Sunday, 30 December 2012

Baileys Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

The Christmas festivities are coming to an end, my beloved brother boarded a plane to head back down under this morning leaving everyone feeling a little deflated. It's hard when Christmas is over, but I also like the fresh start that the New Year brings. I look forward to new and exciting ideas that I can share in the New Year to keep in line with everyone's 'healthy' and well intended new year's resolutions. That said, today's recipe is in keeping with Christmas treats and party time. Delicious double chocolate chip Baileys cookies. On this occasion I actually checked that I had Baileys before starting out, not like the evening I ended up making  Kahlua Christmas Cookies. These Baileys cookies are bursting with flavour, are chewy but  with a little crunch.....perfect!




Baileys Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes 10-12 Cookies

Ingredients
275g self-raising flour
1/2 tsp. bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp. salt
170g butter
220g dark brown sugar 
100g sugar
30ml Baileys Irish Cream
1 egg
1 egg yolk
100g white chocolate (chopped)
100g milk chocolate (chopped)

Method
1. Preheat oven to 160°C and grease and line three large baking trays.
2. Sift the salt, soda and flour together in a bowl.
3. In a seperate bowl cream together the butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended 
    (Use a handheld mixer if you have one or a freestanding mixer if doubling the recipe).
4. Beat in the vanilla, egg, egg yolk and Baileys until light and creamy.
5. Mix in the flour until blended.
6. Stir in the chopped chocolate pieces using a wooden spoon. Place spoonfuls of dough onto 
    the trays (ping pong ball sized). Leave plenty of space between each as they will spread out 
    a lot.
7. Bake for 15-17 minutes until the edges are lightly toasted. Cool on the tray for a  
    few minutes before placing on wire racks to cool totally.


























E-D's Notes
- I can place 5 cookies per tray as they really do spread out a lot so keep that in mind. I usually 
  line and grease 3 trays for this quantity of cookies. 
- The timing of these cookies is very important so make sure that you use a stopwatch.

Friday, 28 December 2012

Carrot Cake Cravings

Christmas in our house is all about the wine, the dinners, the treats and the desserts. The last few days seem like a blur and I'm finding it so hard to keep track of the days. I have had such an amazing time catching up with old friends, lying around chatting with family, playing board games and of course the occasional sing-song......that's what Christmas is all about for me! We had a little gathering on St.Stephen's day so I wanted to make something sweet to accompany the canopies we were serving. I decided on a carrot cake, as it tends to be a hit with both young and old. This recipe turned out a treat and the cake itself was really moist, with the perfect blend of flavours and textures. Carrot cakes generally contain walnuts, but this recipe is a nut free alternative.



Carrot Cake

Ingredients
For the cake:
300g soft light brown sugar
300ml sunflower oil
3 medium eggs
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
300g self-raising flower
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger
Pinch of salt
300g of carrot (grated)

For the cream cheese frosting:
600g icing sugar
100g butter
250g cream cheese


Method
1. Preheat the oven to 170C and grease and line a deep 18cm square tin (or round alternative).
2. Place the sugar, eggs and oil in a free-standing mixer (or alternatively use a hand-held mixer)  
    and mix together until well combined.
3. Next add in the flour, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon, ginger and salt and incorporate slowly 
    until well mixed
4. Finally stir in the carrot and pour the mixture into the prepared tin. 
5. Place in the oven for 50 minutes or until the cake bounces back when pressed firmly. Allow 
    the cake to cool slightly before turning out on a rack to cool completely.
6. For the cream cheese frosting, place all of the ingredients together in a mixer and beat on a 
    high speed for 4-5 minutes. 

Assembly
Allow the cake to cool completely before carefully halving lengthways (as pictured). Using a palette knife spread 1/3 of the cream cheese mixture onto the centre of the cake for the filling. Finally reassemble the cake and using a spatula or palette knife, smear the entire cake with the remaining frosting

E-D's Notes
I made some really cute carrots from fondant icing to decorate my carrot cake but these are of course optional. If you don't quite have that much time on your hands, why not use a few walnuts or pecans to decorate!

