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July 2013

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On Thursday I popped along to Glasgow’s Oldest Bar & Restaurant Sloans for the launch of their new Street Food menu. I arrived a little late due to getting stuck on the M8 due to a bad traffic accident so missed the start of the food. How awful!

The menu features good ol’ comfort food dishes under two titles; Street Fries and Street Platters priced at £9.95 each. The dishes are meant for sharing but I’m pretty sure that if you were hungry, you could eat them yourself!

As I arrived, people were tucking into The Gringo (Beef Chilli, Cheese and Jalepenos) and The Stavros (Hummus, Falafel, Roast Veg, Olives and Flat Bread with Feta Cheese or Merguez Sausage) so I didn’t really get a chance to try them. I was told that they were really really good.

chillifries

Next up The Mac Daddy (Cheesy Macaroni with Bacon or Onion Rings and Salsa) and The Cowboy (BBQ Chicken Wings and Ribs, Blue Cheese Dressing and Hot Sauce) were served. I loved The Cowboy for two reasons; hot sauce & finger licking BBQ Wings. It was everything I could want to comfort me on a rainy evening and I would gladly eat it again. The meat just fell off the bone and the Hot Sauce gave it a wonderful kick. Don’t be afraid of getting your hands dirty! I do wish it was hotter though, but that’s the spice addict in me.

cowboy

I love the Mac & Cheese at Sloans, I’m a regular at the Scottish Macaroni Appreciation Club that they hold every month, I can’t get enough of it. The Mac Daddy did not disappoint. It is one of the best around in Glasgow. If you’ve never tried Sloans Mac & Cheese, you really should! I wasn’t a huge fan of the Salsa on top of the Mac & Cheese so would recommend getting the Onion Ring version.

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The dishes are great value for money for the amount of food you receive and are very filling. So filling that I honestly felt like I went into a food coma after stuffing my face. It was probably due to the fact my eyes are always bigger than my belly. One of my flaws. It was just too good to say no to!

Huge thank you to DADA for the invite and to Sloans owner Oli Norman for hooking me up with more food since I turned up late. Can’t wait to go back and get some more Cowboy in me!!

Sloans Glasgow
62 Argyll Arcade
108 Argyle St
Glasgow, G2 8BG
Tel: 0141 221 8886
Web: Sloans Glasgow

Sloans on Urbanspoon

Note: Thanks to Charlene for the photos, mine came out all blurry. Total lifesaver!

I never wanted to like Instagram. In fact I tried so hard not to convert to the image sharing application even though everyone was telling me it was a “must”. After my friends (in particular Jacqui!) bugged me like crazy, I finally joined Instagram using my online alias @ananyah and I’m now hooked. I’ve become one of those people. I Instagram my life. Well… as much as I want to share with everyone.

Recently, Instagram introduced Web Embed which means websites (in particular bloggers) now have an easy way to add photos and videos to their posts rather than duplicating images all over the internet.

Now, when you visit an Instagram photo or video page on your desktop web browser, you’ll see a new share button on the right side of your photo (just under the comments button). Click the button to see the embed code. Copy the block of text it gives you and paste it into your blog, website or article. When you hit publish, the photo or video will appear.

One thing I like about the newly added feature is that it could possibly help curb copyright issues as the embed feature will include your Instagram name and link. I know a lot of people online who have had their photos stolen, I guess those who steal photographs are so unhappy in their own lives that they feel the need to steal others. Unfortunately, it will never stop those who screen capture. Sigh.

You can only grab the new embed code via your web browser by going to your dedicated Instagram webpage, such as instagram.com/ananyah then clicking on the […] button next to “Leave A Comment”. Once you’ve selected embed, you will get the iFrame code which you should enter into your blog posts HTML format.

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& once you’ve published your post, it will look like this as my first video Instagram will show….

Pretty snazzy if you ask me! Will you be using the embed feature on your blog? If you’re on Instagram, leave me your usernames so I can add you and of course, feel free to add me!

