An afternoon filled with thousands of men* in kilts sounded good to me.
As you know, I love Scotland and any chance to celebrate it.
Yesterday’s inaugural Edinburgh Kiltwalk raised an estimated quarter of a million for charity.
Walkers opted for either a 13 mile or 26 mile route- taking in Cramond beach.
My Mum and sister took part this year (apparently I am doing it next year) so I met them at the finish line with baby bottles of prosseco.
Organisers had also staged a party tent full of Scottish bands.
The Kiltwalk was a magical event which displayed the generosity and tenacity of Scottish spirit.
How long is it til Independence?
*Ok, so there were a lot of women in kilts too. And handsome Scottish rugby player Chris Paterson.
Congratulations to everyone who took part- especially my family and my sister’s friends!
I can’t bring you sunshine, but I can bring you food with a summery feel.
The weather is finally getting near palatable for this time of year. And on rare days like the blissful Monday last week, thoughts turn to alfresco eating.
Potato salad spells summer, but is stodgy enough to fill you up if the weather doesn’t.
Shop bought potato salad can be a little greasy; my recipe uses half yoghurt for a fresher feel.
Serves four as a side dish
500g baby potatoes
1 red onion
200ml natural yoghurt
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar
1 bunch of mint
Wash the potatoes then boil them for 18 minutes. (Don’t bother peeling them.)
Allow them to cool a little.
Finely chop the onion and mint.
Mix all of the ingredients – bar the potatoes- in a big bowl.
Add the potatoes and stir thoroughly so they are all evenly coated with the mixture.
Serve warm or cold.
The potato salad goes well with my Lazy Girl’s Roast Chicken.
The Big C- it’s kinda scary, huh?
So scary you probably try to not think about it.
But the irrevocable truth is we all know someone who has suffered from cancer.
Personally speaking, both of my Grans did. Hell, the Big C even hit pop starlet Kylie.
Statistics tell us that around 40% of people will suffer from cancer at some point.
While there is no miracle food cure for cancer, the World Cancer Research Fund suggests there is strong evidence that a generally healthy diet and the consumption of certain foods can help minimise the risk.
With that in mind, I thought I would put together a few Cancer-Busting recipes.
My friend Louise, a science lecturer, did her PHD on the relationship between plant-based foods and cancer. She has brought her science brain to this post.
Image adapted from Cancer Chemoprevention with Dietary Phytochemicals
Here are just a few of her:
Cancer food superheroes
I thought I would highlight some of the recipes on my blog that use the superheroes, because who said healthy eating had to be rabbit food?
Pumpkin and Coconut milk soup
Green Tea rice
Thai vegetable broth
Red pepper and basil hummus
If you find these recipes helpful, please let me know and I will try to make Cancer-busting recipes a more frequent feature on my blog. Comment on this post, tweet me or facebook me.
My thoughts are with anyone who is affected by Cancer.
This was an impromptu recipe – or a “bung it”- as it is known in our house.
But the randomness led to possibly the nicest curry I have ever made.
Chockful of goodness, wheat free and dairy free. What more can I give you?
2 cans of coconut milk
75g of red lentils
1 pre-chopped onion
2 handfuls of spinach
1 large sweet potato
1 medium broccoli heart
juice of 4 limes
handful of fresh basil
2 tablespoons of soy sauce
6 dashes of Tabasco sauce
500ml vegetable stock
2 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon of cumin
6 lime leaves
In a large work, fry the onion, cumin and garlic in a little coconut milk for five minutes on a low heat.
Chop all of the vegetables into small chunks.
Add the sweet potato to the pan and fry for five minutes.
Add one can of coconut milk and half of the stock to the work and stir thoroughly.
Add the lentils and boil for 10 minutes.
Add all of the other ingredients, stir thoroughly and simmer for 25 minutes.
This is lovely served with my Green Tea Rice.
I had a little party at the weekend. Louise made vases full of frozen strawberry daiquiris (she said the jugs just weren’t big enough.)
I forgot to take any party photos as I was busy looking after my guests; but I do have a hangover recipe for you.
Everyone’s got their own hangover cure- and chances are each has some scientific basis. So here’s the science bit for my Baked Eggs with tomato and spinach gratin. Eggs apparently contain cysteine- something that helps break down a hangover causing toxin. The anti-oxidants in the tomatoes and spinach further make it a health winner. Enjoy it with a coffee, OJ or Irn Bru if you’re Scottish.
Baked eggs with tomato and spinach gratin (wheat free)
You will need
4 handfuls of spinach
handful of fresh herbs (I used thyme and basil)
juice of one lemon
Melt the butter and pour it into a flan dish.
Throw in the spinach and rub it around in the butter.
Build a layer of spinach.
Squeeze half the lemon juice over it, sprinkle half the parmesan over it and a little salt.
