The Foodies Guide to Glasgow and the West

I was delighted to be asked by Fraser Wilson to contribute to his book. I met Fraser last year at a food blogging event at Butchershop Bar & Grill and not long after he emailed me to ask me to add a recipe to The Foodies Guide to Glasgow and the West.

Cue total panic.

While I love, love cooking, coming up with a recipe for publication was incredibly daunting and I emailed Fraser many times pestering him about what I should submit. I eventually went for a recipe combining a few of my loves – Scottish salmon and Japanese flavours to make salmon with miso pesto and sautéed sweet potato and kale. You’ll need to buy the book to get the recipe!

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He also interviewed me to introduce the bloggers section which was super cool (although nerve wracking, and he was writing in shorthand so I couldn’t check what he was writing down). Anyway, I didn’t have to worry as I’m delighted with the write up!

So, why should you buy the book?

Get on it!

 

Kitchen Tips & Tricks

One of my resolutions for the year was to really get back into home cooking – it’s a little all over the shop, if I’ll be honest! I started to compile a list of tips & tricks (aka kitchen lifehacks!) of things that help me out when cooking and I wanted to share them here. These might be super obvious but have been really handy revelations to me!

Listen! This is such a simple cooking tip but I never even realised how important was until I did a day at The Cook School in Kilmarnock. It makes life so much easier when you’re cooking away to have one (or two) ears focused on what’s happening on the stove – you’ll easily be able to tell if something if cooking at too high a temperature. I’m very much a multi-tasking cook so am normally chopping away, and really appreciate being able to tell if things are going wrong without constantly checking with my eyes.

How to open a coconut: I had a nightmare of a time recently trying to open a coconut. Nothing would work – I’d watched all the YouTube videos I could find and still, no coconut. I finally stumbled upon this trick. Drain the coconut through the eyes as usual (be careful not to stab yourself – I used a meat thermometer which I’m sure wasn’t the best idea). Heat your oven to 180 C and pop the coconut in for about 15 minutes. Remove using an oven mitt and hopefully it will have cracked. Then you’ll find getting the flesh out much easier!

The best way of cooking bacon: I’ve been cooking bacon in bulk recently, a whole packet at a time. It is so much easier to spread it out on baking paper and put it in the oven rather than pan fry it. I find it takes about 15 minutes at 200 C and the result is perfectly crispy bacon.   

The easiest way to cut bacon: This is definitely from a Life Hack I’ve read somewhere. Forget about chopping bacon with a knife – just get out the kitchen scissors and chop away. You can do about 4 slices at a time as well, saving time.

Keeping your herbs super fresh: I love herbs but hate the price and the waste. I decided to switch to packets of frozen herbs until I realised they really don’t have enough flavour. When re-reading The Stone Soup e-books I got a while back, I saw her tip for keeping herbs fresh. Simply use some, and pop the rest in a glass of water in the fridge. You’ll extend their life by quite a few days – I found coriander lasted for about a week when it was normally just 2 days.

Perfectly ripe avocado: I’ve fallen for the labels before – and always been disappointed. So much so that I’d stopped buying avo in the UK as it was never ripe the way I liked. Joanna Blythman’s fab book “What to eat” gave me the tip of putting avocados in the same bag as bananas to help them ripen. You still need to beware of oven-ripening but has now saved me from avo wastage.

Simple tips & tricks, but these have saved me lots of time & money! Have you got any great tips or tricks you’d like to share?

Yelp’s Gallery of Glasgow: on display!

Please excuse that this post is a little late!

You’ll remember my earlier post about Yelp’s Gallery of Glasgow and I’m super excited to announce that the winners have been chosen, the photos printed and framed and they are currently on display at Ubiquitous Chip! Pop along to the Brasserie and have a look at all 76 glorious photos – why not grab a drink and some delicious food while you’re there too?

Yelp’s Gallery of Glasgow

 

The prints are also up for sale if you want to buy a piece of Glasgow to enjoy at home!  Simply donate £10 per print to Glasgow Women’s Aid here: justgiving.com/yelpgallery

Make sure you include the details of which print you wish to purchase!

-All proceeds raised go to Glasgow Women’s Aid.
-Orders will be posted out within 7 business days by Royal Mail, first class.
-You will receive an unframed and unmounted print the same size as on display in Yelp’s Gallery of Glasgow.

Here’s all the photos on display on one easy Pinterest board to make ordering easy! bit.ly/orderyelpgallery

Be quick – the photos are only on display until Sunday 4 May – so get along they all disappear!

