Category: Food for Friends

Emergency soup for a bleak winter’s night:  Storecupboard Lentil and Tomato Soup 2

Emergency soup for a bleak winter’s night: Storecupboard Lentil and Tomato Soup

Seeing as both Darina and Rachel have recently been assuring the readers of their cookery books that it’s become very fashionable to entertain at home instead of going out – that, and the fact that the Boyfriend and I finally have somewhere to call home – we had some friends round last week after work for hot chocolates. It was a bitterly cold evening as I made my way home from work so I decided to supplement the hot chocolates with some soup.

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Red wine instead of Guinness: Beef and Red Wine Pie

A good sturdy Beef and Red Wine Pie Last weekend – the macaroon-making one – I was down home cooking dinner for my mother’s birthday. As we farm beef cattle, roasts are a regular part of life at home so, as the kitchen was in my hands on Saturday, I decided that it was a good opportunity to make something completely different. On Friday night I dug out the cookbooks that haven’t yet made it to Dublin – they’re the ones that got co-opted by my little sister – and started leafing through them, looking for inspiration. One of the Avoca books had an interesting-sounding Beef and Guinness Stew so I bookmarked the recipe for consultation the following day.

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Cranberries at Christmas: Cranberry, Orange and Port Relish

Fresh cranberries The best thing about being back in Ireland is Christmas in winter. Somehow – although my readers from the other side of the world may not agree! – cold long nights and short wet days make me feel Christmasy. It’s that whole feeling of getting indoors and battening down the hatches for the miserable weather. Perfect for Christmas preparations! And driving home for Christmas surely isn’t the same unless you arrive late, on the evening before Christmas Eve, to see the house lit up with all the lights on and there’s lots of tasty smells coming out of the kitchen.

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Mexican moments: Mexican Beans

Mexican Beans with a handful of green beans added for good measure I’ve been having more than a few Mexican moments lately with my chocolate and chilli experiments and I’ve also cooked several Mexican meals. The first was for a pot-luck dinner for eight in our house when some of the Boyfriend’s college friends and their wives were about. This was only arranged that morning and when the Boyfriend asked what we should cook, I figured that it was the perfect time to try Nigella’s recipe for Cornbread-Topped Chilli.

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Moroccan meals: Lamb Tagine

I’ve been getting plenty of use out of the Ral Al Hanout that I made fairly recently and it is particularly good with lamb. Of course, being in New Zealand, there’s no shortage of the baa-ing beast although, as the Boyfriend told a former vegetarian friend after one such dinner, we only eat the ugly ones!

Pies in New Zealand: Chicken and Mushroom Pie 11

Pies in New Zealand: Chicken and Mushroom Pie

Pies truly are a New Zealand classic. Maybe it’s because of the British influence and their Pork Pies, although colonisation of Ireland didn’t leave us with any such culinary heritage. As I mentioned the other day, pies are eaten by Kiwis on long road trips – the guarantee of a good pie will encourage people to take major detours – and they are apparently the traditional accompaniment to a rugby match.

The Boyfriend's birthday dinner: Beef and Chorizo Pie 3

The Boyfriend's birthday dinner: Beef and Chorizo Pie

Yesterday was the Boyfriend’s birthday so I decided to throw a small surprise birthday dinner. The plotting and planning for this has been going on for a couple of weeks but, after pondering various options, I only decided on what we were going to eat fairly late in the day. Eventually I decided on one of the Boyfriend’s favourites – the good old Kiwi meat pie.

The Boyfriend’s birthday dinner: Beef and Chorizo Pie 3

The Boyfriend’s birthday dinner: Beef and Chorizo Pie

Yesterday was the Boyfriend’s birthday so I decided to throw a small surprise birthday dinner. The plotting and planning for this has been going on for a couple of weeks but, after pondering various options, I only decided on what we were going to eat fairly late in the day. Eventually I decided on one of the Boyfriend’s favourites – the good old Kiwi meat pie.


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