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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: http://www.youtube.com/donalskehan
  • 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! :)
  • CHOCOLATE!!!
  • Singapore noodles for lunch! :)
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Cheats’ Picnic Pork Pies!

These pies can be served with salad or coleslaw and a pint of cider, for a hearty lunch. These pies will keep for several days in the fridge, so make a larger batch and stock up. Makes 12 individual pies 100g of pancetta or streaky bacon 1 onion, finely chopped 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped A small handful of parsley, finely chopped 6 sage leaves, finely chopped 450g of sausage meat A generous pinch of sea salt and ground black pepper 2 sheets of ready to roll shortcrust pastry 1 egg, beaten to glaze   Preheat the oven to 200oC/gas mark 6. In a large frying pan, over a high heat dry fry the pancetta until it is crisp and golden.   Remove and pop in a bowl, leaving the oil from the pancetta in the frying pan.   Add in the onion and garlic and fry until soft and golden. Add to the bowl along with the herbs and sausage meat.   Season with salt and pepper.   Cut out 12 circular discs, from the pastry, to fit in a cup cake tray and then 12 smaller discs for the lid.   Press the larger pastry circles into the greased and floured tray and fill each pie with the pork mixture.   Top with the small discs and press them together with a fork.   Brush the tops with beaten egg and place in the oven, cooking for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.    

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Back Home and Pressed Picnic Sambo!

We got in the door from the airport last night and after a quick garden inspection, despite all the weeds and a few plants gone to seed the majority of my veggie garden is looking good! The pumpkin plants have doubled in size and have tiny tiny little pumpkins already showing!  I was worried I was going to miss the best of the peas I had planted months ago, but they are ready to pick with nice bulging pods! :)

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Pressed Picnic Sandwich

The pressed nature of this sandwich allows the flavours to permeate through all its layers. For a milder flavour, try using mozzarella instead of goats’ cheese.  Also feel free to experiment with extra ingredients and feel free to add your own touches!   Makes 1 Giant Sambo 1 foot long ciabatta loaf, sliced in half lengthways 3 tablespoons of olive oil 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard A generous handful of baby spinach 10 marinated artichoke hearts A small handful of sundried tomatoes 8 slices of proscuitto A good handful of basil, finely chopped 100g of goats’ cheese 1⁄2 red onion, very finely sliced Salt and pepper to season   Preheat the oven to 200oC/gas mark 6. Place the ciabatta loaf, crust side down on a large baking tray and drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt.   Pop in the oven for a few minutes until just golden and toasted.   In a bowl whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic and mustard.   Remove the toasted ciabatta halves from the tin and drizzle the base slice with a little of the dressing.   Arrange layers of the rest of the ingredients, baby spinach, artichoke hearts, sundried tomatoes, proscuitto, basil, goats’ cheese and red onion.   Drizzle over the rest of the dressing, season with sea salt and ground black pepper and pop the top slice of ciabatta on and press down.   Wrap in parchment paper and pop into the fridge, pressed down with another baking tray filled with heavy tins, overnight or until you are ready to serve.   Serve in nice hearty slices for the perfect picnic snack.  

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It’s Picnic Week!

It's picnic week on the blog this week with recipes from my recent Food and Wine shoot.  We had lots of fun last month cooking through the recipes for the spread and were left with lots of great picnic inspired food to eat our way through afterwards.  The true beauty of a good picnic is that everything is prepared in advance meaning so that by the time it comes  to eating all you have to worry about is sitting back and tucking in.  With that in mind hopefully I can arm you with a pile of great pre-prepped recipes that won't keep you in the kitchen for too long and you'll be out enjoying the summer before you know it!

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Mini Blueberry Tarts

A quick, easy recipe that the kids can help make, and eat.  A batch of these mini treats makes a great gift for friends and family. Makes 12 2 sheets of ready to roll shortcrust pastry 500g of blueberries Zest and juice of one lemon 150g of caster sugar 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract 3 tablespoons of cornflour 1 egg, beaten to glaze Whipped cream, to serve Preheat the oven to 200oC/gas mark 6.   Cut out 12 circles of pastry to fit a cupcake tray and then press them in each little hole. Prick with a fork on the base and pop in the oven for 10-15 minutes.   While the pastry blind bakes in the oven, pop the blueberries, lemon juice and zest, sugar and vanilla extract in a small saucepan over a medium high heat and stir until the sugar dissolves.   Mix the cornflour with a drop of water and pour into the saucepan.   Simmer for five minutes or until you are left with a thick mix.   Remove the cupcake tray from the oven and add a spoonful of the blueberry mix into each little pastry case.   Bake in the oven for 15 minutes.   Serve with a little whipped cream with a drop of vanilla extract mixed through.  

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BBQ Strawberry, Dark Chocolate and Marshmallow Parcels!

This is total free style BBQ dessert using ingredients I had to hand. You can adapt this with white chocolate and fresh berries for another tasty option. Or for a hard core retro taste try wrapping up bananas with a little smooth peanut butter and marshmallows!   Serves 4 250g of strawberries, sliced in half 200g of dark chocolate 200g of mini marshmallows A little vanilla ice cream to serve Tin foil Cut four 30cm x 30cm squares of tin foil and arrange the strawberries, chocolate and marshmallows in the center of each square.   Join the edges and scrunch up so you have a nicely sealed parcel.   Place on a hot BBQ for about 10 minutes until the chocolate and marshmallows are melted.   Serve straightaway with a dollop of ice-cream on top.  

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Corn On The Cob That Bursts Into Flames? Yes Please!

Meat is the obvious choice for a barbecue, but there are lots of other options for non meat eaters, the BBQ sweet potato and halloumi salad is a perfect example, but I always like to make sure my accompaniments are exciting too. A few nights ago we had a beautiful dinner of balsamic chicken thighs with a tomato and feta salad, and some BBQ Corn on the cob. The recipe here will change the way you eat corn forever! To be honest it's the only way corn should ever be eaten.  Just slathered with a little bit of butter, garlic and parsley is a nice easy option but you can totally go one step further and roll the hot corn on the cob in grated Parmesan cheese with a little chopped chilli or with a little bit of lime and basil butter.

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Easy BBQ Corn On The Cob!

Possibly THE best way to eat corn! Soaking the husks in water allows the corn inside to cook and steam before you pull back the husks and allow them to catch on fire, giving them that authentic smokey taste. Slathering it with a little garlic  butter will finish it perfectly...   Serves 4 4 corn on the cob, husks on 3 tablespoons of butter 1 clove of garlic, minced A handful of freshly chopped parsley Sea salt and ground black pepper   In a bowl, mix together the butter, garlic and parsley and set aside. Soak the corn in a bucket of cold water for about 2 hours.   Light the barbecue and allow the coals about 45 mins to an hour before starting to cook over them.   Cook whatever meat you have in the centre of the grill and then place the corn around the edges of the BBQ. Cover and cook the corn on the edges for about 20-25 minutes, turning half way through.   The husks should be slightly charred and dry. When the husks are dry, using a metal tongs, pull back the husks so they stand upright and the corn is exposed.   Place in the middle of the grill and allow the husk to catch fire and disintegrate.   Remove from the barbecue and pull away any remaining husks. Spread with herby garlic butter and season with sea salt and black pepper. Dig in straight away!

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Pizza? On The BBQ? Are You Avin’ A Giraffe?!

I have been dying to cook pizza on the BBQ for ages and I finally plucked up the courage to make it happen a few weeks ago.  After a lot of research on the matter, the choices boiled down to two major options, one to cook it directly on the grill which had it's hazards, and then choice I went with which was to buy a pizza stone.  The decision was made easy when I spotted a cute little stone for about 15 euro on sale in a hardware shop.  The beauty of cooking on the stone is that you get left with a fantastic crispy and chewy base.  You pop the stone on BBQ for about 45 minutes ahead of cooking and then when it's nice and hot, you slap on the pizza base and assemble the pizza toppings.  In about 6-8 minutes you are left with one of the most delicious pizzas you will ever make at home.

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Thin-Crust Barbecue Pizza

This recipe creates a wonderfully thin, crisp yet chewy dough, which ticks all the boxes for me. I make my pizzas on the barbecue on a pizza stone, which you can pick up quite cheaply these days. The idea is to get the stone really hot and assemble your pizza on top.

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Pushing Grannies and BBQ Sweet Potato and Halloumi Salad

There are few things that get me more excited than finding cool vintage props for food photography and Sweden really is a great place to pick up interesting items.  They just seem to have a better way of looking after there old junk! Correct me if I'm wrong but I think the Irish ideology is that if it's broken or old, a skip is ordered and it all gets fecked in, with the thought that out of sight is out of mind and that's a few more less things to worry about.  The one thing the Swedes have down to a tee, is a fantastic ethos of recycling and which includes rubbish, old pieces of furniture, clothes, and most importantly for me kitchenalia.

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Swedish Summer and Boozy Bum Chicken…

It's been a little quiet on the blogging front for the last few days, but I have good reason! After a couple of crazy months, I can well and truly say I have switched my mind to the standby position.  We're spending some time in Gothenburg soaking up some Swedish sunshine and inspiration before work starts on the new book when I'm back.  It's given me a bit of time to work through the notebooks full of recipe ideas I've been writing over the last year and over the weekend I managed to whittle it down to a really solid list of tasty recipes.  The whole book writing process has always been a learning process and I think now I have a really good idea about how I want to write the next one.  In lots of ways there is a detachment between writing the recipes, testing the recipes, and shooting the photography for the recipes and so for this next book I want to combine all three and really give a sense of real life cooking as I work through the production process.  I'm planning on cooking and shooting everything chez moi, so the next few months I'm sure our kitchen is going to look like a bomb hit it! :)

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