Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Eating out in Edinburgh: The Edinburgh Larder Cafe

Tucked off The Royal Mile on Blackfriars Street is the lovely The Edinburgh Larder Cafe.  When we first moved up to Edinburgh I often walked from our old flat in Stockbridge over to the Old Town and loved stopping in at The Edinburgh Larder for breakfast...the porridge is perfect on a damp Edinburgh morning.  I've not been since Lyra arrived, partly because it is a small cafe making it difficult with the buggy, and partly because I rarely find myself wandering up and down The Royal Mile these days.  Earlier this month, however, I took Lyra to an early morning storytelling session at The Scottish Storytelling Centre and decided to pop into The Edinburgh Larder for a snack afterwards.

I had thought about sitting with Lyra in the window, so that she could sit beside me on the banquette, but one of the lovely staff told me that there was a highchair so we ended up pulling that up to the large communal table.  The cafe was quiet so we had the table to ourselves, which was nice, but I'm sure Lyra would have happily entertained anyone who chose to sat with us. 

Lyra snacked on half of a decent sized sone with butter and jam (and also ended up having some of the sausage from my breakfast roll) and happily gobbled it right up.  The coffee is good, the breakfast list is extensive and the staff are very friendly.

The Edinburgh Larder

15 Blackfriars Street
EH1 1NB 


Open Mon-Fri 8-5, Sat-Sun 9-5

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Out and About: David Welch Winter Gardens DUTHIE PARK, ABERDEEN

At the beginning of February I took Lyra up to Aberdeenshire to visit some friends who live, with their daughter, just outside of Aberdeen.  The long weekend was lovely. We spent a lot of time playing, a little bit of time napping, and a very fun morning out at Duthie Park in Aberdeen. 

The girls' highlight of Duthie Park was most definitely the swings and play park, but I just loved wandering around the David Welch Winter Gardens. Yonks ago I interned at Kew Gardens down in London and wandering around (well chasing Lyra around) the glasshouses in Duthie Park transported me right back to my time at Kew. 

For the most part the glasshouses are stroller friendly, and there are lots of bridges for little ones to run up and over.  We were all flagging by the end of our expedition through the giant ferns and stopped by the small cafe for a (large) pancake and drink before hitting the play park for more running around (in the snow)! 

If you are visiting Aberdeen, with or without little ones, and would like a quiet escape check out the Winter Gardens at Duthie could easily spend an hour out of the cold discovering some new plants.  Oh and did I mention it is FREE??

Duthie Park 
Polmuir Road

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Recipe: Nature Cookies

I have fallen into the black hole that is Pinterest more often than I choose to admit.  Seriously, sometimes I lose WHOLE EVENINGS to browsing PICTURES of food.  More often that not I don't even bother trying out the links to the recipes that have caught my eye, I just PIN for later and move on...and on...and on...and on...and OH MY GOSH! Where did the evening go?! 

Back before Christmas I was looking for protein packed snack ideas for Lyra and ended up pinning about a gazillion energy ball recipes only to discover, upon actually looking at the recipes, that I needed a food processor to make them...something I don't have.  

Then I found the recipe for nature cookies from the Weelicious website (check it out...great food ideas for little ones) and after a couple of tweaks I whipped up a batch of protein packed cookies to keep in the freezer for Lyra.  

The original recipe sounds amazing, but I substituted 1/4 cup peanut butter and 1/4 cup butter instead of just 1/2 cup of butter because I wanted a little bit of extra nut protein, and also used maple syrup instead of honey since that is what I had on hand.  For nuts I used sunflower seeds and the basic chopped nuts mix from the Sainsbury's baking aisle, and I decided not to add in the chocolate chips. 

The cookie dough is really thick so I just rolled it into walnut sized balls and pressed those down on the baking sheet. 

These cookies freeze well and defrost quickly. The batch I made are a little bit crumbly, but still manage to get gobbled up pretty quickly. Oh, and without the chocolate chips they really don't taste sweet at all.