All you need to know about Aberdeen Restaurant Week July 2019

Wednesday, 10 July 2019

Post in collabor
ation with Aberdeen Inspired

I'm delighted to again be partnering with Aberdeen Inspired as an official ambassador for the July 2019 Aberdeen Restaurant Week. 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, it's week in February 2019 and now in its fourth appearance from Monday 15th - Sunday 21st July.

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 15th - Sunday 21st July 2019 

Which restaurants are involved?
There are currently 37 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. 

Kitchen Table and Culture Crawl for Maggie's Aberdeen

Thursday, 4 July 2019

I had so much fun last year when I held a Kitchen Table Day and participated in Maggie's Aberdeen Culture Crawl that I decided to do it all over again for 2019. In January 2016 my Mum was diagnosed with breast cancer. She is now doing well and has a really 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 provided practical, emotional and social support. It really is everyone's home of cancer care and it feels only right to give something back.

Bulgar Wheat Salad with Cherries, Feta and Pistachios

Thursday, 27 June 2019
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.

Cherry season is here! The sweet and juicy stalkless Jerte Picota Cherry is now available on supermarket shelves for six weeks only. To help you make the most of these seasonal delights I posted a roundup of over 50 perfect pairings using Jerte Picota Cherries. 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.

Strawberry, Cucumber and Mint Salad with a Pimm's Dressing

Sunday, 16 June 2019
It's Pimm's o'clock! The quintessential taste of a British Summer becomes one of your five-a-day in this sensational seasonal salad. Ideal for picnics, parties and barbecues and of course for watching Wimbledon. Enjoy al-fresco dining this summer with my Strawberry, Cucumber and Mint Salad with a Pimm' s Dressing

Summer is teasing us a bit at the moment, certainly here in the far North East corner of Scotland. We've had some absolutely glorious days but others most definitely hold true to the 'ne'er cast a clout til May/June/July be oot' adage! For me one of the unmistakable flavours of Summer is Pimm's. It makes you think of the Chelsea Flower Show, Henley Regatta, Garden Parties, Punting on the Thames, Polo Matches and of course Wimbledon. The recipe I'm sharing with you is perfect for al fresco dining and makes a great BBQ side dish. It was inspired by Nigel Slater who wrote about a sweet strawberry and cucumber fruit salad in his Observer column. I immediately thought of Pimm's and decided to have a go at a savoury version with a Pimm's Dressing. It turned out to be the perfect taste of summer.

Dog Friendly places to Eat in Aberdeen

Sunday, 2 June 2019
Over fifty dog friendly places to eat and drink in Aberdeen City and Shire. Your four legged friend will be made very welcome in this selection of Cafes, Restaurants, Coffee Shops and Pubs. 

Originally posted Feb 2018, updated June 2019

Much to my daughters disgust we don't have a dog. Because of this we are the worst parents ever. As such she takes every opportunity possible to engage with four legged friends and is always happy to doggy walk and sit for friends (or complete strangers!) For her the Long Dog Cafe is all about the dogs and the freakshakes are secondary! Today's post came about due to a series of interrelated events. A couple of weeks ago I received a call from a researcher from the Kay Adams show on BBC Radio Scotland wondering if I'd like to appear on air and object to the proliferation of dogs in eateries. I declined. Despite not being a dog owner, give me a well behaved dog in a cafe over a badly behaved human any day of the week! 

SPAM®, Halloumi and Avocado Kebabs with Sweet Chilli

Tuesday, 28 May 2019
Post in collaboration with SPAM® Chopped Pork and Ham

Barbecued SPAM®, Halloumi Cheese and Avocado Kebabs with Sweet Chilli are the perfect hipster showcase for the iconic meat in a tin. Chopped Pork and Ham brings Sizzle Pork And Mmm™ to any meal and works fantastically well on the BBQ. In addition to kebabs I've got SPAM® recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Think Mac ‘n’ Cheese, Hawaiian Style Pizza, Sizzling fajitas, Fries and SPAMBLED™ eggs. 

Summer will be on us before we know it and fingers crossed it will be another hot one! If you’re looking for some new and interesting recipes for the BBQ this year, why not try out iconic meat SPAM® Chopped Pork and Ham to make some delicious sizzling snacks to enjoy in the garden or on the campsite. If the weather doesn't play ball these will work equally well on a griddle pan or under the grill. SPAM® Chopped Pork and Ham is the perfect quick and easy meat for an alfresco feast that will impress friends and family. It’s already cooked in the can, to seal in the goodness and ensure safety - which makes it ideal for camping and festival season. 

