Posted in Recipes

4 very Easy Party Food ideas for Christmas celebrations – go on, throw a party !

Easy Party Food Recipe No.1 – Brie & Cranberry Pastry Bites

First up, these pastry bites are made with a roll of ready-made puff-pastry. You will find these in the chill cabinet in the supermarket or in the frozen food aisle (if frozen will need to defrost in the fridge overnight). Follow the instructions on the pack for the pastry. The one I used required to leave the chilled pastry out for 10 minutes before use and it comes on its own baking paper which is very handy to line the trays. Space the pastry squares out on the baking trays, make sure your oven is pre-heated. Use an egg wash of beaten egg and milk to brush around the border of each pastry square.

I made Brie & Cranberry Pastry Bites for a Christmas Party, other good combinations are red onion relish topped with goats cheese or sundried tomato / pesto topped with mozzarella

Brie & Cranberry Pastry Bites – Easy Christmas Party Food

Easy Christmas Party Food Recipe No.2 – Parma & Pickle bites

Next up are some delicious Parma, Cream, Cheese & Pickle bites – these are from a Mary Berry recipe that I saw on a show about Christmas Party entertaining a few years ago. A very simple Christmas Party Food recipe.

Easy Recipe for Christmas Entertaining, Pickle(Gherkin) wrapped in Parma with some cream cheese and herb

Easy Christmas Party Food Recipe No.3 – Parma & Pickle bites

So simple that a recipe is hardly required, just chop some basil, parma, sundried tomato and mozzarella or buy the small mozzarella balls (called bocconcini) and assemble on a cocktail stick before dipping into some basil pesto. Delicious and simple for your next Christmas Party Food.

Parma, Mozzarella, Sundried Tomato & Basil bites for easy Christmas Party entertaining

Easy Christmas Party Food Recipe No.4 – Galia Melon & Parma bites

Finally, these melon & Parma bites are really simple and tasty. I like to season them with cracked black pepper just before serving. A melon baller would be a really handy gadget when it comes to putting these together and I really like to use Galia melon as the strong peachy colour is so pretty and the taste works really well with the Parma.

How pretty do these Galia Melon with Parma bites look – another great easy idea for simple Christmas Party Food

Keep an eye on my instagram where I will be sharing more festive food ideas for the Christmas Holiday season.

xx Sheila

Posted in Recipes

Stew & Romance (would you like to hear a story?)

First the stew.

As you know I’ve taken 50 of my favourite dinner recipes and bundled them together in an ebook ‘Gimme Dinner.’ One of these is Moroccan Beef Stew.

Moroccan Beef Stew photo by Sheila Kiely
Moroccan Beef Stew by Sheila Kiely

Moroccan Beef Stew

Ingredients – serves 6–8
1medium onion
1tbsp olive oil
1kg stewing beef pieces, e.g. shin
3 garlic cloves
3cm thumbwidth piece of ginger
1tsp ground cinnamon
1tsp ground coriander
1tbsp tomato puree
2x400g cans of chopped tomatoes
100ml water
2tbsp runny honey

Serve With – mashed potatoes or boiled rice, boiled green


  1. Preheat the oven to 150oC / Gas Mark 3.
  2. Peel and finely chop the onion.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large casserole pot and gently fry the onion for 5 minutes over a low heat.
  4. Raise the heat to medium, push the onion to the sides of the pot, add the beef, and brown for 2 minutes.
  5. Peel and crush the garlic and finely chop or grate the ginger and then add it to the centre of the pot to cook for 1 minute.
  6. Add the ground cinnamon and ground coriander and cook for 1 minute.
  7. Add the tomato puree, canned tomatoes, water and honey and mix well.
  8. Cook the casserole in the oven for 2 hours with a lid on. Check it after an hour and if there are any signs of it drying out, add some more water.

(Good with buttery mashed potatoes or boiled rice, with a side of green beans.)

Next the romance.

Fridays have become my writing days. Though busy with the real job in admin I am making time for one of my other big loves which is romance fiction writing. I’ve started working on the follow-up to ‘Good Enough’ my debut romance that was just about to be published this time last year – where does the time go !!!

