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 …

Heuvos Rancheros

This is my very loose interpretation of Huevos rancheros, so any Mexican readers- please don’t hate me for creating my own version of this classic dish. I know you can have corn tortilla, refried bean and avocado, but this is my very simple version, which I love as a tea time snack or brunch. We usually have this as a quick supper with a cold glass of beer. Or it works as an excellent brunch on a Sunday morning. You can let the tomato sauce bubble away and then bang it in the oven between reading the papers and refreshing your coffee. More …

Custard Creams

We’re just back from a really enjoyable week in sunny Madeira.  We dined in lovely restaurants, enjoyed great food and of course had some Madeira wine! In ways, it was nice to be back though. Back to normal food and cooking in the kitchen. When I go away, I always come back craving something simple. This week I was  craving tea and a custard cream. Custard creams are the kind of biscuits that are so common place in Ireland that they are often overlooked. They are the type of biscuits that are found on plates in Church halls, school meetings, hospitals and canteens all over the country. They’re not posh or fancy, they’re even a little outdated and unfashionable. They are simple, they’re plain but, there is something remarkably comforting about a custard cream. They are not too sweet, not too chewy and light enough to have a second one. They are yummy with a flask of tea, when you’re on the side of the cold mountain, which is where I usually seem to eat them. So I decided to try and recreate my own custard cream, and somehow, they tasted better than any custard cream I’ve ever eaten. Sweet, slightly salty, crunchy and creamy at the same time, these are custard creams to die for. I adapted this recipe from a BBC Good Food recipe. More …

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