Sunday, 30 October 2016

Marshmallow Monster Eyeballs

Halloween Sweet Treats

Eyeballs. There is something that I find squeamish about them whether it's watching someone away  get a drill through their eye in a horror movie (this is actually turning my stomach writing this) or years ago when an eye procedure was booked in at work I would make myself scarce so I wouldn't have to go into theatre and someone else would have to assist instead. Even getting my make up applied once I freaked out as they approached me with a mascara wand and told me to keep my eyes open. Just no! I can do it myself, thank you!!

These eyeballs however I do like, these Monster Eyeballs are a Halloween version of Top Hats that were quite common at children's parties and cake sales when I was younger, do you still get these or are they now regarded "retro" like cheese and pineapple hedgehogs? 


Halloween Sweet Treats

These Monster Eyeballs are really easy to make and taste pretty good too. Ideal sweet treats for a Halloween party or to munch on while watching a scary film (without the eye drill scene).


What you need:

Mini cupcake cases (or cake pop sticks if you prefer)
White chocolate (Go for a good quality one rather than cheap as it tastes less sickly, I used Green & Black's)
Smarties or chocolate M&Ms
Red & black edible ink pens
Marshmallows


How to make:

Draw red lines on the marshmallow using the edible ink pen to give your "eye" a bloodshot look, also draw a dot on the Smarties/M&Ms using the black edible ink pen to give pupils to the "iris"
Break up your chocolate into a bowl and melt it over a hot pan or blast it in the microwave
Once the chocolate has melted, put a teaspoon of the chocolate into the bottom of the cupcake case and then place the marshmallow inside.
Put a drop of melted chocolate on the top of the marshmallow and stick on one of the Smarties/M&Ms
Place in a fridge until chocolate hardens



Let me know if you give these a try. What's your favourite Halloween treat?


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Aberdeen | Orchid Bar's New Winter Menu

Heading out for cocktails in Aberdeen? Well then get over to Orchid, an award winning cocktail bar on Langstane Place where you can try out their new winter menu (out in mid November) with additions such as Honey Rider or Beerlinni, or the classics such as a Bramble or Martini.

I was lucky enough to be invited to Orchid's preview of their new winter menu along with some of the other Aberdeen bloggers so I was quite excited to see what they had in store for us. The interior in Orchid is very modern with comfy leather seats, with a further seating area at the back of the bar as well as a featured wall with row after row of cocktail shakers. As with most bars, it is quite dark inside and candles give off most of the light while this is adds to the atmosphere and ambience to the place, it is a nightmare for taking good photos that is for sure!! Once everyone arrived we were split into three groups, each group went to a different location of the bar and we swapped around during the evening so we all got to experience each section.





First up for the evening was gin tasting, my only experience of the taste of gin was way back at the age of twelve when my friend and I swigged from the bottle of her dad's home bar. We both found it revolting and likened it to how we both thought paint stripper would taste, I vowed never to touch another drop of gin ever again! I wasn't quite sure what to expect when our group sat at the table with three glasses and pipettes in front of us but Gin Master, Sean took us through the history of gin starting in the 17th Century in Holland to present day with Porter's Gin (the first gin to be distilled in Aberdeen for over 100 years). The first gin we tasted was jenever which evolved from malt wine spirits and the smell of it reminded me of whisky, this was the first type of gin invented in the 1600s and was quite strong. Moving onto the second type was Old Tom gin which was produced in the 19th century and had a much sweeter taste to it, the final gin was Porter's which ingredients include Buddha's Hand and Pink Peppercorn and has quite a citrusy flavour. I did find the history of gin really interesting but it hasn't converted me to being a gin drinker, still vodka all the way for me!

