Over the past few months I've been proudly working as an ambassador with the lovely team that's behind the Flora Women's Mini Marathon. Each Wednesday in The Herald, along with Flora dietician, Harriette Lynch, we've been answering food and diet related queries for the mini marathon participants, while also hosting facebook live chats on the Flora Women's Mini Marathon facebook page. The race date is fast approaching, but if you have any questions, regarding your diet or nutrition, send them to us via flora@uniquemedia.ie. and they'll be answered.
On race day, each year, the participants of the Flora Women's Mini Marathon raise thousands for their chosen charities. This year Flora gave the participating ladies an opportunity to win a Flora Taste Team Fundraising Event and also add €1,000 to their charity’s total. This year's winner was Headstrong and this exciting event will take place this evening in Powerscourt Theatre. I'm very much looking forward to speaking at this event. It's free for all to attend, but as spaces are limited, just simply register here to secure your spot. 
Also this weekend I'll be giving a couple of cookery demonstrations at the Women's World Show in the RDS. My time slots are 3pm-4pm on Saturday 31st, and 12-1pm on Sunday 1st June. If you are attending the show, make sure to pop by and say hello. Otherwise I'll be at the finish line of the marathon next Monday, to tempt the participants with a few sweet treats. The best of luck to all the ladies who are participating in this year's race. See you there! Nessa x


A number of years ago, when I immersed myself into the world of food blogging little did I realise what a wonderful and significant step this was going to be for me. My love for photographing and writing about food naturally deepened, but what has come as the greatest surprise to me are the friends I have made, as a result of my musing on the computer. This coming weekend I'll have the opportunity to catch-up with many of my blogging buddies, as The Kerrygold Ballymloe Lit Fest of Food & Wine is kicking off on Friday. It has to be the most anticipated food event of the year, and I'm proud to say that I'm parttaking in two seperate panel discussions. If you would like to book a spot, head over to the Litfest website. It's sure to be a truly memorable weekend. If you can't make it to Cork, but would like to keep up with some Litfest related news, I'll be tweeting all about it at @Nessa_Robins or follow the hashtag #litfestie.


One of my blogging friends, that I'm looking forward to having a good chat with this weekend, is Kristin Jensen. Kristin is the wonderful writer of the blog ‘Edible Ireland’. She is based in Louth but originally hails from America. Kristin and I have become great friends, through our mutual love of food, but we also have children of a similar age, which makes for the organisation of perfect play dates, while we catch-up. On one such occasion Kristin gifted me with a lemon blueberry buckle. A buckle is a traditional American dessert which has a thick crust, is filled with fruit, and finished with a crumble topping. With so many delicious elements it’s a truly splendid dessert. My recipe I'm sharing with you today, even though it’s really just a simple crumble, resembles many elements of Kristin’s Buckle. For that zingy lemon undertone I’ve added some lemon zest to both the rhubarb and the crumble. To exaggerate the lemon flavour even more, I’ve included a few sprigs of lemon thyme to the rhubarb while it stews. The lemon thyme grows in abundance in my garden, but if you can’t get your hands on any, simply add a little extra lemon zest. One marvellous tip I received from Kristin was to part-freeze the crumble topping, which ultimately leads to a crunchier crumble top. So now whenever I make a crumble, of any variety, I pop the topping into the freezer, while I prepare the filling, and I’m always reminded of the value of friendships, old and new.



Lemon Rhubarb Crumble

Ingredients
Crumble
150g butter
250g plain flour
150g caster sugar
zest of 1 lemon

Filling
600g rhubarb, sliced into bite size pieces
100g caster sugar
zest of 1 lemon
4 sprigs of lemon thyme
2 tbsp water


Method

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/Gas 6.
2. To prepare the crumble, place the flour in a bowl and rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar and the lemon zest, and combine. Place the crumble mixture into the freezer until you have the rhubarb stewed.
3. Place the rhubarb, sugar, lemon zest, lemon thyme and water into a medium sized saucepan. Bring to the boil, and then turn down the heat, cover and allow to simmer for  two minutes, until the rhubarb has slightly softened.
4. Scoop out the sprigs of lemon thyme. Spoon the stewed rhubarb into a large ovenproof dish. Sprinkle over the chilled crumble mixture and place the dish on a baking tray. Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 35-40 minutes, until the crumble topping is golden brown and the rhubarb is bubbling around the edges. Serve with freshly whipped cream or custard.