Sweet Potato Scones with Beetroot Jam and Crème Fraiche

We recently had very enjoyable afternoon tea in Reid’s hotel in Madeira. The tearooms are ideally situated on a balcony, overlooking a tropical garden and the glistening blue sea. The whole experience was idyllic and felt a little like walking back in time, to an age where afternoon tea was all the go. Our table was covered with pristine starched linens and we were presented with shiny silver teapots, fine bone china cups and tiered plates of delights. We nibbled on delicate prawn sandwiches, pillow soft scones with clotted cream, and a whole array of sweet pastries and cakes. It was such a relaxing afternoon and we savoured every bite. More …

Chocolate Bourbon Biscuits

It’s mad when you think about it, someone tucking into a bourbon biscuit and a cup of tea during World War 1. But, it’s entirely possible as the humble bourbon biscuit has been around since 1910, making it a whopping 102 years old. The original bourbon was apparently called Creola, but was changed to the name Bourbon, in order to make it sound more appealing. Apart from the name change,  it doesn’t appear that a lot has changed with the bourbon biscuit. More …

S’tasty Bouillabaisse

Finally, it feels like the summer has arrived and it’s definitely time for something a bit lighter. For me, bouillabaisse is the sunny South of France in one big bubbling pot : Pernod, fennel, tomatoes, and succulent seafood. It always smells and tastes like the summer. Bouillabaisse was originally created by the fisherman in the port of Marseille using cheaper types of fish, like eel and rockfish, all the fish they were unable to sell. More …

Purple Sprouting Broccoli with Blue Cheese

A lot of people ask me, what do you cook when you have no time? I know it looks like I cook all the time, but when it comes to feeding myself; I am usually very short on time. So to prevent myself from starving ;) I always try to have good quality ingredients on hand. Decent ingredients practically speak for themselves, which means they take very little preparation. Take some free range eggs, fresh green herbs and creamy Irish cheese and you have a beautiful omelette. Some Irish Smoked mackerel, brown bread and beetroot, make another great supper. As long as you a few delicious things in the fridge you can make a great meal with them. More …

Jammie Dodgers

Jammie Dodgers are another old school classic. When I was a kid I would always try and prise them open into two halves, but I never could because they were always glued together so tightly with jam as strong as super glue.  We never seemed to have them at home for some reason, so I loved it when we were at someone else’s house and I could sample the super-sweet Jammie Dodger goodness! I think the bright red love heart of jam always appealed to me.  It’s a simple idea, but it was an effective one to attract a little girl’s attention. They tasted sweet and crispy, with sticky jam like raspberry toffee.  I remember the packaging so well too– It was bright red and yellow, with the appearance of jam oozing all over the packet. Somehow it spoke to me and I always wished we had Jammie Dodgers at home in our cupboard. More …

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