A book worm and foodie, studying English Literature at the University of Glasgow, writing about food, books and travel while aspiring to be a writer.

Monday, 30 June 2014

Post holiday catch up blog - things to do in Rhodes.

Things have been pretty quiet from me in the blogosphere recently, for a number of reasons.
One of them is excusable enough, I just got back from a gorgeous week in the town of Lindos, Rhodes with my boyfriend Calum and sneakily poaching wifi didn't allow for anything too lengthy.
Another not-so-lame excuse is that I got a job, wahey! So, with summer income sorted via waitressing my spare time is limited, and when I do come off a shift I mainly just want to shower and get the smell of food out of my hair, believe it or not.

Now for the limp excuses; 1) it is remarkably difficult to write a glorious food blog full of restaurant reviews when you a) don't live in the West End of Glasgow anymore and b) you instead live in rural Aberdeenshire. Don't get me wrong, there are lovely places to eat where I live, but they are fewer and further between, so reviews will just have to be the same.
2) This one is on the recipe front. I am still cooking, of course, BUT I live at home now... with my mum... and I must admit that since I have returned home from uni I have been enjoying the luxury of having a mum who is not only a wonderful cook, but who also enjoys making dinner every night.

So it seems inevitable that over summer, I will probably blog a little less, but when I do, I hope it is just as enjoyable. I will still be making visits to Glasgow, which will give me opportunity to go to old favourites and new favourites again. I'm also going on holiday in August which will give me some material, and then down to London which I am really looking forward too.
Other than that, I will be posting my recipes for those of you who are interested, as well as little updates of Aberdeenshire life, although it might be a far cry from the restaurants of Glasgow.

For the remainder of this post I want to tell you about Lindos and Rhodes. I know a few people who are heading there this summer so this might be useful to a few of you and maybe just jealousy inducing for the rest.
Being Calum and I's first holiday abroad together, being on the plane was almost excitement enough, but when we actually got there it exceeded my expectations altogether. The town of Lindos itself is beautiful. The kind of town you imagine when you picture going to stay in a small Greek village. Our apartment did the job, although it did have that drainy smell that seems intrinsic in summertime Europe. We also, stupidly, didn't think that we would need to pay the 50 extra Euros for air conditioning for the week.
For anyone going to Greece this summer, or anywhere with the same climate, please, don't think that the money isn't worth it. Nights were dreaded, delirious and on one event so bad that Calum had to get up three separate times to have a cold shower and remain sane. I went around Cambodia for a month last summer, and I don't think I sweated that much then, even whilst trekking.
The money is worth it, trust me.
Apart from that (and a huge dead cricket in the shower) our apartment was within sight of the beautiful St. Pauls Bay (worth a Google if you want to be jealous heh heh heh) and so made up for the sleepless nights.

The food was wonderful. We lived on crepes during the day, had the occasional gyros (kebab) and when we ate out we ate lovely Greek food, my favourite of which was vine leaf wrapped chicken, stuffed with red peppers and pesto. I'm going to try and recreate it as soon as possible, as well as a feta stew called kleftiko (I think) and greek meatballs. The people are lovely, but be prepared to be near-dragged into every restaurant you walk past come six o'clock. I would recommend Stephano's restaurant, if only for the charming front of house.

We drank lots of cocktails, if you like chocolate milk I would definitely recommend the lehmumba,  and lots and lots of Mythos (greek beer). Our favourite bars were 'Lindos by Night', which played a surprisingly excellent mix of Northern Soul and other Brit classics through the ages; preferable to the chart bangers most bars play. The 404, a mod bar in the centre of town is also worth a visit, again for a break from the Eurotrash, a friendly chat and even purely for the novelty value.

Days were spent lying on the beach reading, swimming and jumping off huge rocks. We met up with friends and went to the Waterpark in Falaraki, apparently the second largest in Europe - you had to get around on a miniature train. It was one of my favourite days out, almost like Disney land but with water slides. The slides were scary, fun and there was plenty to choose from. If you're not a fan of the scary ones, you could spend hours on the lazy river. If you go to Rhodes, go to the water park, and go on the WetBubble. If this ever applies to you, you will know what I mean.
The Acropolis is definitely worth a visit too, the views are stunning but go as late in the day as possible; lots of steps + over 35degree heat = extreme irritation.

It was a gorgeous week, which makes me even more excited to go away to Mallorca in August with Calum and his family, although it has to be said, the waterpark in Mallorca doesn't compare...
I will be posting soon with some hopefully successful Greek recipes, which are perfect for summer, even if it isn't quite as hot in Scotland as it is in Greece.
For the moment though, I have just been abandoned by my mum who has gone out for lunch. I think there is some left over macaroni cheese in the fridge with my name on it... Sigh.

Lindsay x 

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Lamb and feta koftas

I haven't done a blog in a while, but I can say it's been for good reason. Last weekend, me and Calum were at Parklife Festival, down in Manchester. We went last year and it was just as good this time around, despite the odd shower and a lot of mud and a (self inflicted) lack of wellies...  Although we did get sunburnt, so I can't really complain. We even partied in the smallest club in the world, which as it turn is out is exactly the right size for me, I was the only person who didn't need to crouch!

