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  • Beautiful evening out there! Great sunny evening walk! :) #howth #ireland
  • Throwback Thursday! It's 2006 and a young Donal has just joined "up and coming" boyband Streetwize with "z" coz that's how we rolled! Here we are thinkin' we were the shiz in London Town! #tbt #scarlehforyerma
  • New blog post up today! A visit to McGeoughs Artisan Butchers and a recipe for lamb sausages, lentils, creme fraiche and caramelised onions! Delish! :)
  • Beautiful morning out there! Forest walk with Max first thing this morning! #howth #ireland #maxthedog
  • Irish Cheese soufflés with a pear and walnut salad up on the blog! :)
  • Getting a great reaction to my latest youtube video recipe for Chocolate Cake- check it out: http://youtube.com/donalskehan
  • Wild garlic roast lamb with braised lettuce, spring onions and peas! What are cooking up this Easter Sunday? Have a great day! :)
  • Blue cheese and caramelised onion sliders coming up on tomorrow's #mittkök at 8.30am on TV4 in Sweden! Recipe on the blog... :)
  • Best day of the year so far! Stunning in Howth! Just finished the cliff walk! Have a great weekend guys! :) #howth #ireland
  • Gur Cake for Sean O'Rourke on Radio One! Will be on to chat about Theodora Fitzgibbon's The Pleasures of the table- out now...
  • The perfect Easter Sunday chocolate cake coming up in my youtube channel today! Subscribe over here: http://www.youtube.com/donalskehan
  • Making Gur Cake this evening from Theodora Fitzgibbon for interview with Sean O'Rourke tomorrow morning on RTE Radio One...
  • Throwback Thursday! At the Meteor Music Awards 2009 with Industry! @michelemcgrath @morgandeane #tbt
  • Best part of today was trying to teach Max how to ride a scooter!!! He was loving it! :) #scootscoot
  • 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? :)
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Back Home and Pressed Picnic Sambo!

We got in the door from the airport last night and after a quick garden inspection, despite all the weeds and a few plants gone to seed the majority of my veggie garden is looking good! The pumpkin plants have doubled in size and have tiny tiny little pumpkins already showing!  I was worried I was going to miss the best of the peas I had planted months ago, but they are ready to pick with nice bulging pods! :)

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Pressed Picnic Sandwich

The pressed nature of this sandwich allows the flavours to permeate through all its layers. For a milder flavour, try using mozzarella instead of goats’ cheese.  Also feel free to experiment with extra ingredients and feel free to add your own touches!

Makes 1 Giant Sambo
1 foot long ciabatta loaf, sliced in half lengthways
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
A generous handful of baby spinach
10 marinated artichoke hearts

A small handful of sundried tomatoes
8 slices of proscuitto
A good handful of basil, finely chopped
100g of goats’ cheese
1⁄2 red onion, very finely sliced
Salt and pepper to season

Preheat the oven to 200oC/gas mark 6.

Place the ciabatta loaf, crust side down on a large baking tray and drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt.

Pop in the oven for a few minutes until just golden and toasted.

In a bowl whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic and mustard.

Remove the toasted ciabatta halves from the tin and drizzle the base slice with a little of the dressing.

Arrange layers of the rest of the ingredients, baby spinach, artichoke hearts, sundried tomatoes, proscuitto, basil, goats’ cheese and red onion.

Drizzle over the rest of the dressing, season with sea salt and ground black pepper and pop the top slice of ciabatta on and press down.

Wrap in parchment paper and pop into the fridge, pressed down with another baking tray filled with heavy tins, overnight or until you are ready to serve.

Serve in nice hearty slices for the perfect picnic snack.

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It’s Picnic Week!

It’s picnic week on the blog this week with recipes from my recent Food and Wine shoot.  We had lots of fun last month cooking through the recipes for the spread and were left with lots of great picnic inspired food to eat our way through afterwards.  The true beauty of a good picnic is that everything is prepared in advance meaning so that by the time it comes  to eating all you have to worry about is sitting back and tucking in.  With that in mind hopefully I can arm you with a pile of great pre-prepped recipes that won’t keep you in the kitchen for too long and you’ll be out enjoying the summer before you know it!

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Mini Blueberry Tarts

A quick, easy recipe that the kids can help make, and eat.  A batch of these mini treats makes a great gift for friends and family.

Makes 12
2 sheets of ready to roll shortcrust pastry
500g of blueberries
Zest and juice of one lemon
150g of caster sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
3 tablespoons of cornflour
1 egg, beaten to glaze
Whipped cream, to serve

Preheat the oven to 200oC/gas mark 6.

Cut out 12 circles of pastry to fit a cupcake tray and then press them in each little hole. Prick with a fork on the base and pop in the oven for 10-15 minutes.

While the pastry blind bakes in the oven, pop the blueberries, lemon juice and zest, sugar and vanilla extract in a small saucepan over a medium high heat and stir until the sugar dissolves.

Mix the cornflour with a drop of water and pour into the saucepan.

Simmer for five minutes or until you are left with a thick mix.

Remove the cupcake tray from the oven and add a spoonful of the blueberry mix into each little pastry case.

Bake in the oven for 15 minutes.

Serve with a little whipped cream with a drop of vanilla extract mixed through.

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