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Festive White Chocolate Fudge

What an incredible Christmas day. Following on from on from a magnificent get together with family last night and a memorable sing song with my Nana on piano, this Christmas is shaping up as an absolute cracker. Today was filled with such thoughtful gifts from family and friends which has made me feel beyond lucky. I may need an extension to my kitchen to fit all my new tools, gadgets and gizmos thanks to the very generous man in the big red suit. We're having a late dinner this year to ensure we've all worked up quite the appetite, but at this stage in the day, I have to say I'm starving! So wishing all my readers a very Merry Christmas and look forward to a food filled 2013! 

FestiveWhite Chocolate Fudge

Ingredients
1 tin of condensed milk (397g)
100g butter
450g light brown sugar
40g white chocolate
Green food colouring (optional)

Method
1. Line a 16cm sqaure tin (or similar) using grease proof paper and grease well with olive oil or 
    butter.
2. Melt the butter, sugar and condensed milk in a saucepan over a medium heat stirring 
    continuously until the mixture boils. Then reduce to a low heat so the mixture is simmering 
    and continue to stir for 10 minutes. At this stage, add green food colouring if desired.
3. When the mixture reaches the soft-ball stage, remove from the heat and steep the base of 
    the saucepan in cold water, whilst mixing the fudge with a hand mixer on a high speed for a 
    further 10 minutes until the mixture cools completely. At this point the mixture should appear 
    grainy and thick.
4. Place half of the mixture into the prepared tin, then sprinkle the grated white chocolate, 
    followed by the remainder of the mixture. Leave to cool, then place in the fridge for 3-4 hours 
    to set. Cut into squares (approximately 36 pieces) and serve. 


E-D's Notes
When adding any mixture to a lined tin as shown, add a little mixture to each corner to begin with before filling in the centre of the tin. This will prevent the lining at the sides caving in and make filling the lined tin much easier.

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Creamy Chicken and Broccoli Pottage

The countdown to Christmas continues and I really enjoyed a busy morning doing the Christmas food shop with Shaud. We were also decking the halls quite literally with holly in preparation for the arrival of my wonderful brother from Australia this evening. Excitement is not the word! Since I arrived home, my wonderful Mom Shaud has gone to great lengths to buy and cook things reminiscent of my childhood. Last night we made something I haven't had since I was a child....and after last night I don't know how we forgot about it for so many years, because it was absolutely delicious! As children we always called this dish 'Chicken la Siobhán' after my Mom, in essence it is a creamy pottage packed with flavour. This dish is really easy to throw together and is a great dish to serve particularly if your feeding many mouths. 



Creamy Chicken & Broccoli Pottage 
(a.k.a. Chicken la Siobhán)
Serves 4

Ingredients
1 medium cooked chicken or 3 medium chicken breasts
1 can of Cambells mushroom soup
450g of broccoli cooked
2 tbsp mayonaise
1 cup of white cheddar grated
2 tsp mild curry powder 
300ml of milk
Method
1. Place the broccoli at the bottom of a casserole dish, place chicken on top.
2. Mix remainder of ingredients in a jug, then pour over chicken and broccoli in the 
    casserole dish.
3. Cook at 180°C for 30-40 minutes or until piping hot.



E-D's Notes
- This dish is really simple but delicious. It was the only way my Mom could ever get me to eat 
  broccoli as a child.
- I like to serve this dish on a bed of basmati, or Thai Jasmine rice. Alternatively it can just as  
  easily be served with pasta or potatoes.

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Christmas Onion Marmalade

Apologies for my lack of blogging over the last few days. Like everyone else I have been running about trying to get the last few things together for Christmas. After what seemed like a very long week in work I am finally finished for 2012 and I am taking the next two weeks off, so lots of time to spend in the kitchen. Today's post is a favourite in our house, and we always serve this delicious Onion Marmalade with my Home-made Chicken Liver Pate. Served on crusty crostini with pate, or as an accompaniment to cheese, or Christmas Ham this onion marmalade is a real treat.