The music was just as amazing as expected, we got to see some of my favourite dance artists as well as legends like Soul to Soul and Public Enemy. The food was just as good, I love festival food. One of the things I was most excited about when we bought tickets was the Thai Street Food stall they have there, sort of missing the point I know, but the Massaman Curry IS life-changing.
Something about food from a van tastes so much better than it would if you were eating it in a restaurant, even (or perhaps especially) if it's slightly dodgy Chinese. SO, my recipe today is semi-inspired by a falafel wrap I had when we were there. I say semi-inspired, because they aren't really similar at all, apart from being in a wrap and tasting like you would eat it on a Greek holiday. And being great with hummus.

Since I am going to Greece soon, food like my lamb and feta koftas seem especially perfect for summer BBQs, if you want something a bit more unusual than a burger, but with a similar appeal. Little spiced lamb meatballs, infused with feta cheese; these are delicious, AND I can proudly say, one of my own recipes.

What you'll need to make these is as follows. These make about 15 meatballs.

  • 500g lean lamb mince
  • 1 tbsp dried, or fresh (finely chopped) mint
  • 1 clove of finely chopped garlic
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin 
  • 1 block of feta cheese, crumbled (I don't know the exact weight, but it's the small block you can buy in Tesco)
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • A good few grinds of black pepper 
  • Salt, to taste
  1. Put the mince, and all of the spices into a bowl, and combine with your hands until everything is evenly mixed through. 
  2. Then, add your crumbled cheese, and do the same.
  3. Once you've added the cheese, pinch off ping-pong ball sized pieces of mince and shape into meatballs. Place on a foil lined baking tray. When they are all shaped and the same size, put the tray into the fridge for twenty minutes to firm the meatballs up. 
  4. Then, either grill or BBQ, turning frequently until the outsides are crisp and brown, and when you cut one in half the mince is cooked all the way through. This should take ten-fifteen minutes, but depending on the size might take more or less time. Keep checking them. 
Done! Easy peasy. My favourite way to eat these is  street food-esque, i.e in a pitta bread, with some mixed leaves, hummus and tzatziki, which you can easily make by chopping up some cucumber and mint, and mixing with greek yoghurt.
Oooh, and with Pimms. 

Definitely try these out to zizz up a BBQ, and if the British summer fails you they are just as easy to pretend with, under the grill. 


Lindsay x 

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Cauliflower buffalo wings

The break in blogging has been because of what I would love to say was a well deserved break up by the beach in Findhorn. It was not well deserved in fact, as I am currently spending my days woefully job-hunting (if anyone in my local area knows of any part-time work going, PLEASE leave a comment) but regardless of that it was lovely. Blisteringly hot, by my standards, and three books and a weekend of sunbathing later I actually have the beginnings of a tan!

The recipe I'm writing for you guys was one I cooked before going up to Findhorn though, and one I would definitely, definitely recommend trying, vegetarians and meat lovers alike. It's super for if you are a fan of spicy, BBQ-y, mexican summer food, would make a great side to a BBQ, a starter, party offering or part of a lunch of salads (as mine was). An ingenious and healthy way of combining the guilty-pleasure of buffalo wings with vegetables... gluten free cauliflower buffalo wings everyone!
I can sense how dubious you are, but trust me, even if you aren't a big cauliflower fan these are worth a try. By the time the recipe is finished they are no longer just cauliflower, but bite-sized chunks of spicy heaven.

I can't take the credit for this recipe, it's one my mum suggested I cooked, from a website called MindBodyGreen, definitely worth a skim for all the health eaters out there, which I am trying to be before I go on holiday....

Ingredients -

  1. I head of cauliflower, cut into bite-sized chunks
  2. 1 cup of garam flour (chick-pea flower) which you can find in most supermarkets or health stores
  3. 1 cup of water
  4. 1 tsp of garlic powder
  5. 1/2 tsp of salt
  6. 1 tsp melted butter
  7. 1/2 cup reggae reggae sauce
  8. 1/4 cup tomato ketchup
  9. 1/2 tbsp piri piri sauce (spice to taste)
Now, the recipe says to simply use 2/3 cup of hot sauce, but since I wanted mine to be particularly sticky and sweet, with a kick of spice, this is the sauce combination I used. I admit, I am no longer sure if that means they are gluten free, but they are even more delicious!

  • Preheat your oven to 450F, 230C or gas mark 8. 
  • In a bowl, combine the flour, garlic powder, salt (I just used garlic salt instead, but either would be fine) and water. Whisk together until you have a smooth batter, and all the flour is combined. 
  • Toss the cauliflower in the batter, coating each chunk completely. Then, place the chunks on a greased, non stick baking tray. 
  • Bake for 15 mins, tossing hallway through. 
  • Meanwhile, combine your sauces and melted butter. When the cauliflower is done, let it cool for a minute then toss it in the hot sauce mixture. Make sure you include any battery bits that come off of the cauliflower, these are delicious too. 
  • Place the cauliflower back on the baking tray and bake for another 25 mins, until crispy. 

Viola! I served mine with a simple greek yoghurt dip, with some mint and lemon juice in it. They would be wonderful with a blue cheese sauce, or anything creamy really!
I cooked them for company who all went home demanding the recipe, and I have to say they exceeded my expectations, I will definitely be making them again. They taste like a guilty treat, just not so guilty! 

Now, it's back to the (potential) grind, i.e. the job hunt for me. If you're having some friends over soon, a BBQ or even just as a treat for yourself or your family, definitely try these, they are delicious!

Lindsay x