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Archive for May, 2015

Carrot, courgette and cardamom are a wonderful combination of flavours. The cake itself is moist enough but for that extra special touch you can add the delicious rosemary & orange crème fraiche. If you want to go all out, you can make mini carrots and courgettes out of marzipan with a little orange and green food colouring and angelica root for the stalks. This cake will keep in the fridge for 3–5 days.  Continue reading »

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This is a great recipe of tortillas filled with shallow fried fish goujons, tomato salsa, a little soured cream and some salad.  Continue reading »

This is a fantastic recipe to showcase fresh oysters, the shooters add a bit of fun to the dish and will ensure that your evening starts well!
Serves 8
24 raw oysters, shucked open
fresh seaweed and crushed ice, to serve
For the shallot mignonette:
4 tablespoons finely minced shallots
50ml white wine vinegar
50ml unseasoned rice vinegar
1/8 teaspoon caster sugar
1/8 teaspoon sea salt flakes
1 ¼ teaspoon finely crushed white peppercorns.  Continue reading »

Nothing says summer like strawberries and cream and a cake that combines both is a winner in my books! Light, vanilla scented sponges, layered with softly whipped cream and lashings of strawberry jam- this sponge cake is a total crowd pleaser!

Now when you make a Victoria sandwich, there are a few key questions. Do you use strawberry or raspberry jam? Do you put cream inside or serve on the side? Do you sprinkle caster or icing sugar on the top?  Continue reading »

Strawberry Tree. Prize and Surprise.

Your salad in a tin. Your berry soda hidden among daisies. Your cheese just 90 minutes old.
Last Thursday, I enjoyed the superb Organic and Wild Food Tasting Menu at Strawberry Tree restaurant in Macreddin Village, County Wicklow. For close on three hours, we enjoyed the culinary adventure, ten courses in all, a staggering array of delightful dishes. Though we had read the menu in advance, each course had an element of surprise.  Continue reading »

This banana bread is actually more of a light cake really than a bread. It is perfect with a cup of tea as a little homemade sweet treat. It holds well when wrapped and stored in a container and it is great in that it uses up overripe bananas. Your fruit bowl will thank you!


2 ripe/overripe bananas
2 tbsp. milk
100 g soft butter/margarine
150 g plain flour
150 g caster sugar
1 tsp. bicarbonate of soda & 1 tsp.  Continue reading »

Shopping Tips – 25 May 2015

A post by Wholesome Ireland at Wholesome Ireland

I keep on finding that I’m not bothered with the browsing/happy stroll through the supermarket anymore. I don’t know whether it’s because I have less time than I used to, or whether I approach the special offers with a hearty dose of cynicism, and an eye on my shopping budget. Either way, last week I found the shopping tips invaluable as I zoomed through the weekly shop in the space of an hour. That’s more time at the allotment for me!  Continue reading »

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What did you learn at Litfest?
That was the question that was put to me and 14 others by Marie Claire Digby from the Irish Times last week. We had to limit our answers to two or three sentences, but there was a wealth of newly gained knowledge to choose from. Here are my highlights. What are yours?

Alice Waters in conversation with John McKenna
“It’s not just you are what you eat – the way we eat also teaches us a set of values.  Continue reading »

To travel in hope

A post by The Beer Nut at The Beer Nut

The novelty of having a JD Wetherspoon 45 minutes away still hasn’t worn off, though it’s a benefit I only really feel during their biannual beer festivals. So, at the start of the most recent one, back in late March, I trooped out to Blackrock early on a Sunday afternoon to see what was on.
With lunch, to begin, Fort English-style IPA which was brewed by Shepherd Neame and poured an attractive bright copper colour.  Continue reading »

Amuse Bouche


‘Ag, sit, Benedict. I’m going to have some tea. Would you like a glass of milk?’
‘Yes, please.’ He loved the fresh, creamy milk from the farm. In the house up the hill, they had semi-skimmed milk from the supermarket on account of Baba watching his cholesterol and Mama watching her hips, and it just wasn’t as nice.

from When Hoopoes go to Heaven by Gaile Parkin.  Continue reading »

Nogneø SummerSommer

A post by Ivan at Messy-Chef

Golden colour. Malt. Dry finish. 
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First published in the Irish Examiner on Saturday 28 February: This is how to spend 24 hours in Belfast With sublime raw materials on offer, including….  Continue reading »

A classic Victoria sandwich is the kind of recipe that can divide families! Do you use strawberry or raspberry jam? Do you put cream inside or serve on the side? Do you sprinkle caster or icing sugar on the top? All I know is I LOVE this sponge cake! I like to use strawberry jam and cream to sandwich them together and finish with a light dusting of icing sugar. I let you decide how you want to serve yours!  Continue reading »

Malteser Cheesecake

A post by A Cookbook Collection at A Cookbook Collection

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Busy Rascal’s

A post by The Beer Nut at The Beer Nut

A couple of new ones from the brewery on the edge of Dublin today. Rascal’s has been striking a balance between maintaining a presence for its three core beers, all of which have changed for the better in the year or so that they’ve been available, and turning out specials, under its own marque and under the Brewtonic badge in Dublin’s Bodytonic bars.
The latter has included Same Sex, which I caught up with in The Back Page.  Continue reading »

Gin. The Garden Spirit
With Desmond Payne

The Beefeater London Garden gin

As they left, she bribed the barman to part with a full bottle of Booth’s gin.

On the road back.., he asked, “What’s so special? One gin is much the same as another.”

“No, it’s not. You just take a sniff.”
She uncorked the bottle and wafted it under his nose as he drove.
“See? It’s sort of flowery and oily at the same time. Reminds me of home. God knows why.  Continue reading »