Discovering a brilliant new food blog is a real treat. It’s more than just entertainment- it’s a treasure trove of inspiration and knowledge to draw from and use in your own day to day life. I turn to food blogs every time I’m struggling when trying to put together the week’s meal plan, and when the cupboard are looking bare and I can’t for the life of me figure out how to turn two cans of tuna, some lentils and some box choi into an edible meal (turns out, you can’t.) A Dash of Ginger is one of the food blogs I’ve been most excited to add to my reading list over the past few months, and I find myself returning to Kirsty’s beautiful posts time and again. Her photography, her writing, her passion for cooking and sharing recipes- it’s infectious! I’m so excited to be introducing Kirsty and A Dash of Ginger to you here today, and just know you’re going to fall in love with them both. So, enough chitchat from me- let me hand the reins over to the lovely Kirsty!

1. What made you want to start writing A Dash of Ginger? And how did you come up with the name for your blog?

‘I love experimenting in the kitchen and always wanted to share what I’d been up to but I never felt like my phone snaps did it justice (seriously, it’s amazing how easy it is to make delicious food look horribly unappetising!). I’ve been reading food blogs for years but I started to study the photography a bit more in a bid to improve my own and as my photos got a bit better it felt like a natural step to start my own blog. In hindsight, my earliest photos aren’t nearly as good as I thought they were at the time but hey, we live and learn!

Also, I just really like an excuse to be in the kitchen and my family and friends were getting bored of me trying to initiate discussions on the merits of different types of cheeses ;)

I spent SO long thinking of a name for my blog! I wanted it to be fairly obvious that food is my main focus, but also to reflect my personality and leave a bit of wiggle room if I ever want to branch out a bit in terms of content. When ‘A Dash of Ginger’ finally came to me it felt like the perfect mix of those two things. Although, I’m not a natural redhead so if I ever decide to ditch the hair dye it may not make a whole lot of sense!’

2. What three words would you use to describe A Dash of Ginger?

‘Food with personality (I’m cringing a little – that’s a surprisingly tough question!)’


3. Tell us a little about your blogging experience! Has blogging brought about any major changes in your life? Is there a particular part of the experience of putting together your posts- the photography, writing, coming up with recipe ideas- that you love the most?

‘I’m not sure blogging has contributed to any major changes but it’s certainly given me a push towards experimenting more, not just in the kitchen but also with writing, styling and photography. I work in a fairly mathematical/analytical career so blogging is a great creative outlet and allows me to be a little more artistic. It’s also led to me coming across SO many other talented bloggers who are constantly inspiring me to grow and improve.

My favourite part of the process is constantly changing but at the moment I’m totally in love with the photography aspect. I get so much enjoyment from actually cooking/baking, but it’s in the styling and photography that dishes really come to life and it’s so satisfying to be able to share my recipes in that way.

Having said that, I’m also enjoying writing far more than I initially thought I would. When I began blogging the writing was almost a secondary consideration but as I’ve started to find my voice it’s become something I look forward to. It also highlights to me which recipes I’m really excited about; if I truly love a dish the words just flow and I get super enthusiastic (so much so that I sometimes have to rein it in!)’


4. Let’s talk successes and disasters! What’ve been some of the very best things you’ve ever made- your proudest moments in the kitchen, if you will! And, have you ever cooked up something for the blog that turned out to be not at all bloggable? (I know I have!)

‘Oh I’ve cooked up SO many disasters that never saw the light of day! One particular highlight (lowlight??) was when I tried to bake a very runny cake mixture in a loose based tin – it all dripped out and baked in a big puddle at the bottom of the oven! Needless to say, that did not make it to the blog!

As for successes, I quite like pretending I’m a fancy chef when we have guests round. I recently cooked venison with pancetta, fondant potatoes, pea puree and a red wine sauce for my parents and was pretty pleased that I managed to pull it all together! Blog-wise, I think it has to be the sweet potato gnocchi, simply because it’s such a labour of love (but totally worth the effort!)

5. Now, on to the ‘personal’ stuff! :) What might surprise people to learn about you? Any secret skills or unusual pastimes?

‘I used to swim competitively as a child (way back when I was much fitter than I am now!) and have completed a few triathlons. These days I’m more into running and completed my 2nd half marathon a couple of weeks ago (a very hilly 13.1 miles on the Isle of Skye!).

