Riverhill Coffee Bar, Glasgow

Riverhill Coffee Bar

This newly opened coffee bar on Gordon street, Glasgow, is amazingly refreshing for a city centre eatery. Independently owned, fresh and flavoursome lunch options and an array of awesome cakes – I can see why it’s become an instant hit.

With daily specials of fresh soups, savoury pastries, artisan sandwiches and salads, Riverhill Coffee Bar is a delightful addition to the big corporate chains and mediocre cafes that populate the area.

If you haven’t yet sampled the foodie delights of Riverhill Coffee Bar, then this place is a must and I’m sure you’ll want to visit again and again…

Riverhill Coffee Bar – 24 Gordon Street, Glasgow. Takeaway or sit-in (limited seating)

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Banana and White Chocolate Muffins

It has been ages since I last posted anything on here. I’ve decided I’m going to make more effort from now on… I do promise to post recipes other than ones containing bananas, however, this was one recipe I’ve had half typed up for a while! This recipe is taken from http://www.muffinheaven.co.uk with a slight variation of using white chocolate rather than milk or dark chocolate. I feel it’s such a good recipe to share with you all and another delicious recipe for using up those overripe bananas!

Ingredients: Makes 12 Muffins

14oz plain flour

6oz caster sugar

120ml melted butter

3tsp baking powder

2 large free range eggs

3 well ripened bananas

2oz good quality white chocolate chips or chunks (plus a little extra for drizzling on top)

90ml milk

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 190C degrees. Line a 12 bun muffin tray with cases.

2. Sieve together the flour, sugar and baking powder. Mash the bananas. Lightly beat the egg, then add to the melted butter, with the milk and mashed bananas. Add this to the dry ingredients and chocolate, and mix gently, just until all the ingredients are combined, and no flour is visible. Do not beat as this will give you tough muffins!

3. Divide equally between 12 muffin cases, remember to grease your tin if you are not using cases, or they will stick, then bake immediately for approx 24 minutes , until they are well risen and firm to the touch.

4. Remove from the oven, and leave in the baking tray for 5 minutes or so to firm up, before turning out onto a cooling rack. If desired, melt a little extra white chocolate and drizzle on top of the muffins. I also added a few little white chocolate stars.
These muffins are best eaten with 24-48 hours, but can be stored in an airtight container, for a little longer.

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Puy lentil, wensleydale and olive burgers

I made these burgers last night, adapted from the Food for friends: modern vegetarian cooking at home recipe for Puy Lentil, goat’s cheese & olive burgers, by Jane and Ramin Mastowfi with Kalil Resende. The recipe was listed in April’s edition of BBC Good Food magazine.

The original recipe used goats cheese, but I’m not a fan so I replaced it with some wensleydale cheese instead. I also made the recipe for 4 rather than the 8 servings in the recipe.

Ingredients: Serves 4

150g/6oz Puy Lentils

3 tbsp vegetable oil

1 medium onion, chopped

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

1 celery stick, finely chopped

50g wensleydale cheese

1 tsp dried rosemary (or a sprig of fresh rosemary, leaves finely chopped)

70g/3oz fresh breadcrumbs

100g/4oz pitted black olives, roughly chopped

1 egg, beaten

bread rolls, cherry tomatoes, lettuce leaves and grated cheese to serve

Method:

1.Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Pour 400ml cold water into a saucepan with the lentils and bring to the boil. Simmer until cooked- they should be quite soft (approximately 20/25 mins). Drain off any excess water.

2. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan and add the onion, garlic and celery. Cook on a low heat for about 10 mins until they are soft, but not coloured. Take the pan off the heat and crumble in the wensleydale cheese, mixing it well. Then add the rosemary and breadcrumbs, and stir them through.

3. Cover a baking tray with greaseproof paper. Add the olives, egg and some salt and pepper to the lentils and roughly blend into a paste, using a hand blender or food processor. Add the onion and cheese mix to the paste, then mix it thoroughly by hand. Check the seasoning, then form the mixture into 4 burgers. Put them on the baking tray and chill in the fridge for 15 mins.

4. Put the remaining 2 tbsp of vegetable oil in a frying pan and fry the burgers for 3 mins on each side. Put them back on the baking tray and finish them in the oven for 10 mins before you are ready to eat. Serve with your favourite toppings, such as slices of cheese, chutney and onions, and some salad. I used grated cheese, cherry tomatoes and salad leaves. I also made some delicious little roasted potato chunks to accompany the burger… an utterly scrumptious meal!

