Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

Leeks are still at their seasonal best in February and March, so should be locally available and full of flavour.  Try this yummy recipe and enjoy some warm, nutritious comfort food to keep those winter blues away. 


4 medium leeks
3 large floury potatoes
olive oil
75 cL vegetable stock
25 cL milk
Salt and pepper

Please remember to cook leeks before eating!


  1. Peel the leeks and potatoes and chop
  2. Fry the leeks in a dash of olive oil until soft
  3. Add in the potatoes, plus a pinch of salt and pepper and mix well
  4. Heat through gently for a few minutes
  5. Add the stock and milk, turn up the heat and simmer for around 25 minutes until the potatoes are cooked
  6. Allow the soup to cool a little
  7. Blend until smooth
  8. Add a little more water if required for your desired consistency
  9. Serve with a teaspoon of cream drizzled on the top along with a sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds



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Pancakes are made the world over, with every culture adding their own regional flavour.  Try our delicious Scottish recipe, and for a real highland twist, why not substitute a third of the flour for rolled oats. ..And for a fruity alternative throw in a handful of raisens before cooking the batter.

Lovely for breakfast, dessert or afternoon tea, eat with your favourite accompaniment.  I find them totally yummy served with a drizzle of maple syrup.  ….Alternatively you could try a handful of red berries and some Greek yoghurt, or vanilla ice cream.


125g flour
1½ tsp baking powder
1 egg
300ml milk
1 tbsp golden caster sugar




  1. Put the flour, baking powder, egg, milk and sugar in a large bowl and whisk together
  2. Heat a non-stick frying pan, add a little butter and pour in a small amount of batter
  3. Once the top of the pancake has bubbled and set, turn over with a palette knife and cook on the other side
  4. Repeat until you have enough pancakes 
  5. Stack the pancakes in a pile, serve and devour!

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If you are visiting Edinburgh for Burns Night take a look at our accommodation available at www.edinburghselfcatering.org.

 Cranachan is a traditional Scottish dessert and it would make a perfect end to a Burn’s Night celebration meal.  It also has the added bonus of including my favourite whisky in the ingredients list! 

A traditional way to serve cranachan is to bring the ingredients to the table in separate dishes, and then each person can assemble their dessert to taste.

….And as someone with a weakness for puddings I can say that cranachan is incredibly rich and totally delicious!  But if you would like to opt for a slightly lighter version you can substitute some of the cream for natural yoghurt!


250ml/½ pint fresh double cream
1 tbsp thick heather honey.
1 generous tbsp of Talisker whisky
1 heaped tbsp of toasted porridge oats
2 punnets raspberries



  1. Toast the oats in a frying pan being careful not to burn
  2. Whisk the cream together with the honey and whisky
  3. Fold in the toasted oatmeal
  4. Pile together with fresh raspberries and serve.


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These are delicious oaty biscuits all the way from Edinburgh, Scotland.  They are easy to make with the bairns, and aye they taste really rather scrummy!

For information on where to stay and what to do in the beautiful city of Edinburgh visit www.edinburghselfcatering.org. 


125 g rolled oats
125g plain flour
110g brown sugar
150g margarine or butter
1 egg
1/2 teasp baking soda
1/2 teasp vanilla essence
handful of chocolate chips, raisins, or anything else you fancy 

What to do  

Stirring the Mixture 
  1. Put everything into a large bowl and mix well.
  2. Take a spoonful of mixture at a time, make into a biscuity shape and place on a greased baking tray.
  3. Put the biscuits in the oven for around 20 minutes at 170 C
  4. Allow to cool and enjoy!

And did you know that Oatmeal has a long history in Scottish culinary traditions because oats are better suited than wheat to the short, wet growing season.  

Ancient Scottish Universities had a holiday called Meal Monday to permit students to return to their farms and collect more oats for food. 

Scotland is full of fascinating history and if you are planning a trip visit www.edinburghselfcatering.org for lots of rather useful information! 


Fantastic views from our Edinburgh apartment available to book at http://www.edinburghselfcatering.org

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After all the indulgence of Christmas eating, this gorgeously yummy recipe has it all – wonderfully nutritious, crammed full of detox goodness, deliciously tasty, filling and warm on these winter days, and very healthy on the waist line! 

So if like me, you’ve made personal promises about easing up a little on the full fat cream, christmas cake, chocolates, wine….the list goes on…. this recipe is for you!

…And if another of your promises for the new year includes booking a holiday in one of Europe’s most beautiful cities, visit www.edinburghselfcatering.org, for a beautiful, stylish centrally located apartment in the Scottish capital.

