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  • Blue cheese and caramelised onion sliders coming up on tomorrow's #mittkök at 8.30am on TV4 in Sweden! Recipe on the blog... :)
  • Best day of the year so far! Stunning in Howth! Just finished the cliff walk! Have a great weekend guys! :) #howth #ireland
  • Gur Cake for Sean O'Rourke on Radio One! Will be on to chat about Theodora Fitzgibbon's The Pleasures of the table- out now...
  • The perfect Easter Sunday chocolate cake coming up in my youtube channel today! Subscribe over here:
  • Making Gur Cake this evening from Theodora Fitzgibbon for interview with Sean O'Rourke tomorrow morning on RTE Radio One...
  • Throwback Thursday! At the Meteor Music Awards 2009 with Industry! @michelemcgrath @morgandeane #tbt
  • Best part of today was trying to teach Max how to ride a scooter!!! He was loving it! :) #scootscoot
  • Got to see what the ladies have to go through to look extra pretty at the hands of my buddy the amazingly talented make up artist @makeupfairypro today! :)
  • Had a #nobakebaking filled day today filming a video for the launch of Sharon Hearne Smith's new cookbook out in June! Check out this crepe cake! :)
  • The new issue of my Irish food magazine @feastjournal is now out. Download our free app on iTunes or print copies available in Easons.
  • Our apple tree blossoms about to burst! :)
  • Playing ball with Max this evening! #maxthedog
  • Buffalo chicken from our youtube video shoot yesterday! Who's hungry? :)
  • Making beetroot hummus for the Irish Independent Weekend magazine this morning! My Easter Sunday recipes coming this weekend! :)
  • Morning run on the beach! Loving the weather! :) #howth #ireland
  • Forgot to share this shot from earlier- seagulls having a field day when fisherman turned his back to deliver fish to Nicky's Plaice on Howth pier this morning!
  • Incredible day today! Great sunrise and great sunset- Max having a ball! :)
  • Chocolate Hazelnut cake coming to my youtube channel this week! Isn't that right @m_dillon99! :)
  • Singapore noodles for lunch! :)
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Easter Sunday Lunch…

Wild Garlic Lamb_3     This year my Easter menu is a wonderful combination of exciting new tastes, vibrant Irish ingredients and rich and indulgent flavours.  When you are creating a celebration menu, I think it’s important to simplify the starters, my beetroot hummus with homemade flatbreads is perfect as it is easy to make ahead and if you prefer you can cheat by using shop bought flat breads.  Best of all it can be placed on the table as soon as guests arrive, making an informal starter, which they can dig in to. The taste of Irish lamb is something quite unique and we have plenty of inspiring farmers producing some of the highest quality meat including Achill Mountain Lamb, Connemara Hill Lamb and Ring of Kerry Quality Lamb whose cuts are all well worth sourcing. Donal Easter Profile_1 Although it has become traditional to eat lamb at Easter, it is a meat that can be best enjoyed in summer also.  For me Easter Sunday lunch is not complete without roast Irish lamb and this year I’m giving mine an Irish twist by using wild garlic, which can easily be found in Irish forests and woodland areas.  There are two varieties that grow in Ireland, one has tall leaves with a three cornered stem and the other grows lower to the ground with broad leaves, both are easily identifiable by their distinct garlic scent.  Treat them as you would a salad leaf, washing and drying before use. Continue reading >>

Recipe Video: Chocolate Hazelnut Cake…

Chocolate Hazelnut Mud Pie_1   I've been getting a great reaction to the recipe videos I've been posting on my youtube channel lately and it's a really buzzing food community.  If you haven't seen it yet make sure to head over and click subscribe to my page as you'll be the first to know when I upload a new video.  I've just posted up my latest recipe video for probably the best chocolate cake you will taste this Easter and best of all it's gluten free! It's incredibly easy to make and it makes a wonderfully dense and fudgy chocolate cake.  You can serve it warm from the oven but I love to finish it off with a glossy chocolate glaze and some toasted hazelnuts for a really great result.  Serve this up for your Easter feast this Sunday and there'll be clean plates all round!Continue reading >>

