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! :)
Blog Archive
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I Like Big Buns and I Cannot Lie!

No otha’ bruthas’ can deny… and so on… What is about sweet things like big dirty chocolate cakes, drippy sticky toffee pudding, and oozing eclairs that always seem to grab people’s attention?  I could write fresh and healthy recipes everyday for the rest of my life, and they would still never get the same reaction as the oooohing and aaaahing that a great big, filthy slice of gooey, dark chocolate brownie manages to draw. Some of the first recipes I ever cooke, were baking ones, and to this day it’s one of my favourite forms of cooking in the kitchen.  I have cooked Swedish cinnamon buns to their death at this stage, but they have to be one of the best baking discoveries I’ve come across in the last 5 years.

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If You Go Down To The Woods Today…

During our forest strolls in Sweden, (yes we take forest strolls now!) we often encountered groups of people carrying baskets full of beautiful Chanterelle mushrooms. A glance of acknowledgement followed by a secretive scurry back in to the woods would be as far as communication would go. Swedes take mushroom hunting extremely seriously and around this time of year, with each new summer rain mushrooms plump up and fill the forest. A good picking spot, once found is hardly ever shared, because the mushrooms will continue to to spring up in the same area.

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Pushing Grannies and BBQ Sweet Potato and Halloumi Salad

There are few things that get me more excited than finding cool vintage props for food photography and Sweden really is a great place to pick up interesting items.  They just seem to have a better way of looking after there old junk! Correct me if I’m wrong but I think the Irish ideology is that if it’s broken or old, a skip is ordered and it all gets fecked in, with the thought that out of sight is out of mind and that’s a few more less things to worry about.  The one thing the Swedes have down to a tee, is a fantastic ethos of recycling and which includes rubbish, old pieces of furniture, clothes, and most importantly for me kitchenalia.

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Swedish Summer and Boozy Bum Chicken…

It’s been a little quiet on the blogging front for the last few days, but I have good reason! After a couple of crazy months, I can well and truly say I have switched my mind to the standby position.  We’re spending some time in Gothenburg soaking up some Swedish sunshine and inspiration before work starts on the new book when I’m back.  It’s given me a bit of time to work through the notebooks full of recipe ideas I’ve been writing over the last year and over the weekend I managed to whittle it down to a really solid list of tasty recipes.  The whole book writing process has always been a learning process and I think now I have a really good idea about how I want to write the next one.  In lots of ways there is a detachment between writing the recipes, testing the recipes, and shooting the photography for the recipes and so for this next book I want to combine all three and really give a sense of real life cooking as I work through the production process.  I’m planning on cooking and shooting everything chez moi, so the next few months I’m sure our kitchen is going to look like a bomb hit it! :)

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Swedish Gooey Chocolate Cake

The Method


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Crispy Hasselback Potatoes

I came across the recipe for Hasselback potatoes when I was younger and they are so visually appealing that I had to make them. The traditional recipe, originally from Stockholm, calls for breadcrumbs and cheese, but I have tried to make it as simple as possible for this recipe. The potatoes go nicely alongside most dishes. If your potato slices don’t separate while cooking, increase your heat and you should get better results.

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