Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Oh rhubarb where art thou???

So another cookbook that i received as a gift from my lovely hubby was Neven's Real Food  and that is exactly what it is, real Irish food that anyone would love to be on the receiving end of! My hubby is great at picking up on hints and after noticing Neven's latest series on the Sky planner he decided to get one of his books for me.  We are together since 1996 and will be married ten years in December so we know each other pretty well at this stage and he knows what makes me happy!! Marriage is definitely a rollercoaster ride and we have had our ups and downs that is for sure but its fabulous to look around and see our gorgeous kiddies and their smiling little happy faces and know that they are here because of us!  My lovely friend Nitai bought a coat hook plaque recently with little hooks for kids coats with the words 'All because two people fell in love'!! How sweet is that and very apt!!  Sorry for waffling on so much tonight but am feeling a little soppy!! So back to the recipe, Neven's recipe was for Rhubarb and ginger crumble cake but unfortunately i did not manage to find any rhubarb in Clara today so substituted with apples but am definitely going to try it again when i lay my hands on some as I love the tartness and colour that it brings to recipes.  I slightly adapted the crumble topping of the recipe as i like an oaty crumble so its not exactly the same as Nevens but hopefully just as tasty!!


  • 125gr plain flour
  • 4 tbsp caster sugar
  • 30z butter (room temperature)
  • 2 tbsp porridge oats
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
Rub all ingredients together to resemble crumbs! Set aside.

  • 750gr apples cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
Place apples in bowl, add sugar and ginger and fully coat fruit.  Set aside.

  • 6oz butter, room temperature
  • 6oz caster sugar
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 6oz plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp milk
Beat butter and sugar together until fluffy, incorporate eggs a little at a time and 1tbsp of flour to prevent curdling after half the egg mixture has been mixed in.  Sieve in remaining flour and baking powder and fold in well and finally add milk.

Have your oven preheated to 190 degrees and have a 23cm springform tin well buttered and line the base with parchment paper.  Spread cake mixture on base and top with fruit followed by crumble mix.  Bake for an hour or until a skewer comes out clean.  Leave in tin for 15 minutes to cool on a wire rack before removing! Fab!  I served it with vanilla ice cream and it went down a treat!

So back to my husband being so fabulous at picking up on hints, did i mention about the new camera that i would love!!!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Another Easy One - Tiramisu!

Like most busy working mums I love a quick and easy dessert recipe that can be thrown together in five minutes yet still manages to get the wow factor, this is just the trick!  I especially love this recipe as there is no measuring involved which prevents the toddler running around the kitchen with my scales telling everyone to admire his new clock! My sister in law, Evelyn, who lives in the Netherlands and loves to cook as well asked me for this recipe.  Her husband had it in my house recently and must have enjoyed it which is always a good sign.  I tried two previous recipes for this and there were elements of both I liked so I decided to combine them and this is the result.  I like to make mine in six nice glasses or alternately any suitable serving dish.


  • 3 eggs separated
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 250grs mascarpone
  • Packet of ladyfingers/boudoirs
  • Small cafetiere of fresh cooled coffee
  • Small carton of whipping cream
  • Cocoa powder to dust
Beat egg yolks and sugar till pale and thick
Fold in mascarpone
Whip egg whites till stiff and fold into mixture
Place 1/2 of the biscuits in end of a dish and pour over enough coffee to soften, put remainder of biscuits in a shallow dish and pour over remaining coffee
Spoon half the eggy mixture on top of biscuits and repeat
Top with lightly whipped cream and dust with cocoa powder
Enjoy and try to resist eating two!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Fancy Something Minty? Grasshopper Pie!

My lovely hubby bought me some cookery books for Mothers Day, as he says himself I am not his mother but the kids are too young yet to officially go shopping alone!! A couple of years ago I probably would have been a little peeved at such a gift but now its heavenly to receive a new cookery book to browse through and ooh and aah at.  The Hummingbird Bakery Cake Days was one of the gifts this year and it is a fabulous book to browse through, the pictures are stunning.  When I came across the Grasshopper Pie recipe I was intrigued and have been meaning to make it since.  I altered the ingredients slightly as I could not readily get some of them but I can confirm it turned out great and tasted lovely!


  • 300gr bourbon biscuits
  • 6oz butter
  • 180gr white marshmallows
  • 6floz whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon of crushed peppermint sweets
  • drop of green food colouring
  • 500ml double cream
Crush the biscuits and add in the melted butter, place in a pie dish, pushing crumbs up the sides as well.
Chill in fridge.
Over a low heat melt the marshmallows in the milk, take off heat and add peppermints and green food dye. Cool for few minutes.
Whip 300ml of the double cream and fold into the marshmallow mixture.
Pour into the biscuit base and chill in fridge for 1-2 hours.
Whip remaining cream and place on top of pie once chilled and set!

Was a little worried when the marshmallow and milk mixture was cooling as it slightly separates and looks a little odd but it was fine once combined with the cream.
This mixture is really runny when you pouring it onto base and I thought that there was no way it was going to set but it did.
I probably could have added slightly more green colouring but it always so hard to judge what is too much/little but still quite pleased with the outcome!

It was a big hit with the kids and even the fussy hubby liked it.  Will definitely make this one again, am going to try a few different combinations so watch this space!!

Easy Peasy Limey Squeezy!

Well after the aftermath of the Communion I discovered that i had three tubs of mascarpone cheese leftover in the fridge that had to be used up. Now i love tiramisu which is the first thing i think off when i hear mascarpone cheese but even i would not be able to get through three servings of the stuff in one week!! I had a quick look online and came across a recipe for lime cheesecake with a ginger nut base and decided to give it a shot.  I love recipes with few ingredients and this is definitely one of them!