Onion Marmalade

Ingredients
25g butter
375g onions (peeled and thinly sliced)
150g granulated sugar
100ml Balsamic Vinegar
250ml full bodied red wine
Salt & Pepper

Method
1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan, then add the onions, sugar, salt and pepper
2. Cover with a lid and allow to cook on a gentle heat for 30 minutes, stir occasionally until the 
    onions are cooked. 
3. Add the vinegar and wine to the onion mixture and cook for a further 35 minutes with the lid  
    off, until slightly thickened. 
4. Remove from the heat and allow cool. Store in the fridge in sterilised jars or an airtight 
    container.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Chocolate & Marhmallow Ice-Cream

After sharing a marvellous evening and dinner with my very kind and creative cousin, it was time to come home after a very satisfying dinner (scallops and prawns no less!) to share with you my second ice-cream recipe following on from the delicious Raspberry Gelato featured last week. Tonight's recipe is a classic, something simple but incredibly tasty. On the whole I can't say I am a fan of chocolate ice-cream. I associate it with an underwhelming last chance saloon on a dessert menu where they have riddled every other dessert with nuts leaving me out in the cold (in this case quite literally). That said I have always had a bit of a soft spot for any kind of rich chocolate ice-cream that has chunks of something or other in it, like cookie dough, chocolate chips or.....marshmallows. Molly and I are partial to sitting down with a tub of this ice-cream and will wrestle spoons to find the delicious marshmallows hidden throughout. I am enjoying having an ice-cream maker more than I ever thought I could. For such an inexpensive appliance, it provides hours of fun!


Chocolate & Marshmallow Ice-Cream

Ingredients
30g cocoa
30g dark brown sugar
70g sugar 
1 egg yolk
225ml cream
175ml milk
30g mini marshmallows

Method
1. Mix together the cocoa, sugar, brown sugar and egg yolks until well combined.
2. Gradually add the milk and cream a little at a time, mixing well after each addition.
3. Prepare the ice-cream machine (removing frozen bowl from the freezer) and turn it on. 
    Carefully pour the chocolate mixture into the machine and allow to churn for 20 minutes. At 
    this stage add the marshmallows and allow the ice-cream to continue mixing for another 5 
    minutes.
4. Quickly spoon the chocolate ice-cream mixture into a lunch box or similar container and 
    freeze for 2-3 hours or until the ice-cream reaches the desired consistency. 


E-D's Notes
- The Kenwood Ice-Cream maker I use is currently available half price in Argos for 
  €32.49.....bargain, and the perfect Christmas present for delicious treats over the Christmas!
- Ensure the ice-cream machine is turned on before you start to pour the mixture in, as the ice-
  cream will begin freezing immediately and your machine will become jammed.

Monday, 17 December 2012

Kahlua Christmas Cookies

The last two weeks has been beyond hectic, between Christmas shopping, festive gatherings and wining and dining with my nearest and dearest, getting the time to bake and blog is proving a little difficult. That said this evening I had an hour or so and given that this week in work seems to be as busy as ever....I thought I'd spread some Christmas cheer with Christmas Cookies. I had an idea in my head that I wanted to make some kind of cookie with Baileys...so I devised a recipe! Half way through assembling the whole thing, I realised a certain delightful boyfriend had put on empty bottle of Baileys back on the shelf, making yours truly think we had Baileys when in fact we didn't....slight spanner in the works. But as they say 'when life hands you lemons.....make lemonade'. I had a little root around our drinks cabinet and rooted out a bottle of Kahlua. Kahlua is a Mexican coffee flavoured rum based liqueur  I simply swirled some Kahlua, together with some fresh cream and Voilà...Kalhlua Christmas Cookies!



