Monday, October 27, 2014

October Roundup

This month, I decided that sharing was definitely caring.  To be honest, after two weeks of holiday where I ate, drank and was very merry, I needed to share out the tasting duties.  My lovely work colleagues rose to the challenge admirably and munched their way through many delicious things, so I wouldn't have to bring them home.  They're so kind.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Halloween Treats : Scary Pumpkinhead Carrot Cake

"I hate carrots but I love carrot cake".  Another gem from the Little Brother who was the happy recipient of this special scary Halloween cake.  I was browsing around TK Maxx last week, purely to help The Hubs buy a new wallet.  It's never that simple - I walked out with a set of Essie nail polish and a new pumpkin head cake tin.  I know, I'm a sucker...  Then, what cake to make?  With the changing weather from lovely to "holy moly, stick the electric blanket on", I reckoned a more substantial warming sponge would work best.  Add some spooky gel icing and you're all set for a Scary Pumpkinhead Carrot Cake.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Triple B Muffins

Muffins.  They didn't exist when I was a kid - the most glamorous thing we ever made was butterfly buns.  And I can assure you that buttercream was most definitely made with margarine then.  I'm still shuddering at the memory of margarinecream gritty with granulated sugar because icing sugar wasn't a staple ingredient, the way it is now.  If you're curious, a butterfly bun was a standard fairy cake (called a bun in the country to this very day) with the top lopped off to create a flat surface.  A splodge of gritty margarine buttercream and a dab of jam, usually strawberry, were spread onto the flat surface.  Then the leftover cake top was cut in half and placed back at angles on top of the jam and cream to create a sort of butterfly effect.  And there were no fancy paper cases either.  Just like Henry Ford, cake cases came in one colour only - white.  Take it or leave it.  Kids nowadays have no idea of the trauma we went through!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Review : Dinner at Eastern Seaboard

People of Co. Louth, you don't know how lucky you are to have a restaurant like this in your neighbourhood.  Eastern Seaboard is a big corner unit in a new building which embraces the space with a long banquette set into the curved end wall.  Long narrow chalkboards holding specials clad the central column and blades of grass in little glass bottles echo the height of the room. The floor staff are young and cheery in long navy striped aprons.  The corner bar is dark wood with attractive wine filled shelving and vintage lanterns suspended over the counter.  A large stars & stripes flag flutters gently at the entrance to the kitchen. Jeni Glasgow, the co-owner together with chef Reuven Diaz, glides from table to table greeting guests and ensuring that everything runs calmly and smoothly.  The presence of a former colleague of mine, Michael C behind the bar, adds to the air of happy calm.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Review : Lunch at Pichet, Dublin 2

I have a pair of friends, let's call them Jess and Packie, who have worked very hard (well, Packie has, Jess is a bit of a layabout) and love going out to eat.  I live vicariously through their many photos of lovely lunches, delectable dinners and many, many cocktails.  One such dining extravaganza involved lunch at Pichet on Trinity Street in Dublin 2 when I was starving at my desk.  I rang The Hubs and told him that we were going there for my birthday lunch.  Not being one to argue, he agreed on the spot.