Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Scottish Recipes - Scottish Snowballs

Scottish Snowballs

Scottish Snowballs

Well no-one gets a prize for guessing why these yummy cakes are called Snowballs...

These are the cake based snowballs and are not to be confused with the famous Scottish Tunnock's Snowballs, which are delicious in their own right, and are marshmallow filled with a chocolate and coconut cover

I was stuck for what to make today

So I decided to browse through my Scottish Cookbooks this time and came across this one

Really I should have waited until winter time for this one because of the wintery name but my winter/Christmas Scottish food list is already massive, think Black Bun, Cherry Cake, Clootie Dumpling, Fruit cake and Potted Hough to name a few...

Snowballs or Sno'baws are something that Mr Tartan Tastes and myself frequently bought when we lived in Scotland from our local Baker's or from the Supermarket. A six pack of Snowballs were thrown in our shopping trolley along with a battenburg each week....mmm battenburg, this might be next...

So back to these Snowballs, they turned out a little smaller than I wanted but maybe that's just me, and my 'eyes are bigger than my belly" attitude

Makes 10 (or 9 if you eat one along the way before its iced, oops)

You will need

225g/8oz Self raising flour
80g/3oz Sugar
pinch salt
80g/3oz Margarine
1 egg
1 egg yolk
225g/8oz icing or powdered sugar
50g/2oz coconut


  • Stir flour, sugar and salt together in a large bowl
Mix flour, sugar, salt

  • Rub in margarine until resembles breadcrumbs
resembles breadcrumbs

  • Bind into a stiff dough with the egg and egg yolk
add the eggs

  • turn out onto a floured surface and press into a flat cake
Nice stiff dough
flattened dough

  • cut into quarters and divide each piece into 5 pieces
cut into quarters
20 pieces

  • Roll each piece into a ball and arrange on a greased baking tray
20 dough balls

  • Bake for 10 minutes at 200C/400F

  • Once baked, leave to one side to cool

  • Mix together half the powdered sugar with one desert spoon of water

  • Sandwich together into pairs the two halves with jam on one half and icing on other half, again leave to side to stick

  • Mix remaining powdered/icing sugar with 3 desert spoons of water to make a thinner icing and dip the cakes into the icing
cover in thin icing
cover in thin icing

  • Next dip the iced cakes into the coconut
cover in coconut

  • Leave to the side on a plate to set
snowball waiting to set

Once these yummy deserts set, enjoy.

Scottish Snowballs

Again, like many things I am making these days,  Mr Tartan Tastes had two in one sitting.....

So my pals, enjoy some snowballs in Spring

p.s. These are not so good for snowballs fights unless its a full blown food fight


linking to fivelittlechefs

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Scottish Recipes - Mum's Rhubarb Tart

Spring is here.....

This wonderful spring/summer recipe is my Mum's

So I am calling this post "Mum's Rhubarb Tart"

Rhubarb Tart

My Mum used to make this delicious tart when my Sister and I were small. Back then, between the ages of 5-12, it wasn't my favourite thing, I liked little angel cakes better, of course.  I am sure it was in my Dad's top 10 favourite things for my mum to make though and still is to this day

Now as I have matured and discovered the finer things in life, ha ha, can we call Rhubarb "finer"? I think here in Texas we can. Well anyway, now that I have grown I love her Rhubarb Tart

Scottish Rhubarb Tart

Rhubarb is a funny thing. Anyone who is Scottish or indeed British knows Rhubarb very well. We all grew up on the stuff as kids. Ask any Scot, and they will probably tell you they got a raw stalk of rhubarb and a bag of sugar as a treat as a kid. You dipped the end of the rhubarb into the sugar and sooked, it was tricky to bite, as all those pesky fibres got stuck in your teeth, but that didn't stop us. Almost everyone had Rhubarb growing in their garden or knew someone who did. As kids we didn't actually have a garden until we moved to Dunfermline when I was around 7 years old, but My Gran and Grandad had it in their garden and we would get Rhubarb there too, yum.