  • 500gr mascarpone cheese
  • 3 limes
  • 200gr gingernut biscuits
  • 50gr butter
  • a little icing sugar
Melt the butter and add to the crushed gingernut biscuits.  Line a springform tin with the crumbs and place in fridge.  Beat the mascarpone cheese and add the juice of the limes and the zested rind.  Stir in a little icing sugar to taste.  Spread mixture over the chilled biscuit base and chill for an hour before serving.  I put a crushed flake bar on top before serving to help bring back memories of those gorgeous chocolate lime sweets we had when we were kids. Slice and serve! Yum!

Friday, May 20, 2011

The #Ryansontour - 5 Counties in 5 Days!

Well the past 8 days have been hectic but all in a good way!! The excitement started last Friday when my eldest brother and his eldest son arrived home from the Netherlands for my sons communion, not a huge follower of the Catholic Church but i do believe in God and if God = love I am all for it! We could have been preparing for the Queen herself the effort that was put into getting ready for Blakes big day, marquees were erected, bouncy castles delivered, cakes were baked, hair was cut, highlighted and put up (and that was just my husbands) ;-).  Finally after all the preparations Saturday dawned, a little greyer and wetter than we had hoped for but to be honest I was so proud of my lovely family nothing was going to rain on my parade!  A great day was had by all, everyone loved the food and there was hardly any cake leftover which seriously cut down on my calorie intake, thankfully.  The Communion party turned into a Eurovision party and there were a lot of glum little faces going home, on the upside though i now am word perfect singing "Lipstick"!

My little nieces Communion was on the same day as my sons and as they live in Wexford we were unable to attend, however my sister arranged a party for Sunday so we were able to get double the fun out of our celebrations.  We were then travelling onto Cork for a few days and typically I had not got one thing packed for any of us.  I hate packing anyway but it is one of the most annoying things to do whilst in a rush.  We got on the road by lunchtime and stopped at The Dinn Ri Hotel in Carlow for some dinner, not a big fan of carvery but the roast beef was nice, bit pricey for kids dinners though.  Managed to get lost twice in it while going to and from the baby changing area! Eventually we arrived In Arthurstown just as the puppet show was finishing, bouncy castle and a football though is all my kids need and they were thrilled!  Was lovely to have all my family together, last time was at least if not more than 6 years ago which is crazy.  Loads of pictures taken of course.  We stayed in Marsh Mere Lodge in Arthurstown which is a fabulous luxury bed and breakfast, full of antiques and quirky rooms.  The view out over the sea is beautiful and we were treated to a gorgeous breakfast including loads of fresh Wexford strawberries, nothing nicer.

My sister and her husband have an up and coming business called Fish Ahoy which sells the freshest of fresh fish to the public.  They work so hard but it shows as I have never tasted anything like the fish that they prepare. They have six children and I have never seen a happier crew, omega3 is obviously the way to go! Trying to persuade her to join twitter so watch this space. :-)

We then travelled onto the Charleville Park Hotel for three nights which we really enjoyed.  Lovely food, very pleasant staff and spacious rooms which is a definite must when travelling with three children.  We took in Fota Island, Ballymaloe and La Cucina, all of which we enjoyed immensely.  My three men loved the leisure centre so Halle and I got to see plenty of Charleville while out strolling.  I found a fabulous shop called Bridgets which had the most wonderful collection of kitchen things and occasional furniture, I had to treat myself to a new cake stand and a dinky little napkin holder, I literally HAD to have them! 

Our last stop was my husbands home county of Tipperary where we were spoiled by my mother in law, unfortunately though my father in law took a turn during the night and has been in Clonmel hospital since having fluid drained from his lungs.  He has been in the wars in the last few weeks, broke his leg, two of his ribs and now this! Hopefully that is the last of his bad luck and he will improve from here on in.  My hubby stayed on while I brought the children home and attempted to get back to normality.  Two loads of washing done, kids in bed, glass of beer, clean house and now relax.  Looking forward to the next family occasion which once again will more than likely be religiously based, funny that!

PS:  Only when proofreading this did i realise I actually have three children!!!! When did that happen!!!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Mud Pie? #kidsinthekitchen

So this months #cookalong was based around cooking for/with kids which was handy as I seem to spend most of my days doing just that!  For those of you wondering about the whole #cookalong idea, basically the first Friday of every month there is a different theme and you can chart your progress through twitter or facebook to enter the competition.  Its good fun and makes you think a little about what you are going to bake/make instead of always cooking/baking the same old things.  Next months challenge involves sourcing everything within a 20 mile radius which should be fun and gets us all thinking about buying Irish.

I was under strict instructions from Blake not to start baking anything until he came home from school so that gave Isaac and I plenty of time to plan what we were going to bake.  In typical little boy style he seem to like the idea of something called Mud Pies so we set about getting the ingredients together.

Mud Pies


  • 200gr dark chocolate
  • 200gr butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 75gr caster sugar
  • 100gr self-raising flour
  • Icing sugar (to decorate)

  • Preheat oven to 180c and line 12 hole muffin tin
  • Melt chocolate and butter in bowl over simmering water
  • Beat eggs and sugar together for approximately five minutes until really light and foamy
  • Sieve the flour into egg mixture and fold together till flour is incorporated
  • Add melted chocolate mixture to flour mixture and fold once again
  • Spoon into muffin cases and bake for 15 minutes
  • Cool in tin for 5 minutes before removing and cooling on wire rack
  • Once cool sprinkle with icing sugar
The boys had great fun making these but I think their favourite part was licking the bowls clean!  The pies themselves were like a mixture between muffins and brownies and really tasty.  We heated them up the next day and served them with vanilla ice cream and strawberries and they were delish. Chocolatey faces all around!  Had to stick in a picture of Halle as well as she was not too impressed that she slept through all the fun! :-)