Get Stuffed Chronicles – Celebrations & Bad Bread

I initially started this series with the aim of it being a weekly feature on my blog. However, I’ll admit I’ve been struggling to find the time to ensure I get a decent post written each week! Honestly, I have around 6 blog posts I need to write & have been meaning to for almost 2 weeks now. Such a bad blogger but I’ll fully lay blame on my new role in work which is causing me to work longer hours! From now on, this will be a fortnightly round up rather than a blow by blow account of all the foodie things I’ve done & eaten! I’m also open to ideas on content that people would like to see. For example, if I remember, I’ll be including details of any new openings I’ve heard about.

Anyway back to business! It’s been a pretty busy past couple of weeks, both in & out of the kitchen. At the end of Feb, it was my husband’s birthday so we had a few days of celebrations as we both took some time off work. We headed up to Pitlochry, just north of Perth, to the luxurious Fonab Castle for an overnight stay. I won’t give away all the details about the castle as I’ve still got a review to write but let’s just say it was fabulous! The rooms were spacious & well furnished & the new spa building was lovely.

Being one of the highest rated hotels in the country, you would expect a great dining experience & we were not disappointed. I took the plunge & had venison for my main course which was a risk for me as I’d had it previously on a Hogmanay break a few years ago & did not like it at all. This time around, I savoured every bit of meat on the plate as it was delicious! I’m actually gutted as I feel like I’ve been missing out all this time! We even had a rare dessert with dinner as the choices were so good! And then there was breakfast the next day, with steak on the menu, I felt I couldn’t turn it down! Anyway, as I mentioned, not too many details here as I have a post coming (hopefully) this week.

fonab

The following evening we visited Opium in Glasgow for dinner. It’s a restaurant that’s been on my “must try” list for quite a while now, mainly due to their extensive list of dim sum on offer! We had a wonderful meal there & left with very full bellies! Another review that will be coming very soon.

opium

If you follow my blog, you will have seen that I received a foodie parcel from Spice Review with lots of wonderful spice mixes. From the mixes, I put together 2 really tasty dishes for dinner last week – Jamaican Jerk Chicken & Bombay Potatoes. Click on either link to receive the recipe for the dishes.

Jerk Chicken with Pineapple Rice

As the title suggests, I’ve been having some issues baking bread recently. Although I’m following recipes to the t, I’m finding that my loaves are coming out slightly underdone & smaller in size.  You might not see it but the loaf in the picture is actually still doughy in the middle.    I’m not 100% what’s happening but it is very frustrating. I’m laying full blame on the yeast as it’s a store brand type I’m using rather than Allinson’s yeast which I normally use. Ok, there’s clearly something else I’m not doing right, in terms of kneading enough or the oven not being pre-heated enough but for next time, I aim to have baked at least 2 decent loaves!

loaf

Baking has taken a bit of a back seat the past few weeks, in part due to me trying to lose weight (more on that another day). No point in baking treats if I can’t sample the goods! I do miss experimenting & have a cupboard full of baking goodies so it’s something I need to pick up again soon since I’m scared I’ll forget how to bake! I did make the gooeyist (is that even a word?!) salted caramel shortbread at my husband’s request for his birthday but didn’t take a picture as I wasn’t happy with how runny the caramel was.

I noticed last week that we hadn’t had a takeaway for dinner all February & figured that we should keep the moment going. That obviously doesn’t stop the odd notion for a takeaway so I took matters into my own hands on Saturday & created a fakeaway feast. I’ve made donner meat in the slow cooker several times (recipe soon) & it tastes just like the real deal but you know every ingredient that’s went into making it! I whipped up a batch on for dinner along with some kebab sauce, pitta bread, spiced onions, chicken tikka & bombay potatoes. It was indeed a feast & hit the spot perfectly! Who needs a takeaway?!

takeaywa

As promised, I’ll sign off with some new & recent openings I’ve been informed of recently:

