Roll on the Weekend

You know those occasional moments of inspiration you have when staring a beautiful ingredient? Well today I was inspired by the stunning Irish gem lettuce (below) to make – for the very first time – Vietnamese rolls. I just happened to have some rice paper I bought months ago, and a lovely bit of smoked tofu…

Irish Stew in the name of the law

Irish Stew is probably the best known Irish dish, but it is so often misinterpreted that I thought I should attempt to set the record straight. 3 Rules for Authentic Irish Stew Don’t brown the lamb or veg as it interferes with the delicate flavour No flour! Instead use barley to thicken the gravy Cook the potatoes separately…

Obsessed with oats

Today’s blog is all about oats. I make no apologies for this. A game I sometimes play with friends is “desert island ingredients” the premise being you have to choose and justify 2 ingredients that you could live on for the rest of your life (on your desert island). Mine would be oats and avocado. A strange…

Salmon of Knowledge 

Sometimes it’s impossible to ignore a spanking fresh whole salmon at the fish counter. It fixes you with its beady glare as if to say “resistance is futile”. I was unable to resist one such salmon yesterday, although there are just 4 of us to feed in our household so it seemed extravagantly huge. But this…

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

It dawned on me recently that there is an easier way to handle the pressure of weeknight dinners. Slow cooking! Put the dinner on before you leave the house in the morning and come home to delicious smells and a piping hot meal. Yesssss! So I did the research – the Which? website is great…

Salade Niçoise

This is my death row meal. With some crusty bread and a glass of expensive white wine (which I normally avoid as it sadly gives me migraine, but that would be sort of irrelevant under the circumstances). While I have made this frequently for my husband this was the first time I attempted it for…

Golden Delicious Cake

I am rather pleased with my new invention! Road tested this evening with great success… I had some lovely cooking apples but just wasn’t in the mood for apple tart or crumble, and anyway sometimes it’s fun to invent something new. My experimental cake was inspired by Nigella’s flourless chocolate cake which is one of…

Pineapple upside-down cake

My maternal grandmother was a whizz in the kitchen. Raised on a South Australian farm she knew how to make her own pickles, jams, chutneys, smoked fish, beer and goodness knows what else, as well as being an expert seamstress, prolific crotchet-er, talented carpenter, artist and demon Scrabble player. We called her “Gang” which was…

Food for the Soul

I stumbled across this inspiring quote today from British Philosopher Alan Watts (1915-1973) on how to avoid anxiety through mindfulness. He was way ahead of his time. “The real reason why human life can be so utterly exasperating and frustrating is not because there are facts called death, pain, fear, or hunger. The madness of…

Against the grain

Wild mushroom barley risotto (“barlotto”) with peas and Irish sausages. A super easy and economical weekday meal. Chopped parsley and shaved Parmesan finish it off nicely, OR you can jazz it up for a dinner party and impress your guests with home-made wild garlic pesto – I’ve included the recipe below. Wild garlic is abundant…

Something Fishy

En papillote… Meaning simply “in a parcel”, is such an easy way to cook fish and keep all the flavour in. There’s something quite tantalising about having your own personal parcel on your plate! I used pollock (now strangely called “blossom” in the fishmongers, bizarre how they feel the need to re-brand a species!) but…

We’re jammin’

I just couldn’t resist the bundles of rhubarb in the supermarket this weekend – they were so deliciously pink, better than I’ve ever seen. So I bought 4 bunches. It was taking up so much space in the kitchen there was only thing for it – go all domestic goddess-like and whip up a big…