31st January 2016 Helen

In my teens, every Saturday morning my mum would make up a large pot of soup that we’d all dip into as we came and went during the day.  Though she made her soups from scratch, I have particularly fond memories of Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom and Cream of Chicken soups which must have featured as a treat.  This Cream of Mushroom soup knocks the socks off anything shop-bought though and has the added advantages of having very little cream in it and also working as a sauce for a pasta bake (recipe coming during the week). This is a bit…

Cream of Mushroom Soup - served up with crusty bread rolls
Print Recipe
A lovely creamy mushroom soup that's fast and easy to make and can double up as a sauce for a pasta bake.
Servings Prep Time
6 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Cream of Mushroom Soup - served up with crusty bread rolls
Print Recipe
A lovely creamy mushroom soup that's fast and easy to make and can double up as a sauce for a pasta bake.
Servings Prep Time
6 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 people 5 minutes
Cook Time
25 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Rinse and chop the mushrooms and celery thinly.
  2. On a medium heat, melt the butter and add the vegetables. Cook for five minutes stirring as needed.
  3. Add the flour, two or three shakes of tabasco sauce (more or less can be added later to taste) and cook for a further five minutes stirring frequently. If the floury mix starts to stick add a small amount of water.
  4. Add the stock, stir well and leave to cook on a simmer for ten minutes.
  5. Add the cream and cheddar and stir to mix.
  6. Using the stick blender or liquidiser, blend to smooth. Season to taste and enjoy!
Recipe Notes

Your leftover soup can us used in a pasta bake (link to recipe follows as I make and photograph it!) This soup also freezes fabulously.

Share this Recipe
Powered byWP Ultimate Recipe
16th May 2015 Helen 3Comment

Since we started living out of boxes we’ve been eating more crap than normal. A time crunch in the evenings and a dodgy oven mean things like frozen chips, pizzas and waffles have appeared in the shopping trolley on a more regular basis than before. My body and taste buds are feeling the ill effects.    In the midst of all this culinary hum-drum it was timely then that the lovely Elizabeth from Life on Hushabye Farm would host a blog linky to encourage us to delve into our cookbooks – appropriately called ‘the Love your Cookbooks linky’ and here’s my…

Babotie
Print Recipe
A lightly spiced lamb mince base topped with savoury custard topping. A lovely hearty dinner from South Africa.
Servings Prep Time
6 15
Cook Time
30
Servings Prep Time
6 15
Cook Time
30
Babotie
Print Recipe
A lightly spiced lamb mince base topped with savoury custard topping. A lovely hearty dinner from South Africa.
Servings Prep Time
6 15
Cook Time
30
Servings Prep Time
6 15
Cook Time
30
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 180 C / 350 F / Gas 4.
  2. Heat the butter and oil in a heavy pan, over a medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook until soft.
  3. Add the mince and stir well.
  4. Add the carrot, spices, herbs, sugar, chilli, seasoning, almonds and lemon rind. Stir well to combine and continue to cook until the flavours mingle.
  5. Stir in the bread and wine vinegar. Mix well, season to taste.
  6. Put the meat into a shallow baking dish / tray and smooth over.
  7. Make the topping by whisking together the milk, eggs, turmeric and seasoning. Note: I didn't have buttermilk so I used 250ml normal milk but used 4 eggs rather than the 2 suggested so the custard layer would be thick enough to set. Some recipes use double cream so there's plenty of latitude for tweaking the recipe based on what you have to hand.
  8. Strain the custard through a coarse seive as you pour it on top of the meat layer.
  9. Bake in the over for 2. 25 to 35 minutes until set and golden.
Share this Recipe
Powered byWP Ultimate Recipe
13th April 2015 Helen 3Comment

Years ago mid-week restaurant dinners and a movie were a regular treat. Fast forward by one wedding and three babies later and our wings have truly been clipped! These days a nice glass of wine and a quick dinner that doesn’t create a sink full of dishes is my idea of a treat.  This Creamy Smoked Mackerel Pasta dish is exactly like a pasta dish I used to love from the long-gone Cafe Bar Deli on George’s Street in Dublin. It’s simple, easy and goes down great with a glass of white wine. The first ever Irish Parenting Blog Awards is being held in Dublin on April…

Creamy Smoked Mackerel Pasta
Print Recipe
Smoked mackeral with peas in a creamy pasta sauce made using Glenisk Creme Fraiche. Just very tasty.
Servings Prep Time
4 10 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 10 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Creamy Smoked Mackerel Pasta
Print Recipe
Smoked mackeral with peas in a creamy pasta sauce made using Glenisk Creme Fraiche. Just very tasty.
Servings Prep Time
4 10 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 10 minutes
Cook Time
10 minutes
Instructions
  1. Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Add a small amount of salt. Add the spaghetti.
  2. Place a frying pan on a medium heat, add the butter. Cook the onion gently until softened and golden.
  3. Flake the smoked mackerel, removing any bones. Add to the onion. Stir.
  4. Add the frozen peas to the pan. Stir in the creme fraiche. Reduce the heat to simmer. Allow to cook but if reducing too fast, remove from the heat and add a little milk.
  5. When the pasta is cooked, drain leaving a small amount of cooking liquid. Add the creamy mixture, stir gently to mix. Season to taste.
  6. Serve up, sprinkle with parmesan, pour a large glass of wine and enjoy.
Share this Recipe
Powered byWP Ultimate Recipe
16th February 2015 Helen 5Comment

