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Posts tagged ‘homemade’

Homemade Hummus [Recipe]

Growing up in Ireland in the 70s and 80s fancy food generally meant a salmon en croûte, a Baked Alaska or a prawn cocktail on half an avocado topped with Marie Rose sauce. Findus Crispy Pancakes were the height of cool. Then pizzas arrived – hideous things that could be heated under the grill. We thought they were delicious because we had no frame of reference – we didn’t know how good pizza could taste. We drank instant coffee with pride. We had a coffee percolator that was dragged out a few times a year when my mother entertained, but the coffee was left sitting for hours and it tasted awful – the instant stuff was so much nicer. Read more

Homemade Coconut Body & Lip Butters

There is a certain pleasure to be had from walking into an expensive department store and perusing the extensive range of beauty products available. Helpful and “qualified” staff will assess your skin’s needs and talk you through the benefits of their range. (“Qualified” in this instance generally means they’ve been trained on their company’s product range and how best to sell them.) You leave with a bag of products carefully wrapped in tissue paper and a gorgeous (branded) bag, promises of bright, wrinkle-free skin within days and a significantly lighter wallet. Read more

The Christmas Cake [Recipe]

“Don’t slam the door!” my mother would yell as I walked into the kitchen. The Christmas cake was in the oven and in the early eighties, when oven seals weren’t quite what they should be, slamming the door could create enough draft to cause the cake to sink in the middle. Or so the theory went. Read more

Ornate

I don’t really go in for ornaments, preferring instead to decorate my home with plants, flowers and natural products. My summer bowl contains the dried petals from the roses I got for my 40th birthday last year. This is my autumn bowl – chestnuts I collected from the schoolyard near my home. Aren’t they gorgeous? Read more

Creamy Zucchini/Courgette Soup [Recipe]

On my recent trip home I got to catch up with some old friends, but I also got to meet new people. I love meeting new people, especially in rural Ireland where they seem so characterful, so full of laughter and stories. Meeting new people invariable results in being asked two questions – where do you come from and what do you do. These seemingly innocuous questions always fill me with dread – because I don’t have a straightforward answer to either of them. Read more

Easy Homemade Mayonnaise [Recipe]

Mayonnaise is my favourite condiment. It seems to go with just about everything. A thick, creamy dollop on a hard-boiled egg. Spread thickly on sourdough toast and topped with a slice of ripe tomato for a quick and tasty lunch. Combined with gherkin and pungent capers for a piquant tartare sauce. Mixed with your favourite ketchup for a perfect seafood dressing. The possibilities are endless. Read more

Friday Favourites: 15 Minute Chocolate Chip Ice Cream [Recipe]

This ice cream is a cinch. An absolutely cinch. No cooking, no cooling, no churning, no icy lumps. It’s in the freezer within 15 minutes and ready to eat just two hours later. It’s incredibly soft and creamy while being rich and decadent from the dark chocolate. And all that with just four simple ingredients. This is a win-win ice cream. Read more

Friday Favourites: Toffee Popcorn [Recipe]

Friday night is movie night here in our house. During the week we each tend to do our own thing – reading, listening to music or watching YouTube videos relative to our areas of interest. Come Friday, though, we like to curl up together to watch something a little trashy. Earlier in the evening we treat ourselves to one of our favourite Friday dinners – burgers (which we had today), pizza, fajitas or such like. Then I like to make a big bowl of popcorn to munch in front of the TV. Throw in a few beers and I’m in heaven. Read more

Friday Favourites: Homemade Fajitas [Recipe]

I’ll never forget the first time I had fajitas. I was living in Texas and was brought to a restaurant by one of my colleagues to sample the local Tex-Mex cuisine. I had, of course, heard of fajitas but hadn’t tried them and decided to give them a go. The sizzling platter of meat and vegetables, along with a selection of cold toppings such as sour cream, guacamole and grated cheese, that was delivered to each individual diner fascinated me. I absolutely loved the idea of building my own fajita my way, with my chosen ingredients. Read more

Friday Favourites: Homemade Pizza [Recipe]

One of my chief ambitions in life is to rid my kitchen of all commercially processed foods and make everything myself from scratch. While I’ve made some good progress over the past year I still have a way to go. It’s an ongoing journey – I’ll get there little by little. I appreciate that I am fortunate in that I have time to spend in my kitchen preparing my food. Back when I had a full-time job I did my best most nights, making speedy reliables such as pasta dishes or stir fries, keeping the ingredients as fresh and healthy as possible. But come Friday evening I wanted a treat – something sticky or gooey that could be eaten curled up on the couch in front of a good movie, perhaps with a cold beer on the side. Read more

Lithuanian Koldūnai | Meat Dumplings [Recipe]

They say that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. In my case, this was particularly true. In the early days of our relationship I remember plying my man with rich stews of lamb shanks in red wine sauce served with super-creamy mashed potato, mixed seafood platters served on a lazy Susan with a big bowl of chips and a selection of dipping sauces set in the middle and regular full Irish breakfasts. He still jokes about how he could hear the “chitzzz” of a fresh beer being opened as soon as he set an empty bottle down on the table. Read more

Simple Crunchy Granola [Recipe]

I like to keep things simple. The sheer volume of newness in my life right now demands it – other wise I would sink under and drown. When you ditch your regular life for one that is completely new, everyday tasks become complicated. I live in the country now so I can’t just pop to a shop when I run out of something. Ingredients that I would have used regularly in Ireland have become impossible to source. The supermarkets have 20 different sour cream options but no fresh cream whatsoever. Certain ethnic ingredients are unheard of and I can’t use Google to source them as my Lithuanian is just not good enough yet. Brands and packaging are unfamiliar and so I must spend longer deliberating over options rather than just doing a grab-and-go as I would have done back home. Grocery shopping has become a chore. Read more

Updated “About Me” Page

As regular readers of this blog and the associated Facebook page will know, the content of the blog has changed slightly in recent months to reflect our decision to buy a home in Lithuania. The blog is still, ultimately, a blog about my journeys with food – now focused on growing and producing it myself. As this is something I haven’t done before I am liable to hit some bumps along the way! Read more

Lithuanian Cold Beet Soup | Šaltibarščiai [Recipe]

Growing up I was never a big fan of beetroot. I think this was due to the highly acidic pickled stuff you get in jars, which was pretty much the only type of beetroot available back then. My grandmother used it on all her salads and everything else on the plate would be tinted purple and tainted with its earthy, sour taste. Read more

Easy Homemade Burgers [Recipe]

In recent weeks we have seen the slow, steady demise of a faithful friend, a sizzling companion who asks nothing more of us than to be enveloped in a soft, squishy bun, smothered in a piquant or spicy relish and devoured with gusto. A friend who has been with us through everything – family gatherings, summer barbecues, late night munchies and lazy-day lunches. The humble burger. Read more

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