A menu that should have been on holidays :(

Camping was fun.

I haven’t written up a weekly menu in ages. I got bored doing it and wondered if you all got bored reading them? (Comments below!) However I also started using a new app to write my weekly menus which made it difficult to copy and paste as I previously did. I am totally in love with this app, AnyList, and it has saved time and trouble a-plenty in our gaff. I have tried numerous grocery/ meal planning apps and this is the only one that has worked well for this household. The app is called AnyList and I’m sorry to report Androids that it is only available for iOS.

These are the reasons I love it:

  1. Both of the adults in our household can see shared lists, add to them and striking things off. Fingers crossed they will bring out an Android app soon so we can include younger family members in the listmaking fun.
  2. Also works beautifully on the iPad. And importantly for my battered old iPad, works really well without Wifi.
  3. In a recent-ish update the ability to import or add recipes and organise them into a weekly calendar was added. This has made this app indispensable to me.
  4. You can then scroll through the ingredients, marking which ones you want to add to your grocery list.
  5. It then goes out and does the shopping for you.

Guess which of those reasons is total wishful thinking? Sigh.

Camping was fun.

So just over a week ago I posted my recipe for Campfire Cones. They didn’t get much of a look in on our holiday which we should still be enjoying. Thanks to the torrential rain in the North West of Ireland, we gave up and came home last Friday. We have one nice day on Keem Beach in Achill which is truly one of the most lovely beaches in Ireland. There are many lovely beaches in Ireland; it’s only a pity there aren’t as many lovely days…

So we are home and trying to maintain the holiday vibe. We’ve had family staying with us for the last couple of days which helped keep up the pretence and the fun factor. A trip to the market in Bushy Park on a fine sunny afternoon helped a lot. I would recommend a wander up there some Saturday: I had a most excellent coffee from the Saltpeter Coffee Truck, I shared a pizza with Nipper 2.0 and 3.0 and Nipper 1.0 and cousins had delicious burgers. There was also a Twink sighting but we were all too shy to talk to her. My sister in law also bought some Brie from the Little Milk Company which I am looking forward to trying out.

One meal taken care of, then I shopped for the following with the much appreciated help of my sister in law – I wish I could have a sister in law along to relieve the boredom of every shop.

I suppose one advantage to being at home is that we could go all out on recipes for holidays, no more one-pot wonders on the Trangia! However we knew we were going to get out and about so we needed some dishes that would be easy to put together. The only new one on the menu is the Chipotle Bean Chilli and it went down a treat with all.

  • Baked Sausages in a Spicy Tomato Sauce from Nessa’s Family Kitchen by Nessa Robbins. This is a great recipe when having a family  with small kids to visit: there is something for everyone in it. Keep your eyes peeled for Nessa’s book – it’s a good family all rounder with some added home nurse tips.
  • Chicken Tikka from VinnieMeyler.com, spices by Green Saffron (highly recommended). Chicken curry when our French family are visiting has become a bit of a running joke. We accidentally served it to them two visits in a row, only realising when we got a strong sense of deja vu when someone objected to a particular aspect of the meal. As we had them for two meals this time we served this up for old time’s sake.
  • Chipotle Bean Chilli with Baked Eggs. This was added to the menu so I could have a go of my new chipotle paste which I picked up from Picado Mexican on South Richmond St. here in Dublin. I’ve been eyeing this shop up for some time, but always from the bus or car so I snatched a moment to pop in (when I was buying Tilda Basmati rice in bulk in a nearby Asian market!) I have since been adding the paste to lots of different sauces – it is delicious. I also picked up a pack of these corn tortillas which had a great flavour and the novelty of their smallness was appreciated by the kids.
  • 25 Minute Cod with Lentils This looks a little disconcerting but tastes AMAZING because, well, bacon.
  • Spaghetti Bolognese by Rachel Allen. I have started making this half and half beef and pork mince as per an option in her recipe. Not only is it more cost effective it adds an extra dimension to the flavour.
  • Pizza Friday!

Park. Life.

I have been following the developments in Granby Park with interest thanks to an invitation I received from Springwools to donate to their yarnbomb in their park.

In their own words:

Granby Park, is an urban, ‘pop-up’ park in a currently vacant site in Dublin’s inner city. It is made from up-cycled, recycled, donated and found material and features some of the city’s most talented artists, architects, performers, planners etc. It will have an outdoor cinema, a theatre made by kids from palettes, an education zone, exhibitions, a play area, a café, art installations, and lots, lots more!

