Beef & Hash Brown Casserole

Beef & Hash Brown Casserole

Oh you are going to love this one! A cheeky little casserole dish that is full of flavour and great for the whole family. This is definitely a dish for my comfort food list.

Serves 4

500g Minced Scottish beef

1 Yellow onion, finely chopped

1 Tsp minced garlic

1/2 Tsp Cayenne pepper

Salt & Black pepper

2 Tsp flour

100ml Beef stock

150g Grated cheese

Handful of Frozen peas

4 Slices of smoked bacon, cut into bite size pieces

10-12 Small Hash Brown Waffles cut in half or quartered

  1. Preheat oven to 210 deg.
  2. In a fry pan add a little oil and fry the onions & bacon with the garlic, add the beef, season with salt & pepper and cook through until browned, add in the cayenne pepper and flour and stir then pour in the beef stock, bring to the boil and simmer for 2 minutes.
  3. Fold in the peas and half of the grated cheese, transfer to an oven proof dish then top with the remaining cheese and hash browns. Bake in the oven for about 25-30 minutes until golden brown. Enjoy!


Cheeseburger Flatbread Pizza

Cheeseburger Flatbread Pizza

Simple Meal that combines 2 family favourites, Pizza & Cheeseburgers! What is not to love about this one? Simple & quick to make, full of flavours and textures and fully satisfying & filling. Great for a quick family midweek meal or a weekend dish.

Serves 4

500g Minced Scottish beef

2 Tsp Tomato ketchup

1 Tsp Worcestershire sauce

2 Tsp Whole grain mustard

Salt & Black pepper

4 Flatbreads (pita breads)

6 Tbsp of tomato passata or pizza Sauce

Chopped small red onion

1 Pepper, chopped into bite size pieces

Small Handful of cherry or grape tomatoes, halved

80-100g Cheddar cheese, grated

  1. Preheat your oven to 230 deg.
  2. Heat a little oil in a fry pan and fry the minced beef until browned and cook through. Add to the the pan the ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, mustard and pepper, mix.
  3. Place the Flatbreads (Pitas) onto a baking tray and top each bread with about 1 tbsp of passata sauce leaving approx 1/2 inch border then top with the minced beef, onion, pepper, grated cheese and tomatoes, season then bake in the oven for about 8-10 minutes until crisp. Enjoy!


Harissa Spiced Meatball Pitas with Carrot Slaw

Meatball Pitas

This is a super simple dish that’s full of flavour. Great for the whole family, simply make the meatballs and the carrot slaw and let the family dive in and fill their pits as much as they like. Yum!

Serves 4

500g Minced Scottish Beef

2 Tsp Paprika

1 Tsp Ground Coriander

2 Tsp Harissa Paste (I use the Rose Harissa)

150g Natural Greek Yogurt

Salt & Pepper to taste

2-3 Large carrots – peeled and cut into thin strips or grated

1/2 Tsp fresh ginger

Handful Fresh coriander, chopped

4 Pitas, halved

  1. In a bowl combine the minced beef, paprika, ground coriander, salt & pepper and roll into small 1″ balls. Heat a little oil in a fry pan and cook the meatballs until browned and cooked through, about 8-10 minutes.
  2. Combine the yogurt and harissa in a bowl and set aside
  3. Heat a little oil in a separate pan, fry on medium heat the carrots and ginger until carrots are slightly crispy, may need to do this in batches. Once crispy add in the chopped fresh coriander and mix
  4. Warm up your pitas then stuff them with the meatballs then the harissa sauce and top with the carrot slaw. Enjoy!


Neep (Turnip) Cake with Brown Butter Frosting

Neep Cake with Brown Butter Frosting

My lovely neighbour handed over some more Neeps (Turnips) the other day, this time instead of the normal Haggis, Neeps ‘n’ Tatties, I decided to make a cake! Well after all you get carrot cake & courgette cakes so why not a Neep cake? This is one of those recipes that doesn’t sound inviting but once you try it, it’s delicious and not what you were expecting. The little bit of Nutmeg through gives a lovely soft spice and the brown butter frosting giving that nutty sweetness. You have to give this a try if you have leftover Neeps (Turnips).

