28 Jan

Review: Grow Cook Eat

In late 2014, Michael Kelly got in touch to see if I’d like to review his new book; Grow Cook Eat. So I owe him an apology for taking so long to get this review done. Sorry Michael!

Mind you, it’s about the right time of the year to start considering growing  your own food. I know that the weather is cold, it may be snowing where you are, but in food-growing terms many of us who like to grow our own food are busy tending to our crops that last through the Winter, and have started to chit potatoes, and propagate seedlings for the Spring. Read More

03 Jan

Irish Food Predictions 2015

Well it seems that quite a number of people searching on the blog remember I made some Irish food predictions in  January last year about what I thought would be in store for Irish Food in 2014.

In 2014 said that I thought that group dining/Sunday Roasts would be making a comeback. The Exchequer has been doing it for years, but I also believe that newer establishments such as the Brookwood have started doing a roast dinner. This trend will continue to increase in 2015.

Juicing was my trend to watch and I was pretty much bang on with that too. There has been an explosion of juice bars in the Dublin area that I’ve noticed. The price of tropical fruit has remained static enough but this could be down to the slump in fuel prices, more so than lack of demand.

Increase in Ottolenghi/Middle Eastern/Lit-Fest inspired dishes across blogs in Ireland in 2014? I’ll stick a firm tick beside that one.

I mentioned how the food bank system would struggle unless the major retailers stepped up to the plate – go figure, between the Bia Food Bank & Food Cloud the amount of food that is being redistributed has increased significantly. So I’m happy to report that while food banks have increased demand, they also have more food to hand out.

I’m putting the diseases related to nutritional deficiency to one side – as I’ve not had a chance to research this thoroughly (I’m a bit laid up at the moment).

Now to 2015. Read More

30 Jul

Inis Mór

Just 24 hours. That’s all we had on Inis Mór. It’s not enough time to do all the things we wanted to do. The last thing we wanted to do was to climb on board a tour bus. Hubby spends enough of his time driving buses so even if it meant we missed out on some of the landmarks, for the most part we walked.

Journey

It takes about 3 hours from Dublin to Rossaveal Harbour, where you can park  your car to get aboard the ferry. You can also travel to the Aran Islands via Clare but this was the best option for us.

It’s a further 40-odd minutes to get to Inis Mór on the boat. However do bear in mind that it may take longer if the weather is bad! No matter how sunny it is, a raincoat or wind-cheater is a must for the boat if you intend to stand outside. I always stand out on deck if I can, if you suffer from motion sickness, make sure you’re in the fresh air, even if it’s raining.Aran Islands FerryAccommodation

We stayed in the Mainistir Hostel which is about 2km outside of Kilronan in the townland of Mainistir. They have a dedicated family area where you can book adjacent family rooms, and it’s private to the rest of the accommodation. For the 5 of us, including breakfast, it only set us back €100 for the night.  It’s about a 20 minute walk up a hill, 30 minutes if you’re pushing a buggy with bags and cranky toddlers/teens.

This kind of room was not the kind of lodgings I expected to get from a hostel:Bedroom at Mainistir Hostel

Joel (proprietor) will also cook an evening meal for the very reasonable price of €15 per person for a mainly vegetarian buffet cooked from local ingredients. It has been highly recommended to me, but we didn’t get a chance to try it out as dinnertime was a bit too late for the small ones. I do trust the recommendations I got from more than 1 learned person so it’s certainly something to bear in mind if you want excellent food cooked for you on a budget.  Otherwise there are ample cooking facilities in hostel.

The breakfast by the way was all homemade. Some freshly boiled eggs, homemade blackberry preserves, muffins still warm in the cases, lashings of toast, fruit compote and yoghurt. There was also a selection of cereals, all eaten in front of a massive window overlooking the sea and washed down with a giant pot of strong tea. I could have stayed there for hours.

Here’s a short video of what we got up and there’s more information our stay below:

Read More

25 Jul

Win Tickets To Wonderfest

Today I’ve the chance for you to win tickets to Wonderfest, which is taking place on August 16th and 17th in the grounds of Malahide Castle. It’s not just everyday tickets either, it’s a full family ticket with camping included which is worth just under €150 in total. Read More

23 Jul

Camping In Mountshannon

The day we packed up our things from carvanning in Kerry, we headed up the road, past Limerick to Mountshannon in County Clare for a 2 night stay. Before I start this blogpost I have to confess, as we didn’t have space for camping gear, thanks to the Irish Caravan And Camping Council, we stayed in a caravan on site. We had as close to a camping experience as we could get! You’ll need to play the video to see more.
Read More

17 Jul

Spiderman Comes To Town

While I was away a few weeks ago a parcel arrived for me from Lidl Ireland filled with items from their new “Too Cute” range which came into stores today.

Over the past fortnight the boys and I have put all the items inside to the test and here’s the verdict of Spiderman Comes To Town. Read More

15 Jul

Caravanning In Kerry

For the past 4 years we have organised one of the local Summer Projects instead of going on holiday. This year we knew that we needed to take a break, and decided to staycation around Ireland and in particular in the West. When the opportunity arose to go caravanning in Kerry, we decided to take the Irish Caravan and Camping Council up on their offer, packed the car, and travelled down the country.

The plan was to spend 3 nights in the Glenross Caravan & Camping Park in Glenbeigh, on the Ring of Kerry, then a further 2 nights at another location in the midlands. I’ll be back next week with our account of how we got on when we left Kerry but in the meantime, here’s what you need to know. Read More

02 Jul

Stokke Steps Review

A couple of weeks ago I took delivery of a Stokke Steps Chair for a review. Here’s how I got on and what I thought of the new system. Read More

13 Jun

Some News And Reviews

It’s a beautiful sunny day and I’ve some news and reviews to share.  Including Lidl’s new Nespresso compatible pods, Bellarom; a pint mug I found for sale (you will want one too); Bloom 2014, toilet training essentials and more! Read More

06 Jun

Orange Is The New Black Series 2

As part of my Netflix Stream Team duties every now and again I get invited to the launch of a new series. However as I’ve been under a rock for the past year, I haven’t caught up with half the cult series. Basically if it’s not a cartoon character based series, I probably haven’t seen it. These are the perils of having small children in the house & working odd hours.

When the invitation to the launch of Series 2 of Orange Is The New Black (OITNB) arrived I asked a few of my team; Sinéad & Jon to head on in and check it out. They’re big fans & here is what Sinéad thought: Read More

04 Mar

Gluten Free Bargains In Lidl

I do try to eat a lower gluten diet than most. Simply because it doesn’t always agree with me.  Still, it is expensive to eat certain things if you’re on a gluten-free diet and Lidl have some gluten-free bargains this week that are well worth a look. Read More

27 Feb

Netflix Countdown To The Oscars

There is a Netflix countdown to The Oscars over on their media streaming service. They provided me with a list of all the Oscar nominated movies and productions they have available, including their own documentary “The Square”.  I’ve gone through the list they sent and selected a few of my favourites in case you’re interested! Read More

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