We all have a guilty pleasure when it comes to music which we really don’t want anyone to know about other than our closest of friends. What’s mine? Boy bands. Don’t judge me…. they aren’t THAT bad, are they?

It all started way back in the late 1980’s when New Kids On The Block came onto the scene. I was hooked! How could you not love them? I was even part of their fan club. My favourite member was Joey McIntyre & I had their posters all over my bedroom. I never got to see them in concert though BUT they have made a come back with my other guilty pleasure…  The Backstreet Boys! *cue fan girl scream* They did end up looking quite good in their old age… swoon

After that phase of my life, I got into New Edition, Az Yet, All 4 One, Boyz II Men and Color Me Badd. They weren’t guilty pleasures though… they are just pleasures. I had the wonderful pleasure of meeting Boyz II Men backstage when they were in Glasgow a few years back. They gave me roses and I confessed my undying love for them like a true fan girl would. I still have the tickets and VIP passes from that night complete with their signatures. They are amazing live & I’m dying to see them again.

I had a slight relapse in good taste when Backstreet Boys hit the charts. How could you not? AJ was clearly my favourite. He was the bad one after all. These boys were all over the charts with tons of girls singing “Am I original, am I the only one? am I sexual?” without actually knowing what on earth they were singing along too! Sure the boys had a weird dress sense but the songs sure as hell were catchy!

Before Justin Timberlake was hot, he was in N*Sync. I remember driving to school with the radio station playing them on loop, not to mention all my friends obsessing about them (cough cough Anila!). My favourite? JC. Obviously if I knew JT was going to turn into the hot guy that he now is, I would have said him. Oh well. The group breaking up was the best thing to happen to JT but I do miss them singing together because “God should have spent…. a little more time…. on youuuuuuu”.

After N*Sync went Bye Bye Bye, I went off Cheesy Boy bands until…. One Direction. I’m sorry, but have you seen Zayn? If I was 10 again, I’d totally have their posters all over my bedroom and begging my mom to get One Direction tickets for us but alas I’m not and I don’t think I could bring myself to actually watch them in concert because if I did, I’d clearly fail at being an adult.

So who is your guilty pleasure? Of the 10 Biggest Boybands, who were your favourites?

As a little kid, I always remember going to the farm with my grandparents to pick strawberries so that my grandmother could make jam and bake cakes with them. I loved it and always had fun running through the fields, hunting out the best strawberries and munching them as I went along. Of course, you weren’t supposed to eat them before paying but sometimes when a giant strawberry is staring you right in the face, it’s hard to say no. You get away with things like that as a kid, as an adult not so much. Boo.

East Yonderton is a family run Renfrewshire soft fruit farm near Inchinnan, just beside Glasgow Airport. The farm has been growing soft fruit since 1926. During the fruit season the farm is open daily for picking your own fruit and fruit can also be ordered ready picked for collection on weekdays. The farm also grows Vegetables and Potatoes which are available most of the year.

Ever since moving back to Glasgow, I’ve been meaning to go back again and today was the day.

Strawberries

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I headed here late afternoon and misjudged how busy it would actually be. The place hasn’t changed much since the 1980’s which isn’t a bad thing. When you enter, you pick up green baskets which you keep and you follow the signs to the open fields. Even though I was here specifically for Strawberries, the farm also has gooseberries, raspberries, blackcurrants, peas, broccoli and potatoes. The crop is a little late this year due to bad weather so you could only get strawberries but one of the farm workers said the rest of the crops will be ready next week.

One of the downfalls going to the farm late in the afternoon is that most of the visible big strawberries were gone and you had to hunt for the best ones. If you were a kid it would be like an elaborate treasure hunt, which it was when I was a little kid. As an adult, it was damn annoying. Once the crops are gone from one part of the field, the next section is open to ensure crops are fully picked and to stop waste. Even though there were signs saying “Do Not Enter” people were ignoring these and taking strawberries from the closed fields. Annoying for the farm workers on patrol and annoying for those who were playing by the rules.

