I want...

Look at these! Aren't they adorable?! I wish I could buy the whole bunch - they're from Rosenthal and the range is Pepe and Friends Each item from eggcup to cookie jar, has its own little character, they really are sweet...
Available here!


Cheats Cuisine!

To make a spectacular dessert in a hurry follow these easy peasy instructions for my quick and easy Black Forest Dessert!
You'll need 
for four 
4 chocolate brownie
1 tin pitted black cherries
4 pots chocolate mousse
125mls double cream, whipped to soft peaks
2 tbsp vanilla sugar
1 chocolate flake
4 oreo cookies, roughly broken
75cls kirsch (or vodka will be fine too!)

Break the brownies into bite sized chunks and pop into the bottom of the serving dish, mix the kirsch with the juice from the tinned fruit and add the vanilla sugar, then spoon about two tablespoons over each brownie.  Add half the cherries.  Plop some cream on, then a full chocolate mousse, oreo cookies and more cream.  Top with cherries and chocolate flake.

Perfect squidgy goodness to finish off a good meal!


Pancake Tuesday!!!

Is it worldwide or just this side of the pond? Well today is pancake tuesday and children (and aduts) around the country woke up excited at the prospect of a day in which every meal is a pancake concoction!!

I'm just about to make ours but I thought I'd post first, I mean you don't need a recipe but I'll give you my two favorite fillings...

1) Chocolate buttons (make sure the pancake is hot!) caramel sauce, marshmallow, banana and the thickest double cream you can find! Mmmmmm! 
2) Mix one part lime juice to one part coconut milk, add plenty of caster sugar! Delicious! 
HAPPY PANCAKE DAY EVERYONE!!! As a little parting gift I will tell you a little story....

There was three men travelling by train across Ireland for business and they got talking.  Each of them had a son and the conversation soon turned to their children.  

The first one said "My son is wonderful, a real star, he was born on St Georges day so we called him George"

"Wow!" said the second one, "thats amazing because my son is called Andrew for the same reason, he was born on St Andrews day"

The third man nodded and then took his phone out of his pocket "That reminds me" he said smiling, "its my darling sons birthday today... I must ring him..." he dialled the number... "Hello? Is that you Pancake?"

(At least its not my cooking that is making you reach for the sick bowl!!)



Ugly but yum....!

I have eaten one of these... A deep fried Mars bar, and I will admit -it was absolutely delicious! However as I chewed, I could feel my arteries screaming and I doubt I would make a habit of eating something so fattening - there is a days calories in one of these babies!

I came across this picture while moaning and groaning my way through This Is Why You're Fat
dot com, have a browse and let me know if you've tried any of the offerings there - which I've no doubt as to they probably taste delicious but my God, imagine every meal? After a couple of days worth of winter food, starches and stews, I crave raw food, salad and crisp vegetables... and thats after GOOD stodge! Imagine after a few days of the horrifics you can see here!


A little Baker Boy...

So I often let Joe help me bake, but obviously I have to curb any licking or poking or smudging that he would enjoy.  So today I allowed him to bake his own biscuits, from start to finish.  I did step in for the mixing, and there was a two minute tantrum, but then he resumed with tear stained cheeks to making "Joes Biscuits". Which turned out to be one biscuit... for Daddy!
This recipe is great for little ones who are teething (as there is good resistance and not a lot of sugar) and the dough molds easily in their hands.  

Joes Biscuits

You'll need

1 part apple juice
1 part flour
1 part baby cereal (I used Cow and Gate Baby Balance)

Mix above ingredients together. Roll out and cut or mold into shapes. Bake for about 20-30 minutes at 175c.

Do NOT serve these to visiting adults, much as they may snuffle about in search of your latest bake, as they will reel in horror from the blandness and your reputation shall never recover! Solely enjoyed by the under fives and daddys who would walk on coals for their darling sons!


Little Windows...

I'm always too late for the ten on ten recently, which is so annoying because I love taking part, so this month I'm going to start a new project which I am calling Little Windows... I will post some pictures in the same way, hopefully on the tenth, but if I don't make it I won't feel so badly!!



Dear Old Barley!

I hated it in stews, those little squishy blobs that would stick to my teeth, I couldn't stomach Barley at all unless it was mixed with sugar, rolled to an inch of its life, wrapped in plastic and sold for tuppence in the local chemist...
Then I kept seeing it pop up in the modern recipes, everyone was raving about it, everyone loved it... Barley, Barley, Barley!

So I thought, Okay, it must be good, it must have something to offer.


I came, I ate, I didnae likey!

I'm sure... I know...  Its definatley up some peoples alleys, just not mine.  There is a musty smell from it that I dislike, it lingers in my nose too long... and the texture?  Yack yack! Its rubbery, its smooth, like a mouth full of tiny balloons.

Before you mail me wailing about how I mustn't have cooked it correctly, how it is truely the most wonderful thing... Don't bother, really I did do it the justice it probably deserves! How do I know? Because everyone else in the house absolutley LOVED it! Bar me, the whole family are now barley addicts, going through cold turkey mind because I am never putting myself through that again!
For the Barley lovers out there... here is my recipe for Creamy Barley Risotto... Serve with white fish if you can, or topped with pickled quails eggs!... and Enjoy!

You'll need (serves 4 as a side dish)
250gms pearl barley 
A glass of white wine
1 large onion, chopped finely
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 stick of celery, chopped finely
Some olive oil
500mls chicken stock
100gms creme fraiche
100gms parmesan cheese, ground
Fry the onions, celery and garlic lightly in the oil and add the barley.  Allow the barley to colour slightly before adding a glass of white wine and about a quarter of the stock.  The good thing about barley vs rice is that it doesn't need constant stirring because there is little starch.  

Keep adding the stock, as normal with risotto, until its gone, then test the barley between your teeth, you should be able to bite it in half with effort, it shouldn't smush.  If its not ready, top up with hot water.  

When you are happy with the barley, add the cheeses and serve!!!


Lentil Health!! ;-)

Italians like to eat lentils with sausages on New Years Eve, here in this house we don't need an occasion, it really makes for the most hearty winter meal, full of goodness (watch the ingredients in those sausages, go for 70+% pork!!) and is a nice change from rice, pasta and potatoes which our dinners usually revolve around!! 

Here is my recipe for Italian style Lentils, serve with your favorite sausage!
You'll need
350gms of green or brown lentils (I use tinned)
1 large onion, chopped small
2 stalks of celery, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
100gms bacon lardons
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
A sprig of rosemary

Fry the onion, garlic and celery in olive oil until soft, add the bacon and the rosemary.  Fry until pretty much cooked before adding the tomatoes and the lentils.

Simmer for about ten minutes and serve!

For a spicy version add a pinch of chilli powder with the tomatoes!


Abbey Road....

I didn't realise what it looked like as I was snapping... 



We were thrilled to be woken by a text message reading "Scoil Dunta - Isteach is amach ro-danseaireach" (School Closed - Access too dangerous)!! Looking outside we could see why...Having a landrover comes in very handy sometimes, we ploughed along where other cars were stuck, and clung to roads that other cars were sliding off... heading for my mothers house and the field beside it, where the snow lay unmarked and glistening in wait.  

What a great day! Lets hope for more snow tomorrow!!