Friday, 7 July 2017

Layered King Prawn Salad

Layered Prawn Salad, healthy and colourful fit for any BBQ or summer lunch.

I'm slowly making my way through The Lord of the Rings book by J.R.R Tolkien - I haven't seen the films so it is a very exciting read, oh there are times when I fly through the chapters, fight scenes, chases through beautiful countryside with beautiful elven queens bestowing their knowledge on shrewd hobbits and then it slows to a halt where I feel it is happening in real time, every nap, every meal and every tree is accounted for, where it seems that nothing can happen in middle earth but Mr. Tolkien has described it in minute detail. 

Layered Prawn Salad, healthy and colourful fit for any BBQ or summer lunch.

However, after all that belly aching I am enjoying it. It is in my opinion the seed for a large number of the fantasy books that I have read. I can't help but compare the ringwraiths with Harry Potters Dementors and faithful old Dobby is the kinder less deadly version of Gollum. There are characters that I love. Who doesn't love Gandalf - not to mention his similarity to Dumbledore, okay I'll stop now I promise - his all knowing knowledge of all the creatures of middle earth and his astounding ability to be two steps ahead of the "One" we don't speak of -no not Voldemort but Sauron. 

The wood elf Legolas, is very easy to like, he is like all elves in fiction, light footed and deadly accurate with his bow and arrow, he has had such a very long life that there isn't much he hasn't seen. Samwise is utterly faithful to Frodo and apart from the occasional blunder he just the kind of person you would want on your side, but it is Frodo that I admire the most, this unwanted burden bestowed on him that has lead him on a dangerous but wonderful journey, his courage and wisdom make him a very likable if somewhat aloof character. I am on this journey with you little hobbit. 

Saturday, 10 June 2017

5 Comfort Baking Recipes

5 Comfort Baking Recipes, all with step by step photographs. Everything from Bagels to Granola Bars!

I have rounded up some of my favourite recipes, from an elevenses treat to a jaw dropping nutella centrepiece. One of my most popular blog posts of all time is my How to Make Bagels at Home (link below) tutorial, I always have helpers in the kitchen when I bake bagels, the shaping always leads to high spirits!! 

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Traditional Irish White Soda Bread

Traditional Irish Soda Bread, a recipe from my childhood. A real Irish recipe with a long Irish history.

This humble bread has been part of our Irish heritage for at least 180 years, it requires nothing more than four simple ingredients, a hot oven and a little time. It reminds me of my mother, shaping it on our counter top at home before baking it in the solid fuel cooker, then afterwards enjoying it at tea time warm from the oven, slathered with butter and maybe a little jam.     

Traditional Irish Soda Bread, a recipe from my childhood. A real Irish recipe with a long Irish history.

My father remembers his mother making it over the open fire in the griddle -traditional three legged pot with a lid -  which sat over the open flames suspended by an iron arm, the lid of the griddle in place, covered with hot coals, an ingenious way of cooking the top and bottom of the soda bread simultaneously. He also remembers this as the method for making "Griddle Bread" or "Soda Farls" essentially the same recipe executed slightly differently.   

This is a quick bread, requiring very little input from us, no yeast, kneading, rising or proving just a little stirring and then a hot oven to finish off our labours. The addition of raisins changes the purpose of the bread, it goes from something that can be enjoyed with cheese to what we would call a "Tea Bread" which is more than suitable for guests and the table bedecked with silver butter dishes, cups, saucers and good silverware, but it is just as acceptable for the rough and tumble of a family tea time!

Enjoy this St. Patricks Day  and why not have it with a piece of Irish Tradition on your table.