  • Chimichanga, Silverburn Shopping Centre – I think this should be opening this weekend as I was invited to the soft launch this Thursday but unfortunately can’t make it
  • Bakery 47, Victoria Road, Glasgow – Bakery 47 have finally opened their long awaited bakery in the heart of the Southside. The opening hours vary day to day soI’d recommend checking their facebook page before venturing over
  • Meadow Road Coffee, Dumbarton Road, Glasgow – Meadow Road are the latest addition to the Partick coffee scene (and handily 2 minutes from my flat!). The opened their doors a few weeks ago & have recently started providing some tasty sounding sandwiches to go with the Dear Green Coffee & Bakery 47 cakes on offer.
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Get Stuffed Chronicles – The Food of Love

Or should that be the love of food? It’s been a busy couple of weeks on the foodie front (I know I’ve skipped a week) that involved some good meals & more foodie fails!

Valentine’s day was definitely a day of foodie love that started out in BRGR in Glasgow’s West End thanks to some amazing Tarantino themed specials they had posted on Facebook that seemed too good to pass up. Ok, and there may have been a bit of overindulgence the night before that needed mopping up! We opted for one each of the special – A Royale with cheese (as it sounds) & The Big Kahuna burger. Both burgers were amazing as were the sweet potato fries & ‘slaw we munched with it.

BRGR

That night we went to Porter & Rye for the first time since it opened. I won’t mention too much about it but it’s a MUST visit for steak lovers. You can read my review here.

Living in the West End of Glasgow has its obvious perks & one of them is the farmer’s market in Mansfield Park every couple of weeks. There’s a good range of produce from fresh bread, meat & fish to Spanish & Indian dishes. We visited the market & picked up, what I would class as the best burgers I’ve ever eaten, Hairy Beast burgers from Cedar Country Foods. The burgers are made from Highland Cattle & are the leanest burgers I have ever eaten. I swear, they are so moreish, you’ll be looking for more once you’ve finished one! We also picked up some fresh Tarka Dhal which has quite the kick to it from Jaldikatessan (sp?) & a monster scotch egg from Aye Love Real Food.Market Wares

There was obvious foodie excitement last Tuesday with Shrove Tuesday making its annual appearance. It’s strange how most people only eat and make pancakes once a year even though they are so delicious! As I’m watching what I eat, I opted to try out some pumpkin pancakes using Libby’s Pumpkin Puree. What a mistake that turned out to be! Instead of the wonderful, fluffy pancakes the recipe promised, I ended up with squishy, soggy pancakes. Such a disappointment! However, it has made me determined to try & find a decent, healthy eating friendly pancake recipe soon so I can enjoy a better batch.

Pancakes

At the weekend gone, I decided I would try to make kedgeree for breakfast whilst also whipping up a batc h of creme egg brownies (they are as amazing as they sound) & a loaf to take to lunch at our friends. Well, let’s just say sometimes you can take on too much & I very much so underestimated how much time I had! The kedgeree, made with oak smoked haddock from our fishbox,  was the only item I didn’t have an issue with! The brownies, which I made several times last year, were missing a vital ingredient – caster sugar! I completely forgot to put it in but thanks to the amount of sugar in the chocolate & the topping used, they still went down well with my taste testers. And looked quite good, even if I do say so myself! The bread did look like a nice loaf & was edible but because I didn’t have enough time to prove it & had to transport it whilst warm, it was quite doughy inside. Let’s just say I’m a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to baking & I’m not happy unless it’s 100% right!

Weekend Cooking

Foodie Bucketlist

There’s been a lot of chat this week in the foodie world about bucketlists with the Herald’s article of 15 Scottish foodie adventures & fellow foodie blogger Foodie Quine discussing Scottish foodie adventures on this week’s the BBC’s Kitchen Cafe. Needless to say, it’s got me thinking about my foodie bucketlist & experiences that I would like to have.

