What I've Been Up To

I've been pretty quiet as of late but its for good reason - I've been working hard on City Guide for Groupon. City Guide is an online magazine featuring articles written by local bloggers. I work mainly on Manchester, Glasgow and London. It's great because I get to edit and post food and drink articles so I still get to indulge my foodie obsession! One of my favourite articles lately is this one on brunch in Manchester written by a local blogger - how good does this French toast look!!

You can see more on City Guide here, promise I'll be back soon with a post on my Southern states trip! 

Dublin Bay Prawn Festival

The Dublin Bay Prawn Festival is one of the most anticipated events in my calendar. Granted, I have only actually been there twice, but I actually think it has only been running for two years (please correct me if I am wrong). Prawns, Howth, sun and beer, whats not to like? I went on Sunday with a group of friends and its was PACKED, jammed, wedged and any other synonym you can think of for full! It helped that the weather was amazing - bright, warm sunlight and not a cloud in the sky - bliss.

I love Howth at the best of times and its natural charisma is only enhanced with the prawn festival. It attracts many different cultures and demographics (mainly Spanish from what I could see). The buggy brigade was out in force, also dog walkers, hikers, tourists and Sunday drinkers (us!).

To the prawns, oh the prawns! I had them in a quesadilla, in batter, in a paella, in a curry, in a taco, naked in the shell, in a salad and in fishcakes! Note I didn't munch all these myself, I had a little help (not a lot, but still..)

The only negative aspect of this amazing festival is the way you have to use prawns punts to buy a drink. I think the prawn punts are a good idea for the food although for a fiver, some of the portions were a little small, but for the drinks I think this is too much. Five quid for a pint of beer might be the norm for matches in stadiums and concerts but for a little community festival in Howth, I think this is too inflated. Why not just have a regular cash bar and reserve the prawn punts for the food, after all they aren't called 'pint' punts.

That being said, have a look below at all the delicious prawny products and I defy you not to start planing your trip to the festival next year.
Prawn Quesadilla
Pricey Beer
Fish n Chips
Dublin Bay Prawns
Prawn Curry
Fishcakes and Prawn Taco
Seaweed Salad

Getting a Spiralizer Changed My Life

My spiralizer is amazing

If you follow me on Twitter you will have heard me going on and on and on about it but I don't care, IT'S JUST THAT GOOD.

Ok, lets put things into perspective, its not as good as an amazing proper noodle sensation or a really good spaghetti carbonara, but when wheat products are of the table, this really is the next best thing.

For anyone who doesn't know what a spiralizer is (ok, you might have a life) it is this incredible machine that makes pasta out of vegetables, I mean not actually pasta but pasta shapes. I got mine online at Amazon here, I haven't seen them for sale in any shops. Also shout out to Roisin Ingle and her article for giving me the push I needed to actually buy one, I had been debating for quite a while.

In all its glory

I have been spiralizing the shit out of stuff for a week now it just gets better and better. I found this blog that is dedicated to the art of spiralizing. It has some great recipes and ideas - sandwiches and pizza out of spirals? WHO KNEW!

I am only at the start of my spiralizing journey, its great especially if you are trying to stick to a paleo (ish) lifestyle but miss the comfort of a bowl of noodles/spaghetti. Here are some pictures of my spiralizing fun so far.

Naked cucumber noodles

Cucumber noodles with prawns in a peanut sauce
Minestrone soup with courgette noodles
'Spaghetti' Bolognese

Again

Black Pudding and Cabbage Mash

This isn't really a recipe but rather a new creation. I'm not going to patronise you by telling you how to make mashed potato - you surely kno, right? If not, this Nigel Slater recipe is the best I've found. I wanted to jazz up spuds for a Sunday roast and seeing as it was St Patricks weekend, chucked black pudding and sautéed savoy cabbage into my mash. The result? You've guessed it a complete fecking taste explosion! This is not the prettiest thing you will make but the taste is worth it. Tip - the more butter the better!

Method
  • Grill some (depends on taste) black pudding slices, let cool slightly then crumble with fingers into freshly mashed potatoes.
  • Add finely shredded sautéed savoy cabbage, salt and pepper.
  • Combine well and sever with an extra dollop of butter.
I served this mash with roasted pork belly and roasted carrots and parsnips but I imagine it would also be awesome with white fish.



Paleo Chocolate, Beetroot and Walnut Brownies

These Brownies Will Surprise You!

I've been eating Paleo for a while now - not massively strictly or anything, mainly during the week actually (life is way to short for that many restrictions #yolo!). But, eating grain free does make me feel better and I actually don't miss sugar most of the time. Saying that there are times when I crave some dark chocolate with a cup of coffee. These brownies are the answer to those times - they aren't that sweet so you won't overeat and they are grain and sugar free so you can still feel virtuous and look down on sugar-eaters!

The strangest thing about these brownies is that one of the main ingredients is beetroot! Hear me out with this one - you can't actually taste the beetroot and it actually gives a lovely richness to the brownies without the calories. Sure you're practically eating vegetables! 

Ingredients
3 eggs
120g honey (the good stuff)
50g butter (use coconut oil if you are doing really strict paleo)
1oz cocoa powder
4oz ground almonds
3oz walnuts
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
8oz dark chocolate (again, the good stuff - 70-85% cocoa)
2 cooked beetroots - puréed
2 tablespoons coconut flour
11/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius.
Melt the butter, 5oz of the chocolate, honey and vanilla extract in a pyrex bowl over a saucepan of boiling water.
melt the chocolate and the butter

Chop the nuts and the remaining chocolate roughly. Add them to all the dry ingredients (make sure to sieve the cocoa powder and the baking soda)



When the chocolate has cooled a little, add the beaten eggs to the mixture.

Add the puréed beetroot to the chocolate mix, then add all ingredients together and stir well to combine. 

Bake in the oven for 25 minutes then remove and leave to cool in the tray for another 30 mins.
Makes about 25 small brownies. 


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