24 March 2014

Eaten at | Bread Meats Bread

Have you ever seen such a wonderful bowl of heaven?

Thought not. 

I have Bread Meats Bread to thank for my introduction to this gloriously devilish combination, but more on that in a little bit. 

Getting itchy feet in good ol' Stirling Aidan and I caught a train and headed to Glasgow for a morning of pay-day shopping and good food. 

Having heard about how amazing Bread Meats Bread was we decided to head over and check it out for ourselves.

We knew we had hit the spot as we walked in to be greeted by the most delicious smells! After waiting to be seated (walk in only policy but we waited no more than 5 minutes) we plumped for a pitcher of beer.

Luckily we did as as soon as the drink arrived the power went out! The staff kept us up to speed and, although it meant we waited longer for our burgers, we were quite happy sipping on beer and chatting away until the power came back on. 

And wow were we glad we waited!

Aidan had ordered the House Blend - Full House, a burger comprising of three cuts of quality dry aged Beef, American Cheese, Smoked Brisket, Gravy, Pickles and Sauce.

The pictures speaks for themselves...

I chose a Black Label Burger made from special cuts of dry-aged Beef and chose the 'Red & Black' which came with Smoked Brisket in a Sirachi & BBQ sauce with Cheese and Pickles. 

We also ordered Poutine, remember that heavenly bowl of goodness from earlier? Well here it is in all its triple-fried-chips, gravy, cheese curd, burger topped glory.

The bowl was never ending and, despite our best attempts, we just couldn't get to the bottom of the gravy soaked chips.

After paying the bill (just £25! Minus the pitcher of beer to say sorry for the powercut) we dragged our burger stuffed bellies back to Stirling for an afternoon nap, followed by more beer. It was a Saturday after all!

If you're ever in Glasgow make sure you eat here, you'll be missing a trick if you don't!

17 March 2014

Eaten at | Toast

Following an energetic evening of dancing, eating, chatting and dancing at macrobert's gala evening Aidan and I were exhausted and treated ourselves to brunch (it was more like lunch/dinner - linner?!) at our favourite little cafe Toast!

I went for the full Scottish breakfast, it hit the spot and I felt very chipper after! I only wish there had been some black pudding...

However there was perfectly dippable egg, my favourite!

Aidan went for his favourite - french toast with bacon and maple syrup, at the rate it disappeared I assume he enjoyed it too!

 After breakfast Aidan dashed off to another social engagement and I went for a food-induced afternoon catnap, a perfect Saturday afternoon!

15 March 2014

Been to | macrobert gala evening

Last weekend I was invited to the annual macrobert gala evening, a black-tie event celebrating everything about the art's centre based on Stirling's campus.

As we approached we were greeted by a huge mirror ball projection on the roof!

After walking the red carpet we were directed to champagne and canapes and chatted whilst being serenaded by an amazing pianist and entertained by an incredibly talented magician.

Everyone was dressed in their finery

Even Aidan had been persuaded to trade his usual gym uniform for a suit and tie.

After a few glasses of champagne and cocktails were seated for the show, a mixture of some amazing acts including; Company Chordelia in association with Scottish Opera, All or Nothing Aerial Dance Theatre and the Loveboat Big Band this was combined with speeches and the famous raffle, my usual luck was with me and we didn't win anything!

 After the show we were treated to veggie chillie and more music from the amazing Loveboat Big Band.

They wandered away and, like children in the pied piper, we followed. A tiny corridor opened up onto the stage! Where the band was set-up and we danced the night away.

I would like to say we were the last to leave but we succumbed to sleep around 1am, leaving the hardcore dancers to finish the night without us!

14 March 2014

Health | Cut Those Cravings

So I'm sat at my desk and all I can think about is a big packet of crispy, salty Kettlechips

I'm sure you have all had that feeling, when you feel like you can't go on unless you satisfy that craving. But then the angel on your shoulder wakes up and reminds you that you're eating clean for that holiday in the summer...

Decisions, get rid of the craving or stay healthy?

Well I've been doing some reading and, you can thank me later, you can now do both!

Below are your cravings translated into what they really mean, and how you can bust them without relapsing into junk food!


Craving Sweets? Feeling tired or under-the-weather?
Your body needs Chromium (involved in carbohydrate, fat, and protein metabolism and enhances the actions of insulin) eat Grapes, Broccoli, Cheese or Chicken! Here is a great recipe that involves Cheese and Chicken. Mmmm...

Craving Crisps? Feeling stiff or sore?
Your body needs Calcium (which helps grow strong bones and regulates muscle contractions), eat Cheese, Legumes and Sesame seeds to combat those cravings!

Craving Chocolate? Feeling anxious or tired?
You need more Magnesium in your life! Get it by eating Nuts, Seeds, Fish and Leafy Greens.

Craving Bread? Feeling fatigued?
You need more Nitrogen (this makes proteins in your DNA, muscles, blood and hair) You can get it from amino acids in protein rich food so boost your levels by eating Fish, Meat, Nuts and Beans!

Craving Fizzy Drinks? Feeling irritable or achey?
You need Calcium! Eat Cheese, Broccoli or Kale to boost your levels!

