Posted in I'm Enjoying, Restaurants

Parknasilla is Fabulous

Kerry again.  Just wow!  At the beginning of the month it was a trip to Dingle and last weekend I enjoyed another stay in the Kingdom of Kerry, this time at Parknasilla.  There’s a family of politicians that hale from that part of the country – the ‘Healy Rae’s’ and as we drove through Kilgarvan – their locality – I could understand why they always sound so up-beat.  It’s beautiful.  No matter what topic they’re covering they speak in musical tones with a charming lilt, so even if they’re complaining they still manage to sound happy about it.  The roads – thanks in no small part to the Healy Rae’s I believe – are in great condition, so even though they may at times seem endlessly winding and a little on the narrow side they feel safe.  The drive is also enchantingly beautiful especially at this time of the year as the hedgerows are generously carpeted with vibrant purple rhododendrons.

Parknasilla resort is a wonderful hideaway of a place.  So much space, so much to do and explore and so many places just to sit and relax and do nothing.  Bliss. I recommend.

Here’s a few snaps from my stay.

xx Sheila.

 

Posted in I'm Enjoying

Barcelona

I spent a blissful couple of nights on a midweek break to Barcelona recently and I shall return. Again and again and again. It was my second trip there, though I don’t think my first can be counted. On that trip I do remember a visit to the Nou Camp, a fabulous meal by the water and a spectacular light show at the Magic Fountain but mostly I remember continuously counting the children (mine), losing one for a heart-stopping couple of minutes and the relief of leaving with all of them.

On this trip it was just me and him and with no one to count it was a much more relaxed trip.

Loved the hotel we stayed at – The Pulitzer Barcelona – in a great location perfect for strolling around.

Barcelona has everything : shopping, site seeing and great restaurants. So go there & relax!

xx Sheila.

A few recommendations :

Stay – The Pulitzer

Brunch – Citizen

See – Gaudi’s La Sagrada Familia, Market – Mercado de la Boqueria, Boats at Port Veil.

Posted in I'm Enjoying

Gone Fishing!

Just to let you know that the team here at Gimme The Recipe (moi) is on a blogging break for July & August but do please check back in September for lots more tasty recipes and easy food ideas…. Have a lovely summer!
gonefishing
‘Til September, Sheila.

Posted in I'm Enjoying, Restaurants

Sliced { Ballincollig }

Sliced Ballincollig.

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A badly needed eatery has just opened in Ballincollig {outside Cork city} and it is excellent.

I’ve sampled the antipasto….

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….the pizza

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….the wine and the coffee but I’ll have to go back again for the dessert.

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It’s good value & child friendly and while we were there a number of people were just popping in for takeout coffees.

Service is great, very attentive and friendly and I’m looking forward to a return visit and maybe even to sit outside.

www.sliced.ie , Main Street Ballincollig, Co. Cork, 021-4879131

‘Til next time, Sheila.

Posted in I'm Enjoying

West Cork’s Best Kept Secret – Three Castle Head Cafe

NOTE: UPDATE August 2019 – to the best of my knowledge The Cafe is not currently open and wasn’t last summer either – i do hope that changes and if it does I will update again……...

Shhhh. Go find it and then don’t tell anyone where it is. Amazing coffee, the world’s best chocolate brownies and scenery that you will find nowhere else in the world – Three Castle Head Cafe in West Cork has it all.  And besides that it is a happy place with a happy workforce and such a fabulous welcome that you feel like an old friend.  When we were there today we met a lone traveller who could not stop smiling as he enjoyed his cup of tea and the vista. He was just bursting with declarations of what an amazing place this is.  And it is. Go find it (it’s near Barleycove) and you will never need to go anywhere else.

photo 1-1 photo 1-2 photo 1-3 photo 1-4 photo 1-5 photo 1 photo 2-1 photo 2-3 photo 2-4 photo 2-5 photo 2 photo 3-1 photo 3-3 photo 3-4 photo 3-5 photo 3 photo 4-1 photo 4-3 photo 4-4 photo 4-5 photo 4‘Til next time, Sheila