Rhubarb in my Father-in-law's allotment in Scotland

My mum and dad also remember getting rhubarb and sugar as a treat when small too, I wonder if Scottish kids still get this even today? I am not sure, do they?

So Rhubarb isn't something grown here in Texas that I know of. So to make this I had to make a trip to my local supermarket, its not in every store but you can find it.

Look for stalks that are hard and crunchy not rubbery, and a nice deep red colour, with a stripe or two of green. Rhubarb tends to be sour when raw but add sugar and cook it and it becomes sweet. It is delicious stewed....mmmm... more recipes with rhubarb to come I think.....

My Mum made us this on her last visit to Texas last year, Mr Tartan Tastes loved it. I think she nearly passed out at the price of it here, its a rare luxury produce item.

So I have been on the phone this week, from Texas, to Scotland, speaking to my Mum just getting the finer details for making this family recipe. I have seen my Mum make this many times in my life but this is a first for me, I am making this myself, wish me luck, I hope its just half as good as my Mum's

Makes one plate sized pie

You will need

3 large stalks of Rhubarb
14oz Self raising flour
6oz Butter
Cold water
pinch of salt

Sugar and flour to sprinkle
Milk or egg to glaze

  • Wash and chop Rhubarb (leave to the side)

Chopped Rhubarb

  • Make shortcrust pastry, this pastry uses Self raising flour to make a more thicker, rich pastry

  • Sieve flour and salt into a large bowl, add sliced cold butter to the flour and rub in using cold hands (to get cold hands run your wrists under cold water for a few minutes)
Flour and butter = Breadcrumbs 

  • Once mixture resembles breadcrumbs, add cold water a bit at a time until a stiff but still dry pastry is made, don't over work the pastry

  • separate pastry into two, on a floured surface roll out first pastry, until size of your plate
Two pastry sections

  • Grease your plate and sprinkle flour on it, shaking off the excess

  • Lay the first pastry on the plate, cut the rough edges away
Rolled onto a plate

  • Place the cut rhubarb on the pastry covered plate and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of sugar and a tablespoon of flour to thicken the juices whilst cooking
add the Rhubarb

Sprinkle with sugar and flour

  • Roll out the second batch of pastry and place on top, cutting excess pastry from edges

  • Make a little hole in the center and flatten the edges with your thumb, I also made some decorations from left over pastry
Pastry decoration

  • Brush with milk or egg and sprinkle with sugar
Tart ready for the oven

  • Place in oven at 375F for 18 minutes or until golden on top

  • Leave to cool completely before cutting into slices
Rhubarb Tart, hot from the oven

Serve hot with ice cream, cream or custard

Serve cold by the slice

Rhubarb Tart

Thanks Mum

We love your Rhubarb Tart


Linking to Serenity Now : homestoriesatoz : sugarbeecrafts

Monday, May 14, 2012

Scottish Recipes - Chicken Curry Packet

OK. So I am gonna cheat a wee bit here

In keeping with the Curry theme from a couple of weeks ago after doing Coronation Chicken

This is a post about Chicken Curry, you know, that Scottish favourite from most Chinese takeaway Establishments

Scottish Chicken Curry

That yummy stuff that goes with chips (fries to my USA readers)

Oh Yeah, Chips and Curry sauce, mmmmmmm

Takeaway (take out) food is a big thing in Scotland. People generally go into various food places buy food and take it home and eat it. Its a very big part of life in the UK. Chinese food, Indian food, Pizza and the fabulous Fish & Chips are a few I can name. There is nothing better than taking home your little (or indeed big) parcel of food and enjoying it in the comfort of your own home with maybe a glass of wine, I miss that part of Scottish culture. We used to get 'Takeaway" at least twice a week when we lived in Scotland. Don't get me wrong we can get "take out" here in Texas, but the excitement isn't the same.

So this post is not really a recipe as such, but more of a packet mix

Its Young's or Yeung's Concentrated Chinese Curry Mix, this amazing packet is made in Scotland.