East Yonderton Farm is a fun trip out and you do get a sense of pride at the fact you are picking your own food and supporting a local business. If you do go, I’d suggest going in the morning so you get the best pick of the strawberries without it ending up feeling like an obstacle course. If you like obstacle courses, then go anytime you want!

During the Soft Fruit Season (June-August) the picking fields are open Monday to Friday 10am till 8pm and Saturday & Sunday 9am till 5pm. The Farm Shop is open Monday to Friday 10am till 8pm and closed Saturday & Sunday during the Soft Fruit Season and outwith the Soft Fruit Season it is open every day between 9am and 6pm.

East Yonderton Farm

Walkinshaw Rd, Inchinnan
Renfrewshire PA4 9LP
Tel: 0141 889 3492
Web: East Yonderton Farm

Before Burger Meats Bun opened its doors on West Regent Street, it was talk of the town. For weeks people were counting down until they opened (myself included) dying to try the latest burger restaurant in Glasgow. The Burger Scene in Glasgow is pretty crazy at the moment so is there room for a new kid on the block? Oh yes.

Why all the hype? To me it is their background and passion. BMB is the baby of friends Ben Dantzic and James Forrest, who met while working at the Michelin-starred Peat Inn in Fife, Scotland. Ben, later became manager at Restaurant Andrew Fairlie in Gleneagles Hotel and decided to team up with James to fulfil their dream.

Their ethos? Ben told STV News that “Burger Meats Bun fuses high quality produce and mouthwatering recipes with a cool interior and atmosphere to offer a brilliant yet accessible culinary experience and we’re really excited to be bringing this new concept to Glasgow.”

Part owner and chef James Forrest added: “From our experience working in the fine dining sector with some of the best chefs in the UK, we noticed a real gap in the market for a casual concept, using first-class ingredients and making everything from scratch, and Burger Meats Bun does just that.”

So there I was, bang on midday entering the wonderful world of BMB and shown to our table of 10. No pressure for the guys then huh? Throw them right into the deep end!

The menu is simplistic, which I think is the best way to go as you focus on the quality of the food on offer. Burgers include three beef, two chicken and one vegetarian.  Sides are three types of wings, fries come in three varieties and three different salads for the health conscious. To top things off, two desserts are on offer if you can manage them. Once they are up and running, specials will be added to the menu and I can’t wait to see what they create.

I decided to order the Fiery Burger and then share sides of Thai Chilli Cheese Fries and Seoul Chicken Wings with Sharon. After a short wait (we were a big table after all!) our eyes lit up when a tray of neatly wrapped burgers arrived at our table & were handed out alongside a huge roll of kitchen towel for our hands. Sides were soon to follow before we all dug in.

Our table fell silent, huge smiles on faces and then sounds of Mmmmm……

Fiery Beef

The Fiery Burger was cooked to perfection and was one of the juiciest burgers I have ever tasted. The combination of flavours from the toma raschiera cheese, jalapeños, chipotle mayo and the beef was like a joyful explosion in your mouth. Unbelievable! The burger is garnished with lettuce, tomato and home made pickles which are made in house from a revised recipe from Ben’s grandmother. The pickles were that good that Ryan asked for a side dish of them for us to snack on. Proper pickles made from Cucumber. Oh yes!

The bun? Well no floury bap or seeded nonsense in sight you’ll be glad to hear. Instead the burgers all come in a high quality brioche bun. Chatting with Ben after we all ate, he was telling the table how they tried numerous types of bun but brioche turned out the best and from that they then taste tested various brioche recipes until they hit the perfect recipe they were looking for. A soft, springy brioche bun that holds your burger & doesn’t fall apart while you’re eating. Wonderful.

Fiery Beef Burger

Inside my burger

Mmmm burger

The Seoul Wings were full of flavour, fell off the bone & spicy. They weren’t as spicy as I thought they were going to be but certainly had a good kick to them. BMB have 3 different types of wings; Buffalo, Seoul & Chinese. I would definitely order these again but probably opt for Buffalo just to change things up a little! Ben also did say the Buffalo were the hottest and I do like spicy food!

