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

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Posted in What's for Dinner Mom?

Chorizo, bean and pasta soup – from Apron Strings

Nessa Robins, a fellow Irish food blogger, has just launched her cookery book ‘Apron Strings’ with the byline of ‘Recipes from a family kitchen.’  Here is very honest writing and robust home-cooking.  With a cover that is inviting you into the heart of her home to sit around the table and share precious time with her family, you slip inside and find yourself at ease.  A book that you can dig into at your leisure with each time you visit it you will find something new, eventually realising that a huge amount of work has gone into Apron Strings.
Apron Strings Cookbook by Nessa Robins
It genuinely made me gasp when I perused the book first.  You’ve the wonderful recipes and photographs that we have come to expect from modern cookbooks but there’s more.  Just flicking through it again there now, it’s almost like a home economics manual, with sections such as ‘Thrifty Tips for Running a Household’, ‘Lining Tins’, ‘Baking Tips’, ‘In the Family Way’, ‘Breastfeeding’, ‘Children’s Birthday Parties’, ‘Home Nurse’ & ‘Life Beyond the Kitchen Window’ which covers keeping hens, jam-making and composting amongst other things.  It really is a tome of a book, an investment book without an investment price. {You can buy Apron Strings here}
There are recipes here to please everyone and for a midweek family meal I chose to cook up Nessa’s ‘Chorizo, Bean & Pasta Soup.’  As Nessa herself says in the opening ‘Housekeeper’s Cut’ section of the book : ‘Often the leftovers from a meal can taste better the next day’ and that holds true for this dish.  While deliciously tasty day one, my husband was raving about how it tasted re-heated day 2, I think the chorizo must like the extra time to bequeath its flavour even more.
Apon Strings Chorizo bean & pasta soup
Chorizo, bean and pasta soup {from Nessa Robins book Apron Strings}
You will need:
200g chorizo
2 onions
1 carrot
1 red chilli
3 garlic cloves
½ tsp cumin
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 yellow or red pepper
1 tsp tomato puree
1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
500ml vegetable stock
1 x tin mixed beans
400g cooked pasta
Cut the chorizo into chunks and fry over a low/medium heat in a large saucepan for a couple of minutes until its oil has begun to be released.
Remove the chorizo pieces from the saucepan and set aside on a plate.
Peel and finely chop the onion, crush the garlic and add to the pan.
Peel and dice the carrot and add to the onions.  Allow the onion and carrot to gently cook for a couple of minutes.
Add the chopped red chilli, ½ tsp cumin and 1 tsp paprika, stir to combine and leave to toast the spices for a minute or two.
Deseed and chop the pepper and add to the pan along with tomato puree, tinned chopped tomatoes, vegetable stock and mixed beans.
Simmer for 25-30 minutes.
Add in the cooked pasta and the chorizo chunks to heat through for a couple of minutes before serving.

‘Til next time, Sheila