Monday, February 27, 2012

Scottish Recipes - Scottish Macaroon Bars

Scottish Macaroon Bars

Scottish Macaroon Bar

Scottish Macaroon Bars

Not to be confused with American/French Macaroons, pictured below

Ahhhhh  Scottish Macaroon Bars..... these dreamy coconut delights are super sweet and full of sugar with a surprise ingredient


Yes, a sugary treat made of potato, who knew

So when you make these delicious sweet treats you can impress your friends and family with this little piece of Macaroon Bar trivia

In Scotland, a famous brand of Macaroon Bar is Lee's

Macaroon Bars were a big part of my childhood, if I wasn't munching on a Lee's Macaroon Bar, then my mum was making the real deal. Homemade Macaroon's were found in many bake sales. I remember being young and a company would come around door to door selling Macaroon Bars and Tablet, yum.

I think it is only in homes across Scotland that Macaroon Bars are made from real potato, due to shelf life big companies don't use real potato. You can easily store them in an air tight container for around 5 days or so

Before we start, I just want to say these are the messiest things I have ever made

Fun, yet messy

To make these, I am using my mum's recipe that she handed down to me

You will need

1 Small Potato (note: the potato in the pic is too big)
1lb Icing Sugar (Powdered Sugar to my USA readers)
10oz Cooking Chocolate (semi-sweet chocolate to my USA readers)
6oz sweetened Coconut

Icing sugar or powdered sugar
melted chocolate, toasted coconut

Peel, Chop and Boil Potato and then Mash very well (no lumps)

Potato, mashed very well

Add potato to icing sugar (powdered sugar) a little at a time and mix (it wont taste like potato, go on, try it)

It will resemble a stiff yet sticky dough

Put into tray and then into fridge, leave to set

Potato and sugar mixture in a tray to set

Cut into rectangles when set, here is where my mixture was still a bit too sticky, so I rolled my rectangles into oblong shapes, try not to handle the mixture too much, it gets sticky with warm hands

After making shapes, rectangle or rolls, put back in fridge while melting chocolate

Melt Chocolate over a bain marie (pot of boiling water with heat proof bowl on top)

bain marie

Lay Coconut on a baking tray, Toast the Coconut until golden in oven at 350F for a few minutes

Some of my coconut was still white, I liked that, I mixed it up and it looked great

toasted coconut

This is where it gets messy but fun

chocolate and coconut station

Dip the set shaped Macaroon mixture into the melted Chocolate

Next Roll the chocolate covered mixture in the Toasted Coconut

(my hands resembled macaroons by the end, eeek)

Leave on plate to set


Scottish macaroon bar

Scottish Macaroon Bars

Hope you all enjoy this tasty treat and I hope I have brought back great Macaroon Bar memories for my Scottish pals

Anyone who hasn't made these, go on give them a try and amaze your friends with the potato surprise


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Scottish Recipes - Steak Bridies

Steak Bridies

Homemade Steak Bridies brought to you by tartantastesintx

OMG !!

I love Steak Bridies, they are light and fluffy, yet hearty and filling

This is something I have only recently started to make from scratch

Stephens (a Dunfermline Bakery) have the best Steak Bridies in my opinion

These delicious meaty delights are a personal favorite of mine from back home in Scotland

Stephens the Baker's,  Dunfermline Bakery

Original Steak Bridie from Scotland

For those of you who have never had one, its best described a pastry pocket filled with Meat & Gravy


I love them so much, I had two on my last trip home

So after making Sausage Rolls I got to thinking, I wonder if I can make a Steak Bridie ?

