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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Product Review – Spice Kitchen

Spice Kitchen are a online company specialising in homegrown spice mixes. They recently sent out a request for bloggers to review their spices, which I put my hand up for.

I received a parcel from them containing a selection of their spice mixes. Before I even opened the package, there was a really strong aromatic smell coming from the package. This indicated to me that the spices used by Spice Kitchen must be of a high quality as you normally can never smell anything until you’ve opened the packet or jar!

Spice Kitchen sent me 8 of their spice mixes in small resealable pouches. The mixes I received were:

  • Mexican
  • Jerk
  • Garam Masala
  • Ras El Hanout
  • Chinese 5 Spice
  • Baharat
  • Panch Phoron
  • Sri Lankan Curry

I’ll admit some of these I had never came across such as Baharat & Panch Phoron but that just made me excited to try out something new! Once I’d had a good sniff of the mixes, I put my thinking cap on to figure out what I could make with a few of these mixes.

I opted for Jamaican Jerk Chicken made with the Jerk seasoning. In my recipe for the Jerk chicken, I opted to be conservative & use 2 teaspoons of the Jerk seasoning for the marinade. In my opinion, this was enough to get the nice smoky flavour associated with Jerk cooking. The seasoning is also not relatively spicy which makes it family friendly with the option to add more spice (like I did) if you desire.

The Panch Phoron, which is like an Indian 5 spice blend, I’ll admit I was unsure what I could use it with as I always use garam masala for curries. After a quick search, I came across a few ideas for bombay potatoes which went well with my idea for a “fakeaway” Saturday night feast. When sprinkling the spice mix over the potatoes, I honestly wished I was able to capture the smell for you as it was so aromatic & as strange as this may sound, smells exactly like what you would expect from Indian food. The potatoes were a hit! You can find the recipe here.

As a keen cook, I would definitely recommend the Spice Kitchen boxes as a unique gift for someone who likes to experiment in the kitchen. They provide sets of the spices in small pouches similar to the picture above that I received or if you’re looking for a more refined gift, they also provide cute wooden boxes with small jars of the spice mixes. And as I noticed when I was writing this they also have recipes if you’re stuck for ideas!

Disclaimer: Spice Kitchen provided the spice mixes for free & the review, suggestions & recipes as of my own accord with no outside influence.

 

Recipe: Jamaican Jerk Chicken with Pineapple Rice

Jamiacan Jerk Chicken with Pineapple Rice

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients (can be easily doubled)

Marinade

  • 2 tsp Jamaican Jerk Seasoning (you can make your own using this recipe
  • Red chilli – finely chopped (optional)
  • 2 tbsp dark soy Sauce (or any other soy if you don’t have dark)
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 chicken breasts, diced

Rice & Sauce

  • 150g brown rice (you can use white if preferred)
  • 1 Red Pepper – cut into small chunks
  • Small tin of pineapple chunks or rings – drained
  • 2 spring onions
  • Sweetcorn
  • 2 tbsp dark soy Sauce
  • 1 tsp Jerk Seasoning
  • tsp brown sugar
  • Red chilli – finely chopped
Macros Calories Carbs Fat Protein
Per serving, based on 2 servings 479 69 5 35

The night before or the morning of, you need to marinade the chicken. Put all of the marinade ingredients together & give it a good mix before adding in the chicken. Once the chicken is mixed with the sauce, put it in the fridge until you are ready to cook it. Tip: to really ensure the chicken is covered, I put my chicken in a tupperware tub & give the tub a good shake (or a shoogle as I call it) before putting in the fridge.

Marinading Jerk Chicken

For the rice, cook it as per the directions on the packet. You could also use some pre cooked rice like Uncle Ben’s for this to save time. While the rice is cooking, in a small pan, put in the soy sauce, brown sugar & jerk seasoning & bring to the boil. Take off the heat & put aside for later.

Jerk Sauce

Put the pepper & chilli into a frying pan & sautee for around 4 minutes. Next, add in the pineapple & cook until it starts to look slightly charred (brown around the edges).

Veg Prepped

Whilst the pineapple is cooking, heat a griddle or frying pan & add the chicken once hot. Using the sauce you created, baste the uncooked side of the chicken that you can see & turn after 2 minutes. Continue this basting & turning for another 2 times until the chicken is cooked through & you have a nice brown, charred look to the chicken.

Jerk Chicken

To your vegetables, add the spring onions & sweetcorn & cook for a minute before adding the rice & mixing it altogether.

Jerk Chicken with Pineapple Rice

Place the chicken on top of the rice & enjoy! We accompanied this with some salsa to add another kick to the dish.