Get Stuffed Chronicles – Bringing the Bake Back

As the title suggests, I’ve found my baking bug again. Last year, I did several fairs which involved spending 1 full day & at least 3 nights a week baking. I think it was a bit of overkill for me as 50% of the time, the fairs were quiet & it was quite disheartening given the amount of effort I put in. Since Christmas I haven’t really done much baking so decided to sort that out the other week.

Since Easter is around the corner, I decided for Mother’s day to bake a couple of seasonal goodies. I’ve always fancied trying hot cross buns, even though I’m not a big fan myself. I did not realise how long they took to make! Honestly, they require more proving than your average loaf!! However, after a labour of love, I produced my first ever batch of hot cross buns that I was very pleased with. I think longer proving would have improved the size of them but they were scoffed down by family which is always a good sign.

My sister had given me the idea of making mini egg brownies as I already make creme egg brownies. Mini eggs are pretty much the only Cadbury’s product I love so it was a no brainer! Of course the baking gremlins had to ruin this idea! I used my go to brownie recipe from the Hummingbird Bakery (if you’re ever in London, pay them a visit!) but with my focus being too much on the hot cross buns, I didn’t put my oven to the right temperature. This meant a batch of what looked like cooked brownies but they were all gooey & underbaked inside. That said, my husband & sister still ate some as they were still nice & chocolately if not the right consistency.

hot cross

This sunday I also tried a couple of experimental bakes with double choc m&m cookies & protein brownie. I was so pleased with the cookies & will be posting the recipe shortly. I’m on a weight loss journey at the moment (I won’t bore you with details) so decided that the recipe for protein brownies from Mike Samuels of Healthy Living, Heavy Lifting sounded worth a shot. For me, since I’m used to making “real” brownies, the consistency of these was too weird. It was a sponge-like texture & tasted a bit strange. That said, once mixed with a bit of agave syrup, greek yoghurt & berries, it was perfectly edible. Further experimentation is required for this one…

cookies

It’s not all been about the bakes in the world of Get Stuffed! I actually have eaten at 2 restaurants I’ve not been to before – Butchershop & Ichiban. However, on both occasions I was not in blogger mode so did not take any pictures of my meals to share. Shock horror I know! Sometimes it’s not all about the food but about the company & having a good meal with friends, which both of these occasions were so it completely slipped my mind to take pictures.

For dinners recently, I have been really impressed with the quality of the dishes I’ve made using some BBC Good Food Recipes. I got a subscription to the magazine as a Christmas present & have been hooked ever since. The bonus is that a lot of the recipes are on the website too for ease instead of digging out old copies of magazines! Recently I’ve made Chicken Cacciatore, Dan Dan Turkey Noodles, Soused cabbage & Vietnamese Caramelised Trout. My favourite being the Chicken Cacciatore as it was so full of flavour, just like a dish from an Italian restaurant & so easy to make! (PS follow me on instagram @getstuffedbakes to see regular foodie photos)

dinner

Carrying on from the last time, here’s some foodie news & openings:

  • Gesso Lounge – a new coffee bar at Charing Cross
  • Chop Chop – Edinburgh’s well known authentic Chinese restaurant has opened a restaurant in Mitchell St
  • Nonna Gina’s – an Italian restaurant & bar opening in The Avenue in Newton Mearns, 26th March
  • Nic’s NYC Deli – They have converted the crepe a croissant on Byres Rd into another Nic’s. But fear not crepe lovers as this branch will also be serving some crepes.
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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

Get Stuffed Chronicles – Improving Each Day

Every month, I get a wonderful fish box from Coast & Glen that always has a good variety of fish. This helps when trying to do meals plans & experimenting with new recipes as you have to get your thinking cap on. This month’s box contained some squid which was a no brainer what to do with it – salt & pepper squid.

Handily, I had been given Jamie Oliver’s Comfort Food for my Christmas which featured a relatively simple recipe for salt & pepper squid. I have no idea what I did wrong but instead of lovely golden & aromatic squid, I was left with some chewy, anaemic squid. It was edible but let’s just say I won’t be in a rush to make this again!

squid

I had better success later in the week with Red Thai Pork that I made for the first time. It was a bit of a mish mash of a recipe as I had some red thai paste left. It all came together to make a lovely dinner, which I will post the recipe for later this week.

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This week coming is my sister’s birthday & she absolutely loves macarons. I had heard nothing but good things about Mademoiselle Macaron & her wonderful macarons. There was a slight problem with my plan of getting some for my sister in that I live in Glasgow & the shop is based in Edinburgh. A bit of a jaunt to go through just for some cakes. Then Billington’s in Lenzie came to my rescue as luck would have it, they started stocking the macarons last week!

Billington’s has been awarded best deli in Scotland by the BBC Good Food Show 2 years running & I met the lovely Mark & Sue at the show last year. When we entered the shop, I could see exactly why they had been awarded the prestige – it’s like an aladdin’s cave for foodies! They stock lots of small suppliers I have come across at shows but never seen their stock anywhere to buy. Aside from the macarons, I managed to contain myself & pick up some other goodies including Poporopo popcorn, some craft beers & possibly the best brownie I’ve ever tasted in my life from Woods. Honestly, this was a fudgey, salty, caramely piece of heaven (and I only had a couple of bites!!). I did state that I had to walk out with blinkers on so I didn’t buy more stuff! Definitely worth a trip out to Lenzie to see what they have in store.

billingtons

After my sunday dinner of goulash & tempranillo, the waffle maker broke its cherry & produced some half decent waffles! It was the first time I’ve ever made them so I knew they wouldn’t be up to belgian waffle standard but it is the goal!

sunday

PS if you haven’t seen my foodie bucketlist post, then why not?! Check it out here.