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.

Get Stuffed Chronicles – Getting Back on Track

I know, I know, I started a weekly roundup post last year & only ever did one post. I’m a bad blogger but the festive period came into full swing & it’s safe to say the blog was neglected for a while. More recently, I fractured my elbow which limited my typing but it’s on the mend so I have no excuses now.

As a result of the fracture, I’ve not been able to do any cooking or baking with the Mr having to make the dinner under my supervision! This week, however, I FINALLY was back in the kitchen. It was a special week as my dad turned the big 5-0. He had a special request for his birthday cake – a simple victoria sponge with raspberry jam & buttercream topped with water icing. I’ll admit I was a bit disheartened with the request as I wanted to do something extravagant but in all honesty, the cake was gorgeous & went down a storm! I did also sneak in a big cookies & cream cake to satisfy my desire to bake a big cake. It was taken from one of my Hummingbird bakery books & was delicious, albeit a bit too sweet for my own taste!

cake

With big birthday’s come good meals out too & we visited my most favourite restaurant, Bibi’s Cantina (see my previous review here). As usual, the meal was trememendous – I opted for veg chilli nachos which were overflowing followed by spicy shredded chipolte pork with all the trimmings. I couldn’t finish it all & ended up with a doggy bag!

bibi

On Sunday we had a free day & I had the urge to go to Seewoo, a massive Chinese supermarket in the North of Glasgow. I’ve never been before but had been told it’s a bit of an experience & I was not disappointed. As soon as we walked in, both of us said to each other “This smells like Hong Kong!” & we were instantly transported back to our holiday last year! Seewoo is amazing, full of weird & wonderful veg, all manner of frozen goodies, “pot” noodles as well as an array of cooking equipment. I managed to restrain myself & only pick up a few goodies – snacking seaweed (it’s much nicer than it sounds!), concentrate paste for chinese curry, sriracha & pickled chillies that I fell in love with in Thailand. We will be back soon though to pick up a steamer for making dim sum (my favourite!).

seewoo

A foodie bargain was had this week from Lidl where we picked up a waffle maker for £10!! I can’t wait to get experimenting & make some breakfast waffles this weekend as normal service resumes in the Get Stuffed kitchen 😀

Waffle Maker

Homemade Christmas Food Gifts

For regular readers, you may have read my post about Caledonian Hampers & their foodie gifts. Sometimes, however, the personal touch is best, especially when it comes to Christmas.

I’ve compiled a list of food gift ideas that you can make to give to your loved ones this Christmas. Given that there’s just under 4 weeks, all of these can be prepared in advance, whether it be weeks or a couple of days which gives plenty of time to be organised!

For jars to store things like jams & chutneys, I would highly recommend Ikea (if you can get to one) as they have jars from 80p that are ideal sizes for giving presents. Other places you can buy containers from are Hobby Craft, Lakeland, Argos, eBay & Amazon. To decorate your gifts, items such as festive ribbon & labels can add a personal touch. I got some beautiful ribbon from Hobby Craft which was £2 for 3 metres. BBC Food & Delicious Magazine both have amazing print off labels that you can use on jars or bags. BBC Good Food also have a handy guide on how to make a Christmas Hamper.

I’ve included what I think is a varied list, without going overboard (cutting it down was very hard). However, if you know of others, please let me know & I will update the list.