spring green soup

Immune boosting Soup

We could all do with some immune boosting foods right now. This is a lovely simple, vibrant soup that makes you feel better just to look at. It is made with ingredients that should be easily available but if you can’t get something don’t worry just leave it out.  The spinach is what gives the…

crepe suzette

Pancake Tuesday – 3 recipes

Time to get out the flour, eggs and milk and start making some pancakes. They’re very easy when you know how . My mother always made Scotch Pancakes ( like above ), crépes which we filled with butter, sugar and lemon and then Crépes Suzette which are decadent and delicious with a rich buttery, orange…

Rhubarb and vanilla ice cream

February – In Season Now

Spring is fast approaching and I can’t wait for the warmer days and getting out in the garden again. I have ambitious plan for beds of riotous colour this year. Time permitting! On the food front the first of the lovely forced rhubarb is in the shops now and the homegrown garden variety should be…

Traditional Irish Baking

I was lucky enough to be brought up on wonderful home baking. My mother is a great cook and baker and we took for granted her lovley baking and cooking.  Despite having six children and running a farm business my mother baked regularly. She baked Fruit soda, wheaten bread, soda farls, a variety of scones,…

blood oranges in season now

In Season Now – January

We are half-way through January already, the first of the snowdrops are up and I’m looking forward to Spring, the daffodils and brighter days. This month I’m aiming to eat more greens in general, spinach (the easiest), kale and Cavolo Nero ( picture below of it growing in my father’s veg patch ) which is…

festive gifts for foodies , river cafe cook book

Festive Ideas for Foodies

Victorinox Chef’s Knives I find these indispensable in the kitchen and use them every day. I first came across these knives when I worked at the River Cafe in London, the head chef had one knife only, a small chopping knife in this range. They come in a large range for different purposes in a…

chicken soup

Chicken Soup

Just the thing for a cold winter’s day . I don’t often make chicken soup but while recovering from the flu recently it was the only thing I really felt like eating. This is my mother’s recipe, she served it in the traditional Irish way with a big pan of boiled potatoes ( she favours…

Armagh the Bramley Apple County

County Armagh also known as the Orchard County is where I grew up and was reluctant to leave – even if only 5 minutes drive away – I now live in Tyrone. My grandfather who lived two fields down from us – as children we took the direct route through the three hedges and two…

foraging blackberries

Foraging

The hedges seem to be particularly bountiful this year, I’m not sure that they are any different or just that Im taking more notice on my daily walk down the road. Rosa Canina ( commonly known as the dog rose ) the lovely pale pink wild rose is in abundance and just as well as…

Granny Blacker’s Soda Farls

My Granny Blacker with my brother, my cousin and myself on the right circa 1972 This is my maternal grandmother’s recipe for Soda Farls. She baked these every day in life, asking my grandfather every day what he would like for his ‘tea’ when regardless of the answer it was always Soda Farls.  My grandparents…

strawberries in season now

🍓Strawberries in season now🍓

Local strawberries are in the shops now and absolutely delicious and so many lovely recipes to try out. I’ll be making a Pavlova , a whisked sponge with strawberries and cream , strawberry and lemon sorbet ( a River Cafe recipe  from my time there ) and then of course Jam . Ideally made with…

Rhubarb and vanilla ice cream

Rhubarb !

Rhubarb is in season now and is fast growing in the garden. It’s lovely for lots of different recipes from the classic rhubarb tart to ice cream and is making an appearance in my Traditional Irish class in the form of a tart and in the Easter Baking class I’ll be making rhubarb and ginger…

Mother’s Day Cake Recipe

Just the thing for Mother’s Day … a lovely homemade cake ! Lemon and Raspberry Layer Cake 8 oz self raising flour 8 oz soft butter 8 oz caster sugar Pinch salt 1 tsp vanilla extract 4  eggs 1 lemon washed Buttercream Icing 8 oz soft butter 8 oz icing sugar zest of 1 lemon lemon…

wild garlic

Wild Garlic

Wild Garlic is in season now at the beginning of March . The only place I’ve seen it growing near here is at Peatlands park where along the one of the paths it grows in abundance and is identifiable by the district aroma of garlic as you pass by and the little white flowers when…

wee buns recipes

February In Season

Spring is fast approaching and we’ve had some glorious days already. February might seem bleak on the fruit and vegetable front but actually there are lovely things in season now if you look out for them. Blood oranges from Sicily and Spain, great for eating, juicing and sorbet. The first of the purple sprouting broccoli…