Seoul Wings

While reading the menu, Thai Chilli Cheese Fries jumped out at me. For some reason, I actually thought the fries were going to come with actual Chilli and not Hot Sauce. So that was a slight letdown but after the first bite all was forgiven. The homemade fries (yes, you can tell the difference!) were smothered in cheese, sriracha hot sauce & garnishes. Even though they weren’t what I expected, they were lovely. Definitely ordering these again.

Thai Chilli Cheese Fries

I was almost going to explode as I was so full but I had to save a little space for dessert. It’s an unwritten rule I like to bestow upon myself most of the time. The waitress described both desserts to us and I couldn’t choose between Burger & Shake or Donuts & Sauce so why choose when you can have both (to share of course, I’m not THAT greedy!)

The donuts were a perfect size and served with a sauce. I could only eat a couple as they were so filling but from what I did try, they were soft, sugary and the sauce complimented them. I think the donuts could be improved on by having them filled with raspberry coulis, chocolate or custard so they aren’t as doughty. Don’t get me wrong, they were good but it’s just a personal preference of mine.

Donuts

The Burger & Shake isn’t what you expect it to be and that is what I love about BMB. Served with a Tonka Bean Shake, the “burger” is a giant vanilla macaron as the bun with a chocolate ganache as the burger, passionfruit gel as the cheese & raspberry coulis as ketchup. I was in dessert heaven. It was such a unique dessert and as you all know I’m a HUGE macaron fan. I was not let down. Perfection. Honest Perfection.

Burger & Shake

Macaron

Macaron

Overall, BMB was wonderful and I honestly couldn’t pick any major faults. As it was Opening Day I was expecting some hiccups or mistakes as its natural with first day (and week) nerves but none occurred. I can safely say that I highly rate BMB as one of my favourite places to eat in Glasgow now after just one visit. The food is superb, staff friendly, great decor and atmosphere. It could be seen as expensive however, BMB pride themselves on using high quality local ingredients from local suppliers (Aberfoyle Butcher, Big Bear Bakery, Gartmorn Farm and George Mewes), producing tasty simplistic food and they did just that. To me, that’s well worth every penny.

Happy Eaters

Expectations? Exceeded. Believe the hype. It’s THAT good. They really do do burgers. But better.

Burger Meats Bun
48a West Regent St.
1 William Street
Glasgow, G2 2RA
Tel: 0141 353 6712
Web: Burger Meats Bun

Burger Meats Bun on Urbanspoon

When I’m tired and hungry, I’m a lazy. Sure, I’d love to just pick up the phone and get food delivered but it takes at least 45 minutes to get something delivered to my house, the joys of living in suburban wilderness.

So who said Jamie Oliver had to be the only one to come up with 30 Minute Meals? It’s that simple anyone could cook it and tastes wonderful. Great for those lazy nights!

Chicken Milanese and Spaghetti Pomodoro

Ingredients

    For the Chicken:
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1/2 cup of flour with chilli flakes
  • 1 cup of breadcrumbs
  • Oil for shallow frying
  • For the Spaghetti:
  • 200g spaghetti
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp chilli flakes
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 finely sliced garlic clove
  • 1 tbsp (extra) virgin olive oil
  • 1 pinch sugar
  • 1 pinch of salt (to taste)

Method:

  1. Fry the garlic and chilli flakes in a pan until golden and add the tomatoes, bringing to a simmer. Using a masher, mash the tomatoes smaller to suit your own taste. Add sugar and reduce on a lower heat for approx 15 minutes. Season to taste.
  2. While the sauce is simmering away, put on your pasta. I used spaghetti, but you can substitute with whatever you have in the cupboard. I'm pretty sure I don't need to tell you how to actually cook pasta, do I?
  3. The sauce and pasta should be bubbling away and you should start the chicken. Grab a rolling pin and bash the chicken a little to flatten it. In a frying pan, put enough oil in the bottom of the pan to shallow fry.
  4. Dust the breasts in the flour mix, dip in beaten egg, then cover in the breadcrumbs, ensuring that they are covered. Fry for 10/15 minutes until cooked on both side. Make sure they don't burn by flipping over regularly.
  5. Once the chicken has cooked, check to see if your pasta is ready. Drain your pasta and add the sauce to the pasta, stirring until coated then plate up.
https://ananyah.com/2013/07/03/chicken-milanese-and-spaghetti-pomodoro/

At the end of May, I was invited along to ROX at Argyle Arcade to help celebrate the 15th anniversary of Gc Watches and the launch of the brand’s new Smart Luxury campaign in Scotland.

