Earth Hour...

It was lovely to spend an hour in darkness last night with my global family,  so many houses around me joined in, and it was nice to 'stand together' acknowledging the earth hour.

What a sky! It was so bright, although I wasn't sure if it was because of the lights or just because of the night!  We spotted Orions belt, and Beetlejuice! We were all reluctant to turn the lights back on, but with laundry to finish, and tea to make!
photo courtesy of google images


The Big Boy...

I took this photo of Joe heading down to Dun Laoghaire last week, I cannot believe it is him, he just looks so grown up! 


I often come home after a particularly nice meal out and spend the next week or so craving the food I had, just one more bite!

It was this way after a cheap and cheerful trip to Milanos in Dundrum, which I have to say I normally avoid, finding the staff rude and the dessert portions miserable! However with two teenagers in tow it seemed the best option, the crowd pleaser.

I ordered a Salad with goats cheese and it was delicious, so much so that I wanted to recreate it at home, for that 'one more bite' satisfaction!

I, of course, added bits and pieces but it was the similar enough so here it is, furthermore known as Milanos salad in this house!

Here is a list of what goes into it, add as much or as little of what you like, it'll be delicious!
Cooked chicken pieces, red and yellow pepper, beetroot, red onion, cherry tomatoes (try to get piccolos!),  croutons, cafe style leaves, crumbled soft goats cheese.  Add whatever salad dressing you prefer, we used bottled caesar and it was delicious!


I heart...

My new kettle!!!

My eyes lit up when I spied this unusual kettle in House of Fraser the other day, and since a new kettle was on my shopping list (my old one is ten years old) and I had a voucher for HofF burning a hole in my purse, I said "Feck it!" and plumped for it there and then.... It reminds me of Art Deco, Sixties style and Futuristic all in one!
It does what it is supposed to, and in record time, but I get a kick out of it too, so that is a bonus! The wood handles make it seem less "Appliance" too!
I love it!


The Grand SLAM!

We did it! Ireland, a tiny little island perched on the edge of Europe, has won the Six Nations Cup AND the Grand Slam! 

It was like movie, those watching practically bit their own faces off with the tension, it was within 3 or 4 points the whole match... They're winning, we're winning, they're winning... It looked like we'd lost it, even after Brian O'Driscolls AMAZING TRY!! The man is like a steam train! Then suddenly with two minutes to go (Imagine the tension!) Ronan O'Gara kicked it over the posts, we were back in the lead only to give away a penalty at the eleventh hour... I thought Bill would go through the television as the welsh player lined up to kick a drop goal, but he missed it by inches and WE WON!!!! THE GRAND SLAM! The last time we did that was in 1948!! Oh I wished my dad could have seen it!! He would have loved it!

It was also nice to see Prince William sitting beside our lovely President McAleese, a promise of the two countries being better neighbors to each other in the coming years! But best of all, to see our boys collect the Grand Slam trophy, and hold it high, a symbol of being the BEST rugby team in Europe at the moment, we lost to not one team! 

They often say in Ireland "Tiocfaidh ár Lá" - Our Day will Come... 

In Rugby, looks like it has...!


Whats brew??

The lack of activity on this blog has been down to my dear little Mac being uprooted from his corner and shuffled out for a few days in a cardboard box in my hall.  We've been having lots of work done, and finally I have a new kitchen!!  I have been in this house nearly ten years and had inherited the kitchen from previous owners, which I differed greatly in taste from!!! 

So now I have my own kitchen, in my own house, as opposed to my own house but with someone elses kitchen.  I can't wait to show you some pictures but I want to wait for the last few pieces of the jigsaw to be slotted into place (New Ikea table and tiles on the wall!) before the unveiling to my cyber friends!!

Aside from that though my camera has been happily snapping away, with various dinners eaten and interesting nights out.  Over the next few days I'll tell you all about them.

I want to start though with telling you about this new club we've joined! A sister of my dearest friend has started a Beer Tasting session in her shop once a month, and so with Bill a steadfast beer supporter and me tipping my toe in the ocean as a novice, we both headed down on friday to have a taste and see what we thought of the best of the Belgian Trappist Breweries!
Five Beers to Taste!
Two trepid tasters make their way through the brews...
Since our trip last year, which landed us in Bruges, Bill has been keenly involved on a personal level with Belgian beers, and was dying to sample what is on offer here in Dublin.  So we tasted, he hummed, I hawed, but overall we both came away with a favorite.

This was mine... Vedett Extra White...
Just perfect for me, light and refreshing, destined to be supped out of a nice glass as I sit admiring my lovely new kitchen over the next week...!  Only to be enjoyed in the glare of the sun though, I suspect, so I'll have to make sure I'm within sight of that little glorious ray that comes in my kitchen window at around 6 o'clock!
Local Glitterati...
Some of Beers most loyal fans...

