This time of year, give me mulled anything and I will be happy! There's nothing quite like a steaming hot mug of something delicious to warm you up on a winter's night. Personally, I can't get enough of mulled wine but it's not everyone's cup of tea (pun absolutely intended!). For those of you who are not fans of the tang of the classic mulled red, we have some fabulous alternatives. This week, it's Mulled Apple Juice.Read More
New Year, new healthy cookbooks! One of my goals for 2016 is to go back to cooking good food at home. I love cooking and eating (obviously!!) and it's really important to me to have interesting meals that are tasty and healthy...Read More
I am not usually one for decorating with sea shells but removed from an overall maritime theme the gilded shells look absolutely gorgeous! I use them as little salt and pepper dishes but they would also be fabulous as a bedside ring holder.
You will need:
- clean & dry oyster shells (any other large sea shells will be perfect as well) - gold paint / liquid gold leaf (go for food-safe paint if you are using these to store salt or pepper)
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I have been obsessed with Darling Magazine for quite some time now and I was so excited to find out that I can get it shipped to my home here in Ireland through this amazing new site called KIOZQ. KIOZQ is an Irish site that supports independently published magazines and aims to preserve printed media. The people behind KIOZQ are passionate about content and stock some fabulous collectible coffee table magazines such as Betty, Kinfolk, Life & Thyme and of course Darling.
Darling is not just any old magazine you throw in the bin after you are done. It is quite an aspirational piece of art with breathtaking photography and excellently written content. Their mission is (in their own words) to "hold the modern mold of woman up to the fire to evoke a discussion on femininity and re-shape an authentic design. Darling is... the art of being a woman".
I love Darling magazine for exactly that: it's authentic, thought-provoking and inspiring. The photography throughout the entire magazine is absolutely beautiful and makes me want to look at it over and over again. It covers everything from fashion, beauty to cooking and travel. On a more shallow note, it looks great and makes a great fabulous to my coffee table!
Darling magazine, like most magazines of this type, is not cheap - it will set you back €25 per issue. It is however a collectible, more along the lines of a fancy coffee table book rather than a glossy magazine that you only ever flick through once. Don't get me wrong, I sill very much enjoy Vogue, Elle or Glamour magazine but every now and then it's nice to read something that challenges me and broadens my horizons.
You can buy Darling magazine through KIOZQ and get it delivered for free if you live on the island of Ireland.
Have you ever read Darling? What is your favourite indie magazine?
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Like most people, I can't begin a morning without a cup of coffee, partly because of the much needed caffeine but most of all because making it is a bit of a ritual to me and feels therapeutic. I used to make my coffee in a very noisy machine at home which was great but ever since I have discovered The Copper Collection I have been loving filtered coffee and my gorgeous copper stand looks fab in my kitchen! Did I mention the stand is copper?!!
The talented ladies behind The Copper Collection, Danielle & Deirbhile, create hand crafted pour over / filtered coffee stands for coffee shops, at home baristas and lovers of modern lifestyle and decor. Copper is all the rage in interior design at the moment and the coffee stands will make your kitchen look instantly stylish. They also make fantastic birthday / wedding / house warming gifts.
If you would like to buy one of the stands you can avail of an exclusive reader discount code (type PINKELEPHANT10 in at checkout, valid till Friday, 17th July).
The brewing of filtered coffee comes from Japan and is a lovely process. It doesn't take long and it produces a wonderful, flavourful cup of coffee. I love how tactile the whole experience is!
If you want to find out more about brewing coffee on one of the gorgeous copper stands make sure to watch the video below. If you love coffee you will definitely enjoy thus process!
Have you ever tried filtered coffee?
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Summer is on the way and summery cocktails are in order! I love including herbs and fresher ingredients in my cocktails when it gets warm and simple syrup is the easiest way to do it. The flavour options are unlimited (mint, basil, lavender - all fab!) and once you have your syrup done you can keep it in the fridge for about 2 weeks or 1 month if you have a sterilized container* - not that it will last that long, let's not kid ourselves.
Rosemary Simple Syrup
So... as the name suggests it is really simple to make, I wouldn't even call it a recipe! You will need:
1 cup (or any measure) of sugar 1 cup (or any measure) of water
Boil water until the sugar has dissolved, remove from heat and add rosemary. Let sit for 15-20 minutes. Remove rosemary and refrigerate the syrup.
* If you want your syrup to last longer in your container you will need to sterilize it. The easiest way is running the bottle & cap through a hot dishwasher cycle. Remember not to de-sterilize the container when you are taking it out (meaning, don't put your finger inside the bottle or cap!!)
Pomegranate & Rosemary Gin Fizz
1/4 cup of gin (60 ml) of your favourite gin 1 tsp lime juice 1 tbsp rosemary simple syrup 2 tbsp pomegranate juice (the real thing, not juice drink!) Club soda Ice Garnish: rosemary sprig, some pomegranate kernels - whatever floats your boat
Pour all your ingredients into a glass and stir. Add ice and fill up with club soda, give it another quick stir. Add your garnish & enjoy!
For bigger quantities just multiply the ingredients and have the main ingredients in a jug then just pour into individual glasses and top with soda water & ice. It's one of my favourite cocktails, super refreshing and so tasty!
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I am a big believer in the cocktail hour and it's something that helps me wind down after a busy week on a Friday night (sometimes also on a Monday... or Tuesday). Sometimes this means going to a cocktail bar (we love The Liquor Rooms and The Exchequer in Dublin) but more often than not we end up having a cocktail at home.
