Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Sticky Maple Chicken

I hardly ever follow recipes, but this one is a winner. The recipe in from Nigella Express and it truely is my favourite type of food: a glorious pile of sticky meat to devour with friends and family.

Sticky Maple Chicken

250ml apple juice
30ml soy sauce
60ml maple syrup
30ml vegetable oil
2 star anise
1 cinamon stick, halved
6 garlic cloves
600g chicken pieces (ribs are good too, or a mixture)

1. Put everything in a large bowl or freezer bag and squish it all around with your fingers
2. Leave to marinade for as long as possible, although tonight I used it straight away and it still tasted good
3. Cook at 200 oC for an hour and a quarter. I did mine in foil on the BBQ for a similar time tonight.

Enjoy with green salad, coleslaw and hunks of crusty bread. A cold beer goes down well, too!

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Spring supper

It was an evening to pull on a cardi, fire up the barbeque and prepare a lazy, tasy supper to enjoy in the warmth of the evening sun.

Gurnard with salsa verde and horseradish potato salad

4 gurnard fillets
1 tablespoon as many different green herbs as you can get your hands on: in the garden I found rosemary, parsley, mint, lemon thyme, thyme and chives
Juice 1/2 lemon
2 anchovy fillets
1 garlic clove
1 onion
Olive oil
Salt & pepper

8 potoatoes
1 tablespoon horseradish sauce
2 tablespoons mayo
Salt and pepper

1. Put everything in the food processor except the fish and olive oil. Blitz until everything is finely chopped.
2. With the processor still running, slowly add enough olive oil to emulsify and turn the whole mixture into a dropable consistancy. I used 2-3 tablespoons in total.
3. Check for seasoning
4. Season your fish, smear the salsa onto the fleshy side.
5. Wrap in foil parcels and leave to marinade for up to two hours.
6. Put the potatoes on to boil, whole and unpeeled. When boiled, drain and cool.
7. Make dressing for potato by mixing together horseradish, mayo and seasoning.
8. Mix dressing with diced, cooked potatoes. Check seasoning.
9. Cook fish parcels on BBQ or in oven at 180 degrees for 5-7 minutes, until falky and cooked.

Enjoy with a green salad, glass of Pinot Grigio and the sun setting.

Thursday, 1 May 2008

Turnip Pie

Now, turnip pie doesn't sound very exciting, but I found a turnip rolling round the fridge last night, and this is what I created.

It was a really rich, tasty pie that I'll definately be making again come Autumn.

Turnip pie

2 onions, sliced
2 gloves garlic, minced
100ml balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp lea & perrins
1 tin choppedtomatoes
1/2 pint vegtable stock (I use Mariold powder here)
1 turnip/swede, cubed
4 bacon rashers, cut into lardons

8 potatoes
3 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
Large knob butter
Splash milk
Salt and pepper

1. In a large fryin pan, cook the onion and garlic in the balsamic vinegar on a low heat until soft, sticky and the onion is translucent
2. Add the bacon bits, and cook until the bacon is cooked through
3. Add the turnip and turn up the heat a little, fry for a few minutes.
4. Add enough stock to cover the turnip, add lea & perrins
5. Cover with lid and simmer over a low heat until the turnip cubes are soft. It took mine almost half an hour, but I was having Aga problems, so hopefully won't normally take so long.
6. While turnip is cooking, boil potatoes
7. Mash potatoes with mustard, butter, milk, salt and pepper, and set to one side
8. When your turnip is cooked, take off lid and reduce liquid. Check for seasoning.
9. Use turnip mixture to line the bottom of a pie dish
10. Top with mash and bake for half an hour, or until the top is golden

I think it would also be nice with cheese on top, and I served it with peas and french beans.

Thursday, 10 April 2008

I often wander how on Earth we end up with the sets of beliefs and values that define us. As a Co. Antrim Christian, I feel constantly pushed into a mould that, well, doesn't quite fit.

Yesterday in a coffee shop I overheard a couple talk about 'Christians who drink'. Its a favourite hot topic round here, and one that I personally have grown confident in ignoring. Maybe I'll do a special blog sometime all about why. They then seemed to draw up a definitive list about what a Christian was to them, with all sorts of things on that I just couldn't get my head around.

Later on, I was going to get my car, and one of these people was getting into the car beside me. They sped all the way home.

Who decides what 'rules' are good and bad? Surely I shouldn't be annoyed because all sin is equal? Is driving over the speed limit somewhat less bad than appreciation for Merlot?


Confused of Geeksville

Thursday, 6 March 2008

More memes

Shot In The Arm tagged me for this!

