The healthiest breakfast I’ve ever had…

karen's outside

Karen’s on Astor Place, surrounded by scaffolding…

Ok, well, it wasn’t exactly breakfast.  As we were making our way out to Williamsburg via the L Train and Union Square yesterday early afternoon, we were getting very conscious of the fact that we were yet to fill our bellies with a beautiful NY breakfast.

We were also feeling a bit worse for wear after having an epic day of walking and frozen margueritas the night before.

karen's inside counterkaren's inside from door

So we headed to Karen’s on Astor Place, between Broadyway & Lafayette, a vegan and meateater friendly establishment that smells of HEALTH as you walk in the door.  Honestly!  We were greeted by a tremendous waft of wheatgrass, which was not entirely unpleasant.

my sambo close up

I went for a delicious acovado and salad sambo – beautiful crisp tasty salad leaves and lovely lush avocado – and Niall went for an egg salad sambo.

niall sambo close up

My saviour for the morning was the giant pint of green stuff entitled The Green Goddess.  It was a mixture of spirulina, soy protein, banana, apple and one other outrageously healthy ingredient that I can’t recall.  It looked vile but it was really delicious, although it did have the same texture as grass and was not unlike drinking a freshly mown lawn.

shake and sambo

It set us up for our trip to Williamsburg, wherein we said “DRATBA” everytime we saw a hipster.  Needless to say, we were saying it a lot.  But Williamsburg was cool and I’m planning on going to SEA on Sunday for lunch.  It’s a Thai restaurant with a swimming pool inside it.  And I’ve been told a scene from Garden State was filmed there.  Nice.

We popped into a pet store as our friend Sean wanted to get a ball toy for his terrier Bad Bass Billy.  In the store we found some pretty amazing looking Dog Food.

williamsburg gourmet pet foodwilliamsburg pet food

The ones on the left are ‘Puppy Plates’ or ‘Venison Holiday Stew’ and the ones on the right are ‘Working Dog Stew’ and ‘Mediterranean Banquet’.  Lucky dogs!

Okay.  On recommendation from Rayne from Lo-Lu’s Kitchen, I’m heading to Dizzy’s Diner in Brooklyn for brekkie – gonna get me some waffles.  Yesssssss!!!

Oh man, I love New York!


Oh, man.  I’m having the best time EVER.  I love this city!

We had breakfast in a little place called Ballaro on 77 Second Avenue in the East Village, see muffin above.  Delicious served with a lovely fluffy latte.  Not a big ambitious NY breakfast but enough fuel for a big walk from the bowery up to Central Park.

katz deli outside

Lunch was in Katz’s Deli on the corner of Houston and Ludlow Street.  It’s famous for being the best Deli in the city.  And also as the place where Sally has the fake orgasm in When Harry Met Sally.

katz inside counterkatz inside

The pastrami sandwiches were TO DIE FOR.  Beautiful, beautiful stuff.  We got a Pastrami Sandwich and a Rueben Sandwich and shared a piece each.

katz sambos above
rueben and pastrami

Dinner was in Benny’s Burritos on 93 Avenue A.  I had a mini quesadilla served with the most YUM sour cream.

benny burritos outsidebenny burritos inside

It was perfect fuel for a night out.  The best thing about the whole meal was, in fact, the frozen margueritas.  Squiffy!

peace love and guacamole

Peace, love and guacamole!

I Can Has NYC??


Yes, that’s right, I intend to eat at least 8 meals a day while in NYC.

Myself and Niall are heading off to New York City on Monday afternoon to check out the CMJ music marathon and, of course, to eat and shop and hang out in one of the coolest cities in the world.

I am beside myself with excitement as New York is my favourite place of ALL TIME.  When I was younger, my ambition was to be a taxi driver in New York.  The fact that I still can’t drive has held me back in achieving this goal but there’s still time…

Do you have any suggestions of the food variety?  Please do tell all!

Expect many photos from New York in the next week and a half.  I plan to eat A LOT.

Hangover-proof Sunday Supper: Carribean Style

different chillis

A few weeks back I entered a competition over on The Good Mood Food Blog (check out his new book!) and I won the Carribean Food Made Easy with Levi Roots cookbook.  Delighted was I.

I had invited my sister and my dad over for a Sunday dinner – Mum was out of town and frank sinatra only knows what Dad would have eaten if I hadn’t invited him over.  It’s funny because it’s true.

I probably should have planned this nice family gathering a little better.  You see, the night before was The Irish Web Awards, wherein Niall won Best Music Site which lead to much merriment of the alcohol-induced variety.

It’s a testament to the easiness and downright awesomeness of this recipe that my family were even fed at all.  I was a total hungover lummox during the entire cooking process.  I had forgotten breaking my measuring cup a few days earlier so I had to just use a mug for measuring, I started frying stuff before I’d chopped everything, rubbed my eye after chopping chilli, dropped my knife loads etc – yet the end result was magic.

I’ve found a new favourite easy-dinner-to-cook-for-friends recipe.  You should totally try it out.  It cooks itself.

Continue reading…→

‘mazin Mushrooms on Toast

mushrooms on toast upclose

Ay Carumba.  Thanks once again to Jamie At Home and the Temple Bar Food Market, I enjoyed a delicious lunch this afternoon.  Had to share it with you.

mushrooms big

I picked up these incredible mushrooms from Denis Healy’s Organic Farm stall this morning.  The ones on the left are shittake and the ones on the right are…some kind of alien life form’s body part style mushrooms.  Not sure what they are but damn, do they taste good.

shittake up closemad mushroomss up close

I’m sure you could use normal mushrooms for this but the ones I got at the market were spectacular and took the dish to a whole other level of scrumptiousness.

