Posts Tagged ‘WiseWords’

Huge thanks to Ron and Mona over at Wisewords for these two beautiful babies. 🙂

two muscovie ducks

The new Muscovies

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This week I thought I’d share with you some of the wonderful things Irish Chefs are doing with our Oldfarm freerange pork.

Irish freerange pork by Irish Chefs

Irish freerange pork by Irish Chefs

Thank you to the wonderful Irish Chefs – John at the Devil’s Menu, Barry  at Harte’s Bar & Grill, Sean at Seagrass Portobello and The Vintage Kitchen and Ron at WiseWords

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This recipe is such a part of our ‘regulars’ here in Redwood, that I never even considered sharing it with you!  That is until Dee from Greenside Up was over and we served this salad with pulled pork.  Dee loved it and asked if it was up on the blog…. and I realised it wasn’t.

And then when Mona and Ron from WiseWords were here…. they said the same…. share!

Talk about what’s right under your nose!  We would probably have this salad once or twice a month.  And I never thought of sharing.  Woops.  🙂

Rice Salad

It is perfect with so many things…. barbecued chicken, pork, ribs, duck…. anything at all.

It has been adapted from a very old series of cookery magazines I used to buy.


  • 2 oranges.
  • Vegetable stock – amount will be explained in a moment!
  • 8 oz basmati rice
  • Cinnamon Stick
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 1 pepper, sliced
  • 50 g/2 oz dried apricots
  • 50 g/2 oz toasted nuts – whatever your preference is.
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • Parlsey.


Peel one of the oranges and cut the strips into very fine shreds.  Squeeze the juice from both oranges and top up with vegetable stock to bring it to 500 ml/17 fl oz.

Put the rice, orange juice mixture and cinnamon stick into saucepan.  Bring to the boil.  Stir.  Then cover with a tight fitting lid and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes.  Remove from heat and leave to stand for about 10 minutes to absorb last of the liquid.

Stir in 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and keep warm.

Heat the remaining oil in a saucepan and fry off the cumin seeds, stirring frequently.  Add the orange shreds, carrots, pepper, apricots, nuts and salt/pepper.  Fry for 5 minutes.

Mix the rice and vegetables together and stir in the wine vinegar.

Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.



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Do you have this thing going on?  You read a recipe, or mark one and say “I must try that”….. then time passes, days, months, years even and you still haven’t tried it?

Well that’s the way it was with me and this recipe.  Having heard/read about it, probably 4 years ago, I finally got around to doing it last week!!!!

When we get a chicken here – be it one of our own, or a bought in free-range one – generally speaking we portion it out and freeze what we aren’t going to use immediately.  So it was that last week I found 2 or 3 packs of chicken wings in the freezer – they too had probably be lurking about for a while!

We had the buttermilk and I grabbed the opportunity to try the recipe.  So far, so good!

Aha! Not so!

I check the recipes.  I knew Mona and The Chef over at WiseWords had a buttermilk chicken recipe in their book (have you got that book yet? You should!).  Checked out the recipe…. it called for flour (we were all out), and deep frying (I don’t have one)!

It was a day when Alfie was away with the car.  I am home alone, ‘carless’ in Redwood, nearest shop 4 miles away.

Did the ‘google’ thing to come up with some other ideas, and here’s how I adapted the Buttermilk Chicken dish.

Buttermilk Chicken with oatmeal coating


  • 6 x chicken wings
  • Half litre of Buttermilk
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • Salt & Black Pepper
  • 4 oz  Jumbo Oat flakes
  • 4 oz  Pure Gram flour
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds


Place chicken wings (or whatever portions you are using) in a shallow tray.  Sprinkle with salt, pepper and brown sugar.  Cover with buttermilk.  Leave to soak overnight.

Next day line a baking tray with some parchment paper or tinfoil.  Place a cooling rack on top of baking tray.

Mix your flour, oatflakes and cumin seeds together and dip each piece of chicken into mix to coat.  Place your coated chicken pieces on top of wire rack and leave to stand for about an hour.  (This gives them a chance to dry out a bit.)

When you are ready to cook your chicken pieces, heat your oven to 180 deg.  Place the chicken pieces (still on the wire rack) into oven and cook – the chicken wings took about 30 minutes.  Obviously bigger pieces will take longer.

The oatmeal gives a really crunchy coating to the lovely succulent chicken underneath!

Enjoy 🙂

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A post earlier in the week by Clare over at An American in Ireland set me thinking.  Clare was commenting on how the food blogging community in Ireland has blossomed over the past 3 years.  There have been so so many achievements by so many.  And how true that is.  However, it also struck me how bad we, Irish, are at praising each other.