A beer fuelled discussion!
The Beer Tasting was a great fun! I learned alot, met some great people (including fellow blogger The Beer Nut! You can read what a beer review should look like over on his blog!) and discovered a bit more about my new favorite subject - BEER!


Happy (Day After) St Patricks Day from DUBLIN!

Oh the frustration of internet glitches! Yesterday was St Patricks Day, I'm here in the horses mouth, and I couldn't get blogger to post for me! It kept saying error blah blah blah!


We all donned green, pinned our shamrock to our lapels and enjoyed a day where the whole world joins us in the celebration of our lovely little island!!

I could have chosen a very traditional Irish dish for todays post, but considering most of the very Irish meals (Irish stew, coddle etc) were born from necessity due to half the country starving to death, I didn't feel it was exactly the spirit I was after! So after a him and a haw I decided to get into the spirit with a good old Beef and Guinness Pie! We've got cows, we've got stout, we've got appetites to sooth - as Irish a dish as you can get!

Must be eaten with a diddly eye diddly dee diddly dum!

Beef and Guinness Pie

You'll need
500gms Stewing beef
2 Carrots
1 Large onion
1 Sprig of rosemary
500mls beef stock
A Pint of Irish Stout (Guinness!)
Salt and Pepper
Enough Puff pastry to cover your pie dish!

Saute the onions and the carrots with the rosemary (wonderful aromas here) and then add the seasoned meat. Stir about a bit and then add the stock and the stout! Add a couple of tablespoons of flour. Simmer for 2 hours with a lid on until the sauce has thickened! Pop into a pie dish, cover with pastry, glaze with beaten egg and bake until golden brown in a hot oven, about 180c.

Serve with mashed potatoes and a large glass of milk!


Cheats Cuisine!

Another handy number to throw together! Its absolutely delicious and perfect for visiting children!

So simple - it cannot go wrong!

Sticky Toffee Banana Bake
You'll need
2 Jamaican Ginger Cakes
4 Large Bananas
Anything else you fancy, I sometimes add pecan nuts!

For the sauce
100gms Muscovado Light Brown
4 oz butter
150mls double cream
4 tbsp golden syrup

Stir the sauce ingredients together and heat in a saucepan until the butter has melted. Meanwhile slice the cakes and the bananas and layer them.  When the sauce begins to bubble, remove from the heat and pour over the layers.  Bake for 15 minutes at 180c until piping hot. Serve with vanilla icecream. This makes a good amount for 6 people so you can say...

Yes, there is seconds...!


Little Windows...

Here are my "Little Windows" for March... 

I've been tagged

I've been tagged by dear Ciara over at Milkmoon!

What is your current obsession? Hmmmm... Interior blogs, Clothes...

What are you wearing now: My big earrings,Denim Flares, black boat neck top and a teal green grandad cardie! Oh and my most amazing sheepskin bootie slippers that I love but are falling apart and I don't know where to replace them!!

Who was the last person you hugged: Grubbyman

If you were a tree what tree would you be?
 Definatley a pear tree... with a partridge in it!

What's for dinner: Paella (cooking for Ciara!)

What was the last thing you bought: 4 Stripey Cups for a euro each in Dunnes...

What are you listening to right now: The sounds of a jackhammer building our lovely Luas line, and Brian Ferry singing Dylan...

What is your favourite weather: I love sunny winter mornings, and I love warm meditteranean mornings... either or! 

What was the first thing you did this morning? I fed the birds in my garden, a thousand little hopping fellows... They had seeds, lard and breadcrumbs.
What is your most challenging goal right now: To try to get through to stubborn people.

Say something to the person who tagged you: There will be roasted plums, with honey, cardamom and marscapone...

 If you could have a house totally paid for, fully furnished, where do you want it to be: Dun Laoghaire town please, something nice in Clarinda park would do!!!

Favourite vacation spot: Anywhere at all... though I have been dreaming recently of majorca...
Name the things you cannot live without: Good company, A pen and paper...

What would you like to have in your hands right now: Honestly? A winning lottery ticket please.  Failing that, A huge coffee slice.
What is your favourite tea flavour: Regular Barrys Tea

What would you like to get rid of: Words which degrade women, Snobbery.

If you could go anywhere in the world for the next hour, where would you go: Can I go back in time? Then I'd see my dad again, if not I'd like to visit my Aunt Maureen in New Jersey.

If you could have your portrait painted/made by any famous artist from any era, who would you choose: Picasso
Who did you have a poster on your wall of when you were 15? Kurt Cobain...

The rules: 
1) Repond and rework, answer the questions on your blog, replace one question you didn't like with a question of your own! Then add one more question of your own!
2) Tag up to eight people! 


I love you too, Makool....!

I have never posted about clothes before but I couldn't leave the day go without telling you what I found!! I was drifting around the ether world and suddenly it was there, Makool Loves You, and every single thing on their adorable website could have been made for me!!!
I know a certain person over on another blog who would swoon for these mittens.... You know who you are!! ;-)

Oh and if anyone, lets say, was to love me so much they just had to buy me this Bicycle locket... I'd be ever so pleased...

