Donal Skehan
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  • Best experience of the day- a traditional herbal bath with herbs picked from the mountain and steeped in boiling water! It is used to soak the muscles after a hard day in the rice paddies! Nothing like taking a bath with a big group of strangers watching! :) #DonalVietnam
  • This little girl is eating sticky rice cooked in a bamboo shoot! The rice is stuffed into the hollow shoot and sealed with a banana leaf, then boiled until tender... Then the whole rice filled bamboo shoot is grilled over an open fire- it results in a chewy sweet rice cylinder with the most incredible texture! Really special! #DonalVietnam
  • The colourful and detailed clothing the women of the Red Dao tribe wear can take up to a year to embroider by hand... #DonalVietnam
  • Incredible day spent learning from and cooking with the Red Dao tribe in North West Vietnam- their are 5 different tribes in this area and each has their own language and distinctive traditional clothing... #DonalVietnam
  • View from my breakfast table! Stayed in Sa Pa last night high in the mountains, 1500 meters above sea level... Off to spend the day with a local Red Dao family to learn more about their traditions... #DonalVietnam
  • Have just eaten from this fairly intimating platter of mystery meat! You choose what you want from pig tongue, liver, heart and blood sausage and it gets boiled up and served with a fiery hot dipping sauce with chilli, meat broth, fish sauce and spring onions. Also interesting they eat it with potato noodles rather than rice noodles, in broth and mint... Swallow the fear, get in there and eat like the locals do! #DonalVietnam
  • Chicken for sale at Bac Ha market- incredible experience, like nothing else, have whiplash from everything I have to look at! #DonalVietnam
  • Flower Hmong tribe at Bac Ha market this morning selling fresh vegetables and sugar cane... #DonalVietnam
  • Great meal this evening! Finally in Sapa after the longest bus ride ever today 8am-11.30pm! Up early tomorrow morning to film at Bac Ha Market... #DonalVietnam
  • BBQ pork and pumpkin greens at the most rocking little restaurant in Sapa! #DonalVietnam
  • Wok fried lunch today! Lots of greens including Morning Glory or water spinach stir fried with pork fat and fish sauce... #DonalVietnam
  • Rice fields on the way up to Sapa... #DonalVietnam
  • We had a bit of an audience for filming earlier- Vietnamese kids in the hills of Sapa! #DonalVietnam
  • Breakfast in Vietnam! Beef Pho- deep broth with noodles, herbs and thin slices of beef! Bloomin delish! #DonalVietnam
  • These lovely ladies cooked us dinner this evening- just left Hanoi and on our way up towards Sapa! #DonalVietnam
  • First meal after 36 hours traveling: Lau ga! A big dig in soup with noodles, tofu, veggies, herbs and eh... chicken feet! :) 🍗 #DonalVietnam
  • A little vlog from London feat. @mycupcakeaddiction plus HUGE NEWS: My youtube channel just hit 100K SUBSCRIBERS! Huge thanks for all the support- link in my profile! X
  • Truffled goats cheese with honey and almonds @copitatapas for lunch today- life just got better! 🍴
  • Peanut butter snicker squares from filming yesterday with @mycupcakeaddiction! Coming up on my youtube channel very soon! :)
  • My mom's creamy white wine chicken on the blog today! Great mid week meal! :)
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Crisp Gingerbread Biscuits

gingerbread_11This recipe makes perfectly crisp gingerbread biscuits which snap and crumble in the mouth.  The smell of these biscuits baking in the oven will instantly transport you to Christmas heaven!

Makes around 100 biscuits
150ml of golden syrup
250g of sugar
200g of butter
150ml of cream
1 teaspoon of ground ginger
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
700g of plain flour

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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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