If you need some inspiration on how to work these foods into your diet check out my recipes - I cook with these everyday (ignore the cakes).

10 March 2014

Recipe | Easy Peasy Pesto

Pesto and I got off to a bad start. 

I can't stand the jars of shop bought pesto and for many naive years I thought that was all pesto had to offer. 

So we said our farewells and went our separate ways.

Until now! I was craving something herby and cheesy for dinner and decided to give pesto one last chance to woo me. And oh boy did it woo me! 

This recipe gives an incredible burst of herby, garlicky flavour and the parmersan packs just the right amount of punch.

For 2 portions you'll need:
1 large handful of basil leaves
1 clove of garlic (diced)
4 dessert spoons of olive oil
2 dessert spoons of parmesan
Small handful of pinenuts
Grind of pepper
Pinch of salt
Squeeze of lemon

Pop all of your ingredients in a blender (or pestle and mortar) and blend until well combined. I always find I need to add small amounts of parmesan/basil depending on how I want it to taste - the type of parmesan and the freshness of the basil will affect the flavour so taste as you go! A motto I like to live by...

I love my pesto served simply with grilled chicken and spaghetti, how will you have yours?

5 March 2014

Recipe | Bloody Mary Salsa

I am currently in the middle of a huge bloody mary obssession, it started a few years ago and has waxed and waned ever since.

After moving to Stirling, a dead-zone where bloody marys are concerned, my cravings reached new levels. You always want something you can't have right?!

I decided to take it upon myself to get my bloody mary fix and, armed with all the necessary ingredients, have been happily gorging on the virgin kind all week.

That was when it struck me - what if you could make a bloody mary into a dish?

And voila, here it is! The bloody mary salsa, I had mine with feta cheese and steak but I'm 100% it'll go with anything! It is, after all, the little sister of the liquid kind which we all know goes with everything!

For 1 serving you'll need:
5-6 diced cherry tomatoes
1 diced shallot
1 large pinch of celery salt
4-6 splashes of Tabasco sauce (depends how hot you want it)
A dash of Worcestershire sauce (again, adapt to suit your taste)
A grind of pepper

Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl, preferably leave to sit for an hour to let the flavours really come together.

Serve with chopped coriander and a squeeze of lime for freshness.

I enjoyed mine with a rare steak and feta cheese - what will you have yours with?

2 March 2014

Recipe | Peanut Butter & Banana Pancakes

This recipe sprung into my head during an incredibly lazy day.

You know those days when you don't want to get out of bed for fear of being faced with empty cupboards and no food?

Today was that day, I love banana pancakes and knew they would satisfy my incredibly rumbly tummy,  and I had the ingredients (bonus!). But what with? 

Then I spied a jar of peanut butter in my cupboard, perfect!

This makes enough for two and is a 'chuck everything in a bowl and hope for the best' kinda recipe so its dead easy and it comes out a treat!

All you'll need for the pancakes are:
1 cup of self-raising flour
1/2 cup of caster sugar
1 egg
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 cup of milk
2 mashed bananas

For the peanut butter sauce:
2 spoons of peanut butter
1 spoon of golden syrup
4-5 spoons of milk (until you get a good saucey consistency)

Pop all your peanut sauce ingredients into a bowl and stir until combined and warmed through.

Stick all of the pancake ingredients into a bowl and mix until well combined. Fry in a frying pan on a medium heat.

Dollop the sauce on top and serve with icing sugar, maple syrup and extra banana!

Tuck in!

1 March 2014

Review | Jam Jar

Stirling has a distinct lack of restaurants. There are loads of pubs that serve food, a few bistro cafes and plenty of takeaways. What there aren't are places you would take your granny, have a first date or go for a nice catch-up with friends. 

Until now. 

B and I headed 'out of town' and up to the yummy mummy eutopia that is Bridge of Allan for a cosy catch-up and some good food at Jam Jar - the latest haunt of the BOA pack.

Yes, I'm slightly behind the times and Jam Jar has been open for a good few months but I'm here now and that's all that matters. 


Walking in we knew we had hit the spot. Tartan chairs, log fires and wood clad walls. It was cosy, comfy and full enough that we didn't feel like two lemons.

 The menu was huuuuge!

I was so torn between a good few things but as soon as my food arrived, I knew I had done good.

B ordered the soup of the day, an incredibly fresh looking broccoli and spinach soup with fresh bread. Unfortunately she hoovered it up far too quickly for me to take a snap!

I ordered popcorn prawns with a lemon and garlic dip.

The prawns were beautifully cooked, the tempura batter crispy and not greasy and, although I'm easily pleased with garlic dips, it was definitely up there as one of the best!

Next came burgers. B's was a hamburger with purple, creamy coleslaw and chunky chips. 

Fittingly, all the sauces were served in various types of jam jars.

Mine, my go-to in any restaurant; pulled pork but this time with a caramelized onion relish, a beautiful dripping gravy and chunky, crispy chips. The side salad, which I usually get underwhelmed by, was picked up with lentils and a fresh dressing. My only niggle was that the roll wasn't warmed!

Having wholly ditched the gym for the day I decided to go the whole hog and have my all-time favourite Sticky Toffee Pud! 

It doesn't look like much but oh boy, was it good!