Gin Tasting

We then moved onto the second portion of the evening where we tasted three of the new cocktails on the Winter Menu, Nick was really enthusiastic about all of the new cocktails and the concept behind them. There are eight new cocktails on the menu all representing various parts of Aberdeen, what you as the customer need to do is take a selfie (along with a badge that you are given with each cocktail) at all eight locations and tag Orchid in them, you are then entered into a competition to win a prize. As if you needed an excuse to try everything on the menu :)

The first one we tried was Religious Robbery, a gin martini/pina colada mix made with Porter's Gin, spiced pineapple syrup, coconut juice and Dr Adam Elmegirab's Teapot Bitters. Out of all of the three cocktails this one was my favourite.

Orchid Bar Aberdeen

Next up was Honey Rider, a mango infused rum, grapefruit oleo saccharum and Dr Adam Elmegirab's Orinoco bitters concoction. Now seeing as I like neither rum nor grapefruit this one I wasn't very keen on but others in the group loved it.

Orchid Bar Aberdeen

The third cocktail on the new menu was the Beerlinni, a take on a Bellinni but using beer instead of Prosecco along with grapefruit cordial and salted Campari. This seemed to be quite popular with some as they said it reminded them of sherbet but due to the grapefruit and beer (I don't like beer either) it was one I wasn't particularly sold on.

Orchid Bar Aberdeen
Orchid Bar Aberdeen


Lastly was a mixology session with Matt, who shook up a Daiquiri like a demon as well as giving us the background on how this drink came about. I've only ever had a Strawberry Daiquiri which I love but this one was just a simple one with a base (rum), modifier (lime juice) and mixer. It had the perfect combination of both sweet and sour.



Claire, Iga and Julia got behind the bar to shake their stuff and conjour up the well loved Pink Orchid which has been a staple on the Orchid menu from day one, it's a mix of vanilla vodka, raspberry liqueur, cranberry and lime juices, sugar syrup and egg white. Egg white in cocktails is what gives you the lovely foam on top and is tasteless, don't worry though as it is pasteurised so there is no chance of catching salmonella from your cocktails!



I can see why Pink Orchid is their signature cocktail as it tastes so good, it is a nice fruity cocktail that is neither too sweet or sour. It's definitely what I'm ordering on my next visit there.

Orchid Bar Aberdeen

We were then given the chance of concocting our own cocktail; using Porter's gin, Violet liqueur, lemon juice and agave syrup we came up with a lovely Parma Violet flavoured drink which we named Beuregard Sours after Violet Beuregard from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Orchid Bar Aberdeen

If you fancy becoming a bit of a mixologist at home then you can learn the tricks of the trade at Orchid as they have exclusive mixology lessons where you can shake up a storm behind the bar, a fab way to start off your evening whether for a birthday, hen night or just for fun.

Thank you so much to Orchid for having us and giving us such a fun evening :)


What's your favourite cocktail?



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Wednesday, 26 October 2016

#Aberscream | Aberdeen Bloggers' Halloween Party

Bos'n Bar Aberdeen

Last Friday we Aberdeen bloggers had our first Halloween party called #Aberscream organised by lovely ladies Julia, Karen and Sarah.  It was held in Bos'n, a bar within The Academy that is decorated using reclaimed wood and other recycled materials.  The bar is quite dark inside which is a blogger's nightmare for taking photos so a lot of the pictures didn't come out as well as I hoped. 

The girls had "Halloweenified" the bar with pumpkins, spider webs, fairy lights, spiders, bats and caution tape.  On arrival we were given an envelope which contained drinks vouchers that we could redeem at the bar, as it was National  Calvados week there were three Halloween cocktails on the menu made with the apple brandy; Awight Treacle - with toffee sauce and pressed apple , The Wild Ones - a mix of elderflower cordial & lime and Bad Blood which contained fresh lemon, bitter and egg white.  I thought I would have enjoyed the Awight Treacle cocktail as I love sweet drinks but it wasn't that sweet at all so I stuck with The Wild Ones instead.

