Friday, 18 December 2015

Best Mulled Wine

I'm back! With a little festive cheer in the form of one of the tastiest Christmas tipples. Some might say it's an acquired taste, but to me its taste, aroma, appearance...everything about mulled wine = CHRISTMAS! I would strongly recommend serving a hot glass with a mince pie or two. Our family tradition is to enjoy our mulled wine mid-morning (after mass) on Christmas Day and it just gives you that cozy hug you need to kick off a special, chilled out family day.

Monday, 29 June 2015

Ashford Castle Afternoon Tea

Ashford Castle in Co. Mayo is a plush, uber luxurious Irish castle, dating back to 1228 and it provides a truly five star experience. Afternoon tea in this idyllic spot is something quite special and memorable indeed.

Monday, 25 May 2015

Easy Banana & Chocolate Chunk Bread

This banana bread is actually more of a light cake really than a bread. It is perfect with a cup of tea as a little homemade sweet treat. It holds well when wrapped and stored in a container and it is great in that it uses up overripe bananas. Your fruit bowl will thank you!

Friday, 17 April 2015

Foodie Experience in Australia

I am back from over two weeks "Down Unda"! My first time to Australia saw me travelling between Sydney, Melbourne and some of the Victoria countryside. This blog post is a little bit of visual and written reminiscing of what was a great culinary trip.

1. Breakfasts. Boy, do the Aussies know how to make a good breakie and lucky for me, breakie is one of my favourite meals! Some of my top tips are...
  • The Fine Food Store in Sydney. Don't be put off by the name, it serves up some amazing breakfasts with plenty of indoor and outdoor seating and with a real focus on healthy foods and with varying dietary needs catered for but with great flavour being paramount.
  • Bills. I am sure you have heard of the well known Australian TV chef and restauranteur Bill Granger. Well he has a few spots around Sydney and on a bleak beach day in Bondi of all places, we happily sheltered from the rain in Bill's and enjoyed a late breakie. This place packs up fast and I believe we were lucky to get a seat without having to wait or pre-book. Bill's is worth a visit.
  • Avocados - they love them and serve them very frequently in breakfast dishes. Go for it. A simple sourdough toast and avo is a thing of beauty.
  • Manly/Bondi/Beach locations - Ideally get the ferry to Manly and stroll along the well signposted coastal walks and enjoy a lazy breakfast/brunch at one of the many cafés.
  • The Flour and Stone or whatever may be your local bakery. We found this particular place thanks to TripAdvisor and it was literally two minutes from our hotel. It served some of the tastiest breakfasts and most luscious pastries and coffees. It is teeny tiny and evidently beloved by the locals. We noticed repeat business when we visited, which is always a positive!
Breakfast Panini with poached egg, bacon, cheese, spinach and chilli jam at Fine Food Store

Monday, 23 February 2015

Café Hans, Cashel, Co. Tipperary

Café Hans is a little pink treasure of foodie delights. It is nestled on a quaint street in the outskirts of the pretty town of Cashel, just a stones throw from the impressive Rock of Cashel.

We have visited for lunch on three occasions and been very satisfied each time. Our last trip was on Valentine's day.  The café is opened from 12 to 5, takes no bookings and unsurprisingly gets very busy during rush hour lunch time. We arrived about 20 minutes before 1pm and were lucky to get a great spot by the window. Here I had a great view of the "Rock's" round tower.

Café Hans in all its pink perfection!

Friday, 13 February 2015

Perfect Pancake Day Crepes

So I have been gone AWOL for quite some time now. I'm making no excuses this time, just a case of c'est la vie! However, I couldn't possibly let Pancake Tuesday (17th February 2015 FYI) pass without a post to mark one of my favourite foodstuffs. I am a breakfast fiend and though I have tried and made a few savoury pancakes, the sweet always wins over as a tasty morning breakfast treat for me. I have come to be a fan of thicker and smaller buttermilk pancakes in recent times, which I've blogged about before, but I will always stay true to my deep fondness for the crepe. This recipe is quick and easy. It can be prepared in advance. So, if you're all guns blazing to be an uber prepared breakfast queen/king, you can have this prepared and in the fridge on Monday evening! However, even fifteen minutes or so of resting time in the fridge provides really great crepes. This recipe should make about 6/7 crepes.

Crepes - left: served with maple syrup and berries, right: the traditional lemon juice and sugar