Friday, 12 December 2014

Orange & Cinnamon Buttermilk Pancakes

Orange and cinnamon is a scent and flavour combination that sings the jolly season and these pancakes will do the very trick into getting you into the Christmassy spirit! Whether you want to enjoy a lazy brunch over the Christmas period or would like a festive breakie to set you up before a day of trawling the shops to find those last-minute presents, these simple and tasty pancakes should hit the spot. I would advise you for this recipe, go and get yourself a set of cup measurements if you don't already have one. They can be purchased very cheaply and they make the quantities so simple for this recipe.
This recipes yields 6 pancakes and, to me, (and I am a pancake-fiend), 2 is more than enough.

Orange & Cinnamon Pancakes

Friday, 5 December 2014

#BPBR no. 4 - The Happy Pear

'The Happy Pear' by David & Stephen Flynn, published in 2014

I had heard quite a lot about these guys over the past year or so. They are very on the ball in the social media realm and I had read some great reviews of the excellent, wholesome and healthy food they serve in their renowned Greystones restaurant. I was sent a complimentary copy of this book from their publishers, Penguin Ireland. From my first leaf through this literally "tablet-sized" cookbook, I was eager to get cooking!

1. The photos in this cookbook are fun, attractive and appealing. Uber healthy food (which the book contains in bucket loads) is displayed as appetising and interesting. There isn't even the faintest whiff of boring "diet" style foods and so I found my list of to-try recipes began growing longer and longer as I leafed through the book. Hardly a complaint! It's no secret either that the Flynn twins are very easy on the eye and there are quite a few photos of the two guys throughout the book too. I always find that a cookbook with some people photos featuring among the vast array of food photos, is a good thing. And it's no different in the Happy Pear, where family, friendships and health are put to the forefront. One more lovely thing - you must check out the fabulous sunset photos on page 161 - a lovely interest that formed from the time of the birth of Dave's daughter...and grew legs from social media. Very pretty indeed!
SCORE = 4
Look at those dips and tasty treats!

2. The writing is interesting and covers a lot more than just your normal spiel and recipes. There is a great section about community, giving you a great insight into the guys' mentality about their community consciousness. The morning porridge story is just lovely. Recipe ingredients and methods are plain and simply written. There is another introductory section describing their arrival at this decision to change their lives and become more health conscious - their 'Two-Man Food Revolution'. Whether you go along with it or not, I feel it makes a lot of sense for them to give a good background on themselves and their motivations. There is a lot of feel good about this book!
SCORE = 4

3. There is a lot to like about 'The Happy Pear' and I am going to stick firmly to the food here. I tried two of their soups and each, in their own way, were tasty, healthy and super satisfying. I'd go with the Carrot, Cashew and Coriander for an occasion or dinner party. Unusually, I felt it was at its very best the day it was cooked. The Sweet Potato and Chestnut Mushroom Soup really improved with time and it was a welcome warmer in my lunchbox for a couple of days. These soups are really high on the filling power and the extra protein in the cashew soup is a really bonus for veggies/vegans. Then there was the Green Bean Curry, a speciality of Dave's mother-in-law, and this was delcious! Full on real curry flavour and the (pre-frozen) green beans really kept their bite and I must mention that you can't deny the budget friendly appeal of this dish. I am dying to serve it as a vegetarian curry alternative and as a tasty side at a dinner party.
Delicious, super filling soup

Green Bean curry in the making!

4. On to the dislikes, well hands up, I do miss meat but that's what you're getting with this cookbook. It does what it says on the tin and it does it very very well indeed. I am also interested in giving many of the desserts a go, but some of the ingredients would definitely require a trip to a specialist shop or health food store and that's not always possible. I would say that this book will at the very least do one thing, and one very important thing for you...make you think! About the importance of fresh, whole, honest to goodness foods. Your health will thank you for it and your taste buds will surely be pleasantly surprised.
SCORE for 3 & 4 = 8

5. 'The Happy Pear' is definitely worth a look. It will appeal to anyone who is health conscious, but moreover, it makes healthy eating habits very appealing, by means of thought-out, tasty and satisfying dishes. Continued success to Dave and Stephen and I look forward to some warming soup in Greystones some day, sooner rather than later!
Overall score = 16/20 or 80%

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Busy days!

It's busy times here at F.F. these days. We are in the process of moving into our new home and becoming first time homeowners! The excitement levels are high but it's also a very busy time. Although there are a few tasty, foodie posts almost ready to go, nothing is just as I'd like it so there will be no posting for a little whileen. This is partly due to trying to set up our internet connection in the new abode, plus all that aforementioned "busy-ness" of course.

