Donal Skehan Cooking Demonstration at Avoca

Today a friend and I attended Donal Skehan’s cooking demonstration at Avoca at Malahide Castle. 
 
 
I love the Avoca store and nearly and all the items inside, but  I love him so it was a perfect combo. As I follow him on social media, I feel like I know so much about him even though I don’t know him.

During the two hour session, he demonstrated seven recipes in his new book, Eat. Live Go.

One Pan Singapore Noodles
Moroccan Crispy Chicken Salad
Chocolate Hazelnut Filo Cigars
Five Ingredient Cookies
Chocolate Quinoa Cake with Avocado Mouse
Turmeric Sweet Potato Stew
Thai Omelet

All were so easy to make and looked so yummy!  Going to make some of them asap. He was funny, charming and has such a great personality.  Being so used to being on tv, he knew how to keep going and keep us interested.  He is Ireland’s Jamie Oliver!

In the end, we both bought and had signed and of course, a photo!
Afterwards, we popped around the shop drooling over all the items we wanted to buy including a black Ilse Jacobson raincoat [3/4 in black]at the top of my list.  And ate a yummy lunch  – which was a recipe from his book.   Great day!
A brief glance through the book and so far I’ve really enjoyed it.  It is full of photos from around his travels including food.    I’m going to be making a few of the dishes asap.

Vietnamese Summer Rolls Cooking Course

Yesterday I attended a great cooking course at The Design Yard in Dublin – a luxury kitchen showroom.   This place is great – two great kitchen islands and a perfect location for a cooking class.

Not knowing anyone at first I was thinking it would be groups who already knew each other but went along anyway as the subject was great – Vietnamese Summer rolls.  Thankfully it wasn’t that way… apart from a group of four ladies who did, the rest were individuals, along with a couple from the US who live here now.  So it was a nice social event too.

Part of a new meetup group, Dublin Cookery Club, hosted by a lovely South African chef, the class was great.  We first learned how to skillfully work delicate rice paper wrappers (clearly I do better with the larger papers).  We learned how to make delicious fillings and all ingredients like shredded chicken, shredded pork, vermicelli rice noodles, small prawns, organic five spice tofu, herbs, and tons of veggies.  And we learned to make three dipping sauces.  It was so yummy!


The girl across from me took my photo, which was nice offer – not often I take a photo of myself but for this case I had to do it.

Days after the course, I visited the big Asian Market again as the family LOVES  me to make these.
I loved the class and will be doing another soon – I’m going to sign up for the SUSHI making class next – just waiting for the date to be confirmed.  For €35.00, you eat what you make and take home the rest you made, plus you learn a skill/dish – I think it’s a great value!

Review: Bay Restaurant, Clontarf

I was a lucky winner of a Facebook competition for two to enjoy the Chef Specials and a bottle of wine at Bay Restaurant in Clontarf.  

When we arrived, the restaurant was busy, which was great to see on a Saturday in January, when many are at home recovering and saving their money after spending it during Christmas.   The clientele was a mix of groups with families and small children to older couples celebrating a special occasion.

We were promptly greeted by a friendly waiter who showed us to our table and within minutes, a bottle of Lobitia, a lovely organic Chardonnay from Spain arrived.   We were directed to the specials menu on the wall, where we could choose from three.  A small appetizer of mixed crackers and hummus was brought over.  I chose the pan fried sea bass fillet with Jerusalem artichoke puree, sardine pate with a spiced mixed lentils and pepper salsa.  My husband chose the stuffed loin of Irish lamb with roasted vegetables tarte tatin and lamb jus.  We snuck in two photos – next time we’re in, I’ll take more photos but didn’t want to have everyone looking at us 🙂

 
It is not often that I clean by plate but the food was so amazing, I couldn’t resist.  In fact, we ordered the duet of creme brulee which was pistachio and white chocolate and a chocolate brownie for desert to top off a fantastic meal.  All the products were fresh and the dishes had the warmth of home-made food. The chefs take great care in selecting the best quality ingredients.  Something interesting and what you don’t see often but the total calorie where listed on the board and the menu lists an allergen guide for every dish.   I can imagine this is very handy for those with allergies and dietary restrictions.
 
We booked in a sitter so we could dine alone but for those like us who have small kids, the restaurant offers a deal hard to come by – kids EAT free on Tuesdays from 4-7 pm (1 child per adult).  Be sure to check out their website at bay.ie as they have breakfast, brunch, lunch, early bird, parties and more – I think it would be hard not to find something for everyone. 

The service and cleanliness were all top notch. We’ll be back as a couple and a family!  In fact, I organise a monthly coffee/breakfast for a social group I belong to and will be including Bay in the upcoming rotation.   
 

Bread Making – Our First Adventure

After having the delicious bread my friend makes, I’ve been wanting to get one for our household and recently picked up a bread making machine for £10 from a local Facebook sale page.  I am certain the home made bread we make will taste so much better and cheaper than the stuff we buy at the grocery store and not filled with preservatives to make it last for days upon days.

Having never used it before, at the suggestion of my friend, I picked up two kinds of Allison flour and was ready to make some bread.  We also had some high hopes to make a zucchini bread in the oven, but after reading the recipe, realized we didn’t have all the stuff – so that is next up on our cooking sessions.

Soren was my helper – better yet, he did most of it. He loves to help cook and is a great helper.  He measured out the flour on the scale, measured the water and poured all items in the machine.  The best part of our machine is the window on the top so once on, we could see the ball of dough forming and moving around inside.  Thankfully we were heading out as he kept wondering if was ready but it would take 3 hours!

When we got home, we rushed to the kitchen to see our final masterpiece. BUT, while we were out, a fuse blew so the power in the kitchen and that side of the house was out.  So I’m sure that effected our bread. When we opened up the top the top, it was like it imploded.  So perhaps it was nearly done with the power stopped.


After cutting off that part, it was actually okay and yummy.  So I’d say our first attempt was a success.  We are looking forward to making some other yummy bread.