Surprisingly yum, who would’ve thought?

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new-garlic

New garlic.  Smelly, smelly stuff.  I was watching The River Cottage Springtime with my friend Hugh Fathoughbly-Whottingfigs and I saw him make this soup.  It looked so simple that I figured what they hey, we’ll give it a go.

All you need for Hugh Feathably-Witheringstock’s New Garlic Soup from memory by Aoife Mc

Four or five bulbs (I suppose you could call them that) of new garlic

Around two pints/1 litre of chicken stock

A generous knob of butter

Chopped chives and grated parmesan to serve

Salt n peppa for seasong

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These are three of my favourite things tra la la!

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ingredients

I mean, honestly…you can’t go wrong with basil, garlic and tomatoes can you?

It was back to Jamie Oliver’s Jamie At Home this evening after a week that was definitively highlighted by my self-diagnosed tinnitus.  Ah now.  I should probably mention that, though I’m not exactly a full blown hyprochondriac, when I have a sore shin I very swiftly meander down imagination lane and end up at Shingles Street.  Like, when I have a headache I’m all ‘That’s it. It’s a tumour’.  Which is an awful personality trait, and one which I am trying to train myself out of.

Anywhoo…I had a dull pain/headache that felt connected to my ears since last Sunday.   I was SURE that, after many years of gig-going and putting off buying ear protecting plugs for the heavier gigs, I had finally pooped up my ear drums.  Thankfully, the diagnosis by an actual professional (they’re called doctors and they study medicine and stuff instead of self-diagnosing, it’s very progressive really) was that I had over-excited ear drums.  *Nods to Annie Mac and ASIWYFA.* Completely over-excited and totally worth it.

In the end, it was a wake up call that led me to acquiring ear plugs which I wore to Glasgow band Camera Obscura’s gig in Andrew’s lane Theatre in Dublin last night. In fairness, I didn’t need the earplugs as the sound was fairly patchy.  And not in a nice quilt your Nan made. In a bad way. Very happy music though and the band were lovely.  Still love their latest album My Maudlin Career, check it out.

This lengthy introduction into the wellbeing of my eardrums does have a point to this food blog.  I was too poorly to cook properly this week.  Niall looked after me very well and made this lovely soup (with our home-made chicken stock swit-swooo!) which kept us going through til yesterday.  And still feeling a bit frazzled from it all today, although definitely better, I needed a simple but yum recipe.

basil-close-up

You’re very lovely. Just sayin’.

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Friday Food Video #5: Vintage Birdseye

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It’s been fairly quiet on this here blog this week, but then again, I am really a weekend cooking kinda gal.  Thanks for all your lovely comments about the roast chicken, will definitely be taking note of the hints and tips!

It’s Friday and here’s a little vintage advertising for you.  Amaaaazing Northern accents.

This one is especially for Gardenhead – something tells me he’ll like this.  And he’ll probably wish that he could raid the kids’ closets and nick a few of their awesome 70s slacks and vest jumpers.  And would you blame him?  Super retro chic.

My first roast chicken

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carrots-alone

Seriously.  Imagine being 27 and never having made a roast chicken?  I’m not sure how that even happened.

Since moving into our new flat and having a telly for the first time in four years, I’ve already settled into a very comfortable and enjoyable Sunday TV routine.  It starts with about three hours of Come Dine With Me, then goes on to Jamie At Home, then to The River Cottage with Hugh Farningly-Wetherall, and then I can flick between Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmare USA (quite poor really compared to the UK series) and Hell’s Kitchen with the monsterously terrifying Marco Pierre-White.

Hugh Featherby-Woothington is my favourite of all the cheffy men, with Jamie in a very, very close second.  I like Hugh because he’s so passionate about the welfare of animals, he’s really nice to everybody and The River Cottage is a great example of how to make steps, small and large, towards being greener and healthier in the way one consumes one’s food

For those of you who are unaware, Hugh has been fighting against the supermarket chains in the UK for the last two or three years or so to get chicken welfare back on the menu.  Obviously, he’s not the only campaigner doing this, but he has raised a remarkable amount of awareness of the issues surrounding chicken welfare and most certainly has affected me in so much as I am more conscious about where my eggs and chicken come from.