Cheats Cuisine!

This is a great cheat to have at hand, in case you suffer from spontaneous invite syndrome - "why don't you come for lunch today?" at 12pm!! This needs no major design just plonk everything together and serve with a salad!

Mediterranean Vol Au Vents!
You'll need
1 Pkt 6 Frozen Vol Au Vents
1 Cooked chicken breast
6 Cherry vine tomatoes
100gms tapenade
100gms Sun dried tomato pesto
1 Jar of Boilie Goats Cheese Balls
A handful of Basil, chopped

Cook the Vol Au Vents as per instructions. At the same time pop the tomatoes into the oven drizled with olive oil until they are bursting and soft.
While still warm fill with a teaspoon of each paste, some chicken, and top with a Boilie ball and a vine tomato.



I want...

These gorgeous retro tins are from Ikea...and only £1.95 for all three!!


'Ave a butchers..?

There must be something wrong with me.  No matter how many times I have told myself, warned myself, to buy my meat in the butcher, I keep coming home from the supermarket bags full of it and having a homer moment - Doh! Its ridiculous because the butcher, Nyhan Bros, is right there, beside the supermarket, no extra journey or stop involved! What is my problem?

I am trying though, and last week, as if to make up, I took a solo expedition across the road and bought 2lbs of mince.  A huge quantity, but it freezes so why not! I had a nose round to see what else they had, Venison steaks! Poussin! Rabbit! 

Oooo and corn fed outdoor reared chickens!! The little angel on my shoulders' tutting is becoming unbearable when I go to Tesco for a sunday bird, so thats good to know! I don't mind paying extra for an animal that has at least had a bit of craic before it walked the green mile.

I think I will have to tie a knot in my hanky, or laces at least, so I stop my zombie like march to the supermarket in time to remember the butchers! 

As for my mince? It was put to good use!

Lisas Saturday Burgers
You'll need
(for 4 quarter pounders)
1lb of lean minced beef
2 tsps worcestor sauce
2 tbsp of your favorite relish (we use onion or ballymaloe!)
15mls natural yoghurt or creme fraiche
2 tsps cayenne pepper (optional)
Salt and pepper

Mix all ingredients together, I use a fork as well as my hands as it seems to break the meat up even more.  Divide into portions and make into patties with your hands.  Pop onto a hot oiled griddle or pan and fry.  Give them about two minutes each side.  Let them stand while you prepare the buns with everything you like and EAT EM UP!!


Cheap Eats!

Well I have square eyes from checking out the fantastic new Irish website Cheap Eats, its brilliant!  Its one of those sites that has me bashing my head off the keyboard, wailing "I wish it was mine!", set up and run by graphic artist Jean O'Brien (check out the dotey graphics!!) and journalist Peter McGuire, and with fantastic ideas and recommendations all through the effortless dialogue.  With tips on where to find great food bargains, which restaurants are feeding us well for less, and a general encouragement, in the face of a recession, to continue with the chin up and mouth open, for great food is still within our reach! There is sections of all aspects of food in Ireland, from recipes to food news, great restaurant reviews and even a Bloggers recommend section!! 
I love it!! 

Check it out here!


Beer anyone?

I've been getting into the "beer is the new wine" craze, and I have to admit I'm loving it! Beer can be just as interesting to drink, and with less of a headache the next day, whats not to love about that!! 

My personal favorite at the moment are the Asian beers, Tiger and Cobra being the most obvious choices.  The subtle cider pop after a swig of Cobra beer is fantastic, and wonderfully refreshing after a mouthful of spicy curry!  Beer sooths the mouth more quickly after a chili burn, so it is the drink of choice for any spicy dish.

There are two main theories behind the origin of "Pad Khee Mao", or Drunkards noodles, the first is that it is the hangover cure of choice by most Thais, the second is that so much beer is needed, to sooth the burning mouth while eating, that the diner ends up paraletic! Either way it is a great dish, one we eat all the time in this house, always with plenty of Tiger beer on hand too by the way...

Drunkards Noodles
You'll need
2 tbsp Stir fry oil
2 tbsp Oyster sauce
2 tbsp Rice Vinegar (or white wine vinegar will do)
1 tbsp Nam Plah sauce
1 tsp sugar
a squeeze of fresh lime
10 bird chillies, or 3 red chillies, chopped finely
1 tin bean sprouts
10 baby tomatoes, halved
1 green pepper, chopped 
A handful of Pak Choi, torn into lengths
10 Button Mushrooms, halved
400gms thin rice noodles, cooked

Heat up the oil and add the chillies and the rest of the veg.  Add the sauces and stir fry for a minute, add the noodles and serve.

Be Careful!!! 'S hot!!