#VeggieTravels to Glasgow

You know I’ve fallen behind in blogging when I’ve been to another continent since the trip I am currently reviewing. Ooops!

ANYWAYS… back in October on our UK trip we went North to Scotland. I was excited for the food in Glasgow as I’d seen it was named the most vegan-friendly city in the UK.

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Our first stop, just after we got off a train and dropped our bags at our hotel was a cute little pub called Munro’s. We spotted in as our cab drove down Great Western Road and we made our way back to it and were so happy we did. Not only was it a cute pub – it was a craft beer pub – our favourite! And they had a soup & wrap combo for 5 pounds! We were sold!

 

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We both had the yummy soup of the day – B had the falafel wrap and I had the red pepper and goat cheese wrap. It was a very solid lunch and had us set for our first day in Scotland. Our server also gave us some great tips. Plus the decor was fantastic and it had a nice community vibe – boardgames, local sport team support. Way to go Munro’s.

#VeggieTravels Report Card – Munro’s

Décor and Atmosphere: A+

Variety of Options: A

Quality of Food: A

FINAL REVIEW: A

 Next up was dinner and a show at the 13th Note. It seems that all the vegetarian places in Glasgow are also clubs/venues. Maybe this is true of all restaurants in the city, but it was something I was not used to and thought was really cool. The 13th Note had a show on that (Wednesday) evening so we figured why not?!
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We started with some local brews – WEST was recommended by our earlier server – and while apparently this German-style beerhaus has veggie options we didn’t get a chance to check out their food, just the drink. We sure did get food at the 13th Note though – check out this huuuge veggie burger!

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I would call this place a more traditional vegetarian restaurant – both in terms of menu options (good options, good variety, a bit on standard/international side) and decor (hippie-vibes)

#VeggieTravels Report Card – The 13th Note

Décor and Atmosphere: B

Variety of Options: A

Quality of Food: A-

FINAL REVIEW: B+

Our final Glasgow meal was lunch at a Brewdog pub. We tried a couple of (really really good) Brewdog beers at GBK in London where our server told us they were from Scandinavia. Imagine our surprise coming across them again in Scotland and learning that is actually their homebase.

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Now, not only does this company have great beer, but it’s an insanely cool collective. Brent loved the opportunity to read a prospectus called “Equity for Punks” while making our way through two flights

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img_4307And we also got the chance to try some veggie haggis – in “baw” form.

 

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We were more into nibbles and beer here so I offer only an asterisk in my report card as very little food was tasted.

#VeggieTravels Report Card – Brewdog

Décor and Atmosphere: A+

Variety of Options: A

Quality of Food: A*

FINAL REVIEW: A*

Overall I was thrilled with the variety of options in Glasgow and that the prices were more reasonable than in England, but I didn’t see anything on the menus for any of the places that really captured my imagination… it was very traditional veggie fare.

But more on creativity next time… C

Pottery

My pottery class is officially complete. It was 8 weeks of patience trying, thumb-hurting frustration, but I did end up with some lovely pieces. And while none of them are perfect – I made them myself and they have grown on me and are a fun new addition to my home and office.

Project one 

 

Supposed to be: A big mug (half win!)

Hardest thing: learning the wheel

Place in my world: While this is not a good jumbo sized java mug it is absolutely perfect for my morning lemon water – and getting to use my handcrafted mug makes me remember to do that more often!

 

Project two

Supposed to be: A sugar bowl (nope)

Hardest thing: Making a lid. I trimmed too much off of mine so the instructor recommended adding the little handles so the lid doesn’t fall right in

Place in my world: to be decided. This little guy has not found a home, and might be the only piece not to stick around.

 

  Project three      

Supposed to be: a bowl (win! win!)

Hardest thing: Apparently a common pottery mistake when making a bowl is to actually make a plate (oops!). I managed to stay away from that, but it does have a lot of wobbles.

Place in my world: This guy is in my office as a little snack bowl!

 

 

Project four

Supposed to be: whatever we wanted to make. I was aiming for a big mug (hehehe)

Hardest thing: The last wheel class was a nightmare for me. I just kept losing it and having to cut it off or restart again and again and again. And I was using brown clay for the first time which is apparently no different, but just looks messier and must have got in my head.

