Where to Eat

Food: The Ultimate Breakfast Smoothie

If you’re anything like me in the morning, breakfast is a total drag. Each morning entails of a mammoth list of things to get done: The kids need to be dressed and fed – this is usually a battle of wills. I need to shower, find suitable work attire, and get through my make up routine. All whilst CBeebies is blaring in the background. I know I’m running late if I can hear the Furchester Hotel theme tune playing whilst I’m applying my foundation. It’s all pretty hellish.

I am a HUGE fan of breakfast/brunch when I have the time. I am more than happy to frequent any number of local Edinburgh establishments for brunch. I could in fact recommend any number to you if you so required. But on a weekday – I will not be sitting down to eat unless a snow storm has hit the city and closed all routes to work.

My compromise is to take a smoothie in my travel mug. I’ve refined a recipe that is not only delicious, but super good for you as it’s packed with antioxidants and high in vitamins and minerals. Maybe I am winning at the breakfast game after all?!Read More »Food: The Ultimate Breakfast Smoothie

Food: Baby-led weaning muffins

I’ve been reminded recently of the Burn’s quote, the ‘best-laid plans of mice and men oft go astray’. I had in my mind that introducing food to Baby T would be a doddle – I waited until he was six months, I attended a brilliant and informative class… but he really was not interested in anything I was giving him.

Stuff on a spoon was met with disgust and something put on a tray quickly discarded. Obviously, I kept trying but really we were making very very slow progress,  if any. Thankfully, I got in touch with Tricia from Nurture Me – I’ve written about her class before – but I was reminded of how reassuring she was and how good it can be to have someone to turn to for advice.

Tricia suggested that I try offering Thomas food at different times of the day as we had been generally trying only at dinner time. This made sense as we were all at the table eating, but I had totally failed to take into account how tired he was by this point in the day.Read More »Food: Baby-led weaning muffins

Food: My perfect dinner party

Who would you invite to your perfect dinner party? It’s an age old ice breaker question but the answer reveals so much about a person.

Some people go to extremes and opt for historical figures like Hitler (Why?!) or even Jesus – some I’m sure would want to challenge him about atrocities committed in the name of religion whilst others look for the meaning of life. It’s an old game but one I’ve been considering recently.Read More »Food: My perfect dinner party

Food: Gâteau au yaourt

It’s been a while since The Great British Bake Off has brought weekly joy to my life and of course, baking inspiration. The arrival of January,  in which so many want to watch their weight, has brought my motivation to make cake to a low point. Gâteau au yaourt doesn’t count in my mind as it contains yoghurt which is obviously healthy!

The more astute among you would have noticed from last week’s ‘day in the life of’ post that I’m currently reading ‘French kids don’t throw food.’ Although I’ve read this before,  as I approach weaning with Thomas, I’m keen to remind myself of different cultures and the way they do things. This book, written by  Pamela Druckerman (an American) , is an account of living in Paris and the many differences she encountered in how people raise their children. It’s a good read and a nice reminder that there is not one ‘right’ way and that’s it’s good to keep an open mind.

In one chapter she noticed at a friend’s house that her small daughter was making cake by herself. Whilst the age wasn’t specified, I thought it would be nice to see how Ben and Katie would get on with her suggested recipe for – Gâteau au yaourt aka yoghurt cake.

Aside from being something of an experiment with the kids, I also wanted to make it dairy free so decided to sub in coconut milk yoghurt for full-fat dairy yoghurt. I have no idea if this was the cause of things not going quite to plan:Read More »Food: Gâteau au yaourt

I. J. Mellis Cheese

I have a confession. I have never eaten turkey for Christmas dinner… and I hope I never have to.

As my Dad couldn’t eat white meat, we never had a traditional Christmas dinner growing up. After trying turkey as an adult – I can’t really understand why people would!

Our Christmas meal evolved over a number of years and I now mimic a version of it with my own family (who certainly aren’t complaining!).Read More »I. J. Mellis Cheese

Food: Free from Fairy Cakes

I’m not about to start disclosing my daughter’s full medical history, which would be long, boring and a bit grim at times, but suffice to say – she has a number of food intolerances. At one point we were entirely off dairy, but had begun to re-introduce it in the hope that her gut had matured a little more. Unfortunately, this doesn’t seem to have been the case and we’ve been referred back to the children’s hospital again. Whilst we begin the months of waiting for an appointment, we will need to manage Katie’s diet as closely as possible but that’s no excuse to exclude fairy cakes!

After keeping a food diary for the last couple of weeks, we’ve decided to not only cut all dairy again but also to try and cut her gluten intake. Supermarkets have such superb ‘free-from’ sections now, this isn’t actually that much of an inconvenience. However, it’s still fun to do baking at home and pretty easy with help from Doves Farm – the provider of all good gluten-free cooking goodies in this house!Read More »Food: Free from Fairy Cakes

Food: Comforting Chocolate Brownies

Bleak, wet weather calls for one thing… Comfort food! Ordinarily, I’d be heading to my local Starbucks for a latté and chocolate fudge brownie but as it’s ‘No Spend November’ I needed to get a bit more creative with stuff lurking in my cupboards!

Chocolate brownies are really pretty simple in terms of ingredients – all you need are eggs, butter, flour, sugar and of course chocolate. I also like to add vanilla essence and chopped walnuts but as I didn’t have these in store, I figured it doesn’t make that much difference! Cooking chocolate is obviously very bitter so a lot of recipes call for a lot of sugar to balance this out but I’ve found no one has ever complained when I’ve reduced the sugar – kids included!Read More »Food: Comforting Chocolate Brownies

signature bake

Food: Signature Bakes

What does the acronymn GBBO mean to you? If it doesn’t conjure pictures of cake, bread, pastry and Mary Berry goodness, then Iet me try to educate you! Bake Off signals a happy time of year for me, it’s TV where people are genuinely nice to each other (even with last year’s bin gate) and it’s really hard to watch without feeling a little happy by the end. Also, it’s a time of year that I get baking again.

I find it very hard to watch the GBBO without wanting to get in the kitchen and try recipes out for myself. A few years ago my Mum and I decided that we would  challenge each other to make one thing from each episode. It could be our own take on whatever it was but would have to generally follow the rules of the episode. We had to be honest about how everything went, take photos and occasionally have family members chip in but then we would come to a mutual decision about who won that week. Our friend Craig soon joined in and this year, despite the arrival of baby Thomas five days before the first episode – we baked along with Bake Off.
Read More »Food: Signature Bakes