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!

We kicked off the month in the sunshine spending a week on holiday in Tenerife. We stayed all inclusive at the H10 Conquistador and were all really impressed with it. In addition to the buffet there were a variety of speciality restaurants including Italian, Steakhouse and Teppanyaki. There was also a rather lovely spa which included a quirky Lime Jacuzzi!

Lots of fun on my Facebook Page with this one! For me it was Tequila and it seems that I'm not alone. Why do we do it to ourselves?!

Making good use of some of new BBQ skills learnt at his recent Angus and Oink course my 15 year old son cooked up a rather awesome feast. Tomahawk Steak direct seared, basted with wild garlic butter then indirect smoked with beech chips until rare. Served with fire box leeks and chimichurri sauce. There's currently a tri tip steak in my freezer for his next cook up. For all the best in BBQ advice be sure to join the CountryWoodSmoke Group. The original and best UK BBQ Group on Facebook run by the wonderful BBQ Guru Marcus Bawdon.

A glorious day in the Granite City provided the perfect opportunity to visit some of the new and revisit some of the old Nuart and Painted Doors Aberdeen artworks. You can explore these on your own via their street art map or sign up for one of the weekly guided tours.

My first recipe of the month was for Ministers Slices. 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.

Congratulations to The Long Dog Cafe who were the North winner of ‘Coffee Shop of the Year’ at the Scottish Independent Retail Awards. We were puppy sitting during the second week of the Easter Holidays last so popped in past with ‘Tattie’ for breakfast of Matcha Latte, Bacon Naan, Avo Toast and Freakshakes! For more local doggy friendly options check out my guide to Dog Friendly places to eat in Aberdeen.

The annual question when the Rhubarb in my garden is ready to harvest is what to make first. Rhubarb Crumble or Rhubarb Gin. Gin wins every time! Every time I share the recipe on Facebook folk go crazy for it and this year was no exception. Make your own Rhubarb Gin for the win. 

If I was a pizza I’d be the number #9 at the new Mozza in Aberdeen's Union Square. Ricotta, Truffle Cream, Mozzarella, Porcini and Spinach - Bellissimo! Authentic Neapolitan pizza made from 72 hour proved sourdough. Cooked for only 90 seconds in a rotating 500c wood burning oven by skilled Pizzaioli. Soft but not soggy and surprisingly light the pizzas are perfectly caramelised and the toppings on offer are as authentic as they come (nae pineapple!😂Mon - Fri they are all £5 before 5pm. Highly recommended for taste and value - these are the real deal. Only sorry we had to rush off before dessert of Birramisu but we had a date with a Secret Staging from Ten Ft Tall Theatre.

Wild Garlic season is in full swing and I've been heading out on regular foraging walks to collect my supply. My favourite spot is in Dunnottar Woods at Stonehaven. You smell it before you see it and it grows in lush swathes all along the riverbank. Plenty of recipes and ideas for using it on my blog in the Wild Garlic Recipe Archive.

My Wild Garlic Pesto Pinwheels are the love child of Garlic Bread and a Cinnamon Roll! 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. 

I must confess that I tend to forget about hotel restaurants so an invitation to try out the new Spring menu at Malmaison was a welcome reminder and the perfect way to kick off the weekend! By pure coincidence we both opted for a completely #fishyfriday from a combination of the a la carte and prix fixe menu (fab value - 2 courses £19.95, 3 for £29.95) Smoked salmon, tempura prawns & calamari, trout and haddock followed by tiramisu and rhubarb cheesecake. Washed down with a Spring Fizz cocktail and Mal-uccino. Fab food and service and very tempted to make an imminent return after spotting the afternoon teas arriving at some of the other tables. 

Looking forward into May my plans include a vegetable cookery demo at Duthie Park Winter Gardens as part of National Gardening Week, 20th Wedding Anniversary and Royal Wedding celebrations, That's So Vintage Event at Mal and a trip to Dundee for a Champagne Brunch and guided tour of the new look Waterfront area.

There are also a few foodie events coming up that you should keep an eye out for. 
  • My friend Mark from Galloway Wild Foods is running coastal and hedgerow foraging events in Aberdeenshire on the 26th and 27th May. Book your place via his Foraging Events Calender
  • Following on from the success of Aberdeen Restaurant Week, Aberdeen Inspired are bringing the Inspired Nights Festival to the city from 18th - 27th May. A 10-day food, drink and cocktail festival celebrating night-time culture in the silver city - including Aberdeen's first Street Food Night Market. Find out more and purchase wristbands at aberdeeninspirednights.com
  • The inagural World Buttery Championship takes place on 16th June. You can throw your ring in the hat to be a judge by commenting on the Slow Food Aberdeen City and Shire Facebook page. Surely the best job ever!

Until next month... xxx

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