Tag Archives | rachel allen

Tickets on Sale for Ballymaloe Litfest

TICKETS HAVE started selling for this year’s Ballymaloe Litfest and, if the Twitter is to be believed, they’re flying out the door already.

If that is the case, I’m not surprised. Having gone on sale around 3pm today, the whole event sees Ballymaloe House (and the cookery school) effectively become Ireland’s capital of food for three days with a stellar lineup of speakers, talks, demos, tastings, discussions, fringe events and much more.

The one thing I said I would do more of in 2014 is get out and about to more events and Ballymaloe Litfest was always going to be on the cards.

Last year was the first year of the festival and in scorching sunshine, myself and Mycrofilms‘ Alan Slattery had hit the road for a day’s filming around the grounds of the house, the gardens and The Big Shed, picking up a host of interviews and chats for GIY Ireland, some of which you’ll find in their GrowHQ video below.

I’ve nabbed tickets to one of the Saturday afternoon sessions on food and wine blogging, so far, but there’s so much going on around the aforementioned house, gardens and shed that you could make a day of it no problem, not see an event and still have a blast. Better still if the weather that was there for it last year makes a return this year.

You can check out the full programme here, which includes demos from Ross Lewis, Rachel Allen, Diana Kennedy along with speakers including Colm McCann, Tim Hayward, Daniel Klein, Sally & John McKenna, Nick Strangeway, Leslie Williams, Tomas Clancy, Alys Fowler, Martin Shanahan, Catherine Fulvio, Donal Skehan, Nessa Robbins, Imen McDonnel, Lily Higgins, Darina Allen, Telmo Rodriguez, Tom Doorley and Noma’s René Redzepi.

All the details you’ll need, including ticket sales, can be found at Litfest.ie.

Missed it last year? Here’s a few photos from The Big Shed at Ballymaloe House that I picked up on the day over last year’s May Bank Holiday weekend. You’ll also find details on more Irish food events and festivals here.

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Recip-e-book & Recipes From Rachel Allen, Kerrygold

Rachel Allen Recip-e-book

So recently the latest Rachel Allen Recip-e-book launched in assocation with Kerrygold, combining six exclusive recipes from Rachel Allen, along with a collection of Kerrygold fan’s best-loved recipes. The Kerrygold Community Recip-e-book featuring the winners recipes that were chosen for the book and Rachel Allens’s exclusive recipes will be available for free download from the Kerrygold Facebook page. Entrants from across the country and in the UK had been asked to submit their favourite recipes involving Kerrygold, online, for possible inclusion in the ebook.

It’s a case of “ask and ye shall receive” and with the weekend upon us, and two recipes that have been sent to me for the blog, if you’re looking for something to cook for your breakfast this Saturday or Sunday why not try one of the following?

For more recipes from Rachel download the Kerrygold Community Recip-e-book on Facebook.

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Rachel Allen’s Sweet and Fruity White Breakfast Scones

Rachel Allen's Sweet Scones

Makes 24 scones


  • 900g (2lb) plain white flour
  • A pinch of salt
  • 50g (2oz) caster sugar
  • 3 heaped tsp baking powder
  • 175g (6oz) Kerrygold block, now softer, cut in to roughly 1cm (½ inch) cubes
  • 3 eggs
  • 425 ml (¾ pint) milk
  • 150g (5oz) chopped raspberries / blackberries / blueberries, or 100g (4oz) dried fruit such as sultanas, raisins, dried cranberries, dried cherries or chopped dates


  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C / fan oven 200°C /Gas Mark 7.
  2. Sift all the dry ingredients, along with the fruit you have chosen into a large mixing bowl. Add the butter to the mixture and rub in with your fingertips until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk. Make a well in the centre of the flour, then pour in enough egg and milk mixture to make a soft dough, using your hands to mix together. It should be quite soft but not sticky.
  4. Turn the mixture out onto a floured board. Knead gently, then roll out to a round about 2.5cm (1 inch) thick
  5. Use a round scone or cookie cutter to stamp out the scones and place on to greased baking sheets. Brush each scone with a little milk mixture, then sprinkle with caster sugar. Place in the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes.
  6. When they are risen and golden, remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.
  7. Serve cut in half, spread with Kerrygold and strawberry jam.

Suitable for freezing

Top tip: For a real treat, top with some fresh cream and in winter, try adding 1 teaspoon of ground mixed spice to the flour.

For more recipes from Rachel download the Kerrygold Community Recip-e-book

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Rachel Allen’s Poached Eggs Benedict with quick Hollandaise

Rachel Allen's Poached Eggs Benedict

Serves 4
516 calories /
429 fat per portion


  • 4 fresh eggs
  • 4 slices hot buttered toast
  • 8 rashers bacon, grilled
  • 4 tbsp Hollandaise sauce (recipe below)
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped chives

For the Hollandaise sauce

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 110g (4oz) Kerrygold butter, now softer, cut in to roughly 1cm (½ inch) dice
  • 1 tsp lemon juice

Method – Hollandaise sauce

  1. First make the hollandaise sauce. Place the egg yolks in a heavy bottomed saucepan on a low heat and whisk thoroughly
  2. Add the butter bit by bit whisking all the time. As soon as one piece melts add the next. Do not leave the pan or stop whisking
  3. Keep cooking very gently until the sauce has thickened, enough to coat the back of a spoon. If there are any signs of the eggs slightly scrambling, remove from the heat immediately. The whole process should take 5-7 minutes from start to finish.
  4. Finally add the lemon juice to taste. Keep warm as you poach the eggs.

