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Do you like your chips baked or fried?

McCain Oven Chips

Waking up coughing, I looked on as the door of my bedroom opened and the most gorgeous man I have ever seen in my life walked in through the door.  Dressed all in his fireman togs, I was then completely unaware of the rancid black smoke that wafted around him.  The hero of my ten-year old future dreams always played out with a macho fireman whisking me away from my dangerous foes.

Looking back, well before the days of oven chips in their dozens stocking supermarket shelves, we used to have to fry anything that needed chip style cooking.   My mother can make a mean roast, but she’s never been an adventurous cook, so all I learned from her was the basics.

We used to have a big ordinary pan as a chip pan, 16-year-old brother managed to come home steaming drunk and fall asleep while he heated up the fat for a late night feast.  Needless to say, both occasions ended up in a visit from the fireman and a grounded teen, but only one ended up with the macho fireman at my bedroom door.

We had no chip pan from then on and even though I do have one now, and it has a thermometer and a lid, it only ever comes out for Xmas Day and the Tattie Balls that my family refuse to do without.  I even do my roasties in the oven.

McCain Oven Chips 1

The rest of the year, we make do with oven chips, or just plain old regular potatoes.  The man keeps threatening to pull out the fryer and use it more often, but that means he would also have to clean it, so it’s never actually happened despite the threats.    The kids do like chips though and we go through a fair few bags over the space of a year.

The kids current favourite is McCain Oven Chips, so I was happy when they asked us to sample some of their Healthier Chip Range and the 5% fat, straight cut oven ready chips, made with just a dash of sunflower oil.  It was a bit of a no brainer here as they’re the popular ones anyway.

With 6 people to feed, the big bags are what we need and we were happy with the level of crispness from the oven that all chips should have.  I really dislike soggy chips.   I did have to cook them for longer than it said in the instructions in my oven, but it was no big deal.

I’d like to give the 3% fat rustic chips a go, so I’ll have to keep an eye out for those next time I am in the supermarket.

Thanks McCain, the chips got the thumbs up from the kids.


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Scotty Brand Coleslaw and Potato Salad


Scotty Brand were kind enough to send us some of their newly available Scottish Coleslaw and Scottish Potato Salad.   We buy a lot of coleslaw as it’s just so much easier than making it, but I find many potato salads very vinegary and tend not to buy them.   Scotty Brand potato salad was actually quite creamy and oniony and went down pretty well with the kids.    I am trying to be good food wise so I had some sugar snap peas, runner beans and broccoli for my evening meal with a generous helping of both the potato salad and coleslaw.   It was actually pretty filling.

Coleslaw and Potato Salad 2

The pots are 300g and should be available in Asda now for £1.

Coleslaw and Potato Salad 4

Coleslaw and Potato Salad 3

Scotty Brand says

Scotty Brand Scottish Coleslaw

A blend of shredded cabbage, carrots and onions combined with our special mayonnaise for just the right mix of creamy, crunchy, tanginess.  The recipe has been used by the Adams for almost 20 years – it is creamier than many coleslaws.  The cabbage is cut by hand before the ingredients are combined together in small batches of exactly the right proportions in Craig’s shiny new preparation room.

Scotty Brand Scottish Potato Salad

A creamy combination of diced potatoes, salad onions and mayonnaise.  The potatoes are cooked in small batches and cut a little larger than most to allow you to savour the potato flavour and to give an improved texture.  Scotty Brand potato salad is an ideal accompaniment to a green salad or it is a luxurious side-dish for many main dishes.

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Mashed Potatoes with Chilli Pepper Topping using Scotty Brand Kestrel Potatoes

Scotty Brand sent us some lovely Kestrel potatoes before Christmas.  They are fabulous for using for lots of potato things, boiling, baking or roasting.  Mashing is just one of the ways that they can be used really well.

Potatoes are really quite good for us.  I read a lot of negativity around root vegetables, and I can never quite understand the reason for it.  They are high in folic acid which helps our immune system and our white blood cell production, so for that reason alone, I think they should stay part of a balanced diet to eat well.

With around 93 calories per 100 grams, it is easy to count them into a good meal plan,

I like some plain cooking with potatoes and for this recipe, I kept it very simple indeed.

Mashed Potatoes with Chilli Peppers

Lesley S Smith
4 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Sides
Servings 6


  • 3 - 4 Kg Kestrel Potatoes Scotty Brand Potatoes
  • 2 Oz Butter
  • 100 Ml Fresh Milk
  • 2 - 3 Chillies or Peppers Choose brightly coloured options and chop finely


  • Simply boil potatoes in a pan for 15 - 20 minutes until soft.
  • Drain potatoes and begin to mash. After a minute, add the butter and mash a few more times. Then add the milk to finish mashing your potatoes into a thick creamy consistency. I add my milk a tablespoon at a time, just in case. Too much milk will also spoil the consistency of the potatoes.
  • Serve and top with chopped chillies or peppers (or both)


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Coleslaw Salad

I don’t think there is really much to say about coleslaw, other than to say it makes a fabulous accompaniment to salads, sandwiches, paninis, baked potatoes and much much more.

