Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Spicy Chicken & Chorizo

Don’t you just love the sweet, spicy, punchy flavour of chorizo! For me it is a fridge necessity, as it lasts quite a while and works with a myriad of other ingredients. It is also relatively inexpensive and is readily available nowadays. I always serve this with pasta – preferably tagliatelle or linguine, so it is a bit of a Latin fusion dish, crossing the Med from Spain to Italy. Two much respected cuisines to fuse I think personally! And it works a treat!

This is one of my favourite Friday night meals. It is quick to prepare but has a bit of weekend lusciousness about it. I suggest serving it with a nice glass of a fruity red wine and some garlic bread for a treat. For those non-treat nights, a light mixed salad on the side works very well too.

The recipe is inspired by Rachel Allen’s Chorizo Pasta and it serves two to three people, depending on hunger levels.

Monday, 29 July 2013

Ariel House and Afternoon Tea

Afternoon tea is one of those luxurious treats which, once you’ve been introduced to, will probably become somewhat of an obsession! It all started a few years back when a good friend of mine from Austria who spent many a year in Dublin, brought me to the swish Westin Hotel in Dublin city centre for some “afternoon tea”. I was intrigued indeed, but didn’t know quite what to expect!
The relaxation, the calm, the absence of any hurry, the tea served in pretty china cups and saucers, the savouries and the sweet treats; wow! Suffice is to say, I was well and truly hooked.

Since then I have been lucky enough to experience a few Afternoon Teas. In July 2012, my sister and I visited the K Club in Kildare and were treated to a beautiful array of goodies, outside, admiring the preened and beautiful gardens, in the sun, yes the sun, summer 2012 – I kid you not!
Afternoon Tea looking out to the gardens at the K Club

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Tiramisu Meringue Roulade

If you are looking for a chilled dessert, without fruit, as my other half sternly avoided (and which boggles the mind - apple tart and rhubarb crumble are fine but fresh fruit's a no-no!), then this may well be the right choice for you. It is also rather delicious, fruit issue aside. The meringue can be prepared in advance and left until you are ready to add the final touches, which takes virtually minutes; making it perfect for a dinner party.

The idea came about one evening when my sister (another food fanatic –, my OH and I, decided we wanted to try some kind of different dessert. We had a hankering for something quite light and so the idea of meringue came up. However, it had to be a meringue without any fruit! An aunt of mine makes a berry meringue roulade and I quite like the soft gooey-ness of its texture. Another aunt makes a pavlova, which she tops with Bailey’s flavoured cream and Cadbury’s Flake chocolate bar, instead of fresh fruit. So, basically we arrived at a coffee/chocolate style meringue roulade,  and Tiramisu Meringue Roulade seemed a very fitting title! I hope you enjoy preparing and baking it and, most importantly, gobbling up a few generous slices!
This recipe serves six good sized portions of roulade.

Friday, 26 July 2013

American Buttermilk Pancakes

“Sexy breakie” was a phrase coined by a friend in Galway, one of my favourite places, and it refers to a special type of weekend brunch. It always brings back great memories, even though sometimes it could also be linked to a sore head and a weakened disposition! However, bestowing a “sexy breakie” upon anyone is certainly a big treat and symbol of true friendship. These pancakes are a definite representation of this very kind of breakfast! I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

The recipe is adapted from a recipe from for “Best Buttermilk Pancakes” and so, in-keeping with the all American theme, I will also include the ingredients in American cup values. In fact, if you do have a set of these measuring cups – I have two cute and colourful sets, which I love – they may prove very handy indeed. This recipe makes 6 – 7 pancakes, about 10 centimetres in diameter and a centimetre or two in thickness.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Seedy Brown Bread

I have always been a fan of browner than brown homemade bread. Or, as I recently discovered, "wheaten bread", as it is referred to in some parts of our lovely, green island. This is honest to goodness wholemeal through and through. Another element I love in brown bread is a good hint of sweetness, which this provides. This recipe has been honed (well messed around with really…!) and I have arrived at something that I find tasty, satisfying and most importantly, filling! Although I call it seedy, I don’t mean that this bread is in anyway beat up or tacky, it simply contains plenty of seeds glorious seeds!