• Baking,  Recipes,  Sweet

    Chewy Chocolate Cookies Recipe

    We have a healthy eating policy on our school which normally means that chocolate is banned from the school grounds in any form. No matter how healthy it might be,  it’s still banned from the school. It’s easier than to ban the lot than to police all the variants in the lunchboxes and I completely agree with this. There’s one exception to the chocolate ban however, and that’s on bake sale days. Bake sales happen at least once a school year in the school. They’re an essential way for the school to fundraise for items they might need. I realise that the term might give parents a little bit of…

  • Baking,  Fruit,  Recipes,  Sweet

    Banana Pecan Cake

    Once again I found myself with a surplus of rapidly blackening bananas and a need to bake. Actually that’s not quite true. I’ve gotten into the habit of peeling bananas and then popping them into a box in the freezer as soon as they are past their best. Which is working very well in terms of the ripe bananas in the kitchen. However, the box has to be managed so that it doesn’t take over the freezer. I need space for other items like berries. Gooseberries top and tail marvellously directly from the freezer so there is a wonderful bounty waiting for me to have the time on the right…

  • Recipes,  Sweet

    Jam Buns Recipe

    I’ve got a bit a lot of a strawberry jam glut here. Imagine that! I ran out of jam jars and space to store them in, leaving me with the jam in the bottom of the pan. It’s my moral obligation to make sure that the jam doesn’t go to waste so it might as well go to waist. Daft puns aside. If you’re going to eat something with sugar in it, eat a bun, not a cupcake. Based on my own expert (cough) visual inspections, a bun is about half the size of a cupcake. Meaning they are easier to portion and just eat the one. Cupcakes are lovely…

  • Recipes,  Sweet

    Strawberry Jam With Gin

    Last Thursday in celebration of the 1st Birthday of the North Fingal Women in Business Group, Clarke’s Fresh Fruit hosted an educational evening. I’m a member of the group, albeit not that frequent attendee as the meetings tend to be in the mornings which isn’t great when I’ve a gaggle of kids to get out to school. On this occasion though it was in the evening and as soon as the invitation arrived I accepted without hesitation. I made my way home with quite a fruit bounty and it was only fitting that I made the most of the strawberries that ended up on my kitchen counter.

  • No-Bake,  Recipes,  Sweet

    Leaving Cert Energy Balls

    When 6th year started last September it seemed like June was a lifetime away. We’ve had many a battle of wills about the 17-year-old’s eating habits. She leaves early in the morning which means I get to see exactly what she’s taken (or not) for lunch before I head out to work. There’s been a couple quite a few early morning phone calls to make sure she has enough food to get her through the day in school. She isn’t a fan of breakfast, and truthfully would skip it only for her Dad makes sure she eats every morning before going to school. I can’t make her study, harder or…

  • Baking,  Fruit,  Recipes,  Sweet

    Open Apple Pie Recipe

    By special request, I’ve collated some of my best apple recipes, along with a new recipe for an open apple pie, in the one spot. This will make it easy for that somebody who has a glut and there are a couple of savoury options as well as sweet.  My big secret with apples is that I use them instead of a sweetener such as sugar or even honey in recipes.  They boost the flavour in a sauce or a soup and I even use the peel to make my jams and marmalades set. It’s no wonder they are one of my favourite seasonal and Irish fruits! *Cough* It is…

  • Dinner,  Recipes,  Sweet

    4 Flipping Delicious Pancake Recipes

    It’s Pancake Tuesday tomorrow, or as the boys call it; Lá Féile Pancóga. When I was growing up there was a rule that we had to eat our dinner before we got pancakes which was clearly a clever ruse to stop us from having our parents at the stovetop for hours on end churning out the pancakes. There were 6 of us in the house (4 girls, my poor Dad), plus if we were lucky, Ma (my Grandmother) and my Aunt. Pancakes were always dredged with sugar and fresh lemon juice and sometimes with a drizzle of runny golden syrup from the Lyle’s tin. They were cooked in a little…

  • Recipes,  Sweet

    Buttermilk Cake Recipe

    I love a regular Victoria Sponge but I’ve recently started to make buttermilk cake as an alternative. Buttermilk cake has a lighter texture than an all butter cake and just as simple to make. With the addition of this warm white chocolate ganache, the buttermilk cake becomes a serious treat. As the ganache is sweet, I’ve lowered the sugar in the cake mix. I also used this basic cake mix to make some banana cake last week. It was more bread-ish than cake-ish if you get what I mean. Still it was the perfect snack for my elevenses – a time when I find I’m dipping in energy during the…

  • Recipes,  Sweet

    What To Do With A Crate of Bananas

    Did I ever tell you the story of the crate of bananas? Well actually it was two crates of bananas, but what’s a couple of hundred ripe bananas between friends, eh? Trips to the slaughterhouse happen twice a year, and they are normally 3 days apart. In Ireland the slaughterhouse can have a food market to one side where some meat and other produce is sold on the premises. It’s often sold at wholesale prices. This is where we get our beef in bulk; it’s all in large cuts. I break the large cuts of beef down and fill the freezer. We rarely buy minced beef anymore, I simply take…

  • Fruit,  Recipes,  Sweet

    Carrot And Apple Loaf

    Carrot And Apple Loaf If, like me, you sometimes like to stealthily sneak extra fruit and vegetables into your diet then this loaf will be right up your street. By adding grated apple to the mixture, you not only add natural sweetness, and use less refined sugar, but it also stops the loaf from drying out over time. This loaf will last up to 3 days in a sealed container but I doubt it’ll last that long in my house!

  • Baking,  Fruit,  Recipes,  Sweet

    Blueberry Muffins Recipe

    As the elder lemon in the family (who is studying for her Leaving Cert this year) started back to school over a week ago, it doesn’t feel like the 1st of September at all. It feels like we are already hurtling through the school year towards Hallowe’en! Still today marked the start of term for many Irish students and I’m back with a recipe for blueberry muffins that all my family love. Wholemeal flour gives these blueberry muffins a lovely crunchy texture. The blueberries, paired with the crumbly oats on top make for snack perfection. Don’t be limited by blueberries though, use whatever fresh or frozen fruit you have to…

  • Recipes,  Sweet

    The Best Rhubarb Crumble

    This is the best recipe for rhubarb crumble that I’ve ever made. I was brought up to make crumble the classic way using white flour, with the addition of wholemeal flour sometimes, then every now and again adding in oats. This is radically different because this rhubarb crumble recipe ditches the classic flour altogether and uses a different type of flour altogether. Yes, it is very simple and uses the bare minimum of ingredients. You can add more flavours/ingredients if you like, but rather than overloading your palate with so much, why not dial it back a bit and enjoy the simplicity? Also, there is sugar in the recipe; if…