So here goes my sharing:

1. I cook. Lots. I reckon I am pretty good, but never have the motivation to maintain a foodie blog or anything. Mr Pants says he'll make me do it once we get married in August.
2. I used to be really scared of animals. then my family adopted a dog and I fell in love. I would love to try stuff like horseriding now, because when I was younger I was always too scared of the animals!
3. I'm involved in Commission Radio, and love it!
4. I love fashion, and read Vogue, fashion blogs and fashion books religiously. However, I am mostly found in jeans and cardigans.
5. I grew up in Kinsale, Co. Cork. It was idyillic, and I couldn't have asked for a better childhood.
6. I was bullied all the way through secondary school. I've gotten over it, but I now understand what long-term effects this can have on people and their lives, and whole-heartedly support all anti-bullying campaigns.
7. Nothing makes me happier than a cup of tea and a nice bun with Mr Pants. He is the best.

As with any tag, there are rules - Here they are:
1. Once you are tagged, link back to the person who tagged you.
2. Post THE RULES on your blog.
3. Post 7 weird or random facts about yourself on your blog.
4. Tag 7 people and link to them.
5. Comment on their blog to let them know they have been tagged.

I'm not tagging anyone, because I know so few people in the blogosphere. Maybe this should spur me on to sort that out!

Thursday, 21 February 2008

Random meme

What were you doing 10 years ago?
I was in 3rd year at secondary school, being bullied senseless and generally hating myself. Soon got over that, though.

What were you doing 1 year ago?
Mostly having massive amounts of fun with Keith and appreciating what amazing friends I have. In first year at uni, and not particularly enjoying it

Five snacks you enjoy:
1) Fruit
2) Chocolate
3) Any kind of crisp
4) Cheese
5) Hummous

Five things you would do if you were a millionaire:
1) Buy an actual house so Keith & I don't have to rent.
2) Buy a VW camper van and all the bits to fix it.
3) Have champagne for everyone at our wedding.
4) Send my parents on an awesome holiday.
5) Get private health care.

Five bad habits:
1) I'm a bit flaky. Should really sort that out.
2) I'm quite a jealous person, and should really be happy with my lot.
3) I'm not very good at being a Christian.
4) I get quite lazy and demotivated really easily.
5) I'm quite selfish and bad at listening.

Five things you like doing:
1) Shopping
2) Cooking and Baking
3) Going out and having cocktails with good friends
4) Tea and hugs with The Boy.
5) A long walk with a good picnic.

Five things you would never wear again:
1) Short shorts. My legs are too fat!
2) Long flowery skirts. The hippy look isn't a good one (for me).
3) An earring in my upper ear. Infection is not cool.
4) Satin pyjamas. Sparks at betime aren't good.
5) Clumpy Kicker's shoes. Just because.

Five favorite toys:
1) My Treo PDA
2) Mr Potato Head
3) My laptop
4) Twister
5) KitchenAid stuff generally.

Thursday, 10 January 2008


Last night I made my version of fajitas. With the the salsa and salad and stuff, my wee sister always says its too much faff. You would be fine with plain chicken or shop bought salsa or just 'normal' salad, but I find the extra effort (and it isn't huge amounts) is always worth it.

I use creme fraiche, because the low fat version is quite good but soured cream is good too (they are basically the same thing). 0% fat greek yoghurt does the job but you really notice the taste difference here.


Serves 4

Lemon & coriander chicken

Large handful coriander leaves
Zest & juice of 1 lemon
2 garlic cloves
2 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp sugar
1lb chicken

Finely slice chicken. Chop the coriander, crush the garlic and mix with the rest of the ingredients. Mix with the chicken and leave to marinade for as long as you can (although its fine to use straight away if you are pushed for time).

Cook the lot in a hot griddle or heavy based frying pan for about 5 minutes.

Spicy tomato salsa

1 tbsp olive oil
2 large shallots
2 cloves garlic
2 birds eye chillis
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 tsp rock salt (less if using free flowing stuff)
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp sugar
1 lime

Chop the shallot, chilli and garlic and sweat until the shallot is translucent. Add tomatoes, salt, pepper, sugar and juice of half the lime. Boil until thickened. Taste for seasoning and add the other half of the lime juice.

Crunchy salad

2 sticks celery
1 carrot
1 red pepper
1 pack cherry tomatoes
1/2 cucumber

1 tbsp chopped coriander
1 tbsp chopped parsley
Juice 1/2 lemon
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
Salt & pepper

Chop celery. Cut carrot and cucumber into sticks. Slice red pepper. Half the tomatoes.

Combine coriander, parsley, lemon juice, oil, chilli sauce, salt & pepper.

Mix the salad dressing with the vegetables.

Serve the lot with heated wraps and creme fraiche.