We need to learn from our American cousins!

So here is my tribute to the Irish blogging scene.

As I wrote recently this blog was three years old on 14th October and we had a very happy birthday present indeed, nothing could beat winning the Best Lifestyle Blog Award!   Over the last three years I’ve met some lovely people via the blog, twitter and facebook…. some of whom have become what I reckon will be lifelong friends.  There really are some great people involved in the Irish blogging scene.

I volunteered to help collate the nominations in the recent Blog Awards Ireland.  Not too tasking a job really, just putting nominations into a spreadsheet…. but….. when you’re over a third of the way through and something happens to the memory stick and you loose everything you’ve entered!  Well there were rude words and lots of frustrated curses at the computer.   So it was back to the start!

And this is where those lovely blogging people came to my aid!  Thank you to Wendy over at My Chef At Home who had finished her entries so she came to my assistance, and between Wendy and help from my neighbour I got the list finished in time for the deadline.

However, I have to tell you one of the biggest distractions when collating all those blogs was having to have the discipline not to go and have a sneak look see.

Gosh, there are some brilliant blogs!  I want to share with you some great blogs I’ve come across.  Some are new to me and some I’ve been following for a while.  Some bloggers I’ve met, others I am looking forward to meeting someday.

We are a land of dreamers, writers and beautiful imagery…. most definitely a nation of Saints & Scholars!

The view from Cork Screw Hill

The view from Cork Screw Hill

For photography that will make you so hungry just looking at the images, it is no wonder they are regularly featured on the big food photography site Foodgawker.  Check out these three ladies… how they produce such amazing photos, considering that they lead busy lives with small children about!

Well done ladies…. I envy your patience to style the photographs so beautifully!

This next blog, is just truly stunning photographs of nature.  I am so envious of the photographs.  What beautiful imagery of this lovely country of ours.

For adventures in gardening and a great sharing of knowledge.  I am enjoying the fun, the recipes, and the learning with all these gardeners – some of whom I have never met.

I have been known to have the occasional rant here on this blog, so it is good to know there are others out there who like to rant too!  So here I’ll share with you a lady and gentleman who like to tell it like it is!

  • Maggie at Food Born & Bred writes so well about the way our food has, and is, evolving.
  • The curmudgeon over at Head Rambles…. who does his best to hide his soft side 🙂

So saving the best til last well done to all these ladies who have achieved so much.  You should all be so proud!

  • Colette at Cakes, Bakes and Other Bits… who got not 1 but 2 recipes printed in A Modern Irish Cookbook by Goodalls
  • Lily at A Mexican Cook in Ireland who this year has taken a stall at the Honest2Goodness market and is selling Mexican
    food on line! No excuses!
  • Lisa over at Nenagh Gal, who has just launched the most amazing on-line Isle Magazine
  • Lorna, Irish Farmerette, who despite being one of the busiest people I know, joined forces with two other great ladies and organised the Irish Blog Awards this year!
  • Mona (and Ron, aka The Chef) of WiseWords what with running a busy household, study, work and this year launched their book ‘The Chef & I’
  • Sharon of FoodFancies who despite all the talk of doom and gloom and recession – has gone for her dream and opened her own cafe

This is just a little snippet of the Irish blog scene.

I could keep going on here forever.  If I’ve missed you out, please don’t be insulted.

However, if you’d like to spread some lurve … why not tell us all about your favourite Irish blogs?

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And the winner is..

Paula over at Vanilla Bean Baker is the lucky winner of a copy of The Chef & I.  You are so going to enjoy the read and the recipes!

Cover of The Chef & I

Thank you to Mono over at Wisewords for donating the book for our giveaway.

Thank you also to each and everyone of you who left comments and read the interview.  It is a pity everyone couldn’t be a winner!

We enjoyed doing a giveaway so much…. we may even do another…. watch this space!


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Well the book has been launched!

I will probably never ever post a photograph of myself again… but here are Mona Wise and I at the launch of her first book, The Chef and I, last night.  And thanks to Colette over at Cakes, Bakes and other bits for taking the photo!

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The past few weeks have been hectic… all in a good way.  We’ve been cooking, doing deliveries, been interviewed and photographed, and doing all the other routine daily stuff which makes the time just fly by.  And it looks like the coming weeks of May are going to be equally as busy.  So we definitely cannot complain.

The hectic spell started with Alfie doing a big cook-off in Portroe Diving Centre.  They had a major Dive Equipment trial day.  A great opportunity for divers to come along and try out some of the amazing equipment that was available to try for free.  However, neither of us were diving…. we were on the food drill.

