Archives

Asian Flavours

There’s been a lot of focus on Asian flavours in my kitchen lately – now that Spring has arrived I’m craving lighter, zingier food so I’m stocking up on citrus fruits, chillis and lots of fresh vegetables.

My two favourite Asian shops are the Asia Market in Ballymount and the Eurasia store in Fonthill – as those of you who come to my classes are well aware! Both are like Aladdin’s Caves full of wonderful  and exotic ingredients – and I have to admit a number of which I have no idea what to do with – I would love someone to take me on a tour and explain how to use these ingredients. I regularly buy something which necessitates a google search before I can use it ! (hints on using dried Japanese plums  welcome!)

Asian Shopping supplies

Continue reading

Advertisements

Celebrating Midlands Food

When we launched the Offaly Delicious Food Network in Tullamore at Easter last year I was so proud that we could showcase all the amazing food that we have in the Midlands.  It’s been a fun year watching it grow – there have been ups and downs but thankfully our market is now well established in its home in Kilcruttin Business Centre.

We’ve been planning the first birthday party for a while and I’m delighted to say it was huge success with lots of loyal and new customers enjoying the day . We had demonstrations, baking competitions, craft, cakes,  lots of great food stalls and even a visit from our local alpacas……

market anniversary 004

Check out this great record of the day by our favourite photographer

Continue reading

Keeping It Local – Apple & Black Pudding Bread

I love shopping in Farmers’ Markets – I love talking to the stall holders and wondering how I’m going to use their products.  When I lived in Dublin I loved wandering around Temple Bar Market on a Saturday morning, deciding what to cook that evening. On a trip to San Francisco a few years ago I was in heaven in the Farmers’ Markets in Berkeley and in the Ferry Building.  And then there was the fun exploring the St Lawrence Market in Toronto with some of my fellow Fáilte Ireland Food Champions.

So why not have a Farmers’ Market in Tullamore? Continue reading

Summer (yes Summer!) Cocktails……..

My poor blog has been much neglected of late. Despite all my resolutions there always seems to be something else that to done or somewhere else I need to be………

There’s lots I want to share – like the weekend at Inishfood and all the amazing food; the surprise no-menu that I had in Springfort Hall….and of course recipes that I’ve tried from my cookbook collection……..

So let’s start with the most recent – Summer Cocktails in Fallon & Byrne .

I love this shop – they have the most amazing selection of fresh fruit and vegetables; great variety of oils, vinegars, seasonings, savouries, cheese and chocolates to name but a few; one of the best deli counters for lunch or coffee and of course a very tempting wine cellar…….

So when I received a tweet from them asking for my email address I was intrigued…..and not disappointed when I received  an invitation to an evening of summer cocktails, nibbles and natter!  Through the magic that is twitter I soon discovered others that had received a similiar invitation and it looked like shaping up to a lively evening………

It didn’t disappoint – I met up with the lovely Aoife otherwise known as Babaduck and the  debonair Paul from The ShoeBox  in Kilkenny for a catch up and  wander up Grafton Street (there are times I regret leaving Dublin). The sun even made an appearance for the occasion!

Then at the appointed hour we presented ourselves at Fallon & Byrne where the wonderful Jennifer treated us like royalty (despite my falling up the stairs!)

We meet Paul Lambert the man behind the Cocktail Menu who explained that they were using the fresh produce from the food hall to add that difference to their cocktails – and on tasting we agreed! There was so much fresh fruit and herbs in the cocktails they were almost healthy.

I opted for the Poppy Honeysuckle to start – a blend of Jameson whiskey, elder flower liqueur, Sauvignon Blanc, honey, pressed apple juice, lemon juice & passion fruit syrup – all served in a ‘grown up’ Martini glass. I am not a whiskey fan but this was divinely palatable! My companions chose the French 75 and the Mojito.

The staff were most attentive and as soon as our glasses were empty they ‘insisted’ on serving us more….

I went for the Passion Fruit & Jalapeño Margarita (jalapeño-infused tequila, passion fruit, mint and lemon juice) on the recommendation of Lily from A Mexican Cook in Ireland. I’m a bit of a chilli addict and my taste buds loved this. This time my companions went for an Old Fashioned & a Rspberry Caipirinha.

We were also treated to some beautifully crafted canapés – naturally I was very interested (call it industrial espionage!!).  I need to work on getting mine to look this good!

My favourite was the goat’s cheese tartlets followed by the gazpacho – I loved the cups!

It was great to catch with friends and  put faces to more twitter friends –   Rozanne , Caitriona, Aoife (Daily Spud), Aoife (Icanhascook), Dorcas, Catherine….

Before leaving I had to try one more cocktail – a mojito on Paul’s recommendation! Then Cinders headed back to the country  whilst the rest of them partied on to the Tapas Trail launch……..

Thanks to Fallon & Byrne for a lovely evening and to Jennifer for her hard work in organising the event

Take my word for it you should go and try their cocktails for yourself – they will definitely brighten up your summer and if you want my recommendation go for the jalapeño margarita  …

Pssst they have “buy one get one on the house’ cocktails on Mondays & Tuesdays…………….

PS Special thanks is also due  to my ‘chauffeur’ who put up with my post cocktail  giggling all the way home!