This took all of 15 minutes to make and it was unbelievably good.  I thought I was going to faint mid-meal at the finger-licking tastiness of it all.

Continue reading…→

Gime my Reggae Reggae Sauce!

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Pic swiped from The Guardian website. Sorry veggies – bit gruesome!

Excitement!!  Thanks to the fabulicious Good Mood Food Blog and @Octopus_books, I am now the delighted owner of Carribean Food Made Easy with Levi Roots.

I’ve never won anything before in a competition and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank my Ma, my netbook and the internet.  And Donal too.

I’ve seen a few of Levi’s BBC food programme wherein he gets folks enthused about Carribean food.  He’s a total dude and I’m looking forward to making some rice and peas and chicken myself.  And maybe even some barbecued pineapple or pumpkin rice!

Nothing better than a bit of Carribean food to counteract the impending Irish winter gloom eh?

Check out the video below for a bit of Toddla T featuring Mr Versatile singing about rice and peas and chicken in their track Fill Up Mi Portion.  Classsss!

Come Dine With Me Food…yum!

mango cocktail

On Friday night, we were treated to a wonderful evening by Alan & Colette in our second Come Dinw With Me evening.

I won’t say too much as the scores are all secret and I don’t want to give too much away. All I can say is that it was slightly more subdued than my wino-fuelled night, and, alas, there was no 4am dance off, purely due to the fact that I had to work the following morning.  I’ll get you back next time Alan!

I’ll let the food do the rest of the talking.

Starter: Thai Fishcakes


The Thai Fishcakes were served with two delicious dressings (one spicy chilli based and mider fish sauce based) and a green salad on the side.

fishcakes half eaten nom nom

Full of fish were these fish cakes.

Main: Fragrant Lamb Curry

lamb curry  with raita and chutney

The lamb curry was served with a tomato chutney and two raitas.

tomato chutney yum

The tomato cinammon chutney.

cucumber mustard seed raita

The mustard seed and cucumber raita.

tomato and mint raita

The tomato and mint raita.

Dessert: Coconut and Ginger Ice-cream

coconut and ginger ice cream

And here’s a picture of my second helping.  I didn’t get a picture of my third helping :)

coconut and ginger ice cream second helping

Once all the scores are in, I’ll post the recipes for this lovely dinner!



You may remember the reports of my strawberry starter and disasterous main course back in August, when we had Round One of our very own Come Dine With Me.

The time is finally upon us for Round Two and this Friday it’s Alan and Colette’s turn to wow us with their culinary skills and hosting prowess.

I love what they’ve done with their menu – using the background of a tropical leaf to coordinate with their Asian fusion style tropical menu.  How simply thrilling!

I’ll be posting photos of the night on this blog, and after the scoring has been done, we may have a guest post from Alan and Colette detailing their behind-the-scenes adventures/mishaps.  Hurrah!

Half win, half fail…

pastry finished close up

And so, my quest of producing edible pastry continues.  I made this wee tart last Friday night following the same pastry recipe that worked for me last time.

Pastry is peculiar.  In fact, it’s about as peculiar as my insistence on trying to master it when I can buy perfectly acceptable ready to roll stuff in the shops.

Although I followed the same recipe as last time, my second batch of home-made pastry was quite a different animal.  It seems that if you change just the slightest thing – for example, the temperature of the butter or water – you end up with a different outcome.

I’m not at all comfortable with this level of uncertainty.

This week’s pastry was very crumbly again, but also it was realllly buttery and greasy.  It actually made me feel a bit ill.  Was it perhaps the oil from the pesto topping or was it something that I did wrong in the pastry process?

pastry finished close up crumbly

I have my eye on another savoury tart recipe which has an entirely different pastry recipe so I’m determined to find the perfect pastry before my quest is deemed as an official ‘Win’.

This Tomato and Pesto Tart is another recipe from BBC Good Food, which has been my major go-see for recipes these days.  I should rename the blog I Can Has BBC? at this stage.

Obviously, the sensible thing would be to follow this recipe exactly, as it suggests using ready-to-roll pastry, rather than faffing around with your own home-made stuff.  I’m not sure why I’m being so obstinate about this whole pastry thing.  It doesn’t make any sense.

This tart is supposed to be a really quick snack, but making my own pastry took me around 3 hours again.  It was stress free this time, that’s for sure, but it was still time-consuming.

Here’s the pastry recipe I used, which produces very crumbly, almost biscuity pastry.  Not really worth the 3 hours it took in the making.

Continue reading…→

I Can Has Cotswolds?

apples and cottage

I’m a bit late in the week posting these pics but I did so want to share them with you all.  Last weekend we headed to The Cotswolds for our friend Ben’s 30th birthday party.  We were in the quaint village of South Cerney in Gloucestersertereshire.  Yeah, not sure how to say it or spell it.  I move we stick with The Cotswolds.

red vine cottagehoney for sale

It was so stunningly sunny that it was difficult to capture it on camera, as you can see from the pic above.  That sign on the right says Honey for Sale, not Heroin for Sale.  Twould be an easy mistake to make.

Our hosts Ingela and Chris rocked.  We had a loooong boozy lunch of slow roasted leg of lamb (it had been in the aga overnight – swoon!), a spinach and feta pie, various salads and delicious bread and cheese.  All of this taking place in a lovely garden, soaking up the English Indian Summer sunshine.  Bliss!

birthday lunch spread
birthday lunch on a plate

We also had a pretty successful sleeveface by Anna:

anna as george michael

And the music was provided by Take That.  Erm…

take that and party

Continue reading…→