Monday, February 25, 2013

Ariel House Afternoon Tea

Delicious macarons displayed in my mother's 45 year old china!
Two years have passed since I started blogging and what an exciting two years it has been. New foods sampled, interesting people met and lots of fun experiences have all paved my way along the blogging path. I enjoy the styling and the photography side of the blog so much and I am so delighted to be able to help others now with some great pictures for their websites. It has been such a learning curve for me and everyday I discover something different that I cannot wait to try, long may it continue! I have been overwhelmed with the level of support from all my twitter and facebook friends over the last few weeks since I launched my facebook business page which you can find here if you would like a look....

Yesterday I spent the day in the elegant surroundings of Ariel House in Ballsbridge. Such a gorgeous spot and despite being within a stones throw of the Aviva stadium it is surprisingly secluded. I had the pleasure of photographing some of the beautiful baked goods that are served as part of an afternoon tea, what a delightful way to while away an afternoon. I am looking forward to going back as a guest and relaxing with a chilled glass of champagne and some delicious sweet treats!

I hope you don't mind me sharing some of my photos with you but you have all been such a fantastic support to me I want to keep you all posted on my goings on!

Homemade shortbread

Lemon curd cake

Melting moments, caramel brownies, coffee & walnut bake

Delicious cupcakes

Mini berry tarts
If you wish to follow Ariel house on twitter you will find them here

or on facebook here


Saturday, February 23, 2013

Honey, lemon & chilli halloumi!

I am prone to a little bit of exaggeration and embellishment of a story but when I tell you that you have to try this and you will think it is one of the best things you have ever eaten please believe me!!! I made this last Saturday as part of a dinner party spread and it went down with such success that I made a second round of it after dessert, I kid you not. The lovely Wise Mona had this recipe on her blog recently and I haven't stopped thinking about it since I spotted it. This is my version of something similar!

Take a block of halloumi cheese and slice it up into nine slices, lay flat in a dish with a lip. Chop a red chilli finely and scatter over, add the zest and juice of a lemon and a drizzle of honey. Allow all these lovely flavours to soak into the cheese for around an hour before heating up a drop of olive oil on your frying pan and adding the slices of halloumi.

There will be lots of sizzling and hissing so stand clear. Fry for approximately ten minutes or until all the liquid is gone and you are left with delicious caramelised slices of halloumi. Serve on a bed of rocket and wait for your round of applause. Simply divine!

 Did I ever tell you about the time I wrestled a bear to the ground? No? That is a surprise, pull up a chair!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Pruntys!

So my new little photography venture is off to a promising start!! I have three bookings already which has THRILLED me!!! I took these pictures late last year of one of my favourite families, love the way the kids personalities shine through. Don't worry I am not abandoning the food blogging I just wanted to let you all know how things were going and to say a huge thank you for all the well wishes and the lovely messages, much appreciated!!! xxx

The lovely Uma!

Model family!

Love the light in this one!

Sibling love!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

A tad excited!!!!


When my food blogging obsession and prop buying sprees started I had no idea where it was going to lead. When I bought my first 'proper' camera last summer I just fell in love with it. My kids think they are professional models at this stage I take their photo so often! My love of food has turned into a love of photography and I am enjoying learning lots of little tips to make my photos more interesting. I have just set up a new facebook business page and I would love if you had a moment to click and like!

Thanks so much everyone!! 

Monday, February 11, 2013

Lime & chili miso broth!

Fast day number 11 and I am still in love with the fast diet. I love the simplicity of it and the fact that it doesn't encroach on my social life. I was actually really looking forward to today's fast and to trying out this dish. It is spicy so feel free to leave out the added chili if you please!

You will need;

  • 2.5ml rapeseed oil (20 calories)
  • 2 garlic cloves (10 calories)
  • Tesco stir fry medley, includes chili, spring onions, long stem broccoli, baby corn and mange tout (70 calories)
  • Lime, zest & juice (20 calories)
  • Sachet of miso soup (18 calories) 
  • 1tsp crushed chili flakes (5 calories)

Heat the rapeseed oil in a non stick frying pan before adding sliced chilli, two cloves of crushed garlic and lime zest.
Once these are sizzling add the rest of the vegetables and stir fry quickly to seal.
Add the sachet of miso soup, 200ml of boiling water, the juice of a lime and a teaspoon of chili flakes and stir before serving.
Hot, hot, hot but delicious! 

