Tuesday, 25 May 2010

True Blue Baby I Love You

I'm still in love with my new kitchen. Here are some blue things I spied with my little eye recently...

Spotty bowls from Avoca. Blue plates from Ikea in plate rack.

I can't remember where I came across this sweet girl. We haven't quite found a home for her yet so she hangs out in the kitchen with us for now. 
Tea cups on the dresser with a cute knitted tea pot cosy a friend gave me.

Washing-up gloves from Homebase. Very unused looking I might add. I do like my dishwasher. The appliance one rather than the husband one.
 Scales by Typhoon.

Love this bowl's shape and colour, by Sophie Conran. Stack of bowls, baking dishes and colanders on a kitchen shelf.

No Irish kitchen is blessed without the holy Mary water on the dresser. A dear friend gave me one and not sure where I got the other. Probably my mother. I sprinkled the whole house with one of these when we first bought it. The other one helped me find a lost diamond when away with work once. Handy things to bring traveling, Holy Mary waters. Cute bottle from Avoca for homemade drinks.

Currants tin, from an auction house, reused as a utensil pot. Retro clock with cooking timer from ebay.

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Homemade Ice Pops

Ok, ok, so I was preoccupied drinking my Whiskey Sour 
last night to remember to shake the mixture to prevent separating. 
See, I'm not perfect after all! They are still yummy though.

Yay, how fantastic is that hot weather? Here at Friendly Cottage we are in the middle of nursing and coaxing the growth of grass in our back garden so I have been out watering it in the boys absence. Marty had been totally obsessing over it until he went away and so will kill me if the grass is burnt to a crisp when he gets back. Likely-hood with me? High. So I'm all worn out, trying to prove him wrong and needed some refreshing myself. Luckily I made these ice pops last night. Anyone got any other flavour ideas?


Thanks to a fruit bowl brimming with apples and the gorgeous rosemary pot I picked up the other day at food event (thanks to Living Flavour), I have been inspired to make these yummy pops. The number of pops you make will depend on the size of your moulds. You could try adding a stick of cinnamon to the sugar syrup too if you like. That would make an altogether very Autumny Ice Pop that would remind you just how lucky you are to be sucking it in such glorious weather!

Makes about 450ml

50g caster sugar
2 rosemary sprigs
4 large or 6 small apples

Place the sugar in a small saucepan with 50ml of cold water and the rosemary sprigs. Bring to a slow boil, stirring to help dissolve the sugar. Allow to simmer for 1-2 minutes before removing and leaving to cool.

Once the syrup has cooled, juice the apples in a juicer. Fish the rosemary sprigs out of the syrup and stir the apple juice and syrup together.

Pour into lolly moulds, pop the lids on and freeze upright for about 6-8 hours until solid. Stir or shake the mixture once after the first and second hours to help prevent any settling of the juice.

Dip the lolly moulds in hot water for a second to help release the pops. Suck at once!

TIP: When making this rosemary syrup, I usually make at least double and keep the remainder in the fridge to use as a drizzle over sponge cake or in cocktails. FYI you will need 75ml of syrup for this recipe.

Friday, 21 May 2010

Barefoot Contessa's Whiskey Sour

Sorry for being such a crap friend and not being around for a chat for ages now. Usual boring excuses like big work load, broken laptop and no camera.

Anyhow, I'm back. With a bang. I've hit the bottle as right now it's the only thing to bring me back to earth after a really mad few weeks. I haven't had a big drink for ages now. In fact the last time I lost my co-ordinates was at the end of my work in America earlier in the year. To help with the come down of that, I fell in love with Whiskey Sours. I have never liked Whiskey but when the Barefoot Contessa herself made this for me, how could I decline? Hook, line and sinker I was in love. In the airport on the way home I even picked up a couple of bottles of the Bourbon Ina used, Makers Mark. I haven't even tried to come up with my own recipe as Ina's is to die for. 

As this recipe was in American measures I used the cutsie Matryoshka doll cup measures my sister in law Beckie sent me (from Australia) for my last birthday. You can use Jack Daniels in place of the Makers Mark. To make sugar syrup, bring equal amounts of sugar and water to a slow boil, stirring, until the sugar dissolves and then leave to cool. I used a 1/2 cup of each to give me the amount required below. I buy my Maraschino cherries (the jarred posh ones with the stem still on) in Fallon & Byrne. This recipe makes enough to serve four. The boy has just flown off on my brothers stag weekend, so I promise, I divided it in four & saved the rest for after work tomorrow, and the next day and the next day. Hick. 


3/4 cup bourbon Whiskey
1/2 cup lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
1/2 cup lime juice (about 3 limes)
2/3 cup sugar syrup 
Maraschino cherries

Combine the Whiskey, lemon juice, lime juice and sugar syrup in a cocktail shaker and add a good handful of ice. 

Shake vigorously for 15 seconds and then strain into glasses.

Add a Maraschino cherry and serve ice cold.

Currently listening to the Noisettes....What ya drinking rum or whiskey? Now won't ya have a double with me?

Monday, 3 May 2010

poached fruit

I had meant to pop this recipe up over the bank holiday weekend. Poached fruits are the perfect thing to have in the fridge to dip in and out of on a long weekend. They are delicious with pancakes, yoghurt, granola, a wedge of cake and of course ice cream. 

However, I got sidetracked with a weekend of partying. I ate and drank all the bad good things. Must make these this week as part of a my five a day on the road to recovery...


175g caster sugar
450g plums (about 10), halved and stones removed
3 star anise

Place the sugar in a wide pan with 175ml of water and bring to the boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves.

Add the plum halves and star anise and leave to poach gently for 10-15 minutes until softened but still holding their shape.

Serve warm or cold at breakfast, lunch or dinner time or anywhere in between.

Other fruits perfect for poaching include pears, peaches, apricots, figs, berries, pineapple, mango and rhubarb. Poaching time will vary depending on the size and softness of the fruit.

Besides star anise try flavouring the sugar syrup with other spices like cardamon or cinnamon, a split vanilla pod, orange or lime zest, herbs like mint, rosemary or tarragon, lavender or even lemongrass, ginger and chilli.

Try liquid flavourings like poaching in fruit juice, wine or add a dash of rose water, orange blossom or grenadine or something stronger like brandy, kirsch, frangelico or amaretto.

So maybe vanilla and red wine figs, cardamon apricots or ginger and lemongrass mango...

TOP TIP: keep any leftover fruity flavoured syrup to use in your cocktails!