Situated just off busy, commercial Parnell St. it is in a prime city centre location surrounded by some of some of Dublin’s iconic Georgian houses, social housing from the 50sish and swish new apartments which should make it a very attractive place to live, full of diversity. But with this enormous hole right in the middle of the community I imagine it’s a little difficult. So somehow or other the local community has commandeered this wasteland and turned it into a wonderland.

#thingsifoundtoday Two bags of #crochet motifs. My next project!

Sorting out the #crochet motifs #thingsifoundtoday

I was really happy to be able to donate some of the motif’s I found in my godmother’s house when we were clearing it out last year and I think she would be pleased they found an amusing end. I’m only sorry I didn’t donate more. Maybe I’ll pop over and bomb some more onto the railings! I would highly recommend a visit: it’s open from 8am til 7pm Monday to Friday and 10am to 7pm weekends until September 22nd 2013. Word to the wise: the coffee shop hadn’t opened by the time I left at 10am last Monday. Below are some shots I grabbed of the Nippers enjoying the various installations and areas in the park. There is also a library – maybe bring a book to donate!

Wednesday WIP (Crochet & Garden)

It’s Wednesday which means it’s work in progress day. Since my last WIP I have been quite productive relatively speaking. For a change too the work I’ve done has been for me: I don’t want to fall into that trap of never making anything for myself. Lately I’m going to the other extreme.

When you crochet or knit or make things do you find you’re always giving them away too? It seems selfish or vain to make something for yourself but egotistical in equal parts to give it away. It’s like when someone says, “I’m in a band: here, listen to my demo.” But you can’t because your ears are bleeding from the pain of their music and you don’t know what to say. I wonder to people receive my gifts and think “Sweet lord, what am I going to do with this thing!” I think I’m lucky enough to have polite enough friends who will tactfully place the lovingly crafted object in a less-trafficked corner of the house. That said I recall the sting, after spending a few hours creating something that I think the recipient didn’t realise was handmade, when it was just flung to one side without so much as a thank you. But isn’t that rude regardless of the effort put into the gift!

I know I mentioned on the Rosie View when we were talking about The Great British Bake Off that I could completely understand why the contestants got so upset: sure I was at home sniffling for them because I know the pain of putting your heart and soul into something only to have it flop.

However there was a lesson to be learned from the winners of that series: persistence. Malcolm Gladwell would have us believe that it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert or a genius at a skill.

But the difficulty is that by the time we realise this or at the very least realise the truth in this we no longer have 10,000 hours to spare. Not in one block anyway. That’s why a hobby that you can try, try again in short snatches allows you to build up those 10,000 hours. So maybe by the time I’m actually a total granny I’ll be amazing at crochet.

So on to the WIP. Below you can see the business card holder I whipped up not last Wednesday but the Wednesday before to match my iPad holder so it would be easy for me to find while I was networking at dotconf the following day. It’s a bit of a joke but I do love the cheerful colours. It and the iPad cover go with nothing at all though!

I also started the top I described in my last WIP post. It’s going well although the tension isn’t quite right probably because I’m not using the specified wool but it’s just too expensive. I’m worried therefore that this central panel will be too wide thus making the whole top too wide. It is pretty though and I love the colour. You’ll see below that there’s a lot of green in my life at the moment!

And Himself has been busy too and we’ve finally been enjoying the fruits of his incremental 10,000 hours. I wonder if we’ll ever have enough strawberries ripe at the same time for a bowlful each? Nipper 2.0 keeps sneaking out into the garden by himself and finding the ripe ones and shnarfing them before anybody else gets a chance. I beat him to this one here and it was delicious. In the second picture you can see Himself planting some cauliflower and turnip seedlings given to us by our neighbour. In the foreground carrot, onions and beetroot can be seen. Our first batch of potatoes should be ready soon as well.I’m really looking forward to more beetroot brownies: my favourite way to make my pee a funny colour!

I”ve already made loads of the rocket into pesto with parmesan, olive oil and pine nuts.


Fuair mé na sonraí ar ár deireadh seachtaine fada sna Beanna Beola. Beidh sé deacair ach tá mé ag sil go mór leis. Beidh orm tús a chur leis an gcleachtadh agus briseadh mo bhutaisí nua.

Chomh maith le sin chuir mo bhuachaill álainn ár dticéid in áireamh do Nua Eabhrac. Ag súil go mór, mór leis. EUR420.00 don dhá ticéid. First class there and back. Hoo fucking rah!