Monday, 30 June 2014

Salmon & Asparagus Cream Cheese Pasta

This dish is another quick and easy dinner that is ready in minutes and is great for busy
evenings when you get home a little later. Salmon is a great alternative to meat if your in need of a change and is a source of high quality protein and omega 3 fatty acids, so brilliant for your brain. This is a really great value dish and can be put together for less than €5 (so no excuses to all you students and frugal friends out there!). This recipe will more than feed two hungry adults and I usually have a little left over for my lunch the next day.

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Brie & Bacon Muffins with Spinach

Over the past week I have been making a really conscious effort to omit excess sugar from my diet. My sugar addiction had reached a new high when I was craving skittles and cakes by 10.30am in work, not a good look. I knew that something had to give. As many of my readers know I am a big fan of all things sweet so I can reveal that in essence the first two days of my sugar free life were exceptionally difficult. However as day three rolled around the cravings began to subside and my sugar free situation became less grim and depressing. This evening I decided to do something a little foreign to me, I made myself a non-sweet treat. These muffins have a lovely crisp texture on top, filled with the delicious flavours of salted bacon teamed with creamy brie. If that doesn't sound wonderful enough, you can of course marry this flavour combination with a generous teaspoon of tomato relish....genius.

I know they say 'everything in moderation' and what do you know they were right, there is life after sugar! Don't get me wrong, I definitely wouldn't be cut out for a sugar free life but I think having a little less sugar, a little more often, may just be the key to appreciating sugary heaven that little bit more.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Tottenham Hotspur Birthday Cake

So I've been very busy over the last few weeks with some exciting plans on the horizon which I won't say much about just yet. Part of the reason I have been so busy is I have been really busy with cake orders most weekends. A good complaint I'll admit, because it's so nice to have an excuse to pull out my sugar craft tools and get creative. This evenings cake is one I made for a 30th birthday a couple of weeks ago and never got around to sharing. Obviously for a massive Spurs fan, this cake was the perfect way to mark a significant milestone with friends and family.

I opted for my favourite (and very easy) Perfect Chocolate Cake with chocolate fudge icing for this creation, though you could just as easily choose any filling. The decoration for the cake was achieved using coloured roll out fondants and food colouring with vodka and a paintbrush for the finer details. Clear alcohol is a great way of achieving smooth and accurate lines when painting with food colouring and dries much quicker than water.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Raspberry & Carrot Smoothie

The summer sunshine is such a welcome change. Dublin and Ireland in general isn't exactly known for it's year round spectacular weather conditions. Therefore, when the sun does shine, it is a national unwritten rule that you need to stop what you're doing and continuously talk about the weather and speculate as to when it is likely to end. I kid you not, this has been the talk of the tea station all week long in work. It's hilarious. That said as long as it does last I will be whipping up tasty summer treats to keep everyone happy. This evening I welcomed the 'aul ball and chain home with this delicious and nutritious (what a bonus!) fresh smoothie. I am a big fan of fresh smoothies and juicing and all the wonderful nutrients that go with it. Making your own fruit and vegetable juices is really rewarding and worthwhile when you taste the difference in comparison to store bought products. On a hot summers day, nothing beats a fresh zingy juice to cool you down and build your immune system up all at the same time. 

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Baby Celebration Cake

A busy day of celebration in work today, as a special event was held to mark Ballymun being awarded Primary Care Centre of the Year 2014. I don't talk about my real job as a Speech and Language Therapist  very often, but obviously I need to work outside my wonderful kitchen in order to keep my fridge and baking press well stocked. I have a fantastic job alongside a wonderful team of dedicated people who have a shared love of working with our clients but also eating my cakes and treats! The award was quite the achievement and lovely for my colleagues and friends alike in work to come together and be commended on the wonderful work they ( or we!) do. I had a request for an aptly themed cake to celebrate the occasion. As the award was focussed around the work we do with young babies in the area, a colourful and fun 'baby' themed cake seemed like a fantastic idea.

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Pin Wheel Cookies

Bank holidays are so wonderful for many reasons, but the main reason....avoiding the dreaded Sunday night feeling. You know that feeling that hangs over you from about 5.00pm onwards, that sinking feeling telling you 'that's right, you have to get up for work in the morning'. Well luckily no work in the morning means a chilled evening with a glass of wine and some sweet treat that is just the ticket. These fabulously colourful biscuits are both fun to look at and fun to share with family and friends with a cup of tea. Though the recipe seems a little long-winded, once you get going the recipe makes a whole lot of sense. These biscuits would be a real hit with children and adults alike. Though I opted to go with pink and white, why not get creative and create biscuits with your team colours? Or seasonal blue, white and red for the 4th of July.