Donal Skehan
My instagram
  • Double baked eggs with sausages, bacon, tomato and brown bread at @hatchandsons this morning! :)
  • My Irish inspired festive treats from @image_interiors on the blog! Recipes for cocktails, caramels, canapés and simple desserts using Irish ingredients plus this epic cake from @wildflourkate! Check it out! :)
  • Swim time! #maxthedog
  • Max feeling braver than me this morning! In for a swim to rescue his ball! #maxthedog
  • Did you spot #JuniorMasterChef on BBC Two this morning? It was all about chocolate- if you're still craving some check out my chocolate ginger truffle recipe on the blog- they make for great edible gifts! :)
  • Oh hello old friend! #ireland #howth
  • Good morning sunshine! #howth #ireland #maxthedog
  • Also am now obsessed with Raw Cacoa Nib Toffee- creamy, sweet, crunchy and bloomin delish! @susanjanekitchen has me completely converted! Very persuasive lady! :)
  • Beautiful little buckwheat pancakes from @thehappypearfood dudes early! So delicious! :)
  • Just made the healthiest pancakes in the world with these two nutters @thehappypearfood- Coming to youtube very soon! :)
  • Learning all things healthy & nutritious from the very glamorous and inspirational @SusanJaneKitchen! Coming to my youtube channel very soon! :)
  • I know what I'll be baking with this Christmas! Very cool! Thanks @NielsenMasseyUK! :)
  • Not a fan of Xmas cake? Try my Sticky Toffee Figgy Pudding as a great festive alternative! #Recipeoftheday
  • Hurtling down Sweden's west coast by train on the way to Copenhagen and then home to Dublin for Christmas this evening! Hej då Sverige! Vi ses snart x
  • Love love loving this brilliant new book from @linda_lomelino! One of the most beautiful cookbooks this year with wonderful advice for food photography...
  • Coffee and a cardamom bun in Göteborg this morning! #sweden #göteborg
  • Artilleriet- the coolest interiors shop in #Gothenburg... #sweden
  • Had a brilliant lunch at Lagerhuset in Gothenburg today- simple Swedish food - meat and fish, great greens, and simple salads served up in cool retro TV dinner lunch trays! #sweden
  • Aussie presents from the brill @mycupcakeaddiction! Elise has given specific instructions on how to loose my Tim Tam virginity and sent on a copy of the cookbook that I chose every birthday cake I had growing up from! So cool! Thanks Elise! :)
  • Christmas shopping in Gothenburg! #sweden
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Avocado, Parmesan and Rocket Pasta

As I may or may not have mentioned I am addicted to avocados! They are packed with healthy nutrients and vitamins so all the more reason to eat them. I have been coming up with different recipes just to stick them in to my diet and this is one of my favourites. Look for avocados which are slightly soft to the touch when you press them with your fingers. The only thing to remember about avocados is that, unless you give them a spritz of lemon juice they tend not to like sitting around, so always prepare them last.

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Peanut Butter Snicker Squares

This snickers recipe makes delicious squares which are miles better and totally different than the commercial bars you can buy in the shops, way more chewy, crunchy and chocolatey and totally worth it! We used 100g of white chocolate and 100g of milk chocolate when we made these and swirled the two together to get a super marbled effect to make our squares a little unique.

Makes about 20 squares
200g of smooth peanut butter
100g of caster sugar
200ml of golden syrup
100g Special K flakes
100g coconut flakes
1 teaspoon vanilla sugar
200g of chocolate

Place the chocolate in a bowl over a small simmering saucepan of water and allow to melt gently. In another saucepan, over a gentle heat, melt together the peanut butter, sugar, and golden syrup until runny and smooth.

In a large mixing bowl, toss the Special K flakes, flaked coconut, and vanilla sugar until combined. Pour the peanut butter mixture over the dry ingredients and using a wooden spoon stir until everything is nicely combined. Turn the mixture out into a 2 inch deep baking dish and spread out evenly pressing down with the back of the spoon.Pour over the melted chocolate and place in the fridge for a few hours until firm.

