Posted in Events & Adventures in Food

Gimme The Recipe 2 – The Photoshoot

It’s been a busy week chez Kiely with the photoshoot for Gimme the Recipe 2 taking place from Sunday through Wednesday. 4 intense, whirlwind days have just whizzed by. It’s been an amazing experience to work with a professional food stylist (Jette Virdi), photographer (Marta Miklinkska) and graphic designer (Sarah O’Flaherty) while I did the cooking. My team in the kitchen were my twin daughters Daire & Eimear and my eldest daughter Ellie was on-hand for the food stylist and photographer.  There is no way that I would have survived the 4 intense days without their help as non-stop cooking meant it was essential to have counters constantly cleared, wash-up on the go and ingredients sought out with ultra efficiency.  Organisation was everything and each evening I typed out the list of the next day’s recipes with notes and instructions on the food styling. Ingredients were weighed and measured in advance and as much advance preparation as was possible to do was done. In the course of the four days 58 recipes from the book were shot – some as groups but mostly individually. I didn’t believe it was possible to do so much so quickly but I guess this is what professional chefs do all the time.
I’ve worked in professional kitchens as a student.  I worked in the MaryRose cafe in Cork city making sandwiches and clearing tables, I worked in Hotel Alfa at Place de la Gare in Luxembourg under two French Chefs doing food prep. and I worked in Obadiah’s kitchen in Nantucket as dishwasher and food prep. and in The Starlight Theatre & Cafe in Nantucket as restaurant hostess. Some chefs handle stress better than others and in one of the establishments the chefs would be throwing frying pans and barking at the waiters until service was over then they’d disappear out the back and eventually come floating back in for clean-up magically mellowed…. hmmmm. It is very stressful and hats off to the chefs who can handle the stress and still be civil to those around them.
All this cooking means that my freezer is now full and I can’t see myself doing any real cooking for at least a week. Phew.
Here’s a few pictures from behind the scenes and I can’t wait to share the finished article – Gimme The Recipe 2 {to be published with Mercier Press} – with you all in Spring 2016.
Board Setup
Eimear & Daire eating setup in background
Eimear helping
Ellie & Pavlova
kylie on shoulder
Kylie's had enough
Sheila & Johnnie
Sheila Kiely
Sheila stuffing chicken
‘Til next time, Sheila.
& p.s. the blog has made the Longlist for The Blog Awards Ireland 2015.

Posted in Recipes

Gimme the Recipe 2 – My Prop Cupboard

Gimme the Recipe 2, my second cookbook is a work in progress at the moment.  The text has been written and is in the hands of the editor and while that is fine tuned it’s time to start thinking about the look and the feel of the book.

For my first book I was left to my own devices but this time around I’m in the hands of the pros and the food stylist for the book is Jette Virdi.

While Jette will have her own ample stash of props here I’m sharing the contents of my own ‘prop’ cupboard.

While I’ve been cooking, writing and testing recipes over the last year they have yet to be photographed so there’s lots still to do with a busy couple of months ahead.

{The scrumptious looking cake is a fake and made out of styrofoam by my daughter for her Junior Cert Art exam project – I love it.}



prop cupboard
prop cupboard
small bowls and square plates
small bowls and square plates
serving platters
serving platters
serving bowls II
serving bowls II
serving bowls I
serving bowls I
jugs etc
jugs etc
dip and ramekin dishes
dip and ramekin dishes
cake displays
cake displays

‘Til next time, Sheila.

Posted in Baking Day, Recipes

Hummingbird Cake & Something to sing about

Hummingbird Cake.

Hummingbird cake in light
So I recently announced the news to my family that my second Cookbook ‘Gimme the Recipe 2’ is in the works for 2016.  I’d kept it quiet for ages and was bursting to tell but creating and publishing a cookbook is like the looooongest pregnancy ever and now that I’ve announced I’ll be asked every second day how’s the cookbook coming along!! The text is written and we’ll be moving along to the exciting stage of styling and photographing for the cookbook over the next couple of months and I’ll keep you posted on what’s going on behind the scenes. It is very exciting!
Hummingbird cake
To announce the news I  decided to accompany it with cake – I do like a bit of drama and flourish and wanted a bit of a showstopper. I don’t bake regularly, very infrequently actually so when a cake is produced it’s usually for a special occasion.
Hummingbird frosting
I’d seen pictures of Hummingbird Cake over the years but had no idea what the fuss was about.  Yes they looked pretty but I had never checked out the recipes or come to realise that these cakes are fruity and moist and akin to an indulgent carrot cake.  Another relatively recent discovery was that you could freeze bananas and as a bunch of them blackened in the kitchen I put them aside to chill and rest in the freezer until time permitted a bit of baking. If you like carrot cake you’ll love Hummingbird Cake.

Hummingbird Cake:
You will need four x 8.5 inch / 22cm baking tins greased with a little butter and the base lined with baking paper.

You will need:
400g caster sugar
450g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
3 eggs
4 large or 6 medium bananas mashed
1 tsp vanilla extract
250ml vegetable/sunflower oil
1 tsp ground cinnamon
150g pineapple (drained from can, reserve juice for frosting)
150g pecans
Pre-heat the oven to 150C/Gas Mark 3.
Combine the sugar, eggs, oil and mashed bananas and cinnamon using an electric mixer.
Gradually add in flour and baking powder and mix on low to a smooth batter and add the vanilla extract.
Fold in the chopped pineapple and pecans by hand using a spatula.
Divide the mixture evenly between the 4 tins and bake for 25 minutes at 150C/Gas Mark 3 then raise the heat to 180C/Gas Mark 6 to cook for a further 10 minutes until golden brown.
Allow the cakes to cool in the tins until cool enough to handle then tip out the cakes, peel off the baking paper and allow to cool completely on a wire tray.

Hummingbird Frosting:
You will need:
600g Icing sugar
100g unsalted butter
250g Cream cheese – I use Philadelphia
Couple of tablespoons of pineapple juice
Extra pecans for decorating.
Sift the icing sugar into a mixing bowl and use an electric mixer to beat in the butter and pineapple juice.
Add in cream cheese, if needs more moisture beat in more juice or a little warm water.
Once the cakes are completely cool stack them generously buttered with frosting to stick the layers together and then use a palette knife to coat all sides and smooth it with a little warm water if necessary.
Decorate with some whole and crumbled pecans.
‘Til next time, Sheila