Ultimate Visitor Guide to the New Aberdeen Art Gallery

Thursday, 7 November 2019
The ultimate practical guide for those wishing to visit the new Aberdeen Art Gallery. After a four year wait and a £34.6 million transformation it has been re-imagined, re-born and is ready to be re-discovered. Reassuringly familiar yet distinctly different. Open to all from Monday 4th November 2019. FREE entry, open 7 days. Full onsite facilities with accessible for all toilets, cafes and gift shop.



Re-imagined, re-born and ready to be re-discovered... 
Aberdeen Art Gallery is once again open to the general public. Within this post I'm going to give you the ultimate practical guide to visiting Aberdeen Art Gallery. I'll answer the where, what, why, when, how and provide you with the information you'll need to make your visit as smooth and enjoyable as possible. I'm going to focus on the practicalities rather than the exhibits themselves. They are undoubtedly stunning and quite frankly speak for themselves. Suffice to say the redevelopment project has transformed the Art Gallery, Cowdray Hall and the Remembrance Hall into a major cultural attraction in the heart of the granite city. 


Spooky Halloween Fudge

Thursday, 17 October 2019
With only two ingredients (plus spooky toppings) and no tricky temperatures or boiling hot sugar required, this microwave Halloween Fudge is quick and easy to make. The ideal sweet treat for trick and treaters this Halloween and great fun to make with the kids.



I couldn't let Halloween go past without posting a version of two ingredient fudge. It's previous incarnations for Christmas, Valentines and Easter have all been really popular so it was time for a spooky variation. With only two ingredients, no tricky temperatures or boiling hot sugar required, microwave fudge is quick and easy to make. Once you’ve mastered it you can adapt the toppings to suit the occasion and personal preference. You can make it with white, milk or dark chocolate. I use supermarket own brand which works just fine. More expensive chocolate may be even better, I just haven’t tried it! You can also make it in a bowl over boiling water if you don’t have a microwave.

Scottish salmon from Orkney waters

Wednesday, 9 October 2019
Post in collaboration with Scottish Salmon Producers Organisation


Salmon is Scotland's biggest food export with it's quality revered throughout the world. Those involved in it's harvest are indeed proud to farm Scottish salmon and are passionate about the aquaculture industry. A trip to the Orkney Islands encompassed a visit to a Scottish salmon farm, coffee roastery and gin distillery alongside ample opportunity to sample the abundant Orcadian food and drink offering in local hotels and resturants where Scottish salmon is always proudly on the menu.



Almost a year to the day from when I boarded a Loganair flight in Aberdeen to embark on a Peedie Taste of Orkney I was back at the airport for a second trip to the same location. Thanks to Holiday Extras for organising Northern Lights Executive Lounge access and my short stay airport parking. Having these in place in advance makes for a smooth start to any trip be it work or pleasure. For me this visit was to be a combination of both with the best that Orkney and Scottish Salmon had to offer. The itinerary included taking to the water for a visit to a salmon farm and in addition to the usual admin and emails before any press trip I was asked to provide both my wellie boot and survival suit size. What on earth was I letting myself in for?! In the old adage of a picture painting a thousand words... see below!


Scottish Pumpkin Patches 2019

Saturday, 28 September 2019
A comprehensive roundup of the best places to pick pumpkins in Scotland this Halloween 2019. Fun for all the family at locations in Aberdeenshire, Fife, Angus, Perthshire, the Lothians, Inverness-shire and Stirling. Keep with tradition and choose a neep, get lost in a maze, meet farm animals, dig tatties, clamber on bales and lots more. Grab your wellies and warm clothes this Autumn and experience a Scottish Pumpkin Patch.





Halloween has changed a lot since I was wee. Then it was all about homemade costumes, neeps, apple dooking, guising and not a mention of trick or treating and pumpkins. You had to do a proper turn to get your sweetie. A joke would have had the door slammed on your face. However in recent years I too have turned to the dark side and officially become obsessed with all things pumpkin, fall, autumnal, thanksgiving and pumpkin spice!