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Donna Hay’s Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies

Personally I think these cookies taste even better a day or two after you make them. The intense dark chocolate flavour mellows out a bit and makes a really moist cookie. You can also make these without the candy cane chunks which aren’t essential. Chopping the candy canes is fairly easy though so don’t worry, just use a sharp knife.

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Yummy White Hot Chocolate

This is a perfect little Christmas pick me up to keep you warm during all the baking and decorating you’ll be doing in the next few days! If you want a really frothy mixture, pop the warm mix into an empty milk carton, pop on the lid and give it a good hard shake!

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Mini Mince Pies

Mince pies are a traditionally British festive sweet pastry which are very delicious. They are pretty popular here in Ireland but I’m not sure if they are seen in many other countries across the world, maybe you can tell me! The “mince meat” consists of apples, raisins, sultanas, currants, mixed peel and a mix of Christmas spices, so as you can see there is no real meat involved!

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Christmas Mince Pie Star Slices

These mince pie slices are a wonderful alternative to the traditional mince pie. Use your own mince meat recipe here if you have one, if not most supermarkets stock handy jars of the stuff!

Serves 4-6
For the pastry:
170g flour
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
100g cold butter, cut into small chunks
1 tablespoon of caster sugar
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons of water

For the filling:
420g jar of mince meat
1 large cooking apple, peeled and cored
A sprinkle of brown sugar

Place the flour and cinnamon in a mixing bowl.

Add the butter and rub in using your finger tips until you have a rough breadcrumb like mixture. Don’t worry it will come together!

Add the sugar and the egg yolk and mix through with a spoon.

Add the water slowly until a dough comes together.

Form a ball with your hands, cover in cling film and place in the fridge to chill for at least 10 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 200oC/Gas Mark 6.

Chop the apple into small rough slices and combine in a bowl with the mince meat.

Roll the pastry dough out to about half a centimetre in thickness and line a fluted tart tin with it. Make sure to cut out little stars from the pastry to decorate with later!

Prick the base with a fork and fill with baking paper and ceramic baking beans. Place in the oven and blind bake for 10 minutes, remove the paper and beans and bake for a further 5 minutes.

Fill the pastry base with the apple and mincemeat mixture and top with the pastry stars and a sprinkle of brown sugar.

Bake in the oven for approximately 15 minutes or until the pastry turns golden brown.

Serve cut into slices with a drizzle of cream!

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Christmas Cupcake Recipe

These cool Christmas cupcakes knock the socks of Christmas pudding any day! This recipe also works super for normal cupcakes too!

Makes approximately 8 cupcakes.
175g of self raising flour
110g of caster sugar
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder
110g of soft margarine or butter
2 large eggs
50ml of water/milk

To decorate:
Ready to roll icing
6 heaped tablespoons of icing sugar
1-2 teaspoons of water
Red and Green Food Colouring
A holly leaf cookie cutter

Preheat the oven to 180˚C and line a cupcake tray with paper cases.

In a large bowl combine all the dry ingredients.  Make a well in the center of the bowl and break in the 2 eggs and add the butter in small pieces.  Using an electric hand mixer beat all the ingredients together until combined.  Add in half the milk/water and beat again until combined.  You are looking for the batter to be light and creamy.  Add the rest of the liquid if you need it- you may not.

Divide the batter evenly into the paper cases and place in an oven for 15-20 minutes or until firm and light brown on top.

Allow to cool on a wire rack before applying the frosting.

Combine the icing sugar and water until you get a thick icing, you may need to add more sugar or water depending if it’s too thick or too thin!  Spoon a little amount on the top of each cupcakes and allow to set while you get on with the holly and berries!  Make sure to leave a little aside to attach the rest of the decorations.

Knead a small amount of the green food colouring into a little of the ready to roll icing until you get a nicely coloured dough.  Repeat this with the red food colouring.  Roll out the green icing and with a holly cookie cutter cut out two leaves for each cupcake.  Dusting the worksurface with icing sugar will prevent any sticking.  With the red icing dough, roll out little balls.  With a spoon add a little dollop of the icing to the bottom of the holly and the berries and place on top of the cupcakes.