Cocktail mixing is not just for pros - there are some really complicated ones but others are easier than making tea! One of my favourites is the Espresso Martini. It is not only super versatile (it's a great brunch, pre- or after dinner cocktail!) but it's easy to make as well! It can be made in small batches in a cocktail shaker but is just as delicious made in a pitcher for a 10-people brunch (although it loses it's luscious foam with this method).
The Espresso Martini (serves 1)
30 ml coffee liquor (I have used Tia Maria but Kaluha is also amazing!) 30 ml vodka 30 ml espresso ice cubes
Put all of the ingredients into a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously for a minute (this is what gives you the beautiful foam!). Pour into your favourite cocktail glasses and enjoy!
When you are making a large batch in a pitcher, use whatever measure you like (a gravy boat is what I use) and make sure you have equal parts of vodka, coffee & coffee liquor. Add ice & stir well. Done!
TIP: for a sweeter, more desert style cocktail use butterscotch vodka! Delicious!
Irish designer, Helen James, has brought out a beautiful range called Considered by Helen James, a collection of food and homewares that was created in collaboration with Dunnes Stores. There is a wide range of pieces: from stationary (€3), gorgeous copper pots (€75) to beautifully designed chairs (€150). Considered by Helen James is a great way to introduce contemporary, Irish design to your home without breaking the bank!
Both Becky & I are in love with the collection! We have already tried all of the food products - the Raspberry & Rose conserve is to die for and so are all of the chocolates!! You will be seeing a lot of this range in upcoming posts and videos!
The range is exclusively available in selected Dunnes Stores nationwide.
Well done, Helen James!
The time of year when leaves start to turn golden and the afternoon sun has that hazy and mellow tint to it is just my absolute favourite! We are lucky here in Ireland and usually get a few gloriously golden days this time of year. Crisp and bright weather inspires me to cook hearty and warm dishes like this one - one of the family favourites - an apple & rhubarb crumble.
It is definitely one of the easier deserts to cook - it's not really a cake and requires more of an assembly job rather than full on cooking but the result is just beautiful! A fragrant, sweet and tart, hot and crunchy fruity deliciousness - the ultimate comfort food!
4-5 stalks of rhubarb 3-4 cooking apples 50g demarera sugar cinnamon stalks vanilla pod / vanilla paste a little bit of butter a splash of water
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Peel and cut the apples, trim and cut the rhubarb. Put the fruit into an oven proof dish, sprinkle over the sugar and mix. Add the cinnamon, vanilla a splash of water and put a few flakes of butter on top or the fruit. Cover with tin foil and bake in the oven for approx. 20 min just until the fruit has softened a tiny bit.
100g plain flour 50g cold butter (diced) 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 4-5 tablespoons demarera sugar 3-4 tablespoons of jumbo oats optional: sprinkle of cinnamon to taste
A crumble mix is super easy to make: just bung all of the ingredients (except the oats) into a bowl and rub together with clean fingers until the mix forms a sandy consistency. Then add the oats and mix gently to disperse them in the crumble mixture. Done! I often make a huge batch of this and freeze it in a freezer bag for times when I need comfort food in a hurry!
After the fruit has had it's time in the oven take it out, remove the foil and sprinkle the crumble over the top. I like to give the whole thing a little sprinkle of demarera sugar just for extra crunch and put a couple more small bits of butter on top (I know, I know! But it tastes so good! Totally optional though). Bake until the top is beautifully golden and crunchy (approx. 20-25 min).
What I love about this crumble is that it's so customisable - you can bake it in a big tray or small individual dishes, with or without cinnamon or oats. It's amazing with pecans or almonds sprinkled on top... the possibilities are endless!
I love eating my crumble still quite warm with a dollop of clotted cream or custard but its also fantastic with a little bit of good vanilla ice cream.
Apple crumble is my ultimate autumn comfort food. What is yours?
Whenever the weather permits (I live in Ireland, so it's not necessarily that often) I jump on any opportunity to eat outdoors! I don't know what it is but everything tastes better al fresco - it must be the fresh air.
For this garden lunch we have chosen food that is easy and quick to prepare, perfect for anything from a lazy Sunday brunch to a light dinner in the evening. The menu on the day was a fresh Easy Panzanella Salad (head here for the recipe and how to video), a cold meats and cheese platter, fresh sourdough bread & an elderflower and mint lemonade. There is also something sweet for dessert in the form of a doughnut & macaroon tower - it not only looks gorgeous and colourful but also doesn't take any time to prepare.
You can see, that we went for speed of preparation - only one dish is actually "cooked" (in this case no real cooking involved, as we made a salad but you get the idea...) the rest is more of an assembly job. This is always what I opt for when if I'm entertaining during the week or simply don't want to spend hours in the kitchen (more on how to create the perfect cheeseboard coming soon!). I also like to have some drinks prepared for my guests and if we are not having cocktails I usually prepare a lemonade. Here we went for an elderflower cordial from Belvoir, some sparkling water & a few mint leaves. Easy and delicious!
And then all you need is a nice and simple table setting, I love white tableware and simple glass, a couple of easy flower arrangements in mugs and some candles.
TOP TIP: When you are eating outside make sure you can serve all the dishes at once to save yourself having to run back and forth to the house if you can!
Have a look at our Behind The Scenes Video of the photo shoot!
What is your favourite "outdoors food"?
A & B. xx
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