Posted in I'm Enjoying

Along The Way, a new cafe in Goleen, West Cork

If you’re Irish you’ve heard of The Mizen, you’ve heard of Schull, The Fastnet, Crookhaven and Barleycove Beach but have you heard of Goleen?  I’m often met with a “where’s that?” when I announce that I’m off to Goleen on my holidays and I’ve been returning there every summer since my childhood.  It is as unspoiled a village as you will find in Ireland and the ultimate destination if you’re looking to truly unwind and switch off in West Cork.
Along the Way in Goleen

I’ll go anywhere for a decent cup of coffee and since ‘Along the Way’ has recently opened in Goleen village I’ve been stopping in when I can.  The scones are melt in the mouth delicious (there’s secret or two in there) and freshly baked along with an array of cakes, brownies, cookies and cupcakes by Kate Kelly every morning.
Freshly baked brownies at Along the Way

Freshly baked cakes at Along the Way

Freshly baked cookies at Along the Way, Goleen
Freshly baked scones at Along the Way, Goleen
Fresh baked scone with cream and jam at Along the Way, Goleen
Melt in the mouth scone at Along the Way, Goleen
Delicious cupcakes at Along the Way, Goleen
Delicious sandwich menu at Along the Way, Goleen

With the rising popularity of cycling in Ireland I’ve noticed many are now making their stop-off here for a caffeine hit ‘Along the Way’ to Crookhaven, Mizen, Schull or wherever.  For now it may be a stop-off point but as word spreads it won’t be long until it is the destination.
Excellent Mahers coffee at Along the Way, GoleenWith Best Wishes for every success to Colin and Sarah Jane Moynihan.
‘Til next time,
Sheila

Posted in I'm Enjoying

Eat, sleep, do. Killarney.

