Archive for August, 2007

::SPICY CHICKEN AND CUCUMBER SALAD

This is still a fairly experimental dish, but the idea is similar to the duck salad I posted earlier this month, but without the noodles. It’s really easy, quick and spicey! If you have a cold this will really clear those sinuses!

Spicy Chicken and Cucumber Salad

  1. 2 Chicken Breasts finely sliced
  2. Enough flour to coat the chicken slices
  3. Salt and Pepper
  4. 1/2 Cucumber finely sliced length ways
  5. 2 Peppers finely sliced
  6. 1 Red Onion finely sliced
  7. 6 Radishes finely sliced
  8. The juice of 1 Lime
  9. 3 tablespoons of Rice Wine Vinegar
  10. 1 tablespoon of Fish Sauce
  11. 1 Teaspoon of sesame oil
  12. 2 Cloves of Garlic very finely chopped
  13. Half a red chili very finely chopped
  14. Thumb sized piece of ginger peeled and very finely chopped

Wow fourteen that’s a lot! STAY WITH ME! Mix the flour with salt and pepper and coat the thinly sliced chicken. Fry them in a very hot pan with vegetable oil until nice and brown, leave to the side.

In a large bowl, combine the lime juice, rice wine vinegar, fish sauce, sesame oil, garlic, chili, and ginger. This should be to your taste so add something, subtract something be my guest! Add to the bowl, the cucumber, radish, red onion and red pepper. Mix the all the ingredients together in the spicy dressing.

Serve the spicy cucumber salad with the chicken strips on top and enjoy!

August 29, 2007 at 8:52 am 3 comments

::Apple and Cinnamon Porridge

Eating porridge in the morning is one of the most perfect ways to set your body up for the rest of the day. It is high in complex carbohydrates and provides the body with slow releasing energy. In the last few years porridge has slowly become one of the hottest super foods, and understandably so, the oats have so many health benefits that they are often linked to long and healthy lifestyles.

Here are just a few benefits of porridge, it can help dieting, prevents childhood obesity, helps concentration, heals the skin, improves sex life, and can even beat depression!

I’m going to write a bit about my thoughts on milk and the whole dairy industry issue, but for now let me just recommend that you make your porridge with water and if you can’t avoid milk, at least try goats, or soya.

Apple and Cinnamon Porridge

  1. 1 Cup of porridge oats
  2. 2 and a half cups of water
  3. 1 Large apple grated
  4. A good sprinkling of Cinnamon powder
  5. A quick drizzle of honey

I know some of you may be thinking this is hardly rocket science, but porridge can get a bit boring to eat so, I always try and experiment a little to make it that bit more interesting. You can do this in the microwave or on a stove.

Microwave: Combine the oats and water and place in microwave for about 4 minutes or until you get the desired consistency. Then add the grated apple, sprinkle with cinnamon, drizzle the honey and serve straight away.

Pot: Combine the water and the oats int he pot and place over heat, stir continuously usually takes about ten mins to get the right consistency, Then add the grated apple, sprinkle with cinnamon, drizzle the honey and serve straight away.

A pretty simple and easy breakie with an interesting texture from the apple.

August 28, 2007 at 9:04 am 3 comments

Review of Cookes Restaurant

Cookes Restaurant,14 South William Street , Dublin, Ireland

A quality restaurant, very tasty and inventive food.


We went out for dinner in Dublin on Thursday evening, to celebrate Sofie getting a job! We hadn’t booked anywhere so we ended up going for a bit of a walk to find a place we both liked!

After a walk down South William St, up Georges St, and through Georges St. Arcade we ended up stumbling into Cookes, who were offering a set menu of, starter and main course for €21.95, probably the best priced set menu for it’s class we came across that evening.

Unlike my last meal in town, the waiting staff were extremely professional and very attentive. I was asked three times if I was finished my starter but in general they paced the courses quite well, leaving time to digest and have a good chat!

For a starter I had a Caesar salad, and Sofie ordered a Beef Carpaccio with rocket. The Caesar salad was very tasty but lacked croutons and had just that bit too much cheese. Sofie’s Carpaccio was excellent, a perfect balance of taste and texture. For me the perfect dish is one that has a variety flavours that combine to become the perfect mouthful!For mains, in a bit of turning of the tables Sofie went for the Caesar salad, and I chose the Duck Confit with Beans. The salad was standard again with the same criticism, however the duck was very tasty, I felt that the beans could have been stewed a little longer in the sauce as they were still a bit hard and didn’t really compliment the texture of the dish.