Makes 12 Cakes

250g Plain Flour

150g Grated Raw Neep (Turnip)

3 Eggs

175g Light Brown Sugar

2 Tsp Vanilla Extract

100 ml Milk

2 Tsp Baking Powder

1/2 Tsp Baking Soda

2 Tsp Ground Nutmeg

1/2 Tsp Salt

For the Brown Butter Frosting

400g Icing Sugar

2 Tsp Vanilla Extract

3 Tbsp Milk

115g Unsalted Butter at room temperature

Handful of chopped walnuts or hazelnuts to top

  1. Preheat oven to 180 deg & line a 9 x 9 inch Baking tin with paper and grease.
  2. In a bowl beat the eggs, sugar, extract & milk until combined.
  3. Sift in the flour and add the baking powder & baking soda with salt & the nutmeg, stir to combine and pour into the lined tin, bake for about 25-30 minutes or until a knife comes out clean. Remove and allow to cool in the tin for 10 mins then remove the paper and place on a wire rack to completely cool.
  4. Meanwhile to make the frosting, place icing sugar, extract & milk into a bowl and set aside.
  5. In a pan on low heat add the butter and gently melt, once melted turn up heat slightly to a medium heat (do not boil) then stir until the butter becomes brown in colour & smells nutty (this will take about 8-10 mins). Remove from heat immediately, allow to cool slightly and add to the icing sugar mix, whip up until you have a smooth thick frosting.
  6. Slice your cake into 12 squares and place frosting into a piping bag, pipe frosting on top of each slice and sprinkle with some walnuts or hazelnuts. Serve with a lovely cuppa! Enjoy.


Chicken & Kale Lasagne

Chicken & Kale Lasagne

My lovely neighbour came across with some fresh Kale the other day from her garden, so I decided to give a Chicken & Kale Lasagne a go, and this was delicious, full of flavour, nutritious and filling all at the same time. Another great wee recipe that the family can share.

Kale contains fiber, antioxidants, calcium, vitamins C and K, iron, and a wide range of other nutrients that can help prevent various health problems. Antioxidants help the body remove unwanted toxins that result from natural processes and environmental pressures. It’s low in calories, low in fat, high on protein and potassium too, so a good all rounder vegetable to add to you diet.

Recipe makes 2 portions

For the Filling:-

2 Chicken Breasts

1 Bunch of kale

1 Carrot, grated

1 Leek, thinly sliced

1 Clove garlic, crushed

1/4 Tsp Nutmeg

1/2 Tsp Smoked Paprika

200g Chicken Stock

Salt & Pepper to season

Lasagne Sheets

For the Sauce (or you can use a Bechamel instead if you prefer):-

300ml Creme Fraiche

150g Grated Cheese (of your choice, I used a mild cheddar) plus 50g optional for topping

  1. Season chicken breasts and place in a pan with the chicken stock, bring to the boil then simmer for about 45 mins – 1 hour, then shred with 2 forks. Most of the stock should have evaporated.
  2. Pre-heat your oven to 180 deg.
  3. Blanch the kale in boiling water for about 1 minute, drain and slice into fine pieces.
  4. Add to the pan the leeks, kale & carrot along with seasoning, garlic & nutmeg, stir through until mixed and warmed, a few minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, in a separate pan mix on a low heat the creme fraiche & cheese to make a smooth sauce. Do not allow to boil or the creme fraiche will curdle.
  6. In an oven proof dish, layer your lasagne, chicken filling first then lasagne sheets, then more filling, then lasagne sheets. Pour over your sauce mix evenly and finish with extra cheese and little sprinkle of smoked paprika. Bake in an oven for 45 minutes or until topping is browned and bubbling.
  7. Serve & Enjoy.

Quick Porridge Pudding

Porridge Pudding

Who wants a pudding for breakfast? Oh yes….this little 2 minute pudding is perfect, nutritious, filling, tasty & quick to make, whats not to love!

I love my porridge in the morning as you may know, especially in the winter months. I love experimenting with different techniques & flavours and I just had to try this, the great thing is that you can add any flavour you like, making it your own.

Oats are gluten free and whole oats are rich in antioxidants making them great for you. A great source of fibre & good carbs too.

Makes 1 Cup

40g Porridge Oats

1 Medium Egg

120ml Yoghurt (whichever flavour you prefer, I used Raspberry)

1 Tbsp of raisins & dried Goji berries

1/2 Tsp Vanilla essence (or you could use cinnamon or any flavouring of your choice)

1 Tbsp of Chopped walnuts & seeds for topping (or you could use banana or blueberries etc)

1 Tbsp Yoghurt for topping

  1. Place oats, egg, 120ml yoghurt, raisins & berries along with essence into a mug and mix through until combined.
  2. Cook at 800w power in a microwave for 2 minutes, ensuring it doesn’t spill over, remove, loosen the edges with a spatula or knife and tip onto a plate
  3. Finish off with some yoghurt, nuts & seeds and enjoy!

Haggis, Leek & Beetroot Lasagne

Haggis, Leek & Beetroot Lasagne

The Noble Haggis is a traditional Scottish dish, it is positively celebrated especially on 25th January each year, the birthday of Robert (Robbie/Rabbie) Burns whose 18th century poem ‘Address to a Haggis’ was instrumental in ensuring the Haggis’s place in the nations hearts.