We needed a break.  We really neeeeeeeeeded a break. And after 3 nights away in Killarney we got that and more.  It was fabulous.  A complete change from the norm and a time to switch off from work and switch on to fun and the good things in life.  I’ve been thinking about it from time to time since we’ve been back and every aspect of it has me smiling.
With 5 active kids going with us (the sixth being 17 had other plans including a party at ours which was scuppered – the less said the better!!!…) anyway 5 kids very close in age are not enjoyable in close proximity – we’ve done the camping trip to France – NEVER again.  I’ve learned the hard way that for us to have a peaceful happy break the kids must be kept busy.
Accommodation is often the tricky bit, I want the decadence and facilities of a hotel with the space of a house and after a little research we came up with the perfect place to stay in Killarney.  The holiday village situated just behind The Malton Hotel car park and next to the leisure centre and tennis courts was ideal.  We booked the 4 bedroom house which has adequate living space and cooking facilities and two of the bedrooms are en suite.
Holiday Village at The Malton
No4 at The Malton
Staff at The Malton were so lovely and welcoming and the hotel was buzzing with weddings and holiday makers coming and going.
On the doorstep of the Killarney outlet centre we naturally fell in there on one of our passings and I invested in a Nike rain jacket for our kayaking & cycling trips as being Irish a rain jacket was not something that I owned!! The kids got new trainers and football boots and my husband nabbed himself a new pair of trainers too.
The first activity I had arranged was Pitch & Putt at the DeerPark grounds in Killarney.  We played that on the Friday afternoon of our arrival and the afternoon turned out to be a bit of a scorcher – that’s 20 degrees in Ireland. 18 holes later I was marginally less useless than when I had started but I enjoyed it nonetheless.  Back to the hotel and a quick swim later found us relaxing in The Punchbowl Bar of the Malton hotel.  Food was top class and the surroundings while luxurious are relaxed and not at all stuffy, ideal for dining with children.
The Punchbowl at The Malton
The Punchbowl fish and chips
I rose early on Saturday and prepped a fry up and after a quick scout around Ross Castle we were hitting the Lakes of Killarney at 10am in Kayaks cautiously following our guide Jason.  What a morning, it was AMAZING!  Jason was an excellent guide, we learned so much that now I would feel quite confident heading out in a kayak with kids on our own.  Stopping off for a welcome mug of tea and a bar of chocolate that Jason provided we made our way along the borders of the lake and then right out into the middle to explore the limestone caves and kayak through them. Quite the experience.  I had booked this trip with Outdoors Ireland  and would highly recommend.
With a well deserved hunger we hit Killarney and sojourned to Jam for a late lunch.  What an efficient machine it is!  Orders are quickly taken and the appeal for the starving is that there is a very quick turnaround and delivery to table of deliciously fresh food.
Later while the kids played tennis back at the hotel we left the 16 year old in charge and strolled out again.  I knew exactly where I was going.  I just had to try Miss Courtney’s Tearooms.  It is exquisite, and for me with food being the stuff of passion it may not surprise you to know that the perfection of a place like Miss Courtney’s almost made me cry with happiness.  The music, the table setting, the menu – how many teas were listed on the menu??? I didn’t count but there were plenty.  A huge slice of cake was shared and the heathen that I am I had a coffee!!
Miss Courtney's Tearooms
Returning to join the kids for the tennis – oh how they do love to beat their parents at everything! Appetites were slowly whetted again after another swim it was time to dress up and stroll down town for a delicious dinner at Bricín.
The Saturday had been a beautifully balmy day and there was no need for jackets that evening in Killarney where queues were out the door for Irish ice-cream at both Murphy’s and Gaelic Gelato.
Sunday saw us heading out in the morning towards the Gap of Dunloe.  I had, co-incidental with our Killarney trip, received an invitation to come and try out the Heather restaurant at Moriarty’s so that’s where we had an early Sunday lunch.  Local ingredients are lovingly treated and beautifully presented.  Its now modern transformation is quite in contrast with Kate Kearney’s up the road and if you’ve come to Killarney and want to avoid the twee then stop off at the Heather restaurant.  Everything we ate was delicious, staff were wonderfully welcoming and friendly and the interior design is just lovely.   The gardens are under development and once everything comes into full bloom it will be a spectacular stopping point. (Our coffees & pastries here were complimentary due to the invite – so Thank you to the Heather restaurant)
Hot Chocolate with Skellig at The Heather
Pastries at The Heather
half and half The Heather
Next on the list of activities was cycling in Killarney National Park.  Now that might sound nice to you or just, oh yeah you went for a cycle, lovely.  This was not lovely, this was not nice. This was one of most exhilarating experiences I have ever had and I’ve been around a while.  Jay our guide with Irish Adventures geared us up with our bikes and helmets and explained the changing of the gears and then led us up one of the many paths.  This was an easy path, a wide path, a path where one of my sons decided to stop suddenly and I tipping his back wheel, keeled over helplessly and fell into a bush!!! Like driving a car into the back of someone, in cycling if you’re coming from behind, bashing into someone turns out to be your own fault.  So, not the best of starts for me and as I hadn’t cycled in 20 years I was realising I had a bit to relearn.  On we cycled sedately enough for a little until with a few twists and turns we were suddenly out in a very quiet piece of woodland on dirt-tracks.  Things were getting a little rougher and Jay pulled us into a group and taught us how to get up out of the seat and use your stance to help you braking.  We began to clamber up and down the tracks dotted with hillocks and mounds and enormous tree roots and came to a stop again at a natural dirt ramp.  Me not so brilliant at the stunts that ensued but the kids eager and loving every minute of it.  On we went again over rough terrain and for me it was tough going.  I began to get better though and I got the hang of getting out of my seat and levelling my pedals and was loving the freedom.  Back on some main paths we whizzed past groups of tourists and at some point we pulled into the side and stopped to look where Jay was pointing to the other side of a brook where a herd of red deer were quietly grazing.  It was so serene and beautiful and Jay told us lots about the deer before getting us back in the saddle again.
Deer at Killarney National Park
The remainder of our cycle had us weaving in and out of woodland.  One minute you were in the wide open, the next you were cycling along a narrow brambly path with a steep incline to the water below.  Some paths were blocked with fallen trees and on many you felt that you were the only traveller to have passed by in months.  As I said earlier – exhilarating, invigorating, a feel the fear and do it anyway experience for me.  I absolutely loved it.
As you can imagine that amount of exposure to the winds and the wilds had us starving again so it was back for a quick change of clothes and then into The Smokehouse restaurant.  Steaks and burgers were well deserved and I’ve seen description of the food here as ‘hipster’ food whatever that may be.  Like many restaurants the food is served on boards. It looks great and it is delicious.  It was too dark (thankfully) to photograph the food so that left me eagerly tucking in.  Lovely touches such as your own miniature ketchup bottle and quirky lamps and furnishings create a unique experience and have you leaving thinking you’ve been part of something ‘cool’ – doesn’t happen too often when you eat out with children.
Back to the couch in the house to unwind further with some of our own wine and read the Sunday papers while the kids went off to play tennis again.
We packed the cars on Monday and with a bit of time to kill before  dispatching the girls to Dingle for Irish college we ambled around the grounds of Muckross House and lingered in the cafe over coffees before heading into Killarney again where the girls ‘needed’ to pick up supplies.  Almost time to hit the road they needed fortification for their trip and we accidentally came across the amazing Wholesome Fayre restaurant for lunch – it’s through the alleyway next to Scotts hotel.

