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Heart Children Ireland is an entirely volunteer run organisation who aim to provide supports in Ireland for all who are affected by a congential heart defect. Just one short sentence that makes the world of difference to families who receive a diagnosis or are on the road to receiving a diagnosis of a heart defect.  Late last year we were blessed with the arrival of our youngest son. At a routine check up we were told that he had a hole in his heart which was causing a heart murmur. From the day of that examination we began to have an understanding of the work that Heart Children Ireland do.

So when Lily aka A Mexican Cook in Ireland sent a shout out for volunteers to review a charity cookbook in aid of this great charity I knew that I would like to be involved. “A Taste of Certus” packs a rake of tried and tested recipes from the staff at Certus who adopted the charity under their 2011 corporate social responsibility project into an A5, spiral bound cookbook. Can I just say, I love spiral bound cookbooks.  That was a pure genius design choice, one of my little bugbears when cooking is having to weigh down pages and hold them open. None of that here.  There is a fantastic page of weights & measurements to the front, including American cup measures which is extremely handy no matter what the recipe or book. The book is then divided into the courses of a meal and also includes a baking section, a Christmas recipe section and some wine recommendations.

What I like about this book is that many of the recipes have unusual flavours gathered from different countries but each and every one of them are easily tackled by the homecook and beginners. I tried out the Flapjack recipe contributed by Anna Quinn. Flapjacks were one of the first items I cooked as a child for my Brownie cookery badge (showing my age) and I have great memories of baking them in the past.  I don’t know why I hadn’t thought of making them with my own children until now but I won’t be neglecting to make them again.

The book is on sale for 10 euro and can be ordered by contacting Heart Children Ireland at or by phone on 1850 217 017. Heart Children will place the order with Certus and they ship the book. All the proceeds go directly to the charity.


  • 250g porridge oats
  • 125g butter
  • 125g brown sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons of honey/golden syrup
  • chocolate/nuts as desired (I used raisins instead as I had neither in the cupboard)
  • 1 pinch of salt


  • 1 large non stick saucepan
  • 1 wooden spoon
  • 1 baking tray
  • baking paper
  • 1 knife


  1. Preheat your oven to 220C.
  2. Melt the butter in a large non stick saucepan over a very low heat.
  3. Add the sugar and honey/syrup and mix well.
  4. Stir in the oats and a pinch of salt.
  5. Spread the mixture over a sheet of baking paper on a baking tray and press flat.
  6. Place in the oven and cook for 15 mins or until it turns golden brown.
  7. Cover in chocolate and/or nuts as desired.


  • I stirred in my raisins with the oats so that they swelled in the cooking mixture.
  • I couldn’t find my baking paper so I greased my baking tray and that worked fine too.
  • While the flapjack tray is still hot I used a knife to trace out the outlines of where I would break the flapjack once it was cooled.
  • Just in case anybody is wondering it looks like the hole in the baby’s heart has closed over and we should be able to confirm it after a scan in the next few months.

I'm an Irish mother to 2 boys, born & bred in Dublin, Ireland. I like to cook simple & fresh food for the family, with the family on a budget.

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