Donal Skehan
My instagram
  • 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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Cheats’ Picnic Pork Pies!

These pies can be served with salad or coleslaw and a pint of cider, for a hearty lunch. These pies will keep for several days in the fridge, so make a larger batch and stock up.


Makes 12 individual pies
100g of pancetta or streaky bacon
1 onion, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
A small handful of parsley, finely chopped
6 sage leaves, finely chopped
450g of sausage meat
A generous pinch of sea salt and ground black pepper
2 sheets of ready to roll shortcrust pastry
1 egg, beaten to glaze

Preheat the oven to 200oC/gas mark 6.

In a large frying pan, over a high heat dry fry the pancetta until it is crisp and golden.

Remove and pop in a bowl, leaving the oil from the pancetta in the frying pan.

Add in the onion and garlic and fry until soft and golden. Add to the bowl along with the herbs and sausage meat.

Season with salt and pepper.

Cut out 12 circular discs, from the pastry, to fit in a cup cake tray and then 12 smaller discs for the lid.

Press the larger pastry circles into the greased and floured tray and fill each pie with the pork mixture.

Top with the small discs and press them together with a fork.

Brush the tops with beaten egg and place in the oven, cooking for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

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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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