Monthly Archive: December 2009

0 Interview – Darina Allen

Darina Allen photo by Koster Photography

Darina Allen’s latest book focuses on kitchen skills and traditions – such as making yoghurt, keeping hens and baking bread – that have been lost in recent times. She talks to Caroline Hennessy for about how the increasing interest in self-sufficiency can help us weather the recession.


Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child, Simone Beck, and Louisette Bertholle

Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child, Simone Beck, and Louisette Bertholle

Since the release of Julie and Julia, both the book and the film,Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking has taken on a new lease of life. Now when readers look at this classic cookbook – first published in 1961 – they do so with the memory of Julie Powell’s consternation while tackling recipes like Boeuf Bourguignonne and Homard a l’Americaine. And they hear Julia Child’s idiosyncratic voice (and Meryl Streep’s take on that voice) in every line of this opinionated, entertaining and educational book.


Feeling your oats? Porridge ideas

Flahavan's porridge oats

I’ve always been a fan of porridge. It’s one of those things that seems to fit in perfectly with a cold morning at the cottage: a steaming bowlful, topped with some stewed fruit and a dollop of natural yoghurt is just the thing to set myself and Little Missy up for the day. She eats the regular sort, which I grind up with my immersion blender (always useful but now indispensable) before cooking, but I’ve gotten hooked on Flahavan’s Pinhead Oatmeal this winter.


New olive oil for Christmas

Colletta Olivieri Extra Virgin Olive Oil

I love good olive oil and I especially love Colletta Olivieri Extra Virgin Olive Oil, which is imported direct from Italy by producer Lino Olivieri. This week he will be taking delivery of the delicious olio nuovo, new season olive oil, from his family’s farm in Puglia so if you’re looking for a Christmas present for someone who likes their food, then get your hands on this – it’s €40 for a 5 litre can or €25 for the 3 litre can and Lino will courier it anywhere in the country for a very reasonable cost.


Tender: A Cook and His Vegetable Patch by Nigel Slater

Tender by Nigel Slater

Nigel, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways. I love your appetite-stimulating writing, your easy recipes, your ability to always show me something interesting to do with kitchen constants like cauliflower, onions or lentils. I love your weekly column in the Observer and I love the Observer Food Monthly magazine (which, while living in NZ, I had sent out to me by my long-suffering mother!). I love your books, right from the copy of Real Fast Food that I got when in college, through entertaining from Real Food and Appetite while in my first job, The Kitchen Diaries that I recommended to many Urru customers, bookclub choice Toast and, now, to Tender.

0 Brunching at Christmas: Christmas Muffins

Christmas Muffins

Christmas is the time for long, leisurely brunches with family and friends. Make it easy with dishes that you can prepare in advance and whip into the oven just before your guests arrive. Caroline Hennessy, writing for, gives you a few easy ideas that won’t have you losing your Christmas cheer. Click here for recipes for the Christmas Muffins (pictured on the right), Potato, Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese Frittata and Buttermilk Pancakes with Cranberry Orange Sauce.

Slow Food Events in East and West Cork for Terre Madre Day 0

Slow Food Events in East and West Cork for Terre Madre Day

There are lots of lovely food orientated events taking place over the next week to celebrate Slow Food’s Terre Madre Day, including meals in East and West Cork. These feasts will be taking place in the Grain Store at Ballymaloe House on Sunday 6 December and at the fantastic Blue Geranium Cafe at Hosford’s Garden Centre on Wednesday 9 December. Both events will feature local foods and producers, including – in East Cork – plum puddings from Arun Kapil (his Green Saffron mixed spice is worth travelling miles for), chocolates from Casey O’Connaill and breads from both Arbutus and Scott Walsh. More information below…