half and half Wholesome Fayre
I’ve been back since our trip for breakfast and can’t understand why there isn’t a queue out the door.
Wholesome Fayre Breakfast
Food is cooked to order, ingredients are delicious and the staff excellent.  The owner also has a fine dining restaurant which I’ve yet to try – West End House – so that’s an excuse for me to head to Killarney again sometime very, very soon!

Killarney.  What a place for a break.  It’s fabulous.
‘Til next time, Sheila.

Posted in I'm Enjoying

Lilly Higgins’ Dream Deli

Lilly Higgins has written a beautiful new book called Dream Deli.  It is different, it is fresh, it is vibrant.  Turn the pages and you will be sitting down at one of the jam-packed tables in Lilly’s dream deli.  Jam-packed because not only is this the food that Lilly wants to serve it is also the food that you have been longing for.  No need for further words here other than buy a copy because you will really enjoy the experience that is Dream Deli.
Below are some pictures from the book launch/brunch.
Enjoy your browse,
’til next time, Sheila
Photo by Sheila Kiely
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photo by Sheila Kiely
photo by Sheila Kiely
photo by Sheila Kiely
photo by Sheila Kiely
photo by Sheila Kiely
photo by Sheila Kiely

photo by Sheila Kiely

photo by Sheila Kiely
photo by Sheila Kiely

photo by Sheila Kiely

photo by Sheila Kiely

photo by Sheila Kiely

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Posted in I'm Enjoying

{Gimme the Recipe} News & Mentions

So Autumn has had plenty to offer so far and there’s lots going on over the coming weeks too.

…. Raymond Blanc.
Raymond Blanc
Seeing Raymond Blanc of Le Manoir Aux Quat’ Saisons in action at The Mill Restaurant at Blarney on 12th September was a wonderful privilege and though he may have been there to promote his range of cookware – Raymond Blanc by Anolon he was not holding back when it came to sharing his love of good food and good ingredients.  Imagine a cross between Dustin Hoffman and Al Pacino, all fired up giving their most passionate and animated performance but in a genuine French accent – irresistably charming and charismatic.  Raymond cooks and makes it look effortless and simple and he embraces the ingredients as he goes along, or chastises them as needs be, for example the not very fresh egg or the forced tomato.  He doesn’t just demonstrate but teaches and shares, truly wanting to gift you with everything he knows to help you become a better cook.  If ever you have the opportunity, go see him.  He is not to be missed.