Place in my world: This teeny little guy might be my favourite. It is perfectly round and smooth. And it is perfect for holding candy. Mmmm candy.

So that’s it. Unlikely I try pottery again (at least not any time soon!) but it was a fun experience and I like having things around in my everyday that I made with my own two hands.

I have other big news, but not quite ready to share it yet. Let’s just say it’s deserving of two different types of red(?!?) beer to celebrate. No filter on that shot there. I tried the delicious Flying Monkeys 12 Minutes to Destiny Hibiscus Pale Ale (middle) and then the 49 Parallel Gypsy Tear’s Ruby Ale (left and bottle) at celebratory drinks last night.  An update on that and food to come next!

Easter Dinner

This week in recipes started strong with Easter celebrations and deliciousness but that took a lot of my cooking energies so the rest of the week was pretty heavily left-over and simple stuff focused. We also had to prep for a visit from my parents to talk wedding plans and budget so that took a lot of the focus this week (and my plans for another mid-week blog post on another creative avenue – stay tuned for that this week)!

We had a small Easter dinner for just the two of us last Saturday night – knowing we had plans on Sunday and I had to work Monday. First we stopped at another local brewery, Dominion City Brewing Co., to get something to go along side. Their Lost Train Oatmeal Stout was the perfect combination with our hearty meal. Main dish was a Lentil Walnut Loaf from the Oh She Glows Cookbook. Angela makes the most amazing, delicious, creative vegan dishes and this was no exception. Without a doubt the best veg holiday meal I’ve made and will probably be made many times from now on! Our side was Lightened-Up Sweet Potato Casserole from How Sweet It Is. I don’t think I’ve ever had a sweet potato casserole and I’ve always been intrigued (marshmallows – hello!), but this wasn’t really a huge hit for me.

Easter Sunday kicked off with some adorable pancakes courtesy of Brent and featuring some more of that salted maple butter (mmm mmm good!)

Only two other recipes made it in this week:

  • Coconut Cottontails: Cute, easy and perfect for a visit to a celiac friend’s on Easter! I also love when I see a recipe and have all of the ingredients on hand, meant to be!
  • BBQ Chickpea Chopped Salad with Avocado Ranch: The avocado ranch dressing was different and really tasty. The BBQ chickpeas were a bit blah. I didn’t find that part worked so well, but I liked the idea.

 

 

End of March Cooking

Happy long weekend, Easter, Passover, etc everyone!

I’m looking forward to some good cooking this weekend! Yesterday was our first hint of spring here in Ottawa so most of the day was spent outside and enjoying it, but I stayed in for the night and got my Saturdaycooking rolling!

I got a KitchenAid Mixer for Christmas and have had such a busy few months that I haven’t had a chance to take full advantage yet. I looking at some of the ways you can use it (beyond the obvious) I was excited to learn you can make your own butter! Wow! I love flavoured butter at fancy restaurants so the chance to make my own is pretty darn cool. I decided to try out a recipe for Maple Salted Butter. Maybe a bit of a reach for a first time butter-maker since the author is Australian and some of the ingredients/conversions may not have worked in my favour. While it didn’t turn out like a hard butter as expected it did make a nice whipped butter which was still very tasty.

And if you make your own butter you need something to spread it on – enter Greek Yogurt Banana & Oat Bread. What a way to start a Saturday morning 🙂

 

What else have I made over the past week?

  • Last Saturday night we had a games night with friends and I brought some Burnt peanut butter caramel oatmeal chocolate chip cookies c/o Half Baked Harvest and some local craft brew – Leisure Suit from Beyond the Pale.
  • I am always trying new veggie burger recipes and this one definitely passed the test: Sun dried tomato and mozzarella quinoa burgers from Jessica in the Kitchen. They were easy to form and stayed together really well, they had good flavour and taste – will certainly be made here again!
  • Another Dishing Up the Dirt recipe came into rotation as well. I saw this potato dish when making the Broccoli Miso salad I shared last week and couldn’t wait to make. Roasted garlic potatoes with fresh herbs and sun dried tomato cashew cream sauce. It was good, but I liked the components a lot – maybe more than the overall meal. And since it was a lot of food for just two of us and we looked to change it up with leftovers and had the potatoes fried with breakfast and the rest of the cream sauce with pasta. Using up the yummies – I love it!