Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas pudding muffins!

Hope no one is offended by my wooden boards.....

Christmas pudding is one of those things that you either love or hate. I spent my childhood hating it and now I love it. Not any Christmas pudding mind, it has to be my mothers. No recipe just a handful of this, a handful of that and the obligatory bottle of stout. wrapped lovingly in a special pudding cloth and steamed for hours before being hung from a broom handle to cool. I still remember the smell in the old back kitchen in Dublin to this day and the condensation on the inside of the windows as it was steamed. 

I couldn't resist these candy stripe muffin cases!
This was the first year that my mother didn't make a pudding but luckily I had a small one that I had wrapped carefully and stored away last year that I could indulge in. Still perfect after twelve months wrapped up and tasted completely delicious.

I hate any sort of food waste and when I came across this recipe to use up leftover pudding I decided to give it a bash. I always love Rachel Allen recipes and this is another one to keep on file and use again.

I didn't use the whiskey/sherry/brandy in my mix but delicious hazelnut Baileys and I topped them with a mascarpone icing made up of;

250g mascarpone cheese
100g icing sugar
a generous splash of Baileys

Mix the mascarpone, sieve in the icing sugar and stir in the baileys before piping or spreading onto your muffins.

Honestly not staged, he was just bringing the muffins for a walk!
So that's my Christmas dishes over with until next December. I have enjoyed sharing them with you over the last couple of weeks. I am looking forward to seeing what 2013 has to bring and I wish you and yours a very happy and healthy new year, xxx.

A Christmas present from me to me!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

I did it my way!

I have recently read a few articles online giving food bloggers advice as to what's hot and what's not for 2013. I am sure these posts are all just in jest and they provide an amusing read but the one point I would like to make is that your food blog is exactly that, yours. I will be continuing to use my whitewashed boards, my patterned linens, my strings of twine and my children if I wish. Your blog is meant to be a snapshot into your life, sharing memories and recipes that you adore and conveying feelings into words and pictures. So my advice to my fellow bloggers is do it your way, use props, don't use props, do whatever pleases you because that little corner of the World Wide Web is yours and it's up to you to put your stamp on it!
Rant over! Here is my favourite picture of some string, oh and a mince swirl.....

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Silent Sunday.....Lough Boora Parklands.

An Offaly long walk.......

Sky Train

Muddy swinging legs....

Boora pyramid.

Midday shadows.

Proud head.
Happy feet!
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful girl!

In the lead.....

Did I win?
Boora convergence & cycles.

All onboard!

Where is my nest gone?

Ruaille Buaille!

Sibling rivalry....

Friday, December 14, 2012

Cranberry sauce!

11 days of madness ahead before I can eat myself into a food coma and can fall asleep in front of the fire! Christmas dinner is always my most favourite meal of the year to cook. I love planning the starters and dessert but the main course is always delicious roast turkey with all the trimmings. It's not possible to have the dinner without the accompanying cranberry sauce, so easy to make and so much more tasty than anything you will find in a jar. If made now this sauce will sit happily in a dark place for at least three weeks and the flavours will intensify. Hope you manage to find 7 minutes between now and the big day to prepare a jar!

You will need:

1 cup of muscovada sugar
1 cup of gin
250g cranberries
Peel of 1 satsuma
1/2 tsp of ground coriander

Place everything in a medium saucepan and bring to the boil whilst stirring.

When all the cranberries have popped turn off the heat and allow to cool.

Place in a sterilised jar and leave until required.

One of my favourite things to eat over the festive season is a giant festive sandwich. Delicious thick sliced bread smeared with cranberry sauce, cold roast turkey, cold baked ham, parsley & thyme stuffing and a sprinkle of salt. My mouth is watering, bring on the 25th!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Mincemeat crumble cake!

Delicious little juicy satsumas.
Satsumas and cinnamon are one of my favourite Christmas flavour combinations. A mere whiff of some cinnamon and I am transported back to my childhood. Open fires, Christmas pudding and lots of paper decorations all spring to mind. This weekend my house will be transformed into a Christmas haven and the excitement will start to build about the arrival of the man in red. Am almost as excited as the children, this is most definitely my favourite time of the year! I came across this recipe online and can guarantee it is delicious, even more so if you use your own homemade mincemeat.

I sprinkled the top of my crumble cake with some icing sugar and the zest of a satsuma, delicious! I have a brand shiny new posh oven and this was the first thing that I made in it! Am looking forward to baking and sharing some more Christmas treats with you this month!

Nollaig Shona duit!

Do ye like me new cake stand?

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Lashings & lashings of ginger beer!


I always felt hard done by as a kid growing up in Ireland. It seemed unfair to me that the kids across the pond in Great Britain had the privilege of attending boarding school and spent their summers solving mysteries and going on adventures while I was here playing hopscotch. I jest of course but there was something magical about the novels I devoured in my formative years. Midnight feasts, tuck boxes and picnic baskets were the highlight of my novels, even back then I was obsessed by food. Potted meat sandwiches, tins of condensed milk, hard boiled eggs and slabs of chocolate cake all washed down with lashings of ginger beer was the stuff of dreams for me. Us poor Irish kids had TK red lemonade and tayto crisps, doesn't quite have the same ring to it! I came across this recipe for ginger beer by chance and thought it would be a nice addition to my Christmas table or as a mixer with some spicy rum, delicious! 

So basically its lemons, ginger, muscovado sugar and soda water that combines to create this delicious nectar.

So take some lemons.....what? Doesn't everyone store their lemons outside on the grass?

Get some fresh ginger, if your grocer doesn't wrap it up with twine and wrap it in greaseproof paper you need to find a new one........

Wrap a decanter in twine before straining your liquid in.
The twine adds a certain je ne sais quoi. Don't forget the sprigs of fresh mint either.

Freeze some slices of lime and place a slice in each glass before pouring.

I have frozen the remainder of mine into ice cubes which I am looking forward to adding to a beverage or two over the coming weeks! If you are a food blogger or enjoy taking food pictures I think you will enjoy this article! Thanks to for the link.

I am guilty as charged on almost all counts but hey that's what us food bloggers do!