Apologies.
I do of course mean my physical house! F.F. is staying right here in the interweb world ;-)
~ Image sourced from internet ~

Thursday, 16 October 2014

#BPBR no. 3 - Apron Strings

'Apron Strings', by Nessa Robins, published in 2013

My first Irish cookbook and one of my favourites. Nessa is a fellow blogger, who is one of the first people really that made me feel like I could actually give this food blogging lark a go! A few years back I first saw Nessa at a food demo at Totally Tipp and she has a lovely way about her and an ease with which she lovingly prepares her food. She is passionate about fresh, seasonal and Irish ingredients and sources much of her own herbs, fruit and vegetables at home in her own garden. This was a cookbook I was dying to snatch up as soon as it hit the shelves and I am a big fan, as I am of her great family food focused blog - Nessa's Family Kitchen.
'Apron Strings' by Nessa Robins

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Sweet and Salty Peanut and Chocolate Cake

What is it with the combination of sweet and salty flavours in the last few months? It's so on trend, in the foodie sense, to combine these opposing taste sensations. Sometimes these trends can be a bit faddy but I am ALL FOR sweet and salty combined and after this inventive cake trial, there ain't nobody gonna tell me you can't put salted peanuts on a cake!

Sweet and Salty Peanut and Chocolate Cake

Friday, 26 September 2014

My Easy Peasy Pavlova Recipe

Last Sunday I baked and served one of my retro favs for a trip to the in-laws - a pavlova laden with lashings of fresh Irish cream and a pretty odd but lovely array of fresh fruit! There was a decent amount of liking and commenting over on Facebook and Instagram so to all my appreciated likers, here is my very simple, straightforward recipe for this delicious sweet treat, which is naturally gluten-free too!
This pavlova will serve about 6 to 8 portions (*ahem* but we shared it among four adults *cough*)

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Baked Camembert with Pasta

Cheese, cheese, cheese. I could talk about cheese until the cows come home...and provide us with more milk, to make more cheese! Yay! I have been a cheese fanatic for as long as I can recall and I haven't found a cheese yet that I dislike. Cheese, being high in fat, I like to see as a treat. I also regard it as an important food to boost my intake of dietary calcium, along with yogurt, as I'm not a big fan of milk. I currently have a lovely vintage Cheddar and Parmesan (for an impending risotto) in my fridge and up until recently, there was a Camembert round too. Half of this Camembert round for 2 people (or the whole thing for 4) will provide you with this luscious and very simple pasta lunch dish. It is also a lovely date type of lunch as it requires sharing, which we are all more than happy to do with our partner, right?! I hope you enjoy.

Baked Camembert and spinach fusilli pasta are served

Friday, 12 September 2014

#BPBR no. 2 - The Hairy Dieters' Eat For Life

'The Hairy Dieters' Eat For Life', by Si King and Dave Myers, published in 2013

This was a work book club thingy find and it was a steal, I think I bought it for about €8. I am sucker for cookbooks in a general sense, but when a deal like this appears, there's no stopping me! I have seen a few episodes here and there of the Hairy Bikers, as they are more commonly known, and I felt this book would definitely be worth a try as I couldn't imagine these two guys ever wanting to scrimp on the flavour side of things. Their approach to healthier eating is pretty simple really - healthier choices and lower calories in what they cook and eat but happily their mantra will appeal to all foodies: "first and foremost our diet recipes are great food". So here's to great food!


The Hairy Dieters' Cookbook above, and below; some photos from the book - healthy chicken fajitas and biryani.

Friday, 5 September 2014

#BPBR no. 1 - Nigella Express

'Nigella Express', by Nigella Lawson, published in 2007.

This cookbook came into my possession at Christmas time in 2007 as a gift from my youngest sister Muireann. She knows me well. The book is well worn at this stage, which to me, is one of the best signs of a cookbook. This isn't my only cookbook by Nigella but it is the one I return to most often and is among my favourite cookbooks of my entire (sizable) collection. I hope you enjoy reading this review of 'Nigella Express', my first #BPBR!

The cookbook - 'Nigella Express' - did you guess this would be first up?!

Thursday, 4 September 2014

#BPBR - An Introduction

So I have come up with a new idea for the blog, which I am on planning on writing about over the coming months, until Christmas all going well. So what is #BPBR? Well, it means Bullet Point Book Review. Not long ago I was doing a bit of rejigging on the blog, looking over my about section and so on and I noticed I haven't done anything in the line of a cookbook review yet. I have a mighty stack of the things and just added four new books this past summer. So it's time to remedy that. My first #BPBR will be up on the blog tomorrow.

See can you guess which one of these books will be the subject of tomorrow's first #BPBR?!