Scottish Rural Luxury at The Grandtully Hotel, Perthshire

Friday, 15 February 2019
Post in collaboration with The Grandtully Hotel

Highland hospitality combines with style and luxury at the boutique Grandtully Hotel in rural Perthshire. Design, decor and attention to detail throughout the 8 bedroom hotel is fantastic, customer service second to none and the food and drink absolutely top notch. A wonderful addition to the Ballintaggart Farm cookschool and restaurant with rooms portfolio. 

It's becoming a bit of a habit (that I don't want to break!) for myself and my friend Kirsteen to abandon our children and husbands and set off on a new year girlie road trip. January 2017 saw us heading to Ballintaggart Farm for a cookery masterclass while at the start of 2018 we both enjoyed an Eden Mill gin blending experience at Rusacks St Andrews. For 2019 we were delighted to be invited back by Ballintaggart to experience the new addition to their Highland Perthshire portfolio. The Grandtully Hotel by Ballintaggart. A newly transformed (opened September 2018) eight bedroom hotel with restaurant, bar, outdoor terrace and private dining room. 

Last Rolo Valentine Fudge

Monday, 11 February 2019
Do you love anyone enough to give them your last rolo? Such an quick and easy two ingredient Valentine fudge to make in the microwave. Romantic additions of Rolos and chocolate hearts for taste of true love. No tricky temperatures or boiling hot sugar required.

Following on from the success of my Terry's chocolate orange and orange Matchmaker fudge at Christmas I knew I'd need to make a batch for valentine's day. However the 14th of February has crept up on me somewhat so I'm a wee bit later than anticipated in getting the recipe posted. From the reactions on instagram stories to my work in progress it's going to be another popular one. If truth be told it really doesn't need it's own recipe. Once you know how to make two ingreediant chocolate fudge you can basically add what ever else you want. Rolos were an obvious choice to me although when I mentioned them to my teenagers they had absolutely no clue about the concept of saving your last Rolo for someone. Makes me feel very old.

Pork Keema Curry

Thursday, 7 February 2019
AD Post in collaboration with The Scotch Kitchen

Go places with Specially Selected Pork. Travel to India with a Pork Keema Curry that is full of flavour and makes an ideal fuss free and family friendly midweek meal. This pork curry in a hurry is a healthy dish that will keep you from reaching for that takeaway menu.

Weather is the one thing you just can't plan for. I was supposed to spend last Friday cooking Specially Selected Pork with celebrity chef Phil Vickery. Alas snow intervened and he couldn't make it to Aberdeen. Bet that's never happened to him on Ready Steady Cook or This Morning! Luckily The Chester Hotel head chef Kevin Dalgleish stepped in as a last minute substitution and along with Rebecca (Mrs Meldrum) and Gemma (The Lifestyle Hunter) we cooked up a storm making and tasting adventurous new pork dishes which are perfect for mid-week family meals.

Valentine Rocky Road

Sunday, 3 February 2019
A quick, easy and fun Valentine themed traybake that's ideal for kids to help make. The classic Rocky Road takes on a romantic twist with the addition of Love Hearts, Rolos, Lips and Jammie Dodgers. This no bake Chocolate Tiffin is sure to be loved by anyone with a sweet tooth. 

Love is in the air! 14th February is looming so I've got a romantic recipe to share. If I was being a proper food blogger I really should have made and blogged this Valentine Recipe weeks ago but as per usual it's totally last minute. But why restrict your love to just one day of the year? This will taste good at anytime! My Christmas Gingerbread Man Rocky Road was a huge success as is the perennial favourite of Scotland in a Traybake aka Tunnock's Teacake Rocky Road. What could I add to the chocolate, biscuit and marshmallow comb to signify true love?

All you need to know about Aberdeen Restaurant Week 2019

Wednesday, 30 January 2019
AD - Post in collaboration with Aberdeen Inspired

I'm delighted to be partnering with Aberdeen Inspired as an official ambassador for Aberdeen Restaurant Week 2019. I think that it's a fantastic initiative for the city and it has been great to see both restaurants and diners taking the opportunity to embrace it wholeheartedly during the two weeks that it ran in 2018. Now it's back for February 2019 and it's even bigger and better. 

See my other ARW blog posts on their website
  • Around the World  Whilst you travel around Aberdeen city enjoying all the food on offer you can also travel around the world as there are a huge range of international cuisines on offer. ARW is the ideal opportunity to step outside your comfort zone and sample new ingredients, flavours and dishes.
  • Sweet Tooth  If you’re someone who heads to the back of the menu first in order to check out the dessert offerings, you’ll need this guide to the best puddings in town during Aberdeen Restaurant Week. Loosen your waistbands and grab your spoon.
  • Where to eat of you like...  There’s such a choice of restaurants and cuisines available throughout Aberdeen Restaurant Week that it can be difficult to know where to go. I’ve taken some of the hard work out of the decision making for you by scouring the menus to find the best dishes on offer whether you want steak, seafood, vegan or gluten free. There’re also suggestions of the best places to share food with friends, enjoy afternoon tea or bring along your 4 legged friend.

