A Scottish Foodie Car-cation

When I was young, we often took the ferry to France for our summer holidays. All four of us would clamber into the back of the car, elbowing each other and fighting to get the window seats. I always got the middle seat. My parents used to pack everything into our car, (winter and summer clothes, board games, even corn flakes), everything to keep us entertained and fed over the two weeks holiday. I haven’t taken the ferry since I was a child, so when I was offered a car-cation to Edinburgh with Stena Line, I jumped at the chance. More …

Cheese Canapes

This dish is kind of like an alternative cheese plate, a cross between cheese tapas, and cheese and crackers. As it’s summer, there is a huge array of delicious ripe fruit out there, so I decided to pair (pear!) them with some of my favourite summer cheese. This cheese plate looks so impressive, but only takes minutes to make and works great as canapés with a glass of sparkling wine or champagne. The cool thing about this dish is that you can mix and match as you like. I sliced up some fruit, a selection of herbs, and some cheese. Then I just tasted and figured out what worked well together. More …

Asparagus Salad with Blue Cheese

When asparagus is in season, I think it’s so delicious that it deserves its own course. I hate to see asparagus sidelined to the edge of the plate. It has such a delicate but distinctive flavour. This salad is the perfect summer starter with a chilled glass of white wine. It’s so bright and colourful, it just draws you in. A nice fresh vivid salad is so much more enticing than a drab collection of limp leaves and droopy tomatoes. I recently bought some lovely fresh green and white asparagus spears and married them together for this dish. More …

Rainbow Cookies

I promise these are the last biscuits for a while. I am going to turn into a biscuit if not! The weather has been spectacularly drizzly in Ireland so far this summer. I wore a polo neck and winter boots the other day. It is turning into yet another Irish summer – rain with intermittent showers. When the weather is like this, it’s hard to drag yourself out of the slump. So, to cheer myself up I made these extremely bright and colourful rainbow cookies. How can you resist them! I especially like the fact that they are lying on a blue table cloth, so it looks like a glimpse of blue sky. Hope these rainbow cookies cheer you up, wherever you may be. More …

Sweet Potato Scones with Beetroot Jam and Crème Fraiche

We recently had very enjoyable afternoon tea in Reid’s hotel in Madeira. The tearooms are ideally situated on a balcony, overlooking a tropical garden and the glistening blue sea. The whole experience was idyllic and felt a little like walking back in time, to an age where afternoon tea was all the go. Our table was covered with pristine starched linens and we were presented with shiny silver teapots, fine bone china cups and tiered plates of delights. We nibbled on delicate prawn sandwiches, pillow soft scones with clotted cream, and a whole array of sweet pastries and cakes. It was such a relaxing afternoon and we savoured every bite. More …

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