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  • 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! :)
  • Swedish cinnamon buns coming to my youtube channel very soon! :)
  • Happy Monday folks! Have a great week! Run on the cliffs to start the day- Filming for youtube today! :)
  • Howth village and Ireland's Eye looking mighty fine today! #ireland
  • Our local shop, The Country Market in Howth has copies of @FeastJournal before I do! New issue out now! Apparently! :)
  • Rainy Saturday morning Max... #maxthedog
  • Dinner time? Max thinks so! #crotchshot #maxthedog
  • Salt and pepper squid with a smacked cucumber salad! How do you smack yours?! New video recipe over on my youtube channel! :)
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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 >>

Video Recipe: Salt & Pepper Squid…

Salt And Chilli Squid_2 This week I have a brand new recipe up on my youtube channel and it's a good one! It might sound complicated but this little dish is so simple and the results are finger licking good. Seafood is the ultimate fast food and only needs the simplest of ingredients to emphasise it's flavour and that is definitely the case with the salt, pepper and chilli in this squid recipe. The smacked cucumber salad is a great little side dish to go alongside, which gave us a bit of a giggle making it!  You can check out the video below and read on for the full recipe. Continue reading >>

Irish Food Folk: Ballyvolane House

FEAST Ballyvolane House_52 Ballyvolane House was a feature for our very first issue of FEAST: A Dinner Journal and continues to be one of my favourites.  Justin and Jenny Green were proud to show us their beautiful family home which has become a popular destination for tourists, in the south of Ireland.  The most exciting thing that caught my attention when we visited them last year was the strong focus on food, which both Justin and Jenny are passionate about.  Foraged cocktails, walled vegetable gardens and a small drove of rare breed pigs are all just part of the experience.  Have a read of the piece below which appeared in the Spring 2013 issue of FEAST: A Dinner Journal and keep an eye out for our Wild Atlantic Way issue which went to print yesterday and should be appearing on shelves next week. FEAST Final Shoot_25 The first view of Ballyvolane House by the weary traveller is a welcome one, framed as it is by shimmering trees, green lawns and languishing mauve wisteria. It is a grand house, a Georgian county retreat, but not overwhelming and the simple façade feels homely and welcoming. No surprise really considering the welcome you’ll get from Justin and Jenny Green, this unique and peaceful spot is their place of work and their home so there’s a great family run atmosphere here. Guests all sit around the family dinner table for breakfast and dinner. Attention to detail is everything from the deep, cloud-like beds to the impeccably sourced food, it is a place set apart.Continue reading >>

My Top 8 Youtube Food Stars…

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Each week I have been sharing a new video from my Homecooked Bakery series on my youtube channel and I've loved reading the comments about how you have all got on with each recipe. This week is a recipe for all those chocolate lovers out there! My Salted Peanut Caramel Mud Pie which you can check out below.

I've been getting lots of inspiration from the amazingly talented cooks and bakers that upload great videos and recipes every week to youtube and I thought I would share some of my favourite Youtube food stars with you! I would love to hear what Youtube foodies you follow too, leave me a comment below. Each youtuber brings something different and unique to the youtube world and I love checking in to see what they have uploaded each week.

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Bangers and Mash: Swedish Style…

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On Saturday, I was back doing my weekly appearance on Mitt Kök! Mitt Kök is part of Sweden's most popular breakfast show Nyhetsmorgon on TV4 so I am always a little nervous before it goes live! To add to the pressure I have to cook in Swedish which seems to be very amusing to the crew and viewers of the show! On Saturday I cooked up the classic comfort food Bangers and Mash but I did it with my twist by adding delcious, sweet roasted garlic to the mash. You can see how to do this along with the rest of the recipe in the video below: 

Continue reading for Roast Garlic Bangers and Mash Recipe...

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Irish Food Folk: Wild Flour Bakery…

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You might remember my collaboration with the inspirational Kate Packwood and her Wild Flour Bakery from a blog post I wrote this time last year.  She shared her truly delicious recipes for Raspberry, Pistachio & Rose Cake, Pear, Vanilla & Smoke Cake, and Earl Grey Profiteroles and we photographed them in my kitchen.  Since then Kate has been taking the Irish food scene by storm with her cakes and bakes being featured in magazines and newspapers, aswell as a popup alongside Makers&Brothers over Christmas.  Her creations continue to be one of the most popular attractions at Dublin's Honest2Goodness Food Market in Glasnevin and she has high plans to expand her business in the near future.  Last summer FEAST: A Dinner Journal teamed up with Kate for our Summer/Autumn issue and she shared a recipe for her beautiful griddled stone fruit cake.  You can read the full feature and recipe below.

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From the magic of The Wild Flour Bakery comes such delights as the griddled stone fruit cake created by Kate Packwood. She moved to Ireland from England in 1999 and we are so glad she did. Kate had initially planned to turn her literary studies into a career in academia but she was bitten by the cookery bug and she set up a micro-bakery in Dublin in April of 2012. As she says herself: “I believe in food that is not only nourishing but delightful and ethical too.”

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Catherine’s Top 3 Brunch Recipes…

WeekendChef-Final-Cover

If you are anything like me, I am sure you are addicted to cookbooks. Here in Ireland the standard of Irish cookbooks has really risen in the last few years and there are plenty of food writers to be excited about. Last week I was filming at the ever lovely Catherine Fulvio's Ballyknocken house for Bord Bia and while I was there I couldn't help but drool over her latest cookbook The Weekend Chef.

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The pages are filled with fantastic recipes for Baking Days, Sunday Brunches, and sweet ideas for Movie Nights and more. Catherine has kindly shared some of her favourite brunch recipes from the book which you can see below. The good news is we have teamed up with the lovely folks at Gill & MacMillan and have 3 copies of 'The Weekend Chef' to give away to 3 lucky readers. All you have to do is leave a comment below and tell me what your favourite weekend brunch recipe is. The winner will be picked at random next week. One entry per person please. Best of luck!

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Happy Mother’s Day To The Mammies…

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A few weeks ago I dragged my mom around to my house to get her photo taken with me for a piece in the Irish Independent all about Mother's Day.  Sofie managed to take the photo in amongst a lot of messing which included my mom insisting she would stand on a stool beside me.  The picture ended up on the cover of this weekend's Irish Independent Weekend Magazine which took us both by surprise! The recipe I shared in the piece is one of my favourites my mom used to cook when I was growing up.  It's her take on the French classic Coq Au Vin but instead of red wine it's made with white and you get left with a wonderfully rich and creamy sauce and chicken which is almost falling off the bone.  It makes a great makeahead dinner if you're planning one this Mother's Day! A big happy Mother's Day to all the mammies out there!

Continue to the recipe for Mom's Coq Au Vin Blanc...

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