I’ve been fortunate to experience some of my foodie dreams already such as:

  • Eating chinese street food with the locals in Hong Kong
  • Wolfing down some Pad Thai at a Bangkok market
  • Dining in an authentic Spanish restaurant with a mountain of paella for our main
  • Al dente pasta under the stars in Rome
  • An evening of bowling & food in a retro bowling alley in Brooklyn

Taking inspiration from blogger Glasgow Mummy, a few months ago I created a 30 by 30 bucketlist of items I wanted to achieve before I turn 30 in a few years time (no sharing of what’s on that list here I’m afraid!). There are some foodies items on there that I’ve included here but I’ve now ended up with a whole other bucketlist, both of which will definitely keep me busy (and poor) for the foreseeable!!

Fish & Chips in Anstruther

Sometimes there’s nothing more wonderful than walking along the seafront, with the sun shining down, gulls overhead munching a bags of chips! Ok, ok this may be a bit idealistic of me as the sun shining down often only happens on a cold winter’s day. The Anstruther Fish Bar has won several awards of the years for their produce & it’s a no brainer that if you’re looking for a decent portion of fish & chips, this is the place to go.

fish

Have a picnic

I remember during my childhood going on family days out to Millport or a park & we would take along some rolls & crisps for our lunch. However, I’ve never had a proper picnic, the type were you have little plates, plastic glasses & lots of wee nibbles. Probably another idealistic foodie dream of mine but it’s one I’m hoping to achieve this year on one of Scotland’s gorgeous beaches or country parks.

picnic

Dine in Duck & Waffle at a ridiculous hour of the day

I’m a big an of Saturday Kitchen & Daniely Doherty, executive chef of the Duck & Waffle was a guest, discussing the concept of the restaurant. The Duck & Waffle is located on the 40th floor of a skyscraper in London, focussing on serving local & seasonal produce in a sharing manner, they are open 24/7. Being open all day, every day, there are obviously a story or 2 to be had about the restaurant (so much so they’ve even released a book) & the whole concept just sounded so cool, I instantly wanted to go. Another bucketlist item I’m hoping to achieve this year!

duck

Dine & Stay Overnight in Gidleigh Park

Gidleigh Park in Devon is a country house that is the home to the wonderful Michael Caines. Being one of my favourite chefs, I would absolutely love to have an overnight stay here & experience the tasting menu on offer. As it’s a five star hotel, I better get saving!

gidleigh

Learn how to make consistently good bread

I’ve dabbled a bit in bread making but it’s always a bit hit & miss, especially why I tried a sourdough starter. It’s obvious that I need to attend a real bread making course such as Richard Bertinet’s to get the advice & experience I need to get bread just right.

bread

Take part in an eating challenge

As with a lot of people, when Man vs Food hit the UK screens, I was hooked! His journey of travelling around America eating ridiculously sized portions was fascinating. I am a big spice fan & have those days where I can just eat for Britain so I think I’d be able to tackle some form of challenge that combines both. With more & more eating challenges popping up, I’m sure I’ll be able to find the perfect one soon.

challenge

Drink a pint of Guinness at the Guinness factory

A pretty generic one I know but Guinness is one of the few beers/stouts that I like. Plus it’s an excuse to finally visit Ireland!

guinness

Eat Real Mexican food 

If you haven’t already seen from previous posts, Mexican food is in my top 3 & I honestly cannot eat enough of it. Add on the fact that I have several Mexican Dia De Los Muertos tattoos (including a sleeve in progress), a trip to Mexico is definitely on the cards. I’ve also heard a lot of people who have either been to Mexico or are from America state that the Mexican food on offer in the UK is not a patch on the real mccoy – another excuse to head over!

mexican

Go Foraging

I toyed with the idea of foraging last year as we were gifted a sloe gin kit for our wedding by friends but have not put it to use yet. However, I have no idea how to go about it or where to go. I mean, do people really just go for a wander & pick what they see?! It’s something I think would be worthwhile doing, especially for speciality foods like wild garlic & sloes when they are in season.

forage

Eat an insect

This might seem a bit of an absurd bucketlist item but insects are a massive deal with millions, if not billions, of people eating them as part of their daily diet. When we went to Thailand & Hong Kong, I thought I would be greeted with lots of street food stalls laden with insects. Sadly, that was not the case so my hunt for trying authentic insect dishes goes on!

insect

I’d be intrigued to find out what’s on your foodie wishlist?