We had a lovely surprise while we were down at Portroe as some of our old crew from the diving school days in Dublin, decided to make a day trip down to catch up with us when they heard we were doing the cooking!  Thanks guys – it was so lovely to catch up and have the same old laughs! 🙂

Someday I will write about our lives running a diving school in Dublin.

Portroe Dive Centre

The weather was wonderful.  A bit cold.  But clear blue skies and sunshine.  Have you ever been to Portroe quarry?  I think it is such a beautiful spot.  Bleak, stark but beautiful all the same.  Every time I go there I think what a beautiful space for art or photography workshops – the light is amazing.

The Coastguard Helicopter

We’d originally thought of doing a spit roast, but then Alfie thought he’d have a great range of ‘tasters’ for his burgers!  So burgers it was!  Alfie has been working on various burger recipes for some time.  We’d had some food bloggers here last year to try out two types, but I think this time round he has nailed the recipe!

The burgers got a big thumbs up from a bunch of hungry divers in April, and last Saturday they were put to further test!!!

For months we had been trying to find a good date for Mona & The Chef (with kids) to come visit, and finally last Saturday suited everyone.

Thankfully, once again the day was dry and there was some sunshine.  Again no warmth though! Are we ever going to get Summer?

The Wise family arrived…. the kids were delighted to meet the new stripey baby pigs.  They helped Alfie feed all the pigs (and even sneaked a few extra bits to the pigs too!)   The pigs were never as well fed as they were on Saturday last!  Hand-picked nice bits from the magic trailer, hand delivered to each pig!  You should have seen the state of the clothes going home!  Hope we’ll be forgiven! 🙂

Baby stripey pigs

The dogs have new friends for life!

Harry, Jack and Winnie

Alfie once again cooked his burgers…. which received the following comments….

Jack (7):  “Dad’s are best”   Diplomat in the making here.

Simone (10) “Just the best burgers ever’    A charmer!

Louise (6)   “There as nice as Dad’s”  The peacemaker!

Rory (8)     No comment.  The lawyer!

Alfie's pure Irish Pork Burger

And the recipe:

  • 1 lb pork mince  (20% fat content)
  • 30 grams breadcrumbs
  • 1 med. onion sliced, and softened.
  • 1 med. egg beaten
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds – crushed
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp chilli flakes – crushed
  • 1/4 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp lard (optional)


Mix all the ingredients together.  At this stage you can either divide and shape your burgers, or leave the mix in a bowl.  Either way leave to refrigerate overnight to allow flavours to infuse.

If you decide to leave the mix to refrigerate overnight and make your burgers the next morning, you can place in the freezer for an hour or two, so they hold their shape better.

And while the boys did the barbecuing, the girls all got involved in making salad!

Mona & I making salad

Serve up with a colourful salad!

Colourful salad

Thank you to Mona for some of the wonderful photos!

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The past few weeks have been so so hectic here.  And you know when you stop to think what have I been doing?  And you can’t figure out what has kept you so busy?  It’s been that kind of time.

Separate posts will come along eventually about what we have been up to… but these busy times have been interspersed with lovely visits and treats from friends.  Which, of course, makes it all worthwhile!

Thank you guys…. you are appreciated! 🙂

My brother and his family brought us this..

Confit de Canard

Confit de Canard from my brother

Lily and Alan from My Mexican Shop brought us these…..

Tortillas, chocolate, and salsa

A selection of lovely treats from My Mexican Shop

Colette and John brought us this delicious honey….

Lannliere Honey

Delicious honey from John & Colette

Some food for the soul from Lisa and her parents…

A bouquet of lilac

A beautiful bouquet o fresh lilac

Some home-made mustard and jam from Alfie’s aunt and cousin…

Sundried tomato mustard and rhubarb jam

Sundried tomato mustard and rhubarb jam

David for cookandhisdogeatireland sent Alfie home with these

Garden Kitchen Mustard & Broighter Gold Rapeseed Oil

Garden Kitchen Mustard & Broighter Gold Rapeseed Oil

And yesterday when Mona & The Chef (with kids) were here, they brought us these….

Fresh Yeast and Mexican Wedding Cookies

Fresh Yeast and Mexican Wedding Cookies

So we have such a variety of lovely things in our pantry!

Thank you one and all!

What’s not to love about getting presents????

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It has become a reality!  It is on the presses!  The book will be ready to be in your hands in the next few weeks!  It is all so exciting!

The Chef & I on the print presses

But why, you ask, am I showing you a photo of The Chef & I…. well the timing could not be worse.  WiseWords.ie has been hacked! I can’t even offer you a link to it.

So to help our dear friends, Mona & The Chef, my Friday Foto is of their book on the presses.  Isn’t it totally amazing!


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