Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘All things food’ Category

Meringue was something I could always make, and my poor Mum never could.  She was a dab hand at anything to do with pastry, but for some reason meringues never worked for her.  When she opened a tea shop many, many years ago, I was always charged with making a pavlova for the weekend customers.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

This cake, like so many of the recipes on here, kind of morphed into something else!  The original recipe I had received in one of the recipe swaps that went around the internet a few years back… so thank you to Patricia McQ for the original.

The recipe was rooted out recently as a friend who is coeliac was coming for lunch. I started to make the cake, and guess what happened?  Half way through I realised I did not have all the ingredients required!  Time to improvise.  So this is what happened.

Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 200 g caster sugar – split into 130 g and 70 g lots
  • 150 g ground almonds
  • 50 g flaked almonds – blitzed to a breadcrumb consistency.
  • Few drops of vanilla essence
  • Zest and juice of half a lemon

Method:

Preheat oven to 180 degrees.

Line an 8″ tin with greaseproof paper.

Beat egg yolks.  Add 130 g of caster sugar to egg yolks and mix gently.  Fold in the ground and crumbed almonds (these add a nice texture to the cake).  Next add the zest and juice of lemon, and the vanilla essence.  This will be quite a stiff consistency.

Whisk egg whites until they form soft peaks.  Add the 70 g of sugar.

Fold the egg white mixture into the egg yolk mixture.

Spoon mixture into your prepared tin.

Bake for 30 – 35 minutes.

Dust with icing sugar.

Enjoy!

 

 

Read Full Post »

Since we started hosting on AirBnB we’ve come across the strangest (well to us) allergies and food dislikes.  I never knew people could be allergic to oranges?

Sometimes it can be a challenge to come up with interesting dishes that exclude ingredients that we would take for granted.  Imagine not using onions…. at all?

This past summer we had a family stay with us, where one member was allergic to dairy, egg and nuts.  Fine you say, BUT, they had a birthday during their stay.  Two adults (adult birthday), and 2 children (child allergic)…. so my challenge was to come up with a cake that everyone could eat and enjoy.

God bless ‘google’.

Dairy and egg free chocolate cake

Dairy and egg free chocolate cake

This cake then became a life saver again last week, when I was asked to bring dessert to a house with a similar allergy problem.  I think, but am not sure, that this would also actually qualify as ‘vegan’… maybe someone out there could tell me?

The amounts are a little odd, as the original recipe from Allrecipes in Australia was in cups.  So here’s my translation.

Ingredients:

  • 375 gr organic flour
  • 440 gr sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsps Bread Soda
  • 50 gr Green & Blacks cocoa
  • 190 ml Sunflower Oil
  • 2 tblsps White Vinegar
  • 2 tsps Vanilla Essence
  • 500 ml Cold Water

Method:

Heat oven to 180 deg. Centigrade.

Line a 30 cm cake tin with parchment paper

Sieve the dry ingredients together.  Make 3 wells in the mixture, adding oil, vinegar and vanilla essence into separate wells.

Add water and mix really well.

Bake for about 45 to 50 minutes.

I iced the finished cake with a sugar and lemon juice mix…. literally mixing icing sugar and a tablespoon of lemon juice together until I had the right consistency.

We’re not big chocolate cake fans here… but this has been a hit with us and everyone we served it to.

Enjoy!

 

Read Full Post »

I’ve been making our own ‘Cointreau’ style liqueur for the past couple of years, and was absolutely sure I had already shared the recipe on here…. but I hadn’t.

So here it is…. and full credit for the recipe must go to the late Paolo Tullio.

It is so simple and easy to make…. all it needs is time.

Home-made Cointreau

Home-made Cointreau

Ingredients & Equipment:

  • Half litre of vodka
  • 1 orange
  • String
  • Wide necked jar – we use a Kilner jar
  • Water
  • 150 g sugar

Method:

Pour vodka into your jar.  Thread string through the orange.  We use a wooden skewer to pierce the orange, then push a straw through the hole, and then thread the string through the straw…. hope this makes sense, but you will probably device your own method.

You may need the assistance of another pair if hands for this part.

Lower the orange into the jar until it is about a centimetre above the vodka…. holding onto your string at both ends.  Now close the lid of the jar to secure the string in place.

making home-made cointreau

making home-made cointreau

Put your jar somewhere safe for 21 days.

If you watch you will see that the alcohol evaporates, hits the orange and drops down, thus infusing the alcohol with the orange flavour.

After the 21 days, dissolve 150 grams of sugar in as little water as possible, and add it to your flavoured vodka.

That’s it.

I’ve put it in pretty little bottles as Christmas gifts too.

Or save it and enjoy yourself 🙂

 

 

Read Full Post »

Summer 2016 has been our third summer of hosting on AirBnB, and has, in fact, been quite different to previous years.

