Tag Archive | fiesta friday

Marvellous Madeira

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I’ve been absent from my blog for a while, only managing to post every now and then. Life seems to have run away with itself, but in a good way. I have a new job and I love it! It’s not that I’m working really long hours, i’m just commuting a little longer each day.

However, it was time for a break…

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Dr Doolittle and I decided to head to the beautiful island of Madeira. This archipelago, which is part of Portugal, is located in the Atlantic Ocean, 978km southwest of Lisbon. It comprises of the islands of Madeira, Porto Santo, Desertas and Selvagens. Only the first two islands are inhabited. The latter two are nature reserves. Thanks to its magnificent location, Madeira remains warm all year round.

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The climate really helps produce some amazing fruit and vegetables. The market in the old part of Funchal was full of the stuff. Every meal we ate was accompanied by salads.

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Tropical fruits such as mangoes, bananas, avocadoes and passionfruit were used in a great variety of puddings, mousses and ice creams. Oh the ice cream! I had to try a peach melba…

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Owing to their proximity to the sea, most restaurants specialised in fish and shellfish dishes; there was octopus and shrimp dishes, tuna steaks and black scabbard fish fillets. I’d never heard of scabbard, but it tasted and looked like cod. As well as the fish, I also had one of the best ‘meat’ meals of my life (more about that next week).

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There were plenty of fresh natural fruit juices such as passionfruit, papaya, pineapple and mango, as well as the famous “poncha”, made with white rum, bee honey and lemon. I tried a fair bit of the stuff and have brought some home to experiment with!

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So to celebrate my holiday adventure I’m bringing my favourite sweet treat to Fiesta Friday. I haven’t been to the online party for a while, so I’m looking forward to catching up with old friends!

Portuguese Custard Tarts
Ingredients:

250ml double cream
150ml milk
Grated rind of 1 lemon
1 vanilla pod, split lengthways
4 egg yolks
2 tbsp cornflour
115g caster sugar
150g chilled ready-made puff pastry
Flour, for dusting

Method:

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Preheat the oven to 190c.

Put the cream, milk, and lemon rind in a saucepan.  Scrape the seeds from the split vanilla pod into the saucepan and drop in the empty pod too.  Bring to a simmer, then take off the heat.

Whisk the egg yolks, cornflour and sugar in a bowl until it comes together in a paste.  Pass the milk mixture though a fine-mesh sieve into the bowl of egg paste and mix together quickly. Return it all to the saucepan and heat over a moderate heat until it thickens but don’t let it boil!

Then roll out the pastry on a lightly floured worksurface as thin as you can.  Roll it up into a long sausage shape and cut 12 discs.  Roll out each disc to about 9cm and put into greased muffin tins. Prick the bottoms with a fork androfill just over halfway.

Bake in the preheated oven for about  for 18/20 mins until browned on top.

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Melissa xx

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Advent Calendar Day 19: Chocolate Hazelnut Cupcakes

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Back in October, Selma made
ambassador cupcakes using Ferrero Rocher chocolates for her son’s birthday. They looked so luxurious and elegant, that I tucked the idea away for Christmas….

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So fast forward two months and armed with Selma’s idea, two boxes of chocolates, some gold cupcake cases and some shimmer spray, I’m ready! I’m using my trusty chocolate cake mix instead of Selma’s, but I’ll use her’s next time.

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Chocolate cupcake Ingredients:
100g butter
150g brown sugar
2 eggs
200g plain flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoon cocoa powder
180ml milk
1 box of Forrero Rocher

Topping:
1 can of chocolate icing
1 can gold shimmer spray
Toasted Hazelnuts
1 box of Forrero Rocher

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Line a cupcake tin with foil cases. Preheat the oven to 190°/ gas mark 5 or turn your Rayburn off! Cream the butter and sugar, then add in the eggs. Sift in all the dry ingredients and then add the milk.

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Spoon the mixture into the cases until half full. Pop a chocolate in the middle and spoon a small amount of mixture on top. Pop into the oven for 15 minutes.

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Once cooled, pipe chocolate icing on top of the cake. Then, depending on how high your icing is, place a whole chocolate on top (or a half like I did). Sprinkle with hazelnuts and spray with shimmer!!!!

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I’m bringing these delights to Angie’s for a festive fiesta friday!

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6 more sleeps!!!

Melissa xx

Mango Shake Magic

This recipe is easy peasy, so this post isn’t so much about the recipe but the reason behind it.

It’s two years ago this week since my Grandfather passed away. I miss him.

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This little  amazing book was part of his collection and is very dear to me.

It’s NO secret how much I love mangoes, and it’s certainly NO secret how much I love my beloved Goa, so this book really is “a treasure trove”. It’s full of great little tips and ideas all about the luscious sweet fleshy fruit.

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The book tells me that India has over 1000 different types of mangoes, with Goa having over 100…. It is a rich source of vitamins and carbohydrates. High in vitamin A and C…… The book goes on to describe pickle and chutney recipes, curries and rices, deserts and drinks.

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Now the beady eyed amongst you, will say hang on, they’re not Indian mangoes that you are using Melissa! Nope the only ones readily available in Ireland are ones from south America. I call them ‘plastic mangoes’; they are hard, unripe, don’t taste or smell right. I NEVER eat them raw on their own, but to cook with, or blitz up in a drink they are fine. I’m always annoyed when people liken this terrible fruit to the beautiful, special, golden Indian fruit that I am used to.

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Mango Shake:
This is the easiest of easiest recipes EVER!

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Ingredients:
2-3 ripe mangoes (I bought these 2 weeks ago)
2-3 tsp sugar
100ml milk

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Break up the mango flesh by hand or in a mixer.

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Add the sugar and milk and blitz.

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Add the ice-cream….. Finally, pour into glasses and top with a little chopped mango. Simple!

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Cheers Granddad!

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I’m bringing these drinks to Angie’s place for Fiesta Friday at the the novice gardener.  The first round are for
Alex, Jhuls and Selma!

See you there!

Melissa xx

Simple Wild Garlic Supper

I’m back! It’s been a while since I stopped by Fiesta Friday, I just can’t keep up with partying! This week I’m bringing a quick and easy dish based on the wild garlic I found all around The Glen House.

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I took about 5 tablespoons of my wild garlic pesto and added it to some fresh pasta along with some chopped tomatoes and salt and pepper.

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You can eat it like this for a quick, tasty lunch or side dish.

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Or you can add a little peppered chicken breast, for a  scrumptious meal.

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It took me as long to cook it as it did to write this post…. I’ll show you why next week (spent all day gardening)!

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Might see you at Angie’s place for this weeks Fiesta Friday with the rest of my chicken and wild garlic pesto.

Melissa xx