Thursday, June 30, 2011

Easy Parenting


A few weeks ago I read somewhere that Easy Health and Living were introducing a new magazine to their line called Easy Parenting. It's a magazine which would be covering all different aspects of parenting giving plenty of advise for dealing with tots to teens. They were interested in including advise from parents so I sent off an e-mail as I would only be thrilled if I could give some handy tips that worked for me as a mother. To my absolute delight the next day I received an e-mail from Emma Parkin, the editor of Easy Parenting. She had read through this very blog and was wondering if I would be interested in writing a recipe column for their new magazine. I simple love both Easy Food and Easy Health and Living so to be asked to write for their sister magazine and the fact that Emma enjoyed reading the blog was just an amazing compliment.
Today the first issue goes on sale nationwide and is bagged up with Easy Health and Living , it includes a few of my recipes with some photos taken at my kitchen table. I had such a busy day today as one of my little men had his 6th birhtday party, which is of course one of the most important events of the year. Hence I couldn't head out in search of the new magazine but I'm eagerly awaiting the read. If you pick up a copy do let me know what you think, I love to hear any feedback! I love new projects and  I'm already scribbling down recipes for the next issue.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Paul Flynn Irish Food

There are so many amazing Irish cookery shows to choose from at the moment and here is the latest.  'Paul Flynn Irish Food' is a nostalgic look back on growing up with food in Ireland. The TV show is based on An Irish Adventure with Food - part cookbook, part autobiography, which demonstrates Paul's commitment to simplicity, creating simple affordable food with humble ingredients.

Here is the official press release.

Paul Flynn chef patron of The Tannery launches his new eight part TV series ‘Paul Flynn Irish Food’, starting on Tuesday 28th June on RTE One at 7.00pm.  Celebrating the best of Irish recipes and native produce, acclaimed chef Paul Flynn helps reawaken our passion for home-grown food at its very best.  'Paul Flynn's Irish Food' is a nostalgic look back on growing up with food in Ireland. The TV show is based on An Irish Adventure with Food - part cookbook, part autobiography, which demonstrates Paul's commitment to simplicity, creating simple affordable food with humble ingredients.  Using basic ingredients and traditional Irish recipes he embraces home cooking and gives it a modern twist.

In this brand new series Paul delves into his past and investigates the key moments in his own food history which influence his cooking today. He relives a trip with the scouts to France, he cooks for the monks in the Mount Mellary Monastery and Paul feeds the Irish Defence forces army on a budget, reliving his time in the FCA. Marrying archive footage with family photos and good food the series shows us how to make cost effective, simple and delicious dinners using Irish ingredients.

Paul says, ‘I believe that we need embrace the ingredients we are known for and just change the way we think about them, so we can create a modern Irish Cuisine.  If we want people to respect our food abroad we need to show it some respect at home.’ Paul impassions ‘I’m not talking about Michelin stars, I’ve done all that. I’m talking about cooking good Irish food with a twist in your own home. That’s what this series is about. It’s revolution in your own kitchen. And I’m here to show you how.’

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Restaurant Irish Heart and Irish Kidney Foundation Fundraiser

John with Lucinda O' Sullivan.

I had a really wonderful evening in the company of some of Ireland's top food critics at The Wineport Lodge in Glasson. The Wineport Lodge and ‘The Restaurant’ team  hosted a very special evening consisting of Champagne and cocktails with canapés on arrival followed by an exceptionally scrumptious three course meal with accompanying red and white wines. The format of the evening was similar to that of the television show - which I was lucky to attend last November - with the diners and critics in dark as to who was cooking in the kitchen. Only at the end of the evening did the chef emerge from the kitchen with John introducing him as Ireland's original celebrity chef. To my delight it was Conrad Gallagher. He is a perfectionist and this shone through in all of his dishes we had tasted, each bursting with a variety of flavours which all seemed to marry so well together. Scores on the meal were given by the combined votes of the critics and diners and Conrad earned a deserving 5 stars. It was a fabulous evening consisting of delectable food for a very worthy cause.