…. Gwen’s Chocolate.
Gwens Chocs
If you ever pass through Schull in West Cork stop off here at Gwen’s Chocolates for a delightfully decadent experience of french patisserie and chocolaterie.  Indulge and linger over coffee in the spacious and comfortable surrounds and if you have children and they are old enough I suggest you ditch them, perhaps dispatching them with an ice-cream so that you can take a while to escape.  Children I have discovered do not get ‘relaxing’, they do not understand that your bum on a seat with a quiet cup of coffee and maybe a newspaper is sometimes your destination.  I have learned that for them, sitting there and ‘relaxing’ is not something they will master for many years to come.  When children sit they are ‘waiting’ not ‘relaxing’ and you will be asked where are we going or what are we doing next.  These are not questions you want to even contemplate because in that precious relaxed time there is no next there is only now. So enjoy.

…..  Ould Lammas Fair
Now I wasn’t there myself this year but as my mother hails from the Northern end of the country I’ve been to this two-day market fair in Ballycastle, Co. Antrim many a time as a kid.  This August my sisters visited and they brought me back the following traditional goodies ; Yellow Man, Dulse and Honeycomb.
Yellow ManYellow Man
DulseDulse
HoneycombHoneycomb

….  Irish Quality Food Awards
IrishQFA awards
I spent a gorgeous evening as a guest of the first Irish Quality Food Awards held on Wednesday 18th September at the Round Room, Mansion House, Dublin.  I’m sure the organisers must be very pleased with how it all went and the food on the night was delicious.  Neven Maguire was a superb host and I’m sure the winners are treasuring their awards, speaking of whom…. the Irish Quality Food Awards winners are here.
….  Galway Bake Fest
Bake Fest Galway
Bake Fest Galway is a family centred event with a strong focus on re-instilling traditions and time spent together when baking. n Bake Fest Galway takes place Saturday 5th & Sunday 6th of October 2013. Organised by Goodness Cakes, in association with charity ACT for Meningitis, Bake Fest Galway will be Ireland’s biggest baking festival and competition for both novices and professionals Top Chefs Lilly Higgins and Patrick Ryan get a helping hand from Noel Carroll of ACT for Meningitis as they get ready for Bake Fest Galway.
Bake Fest Galway 2
All funds generated at Bake Fest Galway are being given to ACT for Meningitis.
….  The Riot of Colour Afternoon Tea at Harvey Nichols
Riot of Colour Afternoon Tea Harvey Nichols
Sometimes you just want to steal away and treat yourself.  Perhaps it’s your birthday or you want to spend a nice quiet afternoon with your mom or a friend.  If I were Dublin based I’d be coming up with some excuse as to why I had to visit Harvey Nichols, Dundrum Town Centre and when there enjoy ‘The Riot of Colour Afternoon Tea’.  It is priced at €22.50 per person, €27.50 per person with a box of Riot of Colour afternoon tea to take home or €30 per person with a glass of Harvey Nichols Champagne so it definitely is something that if you indulge you will want to savour and enjoy. It is available until the end of October in the First Floor Brasserie at Harvey Nichols Dublin.  To book call 01 2910488.

Savour Kilkenny!
A favourite of the food festivals amongst food bloggers, Savour Kilkenny gets underway in Kilkenny from October 23rd – 28th. If you are a food blogger yourself you might like to take part in or attend Food Camp and you can find out all about this and the other goings on over at (www.savourkilkenny.com)
Savour Kilkenny Food Festival 2_opt

Taste your way around the Food Village on the Parade in front of magnificent Kilkenny Castle, pick up tips from top chefs and check out the next generation of upcoming foodies at the Savour Buds young producers’ market.
Savour Kilkenny Food Festival 3_opt

Check out the many other fantastic food festivals around the country at www.discoverireland.ie.
‘Til next time, Sheila

Posted in I'm Enjoying

I’ve been enjoying…. in July 2013

I’ve Been Enjoying….

….Intense Coconut
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a friend told me about Lindt’s Coconut Intense bar and I scoured the shelves of every shop I visited until I came up trumps.  It is a rather tasty little treat.

….Baking Macaroons
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keeping things coconutty I’ve been baking macaroons.  Not to be confused with the dainty macaron the macaroon is robust sweet offering, not at all fiddly to make and utterly satisfying for the sweet-toothed.

