News, Thoughts


Just a quick post to share some pictures of our weekend in Skye. It’s the first time I’ve made it over there and I fell more than a little in love with the island. The weather helped! As did the wildlife. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many birds of prey in the wild and was lucky enough to see a Sea Eagle and it’s chicks on a boat trip from Portree and then I walked right into a Sea Eagle on the top of Storr the next day! It just jumped in the air 5 metres in front of me and casually soared over the cliff. Amazing.


A blogging birthday!

Mince and Skirlie is one year old this week! Happy birthday to us! It’s been a busy, eventful year full of great food, awesome drinks, good restaurants (and a few bad ones) and a lot of fun.

I love writing this blog but even more I love the fact that other people enjoy reading it.

Thanks to everyone who reads the recipes, reviews, thoughts and rubbish that I post and a special thanks to those of you that take the time to let me know what you think in the comments section!

Some stats for the first year:

There’s been 113 posts across 7 categories with 655 tags and 187 comments.

The blog’s had 9460 views with the busiest day being 530 views on August 8th (a massive, stumbleupon boosted record).

Average hits per day is 31.

The most popular recipe on the blog is for stovies.


Back from holiday

The sharp-eyed among you may have noticed some tweets on my twitter bar mentioning places in the south of France over the last week. We’ve been on a well-earned break to Nice for a week with a couple of little day trips while we were there; including a fantastic day in Monaco (where I got all caught up in the moment and proposed to my girlfriend).

I’ve got a couple of special posts coming up about the trip but for now here’s a couple of pics of the first thing I did when we got home. Aside from wine I took home some jars of tapenade and rillets so when I got home and had some time to kill I decided that some freshly baked bread would be perfect to try with the tapenade.


Inspiration Chain

Photo by mab2413 on flickr
Congratulations to Hannah at the Corner Cottage Bakery for becoming the latest winner in the Inspiration Chain! Hannah was sent Appetite by Nigel Slater and is giving away the excellent Flavour Thesaurus by Niki Segnit as her inspiring book. Go to her post here to win a copy!

I’m particularly pleased about this as it was a giveaway on A Wee Bit Of Cooking which offered a copy of the Flavour Thesaurus as a prize which gave me the idea to start this little chain. Unfortunately I didn’t win that one but I did get a copy of the book for Christmas, it’s a superb reference and a great book to have around if you’re stuck for ideas.

Well done to Hannah and good luck to everyone who enters the giveaway.


Another link in the chain

The Inspiration Chain is continuing to grow. The latest link in the chain saw Kate at Domestikated send Lou at Please Do Not Feed The Animals a copy of the Wagamama cookbook.

If you want to get involved, it’s easy just visit Please Do Not Feed The Animals and leave a comment on her Inspiration Chain post. She’ll put the names in a hat and get her kids to choose one at random. The lucky winner will win a copy of Nigel Slater’s Appetite.

Good luck!


Inspiration Chain Update

The second link in the Inspiration Chain is up! Kate at domestikated was the lucky recipient of my link, Ripailles by Stephane Reynaud.

Now she’s put up the second offering for the chain, The Wagamama Cookbook. To get involved head on over to

The Inspiration Chain is a blogging chain passing on sources of inspiration from one blog to another. I gave away a book that always gives me great ideas and makes me want to cook, Ripailles, and the idea is that whoever receives that book gives away another book on their blog that inspires them. The chain continues like that as long as we can keep it going. Keep track of the Inspiration Chain progress at the dedicated chain page.


Happy Cookbook

A quick post today (I’m still on holiday) just to tell you about a project which a friend of mine is involved with. Called the Happy Cookbook, it’s a collection of recipes submitted by chefs including Atul Kochhar, Prue Leith and Tom Kitchin, celebrities like Carol Smilie, Chris Cusiter, and Fred MacAuley, as well as a selection of local restaurants (The Marcliffe, Tolbooth, Oryza Sushi, La Stella and more).

All proceeds go to two local charities:
* CLAN – Cancer Link Aberdeen & North (covers Grampian, Orkney and Shetland)
* ARCHIE – Aberdeen Childrens Hospital (covers Grampian, Orkney and Shetland)
No expenses will be taken from the sale of the book, every penny of every book sold will go to the charities involved, with the costs being provided by generous sponsorship.

The book’s due to launch early next year. I’ll post a bit more about it then, in the meantime have a look at for more information.