So for my first roast chicken, I popped down the Temple Bar Food Market and got a free-range whole chicken from Paddy Jack’s farm stall for €10.  Seeing as I was planning on getting two meals and some soup stock out of the chicken, I think €10 is all right, don’t you?  On a side note – I also bought a goose egg from Paddy Jack which I had for brekkie OMG the SIZE of it, it was BEAUTIFUL.

I also picked up some of the most scrumptious carrots I’ve ever tasted from Denis Healy’s Organic Farm stall.  That’s them in the pic at the top of the post and there’s me trying to connect to them before I put them in me belly.

carrots-with-aoife

Heyyyy…how’d you get up on the fourth floor??

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Tasty Tangy Couscous

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ingredients

I whipped this up last night before heading out to see Annie Mac DJing in The Twisted Pepper in Dublin.  She played a KILLER set, everyone was going mental and now my head and feet are sore today.  Twas great.

This is from BBC Good Food as well.  I had a serious craving for a light salad after all the carbs last week.  Couscous is beautiful and I got some lovely oregano flavoured soft feta cheese from M&S.  This took about thirteen minutes to get ready.  That’s how I likes it.

What you need for BBC Good Food’s Tangy Couscous Salad for four

300g couscous

Around 1/2 litre of veg stock

2 courgettes, sliced into grillable strips

100g crumbly feta

20g parsley chopped

Juice of 1 Lemon

Salt n Peppa

Pour the veg stock over the couscous in a big bowl and let it sit there and soak for around ten minutes.  Make sure you give it a fluff with the fork so it doesn’t go all lumpy.

Heat up a griddle pan and cook your corgettes for a few minutes on both sides til they’re done.  You can do this under the grill as well of course.

courgettes

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Ridonkulously simple Pasta

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blue-cheese

Go on, ya good thing!

My friend Dee was cooking for about ten people last week and she was a bit stressed because she was cooking straight after a long week at work and wanted something simple yet lush.  I had just tried this the night before and suggested it.  She quadrupled up the ingredients and it worked a treat.

This was the second time I made this Caramelised Onion and Blue Cheese pasta and it was deeeeelicious and totally simple.  I bought some beautiful Gorgonzola from the Temple Bar Food Market on Saturday and made this in 15 minutes after a long Monday at work.  Perfect.

onions-raw

It’s from the BBC Good Food site.  Obviously.

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Friday Food Video #4: Raekwon The Chef

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My buddies at EgoEccentric hooked me up with this vid. This is Raekwon the Chef from The Wu-Tang Clan getting all foodie like.  I like the way he talks about food like he’s at a freestyle competition, it’s great!  It’s a long rambling video but there’s a lovely bit in the middle where he talks passionately about being an artist and keeping on doing what he loves no matter what any of the haters say. He seems like he’s having a good time making food for his mates and talking about his cooking like he’s Delia’s ultimate rival.  And it ends with a motivational self-bigging up speech about his mic capabilities.  Lol.

“Put some garlic in these eggs and all that shit.  Put some of that good ol’ mother fuckin’ salt in there.”

Food phobia or negative association?

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food-phobia-toast

I’m telling ya…it’s been a guilty week. Since the guilty pleasures party, I haven’t had one healthy home-made meal.  It’s been Indian takeaways, ham and coleslaw sandwiches for dinner (it’s just not right) and pot noodles.  Salad is on the menu for tonight, for sure.  Even if it is miserable outside!

Following the launch gig of the rather wonderful and quite prolific Adrian Crowley’s latest album Season Of The Sparks in The Sugar Club last night, there were some late-night pints accompanied by appropiately random chats with various lovely folks.

The subject of food phobias came up as someone was being slagged for not liking tomatoes and lettuce, specifying that cherry toms were ok but not the big ones, cooked or raw.

One of the girls said that she couldn’t eat mashed potatoes, a trait passed on to her through her Dad who’d had the unpleasant experience of being overfed them as a child.  Similarly, Niall’s Dad unsuccessfully tried to pass on his disdain for eggs to Niall and his siblings.  I know at least three people who simply abhor mushrooms.

