In an Irish food mood

Irish food rocks. We have wonderful fresh produce, an ocean of seafood, and the best dairy in the world (I don’t make that claim lightly). But as a multicultural nation we have come to overlook our own mild-mannered Irish recipes in favour of spicier, more exotic cuisines. Which is all well and good (and I…

A Weekend Feast.

There’s nothing more life affirming than having a gang of friends over for a slap-up all-afternoon weekend lunch. It’s so sociable and fun, especially when you’re lucky with the weather which is always a bit of a lottery if you live in Ireland! Throwing a lunch party is so much less pressure than a dinner…

Meat-free Monday

Tonight I followed my own Cooking for One recipe for Meat-free Monday, with the addition of flageolet beans (instead of the customary cannellini or butter beans), and some shaved carrot and courgette (zucchini). It’s so easy to prepare and super-healthy. The finely grated garlic gives it a nice kick. Because my other half sadly can’t…

Cooking solo: Part One

Store cupboard Heroes Cooking solo can be a bit daunting, especially if you’re fairly new to cooking generally. The trick is to keep stocked up on good quality basics and you’ll always have a store-cupboard meal on standby, even when your fridge is completely empty. You’ll save a fortune on take-aways and deli counters. Here’s…

Cooking solo: Part Two

I know it can be hard to motivate yourself to rustle up a respectable meal when you’re the one and only diner. So I’ve put together a bullet-proof weekday menu designed to take the hassle out of cooking for one. I promise you will eat like a king (or queen), save wads of cash and…

Eat well, live longer!

The clear message from a new study covered in today’s Guardian is EAT MORE VEG! “Eating at least seven portions of fresh fruit and vegetables a day was linked to a 42% lower risk of death from all causes. It was also associated with a 25% lower risk of cancer and 31% lower risk of…

Taking Stock.

I’m by no means a food crank – not nearly enough time on my hands for that! But I do have these occasional frugal epiphany moments of self loathing where I look at the contents of my fridge and cupboards with horror. All that packaging! Our recycling bin is usually much fuller than our waste…

Sup, sup and away!

I’m a great fan of soup. Not only because it’s so easy, delicious and portable, but also because of the pure comfort factor – without the glycemic high you’d get from starchy “dry” carbs (bread, baked potato, rice etc). Our bodies are 60 percent water so it makes sense to sip right? Strictly speaking this…

Have your cake and eat it.

It’s really very hard to resist the allure of a tray of scones or muffins straight out of the oven. I have usually scoffed at least one while they’re still almost too hot to hold. Like Oscar Wilde “I can resist anything except temptation” which is why I restrict baking of sweet things to maybe…

Let them eat carrot cake.

The kids had been nagging me for days about doing some baking with them, so buoyed up by the effects of a very strong cup of coffee this morning I decided to have a go at carrot cake. Having done the “cooking with kids” thing many times before I lined up all the ingredients before…

Monday night blues

Oh how I envy the carefree young, not to mention the carefree middle aged (who were organised or reckless enough to have their kids young). For the rest of us it feels like life is a continuous succession of work, homework, social obligations and other assorted responsibilities. We are the “sandwich generation” – with kids,…

A nice nap before dinner.

I would happily have a snooze every single afternoon, so by the end of the working week I am almost delirious with nap deprivation. So the afternoon siesta at weekends is therefore a crucial component of the process of getting dinner on the table. My family are well aware of this, and also know that…