Bos'n Bar Aberdeen
Bos'n Bar Aberdeen
Bos'n Bar Aberdeen

There was a Selfie Station with photo booth props on it (you can see a few pics of us further down) which was a fantastic addition to the party, it created a number of laughs especially in one photo of myself, Iga and Laura whose Vampire fang fell off just as the picture was taken :)


Bos'n Bar Aberdeen
Cake Addict Kintore
Krispy Kreme Halloween
Black Pudding Scotch Eggs Rye n Soda
Fish Tacos Rye n Soda

We had food provided to us by Rye and Soda with the Macaroni Cheese Bites and Black Pudding Scotch Eggs being the favourites, Krispy Kreme gave us both Halloween versions as well as their normal donuts and Julia and Sarah made us some sweet treats but those photos never came out as they were sadly too blurry but take my word for it when I say they were so good. Cake Addict Kintore made us a lovely Ghost cake too, look how cute he is?

Here is the photos of us at the selfie station (the only place in the bar where there was good lighting for photos)


We were also given a goody bag to take home with us, it was full of loads of amazing gifts from The Body Shop, Marshmology, Chatty Feet, Lush, Westburn and Granite as well as many more. I'd also like to take this opportunity to thank Julia, Karen and Sarah for the amazing effort you put in to organising this event, you all did a fantastic job! Also thank you to all the companies who participated in #Aberscream you provided us with a fang-tastic evening.

Have you organised or been to a Blogger Party before?



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Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Aberdeen | Go Ape! Crathes

Go Ape Treetop Adventures

Last week myself and Iga headed to Go Ape, if  you have never heard of Go Ape before then think of it as an obstacle course with cargo nets, wooden bridges, Tarzan swings and zip wires in a forest, high up amongst the treetops.  There are 30 Go Ape centres around the UK and we went to our nearest one which is situated in the grounds of Crathes castle.

Go Ape Treetop Adventures

We arrived at the reception desk where we received a warm welcome and were given instructions to read over and a disclaimer to sign (you know, in case we died).   There were around 18 of us all together in our group, a few of them had been to Go Ape before so I saw that as a good sign of survival rates. Before we headed off onto the courses we received a safety debriefing from an instructor about the importance of staying attached at all times (in case we fell) as well as a practice of attaching the safety harness with our feet firmly on the ground before we ventured on to the first course which consisted of a rope ladder, a cable to walk across while attached to a pulley before zip wiring it to the second course. This was probably about 1 metre off the ground and I thought to myself "Yeah, I can do this!"


Go Ape Treetop Adventures

Moving onto the second course I noticed how high we were going to be, I mean really high and after queuing to climb up the rope ladder it was finally my turn. I attached my safety clips to the ladder and started to climb, I got 2/3 of the way up when I had a bit of a meltdown and thought to myself "Omg!!! I am gonna die!!" Not a good time to realise that you have a fear of heights! I pulled myself together and climbed the rest of the way to the top and onto the platform, the first obstacle was walking over a wooden bridge so with the mantra "stay attached at all times" ringing in my ears I ensured that my safety clips were attached securely (double and triple checking it just to make sure) before making my way across the bridge. Next up was the Tarzan swing, after making sure again I was properly attached I made the jump by following the instructor's advice of getting close to the edge and crouching down before making my jump off the platform, I swung into a cargo net and began climbing up to reach the third platform. I was now in front of a zip wire and I couldn't see where the end was. Safety clips all attached I gingerly made my way to the edge, closed my eyes, crouched down and stepped off; I was zipping down through the trees and it felt fantastic! More often than not when going down a zip wire you end up either backwards or sideways but I ended up facing the right way. This also happened on the third course but when I went down the zip wire on the fourth course I ended up facing backwards and landed flat on my back at the bottom with a massive skid mark of mud and wood chips on my trousers and jacket. I also hurt my back so before I injured myself any further I decided to quit while I was ahead.

Go Ape Treetop Adventures

Go Ape Treetop Adventures

Iga was enjoying herself so she carried on with the rest of the course and as I had taken no photos at all while I was working my way around the platforms (I was shaking so much they would likely be blurry, I would like to say it was due to me feeling cold but I think it was more to do with the fact I was 147832 feet up in the air) I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to photograph the experience.

