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 …

A Wedding To Remember

I really never intended on posting about the wedding. S’tasty is a recipe blog afterall. But, a few people were asking, so here goes…. I’m not one for fanfare, and was trying to keep the event as low key as possible. There was no wedding planner, there wasn’t a theme, and there were certainly no pink sugared almonds. It was however, the ultimate DIY family wedding. We had many helpers on board (family and friends) who had all been assigned specific tasks. Everyone assured me that I wouldn’t be wearing an apron on the big day, but to be honest I wouldn’t have it any other way. On the morning of our wedding, as I peeled carrots and did battle with a monstrous salmon, my sister turned to me and said “Shouldn’t you be at the hairdresser now, quaffing champagne?” We laughed. It was hard to be nervous that morning as there were so many other distractions and there was a lovely sense of familiarity, sitting at home in the kitchen, preparing for a family dinner. More …

Titanic Eclairs

Last week, I started to make these éclairs as I have a book at home called ‘Last dinner on the Titanic’. I used the éclair recipe from the book, as April 14th is the 100th year anniversary of the Titanic hitting an iceberg. I thought it would make an interesting  blog post that would reflect a bit on the last meal eaten by those poor souls that were lost that night. I was just about to pipe the éclairs, when I realised I couldn’t find my cloth piping bag. The best piping bag I have is this old cloth piping bag. I was delighted when I finally found it. This isn’t just any piping bag. This is my Mum’s piping bag. It’s the one she used to use when she made éclairs when we were kids. My Mum passed away last year, so now everything belonging to her is so full of history. I don’t think I’ve ever used this piping bag without smiling or crying and remembering and reflecting on her life. I love the way these types of benign artefacts take you away from the banal to a moment in time. I guess history is always around us, we just need to take a step back and tune into it.Other than the Titanic, there is another reason why April 14th is an historical day of sorts. Yesterday, the OH and I finally got married and had a beautiful marraige at my home. There was alot of cheese, and even the bride and groom wore aprons. It was so much fun :) I promise to post some photos soon. More …

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