Slice the tomatoes and layer them over the spinach.
Sprinkle the fresh herbs and lots of black pepper over the tomatoes.
Gently crack the four eggs over the tomato layer. (Try to space the eggs evenly across the tomato layer.)
Sprinkle the remaining parmesan over the top.
Bake at 200 degrees for 10 minutes and serve immediately.
P.S. Can you let me know if you prefer the big photos I have used in this post? Or do the smaller ones I normally do load much faster?
Comment on this post, tweet me or facebook me. Thank you! X
A comforting and easy Friday night supper. Consume it in your jammies in front of the telly. Happy weekend, guys. X
2 chicken breasts
4 garlic cloves
12 sprigs of fresh coriander
Handful of basil leaves
Allow the butter to soften a little.
Finely chop the garlic, basil and coriander.
In a large bowl mix the butter with the garlic and herbs.
Season with salt and plenty black pepper.
Rub a little of the mixture all over each chicken breast.
Make two balls with the remaining butter.
Cut a slit through the middle of each chicken and stuff a butter ball in each.
Place on a baking tray and cook at 180 degrees for 20 minutes.
You might want to serve this with my Rosemary roast potatoes.
Many many years ago, Louise and I made some memorable daiquiris. We tried to recreate them on Saturday night as a prelude to Denise’s bon voyage party.
DD is moving to Canada to make a new life for herself, brave girl.
This meant Louise and I were loosely in fancy dress as we created the cocktails. Louise was a special agent from a Canadian TV show- tenuous fancy dress, I know. And I was just, well, Canada.
Makes 6 cocktails
2 punnets of strawberries
3 cups of ice
2 freshly squeezed limes
200ml triple sec
100ml white rum
2 cups of grape juice
Crush the ice in a food processor.
Share it between six glasses.
Put the rest of the ingredients into the food processor and and blitz to a fine pulp.
Share the mixture between the glasses.
Garnish each cocktail with a fresh strawberry.
Green tea rice
2 mugs of rice
8 green tea bags
4 tablespoons of lime juice
1 large disposable tin box
Make 4 mugs of green tea using two teabags per cup. Allow to brew for 5 minutes.
Put the rice in the tin box and pour the tea over it.
(The rice will expand in size while cooking, so make sure there is enough room in the box to account for this- if necessary, use two boxes instead of one.)
Place in the oven at 180 degrees /gas mark 4 for 20 minutes.
Serve with the lime juice drizzled on top.
The girls pronounced this the best pudding I have ever made.
The caramel cream definitely gave it an edge over the average banoffee pie. However, it also make the pie softer- so it didn’t set as well as my plain cream banoffee pies normally do. So if you want a more delicious but messier pie, opt for my caramel cream version. If not, put a couple tablespoons of brown sugar through the cream instead of the caramel.
1 tin of Carnations caramel
400 ml whipping cream
2 chocolate flakes
8 Hob Nobs
75g brown sugar
a springform cake tin
Melt half of the butter in the microwave and use a little to grease the base and sides of the tin.
Crush the Hob Nobs and digestives in a food processor until they are chunky crumbs. If you’ve not got a food processor, you can use the crushy bag method.
In a large bowl, mix the crushed biscuits with 100g of melted butter.
Pour this mixture into the tin and use our hands or a spoon to pat down into a firm layer.
Tip half of the caramel onto the biscuit base and smooth down with a knife.
Slice the bananas – try to do even slices- and place on top of the caramel.
You want to make a full layer of bananas across the caramel.
Tip the rest of the caramel over the bananas and smooth with a knife.
Use an electric whisk to beat the cream until it’s stiff.
In a small saucepan, heat the remaining 100g of butter until it’s melted.
Sift the brown sugar into the pan.
Keep the mixture on a low heat for about five minutes, stirring frequently.
Allow the mixture to cool for a few minutes, then add to the cream and whisk again.
Spoon the caramel cream mixture onto the banoffee pie. Use the back of a knife to get a smooth layer.
Crumble the chocolate flakes across the top.
Chill in the fridge for at least six hours before serving.
“We’re having a baby!” Vicky texted.
What she meant was, our group of girlfriends is vicariously having one.
It’s Evelyn who is doing the actual giving birth bit.
I saw her the other night- and even though she didn’t believe me when I told her- she looked luminous. All big brown eyes and shiny chocolate hair.
It seems only a heartbeat since it was Evelyn’s wedding and we were walking down the aisle, with our floor-length dresses and anemones.
And now she’s having a baby.
Sometimes it feels like life is on fast-forward.
But I want the next few months to somehow pass slowly so that she and her husband can catch every moment and keep it.
Life throws a lot at a girl and it’s not always been the easiest journey for Eves.
But just a few months will bring every promise swaddled in a soft white blanket.
At last…life is like a song.