Plastic Free, Zero Waste Refillery Shops in North East Scotland

Tuesday, 18 August 2020
With climate change and single use plastics high on both the environmental and political agenda, an increasing number of zero waste shops have been popping up in the last couple of years across the county. The North East corner of Scotland is no exception so bring your own own tubs, jars, bags and containers and fill them up to your heart's content at these plastic free, zero waste refillery shops in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Angus, Moray and Dundee.

Surely we're all now aware that for the sake of our planet we really should be cutting down on single use plastics. One of the ways we can do this is to purchase goods from a refillery shop where you bring along your own containers and fill them up with products such as nuts, seeds, pasta, rice, pulses, grains, oils, herbs and spices etc. Likewise for refillable cleaning and toiletry products and plastic free homewares. You can buy as much or as little as you wish and you don't need to be a knit your own lentil vegan hippy to shop there. 

Although all shops work slightly differently the basic premise is that you weigh your receptacle before you fill it and again afterwards. Effectively it's weigh and pay without any wasteful packaging. Less food waste as you only buy what you need and a lower price as up to a fifth of our shopping bill in supermarkets goes on packaging. 

Bring your own jar, box, tub, bottle, bag - the choice is yours, pretty much any container goes. If you don't have enough with you or it's an unplanned visit most shops will offer the option to use a paper bag or a recycled glass jar. 

Such shops are popping up all around the country at the moment and the North East corner of Scotland is no exception so bring your own own tubs, jars, bags and containers and fill them up to your heart's content at these plastic free, zero waste refillery shops in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Angus, Moray and Dundee. 

Honey Bee Sandwiches

Tuesday, 21 July 2020

Bento box honey bees! Get buzzy in the kitchen and create a hive full of honey bee sandwiches for a summer picnic or lunchbox. Kids will love them and they are perfect for any party especially if it's Winnie the Pooh, or bugs and insects themed. 

I LOVE cute food. Always have done. When I was wee there was a double page spread in my Mum's Reader's Digest 'The Cookery Year' cookbook which I used to pour over. It was a birthday party table full of the cutest (albeit 1970's style) kids food. How I longed for pear bunnies on a jelly lawn and a clock cake. A fair few cute foods have made it onto my blog and social media in the past. Oatcake & Cheese Easter Chicks, Olive Penguins, Shortbread Kilts, Tunnock's Teacake Sheep and now Honey Bee Sandwiches. 

SKIPPY® Peanut Butter, Bacon and Banana French Toast Elvis Sandwich

Thursday, 2 July 2020

Post in collaboration with SKIPPY® Peanut Butter

Celebrate the 4th of July with SKIPPY® Peanut Butter. The iconic Elvis Sandwich of peanut butter, banana and bacon is taken to a whole new level of awesomeness when it's dipped in egg and fried to become the SKIPPY® Peanut Butter, Bacon and Banana French Toast Elvis Sandwich.  #SKIPPY4July 

Q. Are you ready to celebrate American Independence Day in the UK with the USA’s famous SKIPPY® Peanut Butter?
A. Uh-huh-huh 

The King's love of a peanut butter, banana and bacon sandwich had become somewhat of an urban legend. Almost to the point where Elvis is as famous for apparently creating it as he is for creating Rock & Roll! How to improve upon such a culinary classic?! Firstly make sure that the Peanut Butter is SKIPPY® and secondly dip the sandwich in beaten egg before frying it so you have an Elvis Peanut Butter, Bacon and Banana French Toast Sandwich. An Independence Day snack fit for the king! 


Black owned food businesses in Aberdeen/shire

Tuesday, 30 June 2020

Black owned food and hospitality businesses in Aberdeen/shire. 
Please share this post, like their facebook pages and instagram accounts, amplify their voices and eat their food.

This list is not exhaustive - please suggest others to add.

Food, Caterers, Restaurants




Quick Cucumber Pickles

Tuesday, 16 June 2020
These super speedy crunchy cucumber pickles are perfect for cutting through rich fatty BBQ meats but you can serve them with literally anything from a sandwich to a charcuterie board. Add some crunch to your plate with this salty, sweet and sour preserve.

My son first made a batch of these pickles for a BBQ get together that we had before he left home to go to Uni last September. They were a big hit then and now that he's back home with us (13 weeks and counting...) he's been making more and I love them so much I'm now making them myself. They are our take on the Damn Fast Awesome Pickles recipe from the epic Grillstock BBQ book. Perfect for cutting through rich fatty BBQ meats but you can serve them with literally anything from a fish finger sandwich to a charcuterie board. 

Microwave Rhubarb Curd

Monday, 1 June 2020
Looking for ways to use up a seasonal glut of rhubarb? When you've had enough rhubarb crumble it's time for Rhubarb Curd. The sharpness of the rhubarb works perfectly as a smooth buttery curd. Enjoy it on toast, scones, meringues, as a sponge cake filling in desserts and more. 

