Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Total Food Geeks Edinburgh - Open Night

I wasn't sure what to expect when I turned up at the Total Food Geeks Edinburgh open night this evening in Underdogs, and I have to admit I was a little nervous and felt a bit out of my depth.  I'm happy to say I couldn't have been more wrong - everyone was so nice and welcoming!  It was great to meet so many lovely like-minded people, simply sitting around and chatting about the thing we love most - FOOD!  I was especially loving the fact that one foodie turned up with some bacon-flavoured mayo and deep fried peanuts (with shells on) to try!   

Something I've been reading lots about this week is supper clubs, and I'm keen to learn more about these and maybe even attend one sometime soon.  Recommendations welcome!

I will definitely be attending future TFGE events and look forward to meeting more Edinburgh foodies soon.  Thanks to everyone for making me feel so welcome.

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Lots of eating, not so much cooking!

And not so much gymming either...

This week I have been a bit of a pie!  On Tuesday, hubby and I met after work for a drink but ended up in Illegal Jacks on Lothian Road for a Burrito, loaded with chicken, pinto beans, hot salsa and soured cream - it was huge! Thursday we had an Indian take-away from Abdul's in Morningside.  It was pretty disappointing so we're still on the hunt for Edinburgh's best Indian take-away! On Friday, I went for lunch with the girls to Dusit Thai Restaurant on Thistle Street which was fantastic - by far the best Thai restaurant I've been to in Edinburgh.  I had deliciously crisp vegetable spring rolls to start and a king prawn chili dish for main.  Really fresh and tasty.  It's quite pricey for lunch, £12.95 for 2 courses, but it's worth it for a treat, and it was packed, so clearly nobody is complaining!  On Friday evening we had a work night out and ordered Domino's Pizza into the office - I wasn't even hungry but still managed to chomp my way through a few slices. 

A highlight of my weekend is that the lovely Lorraine Pascale responded to a tweet of mine, giving me a recipe for peanut butter cupcakes!  And speaking of cupcakes - here are some I've been munching this week from Cuckoos Bakery and Bibis Bakery.  I first visited Cuckoos Bakery with my mum after my first wedding dress fitting, so it has a special place in my heart!

Then Saturday evening we went to MacKenzies Restaurant in Colinton with my parents (see my restaurant review) which was brilliant.  I'm off to visit my gran today so I'm sure my weekend of eating hasn't finished yet!! 

I have Zumba to look forward to tomorrow night, so that will make me feel better!  I'm also really excited to be attending an open night on Tuesday with the Total Food Geeks.  More about that next time!

Monday, 20 February 2012

Hello Halloumi, Goodbye Hunger!

After a long day at work, and a very energetic Zumba class, I came home to a pretty empty fridge.  Don't you just hate that?!  What I did have, however, was some halloumi cheese that had been lurking around since my last food shop. I threw together a salad with some sesame-crusted halloumi (simply toss the sliced cheese in sesame seeds and fry for a couple of minutes on each side), topped with an amazing salad dressing that you HAVE to try!  It's 2-3 tablespoons of mango chutney, 1 teaspoon of white wine vinegar and some Tabasco sauce, boiled up in a pan with a little water, and served over the warm halloumi (adjust measurements to your taste).  Sounds weird putting warm cheese and dressing on a salad but its yummy. So I'm feeling very pleased with myself!  This recipe came from a book called 'Cook Yourself Thin' based on the Channel 4 series, and it's great.  You can check out some of their recipes here.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Lunch with The Girls

I have a confession... I didn't make it to spinning class yesterday.  There, I feel so much better for admitting it!  Instead, I made a lovely lasagne for dinner.  Way more fun! 