Career wise, I work as a trainee actuary – a job that 90% of people I meet have never heard of. It basically means that I work in pensions and still have to sit exams for another couple of years!’


6. Let’s do some culinary ‘this or thats’! Okay- sweet, or savoury? Crunchy biscuits, or soft cookies? Pepper, or salt? Tomato sauce, or mayonnaise (on chips, that is…)? As a weekend treat- pizza, or fish and chips? Crunchy or smooth peanut butter? Post-meal- cheeseboard, or something sweet?

‘Savoury, although I’m pretty fond of both ;)
Soft cookies (unless the crunchy option is ginger nuts)
Salt – a little pinch of it can totally transform a recipe.
Tomato sauce. You can tell I’m not an Edinburgh native or my answer would likely be ‘chippy sauce’ (although I’ve still not figured out exactly what that is!)
Pizza – even bad pizza still tastes pretty good!
Crunchy peanut butter all the way.
Something sweet. I do love a cheeseboard but after a meal all I can think about is sugar!’

7. You live in beautiful Edinburgh, right? :) (I’m so very jealous!) Tell us some of the very best things about your fine city!

‘I do indeed :) I’ve lived here for about two years now so there’s lots I’ve still to explore! My absolute favourite thing about Edinburgh is that you can simultaneously be within walking distance of the centre (and all the amazing shops, bars and restaurants it offers) and yet feel like you’re a million miles away from a city.

I absolutely adore Stockbridge, which feels like a little village of its own with cute independent shops and some great restaurants that make the most of fresh, local produce. Walking along the Water of Leith you can almost pretend you’re in the countryside and a wander along the coast to Cramond makes me think of seaside holidays (if you ignore the fact it’s usually about 10 degrees and raining!)’



8. And finally, it’s our old favourite Desert Island Discs! If you were stranded on a desert island, what would you bring along for the ride? You can bring two albums/CDs, two books, two films, ingredients to make a meal, and one luxury item!

‘Oh, this one is so hard – I’ll no doubt have changed my mind by the time this post goes live!

For CDs I’ll have to go for one by The National – it’ll have to be a compilation because my favourite tracks by them span just about every album! Then, for something a little more upbeat when I fancy a wee dance, Taylor Swift – 1989 (of course!).

To read, Not the End of the World by Christopher Brookmyre because he’s hilarious, and Atonement – Ian McEwan.

Ok, films: Moulin Rouge, for Ewan McGregor and the quirkiness and because I love any film that makes me cry (which is actually quite a lot of them!), and The House We Live In because I’m a weirdo who loves documentaries, and this is one of the most captivating I’ve ever seen!

I’d keep things simple for the meal and bring ingredients for a classic steak, chips and béarnaise sauce. And lastly, my luxury item would be a pretty notepad & pen. Then I could draw/write/make lists to my hearts content :)’

** How much did you love Kirsty’s answers? I found myself smiling the whole way through reading them! Do click through to A Dash of Ginger and have a read of Kirsty’s lovely posts, and don’t forget to follow along via Bloglovin‘ too! **

p.s. If you’d like to see your own blog featured here on Cider with Rosie, click through to the Sponsor page and book up an advert! In celebration of being on a wedding countdown, I’m offering 20% off all ad spots until the end of June! Enter ‘THECOUNTDOWN’ at checkout to take 20% off your advertising package! :)

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^^ Stripes forever, even on my feet. ^^

I stumbled across a beautiful corner of London I’d never even heard of before, on my way to Pimlico Road last week- Orange Square. It sits tucked away just behind its big sister Sloane Square, and is a haven of elegant boutiques and abundant flower shops and the sort of townhouses that have you swooning right there on the pavements.

It’s these sort of moments- coming across beautiful spots in London I’ve never knew existed before, that make me love the city so very much. I’ve been in London at least once a week for the best part of a year now, and it makes me happier than I’ll ever be able to express. The bustle, the noise, the tangle of streets that I’m getting more familiar with on each and every visit, the juxtaposing of old and new buildings- it’s as soothing to me as I know trips to the countryside are to city-dwellers.