Rhubarb. Rhubarb. Rhubarb. I love the stuff. Literally can't get enough of it. When it's on a menu for desert I can't see past it. For many years I had a small clump in my garden but it never really did very much and only produced a handful of stems, barely enough for an annual crumble. Then we moved it to a different spot and now it flourishes. Another of my loves is curd. For years I thought it only came in lemon however there are a whole range of recipes out there for many more exotic flavours. Here's my Rhubarb version.


Shop Local and Home Delivery in Aberdeen/shire during Covid 19 lockdown

Tuesday, 26 May 2020
16th June 2020 - Stay Loyal Stay Local
After 13 weeks of constant updates, I've just made my final weekly amendments to this listing and won't be updating it further moving forward. 

Many of you have told me how useful it has been but as we ease into a 'new normal' and places reopen it's now served it's initial signposting purpose. However as the supermarket shelves are once again full, do keep in mind who/where was able to feed you when the usual supply chain broke down. Please continue this local support and direct connection with talented food and drink producers and retailers going forward. #StayLoyalStayLocal

We're in the midst of strange times at the moment and one of the things that has become apparent is how well local producers and food businesses across Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire have stepped up to the mark to offer delivery and collection services.

To try and help folk track down what's available in the area I created a post on my Facebook  page with a list of local businesses selling and delivering groceries etc  This grew arms and legs and escalated in size and sale very quickly. Facebook only allows you to tag up to 50 pages in a post so I had to include lots of unclickable links. My initial list was based on geography and as the situation developed and lockdown commenced it became apparent that may not be the best classification and that the facebook post despite being seen by thousands and shared by hundreds was somewhat unwieldy.

Cue this new blog post where I've compiled an updated list by category of foodstuff of where in Aberdeen/shire you can shop local for your groceries and/or have them delivered. This list is for groceries only not take away or cakes/sweets etc (with the exception of afternoon teas as folk keep messaging me about that) In current circumstances this list is ever changing and is by no means comprehensive. There will be errors, there will be omissions and for that I can only apologies. I'm doing this entirely off my own bat just to try and support local businesses and help both them and those of us who are doing the right thing by social distancing, isolating or shielding.


Slow Cooked Scotch Beef Chilli Con Carne

Sunday, 24 May 2020
Post in collaboration with The Scotch Kitchen

Cook once, eat twice with slow cooked scotch beef chilli con carne. This one pot dish can be made in a slow cooker, oven or on top of the stove - the longer you cook it the better it will be. Once you've tried Scotch beef shin you'll never go back to mince in your chilli con carne. 

Whilst we find ourselves having to stay home I'm delighted to continue to work with The Scotch Kitchen to bring you a Scotch Beef recipe that you can cook once and eat twice (or more!) and/or pop in the freezer. Rather than use mince to make chilli I opted for beef shin which brings a whole new dynamic of flavour and unctuousness to the dish. Once you've tried it you'll never go back to mince in your chilli con carne. 


Scottish Tattie Scones

Friday, 15 May 2020
Leftover mashed potato becomes something truly amazing when you turn it into Scottish Tattie Scones. This super quick and easy recipe - a full Scottish breakfast staple - is the perfect way to love food, hate waste and use up leftover mash. 

Love food hate waste? NEVER throw out leftover mashed potatoes. Homemade tattie scones are the best! Ideal for breakfast, brunch, brinner, constant lockdown snacking... Lots have been being made in this household in recent weeks. I'll even confess to making extra mash for the sole purpose of having leftovers. I'm going to need winched out of the house once this situation is over. The 'recipe' is actually really simple. To be honest I don't even follow one any more. There are already a couple of variations of it on my blog which I'll link to below but flour, tatties and butter made into a dough and fried will work. I've also been going freestyle on the shape. Prior to these unprecedented times I always made triangles but I'm currently using a scone cutter for circular ones. I may even break out some fancy cookie cutters and make star shaped, unicorn or dinosaur versions.

Cheese and Red Pepper Scones

Thursday, 30 April 2020
Classic cheese scones with a piquant twist. These cheese and red pepper scones are ideal with a cuppa or as an accompaniment for soup. A melt in the mouth savoury treat. Warm cheese scones and cold butter - is there anything better?

These scones have been made many times by my daughter Iona and were a big hit at my Kitchen Table for Maggie's fundraiser last year. They are based on a recipe she made as part of her Nat 5 Practical Cookery course. Sadly because of covid-19 she won't have the opportunity to sit either the written or practical exam for this, but during lockdown she's been putting her cookery and baking skills to very good use. Each time she's made a batch of these scones and I've shared them on my Instagram stories I receive DM's asking for the recipe so it's about time I got it up on the blog.

Oh so cute Oatcake and Cheese Easter Chicks

Friday, 10 April 2020

Biscuits and cheese with a seasonal twist. These chirpy Easter chicks are the perfect healthy snack to combat chocolate egg overload. Cute Easter eats that are fun for all the family - it's time to play with your food! 