Oh yes I can

Again, just like Sausage Rolls, no living, breathing Scot would make these while living in Scotland, you can just buy them for next to nothing, but here in Texas expats and the rest of you around the world need to make them from scratch. If we fancy a Bridie and Beans, we need to get our aprons on

These are a hit with Mr Tartan Tastes

Here's how I make them

Makes 8

You will need

1Pk Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Sheets (2pk) - Puff pastry recipe coming soon
1lb Steak meat for stewing
Bisto Beef Gravy Granules or Powder
Beaten egg or milk to seal and glaze

Puff Pastry Sheets

Beef Stewing Steak

Cook the meat just as in the recipe for Steak Pie, click here to see how

Except, leave the meat cooking longer until there is less lumps of meat and its more of a shredded meat and gravy consistency

Let the meat cool completely (this is important as warm meat placed on pastry makes it melt)

Defrost the Puff Pastry Sheets

Lay the Sheets out and cut each sheet into 4, making 8 squares total

Pastry cut into 4

Take the cooled meat mixture and spoon some onto each square off to one corner

Place meat on one corner

Brush egg or milk around the edge of each square 

Fold each meat square, corner to corner, making a triangle shape

Pinch closed and using a knife cut a hole in the top for air to escape

Ready to bake

Brush with egg or milk to glaze

Bake on baking trays in the oven at 400F for 15 minutes or until golden

Homemade Steak Bridie

Note - You can freeze them raw ready to defrost and cook later 

Just like sausage rolls, enjoy hot with beans or enjoy this yummy pastry cold on its own

You can also make the filing with ground beef and onions, otherwise known as a mince and onion Bridie, similar to a Cornish pasty but without the potato & turnip

Enjoy, my pals


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

DIY - Guest Bedroom Makeover

One of our Guest Bedrooms was completely set in the 90's, even though we moved into this house in 2005 !!

It had Solid Pine furniture that came over with us from Scotland when we moved to Texas

It was old and dated and needed to go

Pine bedroom furniture

Boring pine furniture

We planned on buying new furniture for this room

Then I saw this, click here  on Pinterest, How to update furniture with black spray paint and distress it

I was in awe

So according to the blog I followed the steps to paint the furniture black and sand it to make it look distressed

pine bed with black paint and distressing
chest of drawers with black paint and distressing

I figured if it all went wrong then we were going to throw out the furniture anyway, we cant lose

It turned out great and I was pleased with the results,  Mr Tartan Tastes was skeptical, but even he loved the finished look

Now it looks all sophisticated and has a New Lease of life

I bought new lamp shades for the lamps

I painted the walls the same paint color as most rooms in our home, Behr Castle Path

Guest Bedroom Makeover

I love that color a lot, maybe a bit too much according to Mr Tartan Tastes

Its in our living room, kitchen, hallway, stairway, and now this guest room, oh and as the background color for the mini makeover for the Jungle Bathroom

See, I love that wall color

Another passion of mine is metal art, I have it all over my home.

Its a bit of an obsession, these cute white pieces were in another room but they look way better in here

Metal Art

Metal Art

The mirror on the wall is from Scotland, I acquired it from my parents, it was gold, then I sprayed it silver now its sprayed brown and distressed a little showing the silver

Mirror, painted brown using outdoor furniture paint

Doesn't it look cute?

Its amazing what a little paint on the furniture and some new wall color and some new bedding can do

Guest Bedroom Makeover
I love this makeover, our guests will feel much cozier in here now


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Scottish Recipes - Steak Pie

Happy lazy Sunday everyone

Today is a day for relaxing with friends and family, and eating great food

In Scotland its traditionally a day of the great Sunday Roast

Today we are having

Steak Pie

Steak Pie

I have a lot of great Steak Pie memories

One that always comes to mind was when I was a child

My Grandad, who lived on his own would come see us every Christmas

He would get on the bus from his Scottish village where he lived and never tell us he was coming, we always knew he would visit, but every year he would arrive unannounced, but expected all the same.

This was fine when we were really young and my mum was at home during the day but as my sister and I got older and into our teens and twenties my family would all be out at work or school, and so no one was ever in.

He would sit on the door step with his Christmas presents for everyone and wait

Luckily our neighbor took him into her home a few times until we got home

So, back to the Steak Pie

At Christmas its tradition in Scotland to have a turkey and all the trimmings, but my Grandad didn't like turkey, so my mum would always make him a Steak Pie, he loved Steak Pie, especially my mum's Steak Pie

I think about my Grandad when I make Steak Pie, especially around Christmas time.

Funny how little things like that pop into your head

Another great Steak Pie memory, is later in life, in my 20s when I started going out on the town with my friends, partying.