Paulo and Tom in deep conversation prior to the meal.

Louise and Stephen on a night off cooking.

With my good friend Noreen.
The Sweet Treat Company were there to treat us to all the sweets we desired with our cocktails. A lovely idea - my boys were delighted with what I brought home!

The Menu!


The Scallops and Black Pudding.
The Pea Soup.
With Conrad at the end of the evening.


The purpose of the evening was to create awareness and  raise funds for both the Irish Heart and Irish Kidney Foundations plus contribute to a special fund set-up to assist seriously ill John Healy, The Restaurant Show's Maitre D', though his medical journey. John was the host for the evening and if unaware one would never believe that he is awaiting a heart transplant. He was wonderfully upbeat and positive with his clear intention for the evening to raise awareness of the importance of holding a donor card. He stressed not only their significance but also how important it is to share with your loved ones your wishes to donate organs after you pass. I have worked as a nurse in Coronary Care and Intensive Care and have met patients that are everyday dealing with the constant anguish of whether or not they will receive the organ that they so desperately need. It's heartbreaking and the one thing you can do to help is apply for an organ donation card, fill it in and make sure to discuss your intentions with your nearest and dearest. In the awful event of sudden death organ donation may not occur to families that are completely grief stricken. So if you don't already have a donor 
card do please make the effort and sign up for one, it could quite possibly save somebody's life.





Totally Tipperary

 

Totally Tipperary will take place this Saturday the 25th June. I'm so delighted that I will be demonstration at this great event using lots of local produce. Check out below all that is happening on the day. 
Here is what I will be making - 
Cashel Blue stuffed Seymour Organic beef burger with O’Donnells Crisps and Crowes Crispy Bacon topped with The Scullery Red Onion Marmalade on Mags’ toasted bun served with Sarah’s wild rocket and tomato salad. For dessert: Mulled Traas Mixed Berry Crumble served with Boulaban ice cream and Crossogue lemony Ice cream with Mags’s meringues. If you are at the festival do come along and have a taste - the burger is especially good!




Official Press Release: 


All roads lead to Tipperary, for Ireland's newest food festival, Totally Tipperary. This innovative and exciting food event will be held within the historic grounds of Cloughjordan House on the 25th June 2011.


Totally Tipperary is open to everyone. Food Producers, Food writers, Food bloggers and Food lovers are converging to taste the best of what Tipperary has to offer. As well as eating and drinking, there will also be an opportunity to learn about food and where it comes from. Growing, cooking and making food will all feature prominently at this very innovative food festival.


Tastings, talks, tours, cookery, production demonstrations and a host of delectable food stalls are to be savoured at Totally Tipperary. There will also be children's and evening entertainment which will engage both the mind and body at Totally Tipperary. All manner of tents, yurts and marquees will fill the open garden spaces within this historic old house.


Kindly supported by Bosch, FBD, Bord Bia and the Sarah Baker Cookery School, Totally Tipperary will draw on the combined expertise of the following to provide a foodie event of epic proportions. The Tipperary Food Producers, a passionate and visionary group of some of Tipperary's finest artisan food producers; GIY (who empower people to 'Grow it Yourself'); Greenworks, who run reskilling courses in the green economy, including food, the Cloughjordan Festival itself and Cultivate, through their Convergence event.


RTE's Ella McSweeney (Ear to the Ground; Homegrown) and Bobby Kerr (Dragon's Den) will be on hand to facilitate debate and demonstrations, while the Seomra Blog Bia will add a globally interactive and innovative dimension.
Seomra Blog Bia will feature cookery demonstrations from both worldwide food bloggers and chefs as they engage the visitor on how to use the best of local, seasonal, sustainable and fresh foods. This will include Kristin of Dinner du Jour (one of the founders of the #inishfood phenomenon ); Nessa of Nessa's Family Kitchen; Joanna of Smörgåsblog and Yvonne of Hey Pesto.


