Month: May 2012

Another Year Over

So, that was May and what an interesting month it was. A month that I had set aside and cleared to allow myself the space to figure out what I do next, and to sort my life out a little bit. I cleared every single weekend except one. I need to do it more often. Head cleared and getting back in shape, life is starting to feel quite good again, instead of just chaotic and a little crazy. I was trying to do too much, and it was all getting a little silly. When I wrote that post about the major downside of being a food writer, I had reached as far as I was willing to go (actually much further). It was time to change things. I wanted my life and my body back. I started to think about this past year. It was great in many respects. My first book, Comfort & Spice, was published by Quadrille. It was an intense period writing it. My body took a battering for it, and my …

Comfort & Spice Cooking Class & Next Classes Available to Book

This blog has become a little cooking class obsessed, which must be annoying for those of you outside of London. They have slightly dominated my life this last few weeks. Planning them, setting them up, teaching them. Working out the kinks, figuring out the best way to do them. I think I am there now. Normal service will resume promptly. Bacon class was fun and very tasty. People often look a little confused when I mention bacon fudge (there are now two versions: candied maple & tamarind bacon fudge and bacon jam fudge), but when they try it, without fail their faces become joyful. So wrong it is right, and before you know it you’ve eaten it all. A few of you have requested the recipe by email or twitter. I have decided not to share these recipes until later in the summer, as I want them to be unique to the class. I will share them eventually though. Comfort & Spice Cooking Class (with recipes from the book and at the request of the students …

Welcome Summer & Hello Elderflower

Isn’t it lovely to have summer finally arrive? Just glorious! But like all good things, it comes and then you remember the things that are slightly annoying about it. Like the sunburn, the hay fever, the heat rash and those terribly chirpy birds in the hedge who wake with the light and go CHEEP CHEEP CHEEP. Tiny and sharp and irritating (at 5am), like little chirpy pneumatic drills that invade your head and your sleep. But I do love summer. Even though I am Irish and pale and my body can’t actually cope with the heat. I think we operate best between 10 and 16 deg C. Spring is best. When the flowers start to peep out and release their gorgeous fragrance, when the parks rush towards lush and green. The evenings are longer and people are happier. I love to wander in the local park, especially in the mornings.  If I can motivate myself I will even go before I start work. I always have a bag so that I can forage all of …

Natural Wine at the RAW Fair (and food and wine at the Georgian Supra)

I love natural wines, and I love Georgia, so it is no great surprise that I should be pretty excited when the two collide in London. It’s a great week to be here, with the RAW Fair, Real Wine Fair and the London International Wine Fair all going on. Natural wines, for the uninitiated, are wines that have had little interference – chemical or technological –  in the growing of the grapes and making of the wine. They can have a little sulphite in them, which acts as a preservative. Lots don’t even have this.  Some say they are the purest expression of terroir. For me, at a very basic level, I just really enjoy them. I like life to be eclectic and interesting and I like my wine to be eclectic and interesting too. I like to eat food that hasn’t been mucked around with too much, why not the same with wine? Some say they don’t taste good. True, some don’t. There is good and bad natural wine, just like there is good and bad everything. …

Bacon Masterclass: Some Photos

Bacon Masterclass has been and gone. It was as much fun as I hoped it would be. I worry sometimes that maybe people will think I have stepped too far away from where food should be, but last Thursday everyone was agreed that all things bacon were good. Everyone got to bring home two large jars of bacon jam, a big box of candied bacon fudge and lots of bacon vodka. We made 4 bacon recipes with delicious smoked streaky Denhay bacon (only the best – without good bacon to start with, why bother?). We made bacon jam, maple syrup and tamarind candied bacon, candied bacon fudge (new favourite thing) and bacon vodka (with Grey Goose vodka). Before you ask, the recipes won’t be made public for a bit, the only way to get them is to come to the class. Is that a bit mean? Maybe I will cave and blog them sooner. I have so many bacon recipes now, I might change the recipes for the bacon class quite often. I have received …

ANNOUNCING: Comfort & Spice Cooking Class on Saturday May 26th

OK folks! Cooking class number 2 is ready to book (the first is my Bacon Masterclass this Thursday- I have had 2 cancellations so email if you’re interested!). My second class will be on Saturday 26th May for 4 hours – from 10am to 2pm – and will include lunch and a glass of wine. Recipes will include homemade butter, homemade paneer, blaas (fluffy Irish bread roll), two hour pork belly and chocolate mousse with honeycomb. The cost is £90, to reserve a place please email me on niamh@eatlikeagirl.com Stay up to date on classes by emailing me to add you to my Cooking Class mailing list, and by keeping an eye on the new Cooking Class page on this site.

Recipe: Black Pudding, Bacon & Egg Empanadas

I am getting dangerously close to the jumbo breakfast roll. I know, I know. But trust me, this is a little more refined. This month, I have planned to dedicate my time to sorting all my crap out – which is a lot of crap. I have had a brilliant time travelling post book writing etc., I definitely needed it after the intensity of the previous year. Lots happened in all areas of my life and I felt like I needed a breather. So I grabbed one. Now, I want to be in London a little more. I want to finally sort out all of my stuff, and start my cooking classes and other things that have been in the pipeline for a while (there are still spaces for Thursdays bacon class by the way!). So, if I haven’t lost you yet, yesterdays sorting out primarily consisted of me trying to change a light bulb. For ages. On my own. Productive, eh? I am rather short and the ceiling rather high. It was beyond me …