And you know what I’m learning is the fundamental key to a good day in London? A great pair of shoes. Not hitting the shops post-payday, or a cup of the best hot chocolate, or the sun shining non-stop all day (though all these are pretty fundamental too, if you ask me), but a pair of shoes that won’t rub even after hours and hours of walking. Because aren’t days in London always surprisingly taxing, and don’t they always involve so much more trekking than you’d expect?

I paced almost 8 kilometres during this particular visit, and came away without even a hint of a blister. I like to think of how demanding London is on our legs as the Universe’s way of saying ‘Go on Rosie, have that afternoon slice of cake as well as the burger you ate for lunch. You’ve earnt it.’


What I wore ::
Shirt – GAP
Skirt – Topshop
Scarf – Ted Baker (similar)
Shoes – c/o French Sole
Bag – Mulberry

Cider-with-Rosie-Sloane-Square3Cider-with-Rosie-Sloane-Square5 Cider-with-Rosie-Sloane-Square6Cider-with-Rosie-Sloane-Square1Cider-with-Rosie-Sloane-Square4Cider-with-Rosie-Sloane-Square2

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Are you ready for our monthly read-athon? Because I’ve got some beautiful blogs to share with you today, truly! We’ve got a little something for everyone- food blogs, lifestyle blogs, fitness blogs, and menswear blogs too! I’ve had so much fun getting to know each of them in turn, learning a little about the blogger behind the posts and what makes them tick-  their interests and passions and likes and dislikes. They’re each of them as unique and individual as the next, and that’s what I love most about this blogging game! So, it’s time to settle in with something on ice, and get ready to add some wonderful new reads to your Bloglovin’ feed!

A Dash of Ginger
I’ve been reading and following along with A Dash of Ginger for such a long time now, and never fail to be impressed by Kirsty’s beautiful posts. Everything from Kirsty’s photographs and food styling, to the recipes themselves is just endlessly lovely! This month, Kirsty’s shared recipes for a rhubarb and elderflower gin cocktail (arguably the most perfect flavour combination ever, right?!), worked further rhubarb-magic in her rhubarb almond sponge cake, and made a spicy kale and chicken salad that had me wishing lunchtime would hurry around already! You absolutely must add A Dash of Ginger to your reading list- and get ready to pin *all* of Kirsty’s photos to your foodie Pinterest boards!
Favourite post of the past month? Rhubarb Almond Sponge Cake.

The What Now Blog
Oh, I just love Louise’s blog! It’s been on my reading list for a good few months now, and stopping by to read each of Louise’s posts never fails to make me smile. The What Now Blog is a work and lifestyle blog, centring around creative and career-focused inspiration, personal wellbeing and self-improvement, as well as so many of the other lovely things that tend to fall under the umbrella of ‘lifestyle’! This month, Louise has shared some stellar gift suggestions for Father’s Day (hello coffee subscription service!), taken a behind-the-scenes tour of an organic beauty company, and shared with us her recipe for smoked salmon and red quinoa salad. The What Now Blog really is gorgeous- I’m sure you’ll just love it!
Favourite post of the past month? Simple Work Lunch: Smoked Salmon and Red Quinoa Salad.

Silverspoon London
You know, Silverspoon London is easily one of my favourite finds over the past year or so. I just love reading it so much! Angie’s life is totally dreamy- it’s all glamorous days out, meals in beautiful restaurants, jet-setting, and stays in some of the most envy inducing hotels you’ll ever come across! Angie shares all this in such a comprehensive way, you feel as though she’s taking you right along with her on her adventures. This month, we’ve been treated to an Italian afternoon tea at the Baglioni hotel ( where Nutella is served with scones- a revelation!) and taken along to a party in Paris! Silverspoon London is escapism in its truest and best form, and I’m certain you’re going to just love reading it!
Favourite post of the past month? A Beautiful Day in Paris with Renaissance Hotels.