With the very generous help of Bord Bia, a number of French Michelin Star chefs, including Maurice Alexis, chef from the Elysee Palace in Paris, will attend as part of a nationwide tour. This will add enormously to the international flavor of the event and provide visitors with a unique view of Tipperary produce being used as the main ingredients in the creation of stunning dishes by some of the world's most eminent chefs.


The festival will embrace all manner of modern media and will be broadcast live online through a variety of platforms: Photos, Videos, Audio sound bites will be posted, blogged and tweeted about live on the day to the world.


The Sarah Baker Cookery School will be running hourly cookery classes for children during the day in a dedicated marquee. This will allow parents to relax and enjoy the more sophisticated offerings in the main cookery tent. The Tipperary Food Producers will include products from Hickeys Bakery, The Apple Farm, Cashel Blue cheese, Red Nose Wine, Inch House, Crowe's Farm and a host of other passionate Tipperary businesses.


Totally Tipperary will have a very practical and hands on dimension. Pat Whelan, of the highly respected James Whelan Butchers in Clonmel will run a dedicated meat tent; GIY - Grow it Yourself - will get down and dirty with how to grow some of your own food, whilst many of the demos will revolve around not just handy hints on cooking but on making some core foods yourself – including your own dairy products like butter and cheese.


The Cloughjordan Community Farm will show people some of the practical steps involved in setting up a farm where the producer and consumer work together as part of a community. They will also do tours of their farm and host Raw: A milk party, which will show people how to make the most of milk. The Cloughjordan Ecovillage will also be on hand to do tours and talks on this most innovative project, which just happens to be next door to the festivities.

The Meat Tent

11.30am T.J. Crowe and Pat Whelan – butchering your own pork and lamb
T.J. and Pat will give a comprehensive demonstration on how to butcher and prepare your own pork and lamb. This is a very informative session which went down very well at last year's GIY conference in the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin.

3pm Nora Egan and Una O'Dwyer – black pudding and sausage making
Nora and Una will give a demonstration on how to make your own black pudding and sausages.

The Seomra Bia Blog

11am Sarah Baker cooks
12pm Kristin Jensen from Edible Ireland and Dinner du Jour and Barbara Russell
1pm   Nessa Robins from Nessa's Family Kitchen
2pm  Joanna Schaffalitzky from Smorgasblog
3pm  Yvonne Carty from Hey Pesto
4pm  Maurice Alexis from the Elysee Palace, Didier Coupeau and Mr Joel Reynaud

The Cloughjordan Community Farm – The Milk Tent

The Cloughjordan Community Farm will show people some of the practical steps involved in setting up a farm where the producer and consumer work together as part of a community. They will also do tours of their farm and host Raw: A milk party, which will show people how to make the most of milk. The Cloughjordan Ecovillage will also be on hand to do tours and talks on this most innovative project, which just happens to be next door to the festivities.

The Cultivate Tent

Bringing together ideas and people for a brighter rural future.
Talks, Discussions and Music
11.30 Catching the Green Wave
Exploring the potential of green jobs and livelihoods in the county with Ben Whelan from Cultivate's Green Works programme and representatives from the emerging Tipperary Green Business Network.

12.00 Musical Interlude

12.30 Growing it Ourselves
Sarah Fleming of GIY (Grow It Yourself) Ireland will discuss the potential of more people growing more food with former Minister for Food and Horticulture, Trevor Sargent, now of trevorskitchengarden.ie, andAine Neville of GIY Lucan and Wexford.

13.00 Musical Interlude

13.15 The Business Opportunities of Organic, Artisan and Local Food
Dr. Ollie Moore (agr-food columnist of the Irish Examiner) hosts a discussion with RTE Dragon Bobby Kerr, Stiofan Nutty (organic business consultant) and Peter Ward local food advocate and owner of Country Choice, on the potential of developing new food enterprises and livelihoods in rural Ireland.

14.00 The Raw Milk Discussion
As the government prepare to ban the sale of raw milk RTE's Ella McSweeny leads a discussion on the risks and benefits of raw milk. Joining Ella will be Trevor Sargent, renowned cheese monger Seamus Sheridan, Mimi Pearson from the Cloughjordan Community Farm and others from the food sector.

