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Avoca is prob my fav shop, the Boyfriend loves the food there but hates all the house stuff, my idea of heaven!! Can you believe I’ve only just found them on facebook! Last weekend saw a leisurely Monday browsing around Dublin with my sister & cousin, we had a great day browsing through little vintage shops in temple bar, to rhinestone jewellery store (another favourite) and we ended up going to lunch in Avoca. They have done up the cafe in the Suffolk Street, it’s so cute now, antique tea & coffee pots lined up on shelf, old chairs re-upholstered and fantastic lampshades…luv it..

How cute is this little King & Queen Table.. perfect for a romantic dinner for two!!

I had this yummy spiced lamb mince with hummus & pitta breads.

Avoca Beef Curry & Naan bread was absolutely gorgeous and massive portion.

Burger & Chips…

And finally a browse around the fantastic finds from silver teapots, to china cups and saucers and gorgeous silver cutlery!!

 Happy Browsing , Vick

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What an amazing weekend of both nautical & culinary in Waterford this weekend. It saw the Tall Ships Race return to Waterford from 30th June to 3rd July where they start their journey of the first stage of the race out of Dunmore East , around west of Ireland and continue up to Greenock in Scotland. The sight of such large magnificent sailing boats in Waterford port really brought a great enthusiasm and buzz to the city with hundreds of thousands visiting.

The Festival opened on Thursday with the Captain’s Dinner serving 300 people, with local & Irish produce being served on the Menu.

Nettle & Creme Fraiche dip

Crab Creme Brulee

Lamb with wild garlic puree and asparagus and peas

Berries with a Rosemary jelly, lemon curd cream & brown bread crackling

Cheese with Stout cake made with stout from Dungarvan Brewery

Doesn’t that sound like an amazing menu, however all of the local artisian producers made a great show in the Food Village, with que’s at all the stalls… here are just a few…

Azzuro Paella went down a storm!

Knocklara Cheese

The Most amazing chocolate cupcake EVER from Cupcake Heaven…yummm…

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If you are a follower of my blog you’ll definitely be aware of the fact that I’m from Dungarvan & greatly admire what Paul Flynn has done for both the South East Food Industry & Irish Cuisine. I have to admit that I was disappointed that RTE aired the TV series on in the height of  the summer season (which is probably debatable if you look at the window in this country!) and also the on air slot of 7pm & not primetime viewing of 8.30pm which it deserves!

As a lover of all things foodie, I do watch out for up and coming chefs and they deserve their spot on TV as with Donal Skehan, a self thought cook & blogger who is a great energy & enthusiasm for young budding cooks, who got prime time TV airing at 8.30pm, subsequently it was a great success. It is such a disgrace to have such an accomplished chef like Paul Flynn fall into the time bracket of mum’s dishing up dinner, people only coming in the door from work or others enjoying what is left of the long summers evenings.

Enough of a rant!! The first episode in Paul Flynn Irish Food definitely showed his flair & passion for Irish food that doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Having been lucky enough to have attended the Tannery Cookery School on two occasions for demonstrations, it really is great benefit to watch such a professional at work & learn new tricks of the trade.  It was great to show such simple economic yet tasty recipes – Apple Puff Squares, Roast Rack of Pork, Potato & Sweet Potato Gratin. All of which could easily be served up at dinner party or sunday lunch , not to mention be on the menu in The Tannery Restaurant.  I definitely will have to try the Roast Pork as the crackling looked amazingly crunchy & the pork still so tenderly cooked. Check out the recipes online:

http://www.rte.ie/tv/paulflynnirishfood/recipes.html

Anyway will have to dash home early the next few weeks to make sure that I don’t miss the new TV series.

Happy Viewing!  Vick x

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Happy Mothers Day…

Happy Mothers day to all those with beautiful children or mum’s to be, hope you all got spoiled today.

I’d a lovely day with my mum shopping yesterday & lunch out. Then today I made yummy courgette carbonara & these cute little rhubarb cheesecakes with afternoon tea! yummy

Rhubarb Cheesecake

 Rhubarb

Sugar

Cream

Digestives

Butter

 Method:

Cut rhubarb into pieces, add a little sugar & drop of water & simmer on low heat until stewed.

Whip cream & set aside, until rhubarb is cool.

Then  break digestive & add little melted butter. mix together & push into base of ramkin.

Fold cool rhubarb & whipped cream together & spoon over the digestive base.

Leave to set for while in fridge.

Enjoy with cuppa tea!

Vick x

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Mad as a March hare

March has just disappeared so quickly, I’ve been a little lazy on my blog posts lately, however with the extra hour of springtime, i’ll be back baking & cooking lots more… here’s what i’ve been up to the last few weeks, Christening / Birthday celebrations and yummy mini party merignue’s!!

