Chapter House Tea Rooms, Kilkenny

The Chapter House Tea Rooms, Kilkenny

June 2013 was my first visit to the Chapter House Tea Rooms at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Kilkenny and having had some a good impression made by the friendly staff, good food and cosy sub-church atmosphere, myself and herself have been back a few times, the most recent being last weekend.

Nut Loaf at Chapter House Tea Rooms

Nut Loaf at Chapter House Tea Rooms

You’ve got free wifi, a fresh rotation of desserts, plenty of salad options and a mix of daily mains from soups to curries, nut loafs to fish cakes, pasta dishes and plenty more besides. Continue Reading

Craft Beer Battered Black Pudding

Brewery Corner’s Savage Black Pudding

Craft beer battered black pudding. Let the words roll off your tongue before your mouth starts to water.

David Thompson is at the helm in the kitchen at Brewery Corner in Kilkenny, Kilkenny’s only dedicated craft beer bar and the short but sweet menu there is top of the range.

Craft Beer Battered Black Pudding

Craft Beer Battered Black Pudding

Dishes are cooked to order and at the top of my list for the moment is the battered black pudding. Certainly not a delicacy in every county in the country but this one rocks. At €8.50 or €11 bucks if you want to grab a pint as part of a combo. Continue Reading

Poached Egg

Perfect St. Patrick’s Day Poached Egg

How do you start your St. Patrick’s Day? With the perfect poached egg on a toasted half brown bagel, topped with some chopped fresh parsley, that’s how. Oh, and drizzle some Highbank organic orchard syrup over that bad boy too.

Get your water to boiling point, add some white wine vinegar, stir, add your egg and turn off the heat, letting the egg cook on reducing heat over 2.5 minutes.

The perfect St. Patrick's Day poached egg, with parsley. All of the Ps covered.

The perfect St. Patrick’s Day poached egg, with parsley. All of the Ps covered.

The result? One hell of a quick and quality breakfast for a bank holiday Monday.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day.

Sunday Reads 16 March 2014

Sunday Reads: March 16 2014

It’s the bank holiday weekend, Ireland will be covered in all manner of green things from tomorrow but if you’re taking ten or fifteen minutes out for yourself on the first long weekend of the year, here’s ten posts from other food bloggers and food media that you may have missed this past week.

Want to suggest a new blog for the reading list? Drop me a line or introduce yourself via email to

Linwoods Product Range

Some Linwoods Goodies & Sweet Flapjacks

So, in the post during the week landed one almighty crate-load of Linwoods goodies and a handy recipe book with suggestions for use other than cereal toppings (which would be pretty much my token use of the Linwoods Milled goods range).

The Linwoods range focuses on ‘superfood’ combinations including chia, flaxseed, cocoa, berries, almonds, goji berries, shelled hemp and the likes, the cold milled range designed to boost digestion, increase energy levels, and promote good health and a good diet. Continue Reading

No Fail Pancakes

2 Ingredients: Ken’s No Fail Pancakes

Six heaped tablespoons of flour. 350ml milk.

Say it again.

Six heaped tablespoons of flour. 350ml milk.

Today is Pancake Tuesday / Shrove Tuesday. If you’re shy on ingredients, out of eggs, haven’t a clue how to make pancakes – whatever the case may be – if you can manage these two ingredients you’re laughing.

The Nitty Gritty

Add six heaped tablespoons of flour (plain flour or tritamyl if you’re going the gluten-free route) to a bowl, top up with 350ml milk and beat or whisk until you’ve got a fine pancake batter. Some people reckon you can’t make pancakes without eggs, I beg to differ.

Ken's No Fail 2 Ingredient Pancakes

Ken’s No Fail 2 Ingredient Pancakes

Get your pancake pan (flat based frying pan) up good and hot adding a little oil or butter if you like but if your mix is done right and your pan good enough, you won’t need it. Pour enough of the mix onto the pan for your preferred pancake size, letting it cook to the point with the mix visible on top starts to recede, bubble and dry. Then it’s time to flip, usual a spatula or some of your acrobatic pancake flipping skills you may have.

A minute either side should be more than enough on a high heat though this can vary depending on the flour used and how thick your pancake batter is – let the colour of your pancake dictate things, go for the golden colour as opposed to deep brown.

Can’t Eat It All

The mix should make about 8 reasonably sized pancakes but if you can’t eat them all in one sitting, don’t cook them all. Just cook what you want from the batter, store the rest in the fridge until later and crack them open again this evening.