15.00 The Ecovillage Story
A short presentation on the project by Davie Philip and other ecovillage residents followed by a tour of the houses, allotments, solar park and the community farm.

15.30 Musical Interlude

16.00 The Potential of Community Supported Agriculture
Ella McSweeny, RTE, Stan Nangle, Wexford Organic Centre, Tamara MacGinty, CCF, and Pat Malone, CCF discuss the opportunities of farming supported by the community.

17.00 Bubba Shakespeare
A short performance by the rapper from Nenagh Co.Tipperary who sings in Irish


The days events will develop into a night of celebration with an Asado - an Argentinian-style BBQ brought to you with 100% Irish and 100% Tipperary produce. Music and Entertainment will be brought to you on the evening by The Boudoir Sessions (Electric Picnic, Body and Soul Festival) who will swing and sway, charm and disarm the crowd with sounds from the 1920s, 30s, 40s and 50s - boogie woogie, swing, calypso, mento, rockabilly and bluegrass.


They will be accompanied for the evening time soirée by Kaledescape, an arts co-operative that will provide a full sensory and interactive experience including Europe's largest Kaleidoscopes, a giant flower garden and The Invisible Band.


Be sure to join us at Totally Tipperary on 25th June in Cloughjordan House, Tipperary for a food festival that will allow you to indulge your senses in all that is Tipperary.
For more see:www.cloughjordanfestival.com follow @totallytipp on twitter or ring Peter Baker on 087 2515694


The Tipperary Food Producers is a group of some of the finest food businesses in the county. The following will be in attendance at Totally Tipperary:

Friday, June 17, 2011

Taste Factor Journey


So the past few weeks have been amazing for me. I got the opportunity to cook live on Ireland AM as part of the Philadelphia Taste Factor Competition. I spent a week canvasing for votes {it's hard work I'm not sure how politicians keep going for so long!} and then with great delight I won the competition. Last Wednesday week I travelled back to the TV3 studios and cooked another dish, again incorporating Philadelphia. I felt surprisingly calm for my second appearance on Ireland AM. I really didn't mind cooking on television and I think there was more pressure when I had to start talking about myself. For each slot I had to be there an hour before, the slot was approximately 5 minutes long and once filming stopped it was a race to clean up as quick as possible to have the kitchen ready for the next cookery slot. On my second morning Catherine Leydon was in the kitchen and was every bit as friendly as she appears on television.


The next morning I had to travel again to Dublin. This time for a quick interview with Ireland AM in the grounds of The Iveagh Gardens. I had Millie and Jack with me and since it was such a beautiful day we didn't mind hanging around watching all the activity. A small crowd had gathered in one of the green areas mostly consisting of press, TV3 and others that were involved in the PR for Taste. They were each very welcoming offering me coffee and the likes and really they couldn't be nicer. Louise Lennox, from RTE's The Restaurant was having some promotion pictures taken and then the star attraction of the show Gino D'Acampo arrived. Immediately he had a group of swooning ladies by his side. He was interviewed by numerous radio stations and Ireland AM and after about an hour he left for another interview elsewhere. A lot of interviews for one person!!


Eventually I got to have a little chat on camera with Anna Daly, one of the Ireland AM presenters. After which Millie undoubtedly had watched enough interviews so we headed off to check into our 5 star hotel The Westin - another part of my prize! It's a beautiful hotel right beside Trinity College.




We started the next day with a very impressive buffet breakfast. I always find breakfast is what I enjoy most about hotel stays just the choice of delicious dishes and the fact that I don't have to make it myself! As I was plating up some delicious Waffles who was next to me only Myrtle Allen. We exchanged a brief 'Good Morning' and headed back to our tables. This was then a cue for Miss Millie to start misbehaving. For a lady who normally enjoys nothing more than tucking into a vast array of finger foods she decided that she was having none of this 5 star malarkey. This led to a quick exit from the dining room with a bowl of porridge in hand to try and coax this little Miss into eating later.


