Thursday, October 31, 2013

Baking Is The New Cool

Here's a little question for you.  Do you get enjoyment from food?  Do you find that your troubles melt away when you sink your teeth into a delicious treat?  The idea that cakes and other goodies can promote the feeling of wellbeing is not unheard of, but just why does it happen and how can you get on board? If you've a busy life and feel that spending a couple of hours in the kitchen is a waste of time, please think again! Baking can be incredibly therapeutic which helps to keep you feeling fit, healthy and happy.  There's nothing like kneading a lump of dough to ease the tensions of the week. Combine the therapy of the baking process with the fact that you’ll be able to eat what you’ve created and you can understand why baking is considered ‘the new cool’.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Smart Shopping at Kildare Village

It's a well known fact in our house that I can't resist a bargain, be it online or in store.  I hate paying full price for anything and now that we're entering the darkest months of the year, it's time to think about buying some gifts.  I was away for the night at Savour Kilkenny with some very lovely friends and the car decided not to go home the usual way, but to take a little detour via the M7, Junction 13 to be precise.  Actually, the car knows it's own way to Kildare Village at this stage. Usually I'm accompanied by The Hubs who has no patience for shopping whatsoever, so I'm allocated 5 minutes per shop before he gets grumpy.  This time, I was on my own so I could wander around at my leisure without the little voice in my ear.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Pear Frangipane Tart

As you've seen from a previous post, I was gifted with lots and lots of pears from my parent's garden recently. I turned most of them into pear puree but the pear givers also wanted to receive them back, in the form of a cake or a tart.  "A nice one" was the instruction issued to me.  Hang on there, all of my stuff is nice.  "Oh, but no chocolate, I can't be doing with that".  Drat, no brownies for you then, ungrateful wretches...

Monday, October 21, 2013

From The Garden: Pear Puree

The Parentals have a very well stocked garden and I take advantage of their fruit and vegetable bounty as often as I can.  Sharing is caring and all that...  Last week, there was a glut of pears and Dad told me he "put a few" in the boot of my car.  A few?  There was a giant garden bucket brimming with fresh organic pears, complete with stalks, leaves and the odd snail, just for a bit of protein.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Dine in Dublin 2013 Is Here!

It's that time of year again and as I'm away next week, I thought I'd give you a heads up because Dublin’s food festival, Dine in Dublin, is once again bringing a feast of cultural delights to the city this October for a fantastic 9th season. From Monday 21st to Sunday 27th October, the festival will see top restaurants throughout Dublin city centre get involved with giveaways, special events and of course, great value offers on meals in a wide range of the city’s best eateries.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Healthy Cooking Made Easy

Balancing the books and the nutrition in your family’s diet isn't easy at the best of times.  It’s so important to cover the five food groups – dairy, fruit, protein, starchy foods and small amounts of fat and sugar – while keeping it simple to alleviate time and financial pressures.  After all, most of us have busy lives and can’t spend all day in the kitchen (I wish...).  All that's needed is a plan.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Review : Lunch at Michie Sushi, Sandyford

Birthdays are a communal affair in work, with three of us celebrating ours on two consecutive days.  Naturally, such auspicious occasions must be marked, so we wandered across the road to the newest branch of Michie Sushi in Beacon South Quarter.

Monday, October 7, 2013

A Probing Issue

One of my essential pieces of kitchen kit is a thermometer.  No, not for me, for the food!  There's loads of different types from simple sticks with a dial, a bit like the clapometers from TV talent shows back in the day, to high-tech digital food meters.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Sainsbury's Magazine and Little Old Me...

The English branch of our family (Hi Uncle John, Auntie Pat, Nic & Si) have a long and illustrious career in retailing.  Ok, so it was only a summer job for some of them but it was in a supermarket that we didn't have here in Ireland.  Staying in my Uncle and Aunt's house on holiday was always a treat for me because they had totally different food from us and I loved going around the shops seeing new things and bringing home sweets like Raspberry Ruffles for Mum.  Mind you, I tasted one of those sweets the other day and it was rank.  They've definitely tinkered with the recipe and things ain't what they used to be.

I digress.  My cousins Nic & Simon worked in Sainsbury's and I have been a fan for years.  I love a good old browse through the aisles when I get a chance, I even have a Nectar card for my shopping trips up to Belfast and I positively adore their magazine.  It's one of the few supermarket magazines that doesn't read like a giant big ad for product, and instead focuses on food.  I have quite a few of them under the coffee table in the sitting room, as I like to hoard them and refer to them for inspiration.  I'm particularly fond of the Christmas editions and these are hidden away where The Hubs can't mistake them for recycling.  Yes, he's chucked out some treasured magazines on me in the past so once bitten and all that.