Food, Life, Laughter and a little Cooking

Finnish Blueberry Tart Recipe

As you know I’m a BIG fan of Scandinavian cooking.  And this Blueberry tart is, for me. quintessentially Finnish. The pastry for this is so simple, and I’m reluctant to even call it a pastry as it’s not done in the traditional manner, but using a mixer with- shock horror- soft butter.  BUT this makes it easy to make, even for those terrified of their warm hands…. It also uses my FAV – Cardamon

Finnish Blueberry Tart

Cardamon Love

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My Flourless Chocolate Cake Recipe

“Let’s face it, a nice creamy chocolate cake does a lot

for a lot of people; it does for me.”

~Audrey Hepburn

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What I’ve learned from Erin Brockovich

I’ve been taking my own advice quite seriously these last few weeks. Taking time out. Conveniently we have also replaced our sofa of about 25 years, so I’ve been sitting down with the family, watching the movies (Ahem Erin Brockovich) recorded for watching over Christmas, but which we never got around to seeing. And loving it.

I am continuing my education of my daughter in matters of achieving dreams through adversity. And Erin Brockovich, starring the most beautiful woman in the world (in my opinion!), Julia Roberts, was the film of choice for the last few evenings.

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My Chewy Chocolate Cookie Recipe

Even though everyone is probably sweeted out in January. A nice dark chocolate, Soft and Chewy, goes down very well with a nice coffee.

These are simple to make, and keep either cooked and frozen, or un-cooked and frozen.  Everybody needs a good cookie recipe in their repertoire.

The secret is the best quality chocolate and some leftover Christmas chocolate that noone really thinks they could/should eat.

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Did I ever tell you how lucky you are?

When the kids were all small Dr Seuss and his plethora of books were always popular.  His words just roll off the tongue with a candence that makes reading them enjoyable even though some of the words are completely unreadable.  But when someone is having a moan we roll out this cliche. And everyone smiles. Eventually. Cause we are Lucky.

Did I ever tell you how Lucky you are?

Did I ever tell you how Lucky you are?

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Chicken Thighs & Asparagus Recipe

I’m aware always of using ingredients that are

A) Seasonal

b) local, or at least national

But I’ve a bit of a grá (love in Gaeilge- and perfectly describes my love of this veggie) for asparagus.  Every now and then it’s just the epitomy of luxury for me.  My father-in-law grows some in his garden.  It’s perfectly delicate, and the entire crop would usually fit in the palm of your hand.  So I have to purchase.  And try to do this around June/ July, when it IS in season in this part of the world.

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Green Exercise

I’m all about being green. In general. Recycling, upcycling, air miles, composting, you get the drift. But I’m also all about Green exercise. Getting outdoors, into the non recycled air.  And for me, that’s one of the benefits!


In general you are pretty limited in the gym. Sure you can adjust the incline, but nothing beats the undulating terrain of the outdoors. Working out outside promotes “muscle confusion,” which can help your body burn more calories.  Very cool. And it’s totally cool to be green.

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Start Planning- Order your Hampers!

Even though it’s still November, it’s good to get ahead of the posse. You can, of course order any Christmas food from me in the usual emailly way.  But this post is specifically about HAMPERS.

I LOVE getting hampers.  They are usually filled with all the things that you secretly crave- but feel guilty if you buy them for yourself. My favourite ones are those with cheeses and wine.  Two of my not-so secret guilty pleasures at Christmas.

Christmas Hampers

Christmas Hampers

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A Taste of Halloween

Although not a particular fan of dark evenings, Halloween is a mega excuse to go all out with the baking. Taste is important, but at this time of year the decoration is also important, but remember no style over substance!  Last year we made the chocolate graveyard cupcakes.  They exuded taste and style.  So no pressure for this year.

A Taste of Halloween 2016

A Taste of Halloween 2016

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Sitting in the Dark

This month I have been very aware of all the talk around Mental Health. And of how lucky we are in Ireland (and Europe) to be relatively unaffected on a day to day level, by extreme weather conditions.  We are never in the dark for very long. And never more was the below quote more relevant to both situations.

The Dark Side

I, like most people, have my dark days.  Usually when I’m tired. And I feel out of control. And need to “get my affairs” in order to right myself. Luckily I have a few friends who are quite happy to sit with me in the dark.  And I would like, in return to offer myself to my friends and acquaintances to also, be that silent sitter. Just being with someone, not offering advice, just simply being there, can make all the difference.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m also one for a bit of a rant.  The phone is often burning.  But that real low can sometimes be difficult to tackle when all the balls you’ve been juggling in the air come crashing down around your head.

Then, for example, the hurricane hits, and not the metaphorical one that has been building in your head.  The actual horror of a hurricane.  As I work in Cork now I decided to travel from Waterford to Cork on the Sunday night so as to avoid travelling during the storm. And suffice to saw after 24 hours, most of it without power, and any means of communication with the outside world, I was incredibly thankful to see a sunrise.

But we were all safe, the buildings relatively intact and apart from the unfortunate side effect of long term lack of electricity, we were all fine.  Good even. And that’s sometimes how it is.

There’s a storm, then darkness, then the light starts slipping in again.  We feel  a bit shook, but ultimately come out the other side. But for many, it’s not that simple.  If that’s you, I’m here.  Ready to sit with you in the dark.