Friday, February 5, 2016

Romantic Chocolate Raspberry Sponges

I'm a total sucker for anything heart shaped and when I came across some heart shaped foil tins in Tiger, I was sold.  And as Valentines Day is just s few days away, why not create a romantic little cake for the one you love?  The dark chocolately sponge with ruby juicy raspberries are always a match made in heaven.  You could adorn it with a chocolate ganache icing or perhaps some whipped cream spiked with Creme de Framboise liqueur for a very decadent treat.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Crispy Cheesy Baked Omelette

Do you know what the best thing is about potatoes?  Leftovers.  Whether it's mash to make colcannon or potato cakes, roast for dousing in gravy or my favourite, steamed for practically everything else.  I always cook more than I need because next day's lunch or dinner is just as delicious.  Take my Crispy Cheesy Baked Omelette.  With leftover potatoes, it's ready in 20 minutes.  Starting from scratch, add an extra 15 minutes - I promise you that it's worth it.  Baked omelettes are great for using up anything that's sitting in the fridge but my firm favourite is ham, spring onion and parmesan.  I'm lucky to have an enormous chunk of Italian heaven in my fridge, so any excuse to grab a grater and add it to anything I can.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Single Syn Cottage Pie

I'll be honest with you, I am full of good intentions but sometimes lack the killer instinct to carry them to fruition.  Late last year, I was invited to speak at one of the Dream It, Do It events hosted by my friend Fiona Dillon and her friend Nicola Carolan.  Nicola is also known as The Naked Blondie and has basically changed her life by documenting her weight loss journey with Slimming World.  While I was waiting for my turn to talk (and you know how much I love to talk...) I was inspired by how Nic has revolutionised her life and since then we've kept in touch, particularly on Snapchat where there's lots of banter and fun in equal measure.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Speedy Sizzling Suppers at M&S

Yes it's Friday!!  Weekends are all about spending time doing things you love or just relaxing with friends and family (in our case, it's me, Ru and the fluffy dog too).  Sometimes you'll cook, sometimes you'll order a takeaway - it all depends on how much effort you want to put in.  I'm rather fond of the Marks and Spencer Asian stir fry meal deal which is on at the moment.  For just €10, you can create 650 stir fry combinations for two - and it's a great way to get part of your five a day.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Baked Brunch Frittata

We love brunch in our house at the weekend.  Anything that has bacon tends to qualify so hello Eggs Benedict, Pancakes with Maple Syrup and Bacon, a dirty fry and this delicious object.  Omelette or Frittata?  Technically this is a frittata as it's baked in the oven and there's no watching of pans or flipping of eggs required. Either way, it's incredibly easy and a great Sunday brunch with very little fuss. Use whatever's lying around your fridge - change the cheese, add peppers (shudder), leftover cold potatoes, peas - anything goes here.  It's ready in 20 minutes and you'll look like a culinary genius.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Toffee Apple Crumble

Welcome to 2016 everybody.  I'm not one for long lists of resolutions, so I'm just going to try and follow the French advice to "manger, bouger" which basically means eat less and move more.  If I manage to achieve that, then I'll be a happier person. Anyway, enough of the fluffy stuff, back to the food.  On New Years Eve, I wanted to make us a nice warming storm-proof dessert because the weather outside was filthy.  Cooking apples were on special in the local supermarket so I bought a pack of 4 for 49c and decided to go back to basics with a comforting Apple Crumble...

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Top Tipples for Christmas

It's the last payday before Christmas for most of us salaried people on Friday and I love to encourage people to support the retail economy.  It's also just over a week to go until the food and drink fest that is Christmas Day, so that means stocking up on lovely things to nibble on and some divine wines to accompany them.  Last month, Aldi asked me to taste their range of festive wines (reader, I was driving!) and I've compiled my list of favourites for you to browse through at your leisure.

Let's start with the happy stuff : fizz.  They've got a stunning Cremant de Jura which kicks Prosecco into the corner.  Although it's made from Chardonnay grapes, it doesn't have that oily oakiness usually associated with the dreaded C word.  It's fresh, light, crisp and my top choice at €10.79.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Herby Chicken Casserole

Usually, I roast a chicken every Sunday for Ru's lunches during the week.  I cram it full of lemon, garlic and herbs and it's really fragrant and juicy.  But... I forgot that he was going out gallivanting and wouldn't be there for the tupperware box of deliciousness.  Time for a Plan B.  We've had some particularly shocking weather recently and I wanted to make a lovely stew with the chicken.  To make the very most of it, I poached it with some root vegetables, keeping the meat for the stew, and creating a really delicious stock with the bones for the base of the sauce.  This is the perfect food for freezing as it makes so much and guarantees delicious dinners throughout winter.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Fabulous Gifts for Frequent Flyers

I'll be honest with you, I'm dotty about The Dotty Lemon.  It's a small Irish online business selling the cutest gifts you never knew you needed until you saw them.  Established by Cork native Aisling Power, it sells a range of jewellery, stationery, storage and gifts to suit all price points.  It's also the perfect store to find a Secret Santa gift for a colleague or friend.


Friday, November 20, 2015

Review : Home: Recipes from Ireland by Trish Deseine

Trish Deseine, an Irishwoman living in France, has come home.  After many years writing about food in French including her sublime book “Je Veux du Chocolat”, having children and immersing herself in all things French, it was time for a change.  Trish has written a tribute to the often unappreciated and underrated food of Ireland.

Upon opening her new book “Home: Recipes from Ireland”, I was immediately struck by its simplicity and elegance.  No hipster food styled glossy cover, just a serene austere green with simple white typography.  It’s an indication of what lies ahead as you open the book.  Great care has been taken by Trish and her photographer Deirdre Rooney to focus on the food and landscapes of Ireland.  You won’t find any images of curly red haired children in Aran jumpers with donkeys carrying panniers of turf in Home.  What you will find is a collection of recipes which celebrate the wonderful bounty that is Irish food.