Donal Skehan
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  • Happy Halloween!!! What are cooking today? Lots of Halloween recipes up on my blog including these creepy chocolate eyeballs! 🎃👻
  • Myself and @JohnTorode1 are back with a brand new series of #JuniorMasterChef kicking off on the 10th of November on CBBC! Lots of a brilliant young cooks showcasing their cooking skills! :)
  • Sweet and savoury sticky rice dumplings: sweet green bean paste coated in sesame seeds and aromatic pork mince- deep fried until crisp and bloomin delish! #donalvietnam
  • Last lunch in Vietnam- delicious Bun Cha- a feast of chargrilled pork, rice vermicelli noodles, lots off fresh herbs with a sweet and spicy dipping sauce! Will so miss the street food here! #donalvietnam
  • Have met a load of lovely people who have been watching my youtube channel here in Vietnam! So cool! Xin Chao! #DonalVietnam
  • Met some crazy #GrandmasBoy fans today in Hanoi! So excited to hear it's been showing here in Vietnam! #DonalVietnam
  • Very excited to be filming at this brilliant little street food market tomorrow for lunch in Hanoi! #DonalVietnam
  • I have yet to meet a film crew who trust me behind the wheel so here I am with my buddy TT biking around Hanoi! Better him than me the traffic is nuts here! :) #DonalVietnam
  • Was up at 3.30am this morning to catch these Vietnamese ladies harvest young green rice- a delicacy in Hanoi at this time of year! Here they are using a machine to separate the rice from the stems... #DonalVietnam
  • Egg coffee for breakfast in Hanoi! Sounds very strange but a combination of egg yolks, condensed milk, sugar, butter and laughing cow cheese is whisked until fluffy and thick and served with hot coffee! Incredible rich taste- like a liquid tiramisu! #DonalVietnam
  • Filmed at one of Hanoi's oldest and most famous restaurants today, Cha Ca La Vong, where they have been serving the same one dish for over 100 years- turmeric fish which is marinated for 12 hours with galangal and fish sauce then threaded onto bamboo skewers and chargrilled over hot coals- the fish pieces are then fried in shallot oil and served to the table on a hot plate where diners mix in dill and spring onions and serve over rice vermicelli noodles with peanuts, coriander, chilli and shrimp paste. Hugely popular here and I can see why! #DonalVietnam
  • Street food at the bustling market in Sapa- this lady was selling spicy pigs ear salad... #DonalVietnam
  • Morning market shopping in Sapa! On the way to Hanoi... #DonalVietnam
  • BBQ Pork with ginger, turmeric, mint and toasted sesame seeds... #DonalVietnam
  • Just can't get over the stunning scenery here! Not bad for a Tuesday! #DonalVietnam
  • On the streets of Sapa making apple wine with apples grown by the Hmong tribe... #DonalVietnam
  • Sad to say goodbye to our fantastic Red Dao hosts for the past three days... Heading to Hanoi tomorrow to focus on street food! #DonalVietnam
  • The incredible dry store at the top of a Red Dao tribe house- here they store corn, rice and pumpkins through the winter. The kitchen is just underneath so the heat and smoke helps to dry the produce out... #DonalVietnam
  • Brilliant few days filming with the Red Dao tribe just outside Sapa! #DonalVietnam with @jonnyrocksville @lenocks...
  • 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
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Vintage Cookbooks and Chocolate Chip, Oat and Raisin Cookies!

I’m always on the lookout for vintage and retro cookbooks, and over the last few years I’ve amassed quite a collection. Not only are they wonderfully nostalgic, there are plenty of delicious recipes which are still bang up-to-date. Of course there are also plenty of recipes for aspics and animal innards, things which most people these days would turn their noses up at.

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Chocolate Chip, Oat and Raisin Cookies

These make wonderfully chewy and crumbly cookies which are easily adaptable, just use whatever ingredients you might have in the storecupboard. Feel free to swap out the chocolate and raisins with other dried fruit, nuts or seeds.

Makes 24 cookies
225g of butter
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
160g of caster sugar
120g of light brown sugar
2 large free range eggs
1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
190g of plain flour
240g of rolled oats
80g of raisins
100g of good quality dark chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 180˚C and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.

Using a standalone mixer or hand mixer, cream the sugar and butter until it becomes pale and smooth. Add the eggs one by one, mixing well after each addition so the mix doesn’t split. Little by little add in the flour and bicarbonate of soda until it is completely incorporated. Using a spatula fold through the oats, raisins, vanilla extract and chocolate chips until completely combined.

Place 12 heaped tablespoons of the dough on each baking sheet and place in the oven to bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. You may need to swap the trays halfway through the cooking time in order to get an even colour on the cookies.Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before transferring to a wire wrack to cool completely.

Enjoy with a glass of milk!

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Stained Glass Christmas Tree Cookies

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My brother and I used to make these with my auntie Erica every year for Christmas. You can poke a hole in the top of them and then string through some ribbon so you can hang them on your Christmas tree. They look really great when the sparkly lights shine through!  Do keep an eye on these once they're on the tree though, in our house they always had a tendency to go missing!

Makes about 30 cookies
200g of plain flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
A pinch of salt
1 tablespoon of mixed spice
100g of muscavado sugar
150g of butter
1 large egg
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 pack of foxes fruits or jolly ranchers, sweets crushed

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Deep Dish Chocolate Chip Cookies

I don’t think there is any question that the Americans know how to create the most overindulgent desserts, and this one ticks all the boxes.
These were created by an American chain of restaurants and have something of a cult following in the US. Put simply, it’s cookie dough piled into individual serving dishes and baked at high heat, so you get a set top and edges but a ridiculously gooey interior.
When they are pulled out of the hot oven, a big dollop of vanilla ice cream is plonked on top to melt and mingle with hot, soft cookie. Makes four individual portions.

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Donna Hay’s Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies

Personally I think these cookies taste even better a day or two after you make them. The intense dark chocolate flavour mellows out a bit and makes a really moist cookie. You can also make these without the candy cane chunks which aren’t essential. Chopping the candy canes is fairly easy though so don’t worry, just use a sharp knife.

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Cookies and Cream Chocolate Chip Oreo Cupcakes

This is my aunt Erica’s cupcake recipe and it could not be easier to make. You can easily adapt this recipe to make a regular plain cupcake mixture also, simply remove the cocao powder and chocolate chips from the ingredient list.

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Peanut Butter Cookies

These are incredibly tasty little cookies which are so easy to make. Perfect for cooking with kids!

Makes approximately 9 cookies
4 rounded tablespoons of crunchy peanut butter
1 large egg
2/3 cup of dark brown sugar
1/3 cup of whole wheat flour

Place the sugar, and flour in a large mixing bowl and combine. With a wooden spoon create a well in the center of the bowl and add the egg and peanut butter. Beat the egg and peanut butter with the flour and sugar until a thick dough forms. If the dough is too moist simply add a little extra flour.  Allow the dough to sit in the fridge for about 15 minutes.

Remove from the fridge and place rounded tablespoons of the dough onto a greased baking sheet.

Bake in the oven at 180oC/ for approximately 15 minutes or until the cookies brown slightly.

Remove from the baking sheet and allow to cool.

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