To write the sequel I am rereading ‘Good Enough’ to revisit my characters and remind myself of all their idiosyncrasies etc and as I started to read a few weeks ago I also started to record. What this means is that there is now a ‘Good Enough’ podcast that you can listen to for free wherever you choose to do that – check out the links down below.

Two chapters are being published every week until Christmas and I do like to think it’s a perfect read/listen for the holiday season.

Links to find the ‘Good Enough’ novel podcast by Sheila Kiely – start on chapter One :

I hope you like it!

x Sheila.

Posted in Recipes

Some Like it Hot – Chilli Con Carne

I’ve released an ebook collection of my 50 favourite dinner recipes and one of my top 5 would have to be Chilli Con Carne. This recipe is delicious, and what makes it doubly so is the fact that you can reheat the leftovers, add some jalapenos, tortilla chips and melt some grated cheese on top to have some fantastic nachos the next day.

Chilli Con Carne on Baked Potato

As I say in the recipe if you really do like it hot add another tsp of hot chilli powder but to my mind the recipe is perfect. I have shared it before and you can find the link to it here or if you are interested in purchasing my 50 favourite dinner recipes and having them available on your phone or device via the free kindle app then click here for ‘Gimme Dinner’. (You’ll find the kindle app in the app store – I like being able to check ingredients easily when I’m shopping without having to bring a list and find this very handy).

Reheat the chilli, use a base of salsa, add in tortilla chips, jalapenos and top with grated cheese – excellent with sour cream and guacamole

In other writing news I’ve started on my second romance novel which will be a sequel to ‘Good Enough.’ The ideas have been bouncing around since ‘Good Enough’ was released last December 2021 and I’m so happy to say that the words are starting to be written.

xx Sheila

Posted in Recipes

Gimme Dinner – “Put a bit of butter on the spuds André”

A question I ask in the introduction to my ebook ‘Gimme Dinner‘ (ahem, IT’S out NOW) is :

‘Does answering the question, “what’s for dinner?”, sometimes make you want to scream?’

Or is it just me?

It doesn’t happen too much now but when my kids were small and feeding them was something to accomplish before rushing out the door to some sporting or other commitment it used to drive me CRAZY.

I would have been doing my best to speedily complete the task with a fair idea of what I needed to do under serious time pressure and then someone would aimlessly wander in and interrupt all that with what I could argue was a fairly pointless question.

Really! Did it really matter what the answer was? Whatever it was it was certainly not up for discussion or about to change anytime soon.

My hope now is that ‘Gimme Dinner‘ will come in handy to anyone who is time frazzled and under pressure to answer that (stupid) question without raising blood pressure. I’ve just discovered the free kindle app myself lately and now have my book on all my devices so when I’m out shopping I can quickly check ingredients lists on my phone and in the kitchen use a tablet/ipad etc for a larger view when cooking. Also if someone does wander in and wants to know what’s cooking , you can just point at the device and silently get on with what you are doing!

If you, reading this, happen to be the person who from time to time wanders into the kitchen and asks that question can I make a suggestion please? How about instead of ‘What’s for Dinner?’ you take a leaf out of André’s book and ask :

‘How can I help?’

Or as André actually asked in his delightful French accent :

‘Der is somezing I can elp?’

If you are unaware of André follow this link to view one of Ireland’s all time favourite tv ads, there are hilarious parodies available too.

To get an idea of what ‘Gimme Dinner‘ includes (50 of my favourite dinner recipes) you can get a free sample and try before you buy.

x Sheila

Gimme Dinner click for link to sample or buy

Posted in Recipes

Roast tomatoes

Here’s a recipe for a simple side of roast tomatoes.
Especially good for tomatoes that are turning overripe and softening. (Unless they’re mouldy of course then it’s time for the compost).

Roast Tomatoes Recipe ⬇️

How good do they look?. I can’t wait to visit Italy again over the summer and see the tables laden with tomatoes being left to sun-dry outside.

  • Hot oven
  • Small tomatoes
  • oil
  • herbes de Provence
  • salt
  • roast 10 mins
  • & squash slightly with a fork before serving.
  • Recipe Ends ⬆️

Why would you throw an overripe tomato away when you can turn it into something so glorious? Or an overripe banana, freezes perfectly for future smoothies or banana bread. Sometimes a little imagination can redeem a waning ingredient.

x Sheila