Haggis is made from the meat & insides of sheep consisting of the heart, liver and lungs then combined with onions, oatmeal, suet, seasoning & spices. The mix is then stuffed into the sheep’s lining of the stomach and boiled. Haggis, Neeps & Tatties is the most common dish but I have been experimenting with what more we can do with this traditional food. This dish is definitely now on my Top list of comfort dishes, so filling, so satisfying & full of flavour.

Serves 2 large/ 4 small portions

450g Haggis, chopped into bite size pieces

300ml Creme Fraiche

150g Tangy White Cheese, grated

1 Leek, sliced

150g Cooked Beetroot (not pickled) – (dry with kitchen paper and using a kitchen glove, grate it coarsely)

Lasagne Pasta Sheets

Cracked Black/ Rainbow Pepper

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 deg c.
  2. Combine the creme fraiche and half the cheese, warm through in a pan on low heat to form a smooth sauce (do not boil as it will cause the creme fraiche to curdle), set aside.
  3. Put a little spray oil in a pan and gently fry the leeks until softened. Add in the haggis and beetroot, mix through until combined and warmed through.
  4. Pile half the haggis mixture into an ovenproof dish, arrange the pasta sheets on top, then the remaining haggis onto the pasta sheets and then another layer of pasta sheets. Cover the top with the white sauce, season with pepper and sprinkle over the remaining cheese. Bake for about 35 minutes until bubbling and golden. Remove & Enjoy.

Chocolate & Salted Caramel Pink Pitaya Creams

Chocolate & Salted Caramel Pink Creams

Oh Yum! Do you have a sweet tooth? Do you love Chocolate? Do you love Salted Caramel? Well, you will love these delicious biscuit creams. Perfect with a warm cuppa in the morning, afternoon or evening!

I do love experimenting, I was initially going to try espresso chocolate but decided that might be too many flavours and I’m glad I didn’t as these turned out so delicious. Want the recipe? Here you go. If you try, let me know what you think.


Makes about 8 Biscuits

For the biscuits:-

120g Plain flour

35g Cocoa Powder

35g Powdered Sugar

100g Butter

1 Tsp Vanilla Extract

For the Cream Filling:-

75g Butter

65g Powdered Sugar

1 Tsp Salted Caramel Flavouring

1 Tsp Pink Pitaya Powder

  1. Preheat your oven to 175 deg c. Line a baking tray with baking sheet.
  2. In a mixer, combine all the biscuit ingredients until it starts to come together as a dough (couple of minutes)
  3. Roll out the dough to about 5 mm thick and using a cookie cutter, cut out circles until you’ve used up all the dough. Lay onto the baking sheet and place in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, to make the cream, place butter into the stand mixer and on medium speed whip for about 1-2 minutes. Then add in the sugar, flavouring and pink Pitaya powder, mix on low speed until all combined. You will need to scrape the sides of the bowl to ensure mixture is all incorporated. Decant the cream mixture into a piping bag.
  5. Bake the biscuits in the oven for 15 minutes, remove and allow to cool on a wire rack. Once cooled, pipe the cream filling onto half of the biscuits and top with the remaining half. Enjoy!

I used my skull & bat embossed rolling pins from https://pastrymade.com/ , they have so many designs, you’ll be stuck for choice.


Haggis, Leek & Cheesy Potato Pie

Haggis, Leek & Cheesy Potato Pie

This is definitely one for my Top 10 home comfort food dishes.

Love it or loathe it, haggis is firmly established as Scotland’s national dish – to the extent that it has become an indelible part of the nation’s cultural identity, along with whisky, bagpipes and shortbread.

The savoury meat pudding – consisting of sheep’s offal (most commonly lungs) mixed with suet, oatmeal, onion and spices, then boiled in a bag.

“Gie her a Haggis” – Robert Burns helped popularise haggis in Scotland

The Burns connection goes back to his 1786 poem ‘Address to a Haggis’, in which he immortalised the dish as the “great chieftain o the puddin’-race”.

In the 232 years since Burns committed his love of haggis to poetry, the dish has become a symbol of Scottishness, and is traditionally served with neeps and tatties (turnip & mashed potato) – along with a dram of Scotch of course.

My local butcher Forbes Raeburn in Huntly makes amazing Haggis & inspired by a chef in Dumfries from the Caven’s Arms, I just had to give this dish a try. Their Haggis, Leek & Cheese Melt is so tasty. I am now curious as to what other flavours compliment Haggis so watch this space.


