Donal Skehan
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  • 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
  • #winterwalks #sweden #tjolöholm
  • Big hello from not so snowy Sweden! Went to the beautiful Tjolöholm Castle for a windy Winter walk today- now back home making a saffron fish soup for 18 Swedes- let's hope they like it! :)
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HomeCooked Cover Shoot!

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Yesterday I was up very early to catch a flight to London to shoot the cover for my new cookbook.  I don't mind early mornings normally but a 4.30am start certainly has a bit of a sting in the tail.  A good nap on the flight over sorted me out and I was raring to go!  Martin and Lucy from Harper Collins design team had been planning and plotting cover concept designs over the last few weeks so it was great to see them finally come to life.  I was also very excited to be shooting with top photographer Myles New who has worked with Lorraine Pascale, Rick Stein, John Torode, Gordon Ramsey and many more. 

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Lights, camera, action on new TV series…

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What a week! I've just come up for air… For the last 7 days our house has been filled with lights, camera and plenty of action.  Filming for the next series of "Kitchen Hero: HomeCooked" started last weekend at the West Waterford Food Festival in Dungarvan. Unfortunately we got completely washed out of it on the Saturday but filming went on and a good few dedicated home cook's watched on, as I cooked up, Chilli and Lemongrass Chicken and Dungarvan Beer Batter Fish with Rosti Potato Cakes and Minty Mushy Peas.  It was the first outing of Gertrude the very cool Citroen H Van (from littlepiggy.ie) I'll be traveling around Ireland in and despite the rain she looked great!

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Hitting the road and Smoky Fish Cakes…

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What a crazy week we've had! From an incredible food photoshoot on Tuesday at a beautiful old church at TheGlade.ie, a visit from Gertrude our new vintage van and as I write this, we are on the way to visit lovely little spring lambs on the hills of Connemara.  We are starting the filming for the third series of Kitchen Hero this weekend and we will be setting up at St. John's Castle in Dungarvan on Saturday as part of the West Waterford Food Festival.  It's been a bit of a scramble to get everything together but we now have our full set organised and next week we will begin the filming of a whole section for the new show in my home kitchen focusing on lots of baking recipes. 

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Smoky Fish Cakes with Minty Peas and Tartare Sauce

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Fish pie has to be one of my ultimate comfort food dishes but for lighter and brighter days this dish is the perfect solution for those still craving those wonderful flavours.  I coat my fish cakes in a little polenta, which, when fried gives a wonderful golden, crunchy crumb.  These fish cakes are best eaten fresh but if you don't get through them all, they freeze beautifully.

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Anyone For A Dirty Big Chocolate Cake?

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After a long day, shooting some lovely food images for a project I'm very excited to share with you, in the next few weeks, I am sitting here transferring images while drooling at these pictures of chocolate cake.  Baking has without a doubt become ridiculously popular in the last few years and its popularity has been cemented by the success of shows like The Great British Bake Off.  It never fails to amaze me that the most popular posts I blog about always tend to have butter and sugar on the ingredient list. 

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Raspberry and Dark Chocolate Mini Pavlova Stacks

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Meringue has to be one of my favorite baking recipes to make in the kitchen.  With beautiful stiff, sweet white peaks how could you resist! The addition of cornflour and white wine vinegar here results in a wonderfully chewy marshmallow centre a crisp exterior.

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Vietnamese Coffee Éclairs

Vietnamese Coffee Eclairs

Anyone who has ever visited Vietnam will have come across the mini top hat shaped coffee filters which sit above small glasses filled with a tablespoon or so of condensed milk.  It makes for a dark, creamy and sweet coffee which is enjoyed hot or poured over ice.  These eclairs are a nod to both that wonderful coffee and the French influence which is quite apparent in Vietnam.

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Buttermilk Glazed Doughnuts

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I can't resist a good doughnut and these ones glazed with a tangy buttermilk icing are quite special.  You could of course forgo the glaze and pipe them with a little strawberry jam passed through a sieve for a more traditional doughnut.

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Gold Dust Chocolate Cake

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This a proper show stopper of a chocolate cake and perfect for special occasions.  The edible gold powder can be bought online or in select baking stores.

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HomeCooked Newsletter | April 2013

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Wild Garlic Profile ShotHi folks!

Well, you've probably noticed by now, that the website is looking a little different!  I'm thrilled to have it back to looking like a blog and hopefully you're finding it much easier to browse back through old blog posts and through the recipe database filled with over 250 recipes.  If there's anthing you'd like to see on the blog or any suggestions, pop me a comment below.

After a very cold start to the year, with the clocks changing, it is finally starting to feel like spring with longer evenings and wild garlic popping up in the forest. I've been busy getting my kitchen garden ready for the growing season and I've just started planting out the seedlings, which have been tucked up in the greenhouse, safe from the cold weather.  I love growing my own veggies, which was why it was an obvious choice to support the GIY and Innocent Smoothies Sow & Grow Campaign for a second year in a row- You can read all about it and check out some of the images below.

We are coming to the final stage of my next book, Kitchen Hero: HomeCooked, which will be out in October and I'm thrilled to say, it's looking fantastic.  It certainly makes the time we spent shooting the food images before Christmas, all worthwhile.  To accompany the book, I'm thrilled to say there will be a 13-part TV series which will air in May and then again in October on RTÉ One, proudly sponsored by SPAR.  We're going to be on the road this series and stopping at festivals across Ireland to demonstrate simple HomeCooked recipes.  Check out details below, to see if we'll be filming near you!

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Sensitive smoke alarms and Lemon & Mint Griddled Chicken…

Mint & Lemon Chicken_2 The big joke in our family growing up was that if the smoke alarm went off, we knew dinner was on the way.  My mom used to get a terrible slagging and ever so slightly flustered over this and would invariably throw the offending article out the back door (normally toast left under the grill for too long).  I, rather cruelly, always scoffed at this and swore that when I had my own kitchen, it would never happen, clearly she wasn't paying enough attention.

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Lemon and Mint Griddled Chicken with Spiced Chickpeas and Flatbreads

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Mid week meals that can be made with little hassle are always high on my agenda when it comes to recipe writing.  The flatbreads I serve with this simple chicken dish involve no rising or baking.  The dough is made up and then cooked right on a hot griddle pan.

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