Sunday, 28 September 2008
Saturday, 27 September 2008
Anyhow, I thought it was going to grow on me but it's not - I like it but I don't like it, obviously martin loves it so this is a tricky one. I love the way it twinkles when lit but I hate the metal arms which dangle to make it look like a daddy long legs!
Terms & conditions:
- Don't be swayed by the fact that he's a boy and is even bothered with this kind of thing - that's a sympathy vote!
- Do bear in mind that this is in your room when you come to stay so you will be the one looking at it most often!
Friday, 26 September 2008
I'm not sure that our fridge, never mind our waists, can take any more turkeys, stuffings, cranberry sauce or mulled drinks. Oh well, just one last sneaky freshly baked mince pie then...Here is the yummy recipe I cooked today for a shoot for Neven Maguire...mince pies are not just for Christmas!
MacNEAN OLD FASHIONED MINCE MEAT PIES
MINCEMEAT(Note to Bernie - I know you were looking for a recipe to make this with the kids in school - hopefully it's not too late as this is a nice one)
350 g / 12 oz eating apples, peeled, cored and finely chopped
225 g / 8 oz raisins
225 g / 8 oz sultanas
225 g / 8 oz currants
100 g / 4 oz candid citrus peel
225 g / 8 oz butter, melted
100 g / 4 oz blanched almonds, chopped
175 g / 6 oz dark brown sugar
Grated rind 1 orange
Grated rind 1 lemon
½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons brandy or whiskey
Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl, cover and leave overnight. Mix well before use.
Tip Why not put the mincemeat in sterilised jars, top with some pretty fabric and wrap with a red ribbon to give to your friends for a Christmas gift?The mincemeat can be stored in a a fridge for about 3-4 weeks.
125 g / 5 oz butter + extra for greasing
225 g / 8 oz plain flour
50 g / 2 oz icing sugar
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon cold water
½ teaspoon lemon juice
300g of homemade mincemeat
1 egg, beaten
icing sugar for dusting
Preheat the oven to 180°C / Gas 4. Sieve flour and icing sugar into bowl. Add butter cut into 5 small pieces. Add egg yolk, water and lemon juice. Beat with electric mixer at slow speed until mixture forms dough.
Place pastry in greaseproof paper or a plastic bag in refrigerator, for at least 30 minutes before use. Roll out 2/3 of pastry thinly on a lightly floured board. Cut out rounds with a cutter a little larger than the holes of a 12 hole patty tin. Grease the tin and line with rounds of pastry. Put 1 tbsp mincemeat in each.
Roll out the remainder of pastry and cut with a slightly smaller cutter to fit the tops. Brush the edges of the mince pies with water and place smaller rounds on top, seal with tips of fingers. Make a small slit in each mince pie. Brush with beaten egg. Bake in a preheated oven at 190°C / Gas 6, for 15-20 minutes. Cool in tins before lifting out the mince pies. Dust with icing sugar to serve.
Thursday, 25 September 2008
After my scrumptious mood lit bath I headed to the cocktail bar (very appropriately just opposite my room) where I met Hayden the bartender. He made me a delicious cocktail and was even happy to send the recipe on to me - Check out Hayden's blog for his now not so secret recipe for the Clover leaf. Obviously, it won't be quite the same for me making it for myself and sipping it in Drimnagh! Also, it turns out we have a friend in common, Paul Lambert of Saba cocktail making fame. Phew, I can relax now knowing I can get a great cocktail in two Irish cities.
Here is a recipe for the first thing we made from the box of delights - there is no way it will taste the same with offerings from tescos though! We had it with a yummy char-grilled fillet steak and some of Harry's spuds, simply boiled.
RATATOUILLE TO RELISH
Serves 2 of us but maybe 4 of you!
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 red onion, sliced
1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
1 large knobbly courgette, diced
300g mix of funny shaped yellow and red cherry tomatoes
1 large red chilli, deseeded and chopped
1 mishappen green pepper, sliced
good glug of red wine
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Heat the olive oil in a saute pan and soften the onion and garlic for a few minutes before adding the courgette. Saute for a further 3-4 minutes and then toss the cherry tomatoes in, allowing them to soften for a few minutes, crushing them a little.
2. Next, add the red chilli, green pepper and red wine and leave to simmer down gently for 6-8 minutes. Season to taste and get in there quick before it's all gone!
Tuesday, 23 September 2008
p.s. I'll dig out my chocolate cake recipe for you when I unpack all my much longed for cookery books at some point in the not so near future! Oh, and I'm sure to make this again in the future so I'll take some piccies as I go to show you how to recreate it!
Monday, 22 September 2008
We also tucked into pies from the Gallic Kitchen stall in the farmers market before heading to Urban Outfitters where we bought a wooden chandelier. We put it up on the stair landing as soon as we got home - no doubt it will gather lots of building dust and of course will have to come down again once we (i use the term loosely) come to finish decorating but it cheers me up looking so pretty there for the time being anyhow!
Finally, we were lured like bisto kids into the new branch of 'Queen of Tarts' on cows lane where we bought some amazing raspberry & lemon cheesecakes to have after tea. Totally yummy!
Tuesday, 16 September 2008
Sunday, 7 September 2008
Martin spent our actual anniversary with a bloke he had just met while working in the UK! And I was too caught up with Christmas shoots to notice. So when we finally got around to celebrating, we went to Alexis in Dun Laoghaire for dinner (yum yum), exchanged cards and gifts (see stripy sheets blog) and reminised with the first viewing of our wedding album (finally!). Here are some piccies to bore you with..