Young's Yeung's Chinese Curry Mix

This is really for the ex-pat wanting that amazing Chicken Curry that they haven't had for a long, long time

What you need to do is, on your next visit home to Scotland, search the Country and all the Butchers and you will find this little packet of Curry heaven

Or if no travel plans to Bonny Scotland are imminent then get that lovely Scottish visitor to stash a packet or 5 away in their suitcase, my personal favourite option

So, as I said before this stuff is found in Butcher Shops, its incredible and just like the real thing, I feel like this is my duty to tell you of this amazing packet mix, it will change your life if you are missing that  curry sauce

I first got introduced to this packet of curry sauce way back before living in the USA was even a flicker in our minds. It was around new year time and it was at my pals house in Arbroath, I was amazed at how good it tasted. I loved the stuff, yum.

So I know for sure that you get these packets in butchers in Fife, Angus, the Borders, Edinburgh and Glasgow, almost anywhere I'm sure. Also Tesco Supermarket are selling it now.

Makes a BIG pot

Serves a bunch of hungry Scots

You will need

4 - 6 Chicken Breasts
2  Large Onions
Curry Packet mix
(follow instructions on packet)

Rice to serve

Chips (fries) to serve

  • Cut Chicken into bite sized pieces and brown in a skillet or large pan
Brown the Chicken

  • Chop Onions into eights, making big chunks
Chopped Chunks of Onion

  • Using instructions on Packet mix, take a large pot add 2 pints of water and add the packet mix, heat and stir until no lumps
Chinese Curry Mix Packet
curry sauce mix 

  • Add the cooked chicken and the raw onion chunks to the sauce, simmer for around 10 minutes, if you are like us and like big crunchy onions, if not simmer longer
Add Chicken and Onion to Curry Sauce

  • Mix and enjoy, enjoy, enjoy 

Scottish Chicken Curry

 Oh and did I say enjoy !!!!


This is not a sponsored post, (I wish) all the info in this post is my own opinion and a product that I love very much and want to share with you all

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Scottish Recipes - Fly Cemetery

The good old Fly Cemetery

Fly Cemeteries

It is delicious, sweet, savoury, sticky and yummy all wrapped up in a neat little iced square

It is finger liking-ly scrumptious and something we miss from home in Scotland

Why are they called Fly Cemeteries by us funny Scot's you ask?

Because that's exactly what they look like, the raisins or currants are reminiscent of a collection of dead flies in their last resting place, the Fly Cemetery, ready to be eaten

I'm serious, you can go into a Baker's Shop in Scotland and ask for "two Fly Cemeteries and an Irn Bru please" and no-one will bat an eyelid, we are a funny bunch, us Scot's, with the funniest sense of humour when it comes to food, I love it

This name is something that has been around a while, my mum and dad remember them being named this when they were small

They also go by the more civilized name of Fruit Slice but I prefer the cheekier Fly Cemetery

Again this type of sweet is up there as a favourite of Mr TT

He was a happy chappy today when he came home from work to a plate of Fly Cemeteries

To make these delicious fruit squares

You will need

For the Fruit filling
2 Cups Raisins
1 Cup  Currants (if you cant get currants use 3 cups raisins, total)
1 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Water
1 Tbsp Cornflour/Cornstarch
1 tsp All Spice

fruit mixture ingredients

For the Shortcrust Pastry
14oz Self Raising Flour
6oz Butter
Pinch of salt
Cold water

For the icing 
4 cups Powdered/Icing Sugar
Cold water

Makes 20 squares

  • Put all Fruit filling ingredients into a large pot and boil continuously for 3 minutes, stirring all the time until the mixture thickens and reduces, leave to the side to cool
fruit mixture ingredients, ready for the boil

Thick, reduced fruit mixture

  • While fruit is cooling, make your Shortcrust pastry. Shortcrust needs to be light and full of air and handled as little as possible

  • Sieve the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl getting plenty of air in there

