Caprese Bruschetta on Melba Toast

Friday, 21 July 2017
Post in collaboration with Iceland Foods

Italian flavours come to the fore in a quick and easy recipe that works equally well as a Summer breakfast, brunch or appetiser. Caprese Bruschetta combines Mozzarella, Tomatoes and Basil atop crunchy Five Grain & Seed Melba Toast drizzled with Balsamic. Bellissimo!

Buongiorno! That's how they say Good Morning in Italy and as I'm just back from a fantastic fortnight's family holiday in Lake Garda it's an appropriate way to start this post. Particularly as I'm sharing an Italian inspired recipe which is perfect to kickstart your morning. When it comes to breaking my fast I'm all about the carbs. Give me bread and LOTS of it! I've been working with the guys at Iceland foods for over 18 months now helping to bust some myths about frozen foods and showcasing the range of products they stock. Like me you might have been under the misconception that they only sold frozen food. Wrong! There's also a great selection of chilled, fresh and store cupboard staples on offer including their own brand Luxury range of bread, cakes and morning goods.

There is nothing quite as comforting or appetising as freshly baked bread, with the scent being voted one of the UK’s favourites. Iceland have recently relaunched their range of Luxury bakery products which are all made using traditional methods at a family run bakery and delivered instore fresh every day. Crafted using the highest quality ingredients by skilled bakers these new luxury breads have been created using a slow dough method to give rich and intense flavours. During this process, the ingredients can ferment for up to 16 hours, the greater flavours are worth the wait. I headed down to my nearest Iceland Food store at Aberdeen Beach Retail park to check out the revamped bakery offering. A poster in the window advertising the new range told me that 'Great Taste Takes Time'. Admittedly I'd left it rather late in the day to shop and the shelves were somewhat depleted - the early bird catches the loaf - but I still managed to pick up a great selection of products. Croissants, Cheese Topped Rolls, Five Grain and Seed Rolls, Plain Folded Flatbreads, Brioche Rolls, Soft White Bread Rolls and the very last Five Grain and Seed Batch Loaf. Now it was time to get creative and come up with a bread based brunch recipe. 

With the sunshine and flavours of Italy still fresh in my mind I wanted to do something with an Italian twist. During our fortnight in Lake Garda we had eaten a lot of Pizza and Pasta but I discounted them in favour of something more simple yet equally Italian. Tomato and Mozzarella. The two really are a match made in heaven. Combine them with Basil and you have Caprese. Add some bread into the mixture and you have Bruschetta. Yup I'm basically sharing the recipe for the Italian flag on toast! Usually served as an appetiser, the combination of these two Italian classics works really well as a lazy brunch dish for Saturdays, Sundays and Summer Holidays. Week three of the school holidays here and my kids have yet to surface at a time which their first meal of the day could legitimately be called breakfast! I absolutely love Melba Toast but don't make it nearly often enough. Up until now I've always used the cheapest of the cheap white loaf however having now used slices of the Five Grain & Seed Batch Loaf there's no going back. It was just so good. The texture from the crispy grains and seeds - rye, spelt and wheat grains, sunflower seeds, brown and golden linseed - make awesome toast, melba or regular. Combined with the fresh delicate flavour of Mozzarella and the sweetness of vine ripened tomatoes you'll have a truly Bellissimo Italian inspired brunch.

Warning! You may wish to go easy on (or omit) the garlic at breakfast time. When I made this for myself and my son I was a wee bit heavy handed. Suffice to say we kept the vampires at bay all day!

Caprese Bruschetta on Melba Toast
Serves 2

3 slices of Iceland Luxury Five Grain & Seed Batch Loaf
150g Fresh Mozzarella
4 Vine Ripened Cherry Tomatoes
Fresh Basil
Balsamic Vinegar
Black Pepper
Olive Oil
Clove of Garlic

Preheat your grill and toast the bread on each side.
Use a serrated knife to cut off the crusts and carefully slice horizontally through the toast to give two thin slices. 
Cut each slice diagonally in half then toast the uncooked side of the triangles until crispy 
They will curl up a little at the edges but this is normal.
Meanwhile slice the Mozzarella cheese and the tomatoes.
Drizzle each slice of melba toast with oilve oil. Cut a garlic clove in half and rub the cut side onto the top of each.
Top each toast triangle with a slice of Mozzarella, a Basil leaf and a slice of Tomato.
Serve with freshly ground black pepper and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.

For further breakfast and brunch inspiration using Luxury Bakery products from Iceland Foods do check out the following recipes from my blogging BFF's.

