Friday, November 30, 2012

Christmas Dinner Pies

It's that time of year again, when I can say the word "Christmas" without being shouted at for trying to drag out the festive season.  It's a lovely time of year when people seem to smile more, be a little more patient and take the opportunity to eat as much as they can in a demented fashion.  To look at people's shopping trollies in the run up to Christmas Day, you would swear that we were going to run out of food and the shops were never going to reopen.  Let's be honest, would we usually eat 20 tubes of crisps over a three-day period at any other time of year?  Supermarkets actually only close on December 25th and 26th and most other shops just close for Christmas Day.  With The Hubs working in retail, Christmas Day is his only day off over the festive season, a fact which fills me with rage every single year, despite it having been the same annually since I met him 15 years ago.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Alicia's Rainbow Birthday Cake

It's become quite the tradition in our family that I make a birthday cake for each of the Childerbeasts.  Ethan had his Big Blue Cake, Lulu had a red cake with purple icing and now it was the turn of Miss Alicia who reaches the ripe old age of eight tomorrow.  She's pretty demanding if truth be told, and a bit of a demon baker herself, so I knew a big task was in store for me.  She decided that she wanted a rainbow cake and I was the person to make it for her.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Spiced Pear Cookies

I tend to pick up new and interesting food items when I'm on my travels.  I store them away in the SuperShed and after a while, they pop back into my mind and I am consumed with the need to use them in a recipe.  And so this cookie idea was born...  The dried pears came from a trip to Sainsburys where I also bought dried apples (but that's another recipe) and I was very lucky to find rock sugar when we were on holidays in France.  The poor Hubs thought I had hurt myself pushing the trolley, such was the squeal I made when I spied it in the baking aisle.  Yes, you are right, I am easily pleased!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Beef Bonds - The Perfect Christmas Gift

Last week I was chatting to Pat Whelan, who is one of Ireland's most renowned butchers with stores in Clonmel, Co. Tipperary and Avoca Foodhall in Monkstown, Co. Dublin.  He's always looking for new and innovative ideas to promote meat and he's come up with an absolute beauty for Christmas (here comes the science bit...).

Pat Whelan launching his Beef Bonds today

Pat has launched what he claims are the world’s first ‘Beef Bonds’, giving investors an alternative to financial markets.  The Beef Bond is a boxed certificate giving a share in one of Whelan’s Angus, Hereford or Wagyu/Kobe cattle. Each bond displays the ID number, breed and expected maturity of the animal it is linked to.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Citrus Greek Yoghurt Cake

Sundays can be so long and miserable in wintertime.  The weekend is almost over and you're either tired and emotional from the night before or have a fit of the Sunday blues fretting about the week ahead.  For me, Sunday is my baking day. Chances are that The Hubs is working so I have the house to myself and can clatter around knee deep in tins, scales and flour to my heart's content.