Serves 4

600g Haggis

4 Leeks, sliced

4-5 Large Floury Potatoes, peeled and chopped into chunks. I used Scotty Brand (you could also use King Edward or Maris Piper)

100g Grated Cheese, I use Cambus O’May Cheese as it has a creamy texture and strong flavour, perfect for Haggis (any good Cheddar would also work)

3 Tbsp Butter

Salt & pepper to taste

  1. Cook the Haggis as per packet instructions.
  2. Melt 1 tbsp of butter in a pan on medium heat and saute the leeks until soft.
  3. Place potatoes in a pan of water, bring to the boil then simmer until soft. Mash with 1 Tbsp of butter. Season.
  4. Pre heat your oven to 180 deg.
  5. Spread the cooked haggis into a casserole dish, then layer the leeks and mix, fork the potatoes over the haggis mixture and sprinkle over the grated cheese. Season with some cracked pepper then place into the oven and cook for about 20-25 minutes until the cheesy potato topping is slightly browned and crispy.
  6. Serve with some fresh vegetables for a nutritious and filling meal.

Quinoa Vegetable Bowl with a Coriander & Lime Dressing

Quinoa veggie bowl

I had the pleasure of attending a live cooking session with Chef Ann Nolan (training chef with Whirlpool Cooperation) recently, the session was very informative and I learned a few tricks that I never knew! ‘Everyday is a school day as they say’, One of the recipes was this delicious Vegetable Quinoa Bowl and I just had to share with all of you as it was absolutely mouthwatering, so refreshing on the palate. The great thing about this recipe is that it is simple to make and if you don’t like an ingredient it is easily changeable to something you do. We all love the simple things in life, do we not?

Quinoa is higher in nutrients than most grains with protein & fibre being the highest and only contains 2g of fat per 100g, so very nutritious and not fatty at all. Quinoa is a good source of several minerals, including manganese, phosphorus, copper, iron, magnesium, and zinc. Quinoa may reduce blood cholesterol, blood sugar, and triglycerides. It’s weight loss friendly, gluten-free, and has been shown to increase the nutrient and antioxidant value of gluten-free diets.

Serves 4

For the Quinoa:-

125g Raw Quinoa

350ml Vegetable Stock

1/4 Tsp Salt

1/4 Tsp Black Pepper

1 Tsp Olive Oil

For the Coriander Lime Dressing:-

Handful of coriander, washed, keep stem

6 Spring Onions, roots removed, washed & cut into thirds (use the white part)

1/2 Large Avocado, peeled and diced

3 Limes, squeezed for juice only

1 Tsp Kosher Salt

60 ml Olive Oil

For the Vegetable Toppings:-

1 Red Onion, cut unto 1/4″ slices

2 Red Peppers, cut into 1/4″ slices

400g Tin of Black beans or Red Kidney Beans (you could also use chickpeas)

8-10 Cherry Tomatoes, quartered

1/2 Avocado, diced

4 Eggs (1 egg per portion)

Spray Oil

Salt & Pepper to taste

  1. Place the quinoa into a saucepan with the vegetable stock, seasoning & oil, bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer, cover with a lid and simmer for about 15-20 mins until quinoa has absorbed the stock, take off the heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Do not stir while simmering, just leave it, fluff up with a fork after the 5 minutes resting time.
  2. Meanwhile, lets make the dressing…..place all of the ingredients (except the oil) into a food processor and blend together, then slowly drizzle in the oil scraping down the sides as you go along. Keep adding oil until you get the consistency you like, whether that be thick or thin, it’s up to you. Move to the side for later.
  3. Heat a little spray oil in a saute/ fry pan on medium to high heat, add the red onions & red peppers with seasoning and cook until slightly softened and browned, leave in pan.
  4. Heat the beans in a small pan on medium heat, 4-5 mins until warmed through.
  5. In a non stick fry pan (with lid) spray a little oil and bring to a medium heat, crack the eggs into the pan & season, let the egg become opaque then add about 4 tablespoons water, put the lid on and steam cook the eggs, no need to turn. Check after about 1-2 minutes, when the egg is white it’s ready, take pan of heat until ready to serve.
  6. To plate, distribute evenly the quinoa, then peppers and onion, sliced avocado and then the beans and tomatoes, drizzle over your dressing then add the egg to the top….ENJOY!

Alternative options to try:-

*Roasted mushrooms, cauliflower, broccoli, spinach, spring onions, garlic dressing

*Cucumber, chickpeas, tomatoes, Olives, yogurt dressing

*Tofu, carrots, peas, sweetcorn, coriander & sesame dressing

*Roasted Chicken, tomatoes, red pepper, red onion, roasted red pepper & chilli dressing