All in all the meal was really enjoyable and perfect for an early meal out. I would definitely recommend Cookes, it definitely has a feel for food.

Rated 4/5 on Aug 27 2007

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August 27, 2007 at 1:26 pm 1 comment

::SWEDISH CRAYFISH PARTY- SVENSK KRÄFTSKIVA

I was away for the past few days for what is fast becoming my monthly trip to Sweden! Just to give you a brief history about my obsession with the home of europop, I love the Eurovision and in Sweden unlike Ireland it is widely accepted to enjoy that style of music, they also produce the best of it! I was once part of a boyband which saw us play in Sweden and one of the members (Jonathan Fagerlund) was also Swedish, at one stage I practically lived with his great family so I got to learn a lot more about the MANY traditions of Sweden. Ever Since I left the band I continue to visit and my beautiful girlfriend also happens to be from the land of the moose.

I have travelled quite a bit through Sweden and even lived there for a while, I would highly recommend you visit Gothenburg city, great shopping, really healthy food, and quite easy to access thanks to Ryanair. Perfect for a short city break.

Myself and Sofie were there for the past 5 days with two of our friends so we did a few touristy things to keep ourselves entertained, including a short drive from to a beautiful picturesque island north of Gothenburg called Mastrand, a trip to Scandinavia’s largest theme park, Liseberg, some essential shopping and even a spot of sailing!

We also attended Sofie’s Grandparent’s crayfish party which was LOT’S of fun! The idea of the crayfish party has grown in popularity since the 1930’s when the crayfish season began in late August, people sit out in the last of the summer sun, eat huge amounts of crayfish, sing schnapps songs, and wear funny hats and bibs! The one we went to was no different and definitely lived up to my expectations!
I particularly love shellfish so I can’t describe my excitement when what appeared to be unlimited supplies of crayfish and prawns were placed elegantly on the table! All table manners really go out the window at this stage, when shell’s are cracked, and claws snapped to reveal the salty sweet cooked cold meat. Making loud sucking noises also become an acceptable form of behaviour, to our friends who are bit squeamish, this must have looked more like a massacre than a party! I nearly had one of them trying the crayfish but they couldn’t bring themselves to do it! Oh well maybe next time!
The eating is only broken up by the singing of songs and drinking schnapps which happens so regularly that for a light weight like myself it led to singing in my best Swedish at the top of my voice!People who aren’t used to cooking generally shy away from shellfish and see them as something pretty difficult to prepare, but if you can boil an egg then you can cook crayfish. Here is a simple recipe to make the crayfish we had at the party.

Swedish Crayfish Recipe

  1. 2 lbs of crayfish
  2. 3 Litres of Water
  3. 5 tbsp of Salt
  4. 1 tbsp of Sugar
  5. Handful of Crown Dill or Fresh Dill

Bring the water to the boil in a large pot and add the salt sugar and dill. Add the crayfish to the hot water, if your crayfish is live, I recommend you put them in one at a time in order to keep the water hot enough to kill the little fella’s instantly. Bring to the boil again and let simmer and cook for 10 mins. The option here is to just strain the crayfish under cold water but my advice would be to rinse them under cold water and place them back in the seasoned water with ice for a better taste.

A that’s it! Serve them cold and enjoy your very own cray fish party!

August 23, 2007 at 12:20 pm 5 comments

::DUCK NOODLE SALAD

This is such a tasty, fragrant and fresh dish, I have had the idea for this dish for a while now and eventually got round to cooking it last night. The whole process took about 30 mins and was pretty hassle free. The duck is from Silverhill foods, it’s a really great product, it’s so handy to have in the freezer and is nice and crispy when cooked.There is nothing more appealing to me in fresh cooked food as combining texture’s and this dish has it all, crunchiness from the cucumbers, crispiness from the duck, and softness from the aromatic vermicelli noodles.
This recipe is a perfect example of experimentation in cookery. I had a vague idea of what I was doing when I started but the dressing itself came purely from my own tastes. That’s the way cooking should be, not meticulously following recipe’s to the last word, but adding something here, adding something there till it tastes the way YOU want it!

