Beef & Guinness Pie

When the Irish Foodies decided upon a Winter Warmer theme for the November cookalong I was delighted – one of my favourite things about winter is the comfort food that warms the cockles on cold dark days. It was quite hard for me to pick just one recipe and I must have changed my mind at least ten times but in the end I decided upon a rich, deep, savoury Beef & Guinness Pie, served up with some creamy mash. The great thing about this recipe is that with the addition of extra liquid it can be served as a rich hearty stew. [Read more…]

Lemon Drizzle Loaf

One of the first things that caught my eye in Bill Grangers’ new book was this recipe for Lemon Drizzle Loaf.   I have a deep love for lemon desserts and cakes – fresh tart lemon mixed with sugar usually results in something wonderfully zingy and shebet-like.  Add to this the bright sunny colour of this cake thanks to the addition of polenta and you have the perfect anti-dote to these dark, cold days.  This is one of those cakes that is perfect on its’ own with a nice cuppa or served as dessert with a big dollop of cream. [Read more…]

Bill’s Basics by Bill Granger (Quadrille Publishing)


Let me start by way of a confession…. I have never cooked from a Bill Granger recipe.  I have no idea why but for some very strange reason I have overlooked his books when adding to my ever growing collection.  So I was really delighted to receive a copy of Bill’s Basics from Quadrille Publishing in the post, and even more so when I read through its contents. [Read more…]

Itsa Cookbook by Domini Kemp (Gill & Macmillan)

When I worked in Dublin I considered myself quite lucky to be located a quick stroll away from Itsa Bagel as it was one of my favourite places to pick up lunch.  Apart from their very tasty bagels they always had at least two tasty and wholesome soups on offer (the lentil and vegetable appears to be one of their best sellers) and a really lovely selection of salads such as chickpea, pumpkin and feta, a very moreish couscous and my most favourite of all, a robust Caesar salad with chunky toasted bagel croutons, lashings of parmesan and  dressed in the nicest, creamiest Caesar dressing I have ever tasted (which is probably due to the fact that it contains no anchovies!).   So when the very kind people at Gill & Macmillan sent me a copy of the new Itsa Cookbook I was delighted to finally get my hands on that Caesar dressing recipe, which I have since made to accompany some lovely pollack goujons and chips and it was just as delicious as I remember.  [Read more…]