Sometimes, in this house, baking is not just for the bigger members of the family and, along with the Flapjacks and Shortbread, there’s even a tin marked with Little Missy’s name. It’s currently filled with these twice-baked Banana Spelt Biscotti, which I love because they are easily made, contain no sugar and it’s up to you about the kind of flour you use. These, along with LM’s favourite rice cakes, are perfect afternoon snacks – and easily portable – but she is quite happy to munch on them at any stage, and especially loves a small smear of marmite on the biscotti when we’re at home.
Bibliocook - All About Food Blog
It’s that time of the year again. The Irish Blog Awards longlist has been issued and it’s great to see Bibliocook getting a mention in the Best Food/Drink Blog section, again this year sponsored by Bord Bia. Last year’s awards took place in the International Airport Hotel in Cork so off I, plus Little Missy bump, toddled for that night’s festivities, even if we had to go home a little earlier than the rest of the partygoers!
I swore I wouldn’t get sucked in. Ah, the promises I make to myself!This whole social networking thing can be like a black hole, whole chunks of the morning – work time for me while Little Missy sleeps – disappearing while I catch up on Kieran Murphy’s ice cream tweets and check out A Taste of Ballyhoura Country’s Facebook page. But, for a freelance journalist working from a cottage in the middle of nowhere, North Cork, this is as close to an office watercooler as I’m going to get.
If ever your grandmother knew how slow cooking turned beef cheeks meltingly tender, could tell her Rhode Island Reds from Marans or was able to grow, harvest, preserve and cook her own runner beans, you’ll nod knowingly at Forgotten Skills of Cooking and enjoy leafing through the pages. If you weren’t lucky enough to have that kind of paragon of virtue in your life, think of Darina Allen’s latest book as a kind of virtual granny in book form.
Despite the current cold snap and impossibility of actually doing anything about it, I’ve been looking at the raised beds in the garden and trying to plan for the summer to come. Last year we went on an inspirational (and very affordable) two-day gardening course at Glebe Gardens with Jean Perry, learned lots – and really enjoyed the flapjacks!
Pancake Tuesday came early at the cottage this year. I always love to have friends come over to eat pancakes but with the Husband getting home from work late and a Little Missy who is decidedly not at her delightful best in the evenings, lunchtimes are a much better time to entertain. Sunday became our Pancake Tuesday so we were able to invite our three Rockmills Neighbours and, as one of the Husband’s English Engineer friends was staying with us for the weekend, he – as well as doing a lot of washing up! – also got fed.
Sweet treats for the one you love: Chocolate Caramel ShortbreadNever mind flowers and forget about going out for dinner, with Valentine’s Day tomorrow, get baking for your sweetheart with this Chocolate Caramel Shortbread. This recipe makes plenty to devour and share but it’s so good that your biggest problem will be not eating the entire thing today.