Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Bake it Easy - The Fastest Cookies I've Ever Made

I don't normally 'review' products, and in fact I'm such a keen baker that I wouldn't normally buy a 'mix'. But this cookie mix is something completely different, and left my highly impressed!So much so I felt I had to share. So this isn't really a review, but more of a recommendation!

 With the Bed & Breakfast in full swing, and with two kids under three years old, I'm constantly living on borrowed time. But that doesn't mean I want to comprise neglecting my baking time with my daughter Aoife. She is only three, but already a baking enthusiast! This mixture was great, as I knew exactly what in the mix and exactly what we were consuming, unlike some 'cookie dough' you can buy in the fridge section of the supermarkets.

I bought the Oatly Dotely mixture, which is a strawberry and oat cookie mix. It's divine. It reminds me a little of Hagen Daz Strawberry Cheesecake Ice-cream. I'm actually thinking that if you make your own ice-cream (sometimes I do when time permits), add these cookies crumbled into the final icecream to make a healthier Strawberry Cheesecake icecream.

The mixture in the jar is a layered combination of dried strawberries, oats, coconut, sugar and flour and vanilla. You simply just pour the contents of the jar into a bowl, and mix well. Then add cooled melted butter, honey and an egg (all mixed together), to the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. The recipe at the back of the jar is a doddle to follow and it correctly states it makes 15 cookies, using a teaspoon to measure them out onto a baking tray. I drizzled melted white chocolate over the cookies, as a little weekend treat, and I place them at the Bed & Breakfast entrance as a nice little welcome treat for all my guests.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Kale & Cashew Pesto

I'm a huge pesto fan! I find it to be such a diverse ingredient in the kitchen, pairing it with pasta, potatoes, dressings, salads, stews, roasts and bakes; I always have one type or another lurking a kilner jar in the fridge. This is not the first pesto recipe I've blogged! Check out the following link for my previous pestos:

Basil & Almond Pesto
Parsley, Chilli, & Garlic Pesto
Rocket Pesto

You may notice in each of those pesto recipes I have left out the Parmesan cheese component, and this recipe is no different. This makes the pestos vegan friendly.I adore Parmesan cheese, but my husband is not a fan, so I've learnt to exclude it.

I've upped the super powers though for this particular pesto, Kale & Cashew nut. You can't get healthier than Kale, and it's currently enjoying a moment as THEE go to super  food. This is a super clean guilt free pesto that is packed full of nutrients. The cashews also really help bring a creaminess to the final pesto!

My fussy little three year old would live on pesto pasta given the chance, so this was the perfect way to sneak some kale into her diet. While she didn't take kindly  to the change in taste in the first bite or two of her 'usual' pasta. By the end of the meal she had a happy belly and a happy mommy!! If it passed the Aoife Test, then it will please the very fussiest of little eaters!


  • 50g of raw cashew nuts
  • 1 large handful of chopped kale leaves (no stalks)
  • 100ml extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1 chopped garlic clove
  • Juice of a lemon
  • 3 tbsp of flat leaf parsley


  1. Simply place all ingredients into a food processor and blitz until the desired constituency. I like to stop just before it gets 100% smooth, for a little bit of texture. 
  2. Store in a kilner jar, or similar, with a layer of oil on the top to preserve the pesto.

I also spread this on some salmon fillets, then baked as normal in the oven, it was really tasty.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Spicy Harrisa Chickpea Cakes with Chunky Raita

Here's a super quick, super healthy vegetarian dish perfect if you are stuck in a lunch time rut, like myself! The harrisa paste gives the chickpea cakes a real hot and smoky kick, with the raita being the perfect cooling accompaniment. This can easily be made ahead of time and reheated in the microwave and added to the raita salad, if you are office based. But equally this dish is a perfect starter for a dinner party or also throw the cakes in a pitta or flatbread for a wonderful alternative to a sandwich. Whatever the occasion, there is no excuse not to give these babies a go!!


  • 1 tin of chickpeas, drained
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3 tbsp of chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
  • 1 tsp of harrisa paste
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 2 slices of bread, blitz to breadcrumbs


  • 50ml of natural yogurt
  • 1 tomato, deseeded and diced
  • 1/4 cucumber, peeled, deseeded and diced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp of chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
  • 5ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsp diced red onion


  1. Add all the chickpea cake ingredients to a food processor and blitz to a batter style consistency.
  2. Wet your hands and shape into small patties (cakes). I got 10 from this recipe, but you can make them smaller for canapes or bigger for burgers.
  3. Heat a non stick pan to medium and add a small amount of olive oil.
  4. Fry the chickpea cakes for 4 minutes on each side.
  5. To make the chunky raita, simply combine all the ingredients and stir well. If you have mint or coriander, this would also work.
  6. Enjoy. These can be stored cooled for 2 days in the refrigerator and reheated gently on a pan for for 1 minute in the microwave.

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