I have heard great things about Brighton’s vegetarian restaurant scene. I’m not a vegetarian myself,  but I do enjoy many meat-free meals and find it really refreshing to find a vast choice of vegetarian food choices on a menu. If this recipe is anything to go by, I imagine a trip to Brighton’s Food for Friends restaurant will not disappoint… this place is definitely on my to-do list!

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Cottage Pie

I’ve been making this dish for years, it’s such a satisfying and hearty meal and especially great for winter.

Ingredients: Serves 4

500g beef mince (I use extra lean beef mince for a healthier option)

3 tsp olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

1 large carrot or 2 small carrots, diced

1 celery stick, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

1 tbsp tomato puree

2 tbsp plain flour

400ml beef stock

1 tbsp dried thyme

1 bay leaf

2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

For the mash:

1 kg or 4 large potatoes, peeled and chopped

50ml milk

25g/1oz butter or margarine

50g cheddar cheese, grated

Method:

Step 1. Heat 1 tsp of olive oil in a large saucepan and fry the mince until browned. Set the mince aside once browned. Add the remaining oil and all the vegetables and cook on a gentle heat until soft, about 15 to 20 mins.

Step 2. Add the garlic, flour and tomato puree, increase the heat and return the beef to the pan. Add the stock, Worcestershire sauce and herbs. Bring to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for 30 mins. By this time the gravy should be thick and coating the meat. If a lot of liquid still remains, increase the heat slightly to reduce the gravy a little. Season well, then discard the bay leaf.

Step 3. Meanwhile, make the mash. Put the potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with salted cold water and bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer until tender. Drain well, then mash with the milk and butter, then season with salt and pepper.

Step 4. Spoon meat into an ovenproof dish then spoon over the mash to cover the mince. Sprinkle the grated cheese over the top. Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7 and cook for 30mins, or until topping is crisp and golden.

Serve hot with some red cabbage… delicious!!

Tip: This recipe also works well with some sliced mushrooms or a few chopped cherry tomatoes added to the pan at the same time as the rest of the vegetables.

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Tomato and Basil Risotto

When I make risotto I usually make it with wild mushrooms and spinach as it is one of my favourites, however last night I made a tomato and basil risotto with mozzarella and it was delicious!

The recipe serves 2, but can easily be doubled up to serve 4, doubling the rice quantity and adding extra herbs, cherry tomatoes, etc (however one tin of tomatoes should still be enough, just add extra stock instead).

Ingredients:

150g arborio risotto rice

25g butter

200ml vegetable stock

400g can chopped tomatoes

6 cherry tomatoes, quartered

1 shallot, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, crushed

1 bay leaf

50g mozzarella, roughly chopped

1 tsp dried oregano

handful of basil, shredded

25g parmesan, freshly grated

Method:

Step 1. Heat the butter in a medium saucepan, then add the shallot and garlic. Cook on a medium heat for 5 minutes until the onion is soft. Add the risotto rice, the tin of chopped tomatoes, bay leaf, oregano and cherry tomatoes. Bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer.

Step 2. Allow the rice to cook on a gentle heat for 20 minutes or until tender, stirring occassionally to avoid it from sticking to the pan and gradually adding the stock when the liquid is absorbed.

Step 3. Once cooked, remove the bay leaf and stir through the mozzarella and basil. Serve immediately with a sprinkle of grated parmesan and freshly ground black pepper.

This risotto is delicious served with a simple rocket salad dressed with balsamic vinegar.

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Banana Loaf

As it was National Banana Bread Day yesterday, I thought it was the perfect excuse to make a banana loaf.

This recipe never fails, it’s so simple yet delicious and great for using up any ripe bananas.

Ingredients:

4oz margarine

6oz caster sugar

6oz self-raising flour

1 ripe mashed banana (use two if they are small bananas)

2 beaten eggs

Method:

Step 1: Preheat oven to 200C/180C fan oven. Line and lightly grease a loaf tin.

Step 2: Cream together the margarine and sugar. Mix in the beaten egg and mashed banana,  then fold in the flour.

Step 3: Put the batter into the loaf tin and bake for 1 hour.

Step 4: Take out the oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.

Great served just warm out of the oven. Keeps fresh for a few days (that’s if it lasts that long).

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