15 Jun

Meringue Sundae

Flavoured and coloured, this meringue sundae is far easier to make than it looks.  I’ve been working on this recipe for a “sundae” style meringue since I tasted a gorgeous chocolate meringue from The Tipperary Kitchen at Bloom 2012.  I’m not sure that these are identical but they come darn close!

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12 Jun

Fatless Sponge

Soft berries are now in season. Need I say more? Strawberries and raspberries in the shops herald the start of Birthday season in our house, with more than 5 Birthdays in the month of June it’s a busy month.  For that reason it’s always good to have a fail safe cake recipe that doesn’t take long to make, works well with berries and doesn’t make you feel too guilty for eating yet another slice of cake.
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26 May

Quick Lemonade

It’s sunny. I mean really sunny. In case you haven’t noticed I’ve a bit of an obsession with the weather!

It’s amazing how really good weather affects your mood. The house is looking brighter and it’s so much easier to get through the day when the sun shines. I was walking home with the boys the other day and whatever way the tides were (I can’t see the beach from the house), I could smell the sea and I was transported back to my childhood summers.

Growing up we lived near the sea but not as near as I do now. It was about a 20 min stroll to get the coast and while that was lovely it was the walk back up the hill home was a killer! Every summer for a week or two my Mam would pack up the car, Dad would pack his bag at the last minute, and we would drive to Clogherhead in Louth. It’s not that far away from where I grew up as the crow flies but it was our holiday.

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15 May

Breakfast Muffins

Last Saturday morning we dragged ourselves out of bed along with the kids and into the car at 2.30am. This time is normally reserved for night-feeds (with which I’m all too familiar) and journeys to the Airport to catch a flight (that hasn’t happened in years).  However on that morning we were joining thousands of other walkers and runners at the Phoenix Park in Dublin to walk 5km from darkness into light in order to raise funds and awareness for Pieta House. In fact the 5km wasn’t restricted to just Dublin and there were other locations all across Ireland where people came together to mark the occasion.
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08 May

Milk Pudding

The weather has been typically Spring like lately, albeit a bit further along in the year that I’d expect. Despite it being the beginning of May, it feels far more like “in like a lion” weather and we are being treated to some torrential rain, winds and short spells of sun.

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01 May

After 8 Cupcakes

We all need a showstopping piece to bring along to a party or celebration. I make these cupcakes once a month or so. They were the centrepiece at a confirmation last year, an 80th Birthday Party and a 50th Birthday Party. I love making these cupcakes as they are so moist and travel well.
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27 Apr

Crispy Slice

If like me you’ve picked up a crispy slice made by a well known cereal company, eaten it and then thought afterwards it wasn’t that great then this is the slice for you. Personally I find the manufactured bar can be too sweet and compressed tightly to get it into the packet. The kids love them but they are hideously expensive to buy and if you have 2 children who like to eat them along with a husband who is partial to bringing them to work for a snack you could easily bankrupt yourself in no time trying to keep them in stock.
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17 Apr

Gur Cake

It’s always the chef’s prerogative to cook what they like to eat. In our house it means that mushrooms never cross the threshold as I really, really don’t like them.  Luckily I have found a kindred spirit in my husband.  It was the same when I was growing up.  Mam never cooked cabbage which holds memories of that smell permeating the house and a big pot bubbling on the stove for hours on end. There are a couple of other dishes that she didn’t cook or serve while I was growing up that I can remember (Mam if you’re reading this I said remember!). One of which was Gur Cake.
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11 Apr

PB Chocolate Bread Pudding

It’s the Wednesday after Easter and himself has taken the 3 year old off for the day to help digging a garden. This leaves me on my own with the baby, who has just fallen asleep.

Sitting on the kitchen table are a number of Easter Eggs, unopened and while I would really like to crack 1 open and demolish it on the spot I’m craving something a bit more filling so I wander to the cupboard to check out the bread stock.  I was originally intending a crisp and chocolate sandwich which would marry the two salty and sweet flavours in a savoury bit of bread. I begin to salivate a bit.
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29 Mar

Tea Raisin Scones

I love my 3 year old (E) to bits. He is possibly the funniest person on the planet. His favourite phrases at the moment include “that sounds loike a gwreat idea mammy” (no clue who taught him that one, ahem) and “you’re a codfwish” (courtesy of Captain Hook). There are some days that I’m not his favourite person, like days when I have to clean or when the baby is niggling so much that I find it hard to dedicate some time just to him.
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27 Mar

Cheat’s Semi-Freddo

The hour went forward in Ireland this weekend and the change in daytime brought a run of incredibly sunny days with it. Everyday since Sunday we have been treated to temperatures of up to 20 degrees celcius (and sometimes more) and glorious sunshine. I live in County Dublin so while I’m close enough to the city centre to be able to get there within 1 hour’s journey, I’m also beside farmland, and the seaside. In fact if I open my windows on a quiet day I can hear the waves crashing on the shore and/or the cows in the next field over. Yes, that close.

With the sunny weather it has heralded the arrival of the ice cream vans. Not just the odd one hoping to get a bit of business on a chilly day (I spotted a van here over the Christmas holidays), but sometimes more than 4 vans in the one day. If we were to buy ice cream from these vans even once a day we’d be broke and at this point I hang my head in shame. This is because this very mean mammy has been known to inform the toddler with much confidence that ice cream vans only make music when they are empty. But there is something about the tinny sound of “O Sole Mio/Just One Cornetto” being piped through the tannoy along with the chug of the diesel engine that powers the vans that makes me feel like I want something cold and sweet straight away.
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25 Mar

Rhubarb Tagliatelle

Okay I admit it, I have a bit of an obsession with Rhubarb.  It is one of my favourite fruits and because it’s in season at the moment it’s very easy, and cheap to get a hold of. I will do some chutneys towards the end of the season but at the moment it’s so tender there is very little cooking to do with it.  The only ingredient in this recipe that isn’t Irish is the fruit sugar that I used to poach the rhubarb, however if you can get your hands on a decent Irish apple juice then that would be perfect instead of sugar.

Since January close friends and family of mine have been on a health kick.  Not in a New Year resolution sort of way, more in a life-changing way. Himself has lost nearly 2.5stone at this stage and his pals and my two gorgeous friends, A & S, aren’t too far behind. Their diet can be restrictive when it comes to sweet treats. Since they started this journey towards a healthier self when I cook or bake something particularly bold I get admonished, just a little bit, but all the same it’s very unfair of me to taunt them when they are doing so well.
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