The morning or afternoon after, depending on when we re-surfaced, it was know for us to go out and eat some good old pub grub as a hangover cure (anyone British knows exactly what I'm talking about, its like homemade comfort food) most of the time it would be a Scottish cooked breakfast.

One of my best friends, Alison, (who now lives in New Zealand, Hi Alison), would always want a Steak Pie, even if it was early and breakfast time instead. So out came the breakfasts for everyone else and of course Alison's Steak Pie.

Steak Pie tends to be a Sunday Lunch/Dinner favorite, served with vegetables of choice and Roasted or Mashed Potatoes but also great with Chips (fries)

Scottish comfort food at its best

Here is how my mum makes Steak Pie, she passed it to me and its how I make it also

Serves 4

You will need

1.5lb Stewing Beef cut into cubes
a sheet of frozen puff pastry (homemade puff pastry recipe coming soon)
some water
Bisto Beef Gravy granules or Beef Gravy Powder

Stewing Beef
Puff Pastry Sheet

Ahhhh Bisto

Put meat into Slow Cooker or Crock Pot (USA) and add a half cup of water and cook on Low for 5 hours until meat is soft and tender

You can also Cook this on a Cook top, put meat into a large pot and cover with cold water, bring to boil and simmer for 1.5 - 2 hours, until meat is soft and tender

Once meat is tender, add Bisto Gravy Granules or Powder according to packet
I used 2.5 tbs of granules to the juices and meat until gravy was thick and dark

Beef and Gravy

Defrost Puff Pastry and lay out on a baking sheet, bake in oven at 400F for 15 minutes until golden and puffy

Puff Pastry

Cut pastry into 4 pieces

Spoon out Meat and Gravy mixture on to plate

Beef and Gravy

Place a piece of Puff Pastry on top of Meat

Steak Pie

Serve with vegetables of choice, I chose Carrot and Mashed Potatoes this time

Scottish comfort food at its best

Steak Pie with Carrots and Mash

Thank you mum for giving me your recipe all those years ago

Enjoy your Sunday Dinner my pals

Whatever your comfort food of choice is

We are having Steak pie


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Jungle Bathroom Makeover

So, I already showed you the Jungle Leopard Mirror makeover as a sneak peek

Here it is in its new place in the new Jungle Bathroom

Jungle Bathroom Mirror

to see how I painted the mirror click here

So ..... Drum roll.....

Now its time to show you the whole Jungle Bathroom makeover

I already had a bunch of Jungle themed items,

like pictures, a painting, a rug, laundry bin, all from Sir Scoffs-A-Lots baby bedroom.

He now has a big boy Cars themed bedroom, so this stuff was looked out to sell at a consignment sale and then I got to thinking, maybe a Jungle Bathroom would be great fun

So I set out to just paint over the old wall color, it was a silver/ grey before, and stick up a few pictures

How Wrong Was I

My brain started to work over time,

What if I painted some wall decor, palms trees and grass etc ?

I could do that

So that's where this picture came in, I used it for inspiration to paint the palm trees

So I started painting

I just copied the picture's tree

Paint colours

Starting to paint the palm trees

Now the leaves

Adding more color on the trunk

Here's how it all turned out

Jungle Bathroom palm trees

Jungle Bathroom palm trees

I added all the accessories I had and then added more that I bought or made

Picture I painted

Cute tissue cover from ebay

cute soap dish from ebay

cute toothbrush holder from ebay

can you believe I painted this when I was 15, I am such a hoarder sometimes
new monkey shower curtain and matching monkey curtain rings

I then wanted to change up the bathroom cabinets

They were already painted white so I sanded them and added antiquing glaze

white cabinets
hardware removed, one cabinet glazed

new glazing on cabinets and newly sprayed handles

Painting it on and wiping it off to give this effect

I got the idea over at a blog called Our Fifth House click here to see

I spray painted the handles from Silver to Brown

Eventually we will change the bath, and change the tiles, but for now the mini makeover is complete

So for now here is the Jungle Bathroom

Jungle bathroom

No bathroom is complete without that basket of bath toys

Fit for a cheeky wee monkey

Do you love it?

Sir Scoffs-A-Lot does


Here I am linking to Thrifty Decor Chick and her fabulous before and after party

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...