been and gone for another year, time to say farewell to my Egg logo and revert back to Bitten Heart until I can unveil the Strawberry version in the run up to Wimbledon. I do hope the Easter Bunny was good to you and you didn't fall for too many April fools. I do always enjoy seeing the foodie ones. Time to take a quick look back at what you might have missed in March 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 way of attempting to beat the system. Expect BBQ, brunch, bunny bums, Hungry Squirrels and a cover girl!

Unicorn Devilled Eggs with Smoked Salmon and Caviar

Thursday, 29 March 2018
Post in collaboration with Juliettes Interiors

You'll find all the multicoloured shades of a rainbow unicorn in this pretty pastel retro-tastic canape which is ideal for parties or picnics. Take your devilled eggs to a whole new level of sophistication by colouring them and serving with smoked salmon and caviar. 

What's the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a Chaise Longue? For me it's luxury, decadence, quaffing champagne, Art Deco and The Great Gatsby! It's a piece of furniture that I would absolutely love to own and I can totally imagine myself luxuriating on one wearing a silk dressing gown and being waited on hand and foot. Surely the height of glamour and sophistication? When I was invited to take part in a creative challenge and create a lunchtime menu inspired by my favourite Chaise Longue from the collection at Juliettes Interiors I didn't have to be asked twice. But which one to choose? I pondered over Neoclassical, Contemporary or Baroque, Leather, Velvet or Linen and Mahogany, Walnut or Gold Lacquer but in the end had to go with my initial gut instinct and the absolutely stunning Button Upholstered Italian Designer Turquoise Velvet Chaise Longue. Isn't she just gorgeous?


Going Nuts for Hungry Squirrel Nut Butters

Monday, 26 March 2018
Meet the Aberdeenshire producer. Going nuts with Susan Yule and Hazel Farquhar of Hungry Squirrel Nut Butters. Completely natural products, vegan friendly with no refined sugars, palm oil or artificial flavourings. Their delicious and nutritious Nut Butters bring all the Squirrels to the yard.

In my biog I state that I'm partial to Cheese, Gin, Peanut Butter and Rhubarb and that I'm permanently looking for the recipe that can successfully combine them all. (The hunt continues...)  Peanut Butter is something that I have loved for as long as I can remember. As a child it always seemed rather exotic and exciting - particularly in relation to the US of A and PB&J sandwiches! I actually know when my first taste of another nut butter was as I wrote about back in April 2013 on a visit to the Scottish Crannog Centre. Turns out that in Iron Age Scotland they may well have been eating Hazelnut Butter so the whole nut butter craze of recent years has actually been around for much longer that the hipsters would have us believe. I was very excited when I first heard via a mutual friend last year that there was a producer in Deeside who had started making a range of nut butters. I was even more excited when they gave me one of their Hungry Squirrel taster packs to try out. Alas I have failed to convert my daughter from Nutella to Hazelnut & Cacao but myself and my son are both particularly big fans of Crunchy ABC Mix and Cookie Dough. 


Classic Custard Creams Biscuits

Thursday, 22 March 2018
Custard Creams frequently top polls of the nation’s favourite biscuit. This classic homemade version is way better than shop bought with a crumbly melt in the mouth texture and a generous vanilla buttercream filling.

Classic Traditional Homemade Custard Creams Biscuits

Every Tuesday afternoon for the last four years I've headed to the STAR Community Flat in Seaton where I am 'The Cooking Wifie' for a small community cookery class. We work to a £10 a week budget in a very basic kitchen with a rather temperamental cooker. There is a lot of enthusiasm and a great deal of fun. Last week there was a request to make Custard Creams. This was something that I hadn't made for a long time so I dug out my childhood 'Recipes, Cuttings and Notes' book and unearthed what was my cousin's recipe. The quantities were in ounces and also seemed rather small so I instantly doubled the amount of ingredients and converted to grams. I also swapped margarine out for butter and added some vanilla bean paste to pimp up the buttercream.

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