….Receiving unexpected gifts
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thanks to Shana Wilkie for sending me this gorgeously packaged Wilkie’s Hot Chocolate – I can’t wait to give it a try.  I reviewed Shana’s chocolate some time ago and she was delighted with the write-up.  You can read about it here.

….Quick summer cooking
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there’s lots of bashing of chicken fillets going on in my kitchen this summer to produce blackened chicken which is a quick and tasty accompaniment for any salad.

…..Collecting beautiful things
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I just couldn’t resist this Meadows & Byrne jug especially as it was on sale and came in the quaintest of colours.

….Discovering new products
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I tried the ‘cheeky chilli’ on a puff pastry with melted cheese at a friend’s house and had to buy some myself.  In business since 2012 ,The Natural Larder Company are selling these and other sauces, relishes, chutneys and rubs at Ballincollig and Cornmarket Street markets in Cork.

….Spicing up my mash
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With a few simple store cupboard ingredients, sweet potato and carrot mash can really be livened up.

….Cheating
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I highly recommend these little jars of garlic, chillies and ginger paste from Goodall’s – great to have in your fridge and saves you peeling, chopping, time and tears.

Talk to you in August! Enjoy, x Sheila

Posted in I'm Enjoying

I’m Enjoying…. in June 2013

I’m Enjoying….

….Lemon Curd
Heaven Preserve Us Lemon Curd jars
Is there no end to amazing Irish food producers?  Heaven Preserve Us have a beautiful array of preserves selling at Irish Farmers Markets including this amazing lemon curd. {produced in Ovens, Co. Cork}.  I used my jar of lemon curd to make an ahhmazing Lemon & Raspberry Pavlova – and yes, I do say so myself 🙂

….Apple Juice
Mealagulla Apple Juice
I came across two of my boys and their pal at the Mealagulla Orchard juice stand at the Cork Summer Show last week.  They weren’t just trying to snaffle free samples but were digging around in their pockets to club together to by a large bottle between them.  Made from locally grown apples in Ovens, the Mealagulla Orchard Apple Juice is delicious and with 11-year-old boys willing to part with their hard-earned pocket-money to buy some it comes with a big thumbs up from them and from me.

….Fromage Frais
Fromage Frais Kilbeg Dairies
It can be very difficult to get your hands on some plain fat-free fromage frais. (How something this creamy can be fat-free? Don’t ask me!) Produced in Ireland by award-winning Kilbeg dairies you will find it in the cheese section.  It was just what I was after for the filling of my Lemon & Raspberry Pavlova.

….Bakestone Café, Deli & Bakery
Bakestone Café
This brand new food offering at Ballyseedy Home and Garden Centre in Fota Retail Park, Carrigtwohill sees Joe and Maura Carey (owners of  The White Horse Bar and Restaurant, Ballincollig) joined by Chef Ali Honour.  They’re offering food and entertainment {Sunday Brunch is accompanied by a live jazz trio} in an almost arboretum type setting with a café that spills out into the foliage of the garden centre on the fine days.  I for one will go anywhere for a decent cup of coffee, I usually drink decaf at home, but when I’m out I’ll be after a hit  of something strong and delicious and they’ve a speciality range on offer here.  Come for a coffee stay for breakfast, brunch, lunch or afternoon tea.  Bakestone is open 9.30am til 6pm Monday to Saturday and 11am to 6pm on Sundays.

….Apron Strings
Apron Strings Cookbook by Nessa RobinsWith much anticipation I finally got my hands on Nessa Robins cookbook.  You can check out one of Nessa’s recipe and a writeup on Apron Strings here.

….FEAST: A Dinner Journal
Feast Magazine Cover
This is one for the coffee table.  Breathtakingly beautiful this masterpiece from Donal Skehan {& team of Ross Golden Bannon, Sharon Hearne Smith, Jane Matthew and Sofie Larson} will be one to collect.  I could see myself tearing out pictures to frame them (though where would I put the children’s pictures then!).  Exquisite photography and appealingly clean yet cosy layout will have you losing yourself in its  surrounds.  Feast is available to peruse for free online for a limited time via Donal Skehan’s website and hard copies can be ordered from MagCloud.

