Friday, February 28, 2014

Campari and Grapefruit Cake

One of the first drinks I had in France at the tender age of 16 was Campari.  I loved the ruby red colour but thought it tasted unbelievably bitter (to be fair, it was served with tonic, so what do you expect).  Over the years as my tastebuds have changed, I've come to appreciate the sharpness and sourness and I love it with grapefruit.  Speaking of grapefruit, I bought a few last week and was going to squeeze them for an after-work cocktail but a reminder from Lulu that I've been a bit slow on the cake front changed all that.  I'm making a cake with Campari and Grapefruit.  The tang of the grapefruit zest pairs wonderfully with the astringency of the Campari and the sticky grapefruit syrup poured on top gives the whole cake a lovely sweetness.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Dinner in 10 : Fusilli with Salmon and Peas

Tonight I was tired to the core.  I had physio on dodgy arm on Monday evening and I am black and blue - it's ok Lisa, I know you didn't mean to hurt me... much.  If there had been bread in the house, I would have settled for toast and jam for dinner.  But there was no bread - what's a lazy sod like me going to do with a hungry husband to feed?  Last night I went on a little road trip with Little Sis and the fluffy dog.  Her Hoover had broken (again - how much cleaning can one person do???) so we needed to visit The Hubs in work to get a new one.  Next door to him is a German supermarket so Sis dragged me in to get a few bits.  Twenty minutes later she was still faffing around so I decided to get a few bits for myself.  And those little bits made a dinner in 10 minutes tonight.  Excellent planning, wha?

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Raspberry and Lemon Muffins

Sometimes I long for a little ray of sunshine on these dark and dreary days.  I want something delicious and light for a treat.  My Raspberry and Lemon Muffins are full of (frozen) raspberries and lemon zest to create a midmorning snack or afternoon slump-buster. You can make the batter, bake them and be cleaned up with a cup of coffee ready for the first bite in under an hour.  Sprinkle the tops with granulated sugar or some rock sugar before you put them into the oven for some extra crunch.  Little Brother tried them out and apparently they are savage. Yes, that means good, in Little Brother speak

Monday, February 10, 2014

Wining, Dining and Valentining

Oh no.  You've forgotten, haven't you?  Well here's your advance warning - Friday is February 14th, also known as Valentine's Day.  Or Mammys Birthdays in Maison Babaduck.  Yes, both my Mammy and the Mammy in Law celebrate their birthdays on February 14th.  What are the chances?

So, back to the matter in hand.  Valentine's Day.  A day of love, romance, lots of cards, presents, dinner, fine wine and the like.  If you've let matters slide, here's a positive plethora of ideas for you to plan a memorable evening.  Me, I'll be tucked up on the couch with The Hubs, the fluffy dog known as Sandie and a bottle of fizz. After dispatching pressies and cards to The Mammies, of course...

Image courtesy of Inchydoney Island Lodge and Spa

Sunday, February 2, 2014

A Masterclass at Saba To Go (and Childerbeasts with Chopsticks)

Back in pre-Childerbeast times, Little Sis spent quite some time in Australia and the Far East.  One of her favourite places where she lived for a while was Thailand living in a hut, cutting hair on the beach for beer money and developing a love of the local food.  Down where I live, Thai food is treated as a poor relation in the local Chinese restaurants and is a small add-on to the main menu.  This saddens me because Thai cuisine is so fresh and aromatic and MSG free for those who are sensitive to it.

Image courtesy of Saba

I was a very lucky duck recently to be invited to a private Thai cookery masterclass at Saba To Go, the takeaway arm of Saba restaurant in Dublin 2. I'm very familar with Saba's cuisine (and their excellent cocktail menu!) and I also own a copy of Saba: The Cookbook which is filled with exquisite photos of daily life in Thailand and some exceptional recipes, so I was very excited to learn more.