Rhubarb and Ginger Brioche Bread and Butter Pudding

Monday, 20 May 2019
What's better than Rhubarb Crumble or Bread and Butter Pudding? Rhubarb and Ginger Brioche Bread and Butter Pudding! This twist on two classics is the perfect seasonal comfort food pudding. Delightfuly indulgent serve it hot with your choice or custard, cream or ice cream. 

I'll pretty much always opt for a starter over desert. The exception to this would of course be Cheese. There are however a couple of ingredients that if they feature in dessert menu can lure me over to the dark side. One is Peanut Butter and the other is Rhubarb. Over the years I've had mixed success with growing my own Rhubarb. I barely got enough for a single crumble until a garden redesign meant that I had to uproot and relocate my plant. All of a sudden it began to flourish and there was no stopping it. One of my most popular blog posts combines it with one of my other loves. Yup it's Rhubarb Gin.

Luxury Stonehaven Beach Apartment Accommodation

Tuesday, 14 May 2019
Review post in collaboration with The Beach Apartment

Luxury self catering on Stonehaven beach front sleeping four. Dog friendly beach apartment located above the award winning Bay fish and chip shop and Aunty Betty's Ice Cream and Sweetie shop. The sea practically touches your toes in this indulgent and eclectic Stonehaven accommodation which most certainly has the wow factor from the moment you step inside. Ideally located for Dunnottar castle, the outdoor swimming pool and of course the Hogmanay Fireballs.

If I was asked to name my foodie favourites in Stonehaven, Aunty Betty's and The Bay would be up there at the top of the list. Both shops situated in a prime location on the beach promenade and both well know for their long queues - which are always worth the wait! The Bay is an award winning chipper serving up locally sourced, sustainable fish and chips whilst Aunty Betty's is an ice cream and sweetie emporium extraordinaire. But what lies upstairs from these delicious destinations? The answer is a hidden gem!

Pan Fried Gnocchi with Scottish Asparagus and Wild Garlic Pesto

Wednesday, 1 May 2019
Capture the seasonal flavours of Spring in a vegetarian supper dish which combines wild garlic and asparagus. Pan frying Gnocchi turns the Italian potato dumplings into oh so moreish and delicious crispy bites with fluffy centres.

Whilst the wild garlic season is drawing to a close, the asparagus season is only just beginning! As a huge fan of both ingredients I'm really quite disappointed in myself for taking so long to combine them in a recipe, but that is about to be rectified. Say hello to the green deliciousness that is Pan Fried Gnocchi with Scottish Asparagus and Wild Garlic Pesto.

Three Ingredient Cadbury Mini Creme Egg Fudge

Tuesday, 16 April 2019

I've now made several seasonal variants of two ingreedient chocolate fudge all of which have proved to be very popolar. We had Last Rolo for Valentine's Day and Terry's Chocolate Orange & Zingy Orange Matchmaker and After Eight and Mint Matchmaker for Christmas. I wouldn't want Easter to feel left out so I've come up with both a white and a milk chocolate version. The White Chocolate Easter Fudge recipe was commissioned by Chapelton. This is Aberdeenshire's new town and whilsn't I don't live there I've already benefitted from its facilities, businesses an community. Whilst you're on the Chapelton website getting the fudge recipe be sure to check out the variety of properties available to siuit all incomes and needs. The Creme Egg Fudge needs only three ingreedients and along with it's recipe below I've shared other sweet easter treats that I've created over the years. I do hope that Lent hasn't been too painful and that the Easter Bunny will be good to you!

Wild Garlic Pesto Pinwheels

Wednesday, 10 April 2019
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. 

NTS Mairi Sawyer Chocolate Cake

Thursday, 28 March 2019

Originally commissioned by and published in the National Trust for Scotland Spring Magazine

Perhaps one of the best known of Mairi Sawyer’s recipes: many visitors to Inverewe Gardens tell of having tea with her 40-50 years ago, and they always speak of Chocolate Cake with a light in their eyes.  Cherry with it’s fruit and nut flavour is a natural partner for chocolate providing a winning combination that has stood the test of time.

NTS Mairi Sawyer Chocolate Cake

Inverewe Gardens in the far north west of Scotland is one of the jewels in the crown of the National Trust for Scotland. I'm a long time member of the National Trust and my Mum who is now in her 70's had a summer job in the cafe at Inverewe Gardens in the early 1960's! As a highlander, Inverewe is somewhere I've visited a number of times most recently with my own children when we stayed in Gairloch for a family holiday. As such I was delighted to be approached by NTS to recreate three historical Inverewe recipes for the modern day cook. The recipes were devised by Mhairi Sawyer, and collected in two books. One being Highland Fayre (from 1992) and another a folder of recipes which look to have been typed by Mairi herself.
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