 

The Bellwether Giveaway – we have a winner!

Boom!

It’s Monday AND I remembered to draw the winner. I’m pretty chuffed with myself right now.

Fuck the Dishes!

The lucky winner of the tea towel is:

Carolyn says:
Yep – breakdancing is the best option in all emergencies! Congrats Carolyn, drop me a note via the “Contact Us” page with your address!

In case of emergency …

Thanks to all who entered. Don’t forget to pop back to The Bellwether for all your gifting needs – gifts for others, or best of all, gifts for yourself!
We’re jetting off to San Francisco so there’ll be a period of outage until we get back in mid-March. Til then, stay awesome and have an awesome Monday!

The Bellwether – and a giveaway!

I remember discovering The Bellwether (formerly Miso Funky) when I first moved to Glasgow and love their online shop. What do they do, I hear you cry. Well,

The Bellwether design and make cross stitch samplers with a modern twist. Our range includes framed samplers, coasters, tea towels, cross stitch kits and charts and accessories.

Through the magical connections of twitter I even ended up doing a wee stint as a stitcher for them!

My fridge is adorned with these awesome magnets:

The Bellwether magnets – 3 + tin for £18

And I’ve got my eye on this cute fox chart for when my craftspiration returns:

The Bellwether – fox PDF cross stitch chart £4

One of my favourites – and my life motto:

The Bellwether – be nice or go home kit £15

The Glasgow Food Blog has a tea towel from The Bellwether to give away to one lucky commenter! And it’s not just any tea towel – it’s a fuck the dishes tea towel! 

The Bellwether – fuck the dishes tea towel £10

All you have to do is comment on this post with what item you love on The Bellwether. So check out the online shop, and comment below! The competition will run until Sunday 23 February 2014. You can only enter once. I will do a post on Monday 24 February announcing the winner – you will need to get in touch with me with your details and if I don’t hear from you by Friday 28 February I’ll re-draw the prize. Only UK entries allowed.

New Openings in Glasgow – Part 2

Seems like you all loved the last round up of new openings so I thought I’d do a part 2 for places that have opened in the last 6 months! There’s an exciting bunch of places popping up on the southside as well, so please read on – and if you want full reviews, check out the Yelp links I’ve provided for my reviews.

City Centre: 

Bull Leader: Japanese all-you-can-eat where you get to do the cooking is let down by high prices and unappealing cuts of meat. I really wanted to love this place but paying £17.99 at lunch time and then having to cook the food yourself felt a bit like a rip off. Could definitely be a fun option for a group at dinner. 

Selection of meates

Bull Leader: a selection of raw meat for cooking at your table

Nic’s NYC DeliIn the site of the former Crepe e Croissant, this place has been getting rave reviews for a decent place to stop off for lunch. I’ve not made it along – yet.

Jacker de Viande: Another addition to Glasgow’s bursting burger scene. Surely we’ve reached saturation point? In happier news, I’ve heard good things about the burgers and they also do hot dogs.

Southside: 

No Way Back: This casual cafe on Nithsdale Road has an interesting menu showing off exciting dishes hard to find elsewhere in Glasgow. I tried the pulled pork taco and Jerusalem salad – and I’ve spied on Facebook that they’re trying out banh mi (Vietnamese salad roll) and cha siu bao (pork buns). Can’t wait to give these a try.

No Way Back: pulled pork taco

No Way Back: pulled pork taco

Cheer Me Up: I love the cute name and thankfully they are doing some seriously good fro yo as well. With great flavour options (passion fruit!) and toppings, it’s well worth a visit on a dreary day as you’ll definitely walk out with a smile.

Cheer Me Up: passion fruit fro yo

Cheer Me Up: passion fruit fro yo

Buddy’s RestaurantThe hugely popular takeaway ventured into a restaurant space. I’ll be honest – I was dubious, but following my meal here I was impressed. You can read my full review on Yelp but the poutine is a must-order dish. Since my visit I’ve heard a lot of mixed reports however, so be prepared.

Buddy's: Canadian poutine

Buddy’s: Canadian poutine

Southside Street Food Showdown: This pop-up night was hosted by The Glad Cafe (another fav of mine) with food being dished up by the amazing Babu Bombay Street Kitchen and Fire in Babylon (they do regular nights at Macsorley’s). And what a night it was – delicious food, great cocktails and impeccable service made for a wonderful night out. Please, please, please do another one soon.

Southside Street Food Showdown: Butter chicken by Babu

Southside Street Food Showdown: Butter chicken by Babu

Have you got any great new places to share? Post them below!