First breakfast in our Melbourne hotel. It had to be toast and vegemite didn’t it? Yum. The toast looks as sleepy as we did. Sweet.
Dear Mum, Dad, siblings and friends:
I’m afraid that you might have to become used to long-haul travelling as, after my first day in Melbourne, I feel like I have found my spiritual home. Sometime in the future, I think I might just have to come and live here for a while.
Bonus on that though, folks, is you’ll have an excuse to come and visit too! Let me tell you, you’ll love it.
Love, Aoife Mc x
After a not at all unpleasant 24 hour journey (with, it has to be said, very decent airplane food on Qantas) from our flat in Dublin to the beautiful Hotel Lindrum on Flinders Street in Melbourne, we had a wonderful first day.
Chateau de Cazenac, the stunning venue for the wedding in France over the weekend. If you’re thinking of an overseas wedding, this is your place! Magical.
Myself and Niall had a wonderful time in Bordeaux over the weekend. In fact, we were two hours outside of Bordeaux in a sleepy little village called Siorac. The wedding of my school chum was in a nearby chateau and it was literally, magical. The food was incredible. We had a six course meal with matching wines and we were eating for a good five hours, it was so perfectly paced with teary and emotional speeches from the usual suspects between each course. Brilliant.
Unfortunately, even though I had remembered to bring my camera the whole way over to France, sadly I had left the memory card at home in Dublin in the laptop!! Will not be making the same mistake when we go to Australia the day after tomorrow (eeep! excitement!)
I caught up with my mum tonight for a ‘see you in a few weeks’ dinner and I suggested we head to Camden Street in Dublin to enjoy Green 19.
Before myself and Niall moved over to the North Side, I used to live in Rathmines about a ten minute walk from Green 19. I remember myself and Niall walking past it before it opened last year, when they were building the place, saying to each other how it was a bad time to be opening a restaurant, would it be able to survive in these hard economic times blah blah etc etc.
…to Dan Deacon in Andrew’s Lane Theatre tonight that is. Tomorrow we’re off to Bordeaux for my school chum’s wedding and no doubt the food and wine will be flowing and utterly fabulous. I figured it would be best to stock up on the greens before our travelling sets in. Keep up the immune system, like.
I made this salad 100% inspired by the lovely fresh salad I had in Cork’s wonderful Cafe Paradiso. Mine was very quick to make, and although the ingredients were a bit on the pricey side, it was really yum and very filling. And I instantly felt 10 pounds lighter, which, however entirely delusion, was nice all the same.
A few months ago, myself and Niall were given the wonderous news that we were to go to Australia, courtesy of Tourism Australia. This day next week, we will be leaving Dublin and heading to Melbourne. We’ll be spending five days there, followed by five days in Perth. And we will be blogging all the way!
I’m very excited about all of the various activities that the lovely folk at Tourism Australia have arranged for us. Just to give you a little taste of some of the (quite amazing) things we’re in store for, follow the links below!
We’re going to be checking out music and food, so we’ll be going to lots of gigs and meeting up with a few folk from the Melbourne and Perth music scenes. We’ll be coming home to Dublin full of interviews for podcasts and, indeed, full of food!
We’re also heading to a wedding in Bordeaux this weekend (on Friday) which will most definitely feature a beautiful bride, a chuffed groom, a stunning chateaux and some amazing grub. I will be bringing you details of that before our trip to Oz. But for sure, the next couple of weeks over here on I Can Has Cook will be more about dining out than dining in. I hope you enjoy it!
Here’s a real easy dinner that is quick and rather delicious. It’s not exactly good for the thighs, what with all the cheese etc, but it’s good for the smile factor which is of course very important for a mid-week dinner after a hectic Bank Holiday weekend.
What you need for a very easy pasta dinner for 2
A good few cherry tomatoes or other little ones of your fancy
Half a block of the almighty halloumi cheese
1 clove of garlic, sliced
About a tablespoon of nice red pesto
Parmesan cheese (optional, unless you’re a cheese fiend like me)
So, in an attempt to overcome my recent Pastry FAIL, I decided to have a pastry lesson with my beautiful and wonderful friend Jocelyn. She’s the type of cook who only uses recipes as a starting point and just follows her nose from there. She’s bleedin’ brilliant.
So I went over to Joc’s new place last night to watch how she does it. Below I’ve outlined her process of making the pastry and I’ve put in pictures of our resulting pie but haven’t put in the ingredients. They were from Joc’s Cafe Paradiso cookbook though and it was an Aubergine, Tomato and Mozzarella Tart. Rock on.
Thanks to a lot of you guyses’ feedback, I know that two big factors let me down on my first home-made pastry attempt. Firstly, I used gluten-free flour. Secondly, the butter was melting by the time I was sifting it through the flour with my stubby grubby non-pastry proof fingers. Plus, I was following a bizarre recipe which involved an egg. No, no, no, Aoife Mc! You’re doing it all wrong!
We arrived home from our weekend of shenanigans in Sligo and Belfast late on Saturday night, only to be woken up on Sunday afternoon by amazing brightness and sunshine. There was only on thing for it but a bright, refreshing pink grapefruit salad.
I enjoyed a variation on this salad in the wonderful Avoca Cafe just above the shop on Suffolk Street near Grafton Street in Dublin. My version wasn’t quite as nice but it was still pretty lovely!
What you need for Aoife Mc’s version of an Avoca Pink Grapefruit Salad for 2
1 large pink grapefruit
About 6-8 slices of good parma ham
A good, strong crumbly (yet kinda soft) cheese, either feta or goat’s cheese
A handful of walnuts
Nice salad leaves (I got some red chard and rocket)
Salt n Peppa
Bit of good quality balsamic vinegar
Get your pink grapefruit and slice it into quarters. Slice out the flesh of each quarter and then chop them into bite-size chunks.
Put your walnuts into a pestle and mortar and give them a good bashing until they’re nice and small. As powdery as you like.
Get your salad leaves in a big bowl and dress them with salt, pepper, olive oil and a bit of balsamic vinegar. Mix in the walnuts and mix it so the leaves are coated. Crumble in the cheese and give it another wee mix.
Pop your salad on a plate and arrange the parma ham (teared into little bits) and the pink grapefruit chunks around the salad evenly.
Give the whole plate a big drizzle of olive oil and crunch a bit more pepper on the top, if you like.
There you have it! A lovely refreshing summer’s day salad. Wash it down with a cold glass of something made from grapes and of the fizzy, alcoholic kind. Yum!
Another week’s work finished. We’re off to Sligo tonight and Belfast tomorrow night in How To Pretend You Are A Member of Super Extra Bonus Party: Part 2. Hey, I help sell the merch at the gigs, right? So defunct apso facto, I wrote their album Night Horses. Think of that what you will.
Here’s a little video Niall found on the web for me. It brings together my love of tabouleh, falafels and Middle Eastern pop music in one short video. Swell.
I fancied a bit of an easy meal tonight and opted for Steak and Chips. I eat steak about once every four or five months, and I really, really enjoy it. It’s that craving for steak and fresh fish that keeps me from making the leap to vegetarianism. I know I just posted about roast chicken, but honestly I could take or leave chicken, no problem.
Nope, it’s the fault of fish and my three-times-a-year steak that leaves me living with a terrible sense of guilt when I see a little lamb or say, a big sweet looking cow. Ah well…
So, I decided to make home-made chips and although the end result tasted delicious, they were a bit of a FAIL in regards of consistency. Maybe you lot could help me out in where I went wrong.
I also made a nice horseradish creme fraiche sauce to go with it. We had a nice bottle of red and it all went down swimmingly.