Sunday, 30 July 2017

A to Z Dating | I is for Indian Cooking

I is for Indian Cooking!
Ice Hockey - Ice Skating - Island - Italian

It feels like forever since I wrote an alphabet dating post. My weekends off have been less frequent so we made the most of me finally having a Saturday off and booked ourselves into Pallavi's Kitchen for a lesson in Indian cooking!

We arrived on Saturday afternoon to a warm welcome from Pallavi at her home, where her entire catering business operates - literally in Pallavi's kitchen. Our lesson started with an introduction to Indian cooking; popular meats like goat, types of food common to different parts of the country, the spices - turmeric, salt, chilli powder, coriander and cinnamon to name just a few.

This particular class was a kebab special, but each week varies and Pallavi actually says she's better known for her curries. If the three dishes she prepared with us are anything to go by, her curries must be insanely good!

First things first, we were taught how to prepare the marinade. Lots of spices and flavours, all whizzed up in the blender, nothing too difficult. Just about every ingredient is available in the local supermarket.

Chicken was smothered in both a red and green tikka marinade, while the slightly more complicated sauce was crafted for our lamb galouti kebabs. I've never cooked with minced lamb before but I'll definitely use it in future. A concoction of papaya (to tenderise the meat) with gram flour, fried red onions, green chillies, egg and various spices was massaged into the lamb.

Each dish was absolutely delicious but the lamb was my favourite. Pallavi offered lots of tips throughout; advising us to chop and freeze ingredients, she taught us how to skewer the kebabs and prepare them for BBQs, and gave examples of fish that work well and even vegan options! She just so happened to have some potatoes marinating in the fridge which tasted incredible. They had a bit more heat than the meat she had prepared for us (Gordon's spice tolerance is pretty low) but I loved the extra kick.

Two and a half hours later we left armed with leftovers, recipes and a sudden desire to host a BBQ for all our friends! The leftovers kept us going for lunch today and I mixed up a dip of Greek yoghurt, coriander, garlic, ginger, garam masala  and green chillies freshly picked from the plant on my very own window sill.

We had a great time at Pallavi's Kitchen. Not only adding new recipes to our repertoire but learning about India and it's fascinating different cultures. Food is something that connects us all, and I can't wait to put our new cooking skills to the test!

I'd highly recommend checking out Pallavi's classes, but if you're more about the eating than the cooking you can simply order takeaway. Check out Pallavi's Facebook page for more info!

Friday, 21 July 2017

Bonobo | Aberdeen's First 100% Vegan Cafe

Have you ever tried eating out as/with a vegan in Aberdeen? To my knowledge Foodstory is a must, and Nando's and Zizzi definitely do vegan options, but it must get boring being restricted to the same places and tricky trying to figure out where else meets your dietary requirements. But guess what, there's a new kid on the block...

Introducing Bonobo Café - Aberdeen's first 100% vegan eatery!

Bringing something new and exciting to Skene Street, Bonobo serve breakfast, lunch, coffee and cake. I opted for a matcha latte with oat milk, and ordered Gordon a cappuccino. He's not a fan of oat milk so he'd try soy or coconut next time. My matcha latte was delish and kinda reminded me of the taste of Horlicks.

Lunch was incredible. I opted for the satay peanut wrap (obviously) while he tucked into a ploughman's sandwich made up of vegan cheese, pickle, tomato and rocket. It's the first time I'd tried tofu - something I'd always been wary of - but I really enjoyed the taste and texture. My next visit will be for the Bonoboats at breakfast time - and how does a vegan full English or avocado on toast sound?!

The café interiors are ridiculously beautiful. Everything looks fresh, natural and handmade (in a good way!) with a lot of love and care going into every detail. Don't even get me started on the garden! The Bonobo Tribe are growing their own fruit and veg out on their gorgeous terrace, where you can also sit and enjoy a cuppa in the sun.

Of course I couldn't leave without sampling the cake! Peanut and banana blondie caught my eye the minute I walked in - anything with peanut always does - and it was well worth the extra calories.

Vegan or not, I'm sure you'll enjoy a visit to Bonobo!

Friday, 7 July 2017

A Month in my Shoes | June 2017

Where do I even begin with June?! It's been a busy and expensive month, not helped by two weekends away, two birthdays, one Father's Day and a broken washing machine. Why does everything come at once? 


This month saw us take on our second Tough Mudder, which you can read about here. The weekend after Gordon and I took part in the 5k race at Peterhead Running Festival. It was an unusually sunny day and the heat combined with the wind was a struggle. I got ridiculous sunburn but it was all worth it for the medal! After TM I was all fired up and got myself back in the gym, training my ass off. I wish I could say it lasted - this week has been more of a struggle motivation wise.

Weekends away are never good for my waistline but I was surprised to see the damage wasn't too bad. 1% less body fat in a month isn't much but slow and steady wins the race, right?
End of June stats: 32.2% body fat, 7.0.6st muscle

Brie and cranberry quiche at the Buttercup Café, Doune
Dinner at the Kenbridge Hotel, Castle Douglas


The Loch - I'm addicted to ITV's new Scottish drama! Set on the banks of Loch Ness, and filmed in Glencoe, the backdrop was the first thing that attracted me to the series, but the storyline soon got me hooked. So far there's been three murders and a human heart found by the loch, and I have no idea who the culprit is!

Videotapes by 10ft Tall Theatre - I went along to see this local theatre production at Underdog and really enjoyed it. Hannah Donaldson and Mark Wood (also of The Loch!) starred in the show, written by Oliver Emanuel. It tells the story of a young couple who appear to be in the process of breaking up, with a little twist at the end. The intimate setting and the backdrop of footage filmed on the streets of Aberdeen really added to the story.


A Street Cat Named Bob by James Bowen - Yes, there's a pattern here. I watch a film/TV show and then read the book. I couldn't believe my luck when I spotted this book for 3 euros at a Spanish market! I could talk about Bob the cat for days - it's an uplifting story detailing the harsh realities of life on the streets and how the simple things can make such a difference. If you haven't seen it I suggest you go along to the Cat in the Window's movie nights!


Ben Coomber Radio - One of the first podcasts I ever subscribed to, Ben Coomber is a fountain of nutritional knowledge. His episodes range from Q&A's, to general rants and interviews with an array of sports stars, Crossfit athletes, PT's, nutrition coaches and all round inspiring people.

Where I've Been

Like I said, it's been a busy month of travelling across Scotland! It started with our trip to the Highlands and climbing Ben Nevis and a second adventure to the west coast for Tough Mudder, held at Drumlanrig Castle in Dumfries and Galloway. On the way home we stopped off at Doune Castle near Stirling, which features in Monty Python & the Holy Grail, as well as starring as Castle Leoch in Outlander and in Winterfell scenes of Game of Thrones. The audio guide was fab, featuring Sam Heughan telling tales from the Outlander set and there was even a live Jacobite there for the day. Another Scottish castle ticked off my list, that I suggest you add to yours!
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