Saturday, 27 September 2014

Very sick Harry

Last weekend Harry was a bit out of sorts.
On Monday the vet diagnosed him with a bladder/urinary tract infection and put him on all kinds of antibiotics and medication.

After Cilla night I got home pretty late (about 10.45pm) and when I got in it was apparent that Harry had got worse rather than better.  He had vomited (on the stairs carpet!) and he was lying on my bed motionless like a rag doll.  Normally if you pick up his paw he will go to scratch or slap your hand away, whereas he allowed me pick up his paw, no claws at all, and then when I let go it just dropped listlessly down.

I was pretty worried and in fact I thought "I'd be worried he won't see the night through".
I rang the vet and while she said he didn't sound well she also said that she could not say over the phone if he needed to come in or not - that it was my call.

Aoife the vet from Hillcrest vets was 30 minutes away so I met her outside the clinic at about 11.30pm.

As soon as she examined Harry she knew what the problem was.  The bladder infection had got worst and he was now blocked - and there were crystals forming in his urine and if he did not have emergency straightaway his bladder would rupture.  She also explained that there was risk with the surgery with putting him under anaesthetic as with the urine issue it meant his electrolytes could start going crazy.  

 Aoife performed surgery until 2am when she sent a text to say everything went fine and he had woke up okay after the anaesthetic.

He came home on Tuesday morning all brand new.  Only visible effects are the two little areas on his fore legs where he was shaved.

He is doing great now.  But he will have to go on a special diet/food to prevent the crystalysing happening again.  Plus he needs to lose weight.  Difficult - Harry loves his food.

He is due back for checkup on Tuesday so I have a little gift prepared for the surgery:
Box of chocolates.
Cute card with kitty on it.
This sign: Warning Premises Guarded by Attack Cat (click on link to view)

Cilla night

My mother, aunts and cousin and I have been following a three part tv series about the singer Cilla Black.  The first episode we were in my Aunt Mary's house.  We were all dressed up in 60's clothes and Mary put on a spread of kitsch 1960's food (cheese hedgehog etc!) for the screening.  Yes my family are crazy like that.  It was a great night.

Episode 2 we went to my cousin Kasey's to watch it.

Again we dressed in funny clothes :-)

I made the starter.
Orange juice!!!!
Yes, you read that right.  Orange juice.
This stems from a funny story about my mam's wedding.  
When I was in my teens I was looking at my mother's wedding photos when I spotted something.
Me: "oh look at you, you goodie goodie drinking orange juice on your wedding day"
Mam: *embarrassed face* "that was the starter"

The year was 1973.  
How funny is that!!!!

Kasey made a fab chilli using her fab South African spices.

Another great night and I am looking forward to the final episode which will be held in my Aunt Anne's house.  And yes we will probably dress up again.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Skoff Pies by Donal Shehan

I saw these on offer in my local supermarket at 2 for €5 compared to usual price of €3.50 so I decided to sample.

20 minutes in the oven heating it up and you've got your perfect little pie.

Pulled Pork - this one was the nicest I thought, good bbq flavour and succulent pork.
Beef & Stout - very disappointing, not enough flavour: not beefy enough and definitely not stouty enough.
Chicken & ham - nice and creamy, neither good nor bad.

Not bad as a "dinner for one" fast food type of meal.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

37 Dawson Street - great food

I was overdue a catchup with my friend Tara, so a week or two ago we arranged that we would meet for a drink and bit to eat yesterday evening.  (Does that sentence make sense at all?!!!!!)

We met on Baggot street and decided to walk towards Grafton Street/South William Street to find somewhere nice to eat.  We came upon Dawson Street and decided to go to 37 Dawson Street as this used to be a regular place for us on a Friday night when it was previously called Ron Blacks :-)

It was disappointingly quiet but that may have been to do with the roadworks out on Dawson Street.

As you can see from the photos below we ordered a big load of food and it was all FAB!!!!  Important to note how great the staff were - attentive from the get go.  And great at taking the initiative (more down below)

Vodka and diet coke for me and big fruity cocktail non alcoholic cocktail for Tara (she is expecting no.2) - as suggested by our great waiter.