It was soon time to make our way to Taste of Dublin.We met up with the rest of the family- Tiarnan missed out as he was on a school trip. I was so excited to announce at the gate that I would need to get in early as I would be cooking at the event.  I have given cookery demos before and generally spend some time before shopping for ingredients, packing the car, unloading the car and then setting up. It was such a treat to arrive {as Edward Hayden said} with one arm longer than the other!! Billy O' Shea from The Fairyhouse Cookery 
 School had everything in place ready for my cookery demonstration with Edward.


There was a marvellous buzz around the grounds of the event with a exceptionally big crowd for a Friday afternoon. The sun was shining, the wine flowing and there was plenty of yummy foods to tantalise the taste buds.

When Edward introduced me on to stage and I responded with a 'thank you' hearing my voice booming through the mic I suddenly felt nervous. I had never spoke in front of such a loud crowd before and I wasn't sure at that point how I should start. Thankfully Edward chatted a little and eased me into cooking my dish which was Roasted Tomato and Pasta Soup with Philly.  I looked through the crowd and saw many familiar faces. I felt at ease and the rest of the demo went as well as I could of hoped. It was so much fun and I was over joyed that so many people came over to me at the end with questions and good wishes.


This was just such an amazing adventure. Demonstrating on stage at Taste of Dublin was like a dream come true for me and thankfully it was really positive experience. I really have to thank anyone who voted for me in the Taste Factor competition. Also the organisers of Taste of Dublin, Ireland AM, the team behind Philadelphia and Kennedy PR especially Laura and of course Edward Hayden not only for this fantastic prize but for many lifetime lasting memories.  As if this wasn't enough we will also be heading to Philadelphia with $1,000 spending money. I feel so privileged to have won such an outstanding prize.



All photos in this post, from Taste of Dublin, were taken by the very talented photographer Harry Weir.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Edward Hayden's Never Fail Muffins


I had the opportunity to meet the lovely Edward Hayden as part of Ireland AM/Philadelphia Taste Factor Competition {which I have yet to tell you all about but I promise it will be soon!}. He is such a gentleman and frightfully funny. He certainly made my first couple of experiences of live television go by like a breeze!! Edward's second cookbook Food to Love was published in April and it's packed with so many practical recipes. The book is very user friendly with all the recipes listed in the contents page. From Sunday Lunch to Heavenly Cakes and Bakes there is a dish to suit every occasion. The photography is impressive with all the food styling by Edward. Along with many of the recipes Edward offers the reader his 'Top Tip' for perfecting the dish along with ideas on ways to vary the recipe.


Even though Edward has a background in cheffing and has spent the last number of years working and teaching at the prestigious Dunbrody House his recipes are very accessible. There are many household favourites along with delectable dishes perfect for entertaining.
These mouthwatering muffins were first on my list to make from the book. I had them whipped together in a few minutes and they were utterly scrumptious with a cuppa!
The book is beautifully bound and includes a feature which I find essential to any cookbook - a ribbon bookmark. However a few more would come in useful as I have already earmarked many more recipes, that I am looking forward to trying out! A fantastic book by a really lovely guy and I wish him every success in the future.


{My dad picked me these beautiful flowers this evening, from his garden ,so I just had to include them in my photos.}




Never Fail Muffins


Ingredients
450g (1 lb) plain flour
175g (6 oz) caster sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
4oz/110g butter
2 large eggs
175ml (6 floz) milk
Flavouring (Lemon & Blueberry)
Grated zest of 1 lemon
150g (5 oz) blueberries


Suggested Flavourings/Toppings:
White chocolate & raspberry: 3oz/75g white chocolate chips and 3oz/75g fresh/frozen raspberries
Lemon & blueberry: Grated zest of 1 lemon & 5oz/150g blueberries
Chocolate chip:   5oz/150g mixed chocolate chips
Apple & cinnamon:  2 eating apples, diced & ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Banana & milk chocolate: 2 ripe bananas, mashed and 3oz/75g milk chocolate chips
Cranberry & sultana:  4oz/110g fresh cranberries & 2oz/50g sultanason & blueberry: Grated zest of 1 lemon & 5oz/150g bl


