Bircher Muesli

My Favourite Way to Start The Day
My Favourite Way to Start The Day
Bircher Muesli
Bircher Muesli

I’ve said it many times, but breakfast really is my favourite meal of the day. I can never understand people who skip it or don’t wake up hungry for it. One of my favourite breakfasts in the summertime is Bircher Muesli (also called Swiss muesli).  I had it first in India a few years ago and have been hooked ever since. Bircher muesli is so easy and delicious, you can prepare it the night before and it’s ready for you in the morning. It’s packed with fibre, protein, good fats and vitamins… so don’t be surprised if you have a pep in your step!

You soak the oats, dried fruit and nuts in juice over night, and add grated apple, fresh fruit and yoghurt before you eat it the next morning. I always soak my oats in milk or water instead of juice as I don’t like mine too sugary, but traditionally apple juice is used. Also about 1/2 an apple per portion is usually used but I use a full apple in mine. If you don’t like cinnamon or mixed spice, just leave them out. When I first had it in India it was extremely decadent, as they stirred in thick coconut milk instead of yoghurt and it was delicious. I do this sometimes if I’m making it for others.

I made it recently for my parents on a trip down to West Cork. It was the perfect thing to set us up for the days as we walked around Barleycove beach. Give this a go and you will be addicted!

Barleycove Beach
Barleycove Beach
Barleycove Beach, West Cork
Barleycove Beach, West Cork
Fully Fueled For A Windy Walk
Fully Fuelled For A Windy Walk
Walking The Sand Dunes at Barleycove Beach, West Cork
Walking The Sand Dunes at Barleycove Beach, West Cork

 

 

 

Ingredients (serves 1):

1/2 cup of oats (jumbo rolled oats, progress oats don’t work great here)

1 tbsp mixed seeds/nuts

1 tbsp chopped dried fruit (I like apricots in this)

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp mixed spice

1 apple grated or sliced into matchsticks using a mandolin

1/2 cup apple juice/milk/water

1/2 cup greek yogurt (I always use Glenisk as it’s creamiest)

Handful raspberries (to serve)

1 banana chopped (to serve)

 

1. Mix together the oats, seeds/nuts, spices and dried fruit. Add in the juice/water or milk (whatever your preference) until all the oats are just coated and soft… not swimming as you don’t want it mushy.

2. The next morning add in the grated apple (you can do this the night before too if you’re time poor in the mornings), stir in the Greek yoghurt until all is coated nicely in yoghurt.

3. Serve with fresh berries and fruit. You can garnish with a drizzle of honey and flaked almonds if you have them to hand.

Soak Oats, Nuts and Dried Fruit in Juice, Milk or Water
Soak Oats, Nuts and Dried Fruit in Juice, Milk or Water
Add in Grated or Finely Sliced Apple
Add in Grated or Finely Sliced Apple

 

Mix Together
Mix Together
Stir in Greek Yoghurt
Stir in Greek Yoghurt
Serve With Fresh Fruit
Serve With Fresh Fruit

 

 

Dun Laoghaire Farmer’s Market

Entering The Dun Laoghaire People's Park
Entering The Dun Laoghaire People’s Park
So Many Stalls!
So Many Stalls!

My favourite way to spend a Sunday in Dublin is to head out to the Dun Laoghaire Farmer’s Market. Located in the People’s Park in Dun Laoghaire this market is jam packed with every food related stall you could wish for. I tend to go there at lunchtime on a Sunday and get a delicous box of pulled port and potatoes with onions and gravy from The Goode Life stall, or a falafal wrap from the Lebanese Food stall, always followed by a chocolate brownie and some fudge from the Truffle Fairy stall. It’s a winning combination and nothing gets me in a better mood! All the better is that you can afterwards go for a walk along the Dun Laoighre pier afterwards and admire the sea, boats, and everyone just happy chilling out! On a sunny day the place is unbeatable, people lie out on the grass eating and drinking treats bought from the stalls. In Summer there are often bands playing, and sometimes even a stage erected Last weekend when I was there a guy had set up a little DJ table and was spinning away tunes for everyone to enjoy.

It’s also a fantastic place to stock up on delicious food for the week. I always tend to leave with vegetables, cheese, preserves, tea and meat. You can also buy beautiful Colm de Ris pottery, home ware, craft and natural cosmetic products.

My favourite stalls and buys at the Dun Laoighre People’s Park Market are as follows:

The Goode Life– You can’t beat this stall for your Sunday roast fix! I tend to get the pulled pork, potatoes, onions and gravy. You can get pulled pork rolls too… delicious.

The Goode Life
The Goode Life

Lebanese Food- These guys do seriously good falafel wraps and platters.

Lebanese Food Stall
Lebanese Food Stall
Delicious Falafel Wrap
Delicious Falafel Wrap

The Truffle Fairy– Where do I begin? My main motivation for going to this market is to get their 80% dark chocolate brownies and their fudge is so silky smooth, try the white chocolate, cranberry and walnut fudge, mint praline fudge and recently added orange and cocoa nib fudge. You literally cannot go to this market without trying these!

