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Perfect Pancakes

Today is Pancake Tuesday, a day that is traditionally celebrated in Ireland by eating pancakes. It marks the last day before Lent which was a time of abstinence and of giving certain foods up in the religious calendar. So Pancake or Shrove Tuesday was the last chance to indulge and to use up the foods that weren’t permitted during Lent. Pancakes are eaten on this day because they contain fat, butter and eggs, all of which were not eaten at this time. The type of pancake made here in Ireland is different to the American style pancake and is more akin to the French crepe.

To serve, I adore mine sprinkled with caster sugar & lemon juice. However, today I ate them with Nutella chocolate spread and sliced banana which was simply scrumptious!

pancake choc

Basic Pancake Recipie (makes 12)

110g Flour

Pinch Salt

Pinch Sugar

1/2 Pint Full Fat Milk

2 Eggs

25g Butter (or some cooking oil) to fry

Method:

Step 1 – Mix flour, salt and sugar

Step 2 – Whisk in the eggs and milk

(* Best at this stage to set aside in fridge for 30 minutes)

Step 3 – Add butter or oil to a hot frying pan. When heated, drain excess oil off into a cup or pat dry with kitchen paper

Step 4 – Pour or ladle into the pan a thinish layer of the mix

Step 5 – Turn or flip over once cooked on one side

To Serve:

Sprinkle with caster sugar and lemon juice. Alternatively, eat with Nutella chocolate spread and sliced banana or whichever your personal preference!

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Emily’s Tiramisu

I made this last night for no particular reason other than I had the actual ingredients. I’m really looking forward to rushing home later to taste it!

Tiramisu is a layered dessert which literally translates as “pick-me-up”. There has been much debate as to its origins. We know it to be Italy, however the exact date is disputed with some culinary experts dating it to as recent as the 1960’s. Whatever its history, the fact of the matter is, it is one of the lightest and tastiest desserts you will ever eat. It requires no baking, just assembly and patience! This particular recipie is one a former work colleague passed onto me and is lower in calories that the standard version. Serves 4.

tiramisu

Ingredients

1 quality assured free range egg

250g or tub of mascarpone cheese

2 tbsp. icing sugar

75g strong instant coffee

3 tbsp brandy (or sherry, port, rum or Irish cream)

12/14 Savoiardi (sponge biscuit fingers)

45g dark chocolate

Method

  • Separate egg
  • Whip egg white until stiff but not dry and set aside
  • Mix together egg yolk, mascarpone, icing sugar & 2 tbsp of the brandy
  • Add whipped egg white to the cheese mixture
  • Make coffee and add 1 tbsp. of brandy to it
  • Quickly dip sponge fingers in coffee/brandy mixture
  • Layer in a glass dish or arrange in four brandy glasses
  • Next add a layer of the mixture
  • Top with half the grated dark chocolate
  • Repeat layering process again
  • Sprinkle remaining grated chocolate on top
  • Cover and leave in fridge for 8 hours or overnight
  • Decorate with fresh fruit (if you so desire) and enjoy!
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Valentines Chocolate Mousse

This little beaute of a recipie came to me today courtesy of WorldIrish.com. Perfect I thought, for St. Valentine’s Day tomorrow. So simple too as it’s only a four step process! Worth noting is that the quality of the chocolate does affect the taste and so you’ll find that more expensive chocolate will be enhanced by the liqueur or cognac.

chololate

Ingredients
170g chocolate chips or bittersweet chocolate broken into pieces
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp Grand Marnier liqueur or Cognac
4 tsp sugar
¾ cup whole milk
Pinch of salt

Method

  • Place chocolate, egg, vanilla, liqueur or cognac, sugar and pinch of salt into a blender and blend just enough to mix
  • Heat the milk until almost boiling
  • Pour milk into blender and blend for 1 more minute
  • Pour into 4 dessert cups and refrigerate for an hour.
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Delicious News for food lovers out there. Athenry is set to host its very first Festival of Food called “Bia Lover” this midsummer. Athenry Castle will be the back-drop to this superb event which friends of mine, Liam & Theresea Heneghan are organising. Check out the festival’s web-site, launched just last night in Athenry.

http://bialover.ie

This news is a welcome boost for local food related businesses and tourism too!

athenry castle

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Lousha’s Lovely Banana Bread

Got some over ripe bananas to use up (like those in my not too tasty lookin’ pic)!? Well, then this is the recipe to do it with. I made it for my radio buddies last week & it was devoured so fast I forgot to take a photo for you – next time hopefully! *Lousha Recommendation: Eat Hot with a mug of tea!

bananas

Ingredients

350g Self Raising Flour

1 tsp Baking Powder

2 tsp Mixed Spice

175g Light Muscovado Sugar

200ml Sunflower Oil

4 Eggs

3 Very Ripe Mashed Bananas

Juice & Zest of 1 Orange

100g Chopped Walnuts

Method

  • Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees (celsius).
  • Line 24” round baking tin (spring-form) with parchment paper.
  • Sieve four & baking powder in a mixing bowl.
  • Add sugar & mixed spice & mix well.
  • Whisk eggs, oil,mashed bananas, orange juice, zest & walnuts.
  • Add wet to dry ingredients & stir very well.
  • Pour into tin, covering it loosely with tin foil.
  • Bake in 180 degree (celsius) oven for 55 minutes.
  • Check cake is fully baked by inserting toothpick into centre.
  • Leave on baking wire for 5 minutes to cool off.
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A Man Named Michael

martin 2

Today is the 85th anniversary of the birth in 1929 of the former leader of the Civil Rights movement in the U.S; Martin Luther King Jnr. To mark the day, here are 3 little known facts that i’ve put together about the man.

1. He was actually christened Michael King. However, when he was age 2 his father changed his name to Martin Luther (King) in homage to the German reformer of the same name. So too was junior’s name changed!

2. Although he is acclaimed as one of the greatest public speakers of all time, he only got a C grade in public speaking during his first year at seminary.

3. Today over 700 streets in the U.S.A. are named after Martin Luther King Jnr., with one such street in almost every major city.

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My Dame Crush

Helen Mirren

There’s much to do about nothing with the Golden Globes this year.  I know I’m adding to the hype here in this blog but I’ve got to share a pic of my style favourite / dame crush with you. In my opinion, the Best Dressed (in Jenny Packham) at the awards. The picture speaks a thousand words. The dame just has it! It’s no wonder yer man behind her is winking at her…