My favourite newspaper of the week is The Irish Times on a Saturday. I immediately turn to Roisin Ingle's article which is usually amusing and always thought provoking. Second comes Domini Kemp's "Taste" - excellent recipes with an always interesting introduction, then the book reviews and finally the actual news section!
I read about The Cookbook Club in the Irish Times and filed it away for a time when I was available to go to Dublin on a first Monday of the month - the idea is that you go to a restaurant where the meal has been cooked from a particular cookbook (choices of 3 starters, 3 mains and 3 desserts) and the author will circulate for a chat - fantastic idea (and as it turned out a fantastic evening).
After a couple of months when I would have loved to have attended but couldn't I was able to go this month - Yahoo!! All the planets were in configuration for this visit (!) as a couple of days after I had booked for the club a review copy of the featured cookbook arrived from the publishers - Yahoo x 100!!
Domini Kemp's (yeah!) Itsa Cookbook, is a well written (very relaxed) book, with fantastic photos by Joanne Murphy (I wish I had 1/80th of her talent!!), the recipes are easy to follow (although tin sizes are left out of some of the baked recipes, which could make timings a bit difficult) and tasty, plenty of everyday ideas with some special occasion ones too.
Now if I were a totally together blogger (person even) I would have taken beautiful photos of the dishes served at the cookbook club - and actually in my imagination I did so, but in reality I forgot to turn the flash on (in a basement restaurant!!!) so the photos leave alot to be desired, and it was such a good idea! But I can tell you that the food was excellent, the company was fantastic too. I met an old (obviously not in age Ruth!) school pal, whom I haven't seen in about ten years!, and some new friends too (fellow bloggers from Texas, now living in Dublin), along with the wonderful Amo who came with me, which all added up to one of the best evenings of the year.
I have (of course) also cooked a number of dishes from the book, and they all turned out well, the flourless chocolate cake being a particular favourite.
The crab cakes were delicious and light, they are made with Carr's Water Biscuits (crackers) and tasted light and intensely crabby (if that's a word!).
The Granola Goodness Bars went down well, Brownieville Boy #1, has been taking them to college with him (excellent breakfast on the run!)
Grandmother McGrath's Soda Bread - I was afraid that this bread would be too sweet (there is both honey and brown sugar in the recipe) but it turned out very well - another for the repertoire!
The Rich Flourless Chocolate Cake - need I say more!!
Actually this one deserves a post on it's own, will put it up very soon.
Pea, Mint and Roast Garlic Soup - sent my poor son outside to get this photo!! But it really was what was needed on that cold, snowy day. (I left out the cream from this soup, and I think it was excellent without - the roast garlic adds alot to the flavour)
Purple Sprouting Broccoli with Lemon and Hazelnuts - I used tenderstem broccoli for this recipe and it is already a firm favourite.
Irish Rarebit -I haven't had Welsh Rarebit but I think the difference (other than using Irish cheddar) is the brown soda toast!!
Tastes good though.
Coriander Chicken - I marinaded four chicken breasts, then cooked two and put the other two (still in their marinade) in the freezer. The frozen ones were even better than the fresh when I used them!!
NOW PLEASE SQUINT AND YOU MIGHT BE ABLE TO MAKE OUT THE DISHES!!!!
Gunternation kindly took a photo of her Blackened Salmon - she said it was excellent.
The Pasta Salad with Sage, Sweet Potato and Hulloumi was much appreciated by my veggie friend.
Sharon was again called upon to photograph her meal!!!!
She enjoyed the Fig Tart with Apricot Jam.
These Mini Molten Chocolate Cakes (served with a caramel ice-cream) were very popular.