Method – Poached eggs

  1. Place a saucepan of water on a high heat, add a splash of vinegar and bring to the boil.
  2. Reduce the heat to a simmer, gently crack in the eggs and cook for 3–4 minutes or until the whites have just set.
  3. Carefully remove the eggs from the pan with a slotted spoon.
  4. To serve, place two pieces of bacon on the hot buttered toast, then place 1 egg on top. Spoon over the sauce and sprinkle with chives.

And that, as they say, is that. If you do try it out, give me a shout and let me know what you think of the recipe – will be doing similar myself for breakfast this weekend.

For more recipes from Rachel download the Kerrygold Community Recip-e-book

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An Evening With Rachel Allen

Rachel Allen

Inchydoney Island Lodge & Spa, just outside Clonakilty, host an evening with Rachel Allen this Friday 23rd March titled ‘Easy Meals for Busy Families’. Rachel will be cooking up some delicious and simple dinners that the whole family can enjoy.

If there’s still tickets available for it, you could bag tickets and an overnight stay with breakfast on Saturday morning for under €100 a head. For details on booking, contact the hotel on 021 8833143.

On all things Inchydoney, I will get the photos and recap of last weekend’s terrific stay in the next day or so.

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A Taste Of West Cork & Rachel Allen at Inchydoney Island

Rachel Allen, cooking up some Easy Meals at Inchydoney Island in March

I put a tweet out yesterday looking for food events and demos coming up in February and March and Ruth from Inchydoney Island Lodge & Spa has been in touch with two events they’re running, one each in February and March.

Taste Of West Cork Food & Wine Evening

On Friday 24th February, Inchydoney Island hold the first of their Taste of West Cork Food and Wine evenings, where they will showcase the best of West Cork produce in season. The fine dining experience is 7 courses, paired with wines and the cost is €60 per ticket. You can add an overnight stay from €69pps.

Rachel Allen Cookery Demo

On Friday 23rd March, Inchydoney Island are hosting an evening with Rachel Allen who is cooking from her Easy Meals book, with a look at helping busy families prepare healthy and delicious meals in advance of the working week. Tickets are €25 and include a glass of bubbly on arrival.

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Tipperary Food Producers Extravaganza 2011

Tipperary Food Extravaganza 2011

The Tipperary Food Producers Extravganaza night takes place on December 7th at the Clonmel Park Hotel. Pictured above are some of the county's best known producers, flanked by Rachel Allen (left) who will be cooking up a festive feast on the night.

Tomorrow night (Wednesday December 7th), I’ll be one of what could be in the region of 500 foodies bound for the Clonmel Park Hotel for this year’s Tipperary Food Extravaganza as organised by the Tipperary Food Producers. I was there last year at the Twitter table and will be on hand again tomorrow night to share some updates, photos and insights on the night as well as getting a look at what’s happening in the world of Tipperary food production. The night aims to promote the best that Tipperary food producers have to offer and if last year is anything to go by, I wouldn’t be expected any spare seats in the house.

Rachel Allen, who is part of the world famous Ballymaloe Cookery School in East Cork and who is well known from her regular Television shows and for her bestselling cook books, will prepare a variety of delicious dishes for the Tipperary food showcase. As well as her unique take on traditional Christmas favourites, she will also be offering exciting new ideas using the finest of local ingredients.

What’s In Store?

Well, as mentioned above, you’ll have Rachel Allen cooking up a festive feast using some of Tipperary’s finest local ingredients. There’s also a local cheese reception (with wine, but they haven’t gotten that far in making their own yet), a live butter-making demo from Imen McDonnell and some wine tips from Red Nose Wine’s Gary Gubbins.

Members of the network include Cashel Blue Cheese, Crossogue Preserves, Crowe Farm Meats, Cooleeney Cheese, Cloughjordan house, Baylough Cheese, Boulaban Farm, Brownes, Fine Foods Cashel, Hickeys Bakery, Mags Home Baking, Tipperary Kitchen, Inch House, James Whelan Butchers, Oakpark Foods, Ponaire Irish Handcrafted Coffee, Red Nose Wine, Russell Catering, Seymour Organic Farm, The Apple Farm, The Cookie Jar, The Scullery, O’Donnell’s crisps and The Auld Mill Bakery. A lot of these companies and producers will be on hand tomorrow night to showcase, sell, supply and provide tastings of their wares. The above names represent some fantastic cheese, meats, jams, sweets, icecreams, breads, crisps and a whole lot more besides.

While there’s no guarantee that tickets are left for tomorrow night’s extravaganza, you won’t be able to get them on the door. Instead, the tickets are (and have been) available through the members of the group as named above so you can drop into any of the businesses to try get your hands on one. Tickets for the event are priced €20 and things get underway from 7.30pm.

Note: I should also add that my ticket has been given to me (gratis) in advance of tomorrow night’s extravaganza as I’ll be part of an online crew covering the event.

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Foodie Roundup #36

Foodie Roudup #36

Foodie Roudup #36: September 25th to October 1st 2011. The photo is one of the dessert dishes at Source Sligo, you'll find it on my Foodspotting account.

It’s Sunday October 2nd and where last week’s foodie roundup came to you in the gaps between Ireland and Russia, this one comes to you before the clock runs out on Ireland v Italy at the Rugby World Cup with Ireland currently 26-6 to the good. Here’s a look back at ten blog posts from Irish food bloggers you may have missed this past week. Also, if you have seen it, I’ve taken the first step to adding some video to the blog, picking up on the Savour Kilkenny Chef Mob yesterday, give it a look.

Whether you’re still parked on the couch watching the rugby, enjoying a lie-in or you’re already up and about, you know what to do – take ten or fifteen minutes out and explore what other Irish food bloggers have to offer.

Happy Sunday.

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