Method
1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4
2. Line a 12 cup muffin tray with muffin paper cases.
3. Mix flour, sugar and baking powder together.
4. Rub in the butter with the tips of your fingers.
5. Break in the eggs and milk and mix to a stiff batter. Add in the the lemon and blueberries at this stage and mix well.
6. Spoon into prepared muffin tin (lined with the muffin cases) and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and puffed up
7. Dust with icing sugar and serve oremix 3 tablespoons of icing sugar with little boiled water until it reaches a running consistency and drizzle haphazardly over the top of the muffins.


Edward's book 'Food to Love' is published by O' Brien Press and is in all good bookstores.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Highlights of Taste of Dublin 2011!

Oh my goodness I really don't know where start with my highlights of Taste of Dublin. I had an amazing couple of days!  Fantastic fun with gorgeous food and the chance to meet so many delightful ladies and gents. I just wanted to share with you a few photos of the two days and I will write a full post all about this magnificent experience over the next couple of days.


The moment I had been waiting for - demonstrating my Roast Tomato and Pasta Soup with Philly with Chef Edward Hayden.

Millie enjoying one of the delicious strawberries that were being passed out.


Jack and I with Anna Daly from Ireland AM.
Here we are with Gino D'Acampo.

Say cheese!!

Jack was busy all day capturing all the activity!
Donal Skehan demonstrating how to do Spatchcock Chicken.

My sister Fiona with her friend Erika enjoying a few cocktails in the VIP lounge.
One man that wasn't happy with the food {one of those days}!!
Jack with his favourite celebrity!!







Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Roasted Tomato & Pasta Soup

Here is the dish I made on Ireland AM this morning. It is a great family meal as it's perfect made in bulk and is suitable for all due to it's mellow flavours. It is a vegetarian dish but strips of cooked chicken, chorizo or even little meatballs would work perfectly in it.
Here is the link to my slot on this mornings show. http://www.tv3.ie/ireland_am.php?video=36593&locID=1.65.74





Ingredients
600g fresh tomatoes, chopped into chunks
3 garlic cloves,crushed
1 red onion, chopped into chunks
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
600mls chicken or vegetable stock
handful fresh basil leaves
100g Philadelphia Original or 100mls cream
400g cooked pasta shells
Parmesan, grated for serving

Method
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas 4.
2. Put the tomatoes, garlic and onion in an over proof dish. S
prinkle over the smoked paprika and sugar, drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Season with a pinch of sea salt and some freshly ground pepper .
3. Using a wooden spoon combine all the ingredients together.
4. Roast in the oven for 25 minutes. 
5. Meanwhile heat the stock in a large saucepan, stir in the cooked roasted tomato mix and add the basil and allow to simmer over a low heat for 15 minutes.
6. Blend the soup together with a liquidiser or hand blender.
7. Return to the heat and stir in the Philadelphia or cream.
8. Add the cooked pasta shells.
Serve in a bowl with a grating of fresh parmesan and some crusty bread to mop up the delicious soup!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Sesame and Peanut Noodles

It was fantastic to find out that I won the Philadelphia competition and in the morning I travel back up to the TV3 studios to cook another dish using Philadelphia cheese. Another early start as my slot is 7.35am.  I will be cooking one of my boys favourite dishes -  Roasted Tomato and Pasta Soup with Philly. I will also be demonstrating this dish at Taste of Dublin this Friday at 12.30pm with the ever so nice Edward Hayden. I feel so privileged to be getting this wonderful opportunity and again I must thank everyone that took the time to vote. If you are heading to Taste of Dublin on Friday make sure you say hello! I have an exciting few days ahead of me and I will fill you in on all the antics at the weekend.  







Even though this recipe has a long list of ingredients it is surprisingly quick and easy to make. It comes from Rachel Allen's first book Rachel's Favourite Food which is actually one of my favourite cookbook. Despite the fact I have it many years there are still some little gems, like this one, that I'm only trying for the first time.