For me, likewise with the above, I suffer not really from food fears but negative food associations.  I love to try new, weird and wonderful foods but, even as someone who prides themselves on being gastromically open-minded, there are still a few things I can’t eat.  And it’s all down to a not entirely unpleasant but nonetheless psychologically irritating experience in my youth.

I went to boarding school in Dublin for four years in my late teens and as a result I can not eat roast beef, cauliflower or McCambridge’s Brown Bread.  As I said, it’s not a phobia as much as the association of horrendously mass-produced dry, flavourless, boiled to within an inch of their life veg and dehydrated wilting roast beef served with a side order of metallic gravy and synthetic stuffing.  And for four years, breakfast was that psuedo soda bread that McCambridge’s have somehow managed to pawn to a vast majority of people as an actually decent cut of bread.  Christ on a bike.

But apart from boarding school food tasting like old tea towels, my parents were far, far away – and don’t get me wrong, that was both a brilliant thing and a totally shite thing at the same time – and I think that sometimes dry roast beef tastes a bit like homesick to me.  *sniff*  This is all very Oliver Twist.

There are people who suffer from genuine food phobias, which must be an absolute nightmare.  Here’s a fairly comprehensive list of some of the possibilties. Consecotaleophobia is surely one of the rarer ones!

Are there any foods that you dislike and are able to pinpoint where the negative assocation comes from?

Below is the video for Adrian Crowley’s The Wishing Seat, taken from Season Of The Sparks is out next Friday the 1st of May and will no doubt available in Road Records in Dublin and the most reputable record shops around the country.  Until then, head here to buy Adrian Crowley’s last album, the bleedin’ lovely Long Distance Swimmer.

Guilty Pleasures Dinner Party

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red-lemonade

That’s right, Red Lemonade.  Illegal in every other country in the world except Ireland.  After a fashion.

A while back, I was reading through the excellent Eat Like A Girl blog, which is by Niamh who is an Irish lady based in London.  I saw this post about a Guilty Pleasures Dinner Party and I said by gum, I’ll have me one of those, thank you very much.

So I invited a few folks over to our flat and we had a really, really fun night of eating some rather ridiculous food.  I’m still in a carb coma today.  My goodness, it was fun though!

Big, big massive thanks to Aoife Daily Spud, Angela, Darragh, Loreana, Rapture Ponies, Rick, Jocelyn and Niall for bringing all the lovely food and for being a wonderful bunch of people.

Quote of the night: ‘Are you trying to out Phil Collins each other? Oooh let’s have a Phil Off!’

I’ll let the pictures do the talking as I am suffering from a hands-up guilty hangover.

pimms

We started the night with my Guilty Pleasure of Pimm’s No 1 Cup – it makes it easier to pretend that you live in Wimbledon.  I mean at the tennis competition, not just regular Wimbledon in London.  Traditionally you’re only supposed to add lemon and cucmber but I usually go for the sweeter strawberry and apple with cucumber and mint.  As a mixer, it has to be half lemonade and half ginger ale.  Bring it!

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That’s right, I just didn’t eat this week…

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aoife

There’s me on my way to Fallon & Byrne.  How unutterably chic!

Nah just kidding, I did a load of eating this week but I also had a visit from my friend The Energy Vampire.  I was zapped.  Totally due to a miserably grey few days in Dublin.  No matter how hard you try to perservere with cheeriness, after having changed your socks three times due to dampness and having your new haircut – which you don’t really like – going frizzy AGAIN in the rain you’re like….pffff., just pass me the tub of philadelphia cheese with a spoon and I’ll stuff a cracker in my mouth at the same time as the cheese and chew.

I did make one or two nice things over the last week but between one thing and the other it didn’t make it up on the blog.  For shame.

purple-broccoli

Did I mention that I bought some beautiful purple sprouting broccoli last Saturday in the Temple Bar Food Market in Meeting House Square last week?  Strangely, it’s the first Saturday I’ve made it down since we moved in to the city centre.

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