Sásta: Irish Potato Soup with Kale Pesto

Yesterday, I turned 30. I was not particularly stressed about it nor am I a massive birthday person but I have spent some time lately thinking about where life has brought me in the last decade. It honestly has been wonderful! I have had adventures I could only imagine, received a wonderful education, had dream jobs and met my incredible husband! What more could one ask for……
Well I have had a long held dream, one that began to be a reality when I attended Ballymaloe last year. On my last birthday, I was sitting mid-term exams in the cookery school. This birthday was a bit different. Continue reading

The Art of the Cheeseboard

There are few things I enjoy more than cheese! The variety in cheese is astounding and it can bring you on a journey right from your own kitchen. France is undoubtedly the kingpin of cheese producing but many other nations are catching up. Ireland’s farmhouse cheese movement has produced some incredible dairy products in recent years. Similarly, in the US, Vermont has seen major developments in farmstead cheeses and is producing some to rival France. Continue reading

Caramelised Peach French Toast

When I go to the farmers market, I can’t resist stocking up on the best of seasonal ingredients. Nothing wrong with this except for the fact that sometimes, my eyes are bigger than my belly. Its common for us to have far too much food for two people as a result. This is where my “using up” skills come in to play! I fill the freezer with what I can and then make jams, chutneys and sauces with whatever remains. French toast is a classic dish for using up stale bread and is a fantastic carrier for a range of toppings. Continue reading

Sticky Banana Bread

I like bananas, I really do. They are the perfect snack or breakfast food. In a previous job, my boss ate a banana every day at 10am, which we collectively named nana time! However, I have a major problem with them. I don’t like them enough to eat every day and so I often end up with a lot of brown bananas, begging to be used up. There is only one solution to this problem…..banana bread! Continue reading

Fabulous Focaccia

Bread has certainly become one of my great loves – well baking bread! I find the whole process both fascinating and frustrating is equal measure. I have had many bread failures over the years and continue to do so (hello, sourdough!) but that doesn’t stop me from baking bread three or four times a week. Continue reading

Super Sourdough!

Sourdough is the holy grail of breads and one I have been battling with for quite some time. After we did the bread course in the firehouse bakery back in August, I made my own starter and started playing around with different sourdough recipes. None have proven that successful! So in an effort to finally succeed at sourdough, I have been taking advice from the sourdough sage of Ballymaloe, Tim. Continue reading

Bread Baking Adventures

I mentioned a little while ago that we were given the most wonderful wedding gift by two lovely friends. The gift involved a drive to a remote pier in West Cork, a tiny ferry and a ride in a rickety island land rover which all added to the charm that was our day at the Firehouse Bread School on Heir Island. The school is fully booked for the rest of 2015 so you can see how lucky we were to have such lovely friends!! Continue reading