Would love to hear how the rest of ye are doing on the intermittent fasting plan, drop me a line to let me know! xx

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Minestrone soup!

Fast day number ten and I am feeling good! This delicious soup is 353 calories for the entire pot! The key to this eating plan is to be very wise with your 500/600 calorie allowance and squeeze in as many nutrients as you can! 

You will need;

  • 100g raw onion, chopped (40 calories)               
  • 3 cloves of garlic, sliced (13 calories)               
  • 100g celery, sliced finely (14 calories)
  • 100g carrots, cubed (41 calories)
  • 400g tin of chopped tomatoes (72 calories)
  • 100g kidney beans (65 calories)
  • 100g green cabbage, shredded (24 calories)
  • 25g pasta (84 calories)
  • 1tsp dried basil, salt & pepper

Add a splash of water to a large saucepan and soften the onion, garlic, carrot and celery.
Once softened add the tin of chopped tomatoes and two tins of water, stir.
Add the kidney beans, pasta, shredded cabbage, basil, salt and pepper and allow to simmer for twenty five minutes or until the pasta has softened.

Ladle into warm bowls and dream of hunks of fresh bread to dip into it!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Kitchen sink bars and hot chocolate!

Fancy new spoons!

This morning we were woken by squeals of excitement coming from the two year old. This is not an unusual situation as she frequently wakes us regarding some drama or another! This morning however she wanted to show us a blanket of fresh, white, marshmallow like snow. Local radio was turned on in the hope that school would be cancelled but alas no such luck for my two boys. Within hours the snow was gone and plans of an afternoon building snowmen ruined.

Recipe made 16 delicious little squares

A movie, hot chocolate and a little treat always puts smiles on my cherub's faces so I decided to make these tasty little bars from one of my favourite Irish blogs written by Caitriona. Always a great blog to turn to if looking for some inspiration.

Teapots were made to pour hot chocolate! 
I used up lots of bits & pieces that were in my store cupboard. Walnuts, rice crispies, digestives, marshmallows and raisins were all added to the chocolaty syrupy mix before being chilled in the fridge. A large pot of hot chocolate was made and the slab sliced up before being gobbled up.

Have to have the obligatory marshmallows floating atop....
 Nice for a little midweek treat for kids and adults alike......;-)

Moist, sweet and very moreish!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Green lentil & spinach curry

So after a weekend of the most delicious food and general debauchery it's back onto the fasting bandwagon. Today is my ninth fasting day and so far so good. I think the key with this eating plan is to fit in as many nutrient rich foods as you can for your daily calorie limit. This delicious tomato based curry comes in at just under 400 calories for the entire pot. Delicious, nutritious and filling.

You will need;

  • 125g raw onion, chopped (30 calories)
  • 200g baby spinach leaves (48 calories)
  • 235g tin of green lentils (200 calories)
  • 400g tin of plum tomatoes (92 calories)
  • 1tbsp curry powder (20 calories)
Heat a non stick frying pan and add the chopped onion and a splash of water, cook until translucent.
Add the tin of chopped tomatoes and a half can of water. 
Stir in a tablespoon of curry powder and the drained lentils.
Add the spinach and stir until spinach is slightly wilted.
Serve immediately and enjoy!

For non intermittent fasters serve with raita, basmati rice, mango chutney and poppadums.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Pea, halloumi & mint fritters!

I love halloumi, sliced up and sizzled briefly on the pan it is one of my life's pleasures. This is a lovely little recipe that I think would be perfect for a starter on Christmas Day. The fritters can be made the day before and chilled in the fridge before frying them up when required. I am all for things that make life easier in the kitchen on a busy day!

To make 20 fritters you will need;

250g peas
225g halloumi cheese, in cubes
150g plain flour
125ml milk
2 eggs
Handful of chopped mint
Rapeseed Oil

Boil peas in salted water for two mins before draining and rinsing with cold water.
Mash lightly with a fork.
Whisk milk, eggs and flour in a bowl before adding the peas, halloumi and the mint.
Flour your hands and take golf ball sized pieces and roll them into a ball.
Pour the rapeseed oil into a pan over a medium-high heat before frying the fritters in batches. They should be ready to flip over after three minutes.
Serve on a bed of lettuce leaves and sprinkle with some fresh pomegranate seeds.