Irish Food Folk: Knockdrinna Cheese…

IMG_2109 I've had such a lovely reaction to the new issue of FEAST: A Dinner Journal.  The best part of shooting the magazine is learning more about Irish ingredients and the story behind them.  In our last issue I traveled to Kilkenny to shoot with Helen Finnegan who makes the ridiculously delicious Knockdrinna Cheese which provided the inspiration for the cheese souffles which featured as part of our cheese course.  You can read about her story below. IMG_1575 The world of good food production is as much a story of sharing as it is about business plans. Our ancient cheese making history was all but lost until people like Veronica Steel of Milleens came along and from that grew our world-class cheese industry. Helen Finnegan is one of the inheritors of this new tradition as well as an inspiration to part-time artisans wondering if it’s worth striking out into the foodie world full-time. IMG_2255 Helen began experimenting in her domestic kitchen back in 2004 and this first batch of cheese grew up to become her award winning Knockdrinna Farmhouse Cheese. But first she had to give up her job as a community enterprise officer and seek the help of friends. A guiding hand came from Edel Foley helping her source milk from a local goat farmer, amongst other things. With this first bounty of milk she created Knockdrinna Snow, a goats’ cheese camembert. Other friends helped out too including, Elizabeth Bradley, a Carlow cheese maker, who guided her through her first cheese making kit which Helen had bought from the internet.Continue reading >>

Grace&Saviour’s Top Table Setting Tips…

Campbell_Photography_Emma&Ashley_382 If you haven't come across Grace & Saviour's amazing work before you are in for a real treat! Specialising in event and wedding styling, Grace is a dab hand at setting a beautiful tablescape. Grace's fantastic designs were put to great use when she agreed to collaborate with the team on our latest FEAST: A Dinner Journal which is out now. You can pick up a copy in all Eason stores and speciality shops or download our free app to see her work in action. So when it comes to top tips for laying a special table, I asked Grace to fill us in on her secrets...And she's just in time for Easter!  Over to Grace... Campbell_Photography_Grace&Saviour-16 Goodness, when I sat down to write this I thought I would have 5 key tips, but as I thought over how I approach each project I realised I had so many things I consider when thinking of setting the perfect table. I do this on a scale for larger events and weddings, but much of the thought process also applies when welcoming guests to a meal in your home, to create a space that welcomes everyone into an environment that encourages conversation, relaxation and pure enjoyment of the food being served. 1.Use the room as a cue: Look around the room in which you will enjoy this meal, look at the style of the room, the colours on the walls, the view outside. There might be a lovely green detail in the tile on the wall that could be brought onto the table, or a large tree outside your window might encourage you to bring some of its foliage, flowers or fruit inside for a centrepiece. Campbell_Photography_Crom_Shoot-174Continue reading >>

Grandma’s Boy Is Coming…

Grandmas Boy Series_66   Although it was only a few months ago we wrapped on the final episode in Italy, my new series "Grandma's Boy" for FOX International and 24Kitchen is finally ready to air!  We filmed the pilot episode last June and then spent eight weeks from August onwards shooting in towns across the beautiful Italian countryside.  With a new Granny or Nonna to meet every three days, we had to have been the most well fed crew you could ever meet on the road!  Our small team of eight were treated to some of the best food and drink the Italians proudly offered up.  I'm so thrilled to show you the promo video for the show right here: We travelled to thirteen different Italian towns including, Capena, Matera, Irsina, Rieti, Polignano A Mare and Sant'Angelo in Colle and I got to try my hand at cheese making, truffle hunting, falconering, horse riding, snail hunting, lake fishing and pig wrangling.  It was truly a once in a lifetime opportunity and every family we met were so incredibly welcoming, which gave us a unique perspective on Italian life. Stuffed Gnocchi In every episode our chosen Nonna would cook me up her signature dish and then I would repay the favour with my take on a regional dish using local ingredients.  That was possibly the most nerve-wracking part of the whole process and our Italian Nonna's held no punches when giving me their opinion on my dishes!  Most of the grandmothers I cooked with had very little English and as I have very little Italian I learned the important words first, "Basta" (STOP!) and "Perfecto" (Perfect) and "Buon Profumo" (Beautiful Smell).  The rest was made up with smiles, hugs and lots of laughing!  The series will be airing on FOX International and 24Kitchen over the next few months and the confirmed dates and regions are as follows: Holland- 24kitchen in April Balkans- 24kitchen June 2014 Turkey- 24Kitchen June 2014 France- 24Kitchen May 6th, 2014 Hungary- FOX International 28th April I'll keep you posted with more dates and regions as they come in but until then check out the series intro video below and the recipe for my favourite dessert from the series, a rich and indulgent chocolate tiramisu. Continue to the recipe for Chocolate Tiramisu... Tiramisu_1Continue reading >>