  • Rub all the Butter into the Flour until it resembles breadcrumbs, try using blunt knives to work it in to reduces handling
Add in the butter

Breadcrumbs consistency

  • Add some cold water a little at a time, sprinkling over and knead until a soft dough, don't over knead as you will lose the air
Elastic Shortcrust dough

  • cut the mixture in two, roll out the two halves over a floured surface

  • Lay out first rolled pastry onto a greased 9 x 6 cookie sheet/baking tray

  • Spread the "Flies" Fruit Mixture on top, then lay 2nd rolled pastry on top of that

  • Brush top with milk and put in oven at 375 F/190C for 20 minutes 
Cooling, just out the oven

  • Take out of oven and leave to cool

  • Once cool, make up Icing adding a little water at a time to make a thick paste, making sure it is stiff, smooth on top  and leave to set

  • Once set, cut into 20 squares and lift out one slice at a time
Fruit Slice/Fly Cemeteries

Enjoy your Fly cemetery with a nice cup of tea or a creamy coffee or

If you are Mr TT, enjoy your 3 Fly Cemeteries in one sitting

Fly Cemeteries

Note: other toppings you can use instead of Icing
         Sugar - Just sprinkle sugar over milk before going into oven
         Powdered Sugar - Sprinkle over top once out of oven and cooled


linking to Serenity Now
               Ask Anna

Thursday, May 10, 2012

DIY - Hardwood Floor Dream Come True

Well my Blog has been totally abandoned over the last week or so.


But I have a genuine excuse, we have had no Internet since the lower level of our home was cleared out

We are getting ready for Hardwood Floors

Yes that day has arrived

It has been a dream of mine to get Hardwoods in the house, and finally the dream came true last week

The floor we chose is from Bruce Flooring, its a hand scraped Hickory and the color is Brushed Sahara Sand

We love it

So here is the before collection of pictures of the carpet/tile combo...

Goodbye ugly tile.
Goodbye old carpet
I want to say I will miss you but well, no, I wont....get out of here....

Living room before Hardwoods

Living area with carpet

Ugly kitchen floor tile

Hallway to master bedroom

master bedroom with old carpet, wood stain from Pinterest project
breakfast area, old tile

Next comes the transition....

The Flooring company had to level our uneven cement floors and we waited in this transition period from Wednesday until Sunday....this was not my shining moment

Slowly the dream turned into a mini-nightmare, I had no idea what we were getting into. If you have ever had someone install Wood Floors then you will know what I mean when I say the dust gets everywhere, let me say again, the dust gets everywhere.....!!!

For someone like me this is a hard thing to live with, even on a short term basis

I am a neat freak, I have always been a neat freak

So to have my house turned upside down and inside out was very traumatic for me

There were a ton of tears and a lot of stress, only by me, everyone else was fine, even Sir Scoffs-A-Lot still played on the concrete floors with his cars, loving the wide open space

Me, well, you could find me rocking in a corner somewhere, muttering the words "never again" 

living area, carpet all ripped up
living area with cement floors waiting to dry

Next came installation day.  Yessssssss ... 5 days later I may add...

My smile came back and slowly the house came back

I have no pictures of this installation stage as I couldn't even find my camera at this point as our whole house contents were either upstairs in our rooms or in the garage, it got messier and crazier

I'm happy to say my cleaning products and swiffer have been put to great use this week and I am once again a happy bunny, everything in its place and nice and clean, OK well most of it, I'm not that good

Here is how it looks today

Dining area with new Hardwood floors

Master bedroom with hardwood floors
breakfast area with hardwoods

kitchen with hardwoods and my custom paint

looking towards the kitchen, hardwood floors

hallway to Master bedroom

looking towards french doors, hardwood floors

kitchen with hardwood floors

looking towards office, with hardwood floors

living area with hardwood floors

I am doing my happy dance

It was totally worth it

Now all I need for Mother's day this Sunday are those Swiffer Mop Slipper things, and I will be cleaning as I go

ahhhh, a neat freak's dream come true


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