Monday, 31 December 2012

New TV

The January sales are on so it is a good time to get bargains. 

I had been talking about replacing my tv for ages - a big old heavy doinky 26 inch screen tv.

See pics below of it.

I replaced it with flat screen HD LCD Samsing Viera 39 inch screen tv.

Look how thin it is! Particularly compared to the old one.

Today's menu

It seems like all my posts recently are about food.  I'm still on holidays so I am "ok" with that for the moment.  But come 2nd of Jan I am on a diet and detox bigtime!
Today was a lovely chicken, cherry tomato & green pesto pasta.

And it was DIVINE. 
Much nicer than the Chicken Arrabiata yesterday.  Sweet and flavoursome.
I'd very much reccomend this dish.

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Comfort food

It's still Christmas/New Year holidays in Ireland (I am off work until the 2nd of January).
So today I am lying on the couch and watching films - currently I am watching Back to the Future.
Good times!
I don't plan on cooking much so Messr. Marks & Messr. Spencers shall be providing. 
Today I had chicken arrabiata and it was not bad at all.

Great food!

As I mentioned in my post yesterday I went to a friend's house for dinner.

Ben is a great cook and was more than happy for me to document the lovely food.

Caiproska made by yours truly.
Ben was very impressed with these.  He said it was so refreshing that he would almost use it in place of a sorbet as a palate cleanser.  Good idea...


Prawns in Marinade

Shrimp & Salad starter.  Fabulous!


Great fat veins on these babies!

Expert griddling by Ben

Steak, mashed potato, fondant potato, asparagus, red wine, mushroom & onion reduction.
Malbec with the steak.


Vanilla cream sponge from Superquinn.  Frosting was divine.

Cava with dessert.

Friday, 28 December 2012

Breakfast & dinner in Ranelagh

As you may know, Enid lives in Ranelagh - read her blog here.  Amongst alot of other stuff one great thing about Ranelagh is the great restaurants and takeaways.
Last week Enid & I ate out in Tribeca for dinner & 51 for breakfast.


All of the food always looks great in Tribeca but I always just go for a burger - RARE!
I asked for a lot of blue cheese with it and I sure got it as you can see from the photo.
I think a Tribeca burger is one of the best burgers in Dublin!

I also had a lovely glass of Malbec. 
Glass of vino, nice burger for €20 not bad I say.

The next morning we went to 51 and had porridge. 
Normally it is served with Baileys (yes Baileys!)
but they had ran out and it was too early to buy a new bottle :-(
Other than no Baileys I really enjoyed the porridge. 
BUT they still charged the full price which I think was a bit unfair - half of the advertised dish was not there after all - I think they should have discounted for this.

'Tis the season to be jolly

Who doesn't love Christmas?!

I have been doing lots of festive things over the last two weeks to get in to, and stay in festive spirit.

Carol singing in Blancharstown Library by Coolmine Musical Society

My tree is finally up!

Glen Hansard, Lisa Hannigan & Bono busking in Grafton Street.

Christmas Karaoke!

Christmas Cocktails!

Tonight I am going to a friends house for dinner.  The deal is I buy the steak and they cook it!
€100 does not go far in M&S!

The last two nights I have lit my fire and watched movies - The Family Stone and 21.

Monday, 17 December 2012

12 Pubs of Christmas Dublin

In Ireland, in recent years there is a tradition of doing a pub crawl / bar hop called the 12 pubs of Christmas.  You got it, there's 12 pubs.  It's generally done last day of work before breaking up for the Christmas holiday and starts at 6pm and finishes at 12am.
Over the last year or two this has extended into a Saturday night thing with friends. 
It also now involves Christmas jumpers!  The gaudier the better!
I cheated this year and only had two drinks rather than 12.  I had Basket Brigade on the next morning at 9am so I just would not have been able to get up had I done the full 12.

Basket Brigade


For the second year running Enid and I have collected food and packed hampers for needy families in Dublin.  Basket Brigade is organised by a group of volunteers who gather together addresses of 130 families in need - the addresses are given by a number of different organisations/agencies e.g. St Vincent De Paul, Barnardos, local priests etc.
We all gather in the Clarion Hotel in the IFSC - the hotel probably donate the room for free which is good of them.  First we cover the boxes in Christmas paper.  We then pack the hampers as per the list below and then decorate with cellophane and ribbon.



Hampers packed and ready for delivery!

There are people out there who really need help - who literally have nothing in their fridge - so it is nice to know that they will enjoy a Christmas dinner because of Basket Brigade.

Paddington Bear

I recently read a great little book all about the makers of Paddington Bear in the late 70's, early 80's. It is the story of Shirley Clarkson (who is the mother of Top Gear's Jeremy Clarkson) and her company Gabriel Designs.  

Paddington Bear always reminds me of my childhood because my twin sister and I used to love Paddington books.  When we were about 8 we went to a book fair in the RDS and entered a Paddington Bear competition which Enid won!
Her prize was a fantastic Paddington Bear teddy bear.

This is Enid's second bedroom and you can see Paddington Bear in the background behind Bones - in the fireplace where he currently resides.

As you can see he resides with a number of little Paddington Bears...but none of these bears are as nice as the big one.  Big Paddington Bear is solid! While the small ones are soft plushes.

I think Paddington looks very smart in his coat and boots against Enid's lovely Laura Ashley wallpaper.
According to the book at the top of this post, last thing just before leaving the bear factory, Paddington would be given a little upward smack with the hairbrush to give him his uptilted snout/look!!!!!

Work Christmas Party - La Caverna, Temple Bar

On Friday night we had our department Christmas Party in La Caverna in Temple Bar. 
We were sat below ground - literally in a cavern.  Very nice!  Although we did query what would happen if there was a fire!
The food was lovely.  See below for pics and info.

I had Bruschetta to start.

I then had Spaghetti Bolognaise - boring I know - but I can never resist spag bol in a good Italian.

We had a choice of 3 desserts.  I chose the tiramisiu which was divine!


(Teer-ramey-su as pronounced by my Italian colleagues)

Chocolate Brownie
All in all I would reccomend La Caverna. 
If you are looking for a nice restaurant at a good price in Temple Bar you cannot go too wrong here!

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

LPA Open House

I am not sure if you know my sister Enid's blog?  She has been renovating an old house for over a year now.  Check out her blog here.
Anyhoo! Her house is finally finished and her husband (the architect) hosted an Open House event at the weekend.  I had the pleasure(!) of working at the event.


Goddamnit I covet this cocktail bar!  That's Bones the dog in front of it.

There was a great turnout and the event went very well.
For more photographs of the event and the whole renovation/house 
be sure to click on my sister's blog.