So today, after a lazy Saturday morning, I went into town to meet The Girls for lunch.  We ended up in our usual haunt, Tigerlily on George Street.  And I'm afraid to say that it was very average (the food that is, not the company!).  After waiting ages on a menu (which we had to ask for twice) our lunch arrived.  I opted for the pumpkin and sage ravioli which was ok, but served with what seemed like a shop bought white sauce that may have been put to better use in my lasagne!  Not a sniff of Parmesan or black pepper in sight!  I have to say that this isn't the first time in the last few weeks I've been disappointed with the food here.  And it's not cheap!  I think I'll be saving Tigerlily for a cheeky after-work vino rather than lunch in the future, as I do love the pink and girlie surroundings.  Hopefully it's just a temporary blip and they get back on track, food-wise, soon.

Tonight, we're having some good friends round for dinner, and in keeping with my lazy theme today, we're ordering take-away!  "What a fraud!" I hear you shout!  But in my defence, we live near to one of Edinburgh's best-kept secrets, and that's 222 Chinese take-away on the corner of Tay Street/Bryson Road.  They do a great set meal for one which consists of a soup, an appetiser, a main and a rice all for just £8.50 - bargain.  So we'll be getting a few of those in and I'm excited about trying out my new cordless 'Hostess' hot tray!  My God I'm getting old!  

Good friends, good food and a couple of glasses of wine.  What more could a girl want?  Enjoy your Saturday night, whatever you're up to, I know I will! 

Friday, 17 February 2012

My first ever blog post - and a little bit about me

Hello!  And welcome to my Edinburgh Food Girl blog.  My name is Pamela and I live in Edinburgh, Scotland with my husband.  I grew up on my parents farm in the Scottish Borders, so food, and being very aware of its origins, has always played a big part in my life.  She will never admit it, but my mum is an amazing cook and I've probably taken my love of food from her.  We always love going to the farm for Sunday dinner as mum always cooks an amazing roast beef or lamb (from the farm of course!) and she makes the best Yorkshire Puddings.  I've still never mastered the art of cooking a good roast as my timings are never quite right - I blame my oven!

Quite simply, I love food.  I love reading about food and have far too many recipe books according to my hubby, who has had to fix one too many broken shelves as a result!  I love talking about food and swapping recipe ideas with friends.  I love shopping for food - one of my favourite things to do when I spent a summer in Toronto was going round all the food markets and picking up unusual spices and vegetables.  I love cooking and baking and trying out new recipes as well as old favourites.  And most of all, I love eating!  I will confess at this point that I am no connoisseur of fine food.  I love a good old take-away and probably have far too many plastic Chinese and Indian containers in my kitchen cupboard (well they do come in very handy for freezing things!).  And I love to dine out in some of Edinburgh's amazing restaurants.  Most recently, we went out for Valentine's Day to Bia Bistrot (19 Colinton Road, Edinburgh) and had an excellent meal - they do a pre-theatre menu with three courses for just £11 - well worth a visit.  

We got married in June 2011 on my parents farm and being total curry lovers, decided to have Indian food at our wedding.  Finding caterers was a challenge, particularly as the farm is quite remote.  But we stumbled upon a gem of a catering company based just outside of Edinburgh called Hyndberry run by the lovely Catriona Staddon.  We then had a wonderful honeymoon in New York and Hawaii which, aside from being an amazing holiday with my new husband, I was in total foodie heaven!  Pancakes with bacon and maple syrup for breakfast, great coffee, huge pizza slices and pretzels at Yankee Stadium, all conjure up images of New York.  Hawaii was on another level and the most amazing meal I've had in my life was at Roys Hawaiian fusion restaurant in Waikiki - huge prawns with a light broccoli tempura and pineapple glaze, served with a side of risotto. I'm hungry just thinking about it!  So it's not hard to imagine that I've put on some weight since my honeymoon...

So this week has seen me set up my blog and the start of my dreaded weight loss regime.  What is it about the word 'diet' that just makes me want to run for hills and eat more?!  Although maybe if I'd done more running in the hills I wouldn't be worrying about shedding those extra 'honeymoon happiness' pounds! 

Anyway, enough about me.  I'm heading to the gym for a spinning class shortly, but just need to raid the cupboards for a nice breakfast first.  Well it would be silly to exercise on an empty stomach now, wouldn't it?!