The Truffle Fairy Chocolate Stall
The Truffle Fairy Chocolate Stall
My Weakness
My Weakness

Drumeel Farm Muesli– The guy who runs this stall is an absolute gentleman, and even if he wasn’t his muesli and granola would still sell like hot cakes. The muesli and granolas come in different varieties and you can add in extra seeds, nuts and dried fruits to make your own custom bags. A perfect way to start your day.

Drumeel Farm Irish Muesli
Drumeel Farm Irish Muesli

The Real Olive Stall– These guys are at almost every market, and thank god they are. Even if you’re not an olive fan, fear not. Their basil hummus is delicious, but the main attraction has to be the mozzarella. They stock the Toonsbridge Mozzarella made in Macroom, Co.Cork. Toonsbridge imported a herd of buffalo to Ireland and started making the best mozzarella I have ever eaten. I guess it must be all our rain makes for greener grass and thus milkier mozzarella. I haven’t seen this cheese sold anywhere else in Dublin, so definitely buy a ball or two next time you see them.

The Real Olive Stall
The Real Olive Stall
Stocking Up On Olives
Stocking Up On Olives

There are a fortune of other stalls to check out though, so many that I can’t fit them all in the blog. This market is definitely worth a visit though to try all the delights, stock up your fridge for the week, and for talking a lovely Sunday stroll along the pier.

 

Warm Poached Egg and Bacon Salad

Warm Poached Egg and Bacon Salad
Warm Poached Egg and Bacon Salad
Best Eaten With Buttered Bread
Best Eaten With Buttered Bread

This salad came into existence as I tried to finish up a few bits and pieces in my fridge and cupboard, and I was really happy with the results. Most of all because it’s super quick to make, tasty, and relatively healthy. Despite being a “salad”, this warm eggy salad is really comforting and indulgent, especially when eaten with warm, buttery,toasted bread.

Some people have a mental block with salads, dismissing them a boring, rabbit-food excuse for a meal that no-one really enjoys. However, salads really are just any old ingredients you want mixed together in a haphazard way (suits me fine), usually involving a few veggies too. You can be as creative as you want with them, and experiment with delicious sauces and flavours. So before you dismiss this as just another salad, give it a go and be pleasantly surprised with how indulgent it can be!

Ingredients (serves 1):

1 egg

50g smoked bacon lardons (I used Gubbeen)

1/2 ripe avocado

1 small handful cherry tomatoes

1 large handful rocket

2 tbsp parmesan cheese shavings to serve

1 glug balsamic vingear (I used Llewelyn’s Apple Balsamic vinegar)

cracked black pepper

2 slices good quality bread (I used rye)

1. Poach your egg. The best way to do this is add vinegar to a pot of boiled water over your hob on a medium heat, stir the water in a circular motion to make a well in the middle of the water, pop in your cracked egg (best to crack the egg into a glass, and then pour it into the well as the water is still moving in circles). This helps keep the egg in a nice ball and prevent it from shredding away into the water.

2. Fry your lardons until golden, and set aside. Half the cherry tomatoes lengthways and fry gently until softened and cooked through.

3. Coat your rocket in your balsamic vinegar and mix in your cherry tomatoes, avocado chopped into little bitesize pieces, bacon and spinkle your parmesan cheese shaving on top. Place the poached egg on top and crack some black pepper over the top.

4. Serve with toasted, buttered bread.

Gubbeen Smoked Bacon Lardons
Gubbeen Smoked Bacon Lardons
Waiting For It's Yummy Egg!
Waiting For It’s Yummy Egg!
Now All You Have To Do Is....
Now All You Have To Do Is….
... Crack Into Your Egg and Eat The Gooey Yolk!!
… Crack Into Your Egg and Eat The Gooey Yolk!!

Ballymaloe Literary Festival

Ballymaloe House
Ballymaloe House
Entering the Magical Big Shed
Entering the Magical Big Shed
Amazing Crepe and Galette Stall
Amazing Crepe and Galette Stall
Ballyhoura Mushrooms
Ballyhoura Mushrooms
Food Graffiti
Food Graffiti

What a great May Bank Holiday it has been, but what a busy one too. Despite having lots of plans last weekend, most of which were in West Cork, I took a detour on Saturday morning down to the Ballymaloe Literary Festival as I really didn’t want to miss it. I only had an hour as I had to be in Schull that afternoon, so I decided to make an hour’s pit stop for lunch. I unfortunately didn’t fit in any talks, which is a shame as I wanted to see Michelle Darmody’s talk on self-publishing among others, but it was still a great spot for an hours lunch.

Ballymaloe converted a big old shed of their’s into a space filled with farmer’s market style stalls, but it was obvious how high Ballymaloe set the standard for what the stalls should look like. Walking into The Big Shed was like walking into a foodie fairytale! All the stalls were dressed in ivy and flower garlands, there was a magical play area for kids, a book stall selling favourite cookbooks, and a graffiti artist spraying out images of much loved Irish food culture.