The Librarian
I feel as though I’ve known Georgina for such a long time now (via Twitter and Instagram and the like), and so it’s been such a treat to get better acquainted with her blog for the first time this month. And a beautiful blog it is, too! The Librarian is all about Georgina’s life in Lincolnshire (and yes, she really is a librarian, and no, her blog isn’t solely about books!) and encompasses everything from weekly round ups and lovely recipes (you must check out the one I’ve linked below-heaven!), to books reviews and posts about days out in Lincolnshire! Georgina’s writing is effortlessly charming- she has that magic quality of writing as though she’s talking to a friend by the spadeful! Truly the sweetest blog.
Favourite post of the past month? Nutella Chunk + Raspberry Swirl Buttermilk Icecream

Daydreams of Summertime
Sarah’s blog has been on my reading list for easily the best part of a year now- and I’ve adored reading it this month just as much as I ever did! Daydreams of Summertime is one of that special kind of charming, wholesome lifestyle blogs that draws me back in time and again. Sarah takes the prettiest photos, and her posts are always so warm and engaging. This month, she and her boyfriend Carl have been busy renovating their new home (you must read Sarah’s post all about the process- brought back many painful DIY-related memories for me!), and in between all the hard work has shared posts about a trip to London, put together a summer to-do list, and been to a beautifully pastel-hued birthday party! You’ll just love this one, I know!
Favourite post of the past month? Weekend Scenes || A Day in London.

Anna Nuttall
Anna’s blog was new to me this month, and I’ve so enjoyed getting to know her! Anna writes on her FAQ page that her favourite thing about blogging is meeting new people, which, since that’s my favourite part of blogging too, made me certain she’s a good’un right from the off! She lives in London with her husband Richard, and uses her blog as a way of expressing her personality and creativity via photography and writing. This month, Anna’s shared an Instagram round up from her recent travels in Europe, a review of afternoon tea on a tour bus, and a very tempting haul of treats from Lush! If personality-packed lifestyle blogs are your cup of tea, then you’ll fall head over heels for Anna Nuttall!
Favourite post of the past month? Afternoon Tea on a Tour Bus.

Rhyme & Ribbons
If you’ve not yet discovered the joy that is Rhyme & Ribbons, then you’re in for a real treat! Amanda is a complete and utter ray of sunshine. Everything about her blog- from her joyful photographs to her beautifully written (and often hilarious!) posts and her sweet relationship with her fiancé Sam- has ever failed in bringing a smile to my face. Over the past few weeks, Amanda’s shared her thoughts on the V&A McQueen exhibition, given us recipes for Turkish baked eggs and dark chocolate + sea salt brownies (amazing!), and put together a vlog from her trip to Paris! Amanda’s got the most charming way of putting together her posts, and I’m certain you’ll be as glad to add her blog to your reading list as I have been.
Favourite post of the past month? ABCs of Summer.

A Little Lusciousness
Oh, it’s been another happy month of food temptations and cravings reading Rosie’s blog! A Little Lusciousness is everything I look for in a good blog- beautiful, creative recipes, comprehensive and well-written restaurant reviews, the insider scoop on foodie events- it’s always such a wonderful read! This month, Rosie’s shared with us her thoughts on a new dim sum restaurant in Clapham named Fu Manchu, eaten at Boom Burger in Portobello, and sampled a gin and tonic ice-cream float! Are you envious of Rosie’s dining habits yet, because I most certainly am! There’s nothing i don’t love about A Little Lusciousness, and can’t recommend you start reading it right away highly enough!
Favourite post of the past month? Boom Burger, Portobello

Pack Your Passport
I met Beverley in London around a year ago at a get together I organised, and have been a loyal reader of her lovely blog ever since! Pack Your Passport is a travel blog, first and foremost, with some wonderful lifestyle posts thrown into the mix for good measure. I love how incredibly well written Beverley’s blog is- her posts never fail to grab my attention and hold it from start to finish! This month, Beverley’s shared with us her recommendations for summer reading, thoughts on turning 30, and tips for planning the perfect summer road trip. It’s a blog for anyone who’s ever been bitten by the wanderlust bug…so that’s pretty much everyone, right?
Favourite post of the past month? How I Overcame my Fear of Flying.

Sophie Loves Food
Are you near the kitchen? Do you have a snack in hand? Because I’m going to warn you now, reading Sophie’s blog is going to make you *hungry*! New to me this month and such a pleasure to get to know, Sophie Loves Food is, as you might’ve guessed, a blog about food! Sophie shares recipes that make her happy- from bourbon BBQ chicken sandwiches and chickpea cauliflower curry, to hidden Oreo cupcakes and cookie dough marshmallow brownies! All of Sophie’s recipes look so very tempting, and are so easy to follow along with. First on my list of things to make are those brownies, because do you ever need a reason to add marshmallow and cookie dough to a batch of brownies?
Favourite post of the past month? Recipe: Cookie Dough Marshmallow Brownies.