♥ Pin me for later.. Italian flavours come to the fore in a quick and easy recipe that works equally well as a Summer breakfast, brunch or appetizer. Caprese Bruschetta combines Mozzarella, Tomatoes and Basil atop crunchy Five Grain & Seed Melba Toast drizzled with Balsamic. Bellissimo!

Disclosure: This is a commissioned post for Iceland Foods. As always, all views expressed are my own.
Thank you for supporting the brands who make it possible for me as a passionate Scottish Food Blogger to continue to share my Edible Food and Travel Adventures with you. I’m super choosy who I work with and promise to bring you only the cream of the crop.


Cullen Skink - A traditional Scottish Smoked Haddock Soup

Monday, 10 July 2017
Post in collaboration with a2 Milk™

Cullen Skink is a full flavoured, hearty, and comfortingly traditional creamy Scottish soup made with smoked fish, potatoes, onions and milk. It's Chowder with a distinctly Scottish accent. 

When I'm asked to describe my style of cooking I always struggle as it's a bit of a mish mash of styles combined with a passion for seasonality, cooking from scratch and family friendly recipes. However if there is a particular area of speciality it's probably 'Quirky Scottish' or 'Scottish with a Twist'. Today's recipe definitely falls into the Scottish category but it's my take traditional rather than one of my more outlandish creations (i.e. no Irn Bru or Tunnock's Teacakes involved!) For the uninitiated, Cullen Skink possibly doesn't sound the most enticing of foods but I can assure you that it is. Hailing from Cullen, a small fishing village on the North East coast of Scotland, it's a hearty soup made of milk, smoked fish, potatoes and onion. Think Chowder with a Scottish accent.

Touch wood we don't have any issues with food allergies or intolerences within my immediate family (although my daughter appears to be allergic to vegetables...) however I'm all too aware that many people face such challenges on a daily basis so to make my Cullen Skink I used a2 Milk™ which comes from specially selected cows and is naturally easier to digest. As a farmer's daughter this immediately piqued my interest! Research has found that different cows produce milk with different proteins (A1 and A2) and that each of these proteins are digested differently. It's the A1 protein that many people struggle to digest. The folks at a2 Milk™ work with farmers to hand select cows that naturally produce only A2 protein. Nothing added, nothing taken away, just easy to digest cows’ milk. You can find out lots more about a2 Milk™ and see if it might be suitable for you or someone you know who experiences intolerance issues with regular milk at  Both my kids drink a LOT of milk and they confirmed that a2 Milk™ tastes exactly the same as regular milk so no worries in that respect.

So with a2 Milk™ in hand it's back to my recipe for the tastiest of soups with the least promising of names. Much like Scotch Broth everyone and their granny has a different idea what should and shouldn't be in it and you can of course juggle with adding, removing and adjusting ingredients to suit. Garlic, Bay Leaves and Cream could be a good place to start. However you make it, it's really a meal in itself especially if accompanied by bread or oatcakes. I've jumped onto the on trend edible flowers bandwagon with a garnish of chive flowers. Their purple hues contrast amazingly well with the yellow fish but they are far from essential and definitely not traditional. Perhaps they can be my quirky twist and an edible nod to the Scottish thistle. 

Cullen Skink - A Traditional Smoked Haddock Soup

750ml Milk
2 fillets Smoked Haddock (approx 300g)
1 Leek
1 large Onion
400g Potatoes
Knob of Butter or splash of Scottish Rapeseed Oil
750ml Vegetable Stock
Salt & Pepper
Flatleaf Parsley
Chives and Chive Flowers

Gently heat the milk in a shallow saute pan. Add the Smoked Haddock and poach for 10 minutes until lightly cooked. Set aside to cool.
Slice and wash the leek thoroughly.
Peel and finely chop the onion.
Peel and roughly dice the potatoes (no need to peel if you use new/baby potatoes)
In a large soup pan melt/heat the butter/oil, add the onion and leeks and cook gently for 5 minutes until softened but not coloured.
Add the potato and the vegetable stock, bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 15 minutes until the potato is soft.
Add the milk from the poached haddock to the soup but not the fish.
Gently mash the soup to crush some of the potatoes.
Skin and flake the smoked haddock with a fork.
Add flaked fish, a generous amount of chopped parsley and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Heat through and serve garnished with chopped chives and chive flowers.

For more ideas utilising a2 Milk™ do check out these creative milky recipes from some of my food blogger colleagues

♥ Pin me for later... Cullen Skink is a full flavoured, hearty, and comfortingly traditional creamy Scottish soup made with smoked fish, potatoes, milk and onions. It's Chowder with a distinctly Scottish accent.

Disclosure: This is a commissioned post for a2 Milk™. As always, all views expressed are my own. 
Thank you for supporting the brands who make it possible for me as a passionate Scottish Food Blogger to continue to share my Edible Food and Travel Adventures with you. I’m super choosy who I work with and promise to bring you only the cream of the crop.