Dash of olive oil
1 clove of garlic
1 bay leaf
1 onion
1 medium potato
1 lb fresh tomatoes
dash of tomato puree
1 pint vegetable stock
quantity of skimmed milk (or for a less creamy, lower fat alternative, more vegetable stock is also fine)

What to do

  • Chop the onion and gently fry until clear. 
  • To cut down on the amount of oil you use, add a couple of tablespoons of water to stop the onions from sticking
  • Add a clove of crushed garlic, mix and fry a little longer
  • Peel and chop the potato and add
  • Roughly chop the tomatoes and add
  • Add in the bay leaf and stock
  • Simmer gently for 20 minutes
  • Allow to cool
  • Remove bay leaf
  • Blend until smooth
  • Add milk  or more stock as desired to obtain preferred thickness
  • Reheat before serving
  • Serve with our tasty bread recipe or my children’s favourite cheese on toast croutons!

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    Roasted root vegetables make a great accompaniment to any meal, and they are at their seasonal best round about now.  Great with roast beef or turkey, roasted roots also go well with traditional Scottish Haggis. 

    And for all things Scotland visit www.edinburghselfcatering.org.  Here you can find great accommodation in the heart of Edinburgh, along with lots of ideas for things to do and see during your stay.

    Selection of root vegetables, such as carrots, parsnips, swede, turnip, red onion etc
    1 clove of garlic
    Freshly ground salt and pepper
    Sprigs of fresh rosemary
    Olive oil


    • Peel all the vegetables and garlic
    • Chop vegetables into chunks and crush the garlic
    • Mix the rosemary, olive oil and garlic together
    • Pour over the vegetables and mix well
    • Leave for a while for oil to soak into the vegetables
    • Put into a roasting dish and roast for 45 mins at 200 C

    And for a slightly sweeter touch, you can also drizzle with a little honey before roasting.

    For a different twist I combine them with cheese sauce and put in a lasagne, and this has become a bit of a favourite with my children.

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    For a New Year Holiday Break in one of Britain’s most beautiful cities visit www.edinburghselfcatering.org

    Mince pies are one of the true tastes of Christmas, but if you only ever eat mass-produced ones, they are generally bland and pretty disappointing. 

    This recipe is my very favorite…and I have tried a few.  ..And the secret is all in the pastry.  Handed down to me by a dear farming lady, who is famous locally for her fantastic home cooked fayre, follow a few easy steps to get fabulous results. 

     This recipe makes between 28 and 36 (depending on how thick you like your pastry).  But if you have too much pastry for one baking session, you can put any left over into a bag and freeze for later use. 

    …But be warned these mince pies are so delicious you will never have enough.  I made 30 yesterday and have only 5 left – I should however point out that I didn’t actually eat them all myself, but did give a fair few away to friend and neighbours!

    1/2 lb self-raising flour
    1/2 lb plain flour
    1/2 lb butter (preferably at room temperature)
    3 oz caster sugar
    2 oz lard or margarine (preferably at room temperature)
    2 egg yolks
    2 tbsp fresh orange juice
    Around 500g of good quality mince meat


    1. Mix flour and sugar together in a large bowl
    2. Rub diced cubes of margarine and butter into the flour sugar mix, until the consistency is like bread crumbs
    3. Mix the egg yolks and fresh orange juice together, then add to the bowl of dry ingredients
    4. Mix together and form a ball of pastry with your hands
    5. Wrap the pastry in cling film and put in the fridge for 30 minutes
    6. Roll out the pastry onto a floured surface
    7. With pastry cutters, cut an equal number of large and slightly smaller circles for the mince pie bases and lids
    8. Grease a baking tray with butter
    9. Put mince pie bases into the baking tray
    10. Add good quality mincemeat, but don’t overfill
    11. Lightly dampen the edges of the pastry bases using a brush dipped in water
    12. Press the lids securely on, taking care to seal the lids to the bases
    13. With a pointed knife make two small cuts into the centre of each mince pie lid to act as a vent
    14. Brush lightly with milk
    15. Cook 175 C for 15 to 20 min
    16. Place on a baking tray to cool
    17. Dust with icing sugar 
    18. Store in an air tight container for later or alternatively, if you are like me, eat NOW!

    And if whilst munching your mince pie and drinking a glass of something by the fire, your thoughts drift to holiday plans for the new year, visit www.edinburghselfcatering.org.


    Stylish modern accommodation for up to 6 people with everything you need for a very comfortable stay


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