Thursday, 30 October 2014

Red Pepper Hummus

I could very easily eat hummus for every meal. It is my standard lunch (with a tortilla wrap) and I bring it to any party I go to.

Of course, it took me forever for me to find tahini paste, and in the mean time I did a very lovely peanut version. But one day, in my local random Asian corner shop (we’ve all got one!) I stumble upon tahini paste (and cayenne pepper, and coconut oil.. *hyperventilates*). The clouds parted and my heart sang!

That is seriously how much I love hummus.

Have you ever tried to roast and peel a pepper? I have. It is doable but fiddly and pretty annoying. And that is where jarred roasted peppers come in.  Should be simply found in any supermarket, they are a lifesaver and make this recipe ridiculously easy. And you all know I love a quick recipe that I can then shove in my mouth.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Salami Croque Monsieur

I love France. I love the weather, the fashion, the people , and most importantly the food. French people get food. They make flavourful food, and spent the time enjoying it. I may have caused a few French strokes with my bastardised version of their classic ham and grilled cheese sandwich.

I love a traditional croque monsieur, with ham and whacking slices of freshly made bread. But, needs must, and sometimes you want an indulgent sandwich with just the ingredients in the cupboard and fridge. 

Truth be told, I was pretty keen to make my own bread, but I didn’t have time. So I substituted in the thick granary bread, and decided to spice things up Italy style, with some strongly spiced sliced meats instead of the ham. You would be perfectly welcome to slice up some sourdough and use ham instead of pepperoni/salami.

I had mine with soup. And I was so happy.

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Apple and Marzipan Pie

Jaysus, I love baking.

And pastry is just one of my favourite things to do. I don’t do it very often due to laziness, but there is something incredibly therapeutic about the whole process. And when the finished product comes out well, then it is one of the most satisfying things in the world, to me.

I would definitely credit my affinity for pastry to my Nanny Margaret. She does a mean apple pie. It is one of my earliest memories of “proper” cooking, getting my grubby little hands stuck into a bowl of flour and butter, and rubbing to get the breadcrumb consistency. My nanny always distracted me with a separate little bit of excess dough to roll out and play with while she got on with the serious business of actually making the pie.

This is a riff on her traditional pie, with a sweet and almondy marzipan base that the apple slices sit on top of. I added a ton of cinnamon, because it’s coming into autumn, and my favourite autumnal flavour combination has got to be apple and cinnamon.

I really wanted to do a fluted edge, but I am not very dextrous, in fact I’m a bit ambisinistrous (the proper word for being cack-handed). So I need to look up some tutorials before I attempt that mess again.

Makes one decent sized pie

Saturday, 11 October 2014


Or, food from HOME!

This is the perfect weekend treat. For me, if I close my eyes while eating these, I feel like when I open them again I'll be sitting in my local coffee place in Belfast. 

This is something they don’t really do in England, as I found out when I brought these to work. This is a Northern Irish staple sweet treat. And not a potato in sight! The are super popular to make at home with children because there's no heat involved (and it gets messy!). Every Northern Irish person will remember making these (and Mars bar buns!) as a kid. A home economics class staple.

The name comes, unsurprisingly, from the number of each ingredient needed! So it’s the easiest recipe in the world to remember and make. Sweet as anything, and like totally healthy because of the cherries. Ahem.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Beer-cooked Pulled Pork Tacos with Avocado Cream


Taking a little break from the sugary sweet theme that the blog has had for the last forever, with some savoury perfection.

So, I am making it my mission to find and make that *perfect* recipe from all my favourite cuisines. I’ve nailed Japanese: DAT RAMEN. I’ve kicked ass for Swedish desserts.

And now.. Mexico, it's ON. 

These tacos are the best things I’ve eaten in a long time, and one of the best things to come out of my little old kitchen. It is incredibly simple, you brown the meat, then saute the veggies, make a spicey sauce with beer and broth, and then stick that whole mess in the oven. Then it’s just tearing the meat, reducing the sauce, mixing and serving. And then commence a food coma.

The avocado cream is simple, smooth, flavourful and awesome. It also stays green for AGES! No browning guacamole style disappointment here!

I would make this every day of the week. I recently saw a guy at a barbeque place (where you can pretty much find me skulking around at any time) with these awesome gloves that allowed him to pull the pork hot, by hand. Christmas list!!

serves four, or just one if you really can't share
adapted from OMFG. So Good blog

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Coconut and Sweet Potato Bake

Well. Anyone who knows me knows that I am a HUGE fan of the sweet potato. I basically find a new favourite ingredient every few months, and am always looking for ways to use it. Sweet potato has been a favourite of mine for ages now, and is definitely a cupboard staple.

So, we’ve had sweet potato soupsweet potato mash, sweet potato curry, and sweet potato fries. All absolutely delicious, easy peasy, and I make them all the time.

So, I’ve always been a fan of a dauphinoise, and this recipe is a truly scrumptious version, using sweet potato and coconut instead of the more traditional regular potatoes and cream. But the idea behind it is the same: thin layers of potato, smothered in creamy-ness and baked in the oven. 

This truly goes deliciously with your Sunday roast, with the coconut and cayenne providing a sweet kick of flavour.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Shortbread- Mary Berry Style


Oh my goodness, shortbread is my nemesis. There are just some things I can’t get my head around cooking, stuff that just NEVER comes out how I want it to:

-The first is the most shameful: mashed potatoes. Mine are all at once thin AND lumpy.  It’s not hard. And I am Irish. But still, no dice.

-The second is more of a group of things I fail at: toffee/caramel/fudge. Can’t do it. I follow the instructions to. the. letter and still I just can’t make it do what it needs to. There have been some super disasters in this, to the point where I just buy the pre-made banoffee toffee stuff when I need to. DON’T LOOK AT ME!

-And finally: shortbread. My paternal grandmother makes the most perfect, melt in your mouth, flavourful, crisp shortbread that the world has ever seen. My mother makes shortbread that is close to perfection. And I just can’t measure up to it..

Until Mary effing Berry came into my life. This shortbread is rather different from the ones I’ve known before, it’s thicker and softer, but still just delightful. If you’re keeping track of my ideal afternoon tea tray, add these bad boys to it.