Welcome to the Wild Atlantic Way…

IMG_0758 I am delighted to announce that the next issue of FEAST: A Dinner Journal is in the shops! If you missed my update you can read all about our amazing new contributors here! In this issue we explore the Wild Atlantic Way, a route that takes us along the whole west coast of Ireland from north to south and with it unfolds some of the most breath-taking scenery Ireland has to offer. mcdonagh_140122_5262 It’s this scenery which provides the provenance for the high quality ingredients and proud Irish food and craft producers that this issue highlights. I’m thrilled to see that not only can this winding way boast incredible landscapes but it also has the quality of ingredients to match them. From the north to the south, the west of Ireland has a lot to boast about, as we weave through the regions with ingredients and crafts like Donegal Tweed for our winter table setting, Burren Smoked Salmon for a creamy and warming seafood chowder, Lorge Chocolatier for chocolate dipped candied blood orange slices. IMG_0663 Even the seashore has delicacies to offer with dillisk from Irish Atlantic Sea Veg for our savoury wholemeal buttermilk soda bread. As a meal, this is a filling FEAST but each of these courses has recipes to provide separate meal ideas and recipes to inspire you to use some of Ireland's finest ingredients. This issue of FEAST will be available in all Eason stores and selected speciality shops around the country. Print copies of the new issue of FEAST: A Dinner Journal | Winter 2013-2014 are available in Easons throughout Ireland priced at €3.95. An annual subscription is also available and you can order your subscription here. You can purchase digital issues of FEAST: A Dinner Journal via our app available on iTunes and on Google Play for Android Devices. Or order a printed copies of our first two issues via MagCloud.

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Ballyvolane House Competition…

FEAST Ballyvolane House_23 You may have seen my Irish Food Food Folk post about Ballyvolane House this week. Ballyvolane truly is a hidden treasure and I am delighted to tell you that Justin, the owner of Ballyvolane House, has kindly offered me an amazing prize to give to one lucky reader! The winner will receive a one night stay including a four course dinner for two people! Having been to Ballyvolane myself, I have to say I am very jealous of this prize!  To be in with a chance to win, make sure you leave a comment below and I'll pick a winner next week! :) FEAST Ballyvolane House_26Continue reading >>

The Finishing School…

FinishingSchool_Spring_640w Last autumn Gill & Macmillan, in association with Le Cool, launched The Finishing School - a series of events pairing their food writers and other non-fiction authors. Aimed at people who are hungry to learn, the events proved a popular new addition to Dublin’s cultural scene. The Finishing School events draw from Gill & Macmillan’s eclectic group of authors who are ready to share their knowledge, life lessons, passion and ideas on a wide range of subjects from history to psychology, research to art, baking to craft. Lots of fun to be had! I am so excited to announce that on Tuesday 22 April at the Royal Society of Antiquaries on Merrion Square, I will be introducing the legendary food writer Theodora Fitzgibbon to the next generation of foodies. If you have been following me on twitter, facebook and instagram, you will already know that I recently selected and photographed Theodora’s best recipes for a new book, The Pleasures of the Table: Rediscovering Theodora Fitzgibbon, published by Gill & Macmillian. It's hitting the shelves next week and I can't wait for you all to see it! image001 If you are interested, you can come along on the night and sample some of Theodora’s recipes that I have selected, followed up with an interview with myself and Nicki Howard, the publisher at Gill & Macmillan. We will be looking back over Theodora’s exciting, bohemian life and at the changing cookbook and photography styles since Theodora first published cookbooks in the 1970s.Continue reading >>