We were treated to a Taittinger Champagne reception followed by wonderful array of cocktails, including the ‘Diamonds & Thrills’ cocktail, especially created by Sloanes Gin, Chambord Liaison and Schiehallion Craft Beer, While sipping our drinks, canapés from Wilde Thyme were being served around the Thrill Room which included Lanark Blue Cheese and Apple Tarts with Roquette Pesto, Carpaccio of Peppered Angus Beef with Oak-Smoked Lobster and Romesco Sauce and Tiramisu with Kirsch Cherries and Orange in Chocolate Cones.

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Speeches from one of the founders of ROX along with Cindy Livingston who is the President and CEO of Sequel AG gave us a closer insight into what the brands are all about and why they are passionate about what they do. They then introduced us to the entertainment for the night; the operatic group Amore, composed of soprano Monica McGhee, mezzo soprano Victoria Gray, tenor David Webb and baritone Peter Brathwaite. The group was recently signed by Warner Brothers Records and have performed for the Queen at the Diamond Jubilee and opened the FA Cup Final at Wembley. The group sang classics such as Scarborough Fair then mixed things up by singing Popera versions of Adele’s Skyfall and Rihanna’s We Found Love.  Lovely!

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As well as having a browse around the store looking at Gc timepieces and the rather impressive diamonds for sale (hello £60,000 diamond ring!), we also had the opportunity to browse images of the UK ‘Moments of Smart Luxury Captured’ – a specially commissioned exhibition, showcasing creative rising star personalities from around the world, selected to become part of the brand’s new emotional worldwide communication campaign of which Amore is one.

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I had a wonderful evening with friends, putting names to faces and in particular meeting and chatting to Cindy Livingston who was wonderful to talk to about an array of topics ranging from business, life & even her favourite makeup!

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After a few more glasses of Taittinger, it was time to head home via a rather dodgy looking karaoke bar with my friends. All in all, a very good night.  My hangover the next morning reminded me!

Stephen & Me

When I’m in my car, I always have to hook my iPhone up to the stereo system (yay for built in iPhone connectors!). I hate listening to the radio a lot due to the amount of boring conversations the presenters have, adverts and of course listening to songs you cannot stand.

This weeks mix tape showcases songs I love listening to in the car, turn up full blast and sing away to. I’m pretty sure I know the lyrics to all of these songs and as ever, they are a mix of Hip Hop and R&B.

♫ On The Road on 8tracks

  1. Can’t Hold Us- Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Ray Dalton
  2. Waiting All Night- Rudimental feat. Ella Eyre
  3. Notorious Thugs- The Notorious B.I.G. feat. Bone Thugs-N-Harmony
  4. Get Lucky- Daft Punk feat. Pharrell Williams
  5. Hit ‘Em Up- 2Pac
  6. Blurred Lines- Robin Thicke feat. T.I. & Pharrell
  7. No Diggity- Blackstreet
  8. Baby- Rudimental feat. MNEK & Sinead Harnett
  9. Play Hard- David Guetta feat. Ne-Yo & Akon
  10. This Is How We Do It- Montell Jordan
  11. Latch- Disclosure feat. Sam Smith
  12. Regulate- Warren G
  13. SchoolinÂ’ Life- Beyonce
  14. The Next Episode- Dr Dre
  15. 2 Reasons- Trey Songz feat. T.I.
  16. 99 Problems- Jay Z
  17. It’s All About The Benjamins- Puff Daddy, Lil’ Kim & Biggie Smalls