Kahlua Christmas Cookies

Ingredients
230g butter
70ml cream
30ml Kahlua
200g brown sugar sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
450g flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
Green food colouring (optional)

Method
1. Cream together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
2. Next, add the Kahlua mixed with cream, egg, egg yolk and mix well. Add food colouring at 
    this point if desired.
3. Then, incorporate the flour, salt and baking powder, and bring together the mixture with your
    hands.
4. Place the dough into the freezer for 20 minutes to harden slightly. Then remove from freezer 
    and roll out on a well floured surface.
5. Place on two lined baking trays and bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes at 180C until the 
     edges of the cookies look browned.




E-D's Notes
- I cut each of the cookies approximately 0.5 cm thick.
- These cookies can be served plain or decorated with icing.
- These cookies are delicious served warm or cooled with a glass of cold milk or cup of tea.


Saturday, 15 December 2012

Batman Birthday

I've had a busy week planning and putting together this Batman cake at the request of a very lucky 4 year old boy. This cake encompasses all things Batman, from the man himself, to the buildings of Gotham city which line the sides of the cake and the Batman badge gleaming on the front. 

The cake itself is a 12 inch round cake, made of white chocolate and marshmallow rice krispie cake. The cake was left to set and then smothered in a delicious white chocolate ganache. The ganache helps fill in all the gaps that are unavoidable with a rice krispie cake, so that when it comes to applying the fondant you can achieve a smooth and even finish. I coloured some white fondant by hand and achieved this dull sky blue colour for the base covering of the cake. Using a measuring tape I measured the diameter and height of the cake, and added the width and height x 2 to ensure I rolled out enough fondant to the correct diameter to cover the cake neatly. Next using a combination of grey and blue, I cut out some shapes to represent the silhouette of the Gotham city skyline, which I then decorated with yellow, grey and black squares to represent illuminated windows.



Rice Krispie Cake (12 inch cake)

Ingredients
750g Rice Krispies
100g White Chocolate
5 tablespoons of golden syrup
180g butter
300g Large Marshmallows

Method
1. Melt the butter, white chocolate, and marshmallows together in a very large saucepan over a 
    low heat.
2. Once melted, add the golden syrup and a few drops of food colouring if desired.
3. Finally stir in the rice krispies and mix well until the marshmallow mixture is well distributed, 
    and the krispies are well coated.


White Chocolate Ganache

Ingredients
100ml Cream
260g White Chocolate

Method
1. Melt the white chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of boiling water.
2. Meanwhile, heat the cream gently until it reaches simmering point.
3. Gently stir the white chocolate into the heated cream.
4. Allow to cool, and spread onto the cake using a palette knife.



Thursday, 13 December 2012

Meringue Magic

Last night I enjoyed a full Christmas dinner with all the trimmings with Molly and two of my cousins. Turkey, glazed ham, roast potatoes, roast carrots, alongside numerous types of gravies and stuffing, needless to say we were stuffed! I knew this would be the case so wanted to make a light dessert that would be manageable after the mammoth amount of food we had for our main course. Meringues are incredibly easy to make and even easier to eat! People are often put off by the thought of making their own meringues because they think they need to cook for ages, or they break. I promise this is a fool proof recipe that will leave you smiling at the end result! The cooking time is only 30 minutes and apart from separating a few eggs, there is really nothing to it! 


Meringue Magic

Ingredients
4 egg whites
300g sugar
Pinch of salt

Method
1. Whisk the egg whites in a clean bowl until they form stiff peaks.
2. Gradually add the sugar and salt to the mixture, whisking after each addition.
3. Finally add food colourings or flavourings of your choice. I opted for a mixture of plain 
    meringue coloured green for Christmas and chocolate meringues for which I just added a 
    teaspoon of cocoa powder to half of my mixture.
4. Bake in the oven at 140C for 30 minutes. Then turn off the oven and leave the door ajar. 
    Allow the meringues to cool completely in the oven.

E-D Does It
-I opted to serve my meringues with delicious Raspberry Gelato. This worked well as the gelato 
 uses egg yolks and the meringues egg white, so no left overs.
-Alternatively you could serve the meringues with freshly whipped cream and a raspberry coulis. 