So fly my pretties and make MAGIC!

AROMATIC DUCK NOODLE SALAD

  1. 1 Crispy Half duck portion (available at most supermarkets)
  2. 180g Vermicelli rice noodles
  3. 1/2 a Cucumber
  4. Bunch of Spring Onions

For Dressing

  1. The juice of half a lime
  2. 2 cloves of garlic minced
  3. 1 thumbsized piece of ginger peeled and minced
  4. 2 tablespoons of rice wine vinegar
  5. 2 tablespoons of oyster sauce
  6. 1 teaspoon of sesame oil

Before you start put the duck in a roasting tin and throw in the oven for 25 mins at 210 degrees C. Soak the noodles in hot water while you are preparing the veg and dressing.

In a small bowl mix the ingredients for the marinade and set aside.

Cut the cucumber in half again and slice very thin, trim the spring onions and slice thinly, set aside. Drain the noodles, rinse them in cold water and then mix them with the marinade in a large bowl.

Take the duck out of the oven, slice thinly and add to the noodles along with the cucumber and spring onion. Serve straight away!

Also check out The Humble Housewife writing a fabulous guest blog on the ravishing Damian Mulley’s Blog.

August 15, 2007 at 9:59 am 6 comments

::Stir Fry Lunch

This is a great little lunch you can prepare the night before, it’s simple fresh, tasty, and can be eaten hot or cold! I’ve started taking lunch in every day to work so it’s become interesting experimenting with what works being bundled in a bowl and reheated!

QUICK STIR FRY LUNCH (Serves two)

  1. 2 Cloves of Garlic finely chopped
  2. 1 Red Onion cut in half moons
  3. 1 Head of Broccoli
  4. 2 Red Peppers
  5. 2 tablespoons of rice wine vinegar
  6. 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  7. 1 teaspoon sesame oil

Prepare the veg, finely chop the garlic, slice the red onion into half moons, remove all the florets of broccoli, and slice the peppers horizontally. In a hot wok put about a tablespoon of sunflower oil and fry the garlic for 1 min, add the onion and fry for a further 2 mins, then throw in the Broccoli and peppers and stir with the garlic and onion.

Keep stirring and add the rice wine vinegar, fish sauce, and sesame oil. Serve hot or keep in the fridge for lunch tomorrow!

August 14, 2007 at 10:33 am Leave a comment

::Breakfast Smoothie and Porridge with Honey, Goats Milk, and Blueberries!


This is what we woke up to this morning. Now if that doesn’t get you going on a Monday morning I don’t know what will! After a pretty unsettled couple of weeks were back on track with a healthy lifestyle starting with a nice healthy jog last night, unfortunately I know it’s going to be broken up yet again when we hit Sweden on Friday!

This is a great breakfast to start the week. So many people forget about breakfast, but when your mother told you to eat it, she was right! When you think about it logically, your body hasn’t received any nutrients since the night before and is therefore running practically on empty! When you wait till twelve to nourish your body you have wasted a whole morning, when you could have had your body full of nutrients releasing energy.

As a general rule it is always better to eat something for breakfast rather than nothing. People who are making the time excuse generally aren’t being realistic, I made this breakfast and ate it in 20 mins and it was a fairly big one, every person can make the time in the morning, by setting the alarm that little bit earlier.

Getting out of bed is a mental thing, when the alarm goes off I get straight out of bed and don’t leave myself time to consider those extra few minutes I could waste by staying there. Try it tomorrow, just get straight up when the alarm rings, it’s not that hard and you feel great about yourself too! Well that’s what I told the girlfriend when I dragged her out of bed this morning! 🙂

Mixed Fruit Smoothie

  1. 1/2 cup of Mixed Frozen Berries
  2. 1 Banana
  3. Orange or Apple Juice (not from concentrate)

I always keep some frozen mixed berries (Boylan’s) which you can get in most supermarkets these days, as there perfect for smoothies because they last for a long time in the freezer. Throw the Berries in a container with the banana and fill the container up as far as the berries with Orange or Apple juice.

Then blend and serve, it’s really quick and really easy.

August 13, 2007 at 11:47 am 9 comments

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