Friday, 18 July 2014

Sygn Bar

Last night Jack and I went out to dinner at Sygn which is definitely one of my favourites bars in Edinburgh. It's got a really fresh and modern feel about it with a contemporary menu and a drinks list to match. We each had a burger - the portions were extremely generous! - and a cocktail each. Sygn has a really energetic feel about it, even at 5pm it was really busy. I would definitely recommend paying a visit especially after some retail therapy in town. The staff are really friendly and helpful, we will be going back soon!


Thursday, 17 July 2014

Yogurt Pot Cake

One of my favourite things to whip up in a hurry is Nigella Lawson's yogurt pot cake. It's lovely and light and a great excuse to use my savarin 'ring' cake tin. If ever you find a half eaten pot of yogurt sitting in the fridge the then this is what you need to make.
It's a really versatile cake that can be dressed up in any way you like. Last time I made it I kept things simple using vanilla yeo valley yogurt instead of natural and served it up with a spoonful of marscapone and a handful of blueberries. Most of the ingredients in this cake are measured using a 150g yogurt pot making it a no nonsense delight!
Yogurt Pot Cake
150g yogurt of choice
150ml flavourless vegetable oil
3 eggs
250g caster sugar
2 capful's vanilla extract
zest of half unwaxed lemon/orange
175g plain flour
75g cornflour
icing sugar to serve
1x22cm Savarin or ring mould
Preheat the oven to 180C and grease your savarin using vegetable oil. Now in a spotlessly clean (preferably stainless steel) bowl, separate your eggs keeping the whites in this bowl and yolks in another large bowl. Whisk the egg whites until you have nice stiff peaks.
Next add your yogurt into the egg yolks making sure you scrape all of the yogurt out. You are now going to use this to measure out your sugar, 2 pots worth into the yolk and yogurt mix. Whisk until light and airy.
Measure out 1 pot of vegetable oil and add slowly into your egg yolk mixture, continuing to whisk all the while. Now add the lemon zest  and the two capful's of vanilla extract. Followed by 2 pots of plain flour and 1 pot of cornflour. Make sure all of the new components are well combined before taking a large metal spoon and transferring the egg whites into the mixture. Do this slowly bit by bit folding in each dollop of egg whites to make sure it is incorporated well without losing all the airiness. Once you have done this you can now fill your savarin or ring mould with the batter.
Place into the oven and leave to bake for 30-35 minutes. It will naturally crack on top giving it a nice rustic look and the sides should be coming away from the edges of your tin when it is ready. If you are unsure slide a skewer into the middle and see if it comes away clean. If so, it's ready to come out. Place on a wire rack and let it cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning it out. Dust with icing sugar and serve preferable with some nice strong coffee and some summer berries. Deeeeelish!

Oh and it's great for breakfast in bed too - as demonstrated by Nina...

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Flower Pressing

A few weekends ago I was privileged to attend an absolutely stunning wedding in Dunkeld. It was such a beautiful day that I will always remember as being filled with love and happiness. This morning Nina was eager to sort out the flowers we were given after the wedding that were slowly beginning to droop on my bedside table so I suggested we try pressing them.

I had a little look on pinterest to find some inspiration and I came across a great page ( via pinterest which had instructions on how to press flowers in the microwave.
It was super easy to do and great for Nina to help with. The results we pretty good but I definitely need to stop being so timid and determined to keep the flowers whole. I need to get out my craft knife and do a little dissecting...
So now the question is what am I going to do with them. I'd love to frame some up for Susanne the lovely bride as a little momento and perhaps save some for a little drawing inspiration.
If you have any ideas for me I would love to hear. I'd also love some blog feedback, please! I want to know who's out there...

Oh and feel free to check out my pinterest -
Thank You!


Monday, 14 July 2014

Edinburgh Weekends

Well I think it's fair to say that we have had a very fruitful weekend and I can't quite come to terms with the fact that it's Monday already. The weather over the weekend was lovely despite the forecast so I am forgiving of the pitter patter of rain on our roof at the moment.
On Friday we visited the zoo which is literally 5 minutes in the car from our house and is a fabulous place to spend a sunny afternoon.

 On Saturday we took Nina to the Camera Obscura on the royal mile, just before Edinburgh Castle. I'd never been before but we really enjoyed ourselves, I wasn't sure if Nina would be too young but she loved it and there was plenty for her to see and do.

To top off our weekend on Sunday we walked up Blackford hill which is a really stunning spot that allows you a fantastic view of Edinburgh. It's a quick walk up to the top that Nina can manage no problem at all and the look of joy and accomplishment on her little face when she reaches the top says it all. A family friend passed away a few years ago and there is a bench near the top of the hill in his memory so it's nice to sit up there now and again. It's comforting to watch the business that constantly surrounds us but not to feel consumed by it. It's so easy to forget whats right in front you, sometimes you just need time and space to breathe again.