Monday, 10 December 2012

Raspberry Gelato

Molly and I are really in need of a holiday, some sun and vitamin D. Only a couple of more weeks and he will be totally finished his Masters, and we will be able to get back to some sort of normality. I was reminiscing on our trips to Italy in the past, and started dreaming about the luscious gelato in every imaginable flavour which seemed to be available almost everywhere in Southern Italy and Sicily. When it comes to shop bought ice-cream, really I could take it or leave it. That said, there is something very different about home-made ice cream. Just the thought of it had me all fired up and convinced I needed an ice-cream machine to put all my ice-cream hypotheses to the test. So I got to researching all the different types of machines, considered my budget, read the reviews and decided to keep it in the Kenwood family. I went into Arnott's in Dublin to take the measurements to make sure the base of the ice-cream machine would fit in my freezer and planned on returning the next day to buy it. However, lucky for me, fate intervened and at dinner that evening in my cousin's house, she announced she in fact had said ice-cream machine and didn't use it....and gave it to me as a gift! For those of you who don't have amazing cousin's with random ice-cream machines lurking in their cupboards you can pick this Kenwood IM200 Ice-Cream Maker up from Arnott's for under €40, or it is also  currently in special offer in Currys for €29.95.



Raspberry Gelato

Ingredients
500ml milk
200g sugar
8 egg yolks
50ml cream
500g frozen raspberries

Method
1. Place the base of the ice-cream maker in the freezer a good 12 hours before you start, or as 
    per manufacturers instructions.
2. Place the sugar and milk in a saucepan and gently heat until simmering and the sugar has 
    dissolved.
3. Meanwhile beat the egg yolks until thick. Then add 200 ml of the milk and sugar mixture to  
    the egg yolks and continue to beat.
4. Next add the remaining milk mixture to the egg mixture and mix until well combined. Place in 
    the freezer to cool for 1 hour.
5. Blend the raspberries using a hand-held blender or similar. Stir into the cooled mixture and 
    then pour into the ice-cream machine and turn on for 30-35 minutes or until the gelato has 
    reached a soft, smooth consistency.
6. Serve and enjoy!



E-D's Notes
- When working with this ice-cream machine you need to move fast and the key is....keep 
  everything cold! Put the machine on before even pouring the mixture into the spout as the 
  mixture will start freezing immediately and the churner won't be able to move (lessen learnt, I 
  regret to say this has happened to me before).
- An ice-cream machine is a fairly low cost appliance that can produce pretty amazing things. 
  You might be wondering why you need one? Could you not just stick it in the freezer? Well no, 
  because your ice-cream, gelato or sorbet would be covered in ice-crystals and wouldn't taste 
  too good. For under 30 euro it's a good Christmas present for the ultimate foodie or appliance 
  junkie!
- The above ingredients make quite a bit of gelato, so what I tend to do is make the amount I 
  need as I need it in the ice-cream machine. I put any left over mixture in the fridge, and use it 
  next day to make fresh Gelato as I need it. This way I can get the perfect consistency that isn't 
  too hard from being placed in the freezer.
- Any questions at all just leave me a comment!

Don't forget to enter the 'E-D Does It' Christmas Give-Away for a chance to win 3 really special hand-made porcelain Christmas Decorations! Click on the link and enter now!

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Christmas Give-Away

I am delighted to announce another great give-away on E-D Does It  to celebrate 20,000 hits on the site. Thank you to each and every one of my readers for your continued support, comments, following and encouragement. I am really enjoying the whole experience and appreciate all the shares and positive feedback. I hope that my readers will continue to spread the word, 'recommend to a friend' and help me share my love of all things foodie and more.

As 'tis the season to be jolly and all that jazz, I am having a festive themed give-away. The prize......a trio of beautifully hand-crafted porcelain decorations with gold lustre detail. These decorations are one of a kind, made by hand in Co.Clare, Ireland and look beautiful on any tree. Check out the artist, Siobhan Dyar's facebook page to have a look at some of her other works. 



