#dammisdead squeals the label on the back of my dinky bottle of Revolution IPA, a product of Molta Birra in Girona, on the doorstep of the Catalan brewing giant. It’s a 6.5% ABV pale amber beer, one I poured very carefully having noticed the thick gobs of yeast at the bottom of the bottle, all the while worrying about the slightly sour aroma it was giving off. Nothing severe, just… worrying. The yeast hasn’t been too busy as it’s rather flat. Continue reading »
This is a story of great triumph over adversity. In work, we get a delivery of fruit every week to keep us all healthy and at the end of the week, there's usually a few apples or nectarines lying in the box. I hate waste, so I brought home some nectarines and plums to turn them into a cake for work. Continue reading »
My daily routine has changed since the 5-year-old went back to school. The arrangement that we had last year has altered and instead of me just whooshing him out the door by 8.30am, now all 3 of us (2 boys and myself) leave the house by this time. Thanks to one of my sisters we have a lift to the school and after we’ve dropped the eldest boy off, I walk home with the small boy. Continue reading »
“It’s true, when you think about it,” Colette said with a giggle. “There are frogs everywhere in the world but only the French eat them. Why is that so?”
“The French are the only ones who’ve found out how to eat them,” Luc Giraud said. “Another example of French in-ge-nu-it-y.”
“As far as food is concerned, the French are the champions of ingenuity!” Madame Valette laughed.
from On Leave by Daniel Anselme. Continue reading »
It must be at least six years since I first spoke with Bernard Walsh. Even then, long before Irish whiskey projects became fashionable, he was dreaming of one day distilling himself. An impossible aspiration, I thought, but on Thursday I was down at Royal Oak, Carlow, turning the sod on Walsh Whiskey Distillery.
I parked near the gate of the 40-acre estate and walked up the long drive towards Holloden House, a mid-18th century pile. Continue reading »
Back to school is tough going. Especially on the littlest of scholars. I’ve heard many tired and frustrated sobs emanating from little school uniform clad figures as they troop past the window each afternoon. So many new experiences, so many new faces and so many long hours away from home, well it can all be a bit much in the beginning. I need a little lie down just thinking about it. Continue reading »
I’ve loved books my whole life. When I was a kid I pestered my mother to take me to the library every week. I studied English in college and for the past 15 years I’ve worked in publishing as an editor. You could even say books are my life now. After reading and working with other people’s words for so many years, I’m still pinching myself that my own book – Sláinte: The Complete Guide to Irish Craft Beer and Cider – is out in the world now. Continue reading »
|The Hairy Dieters' Cookbook above, and below; some photos from the book - healthy chicken fajitas and biryani.|
1. The photos
in this book are pretty ravishing and look quite far removed from the kind of food you'd think of as being low fat and tasteless. For example, the enticingly titled More Fab Fakeaways section displays some seriously good photos of healthier takeaway options, such as Doner Kebabs, Chicken Chow Mein, and Chicken Tikka Masala. The sides section at the back disappointingly has no photos. Other than that it works quite simply throughout the book, that each double page has the recipe and then its matching photo.
SCORE = 4
2. The writing
is quite to the point generally in this book. A little bit of chat is indulged in about the recipe at the top of each page but they pretty much go right in with the ingredients and method, all very clearly laid out. Their first chapter is the part that may interest you if you want to find a bit more about their reasons behind this book, which is their second Hairy Dieters' book. They are honest and open about their struggles with weight and healthy living so you thankfully don't get that preachy tone. Their approach is a really common sense one, with a simple list of tips on page 11, for example.
SCORE = 4
3. What I really liked
about this book are firstly that the recipes I've tried work and taste truly delicious and in no way do you feel you're eating a boring, restrictive kind of diet. The ingredients are also easy to source, which is always a plus. There is a great range of chapters suiting various mealtimes and also for times when you're looking for more of a treat - such as the great Fab Fakeaways chapter and also Food from Afar.
4. What I didn't like
as much about this cookbook was the fact that the breakfasts chapter was a bit sparse and dull (diet alarm!!). The Something Sweet chapter didn't really draw me in either, but then again I am the kind of person who'd far rather cut back elsewhere and go all out on the full-on sweetness when I'm looking for a dessert. Then again I can see the merit to having healthier sweet options available too.
SCORE for 3 & 4 = 8.
5. To sum up, if you're looking for a healthy eating/diet style cookbook, you will not go wrong by adding this to your collection. And, as I've happily discovered on two occasions, their main course dishes go down very well at dinner parties!Overall score = 16/20 or 80%
‘The Hairy Dieters’ Eat For Life’, by Si King and Dave Myers, published in 2013
This was a work book club thingy find and it was a steal, I think I bought it for about €8. I am sucker for cookbooks in a general sense, but when a deal like this appears, there’s no stopping me! Continue reading »
Calling all Kitchen Heroes my brand new LIVE cooking tour is back on the road this November. I’ll be heading out to theatre venues across Ireland, cooking up delicious recipes live on stage in front of your eyes, every night. The show is jam packed with great fun and laughter, recipes and cooking tips along with my favourite part, the audience cooking competitions! After each show I’ll be signing copies of my books, answering burning cooking questions and meeting you guys, we might even take a selfie! It’s a brilliant show for the whole family so if you want to find out more about tickets and venues check out the full list below and let’s get cooking! Continue reading »
I always remark to Mr. LMUTB when we travel around Ireland that the further you are from a large town or city the better the quality and selection of the produce in local supermarkets. I am a little envious. The vast choice and volume of supermarkets in Dublin, and other large cities, can often dilute the quality and variety of products stocked, meaning that trips to speciality stores are necessary. One such supermarket in Clonakilty paving the way in specialty foods is Scally’s SuperValu. Continue reading »
The writing of Sláinte? That’s something that was mainly done in splendid isolation. When the girls were out of the house for preschool mornings, or…. Continue reading »
Le Retour de Fred
Stuffed Chavignol Goats Cheese
Fred is back in town. Frederic Desourmeaux, the big French chef with the magic touch in the kitchen, is back in town and heading up Brendan Cashman’s impressive team in Huguenot, the new French Bistro and Wine Bar in Carey’s Lane. The venture marks a return too for Brendan to the city centre where he previously enjoyed enormous success with Augustine’s.
And it is a French bistro. Make no mistake about that. Continue reading »
“An é seo folláin?”/”Is this wholesome?” My 5-year-old requires absolute honesty when we go shopping together. He won’t buy anything unless it’s “folláin” (the Irish word for wholesome). As I call out items from the list and he wanders around the supermarket; he’ll pick up items, and check the wholesome factor. It wasn’t always like this. Continue reading »
Taste of the WeekOrganic Relaxing Tea
I got mine at Schull Farmers Market.Also available online – see website below.
A relaxing cup of tea. How often have you heard that said. And much truth in too, particularly if you sup in good company.
How about a relaxing cup of Relaxing Tea? No kidding. I have here in my hand a pack of Organic Relaxing Tea from the Peppermint Farm and Garden in West Cork. Continue reading »
From far off Michigan, from Oregon and the eastern plains of Colorado, American draught beer comes to Dublin. It’s a bit silly when you think about it: there was beer here already. But it would be churlish not to afford proper hospitality to these bona fide travellers. By drinking them.
First up is Rogue Yellow Snow, encountered among the keg fonts in The Black Sheep. Continue reading »