I really can't call this a recipe. I guess at the most it counts as a serving suggestion. What it really is however is TOO CUTE. And at the moment we all need a bit of cuteness and fun in our lives. Whilst Easter is for many all about the chocolate, for those of us with a more savoury tooth recent years have seen the emergence of Cheester eggs. But which came first - the cheese chicken or the cheese egg?

InterContinental Edinburgh - The George, Printing Press Bar & Kitchen - Review

Monday, 16 March 2020


Review post in collaboration with InterContinental Edinburgh The George

InterContinental Edinburgh The George Hotel combines luxury, history, modern comforts and great Scottish food and drink. Located in the heart of Edinburgh's New Town encompassing The Printing Press Bar & Kitchen and Burr & Co. coffee shop. The staff are the real jewel in the crown of The George delivering outstanding hospitality from the moment you step through the doors.

Edinburgh is choc-a-block with gorgeous buildings and InterContinental The George Hotel is no exception. At its heart are five listed Georgian townhouses, originally built in 1775 as homes for Edinburgh’s most prosperous citizens, but since 1881 have been welcoming hotel guests. As such it was a real treat to follow in the footsteps of so many visitors to Edinburgh over the years and stay in one of the sumptuous suites at the front of the hotel overlooking the fluttering flags and the hussle and bussle of George Street. 


SKIPPY® Peanut Butter Breakfast Muffins

Friday, 28 February 2020
Post in collaboration with SKIPPY® Peanut Butter

Celebrate Peanut Butter Lover's Day on 1st March with SKIPPY® Peanut Butter Breakfast Muffins. Packed full of protein they are the perfect way to start your day. Bite sized, super quick and easy to make and great fun for kids to help with in the kitchen.  Ideal for a grab-and-go breakfast, mid-morning snack or afternoon treat.

1st March 2020 is officially a day for Peanut Butter Lovers, a full 24 hours to celebrate one of the world’s most popular spreads. As a huge fan of peanut butter this is one themed day I can most definitely get behind. For the ultimate ‘peanutty’ enjoyment, America’s original SKIPPY® Peanut Butter has a heritage which spans more than 80 years, is enjoyed by millions stateside and is now on UK supermarket shelves. 

Are you team smooth or team crunchy? I'm crunchy all the way! 
SKIPPY® Peanut Butter offers both with Extra Smooth ground especially fine so it melts in the mouth or Extra Crunchy which contains large peanut pieces in a deliciously creamy mix.

All you need to know about Aberdeen Restaurant Week February 2020

Thursday, 20 February 2020

Post in collaboration with Aberdeen Inspired

I'm delighted to again be partnering with Aberdeen Inspired as an official ambassador for the February 2020 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 both 2018 and 2019. February see's its fifth incarnation which takes place from Monday 24 February until Sunday 1 March 2020. 

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 24th February until Sunday 1st March 2020.

Christmas in New York

Wednesday, 19 February 2020
Christmas in New York is when the best NYC attractions become even better with the addition of twinkling lights, ice skating, giant nutcrackers, the Rockettes, window displays, spectacular trees and holiday markets. It's the most wonderful time of the year and it stretches from Thanksgiving through until January.

Christmas in New York. It's the thing that dreams - and movies are made of! Alas it was not to be as my daughter refused to even consider Christmas away for home so we had to settle for a compromise. New Year in New York. Suffice to say we had an absolutely amazing time. A wee sprinkling of snow would have been the icing on the cake but unfortunately the weather didn't oblige. Lots of my followers on social media came on holiday with us and followed our New York adventures on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. (I've saved all my IG stories as NYC Highlights) This post is pretty much a diary of where we went and what we did plus some top tips picked up along the way. Its by no means a comprehensive NYC guide as on any trip to the city that never sleeps you are only ever going to scrape the surface. I'd totally recommend that you join both the NYCtheplacetobe and NYC - the page that never sleeps Facebook groups as they were a huge help to us when planning and on the ground. 


Valentine Rocky Road

Monday, 10 February 2020
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?

Haggis Neeps and Tatties Dauphinoise

Monday, 20 January 2020
Creamy dauphinoise potatoes with a touch of Burns. Layers of Scotland's holy trinity - haggis, neeps and tatties - combine to make a dish worthy of The Bard himself. Great with either traditional or vegetarian haggis. Serve with a dram and celebrate Burns Night in style. Gie her a haggis!

Tis the season for Haggis. Truth be told it's never out of season in this household but it always springs to prominence around Burns Night. (25th January for the uninitiated). I made Haggis Neeps and Tatties Dauphinoise for Burns Night last year but never got around to blogging the recipe. Time to rectify that oversight. The result definitely needs to be added to my Top 10 Haggis Recipes for Burns Night

Ye Pow'rs, wha mak mankind your care, 
And dish them out their bill o' fare, 
Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware 
That jaups in luggies; 
But, if ye wish her gratefu' prayer 
Gie her a haggis!

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