….Cork on a Fork
Cork on a Fork by Fenn's Quay

FREE. FREE. FREE.  Doesn’t everyone love something free?  Fenn’s Quay are giving you a copy of their beautifully presented collection of recipes in ‘Cork on a Fork’ free to download here.

….Food Festival Season
Flavour of Killorglin poster
While there are now a plethora of food festivals the whole year round the summer is rampant with them.  With the finer weather (fingers crossed) bringing us out in search of a quality day of entertainment there is nothing like a wander around a food festival to satisfy you.  One such festival kicking off 5th July through to 7th July is Killorglin Festival.  Events planned for the weekend include music, taste tours, smokery tours, angling exhibits, lectures and unique collaborations between food and drink providers. Sure what more could you want?!  Check out the details on their beautiful website.

Well I hope you get a chance to get out there over the coming months and enjoy blissfully bright hours discovering new products and food festivals for yourself.

Talk to you in July! Enjoy, x Sheila

P.S.
I’m also loving Bloglovin as a very attractive and easy way to view the blog posts you follow, you might like it too.

Posted in I'm Enjoying

I’m Enjoying…. in May 2013

I’m Enjoying….

….Jamie, Jamie, Jamie.

Jamie Oliver Salad & Parcels with book
After finally splashing out on a fancy food processor what better recipes to put it to the test with than with ‘Jamie’s 15 Minute Meals’ – Delicious, Nutritious, Super-Fast Food.  So far I’ve tried 3 recipes from the book with great success.  Now maybe it’s my faffing and to-ing and fro-ing from cupboards to fridge and back again but it takes me 15 minutes to get organised and then I’m ready to cook, so for me it’s more like 30 minute meals but I’m more than happy with that.  So far I’ve tried out three recipes.  The ‘Blackened Chicken –  San Fran Quinoa Salad’ is amazing, the ‘Modern Greek Salad – Spinach, Chickpea & Feta Parcels’ are superb for the vegetarian in your life and finally the ‘Golden Chicken – Braised Greens & Potato Gratin’ is a winner for midweek family dining.  If you’re simply after some tasty salad recipes then I’ve reproduced Jamie’s San Fran Quinoa Salad and the Modern Greek Salad on previous posts on the blog.

….Dunnes Stores.
Paul Costelloe Platter Dunnes Stores

Dunnes Stores has continuously developed and improved their homeware department over the past number of years and having designer Paul Costelloe on board – who is designing menswear for them now too – is an absolute coup.  I’m loving his rustic/mediterranean influenced pottery range that’s in-store now.  Their Carolyn Donnely e c l e c t i c range is well worth checking out too.

….Baking Bread.
Knorr Gluten Free Focaccia

Knorr kindly sent me a selection of their Create More sauces and Knorr Professional Mixed Herbs Puree.  I made this gluten-free focaccia studded with olives, sun-dried tomatoes and rosemary and generously basted with their Professional Mixed Herbs puree mixed with some rapeseed oil.  We like to dip our bread into a dish of olive oil with a floating slick of balsamic vinegar.

….Irish Tomatoes

Irish Flavorita Tomatoes

I bought these delicious tomatoes in my local SuperValu last year and I’m delighted to see them back on the shelves again.  They’re called ‘Irish Flavorita Tomatoes’ and as the name suggests they are lovely and sweet and flavoursome.

….Slipping into Summer
Harissa Hummus on board

At last the sun has decided to breakthrough here in Ireland and after a long hard winter and a distinctly chilly Spring we’ve been given a tease of summer lately with a little bit of heat.  As summer approaches I’m embracing salads and Jamie’s super easy recipes as previously mentioned.  I’ve also experimented with another hummus, this time flavoured with harissa paste that has been lingering in the fridge for an unknown amount of time so its time to use it up!  This Harissa Hummus is a quick and easy  dip, perfect to entertain with, served with some spicy pita chips and something refreshing, crisp, white and chilled.  Now that to me says summer.

Talk to you in June! Enjoy, x  Sheila