Coleslaw Salad

Lesley S Smith
Perfect as a side dish with most main meals, or to use in a salad.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Side Dish
Servings 6


  • 200 g Carrot Grated
  • 150 g Cabbage Shredded into strips.
  • 150 g Onion Shredded into strips.
  • 2 - 3 tablespoons Mayonnaise or Thousand Island Dressing


  • Simply shred the cabbage, onion and carrot.

  • Mix with mayonnaise or thousand island dressing.

  • Serve.



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Tattie, Cheese & Onion Rumpledethumps


Traditionally in Scotland, Rumpledethumps recipes tend to be potatoes, turnip and other left over veg form the day before.  It can actually be used to use up any leftovers at all, in a similar way to the English Bubble and Squeak Recipe, or the Irish Colcannon.  There are a few times that I’ve wondered what Colcannon is, and now I know.

The one biggest ingredient tends to be left overs mashed up, but mashed tatties (potatoes) tends to make up the bulk of the dish, with vegetables and sometimes meats making up some of the rest.  It can be used as a side potato dish or on its own as a full meal.   For this recipe, I used our favourite Black Bomber Cheese, courtesy of @aberdeenbutcher on Twitter.

Tattie, Cheese & Onion Rumpledethumps

Lesley S Smith
An easily made dish and a fantastic way to use up leftovers from the previous day, or from a Sunday Roast. I made it as a stand alone dish for the kids supper.
Servings 6


  • 5 lbs Tatties Potatoes They must be mashable potatoes, similar to king Edwards, Kestrels, Maris Pipers etc.
  • 2 Onions
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 200 g Grated Black Bomber Cheese
  • Rapeseed or Sunflower Oil


  • Mash boiled potatoes and do not add milk or butter, or the mash will become too soft to work with.
  • Chop up the onions and lightly fry.
  • Add the fried onions, salt, pepper, and the grated cheese to the potatoes.
  • Make round patties with the potatoes.
  • Add them to a pan with hot oil and shallow fry for 5 minutes each side, or until golden brown. If you are using leftovers, the goal is to reheat thoroughly all the way through.
  • Serve as a side dish, an accompaniment, or even as a main dish with salad as a side.

Little Black Bomber Cheese courtesy of:


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Scotty Brand Ayrshire New Potatoes with Sour Cream and Parsley

Sometimes, I think we overthink our cooking.  What’s wrong with some plain and simple boiled new potatoes, served with some sour cream and a topping of parsley like my grandmother would make.

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This is just so simple to make and the sour cream tastes lovely over the newly cooked spuds.

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Ayreshire New Potatoes with Sour Cream and Parsley

Lesley Smith
New potatoes with sour cream and parsley.
Servings 6


  • 1 bag of Ayrshire new potatoes from Scotty Brand
  • 4 tablespoons of sour cream
  • Sprinkling of parsley


  • Wash and scrub the new potatoes.
  • Simmer in boiled water for 10 - 15 minutes.
  • Serve hot in a separate dish from the main course.
  • Add one tablespoon of sour cream for each portion of potatoes.
  • Sprinkle the top of the potatoes with parsley for a pretty finish.


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Luxury Potato Salad with Scotty Brand Ayrshire New Potatoes

Our newest delivery from Scotty Brand arrived on Friday.  Lovely Scotty Brand Ayrshire new potatoes.  I resisted the temptation to throw a couple of bags on for the evening meal over the weekend, and plan to do something different with them over this week.

Packs of Ayrshire New Potatoes are run with a fabulous promotion to win family adventures in Scotland, and is inspired by Disney Pixar Brave.  You can find lots more on the Scotty Brand website, and promotional numbers from each pack of new potatoes to use on the website and see if you have won a prize. To do it, just peel back the sticker below and enter the code to see if you’ve won.

Scotty Brand blogger badge

I love potato salad, and so do the kids, but I buy it far more often than I should, as making fresh is much nicer.  With the lovely new potatoes, a bag did get boiled to make potato salad.

Luxury Potato Salad


  • 1 bag Scotty Brand new potatoes or approximately 750g.
  • sea salt.
  • 1 level teaspoon honey mustard.
  • 5 tablespoons of mayonnaise.
  • 4 tablespoons of double cream.
  • 2 teaspoons of chopped chives.


  1. Wash potatoes and boil with a few pinches of sea salt for 10 – 15 minutes.
  2. Leave potatoes to cool before cutting into thick slices.
  3. Fold in mayonnaise and double cream.  You may need a little more or less mayonnaise, so add it a tablespoon at a time.
  4. Add the teaspoon of honey mustard and fold in gently until it is fully mixed.  Leave this out of you don’t like mustard.
  5. Serve with chives sprinkled on top for a decadent potato salad.