I do still however bow down before anyone who attempts to carve a neep. Those bad boys are seriously hard work. Simplistic carving is the order of the day and it takes time and dedication to create a neepie lantern. Saying that, the smell of a stubby candle burning the inside of a neep is a childhood memory I would rather forget. 


Are you #TeamTurnip or #TeamPumpkin 



12 Marvellous Mince Meals - Beef, Pork, Lamb

Thursday, 26 September 2019
A dozen marvellous mince meals perfect for weeknights. Ring the changes with minced beef, lamb or pork. Quick, easy and affordable to make these mince recipes are sure to become family favourites. Curry, meatballs, burgers, meatloaf, chilli, pasta, pies and more. Packed full of global flavours from Thailand, India, Greece, Mexico and Scotland. 



It's most definitely Autumn. The equinox has passed, there's a chill in the air, the leaves are turning and it's time for comfort food. At my community cookery class this week we made mince, tatties and doughballs - surely the ultimate comfort food. Mince is such a versatile ingredient whether it be beef, pork or lamb. To give you some inspiration for weeknight meals now that the nights are drawing in I've pulled together a dozen of my marvellous mince recipes. Many of them will be interchangeable with regards to the meat in question so feel free to mix up your mince. 

Banana, Strawberry and Honey Muffins

Wednesday, 28 August 2019
Savour the sweet taste of summer in a simple and delicious recipe for Banana, Strawberry and Honey Muffins. No added sugar required as the fruit and honey provides the sweetness. An ideal 'Love Food Hate Waste' recipe for using up bananas - the blacker the better. 



One of my favourite things about the Chapelton 10k in 2018 (apart from the fab medal) was the fantastic selection of homebakes available after the race for the runners. Having signed up to take part again in 2019 (I’d clearly forgotten about THE HILL) I wanted to contribute something for the refreshment table so whipped up a couple of batches of Banana, Strawberry and Honey Muffins the night before the race. Earlier in the year I'd visited Castleton Fruit Farm with Brian from Cove Honey Bees so it seemed like the perfect opportunity to combine strawberries, honey and the runners favourite banana, in a post run treat.

Blackcurrant Oaty Flapjacks

Tuesday, 13 August 2019
Sticky oaty blackcurrant flapjacks. The ideal way to use up a glut of summer fruit and super quick and easy to make. The blackcurrants almost go jam like when baked with the oats and syrup. Perfect for breakfast, lunchboxes or simply with a cuppa.


It would appear to be a fantastic year for blackcurrants if the crop on the singular bush in my garden is anything to go by. It is literally heaving with berries and they are huge to boot! Trouble is that they aren't quite as versatile as strawberries and rasps. They are just a wee bit too tart to eat in any quantity au-natural and whilst I've been throwing them in smoothies and using them at breakfast time to top my porridge and bircher muesli I've really not made much of a dent upon the bumper crop. At this point I'd usually freeze a batch however there are still a couple of bags in there from last year! Time to get inventive.

Fingal - Edinburgh's Luxury Floating Hotel

Wednesday, 24 July 2019
AD/GUEST 

Review post in collaboration with Fingal



Walk up the gangway onboard Fingal, Edinburgh's luxury floating hotel, and step back in time. Serving afternoon tea, cocktails and light suppers to both residents and non-residents this former lighthouse vessel epitomises the age of glamorous Hollywood travel. Elegant curves and contours, service of a bygone age and art deco interiors await on this shining beacon of floating luxury. 





I have a thing about lighthouses, I have a thing about boats and I have a thing about staying in unusual accommodation. A night on Fingal, a former lighthouse vessel now luxuriously appointed and permanently berthed at Leith docks ticked all my boxes. Throw in a sumptuous afternoon tea, sophisticated cocktails, a light supper and the pièce de résistance of sunshine on Leith and it's pretty much perfect. 

All you need to know about Aberdeen Restaurant Week July 2019

Wednesday, 10 July 2019

AD
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
AD
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.



Foodie Quine. Design by Mimi Hammill. Powered by Blogger.