Thursday, 10 July 2014

Little Nina

Hi folks! I've honestly been really amazed by how many of you have come to view my blog and I hope you have enjoyed reading so far...
It's been an absolutely beautiful day in Edinburgh and I have been soaking up the sun. It's so nice to sit out in our teeny tiny backgarden and have dinner after collecting Nina from nursery. It's nice not to feel like we are in such a rush to get anything done, we can just enjoy being in eachothers company.
Nina is such an easy going little girl and I love to go with her flow, although she sometimes needs a little persuasion she has become a very good little decision maker and I try to encourage her to make her own choices.

Ever since she was little Nina has been very determined when it comes to clothing. I remember being like that when I was younger too so I always try and let her decide. I recently began to sell some of her old clothes on ebay which I've really enjoyed doing but I must admit I've probably spent as much as I've earned! I won a gorgeous little Ralph Lauren denim dress for Nina (a steal at only £3.20!!) but, as a girl who has always refused to wear jeans (strictly leggings or tights) I wasn't sure what my little babe would make of her new get up. When the dress arrived in the post Nina was delighted and the dress was put on immediately. I know I'm bias but I have to admit the results were rather cute.

The dress stayed on for two whole days and it looked sweet with another dress underneath when we went out for dinner the following evening. I love the idea of hand me down clothes and a fraction of the price who can complain?!

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Wholemeal Parsnip Cake

Last week I made a Parsnip cake for my partner Jack's birthday. I think I am safe to say it went down a treat and I will be making it again soon. I had a look online to find a recipe that had all the elements
that I wanted to include but none were quite what I was after so I played about with measurements and spices until I was happy...
The final result was a moist and wholesome cake with a sweet, earthy flavour. Since Jack doesn't like cream cheese based icing I opted for simplicity, whipping double cream with a pinch of cinnamon using this between sponges and on top.

Wholemeal Cinnamon and Parsnip Cake
250g wholemeal flour
1tbsp baking powder
2tsp cinnamon
1tsp ginger
1tsp ground nutmeg
250g golden caster sugar
250g parsnips (coarsely grated)
zest and juice of 1 lemon
3 large eggs
250ml olive oil
First and foremost turn the oven to 180C, I know from experience that there is nothing worse than opening the oven to find out it's not on...
Now prepare two 20cm cake tins.  I have recently become accustomed to using cake tin liners for ease however if you want a nice smooth edge I suggest taking time to oil the tins and line the bottom with baking paper.
Begin by adding all of the dry ingredients into a large bowl. In another bowl whisk the eggs, oil, lemon juice and zest before adding the grated parsnip. Now the dry ingredients can be added to our oil mixture and thoroughly combined.
Pour the mixture into your prepared tins and pop into the oven for roughly 45 minutes, although check them with a skewar in the middle and when it comes out clean your good to go.
Allow your cakes time to cool in there tins completely before turning them out onto a wire rack.
As I mentioned earlier I kept the filling and topping simple with whipped double cream and a sprinkling of cinnamon but for those with a sweet tooth feel free to go all out but I must admit this humble cake has all the depth and flavour to steal the show.
As you can see in my pic above I used a variety of fresh fruits and some lemon mint from my garden to give the cake a little extra pizzazz! 

Craigie Farm

Yesterday despite the rain we set out for Craigie Farm which is a fantastic place to visit whatever the weather. They have a great shop, cafe, play park and lots of animals to see. The main attraction for us however was the strawberry picking. It is safe to say that the strawberries and raspberries that we picked yesterday were truly delicious and we left wholly satisfied with what we had eaten already and what we still had left... and the sun came out for us too! A fantastic day out for all the family.



You can also check out the farm website to check whats going on and what is good for the picking!



I'd like to start by saying Thank You for coming to check out our little blog of adventures. For those of you who don't know us personally, my name is Naomi and my four year old daughter is Nina - hence the name! I'm starting a blog as a way to reach out to family, friends and anyone who wishes to share these little snippets of our lives. I am currently studying Textiles and am a keen home cook/baker so I sincerely hope I will be able to share some of my projects and recipes with you. For the past 2 years I have been a diehard instagram addict and I would love to share those pictures on here too with more details about them. My partner Jack will bear witness to that because I'm forever snapping pics of him and Nina or whatever food I've been making, or all of the above together!
I'm really lucky to have found a soul mate like Jack who knows me better than anyone else and always knows how to make me feel loved. Without Nina and Jack my life would not be complete so I have them to thank.
And also a massive thanks again to you for checking out our blog, enjoy...!


Here is Nina doing what she does best, exploring!
 This picture was taken at Kilnford farm, Dumfries where we also got to meet a gorgeous shetland foal and a baby beltie cow!