Jasmin Charlotte
Jasmin’s blog is ever such a lovely one. Born in Manchester by way of New Zealand, Jasmin now lives in London and shares her adventures via her beautiful photographs and stories. It’s exactly the kind of lifestyle blog I love the most- full of personality and insight and anecdotes, all the sort of things that’ll make you feel like you’re making a friend instead of simply reading from a screen. This month, Jasmin’s shared with us her adventures in Liverpool, talked all about her experiences on a no-carb diet, and had afternoon tea on a tour bus! I find everything Jasmin shares to be warm and friendly and charming, and I’m certain you’ll just love her blog too :)
Favourite post of the past month? JC Explores: Long Weekend in Anglesey

A few more blogs to read + fall in love with ::
Get The Skinny || Favourite post? Nike 10k, We Run London
Emma Inks || Favourite post? Curry Stuffed Aubergine – Vegetarian Cooking
Michael 84 || Favourite post? Summer Seaside Beach on the Quayside in Newcastle
Supernaturally Healthy || Favourite post? Brazilian Iced Mocha Recipe

p.s. If you’d like to see your own blog featured here on Cider with Rosie, click through to the Sponsor page and book up an advert! In celebration of being on a wedding countdown, I’m offering 20% off all ad spots until the end of June! Enter ‘THECOUNTDOWN’ at checkout to take 20% off your advertising package! :)


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When it comes to nails, there are two colours I’m drawn back to time and again when the weather turns warm- bright, orangey-coral, and soft, muted peach. So much so that, I realised whilst putting together this post, that pretty much all I’ve worn on my nails during the past few weeks of blog posts has been one or other of these two colours! I’m a creature of habit, I guess.

There’s good reason for all this predictability though. The warm undertones of both shades makes your skin look instantly more sun-kissed than anything with a blue base, and that, for someone whose skin will remain stubbornly fair unless forced to soak up hours upon hours of UV rays, is a bonus! Both the colours too are wonderfully versatile- they’re like the nail varnish equivalent of a great pair of leopard print shoes, or a camel coat, or anything at all striped. In fact, I’m so very in love with both these colours I’m considering having the peach as my wedding nail colour, then the coral for honeymoon! Maybe I should branch out though, just a bit. I’ll say it again though, creature of habit and all that…

T H E   P E A C H :: Essie ‘Perennial Chic’

This nail varnish and me are having something of a love affair. You always know you’ve found a good one when you reapply the same colour right after removing the last manicure, right? This is one of those.

For me, it’s the perfect shade to blend in with my skintone and make my hands like 100 percent more grown up, and 100 perfect less ‘goodness me don’t you have child-sized hands, can you fit into adult gloves?’ (I can’t). I find it to be so very elegant and polished, and, the greatest of all plus points, it not only dries like a dream (some Essie varnishes I find are slow to dry, but this one is speedy!), but also lasts a good three or four days without chipping. And, since it’s such a muted neutral, you can get away with one or two small chips without having to worry! (Just don’t tell my Mum I said that. She has this thing about chipped manicures you see ;)


T H E   C O R A L :: Sally Hansen ‘Kook a Mango’

Coral nail varnishes have been my favourite since forever. I’ve been through *so* many bottles of the stuff, it’s getting to be kind of ridiculous! Still, the pursuit of perfection is to be admired, right?

Really though, I can’t think of a more summer-appropriate shade than a bright, orangey-red coral. It’s loud, and happy-making, and positively screams ‘summer’! I love to wear it with white dresses, and as a splash of colour in a muted outfit, and it’s a pretty spot on holiday shade too. It’s perfect for pedicures too!

This particular shade (from Sally Hansen) is a new one to me, but went on beautifully and is as vibrant as I’d hoped it would be. I’ve yet to test its staying power, but to be honest with you, a coral shade that perfect? I’d reapply it daily if I had to…


What’ll you be wearing on your nails, this summer? Also, anyone got any good recommendations for wedding nail varnishes, so that I don’t revert to type and just wear this peach shade? I’m all ears!

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