Blog Guilt


Like almost everybody I know, things have been action packed in my world this year. I’ve been having a wonderful time with forkful, making videos and writing columns and plotting next steps. I’ve been writing for different newspapers and magazines and talking about food on the radio.

I’ve set a date for my wedding to Niall for December this year and am doing my best to repress any Bridezilla qualities that may lie dormant – or perhaps not so dormant – in my personality. I’ve been walking Daffodil and trying to look after myself a bit better (I stopped drinking alcohol nearly a year ago) as I get stuck into my 30s. I remain obsessed with beetroots.

Between one thing and the other, there hasn’t been any time for I Can Has Cook? For now, I’ve moved operations under the forkful umbrella and I would love if you joined me there. We have lots of things planned for the future of our food partnership and to fully focus on that I have got to let go of The Blog Guilt. I may return to these pages for my own entertainment in the future but in the meantime thank you to those who continue to check in here.  It really means a lot.


Winter Beets

Beetroot Salad-7

2013 felt to me like the year of the beet. Beetroot hummus was a staple in my house throughout the year, often paired with smoked salmon but sometimes just enjoyed solo on toast. We even made a forkful out of it. One of my most memorable dishes of 2013 was Katie Sanderson’s Beet Bourguignon at the winter Living Dinners feast held in a crumblingly decadent old Georgian house on Henrietta Street at the end of November. That Sanderson sure knows what to do with a beet.

There are a few things I would like to leave behind in 2013 (overindulging my fondness for the naughty things in life, my propensity for panic and my inability to organise my finances) but beetroots are definitely something I’m taking with me as I head towards the future.

Beetroot Salad-13

Over the holiday break, I found this Nigel Slater recipe for roast beets and halloumi cheese and served it up for myself and Niall’s New Year’s Eve dinner. A wonderful way to use beets, I have since substituted the cheese for some delicious St Tola ‘feta’, added a few walnuts for crunch and a pinch of chilli for heat.

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winter forkfuls


It’s incredible that Christmas has nearly come around again. What a year it’s been.

While I’m not quite ready to sum up the year, I thought you’d like to know that forkful is back with wintery recipes to inspire you through the darker, cozier months.

We kicked off with wild mushroom pizza and shared a grilled pear dessert and are planning on sharing more treats, stews and soups before spring appears again.

I’m hoping to find a little extra time somewhere to tell you about the recipes that have been keeping me busy outside of forkful – I’ve been obsessed with Toonsbridge ricotta this year and have discovered Dove’s Farm yeast which means I’ve been making naan bread, crumpets and even doughnuts for Pete’s sake! It’s been a year of rising. Which has been lovely.

And on that list I should also include pizza dough which I feel like I’ve somewhat mastered (well, familiarised myself with at least) this year. It even kicked off the forkful winter season – you’ll find that video after the jump.

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Forkful: Best Video Blog {wow}


I’m so pleased to share the news with you that forkful was nominated in the Best Video Blog category at this year’s Irish Blog Awards. It made it all the way to being a finalist! And then, to my spluttering surprise last weekend at The Irish Blog Awards 2013, forkful actually went and won.

Forkful has taken myself and Mark on a bit of a journey this summer. It’s led to other exciting projects that have kept us busy and we hope it will keep leading to delicious opportunities for us. We are really excited about sharing season two of forkful with you folks this winter. Expect to see Daffodil in some kind of Christmas-themed dog suit – that’s all I’m saying.

Thanks so much to those who nominated us for the Irish Blog Awards and a huge thank you to all the judges and organisers who worked so hard to make it all happen. Congratulations to my fellow nominees AdoreabubblesEimear ByrneSo Sue Me and {a big shout out to} the talented Joanne Larby from The Make Up Fairy who I happened to share a table with at the event – check out her amazing make-up tutorials on her blog, particularly her Halloween Zombie and Sugar Skull looks.

Finally, thank you to Killian who works with us on the editing side of forkful and thank you to Daffodil for being such a pro.

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Remembering Peaches

peach large

Remember my sister NiNi got married to France-whah this summer? So, in the week before the wedding, our French in-laws arrived in Ireland and I offered to cook for everyone at my family’s home so that the parents could get to know each other. The invitation prompted a beautiful response from France-whah’s lovely mother and word came back that the in-laws were excited about having a meal cooked for them by a “famous” food blogger.

“Oh… merde,” I cursed, under my breath {for dramatic film noir effect, you understand}. There is nothing like the pressure of expectation to spoil an amateur cook’s winning streak. It wasn’t just my own personal reputation on the line – it was Ireland’s. It was the potential for a culinary comeback that could take away some of the sting of the Henri incident and wash away some of the hurt caused by the thousands of French summer students that have balked at our Irish “baguettes” for the last half a century.

And so, I made it really easy on myself by planning a fool-proof tried and tested menu. I’d make the deliciously simple grilled peach salad that I had made a million times – I was even telling people how to make it through our forkful season one. I’d show off our Irish cheese by tearing pieces of Toonsbridge mozzarella all over it and I’d reduce some good quality balsamic to make a rambunctiously  sweet drizzle to wow them all. For mains, I’d throw a bit top quality lamb in the stew pot the night before and wow the French with a succulent, flavoursome stew. Nothing could go wrong.

Until, of course, it did. It was, quite simply, the worst meal I have cooked in a very long time. Ca me fait chier!  Continue reading…→

Catching Up On Forkfuls


It has been a deliciously busy summer around these parts between video shoots, wonderful weddings and holidays spent in muddy fields.

I thought I’d share the remainder of our forkful videos before the final episode of series #1 goes live tomorrow morning. There’s our courgette pickles above and our diy pastry below.

I hope you’ve enjoyed them. Daffodil claims she is almost burnt out from all the attention – although we all know she secretly adores it.

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More Forkfuls To Share


In case you missed it over on, I’m happy to share yet another forkful video with you. This time myself and Mark Duggan have featured one of my favourite recipes, carrot cupcakes, and have hopefully made it look as easy as it actually is. I hope you enjoy it.

Introducing forkful


I’m very pleased to present forkful, a series of food videos that I’ve been making with my friend Mark Duggan. We’ve highlighted a simple winter-meets-summer recipe for our first outing and we get a little help from Daffodil in the kitchen. We’re proud to present them in partnership with Le Cool, who featured us in today’s Food Issue.

Get the recipe in all its sweet detail on

My Sister’s Hen Night


My beautiful sister Niamh is getting married in July to her wonderful French fiancé Francois (or as we like to call him – France-WHAH?! Oh, how we laugh!). As Maid of Honour, it was my duty to host her hen night on Friday the 26th of April.

My sister is one of the best people I have ever met in my life. She is one of the kindest, most generous and caring people I have had the pleasure to know. I’m not the only person who thinks so, either. And how lucky am I that she’s actually my sister!

So when it came to organising her hen night, I knew all she cared about was having her favourite women in the same room at the same time. It doesn’t happen often as she lives in California and has spent her working life living in Saudi Arabia, the Caribbean, Poland and Dublin. And probably somewhere else that I’ve forgotten. So I knew I could have thrown a party for her in McDonalds and she would genuinely have been thrilled if it meant that everyone would be together.

But I couldn’t not go out of my way to do something special for her, could I? No, I certainly could not. Have a look after the jump to see what we got up to.

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