Sesame and Peanut Noodles

Serves 4-6
Ingredients
250g fine egg noodles 
1tbsp toasted sesame oil
1/2 large cucumber (about 200g), cut into matchsticks
1 red pepper, cut in quarters, then sliced across into very thin strips
2 chicken breasts, cooked (pan-fried, grilled, roasted), then cut into very thin strips
3 spring onions, sliced thinly across at an angle


For the sesame peanut sauce (makes 150ml)
2 cloves of garlic, crushed or finely grated
2tsp ginger, finely grated
2 generous tbsp crunchy peanut butter
2tbsp toasted sesame oil
2tbsp soy sauce
2tbsp rice wine (or just white wine)
2tbsp water
2tsp brown sugar
3tbsp toasted sesame seeds, plus
1tbsp for sprinkling over the top

Method
1. First make the peanut sesame sauce. Mix the garlic, ginger and peanut butter, then add the rest of the ingredients for the sauce, making sure the peanut butter is evenly mixed and not lumpy.

2. Place the noodles into a saucepan of boiling water, bring the water back to the boil and cook according to the pack instructions.
3. Drain the noodles, rinse with cold water, drain again, then toss with 1tbsp toasted sesame oil. Place the noodles in a large bowl with the cucumber, red pepper and chicken, and pour in most of the peanut sesame sauce. Toss together and add more sauce if desired.

Transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle the sliced spring onion and tablespoon of sesame seeds over the top. 

Monday, June 6, 2011

Book Review - Two Greedy Italians

On first glance at a cookbook by two chefs that are as well established as Antonio Carluccio and Gennaro Contaldo you would be forgiven to assume that it would be full of pretentious talk and complicated dishes. This I can assure you is not the case.  The book is written in a language that is both engaging and  inviting to the reader with so many stories behind many of the delicious dishes that are shared in this book.
  Antonio Carluccio and Gennaro Contaldo both moved to Britian from Italy over 30 years ago and began working in the food industry. They eventually worked together and soon became established as leading influences on Italian cooking. This book was written to accompany the television series, of the same name, and it sees the two friends on an amazing journey to visit their home country. They travel to all the different regions of Italy and explore many Italian food trends of the past and the present.  They introduce us to the food they ate while growing up aswell as their own family favourites. 
The book provides a wonderful insight into Italian culture, which appears to have influenced many of the authentic Italian recipes in the book.  Antonio and Gennaro also give their own views on subjects such as religion, street food and family. 
The book is divided into six sections - Starters, First Courses, Main Courses, Vegetables, Fruit/Desserts and Snacks. It is packed with over 100 recipes that are beautifully photographed by Chris Terry. There are recipes to suit cooks of all levels and for many different occasions. The importance of sourcing fresh produce is greatly evident throughout the book. Every region appears to have their own specialised ingredients and indeed recipes. So many of the recipes are concise and easy to follow simply showcasing the amazing produce that Italy has to offer. I also love that each recipe is introduced so personally by the author.
This book would be an impeccable read for anyone planning a holiday to any of these beautiful regions in Italy. This is an essential addition to any cookbook collection as the ultimate guide to Italian cuisine.






Here is some Peperonata { pg.141} that I made to accompany fresh pasta and it was scrumptious!


'Two Greedy Italians' by Antonio Carluccio and Gennaro Contaldo is published by Quadrille Publishing, ISBN 978-1-84400-942-8. The TV series that accompany the book 'Two Greedy Italians' is currently on BBC 2 on Wednesdays at 8pm.  The book is available to buy on Amazon.


Photo and Styling by Nessa Robins

Friday, June 3, 2011

Philadelphia here I come!!

Great news! I won the Taste Factor competition!!
I will be on Ireland AM on Wednesday morning at 7.35am. I will be cooking another dish using Philadelphia.
I will then cook live with Edward Hayden at Taste of Dublin on Friday at 12.30.

Thanks so much for all the votes. I really appreciate it!!
We are all thrilled here. Yeah!!!!!
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