Allow the icing to set before eating, if you can wait that long!

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Hungarian Goulash

I’m not sure how authentically Hungarian this goulash is but it’s the recipe we always cooked from and it always goes down well in my house! It’s another great recipe to make ahead and pop in the freezer for a quick and easy dinner.

Serves 4
700g of steak pieces
2 large onions, chopped
1 clove of garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 generous tablespoon of flour
1 generous tablespoon of Hungarian paprika
400g tin of chopped tomatoes
A good pinch of sea salt and black pepper
A little sour cream to serve

Preheat the oven to 140oC/Gas Mark 1.

Heat the oil in a large casserole pot and brown the beef on all sides.  Make sure not to put too much beef in all at once as it won’t brown.

Transfer the meat to a plate and set aside.

Add the onions and garlic to the pot and fry until soft and golden.

Return the beef to the pot and stir in the paprika and flour to coat.

Add the tomatoes, salt and pepper and bring to a steady simmer.

Place the lid on the casserole pot and transfer to the oven to cook for about 2 hours.

Just before serving stir through a little sour cream to create a wonderful marbled effect!

Serve with some freshly cooked brown rice and some steamed veggies.

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Mom’s Coq Au Vin Blanc!

CoqAuVinBlanc

Coq au Vin Blanc was a regular winter dish in my house when we were growing up. I have distinct memories of it steaming up the kitchen windows while we did our homework on the kitchen table. It’s a wonderfully warming meal, perfect for cold evenings. Chicken joints such as thighs and legs are often far cheaper to buy than chicken breasts, and meat cooked on the bone always seems to have more flavour.

Serves 4
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 chicken legs
15g (oz) butter
150g (5oz) bacon or pancetta pieces
2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
200g (7oz) mushrooms (about 10–15 mushrooms), sliced into quarters
2 fresh thyme sprigs
450ml (16fl oz) white wine (about 2 glasses)
250ml (9fl oz) single cream
Good handful of freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley
Sea salt and ground black pepper

Place a large cooking pot over a high heat and add the olive oil. Put the chicken legs in the pot and brown on all sides until they are a golden colour. Remove and set aside on a plate.
Reduce the heat slightly and add the butter. When it begins to foam, add the bacon and fry until just crisp. Add the garlic and onion and fry for 3–4 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook for a further 3 minutes.
Return the chicken to the pot along with the thyme and pour in the white wine. Bring to the boil and simmer over a low heat for 45–50 minutes or until the chicken is cooked all the way through. Turn the legs halfway through the cooking time and remove any fat or scum that rises to the top.
When the chicken is cooked, remove from the pot and set aside. Stir the cream into the juices, add a good pinch of sea salt and black pepper and simmer for a further 10 minutes or until the sauce is has become a little thicker.
Place the chicken back in the pot to allow it to warm through and stir through the chopped parsley. Make sure the food is hot when you serve it at the table.

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Visit To A Swedish Bakery!

swedishbakery11

During my visit to Sweden a few weeks ago, I got the opportunity to visit a Swedish bakery! As it so happened it turned out to be the same bakery which supplied the desserts for the restaurant I used to work at when I lived in Sweden.

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Chicken Thigh Supper

This is a super dish for a big group of people, served with a tasty salad; it’s perfect for weekday entertaining. If you can’t get a hold of chicken thighs, you can use any other cuts as long as they’re on the bone. This gives the meat a really great flavour.

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Crispy Hasselback Potatoes

I came across the recipe for Hasselback potatoes when I was younger and they are so visually appealing that I had to make them. The traditional recipe, originally from Stockholm, calls for breadcrumbs and cheese, but I have tried to make it as simple as possible for this recipe. The potatoes go nicely alongside most dishes. If your potato slices don’t separate while cooking, increase your heat and you should get better results.

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