Double Dipping Dilemma with Philadelphia Flip and Dip

Wednesday, 5 July 2017
Post in collaboration with Philadelphia

You know the song lyric 'You'll Always Find Me In The Kitchen At Parties'. For me it should be you'll always find me next to the crisps and dips at parties. I absolutely LOVE a dip. Give me cheesy and savoury over chocolaty and sweet any day of the week. But when it comes to dipping we are all faced with a food etiquette dilemma...

To double dip, or not to double dip? That is the question! 
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer 
The slings and arrows of outrageous tutting 
Or to take arms against rolling eyes 
And by double dipping partake in the ultimate foodie faux pas

The majority of Brits (60%) deem double dipping an absolute no-no, except when in their own company. One in five people would go as far to ask a culprit to stop double dipping if they caught them in the act at a party. However, in true British fashion, the majority of Brits (62%) would rather suppress feelings of discontent and suffer in silence or gossip with other guests about the double dipper in question.

Double dipping was recently highlighted on a hit BBC1 cooking show in an exchange between celebrity chef John Torrode and Lisa Allen, where Lisa tasted some sauce from a pan – using the same spoon she had just licked – the judge scolded her, saying: ‘No, don’t do that! Get a fresh spoon you double dipper!’

In case you are still blissfully aware of what double dipping even is, let me give you an explanation. To Double Dip is the act of putting a food item (eg a crisp or crudity) into a dip, taking a bite and the putting the self same item back in again. I'm pretty sure William Shakespeare would have been a #singledipper But what of my food blogging colleagues? I solicited their thoughts on the subject and they all had pretty strong opinions when it came to dipping.

Where you dip, take a bite, then dip the same piece of food back into the dip? ewww! Unless, of course it's only you eating it, or you are very intimately acquainted with the person you're sharing it with. In all other instances, no. Break or cut the food into bite-sized pieces like a civilised human being! 
Nicole @

Hate double dipping - it's a tad unhygienic

I would never put the same piece of something back in but would snap a breadstick in two and use both pieces! 

Double dipping makes me cringe. I often avoid dips at parties for that very reason. And I have been known to pointedly remind my children about dipping etiquette... when really it's the adults within earshot I'm speaking to!

Double dipping is a big no no for me and is bad manners. 

Unless it's just me, on my own, in front of the TV with a bag of crisps and some dip, double dipping is totally unacceptable! 

I'm going to be really brave and admit that I double dip all the time when it's just me, my husband and the children at home but I wouldn't if I was out anywhere! I'm now thinking I may need to set a better example though!

It's my dip and I'll double dip if I want to! In all honesty, it depends on how well you know the people you are, dipping with. Close friends or family? Double dip away. At a dinner party, or around unfamiliar people? One dip will do, thank you. 

Now that my colleagues have 'fessed up I guess I should really share my own standpoint on the subject. I can't say hand on heart that I have never double dipped but it's not something that I would consciously do in polite company. However.... with my own personal tub of dip, or at home with my husband and kids my dipping morals are less scrupulous! So I'm a #doubledipper at home and a #singledipper in public.

Could a seriously enticing new product from Philadelphia (yup the cream cheese people) turn you from a #singledipper to a #doubledipper? Philadelphia Flip & Dip is the brand new dip perfect for sharing at summer barbecues, parties and get togethers. Lightly whipped cream cheese topped with one of three mouth watering sauces - Sweet Chilli, Mexican Salsa and Caramelised Onion. To serve first you need to flip and then you need to dip. The packaging is akin to that of a creme caramel with a little flap on the base to help release the dip. When you flip the contents out onto a plate the sauce drizzles down over the cheese and then the dipping dilemmas really start. We tried out all three variants with tortilla chips and a selection of crudities. I am deeply dippy for all of them but the star of the show had to be sweet chilli. If I was to dabble in double dipping it would be with this. However whilst trying it out (a purely altruistic act by me for you dear readers) I realised that the real reason I don't double dip is due to another etiquette failure. Rather than take a ladylike nibble I just shove the whole dipped chip straight into my mouth!

Could new Philadelphia Flip and Dip unleash the double dipper in you? Find it now (next to the dips, not the cheese) at Tesco and Asda with an rrp of £1.49 and join the debate on social media with #FlipandDip #DoubleDipper and #SingleDipper

Disclosure: This is a commissioned post for Philadelphia. As always, all views expressed are my own.
Thank you for supporting the brands who make it possible for me to continue to share my Edible Scottish Adventures with you. I’m super choosy and promise to bring you only the cream of the crop.
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