What is Aberdeen Restaurant Week? 

The idea of Restaurant Week was born in New York City in 1992 and has since spread throughout the world arriving in Aberdeen in 2018. It's a week long event where restaurants offer unique fixed price menus, so customers can try many different types of food that may normally be out of their price range or comfort zone.

When does it take place? 
Monday 4th - Sunday 10th February 2019 (and it will be back again in September 2019) 

Which restaurants are involved?
There are 38 restaurants in Aberdeen city centre participating, offering everything from street food to fine dining. Cuisines encompass Scottish, Mexican, Indian, International, Italian, Spanish, French, Thai, Malaysian and American. You can quite literally travel around the world as you travel throughout Aberdeen.
See the full list of participating venues at

How does it work? 
Diners to choose from two affordable set menu's. At lunchtime it's two courses for £10 and dinner is three courses for £20. 

Haggis, Neeps and Gnocchi in a Whisky Cream Sauce

Friday, 25 January 2019

I can't believe we've got to Burns night and I've not yet posted a Haggis recipe. I'm dissapointed in myself. I had three in planning for this year to add to my top 10 haggis recipes for Burns night, but I'm not sure I'm even going to get around to publishing the other two. (Although in my book Haggis is most definitely for life and not just for Burns Night) 

Gnocchi - pronounced N(Y)OK-ee - are one of my daughter's favourite foods but lots of people don't seem to know of them and what they are. A good description would perhaps be 'thick, small and soft dough dumplings of Italian origin made of potato and flour, cooked and eaten in much the same way as pasta'

Stonehaven Boardwalk Sculpture Trail

Thursday, 17 January 2019
A whimsical collection of steel sculptures adorning the boardwalk at Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire. The artist is mysteriously unknown. Perhaps the 'Banksy of Sculpture'? The fanciful creations include a lighthouse, fishing trawellers and a viking longship - all crewed by fish and crustaceans.

We're all guilty of not always appreciating what's on our own doorsteps and sometime we need a wee bit of reminding. A BBC news story last week about Stonehaven's secret sculptor prompted me to pull together this post sharing details of a collection of fanciful metal artworks that grace the boardwalk in Stonehaven. I regularly walk past these clever creations and often share photos and videos of them on my Instagram account but have never really thought about the where, when, why and how of their existence and the fact that new ones keep appearing to enthrall and delight. 

There are now five sculptures in total on the boardwalk which runs from the Backies car pack at the harbour to Salmon Lane. The most recent one appeared late last year and it's addition seemed to spark a renewed flurry conversation as to who was behind them. They don't seem to be signed in any way and no one seems to know who the artist is. Who is Stonehaven's secret sculptor? Now being tenuously referred to in the media as the 'Scottish Banksy' or the 'Banksy of Sculpture', whomever he/she is they have a fantastic imagination, amazing skill and are making a lot of people happy with their creations. The common theme with the sculptures is a link to the sea but in all of them the traditional roles have been reversed with fish and crustaceans taking the place of humans and vice versa. They are all amazingly detailed and I'm sure I discover something new in each one every time I stop and look. Photo opportunities a plenty with the picturesque town of Stonehaven and the North Sea as a backdrop. 
Could we give them their own Instagram hashtag? #secretstoneysculptor


My Top 10 Haggis Recipes for Burns Night

Friday, 11 January 2019
Fancy something a wee bit different than the traditional Haggis, Neeps and Tatties for your Burns Supper celebrations? I've got you covered with this selection of 10 recipes including Pancakes, Meatloaf, Burgers, Waffles, Birls, Shepherd's Pie, Soup, Scotch Eggs, Toasties and even Chocolate Haggis!

Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face, 
Great chieftain o' the pudding-race! 
Aboon them a' ye tak your place, 
Painch, tripe, or thairm : 
Weel are ye wordy o'a grace 
As lang's my arm. 


2018 - a year of Edible Adventures in Review

Sunday, 6 January 2019
Wishing a slightly belated Happy New Year to all my readers! I hope that 2019 will be good for you and yours and would like to take this opportunity to wish you health and happiness for the months to come. Lang may yer lum reek!

We had a fantastic fun filled festive season and for the first time in 14 years I wasn't hosting Christmas - which felt a wee bit strange. Instead we headed north to my sister's where we enjoyed fantastic Highland hospitality and great fun, food and drink. Twixmas was spent in Edinburgh then back to the North East for New Year at Stonehaven fireballs. After all that gallivanting I'm now looking forward to getting back into a routine and weaning myself off chocolate, cheese and alcohol. With the start of a new year it's time to reflect upon the year gone past and take a look at some of my edible adventure highlights and favourite posts and events from 2018...

Christmas 2018
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