Credit where credit is due. My husband – as voted for by the punters, is chief pancake maker around these parts. We use this really, really easy pancake recipe and it never lets us down. It’s quite healthyand comes in very handy when a small person is feeling poorly, on a Sunday morning or for Pancake Tuesday! I’ve been prone to a good old rant about how the pancake cook gets left at the hob slaving away while everyone else tucks into their pancakes, and always hated the fact the oven dries out the first ones off the pan while keeping them warm….

Perfect Pancake Recipe
Print Recipe
The prefect recipe for light, healthy pancakes - with a great tip for keeping a stack warm without drying them out
Servings Prep Time
8 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
2 minutes each 5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
2 minutes each 5 minutes
Perfect Pancake Recipe
Print Recipe
The prefect recipe for light, healthy pancakes - with a great tip for keeping a stack warm without drying them out
Servings Prep Time
8 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
2 minutes each 5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
2 minutes each 5 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. First set up a kind of water bath. Sit a pyrex dish on top of a saucepan half-filled with water. Bring to the boil over a medium heat and reduce the heat. Cover with a lid.
  2. Mix all the ingredients together, by hand, in a mixer or liquidiser to make a smooth batter.
  3. Heat a medium sized pan (I find a cast iron 6 inch pan the best) and melt and half teaspoon of butter. Tilt the pan to spread the meled butter.
  4. Pour in enough batter to cover the pan, and gently tilt to cover the surface of the pan with batter.
  5. Cook for about a minute, flip and cook the other side.
  6. Remove to the heated pyrex dish. Keep the lid closed and the pot on the low heat until you're ready to go!
Share this Recipe
Powered byWP Ultimate Recipe
19th December 2014 Helen 11Comment

If I don’t post this Basic Cookie Recipe I may as well apply to be in some sort of biscuit-making witness protection scheme.   Emily from The Nest is waiting not-so-patiently since I posted a snap of some Orange and Chocolate Chip Cookies I made for the knitting group on Facebook. As the days have passed there have been Netflix competitions, Christmas posts and even Coddle but no cookie recipe. So, at last, Emily, this is for you – and although I am sorry for the delay, we both know I like stringing you along at this time of the year! Now after…

Basic Cookie Recipe
Print Recipe
A great basic butter cookie which cook in no time, are easily made in advance and can be added to for endless combinations of yummy cookies. From www.thebusymamas.ie
Servings Prep Time
28 cookies 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
15 minutes 10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
28 cookies 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
15 minutes 10 minutes
Basic Cookie Recipe
Print Recipe
A great basic butter cookie which cook in no time, are easily made in advance and can be added to for endless combinations of yummy cookies. From www.thebusymamas.ie
Servings Prep Time
28 cookies 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
15 minutes 10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
28 cookies 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
15 minutes 10 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: cookies
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 160C (fan) / 170C conventional oven.
  2. Using a paddle attachment on a food mixer, cream the butter until soft. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
  3. Sift the flour and add one spoon at a time to form a dough.
  4. Tip the dough out onto a large sheet of greeseproof paper (say 30cm long) and create a long sausage shape about 4cm in diameter, by gently prodding and rolling it. Wrap in the paper and twist the ends closed. Put into the freezer for ten minutes to firm up.
  5. Remove dough from the freezer and uncover. Slice off into 1cm thick slices and cook on a baking tray (no need to cover or grease) and place in a preheated over.
  6. Check from about 11 minutes but cook for between 12 and 15 minutes until the outer edges of the cookies are a light golden brown.
  7. Remove the tray from the oven and allow to firm for a minute or two and immediately remove using a pallet knife to cool on a wire rack.
Recipe Notes

And the variations are endless. Just add these dry ingredients, or any you like yourself, as you add the flour:

  • Orange and Chocolate: add three drops of orange essence and 75g of dark / milk chocolate chips (or just chopped chocolate)
  • Lemon and Poppyseed: add two to four drops of lemon essence and 2 tablespoons of poppyseeds.
  • Chocolate Chip: add 75g milk chocolate chips.
  • Double Chocolate Chip: add 50g good quality cocoa powder reducing the flour to 250g, and add 100g dark chocolate chips.
  • Vanilla and Cranberries: add 1 teaspoon of vanilla paste (or 1 tsp of vanilla essence) and 50g roughly chopped cranberries.
  • Cranberry and White Chocolate: add 50g roughly chopped cranberries and 75g roughly chopped white chocolate.
Share this Recipe
Powered byWP Ultimate Recipe