Calamari in the background (stacked)

The most fabulous melt in your mouth steak bruschetta.  Which as I ate I noted was "fabulous and so RARE, nyom" 
"Oops!" says Tara, "I can't eat rare meat" (listeria risk etc, due to pregnancy) .
The waiter was so apologetic and whipped it away to be cooked a little more, and apologised again when delivered back.
"Not at all" said Tara, "it was all my fault for not saying it at the start".

Patatas Bravas and (so flavoured) sweet potato fries.


Tara and Amy :-)

The damage. 
Very much worth it.  The food was really lovely.
More expensive than Bear the night before, but the service alone was so much better than Bear.

Jennifer Rothwell flagship boutique

On Thursday Enid and I went to the launch of  Jennifer Rothwell's flagship boutique in the Powerscourt centre in Dublin.  

Jennifer is an Irish Designer who is known for her fantastic use of colour and fabulous materials in her beautiful designs.  That's Jennifer in the middle in the above picture showing off her very well known and stunning Hummingbird print.

The hummingbird print is actually how we know of Jennifer and got the invite to the launch - as Enid bought an amazing Humming bird dress a year or so ago.  Here is her blog post from then, I'd really recommend you check it out and the photos, it is a stunning dress.

The launch seemed to go very well - there was a good turnout and a nice "buzzy" atmosphere.
Here is a pic of Enid enjoying a nice glass of vino :-)

We also enjoyed trying on some of the new collection dresses.  Boy did they look and feel good on.  They are not cheap, but so worth it.  And let's not forget these are designer pieces.
If you are looking for a really striking dress for an event I think you would be well worth checking the shop out, or online.

Also, (funnily enough), while Jennifer Rothwell is very well known for her use of colour and print, she also has the most wonderful white dresses which I think would be beautiful for a wedding.

After the launch we went to eat in Bear.  Hmm, nice food, the service was a bit relaxed (aka lax) though...

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Hasselback Potatoes

Hasselback potatoes - a success, but could be better.

First I cut them the potatoes into the "hasselback" shape. I need to buy myself a new knife - I did find this difficult to do, plus as you can see there were some casualtys!

I also got obsessed with the fact that some of the recipes I read said I needed to "fan" out the potatoes once cut.  And mine did not "fan" naturally.
As it happened, this did not seem to matter in the end so my advice is don't worry about that step.

Drizzled and rubbed olive oil into the potatoes - based on the end result I think I either needed more olive oil on them initially or should have added some more on half way through...
Good sprinkle of sea salt.

End result!
Definitely they looked good, and they tasted nice as well.  But I think the texture could have been "crispier" on the outside.  I think extra oil might have helped this.  Plus also I want to check in with my mother how she makes her roast potatoes - I may try a higher temperature next time.

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Inspired by Frugal and Thankful :-)

Lately I have been reading a lot of Lena's posts over on her Frugal and Thankful blog.

And while I didn't set out to get a "value" shop today, things from her blog must be sinking in, because I ended up getting a lot of bang for my buck!  Unplanned, unexpected, but feels good!!

I am having my cousin Kasey over for dinner tomorrow and as I have a work day out today (family fun event celebrating 75 year history of the company) I said I'd go get everything organised this morning so that I don't have to think about it later.
So I popped over to Marks and Spencer which I admit is my Go To when I am entertaining.  The food is all just so nice, and with alot of it being prepped it makes things very easy all round.  It is more expensive than buying elsewhere but I always think it is worth it.

When I got over there I realised the Dine in for Two offer was on so I said I'd take a look.  This is a really good deal where they offer a main, a side, a dessert and a bottle of wine for just €14.  So I decided I would use that meal as the basis for my menu.

I bought the Dine in deal, plus extra vegetables, limes, oil and sea salt. A lot of the veg was short shelf (two days left) and were hence reduced.  The potatoes for example were just €1.50 instead of €2.95

Total was €22.98!!

Let me remind you this includes a bottle of wine!!!!

So to give you a taster of what I am going to make tomorrow.

First up I am going to make a nice refreshing cocktail.  
My caiproska's always go down a bomb :-)

For main I will do Gammon - which was the "main" in the Dine in for two deal.

I am going to try make hasselback potatoes for the first time ever.  Hope they go okay.
And then with the meat and potatoes I have both roast Mediterranean veg and nice green beans and other veg.

Oh and for dessert, as part of the deal I got profiteroles which I always like.

So if all of this food is enough (and nice) that will be dinner for three people for €22.98.

And if I had the above in my store cupboard then the overall total would have been just €20.50