GO Ape Treetop Adventures

Being in a forest in the middle of Autumn you are surrounded by trees with red, green, gold, orange and brown leaves and it is absolutely stunning, as much as it would be nice to do in the Summer with the warmer weather I think that the Fall months are certainly the best time to head here so you can enjoy the beauty of nature. Go Ape is open to children over 10 years old and over 4 foot 7 (children 10-15 are to have a supervised adult with them) so it would be a fun way to spend a few hours during the October holidays.

Go Ape Treetop Adventures

Iga completed the course and even filmed herself going down the final zip wire, if you check out her Instagram you will see how much she enjoyed herself :)

Go Ape Treetop Adventures

Go Ape Treetop Adventures

The course is a workout itself as you are having to use your upper body as well as core muscles to pull yourself up the rope ladders and cargo nets, the following day I was certainly feeling the effects of muscles that I never knew I had. Overall we both had a fun afternoon, I discovered a love of zip wires as well as a fear of heights and Iga said that she can't wait to go back and is already looking into going back with her fiancé.

Go Ape Treetop Adventures

Have you ever been to Go Ape? Do you have one near you?

I received 2 free entries into Go Ape in exchange for a review, all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own

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Sunday, 16 October 2016

Aberdeen | Revolution's New Pizza Menu


Revolution Pizza Menu



If you were to ask me where the best place for food and cocktails was in Aberdeen then I would certainly reply with Revolution as it has such a chilled atmosphere with an excellent menu and an amazing choice of cocktails.  It even has an outdoor terraced area that has a retractable roof so when we get the three days of warm summer weather here in Aberdeen it can be opened so you can enjoy sitting in the sunshine with your cocktail, there is even heaters that can be switched on when the weather gets chillier which I am sure gets a lot of use.

Along with the other Aberdeen bloggers I was invited to their new Pizza Menu launch to try all of their new pizzas, these pizzas were not your normal flavours but were quite fancy sounding as there was no Meat Feast or Hawaiian in sight.  The first pizza that was brought out was the Hot Italian, a tomato base topped with mozzarella, pepperoni, cured ham, garlic mushrooms, roquito peppers and rocket.  It had a bit of a kick to it but not too spicy.

Revolution Pizza Menu

The Asian Satay Chicken pizza was one that seemed to intrigue a lot of people and seemed to be a blogger favourite, it had a satay sauce on the base along with mozzarella, pulled chicken, cucumber, spring onion, peppers, coriander and a wedge of lime. Sounds amazing, doesn't it?

Revolution Pizza Menu

The Fresco pizza was Greek inspired with its toppings of cured ham, crumbled feta cheese, kalamata olives, balsamic onions, smoked mozzarella and rocket. This was another popular choice amongst the bloggers.

Revolution Pizza Menu

A Moroccan inspired pizza, Lamb Baba Ganoush had toppings of minced lamb, rose harissa, baba ganoush, mozzarella, feta, crème fraiche, coriander and sprinkled with pomegranate.  For the vegetarians their The Beet Goes On pizza (top picture) will not disappoint you with it's artichoke purée, goats cheese, beetroot, mozzarella, roasted peppers, cherry tomatoes, basil and parmesan toppings.

Revolution Pizza Menu

A visit to Revolution is not complete without a cocktail or two (or even three or four) and I started off with a Cherry Woo Woo, an alcoholic cherry slushie drink that was topped with strawberry laces and served in a smoothie container, keeping in with the cherry theme I went for a Cherry Mojito which came in a bag rather than a glass and was really delicious, will definitely be having this to drink next time I'm there.

Which pizza would you choose? Do you have a Revolution near you?

Revolution Cocktails

Thank you so much Revolution and Julia for inviting me and providing us with good food and cocktails, I had a lovely time :)

Revolution is situated on Belmont Street, Aberdeen.

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