This competition is open worldwide, so anyone, anywhere can enter!

What you need to do....
Go to the app at the end of the page and then....
1. Like the 'E-D Does It' Facebook Page
2. Share an 'E-D Does It' link on your facebook page 
3. Leave a comment telling me your favourite E-D Does It post so far

The other steps are not mandatory but will give you additional chances to win!

The Rafflecopter application below will help you to carry out these steps and allow me to verify that the competition rules have been followed so I can pick a random winner in a fair way! Please make sure to carry out all the mandatory steps to be sure to be in with a chance to win this really beautiful prize.





E-D's Notes
- The winner will be chosen anonymously using Rafflecopter.
- The Winner will have 48 hours to email me back their shipping information. If no contact is 
   made after 48 hours I will pick another winner.
- This give-away is open to everyone, everywhere.....Best of Luck!                                                            - Check out the artsits facebook page for some of her other works: Siobhán Dyar Ceramics

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Christmas Cupcakes

Given that 'tis the season to be jolly, I was keen to do a little fundraising for my local children's hospital in the run up to Christmas. I decided to get involved in the 'The Great Irish Bake' which is a fantastic initiative  to get baking in aid of Temple Street Children's hospital. Last night I took to the kithcen at 6.00pm and didn't re-emerge until after midnight with 36 Christmas themed cucpakes. I then took to the 'Ballymun Book Exchange' near my office to sell each cake for €2 on my lunch break. People were more than generous and I was delighted to raise €100 in under an hour! Here is a look at some of my Christmas cupcakes. The display boxes were bought from Decobake on Bachelors walk for a thrifty €1.19. These boxes can turn your tasty treats into a perfect Christmas gift.


I did a mix and match of sponges and toppings to suit all tastes. As always, I used my trusty box of Americolor food gels to give each cake a festive feel both inside and out. I layered different colour greens for the sponge, and paler shades for the cream cheese frosting. These are the sponge and icing combinations that I used:

1. Cinammon Madeira, topped with fondant icing
2. Vanilla cupcakes, topped with cinnamon cream cheese frosting
3. Chocolate cupcakes, topped with cream cheese frosting.

For Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting, simply add 1-2 teaspoons to the cream cheese frosting recipe in the link above.

Materials Used
Tesco Roll Out Fondant Icing
Renshaw Red Roll Out Icing (Decobake)
Christmas Cupcake Boxes (Decobake)
Tala Gold & Silver Cupcake Cases (Woodys DIY)


     

E-D's Notes
- I hope these cupcakes will provide some inspiration to get creative this festive season. 
  There's nothing like an 'aul 'Make and Bake' for your nearest and dearest.
- To find out more about the Great Irish Bake, check out the website www.thegreatirishbake.ie
- I'll be sharing the recipes for the Vanilla Cupcakes and Cinnamon Madeira Buns over the 
  next few days.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Homemade Chicken Kiev with Garlic & Rosemary Roasties

 Half way through the week already, and the mornings seem to be getting colder and colder. Last night I was frozen and couldn't seem to warm up. Molly is studying hard as he has an exam on Friday, so I have been trying to keep out of his way....which is more difficult than it sounds. Molly loves my chicken kievs so last night, I decided to treat him so he would take a break from the monotony of study. These kievs are worth the effort and needless to say, aren't in any way comparable to shop bought and pre-packaged kievs, which being honest resemble grey rubber more than chicken. This chicken is packed full of flavour and the garlic and rosemary roasties are the perfect accompaniment. Bon Appetite!