Christening Cake

Iggle Piggle & Molly’s 2nd Birthday

Perfect meringue’s…

Vick

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Sunday was another glorious day at the Waterford Festival of Food, full of sunshine & food! Although I didn’t make the Food Trail on the Saturday evening I believe it was a great success, tasting dishes in each Restaurant – Lawlors served sushi & steak cooked on hot stone, while the  Tannery served  watermelon gazapho, prawn risotto & Nude Food – flatbread and humus & tender lamb tagine (apologies if I missed any of the courses – second-hand info). Also available was a surf and turf trail which was in The Moorings Bar, Crews Restaurant & Sea Palace. Sounds wonderful & am defo booking in for that next year.

The Sunday saw the farmers market in Grattan Square, where people thronged to experience the atmosphere and taste all the wonderful delights. There was a great selection of stalls with wonderful smells wafting as you walked toward the town centre, the centre of attention each year is the Hog Roast which is tremendous site, with the pig roasted on a spit from very early hours of the morning until it is tender & succulent.

The selection of stalls included beautifully vibrant cupcakes & cookies from Tara’s handmade foods, cakes and breads selection by Oonagh Poynton of Rhincrew Cookery School, Youghal. Rosies Bagels (Broadway Bagels) also served roasted vegetables on their bagels & there was also a Gluten Free Breads and cakes aswell. If you have a sweet tooth there was also Gallwey’s Chocolates made in Waterford which were yummy!

There was a great choice for lunch from Nude Food with lamb burgers  to O’ Flynns Sausages with sausage sandwiches & foot longs, O’Briens Chop House with roast lamb served in a blaa (traditional soft bread roll, from Waterford) Richmond House had a selection of goats cheese or roasted vegetable tartlets or steak sandwiches. Dawn Meats in connection with the seanachai restaurant had wonderful cooked meats aswell.

Then to wash down a yummy lunch there was tasty apple juice from Killowen or Crinnaghtaun Orchards, and with a que about a mile long was Badger & Dodo boutique coffee roasters, which must have been amazing – however I’m not a coffee drinker!

There was also some great artisan local producers including Knocklara Cheese, Baranawee Foods selection of chutney,Preserves and ready meals, Bridewater foods selection of preserves. , Co. Cork. Flavahans were also a big sponsor supporting local food businesses.

The 3rd annual year was a great success & I cannot wait till next years festival.

xx

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What a fantastic day on Saturday to head off  foraging for wild edible delights in Colligan Woods,Co. Waterford. Paul Green was our guide, who is involved in Biodiversity of Waterford Flora  http://www.biodiversityireland.ie , while we walked the trail through the woods Paul pointed out over 22 edible plants all easily accessible & at our fingertips.

Billberries (also know as herth) were one of the first plants we came across these were only coming into flower now with tiny red buds, however the berries are ripe in June/July and are known for their powers in helping prevent Prostate Cancer. St. John Wort is also edible and known for its tiny yellow flowers, commonly used in treating depression. Dandelions leaves and flowers can be used in salads,otherwise the root can be roasted & then ground up to use for Dandelion Coffee. Wood Sorrel is a relative to sorrel , it is shamrock / clover shape leaf with small white flower, this is good remedy for sore throat. We also found some wild strawberries on the forest floor, these have the same leaves as common strawberry however the fruit is very small probably not much bigger than a blackcurrant, but with a suburb taste (ripe in mid summer). Common Valarium was another remedy to help you sleep however I wouldn’t recommend taking too much! We also came across Sweet Wood Ruff which if you dry it out & hang it in your airing cupboard gives a sweet & fresh smell.  Wood cress which is a cousin to the watercress was also scattered however if you plant it in your garden it can spread! We also came across some Cherry, Hazel & Crab Apple Trees – so i’ll definitely look at the wood land walk with different eyes the next time i’m feeling hungry out walking! While we didn’t come across any wild garlic on our travels, it’s just in season now so i’ll have the wellies on & be out foraging soon to make some wonderful dishes with it. Of course another great edible flower at the moment is primroses which are really pretty to add the flowers to a salad or crystalize them for the top of cakes. Nettles are just starting to produce young shouts now and are tender to use in soups, mixed with spinach and also rissotto ( check out Hugh Fearnely-Whittingstall’s The River Cottage Year for some good recipes on seasonal fruit and vegetables).

Unfortunately when I got around to booking tickets for the Baking with Barons Bakery it was booked out , they had great interest in the afternoon class, so I decided to head down to St. Johns Castle to check out Agri Aware Mobile Farm, which had plenty of little chics , bunnies and a few lambs, they were also handing out lettuce & spinach seeds to make people more aware of Grow it Yourself.

The Picnic in Walton Park in Abbeyside was also a great success with hundreds of people turning out to enjoy the sunshine & music saturday evening.

 

….keep tuned to see pictures of Sundays Farmers Market!

Vickx

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