Our guests have typically been mainly from the USA, however, this year our guests were mostly European – mostly either German or English.

our home

We did have a chat with those US guests who did come to stay, about ‘why’ Americans weren’t travelling.  We thought it might be because of the election. However, they said that a lot of Americans are worried about terrorist attacks in Europe and this is why they are not travelling.  We haven’t had the chance to travel this year, but I do wonder do Irish people consider terrorist attacks when travelling in Europe?

Perhaps one of the most interesting conversations I had with guests was based around food!  Are you surprised?

The conversation is particularly pertinent when you read the results of a survey carried out by Failte Ireland:

Developed in partnership with Fáilte Ireland the newly published research examines the perceptions of over 2,500 travellers in ten countries including Ireland. The research also showed that food is now an essential part of the overall visitor experience with 93% of those surveyed reported participating in a food activity on a recent trip. This tells us that the pursuit of a unique and memorable experience is on the rise. While 66% of holidaymakers rated food as important in their overall experience of Ireland this increased to almost one in four (78%) amongst food travellers.

Well guys if food is ‘part of the overall experience’ we, as a nation, need to step up to the plate quite a bit to cater for vegetarians!  Yes, can you believe it, here I am living on a farm where we produce free range pork products and I am asking the Irish nation to improve their vegetarian offerings.

Our guests, a young German couple with their 4 year old son, spent a fortnight travelling around Ireland, staying in B&B’s and eating out.  (Yes, it does surprise us that vegetarians choose to stay with us.)  When I asked what was the vegetarian ‘choice’ like on their travels …. the answer….. soup, pasta or chips.

Come on folks, you can do better than this.

For dinner I made Parmigiana with our own aubergines which they totally enjoyed. My homemade granola and our own eggs for breakfast the next morning were also a big hit.  It was the first time they had been offered eggs for breakfast.

I don’t have a huge repertoire of vegetarian options…. but I can certainly do better than soup, pasta or chips!  I am sure others could to.

 

Read Full Post »

I’ve finally found a breakfast cereal that I like!

Not that easy when you have to avoid wheat.  On a side note I challenge you to check cereal boxes across all the brands to find one that does not contain wheat. Even cornflakes contain wheat….. seriously.

And yes, I can hear you all saying, but but but what about porridge!

Here’s the thing folks, I HATE PORRIDGE.  It has to be the most disgusting food of all times.  It is a major source of amusement with Alfie, that I actually make really delicious porridge for others, but won’t touch it myself.

Okay, that’s out of the way.

The only way for me to go was to start making my own breakfast cereal… I chose to make granola.

This recipe is as flexible as you want it to be with regard to what ‘dry goods’ you put in, but the coconut oil and honey are a staple in this house anyway.

I haven’t checked the ‘use by date’, it doesn’t really last that long as guests love it too, but I would say it lasts 2 or 3 weeks in an airtight tin.

Oldfarm Granola

Oldfarm Granola

Ingredients:

  • 300 gr Oatflakes
  • 50 gr Linseed
  • 50 gr. Sunflower and/or Pumpkin seeds
  • 20 gr. Sesame seeds
  • 50 gr. dried fruit – current batch has diced mango in it, but I’ve used cranberries, and sultanas too.
  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 40 gr. runny honey

Method:

Preheat oven to 150 deg. centigrade.

Line 2 x swiss roll tin with baking parchment.

Mix all dry ingredients together. Melt coconut oil and honey together, and pour over dry ingredients

Spread mix out on baking parchment.

Bake for 23 minutes.

Allow to cool and store in an airtight tin or jar.

This is how I had mine this morning 🙂

Oldfarm Granola with yoghurt and homegrown strawberries

Oldfarm Granola with yoghurt and homegrown strawberries

Enjoy!

 

 

Read Full Post »

I had a disaster in the kitchen the other day.  I had an abundance of eggs, and thought I’d make some ice-cream.  In fact, I had so many eggs I was going to make a double quantity batch of ice-cream.

I make this ice-cream so often and it has never ever gone wrong on me!  However, last week it decided it was time to defy me.

The damned egg whites and sugar would just not whip up.  You know those minutes you keep looking at the whisk and thinking it is going to work…. but then it doesn’t.  As I said I had a huge amount of eggs so I was able to crack another 8 egg whites and make my ice-cream successfully.

I was so angry about the eight egg whites and sugar mix, I couldn’t bring myself to throw them out immediately.

I wondered would the dogs eat it.  I’d bet they’d have loved it.

I knew the pigs would love it.

I held my decision making until the following day, and decided there must be something I could do with them.  And, yes, there was…. coconut macaroons and white angel chocolate chip cupcakes.

Coconut Macaroons and Angel Cupcakes

Coconut Macaroons and Angel Cupcakes

You have to visualise the process that I went through…. weighing the egg and sugar mixture, dividing by 8, scooping out the sticky mess and making sweet treats!!  Crazy or what?

The macaroons were a major hit.  In fact, if I’m truthful they were addictive and I will definitely have to try to make them again.  The cupcakes???  I didn’t like them so much, but others did and they were all eaten. 🙂

Have you had kitchen disasters?  How have you recovered?

 

 

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »