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  • I've been over @drinkstube in London making up a brew of very refreshing and zingy Ginger Beer! Head over and check it out! :)
  • Yeehaw @jamiesfoodtube has just hit the big 1 million subscribers! So proud to be part of the #foodtube family! Congrats @jamieoliver! :)
  • Max couldn't get enough of the water this morning! Half the beach is now in our hall! :) #maxthedog #howth #ireland
  • Having just spent the whole morning here! Such a beautiful day out there- great sunshine! Happy Sunday folks! :) #howth #ireland
  • Nutella cheesecake squares! New recipe video on my youtube channel feat. Romina from @thechiappas! Head over and subscribe! :)
  • Called in to my grandparents this morning- Caught my granny in the middle of making Irish soda bread...
  • Mega fudge chocolate cupcake kinda day? Tag a friend who would like one! :)
  • My ice bucket challenge! Check out the full video on youtube! :) DONATE by texting MND to 50300 x
  • What a morning out there! Nearly the WEEKEND! Woohoo- have a great day everyone! :) #ireland #howth
  • Horrible day out there but guess doesn't care! WALK! :) #maxthedog
  • Have seriously missed hanging out with this little fella! So good to be back home! :) #maxthedog
  • My favourite recipe from filming today: these tasty Thai Fishcakes- incredibly easy to make and bloomin delish to boot! :) #thailand #streetfood #love
  • Beer batter fish and crispy hasselback potatoes on set today! Coming to my youtube channel soon- hands up who wants some! :)
  • Gone fishing... #howth #ireland
  • Properly epic morning out there! Happy weekend folks! :) #ireland #howth
  • Tandoori chicken using bloody brilliant spices from @greensaffron served with aged basmati rice! Loving being back in my kitchen! :)
  • Oh boy! It is good to be home! #ireland #howth #love
  • Beer and candied bacon cookies! Sounds a bit mad but so delicious! :) #bacon #cookies
  • Spent the afternoon cooking in @jamieoliver's kitchen with Jonny from the Craft @beerchannel! Don't worry Jamie we didn't make too much mess! :)
  • I am in cheesecake heaven! Check out @eric_lanlard's epic red velvet cheesecake! :) #love
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Back Of The Pack Retro Recipes and Pumpkin Pie

It’s another pumpkin recipe this week, but while last week’s was a savoury offering, this week’s is all about sweetness and the kitsch factor! I love collecting old recipes and one of my absolute favourite cookbooks is one I robbed from my aunt, a compilation of recipes from the backs of American packets and tins. Half the book is made up of recipes that would make the Masterchef inside you cry a little, but hidden amongst them are true gems which are not to be sniffed at.

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Ginger and Cinnamon Spiced Pumkin Pie

The original recipe uses 1/2 the can of both the pumpkin pure and condensed milk, so I’ve doubled it here to make two pies. After all two pies are always better than one! I’ve also added grated fresh ginger for an extra zing, but you could add ground ginger, mixed spice and ground black pepper.

Makes 2 x 9inch pies
Each pie serves 6
For the filling:
110g of sugar
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 tablespoon of cinnamon
1 large thumb sized piece of ginger, finely grated
1 x 822g tin of Libby’s Pumpkin Puree
1 x 397g tin of condensed milk
4 large free range eggs

For the pie bases:
2 sheets of ready to roll shortcrust pastry
A little butter to grease
Tin foil
Ceramic baking beans or dried pulses

Preheat the oven to 220˚C and grease two 9 inch pie tins with a little butter.

Roll out the sheets of short crust pastry and press them into the two pie tins. Prick the bases with a fork and tidy up the edges by crimping them with your fingers, this doesn’t have to look perfect.

Place one sheet of tin foil or grease proof paper in the base of each pastry lined pie tin and tumble in some ceramic baking beans or any dried pulse will do.

Place the pie tins in the oven to cook for 10 minutes. Remove the tin foil and baking beans and place back in the oven for a further 3-5 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.

While the pastry is cooking, mix together all the ingredients for the filling in a large bowl.

Divide the pumpkin mix between the two tins, reduce the oven temperature to 180˚C and place back in the oven to bake for 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre of the pies come out clean.

Allow to cool before serving.


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Broccoli and Cheddar Cheese Soup

This recipe makes a highly nutritious soup which is taken to another level with the addition of good cheddar cheese. Try and get your hands on some good quality cheese for this one as it will make all the difference to the taste of the soup.

Serves 4

a good knob of butter

2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1 large onion, finely chopped

1 large potato, peeled and diced

1 large head of broccoli, broken into florets

1l vegetable stock

100g cheddar cheese, grated

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to season

Add the butter to a medium pot over a medium heat until it begins to foam.

Add in the onion, garlic and potato and fry gently until the onion is soft. Add in the broccoli and stir through.

Pour in the stock and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until the broccoli is tender. You check this by piercing it with a fork.

Take the pot off the heat and, using a hand blender, blitz until smooth. Season with sea salt and ground black pepper and stir through half the cheddar cheese and taste.

Serve the soup in deep bowls with crusty bread and an extra sprinkling of cheddar cheese.

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Blackberry Crumble Slices

These blackberry crumb slices match the fruit perfectly. They are most definitely a bit more rustic looking than most cake slices, but are full of warm sponge and juicy flavours. Both the cake mix and the crumb topping are extremely easy to make and are great for baking with kids.

Makes 24 delicious slices
115g butter, at room temperature
175g caster sugar
1 large free-range egg
280g self-raising flour
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
125ml milk
300g fresh blackberries (you could use frozen ones if you’re stuck)

For the sweet crumb topping:
115g caster sugar
85g plain flour
Zest of 1 lemon
75g butter
 

Pre-heat the oven to 190°C/Gas Mark 5. Grease a rectangular baking tin and line it with parchment paper. If you’re stuck for parchment paper, you could probably get away with greasing the tin and flouring it instead.

Using a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar together in a bowl, until pale. Add in the egg, whisking to incorporate the mixture, little by little.

Using a wooden spoon, fold in the flour, cinnamon and milk. Mix gently until you have a sticky dough-like mixture.

Spread evenly across the bottom of the prepared baking tin — this requires patience as the dough can be sticky, but bear with it and you’ll get there!

Arrange the blackberries on top. Then, set aside while you prepare the sweet crumb topping.

Put all the ingredients for the sweet crumb topping in a bowl and rub the dry ingredients into the butter with your fingertips, as you would with pastry. Keep mixing until you have a mixture that resembles rough breadcrumbs.

Sprinkle the crumb topping over the blackberries in the baking tray and place in the oven on the middle rack for 40-45 minutes until the top is golden brown.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool before slicing into 24 pieces.

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Cauliflower and Blue Cheese Soup

Cauliflower soup has such a simple and pure flavour and the addition of blue cheese here really pumps up the volume and makes this soup sing.

Serves 6
A good knob of butter
3 shallots, finely chopped
3 sprigs of thyme
1 large potato, diced
1 large head of cauliflower
1 1/2 litres vegetable stock
75g of local blue cheese, crumbled
60ml of double cream

Add the butter to a medium pot over a medium heat until it begins to foam.

Add the shallots, thyme and potato and fry until the shallots are soft. Add in the cauliflower and toss through.

Pour in the stock and bring to the boil, lower the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender when pierced with a fork.

Take the soup off the heat and, using a hand blender, blitz until smooth. If you find the soup is too thick just add boiling water until you have the right consistency.

Season with sea salt and black pepper and stir through the cream and half the cheese. Taste the soup to ensure you have the seasoning correct.

Serve in deep bowls with crusty bread and top with an extra sprinkling of crumbled blue cheese.

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A Big Thank You For All The Support! :)

Hello there! :)

Tonight marks the last episode in the current series of my very first TV show… I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you so much for all the fantastic support over the past 12 episodes… It’s been an incredible little journey for me and I’ve learnt so much from traveling around the country giving cookery demos and meeting different people from all walks of life. From the women who take me by the hand in the shops to tell me they watch every week, to the burly looking fella in the pub who pulled me over because he wanted some tips on making a fish pie, to the kids who were shaking from excitement when they came up to tell me they’d made a banoffee pie.

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Dark-Chocolate Beetroot Cupcakes

Don’t be nervous about using beetroot in these cupcakes. They help make a rich chocolate batter and there is just a faint, sweet earthiness.

Makes 9 to 12
100g dark chocolate
200g cooked beetroot, puréed with a blender
110g caster sugar
110g soft butter, softened and cut into small pieces
2 large eggs
175g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
50ml milk

Chocolate frosting:
110g butter, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
325g icing sugar
4 tbsps cocoa powder
75ml double cream

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4 and line the bun tray with paper cases.

Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of gently simmering water and then stir in the puréed beetroot.

In a large bowl, using a hand mixer, beat the sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, until incorporated. Mix in the flour, baking powder, milk and the chocolate and beetroot mix.

Divide the batter evenly among the paper cases and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until firm. Allow the cupcakes to stand for a minute before transferring to a wire rack to cool.

To make the chocolate frosting, beat the butter and vanilla extract together in a bowl until light and fluffy. Then, add the icing sugar and cocoa powder, a little at a time, to the double cream until it is all incorporated and the mixture is smooth.

Using a palate knife, frost the cupcakes when they are completely cool.

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It’s Pumpkin Eating Time!

Halloween is trundling towards us at a fairly alarming speed. I for one can’t wait, it’s always been one of the highlights of my year. Ireland has plenty of Halloween traditions and even my own family has lots of it’s own. When we were growing up we had a French visitor who showed us the light and convinced us to save those yucky seeds from the centre of our pumpkin, which, when cleaned and toasted with a little butter and salt, make the perfect little autumn snack.

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Roast Pumpkin, Coconut and Chilli Soup

The Method


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Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup

The Method


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Autumn Nesting and Sticky Maple, Apple and Cinnamon Cake!

After a few weeks traveling up and down the country for cookery demonstration we finally have some time to spend at home and I could not be happier!  It’s still not cold enough for jackets, hats and scarves but the dishes I’m cooking in the kitchen have definitely taken a turn towards warmth and comfort.  Soups, stews and roasts are back on the weeknight menu in a big way and I’m beginning to think they are some of my favourite types of dishes to cook.  I think secretly that many of us crave this sort of cooking throughout the year, especially with the sort of weather Ireland gets in the summer, but it’s only now when the days get darker that we can can wholeheartedly serve up steaming bowls of slow cooked deliciousness.

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