Homemade Chicken Kiev 
with Garlic & Rosemary Roasties

Serves 2

Ingredients
2 Chicken breasts
3 slices of bread made into breadcrumbs
1 egg
4 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
2 tbsp chopped parsley
1 tbsp of rosemary
80g butter
8 small rooster potatoes (peeled)
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Method
1. Place the potatoes in a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Allow the potatoes to simmer 
    for ten minutes. Drain the water, then place the lid on the saucepan and gently shake it in 
    order to 'fluff'' the potatoes.
2. Meanwhile, using a food processor, blitz 3 slices of sliced pan until the bread resemble 
    breadcrumbs, season with salt and pepper. Beat the egg and dip the chicken breasts in it. 
    Then roll the chicken in the breadcrumbs until the breasts are well coated.
3. Place 60g of the butter, 3/4 of the chopped garlic and all of the parsley in a heat proof jug 
    and microwave until melted. Place the chicken on a baking tray and pour the melted garlic 
    butter over them.
4. Next, add the oil, remaining garlic and chopped rosemary to the potatoes and mix well, 
    before arranging the potatoes around the chicken.
5. Place in the oven at 200C for 20 minutes. Melt the remaining butter in the same jug used 
    before which is coated in garlic and pour over the chicken breasts before serving.


E-D's Notes
- If you prefer a creamy chicken kiev you can also make a creamy garlic sauce using 
  Philadelphia cheese and garlic which you could pour over the chicken once cooked.
- Similarly if you are making your own breadcrumbs and prefer wholegrain or brown bread you 
  could use these as an alternative to white breadcrumbs.
- I am a big fan of garlic, so have used 4 cloves in total. If you prefer a milder less garlicky taste,  
  feel free to use less garlic, in the garlic butter mixture.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Sugar Santa

I have had a really nice long weekend and though I'm returning to work today, I don't mind too much as the weekend doesn't feel terribly far away. The festive feeling has undoubtedly set in and the Christmas decorations were put up in force yesterday evening in my apartment. Molly and I are officially living in Santa's grotto and it certainly is a marvellous place to live! 

Here's a little look at the man himself in red, sitting on a lovely leather couch. The entire figure is made out of sugarpaste. I'm planning on using this model as a topper for my Christmas cake. There are also plans for a 'Mrs.Claus' in the pipeline, so watch this space. I plan to do a step-by-step picture tutorial for Mrs.Claus, if anyone has any interest in making one of your own. Although this couch is made of solid roll out icing, you could alternatively ,make it using rice krispie mixture or cake.

As I may have mentioned before, red sugar paste or roll out icing is very difficult to make yourself at home, as white roll out icing tends to turn pink when coloured with red colouring pastes or gels. I have never been able to produce a red that was near the right colour for Santa using gel or liquid colourings  I picked up a bag of M&B Luxury Sugar Paste in Decobake to save myself a lot of heartache. A 2.5kg bag is approximately €9.50, but smaller packs are available. Similarly with black, I buy this sugar paste pre-coloured as when coloured by hand the paste turns to look grey in colour and never a rich black which I often use for eyes on figures.





Sunday, 2 December 2012

Zesty Lemon Chicken

December has finally arrived which means I can finally embrace the festive feeling and enjoy the Christmas season. Yesterday, I got the day off to a great start by decorating the house with Shaud, in all it's Christmas glory. This morings recipe is another really quick and tasty dish for evenings when you don't have all the time in the world. Another very successful experiment, this Zesty Lemon Chicken, is really tender and moist because of being cooked in the lemon juice. I served this with my Cheesy Potato Bake.



Zesty Lemon Chicken

Serves 2

Ingredients
2 chicken breasts
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
4 cloves of garlic
2 teaspoons of thyme
2 tablespoons of honey
40g butter

Method
1. Place chicken breasts in an oven proof dish. Juice and zest a lemon.
2. Chop the garlic up finely and pat onto the chicken breast along with the lemon zest.
3. Place the butter pieces over the lemon breast as shown and sprinkle with the thyme.
4. In a jug mix the honey and lemon juice together and pour into the dish. Cover the dish with tin 
    foil and cook at 190C for 20minutes. Then remove the tin foil and cook for a further 10 
    minutes. 

E-D's Notes
- I suggest in the ingredients the juice of 1 lemon, but if you want extra sauce for your chicken, 
  feel free to use more.
- I buy my chicken from the butchers as the chicken breasts are better quality, can be 
  guaranteed Irish if you ask, so you know where they came from.