I ended up going for a savoury galette with smoked salmon, cream cheese, herbs and beautiful unusual dressings, but I also helped my Dad finish off his BBQ from Gubbeen smokehouse… obviously! I also stocked up on treats for the weekend: king oyster and shiitake mushrooms from Ballyhoura farm, Porcini dust and a delicious salad from the Rocket Man. It was such a beautiful sunny day, that I wished I could have stayed longer. Alas, next year I’ll keep a full day free to come down and enjoy the festival. It was visually stunning and the programme of events was world class. Trust Darina Allen to pull off the best food festival in Ireland, with world class chefs, speakers, demos and events while staying true to her ethos of supporting local and artisan Irish food producers!

Inside The Big Shed
Inside The Big Shed
Children's Play Area
Children’s Play Area
The Greedy Pig Stall
The Greedy Pig Stall
Rocket Man - The Best Salads in Cork
Rocket Man – The Best Salads in Cork
Gubbeen Smokehouse - My Favourite
Gubbeen Smokehouse – My Favourite
Gubbeen Smokehouse BBQ
Gubbeen Smokehouse BBQ
I Picked My Lunch Quickly When I Saw This
I Picked My Lunch Quickly When I Saw This
My Smoked Salmon Buckwheat Galette
My Smoked Salmon Buckwheat Galette
I Ended My Day With A Quick Shopping Trip
I Ended My Day With A Quick Shopping Trip

Cake Cafe Supper Club

The Cake Cafe Supper Club
The Cake Cafe Supper Club
Cake Cafe Supper Club Menu
Cake Cafe Supper Club Menu
Too Pretty To Eat!
Too Pretty To Eat!
Chilling Out With A Glass of Wine
Chilling Out With A Glass of Wine

On Wednesday night I went along to Cake Cafe’s supper club organised by the head chef in the Cake Cafe, Ray O’Neill. While I have a borderline obsession with Cake Cafe, I unfortunately missed the first supper club he ran last month (I was down in Arbutus learning to make bread!) but when I heard about this one, I put my name down straight away and invited my two lovely house mates. The food, while keeping the ethos of using local and artisan food suppliers that Cake Cafe is renowned for, definitely had a different twist for the evening and you could tell a lot of love went into making this menu. The dishes were so beautifully but unpretentiously presented… really imaginative.

Enjoying My Basil and Elderflower Fizz Cocktail!
Enjoying My Basil and Elderflower Fizz Cocktail!

We arrived in the Cake Cafe and were greeted with a cocktail of prosecco and elderflower cordial that they had infused with basil for over a week. After a busy day in work there was nothing better than sitting down outside in the sun and sipping away on some fruity bubbles to fully switch off. That’s one of the many nice things about Cake Cafe, despite being located in Dublin city centre, you really feel switched off from everything when you get there. It’s like a little zen hideaway! Thankfully we weren’t waiting long before being called in to take our seats and get started on our four course meal. We started with a complimentary course of blinis with Goatsbridge caviar and dill creme fraiche, which were delicious.

Goatsbridge Caviar and Dill Creme Fraiche Blinis
Goatsbridge Caviar and Dill Creme Fraiche Blinis

We then moved on to our starter of a little fig, Durrus cheese, bacon and rocket pesto tart. That was definitely my favourite course, in fact just writing about it is making my crave another! I’m a big fan of all the West Cork cheeses, but this combination of all four ingredients was completely mouth watering. Throughout the whole night we had some delicious new flavour combinations that worked really well together, and you can tell a lot of thought went into the menu.

Fig and Durrus Cheese Tart with Bacon and Rocket Pesto
Fig and Durrus Cheese Tart with Bacon and Rocket Pesto
Goatsbridge Smoked Trout, Pickled Golden Beetroot, Organic Salad with Shaved Fennel and Herb Yoghurt
Goatsbridge Smoked Trout, Pickled Golden Beetroot, Organic Salad with Shaved Fennel and Herb Yoghurt

Our second course was Goatsbridge Smoked Trout with pickled golden beetroot, salad and herb yoghurt. I really must find out where to get the Goatsbridge smoked trout, I’ve heard a lot about them but haven’t seen their stuff sold anywhere. This was delicious and light and bursting with smoky goodness! Despite being already well fed by the time our main course came, we all had a few slices of their soft and crusty bread for good measure. Even the butter was handmade and scattered with some salt flakes. It was all the little touches during the night that made it such a special experience.

For main we had rabbit and pancetta hotpot which was delicious. I love rabbit, but you often don’t see it served in many places, so it was a nice surprise on the menu. To finish off we had a slice of mango and lime sponge with cream which we ate in happy, sleepy silence! The whole experience was great, and the three of us have already decided we will go to the next one, when it’s announced. It was a fantastic night, and I would recommend checking out the next one. I’m already excitedly imagining what will be on the next menu!

Homemade Carraway Seed Bread Bun
Homemade Carraway Seed Bread Bun
Rabbit and Pancetta Hotpot
Rabbit and Pancetta Hotpot
Mango and Lime Slice with Chantilly Cream
Mango and Lime Slice with Chantilly Cream