Pancake Toppings

If you’re in the mood for toppings, go nuts. My preference for the day that’s in it is some cinnamon (sprinkle it into the batter), some nutmeg, some Highbank Orchard Syrup or, go a little fancy and try some raspberry jam and coconut in there too.


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A Dublin Coffee Story with 3FE

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If you’ve got some coffee handy, brew yourself a cup and set aside 15 minutes in your day and take the time to watch and listen to Colin Harmon’s story about Third Floor Espresso (3FE).

From jacking in one career plan to moving into the world of coffee, talking branding, sourcing beans, customer experiences, moving into coffee roasting and much more, Colin’s is a fascinating story absolutely bursting with pride and passion.

Just watch it (here or click Play above).

Fine Dine at Mine

Still Time To Enter All-Island Schools Cookery Competition

With over 600 entries already in the bag, this week is your last chance to enter the Fine Dine at Mine All-Island Cookery Competition 2014.

It’s running with the Restaurants Association of Ireland in partnership with St. Angela’s College, Sligo and is open to all students in post-primary schools on the island of Ireland and Youth reach Centres in the Republic of Ireland.

5pm this Friday is the last chance for entries, the competition extended from its previous deadline. Continue Reading

Blessed Are The Cheesemakers

Blessed Are The Cheese Makers

Blessed are the cheesemakers, or at least they will be come Saturday 5 April for the next installment of Biabeag’s Real Food series of events at Highbank Orchard in Kilkenny. Kick off is 6pm and the event runs around 2 hours or so.

Last time out the focus was on real bread and the night proved a roaring success. You can catch my own post on it here. So who’s involved this time?

St. Tola, Irish Organic Goat Cheese, Co. Clare

This time around, it’s all about cheese. Present on the night will be Siobhan Ni Ghairbhith of St Tola: Irish Organic Goat Cheese in Co. Clare. There’s a lovely writeup in the McKenna’s Guides which goes like ““The West Clare land is reflected in the cheeses,” she said, but it would be more accurate to say that she is able to get the cheeses to reflect the West Clare land, that rainy, boggy, beautiful part of the country. With every piece of St Tola you get stored-up sunshine, and stored-up rainfall, and stored-up nature. The cheeses can seem to taste entirely elemental, for Ms ni Ghairbhith uses organic methods, and doesn’t pasteurise her milk. Nothing gets in the way of bringing grass and nature and naturalness into the cheeses.”

Coolattin Cheddar, Co. Wicklow

Tom Burgess of Coolattin Cheddar (mature raw milk cheddar), Co. Wicklow joins the fold as a producer of mature raw milk cheddar. Tom’s route is ‘pasture to cheddar the same day’ and has been producing top quality milk from his pasture fed cows in Tullow for twenty years. Read more about Tom’s process here.

Knockdrinna Farmhouse Cheese, Co. Kilkenny

Completing the trio on stage will be Knockdrinna’s Helen Finnegan, based in Stoneyford, Co. Kilkenny. If you’ve never tried any of the Knockdrinna range, start with the Snow and work your way out from there, it’s an ever-present in the fridge at Chez McGuire.

What Happens On The Night

What happens on the night will be anyone’s guess, but you’re going to get to hear the stories behind three passionate food producers and likely get to sample their goods. There’s also a chance to stock up on supplies too, both from the producers and from Highbank who have some kick ass syrups and ciders.

The first night brought such a good buzz about the room at Highbank, the producers lively, engaging and honest in sharing the stories that have got them to where they are today.

If you want to be in the audience for the night, grab a ticket here. They’re only a fiver, are *very* limited, so don’t go leaving things to the last minute to grab a ticket.

In a nutshell: a night of stories and sampling with some of Ireland’s leading cheesemakers, in Kilkenny, for a fiver, on Saturday 5 April. Job done.

Sunday Reads #8

Sunday Reads #8: Frugal Food, Fancy Buns & Craft Beer

The week was going so well right up to the point where the wisdom teeth and modern forms of torture that it brings started kicking in. Scrap food, eating out, anything that has involved opening my mouth any more than a half inch at a time. My plans for some new chicken and beef dishes for this week’s blog entries may hold off for another few days yet.

It doesn’t change the reading though, so here’s ten posts you may have missed this past week from other food bloggers and food media.

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