Tag Archive | #recipe

Coole Swan Chocolate & Coffee Muffins


I posted this last year and will continue to post it every year until people GET IT RIGHT!

Sorry, there’s no green food or bacon and cabbage at The Glen House today, there is however, great local Irish produce (and stew for tea)! It’s St. Patrick’s Day today and all around this tiny little world millions of people will be celebrating the guy that got rid of all the snakes. That pretty much sums it up in a nut shell, oh, and he marked the arrival of Christianity here too.

Last week the lovely people at Coole Swan sent me a gift box containing all sorts of Coole Swan goodies. Coole Swan was born by blending the finest Single Malt Irish Whiskey with White Belgium Chocolate and Fresh Cream. Coole Swan is 100% natural and is now regarded as the world’s most delicious tasting Irish Cream Liqueur. The guys are based on a real farm in the Boyne Valley; their cows produce the fresh dairy cream and their grain is used for the whiskey.

image Along side sample of the gorgeous liqueur were some great little recipe books with ideas for afternoon tea and other scrumptious treats. I’m making some of their Coole Swan Chocolate and Coffee muffins to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.

Ingredients: 2015-03-17-11-03-30_deco 300g Self Raising Flour

275g Caster Sugar

300g Soft Butter

2 Tablespoons of Coole Swan Ground Coffee

40g Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

6 Eggs

2 Tablespoons Vanilla Extract

150ml Coole Swan

100g Chocolate Chips


Preheat the oven to 170 degrees.


In a mixing bowl add all the ingredients except the Coole Swan and chocolate chips and combine.

image Add the Coole Swan slowly to form a smooth batter, then add the chocolate chips. 2015-03-17-11-06-19_decoDivide the batter into muffin cases and bake in a preheated oven for 18-20 minutes.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool before serving.

These are gorgeous little treats, for a very special day. Happy St Patrick’s Day!


Coole Swan Muffins

Melissa xx

Guinness Chocolate cake

It’s nearly St Patrick’s Day and every foodie in the land seems to be posting an alcoholic cake of some sort, (not helping the Irish stereotype of course), so I thought I would too! I’ve only ever used alcohol in Christmas cakes, never in a normal cake, so this was an interesting challenge. It would have bee easy to have used Donal Skehan’s recipe, or Nigella’s but I decided I’d amend one of my own.

2015-03-13-09-30-23_decoI didn’t take any photographs while I was making the cake as I was making dinner at the time, but the recipe is easy!


100g butter
150g brown sugar
2 eggs
200g plain flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoon cocoa powder
100 ml Guinness
80ml milk

2015-03-13-09-34-06_decoButter Icing:
75g butter
125g icing sugar
50ml Irish Cream Liqueur

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and line a 10inch cake pan. Cream the butter and sugar together and then beat in the eggs one by one.  Sift in the dry ingredients and fold together with a metal spoon. Pour in the milk and Guinness and mix. Place in the oven for about 34-40 minutes.

2015-03-13-09-32-06_decoRemove the cake from the oven and leave to cool completely. Meanwhile, sift the icing sugar into a bowl and mix with the butter. Slowly add in the liqueur and then leave mixture to firm up slightly. Finally, spread the icing over the cooled chocolate cake and serve!


The cake turned out lovely and moist! So I’m taking what is left of it to Angie’s place. Happy Fiesta Friday….. AND HAPPY ST PATRICK’S DAY TOO!!!

Melissa xx

P.S. I received a lovely gift from a local company today, so watch out for a second St. Patrick’s Day post next week!

Banana, Ginger and Golden Syrup Loaf

It was Daddy’s birthday at the weekend, so I was on the hunt for something tasty that he could have with a cuppa to celebrate. I knew I couldn’t go down the normal chocolaty, sugary, creamy route because he’s not into that sort of thing, so instead I looked for inspiration using fruits and spices.


Birthday loaf

I adapted a recipe from Rachel Allen’s lasted book ‘All Things Sweet’; the Banana, Ginger and Golden Syrup loaf looked perfect. This is how I made the loaf…




110g unsalted butter

50g caster sugar

100g golden syrup

25g ginger syrup from jar

2 eggs

125g plain flour

2 tsp baking powder

4 balls stemmed ginger

2 bananas, mashed



Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and line a 2lb loaf tin. In a bowl, cream the butter and sugar until soft and add in the golden syrup and ginger syrup. Beat the eggs in, one at a time- the mixture will look “sloppy” as Rachel mentions. Sift the flour and baking powder into the mixture and fold in.


banana and ginger

Finally chop the ginger and mash the bananas and add into the mixture. Pop the loaf into the oven for about 45 minutes until golden brown.



A really simple tea time loaf, perfect with a cup of birthday tea!


birthday loaf

Melissa xx

In My Kitchen

It’s March, it’s meant be be spring, but in Ireland this week we’ve had rain, hail and snow! So as I drink my hot cuppa I bring you this month’s instalment of In My Kitchen, the wonderful blogger series run by Celia from Fig Jam and Lime Cordial.

In My Kitchen…

… Hangs the gorgeous old fashion tea towel that Dr Doolittle bought me and has now framed.


framed tea towel

In My Kitchen…

… Sits a magnificent French inspired cake stand, that was given to me by a dear friend. I came across the matching jug, and had to buy it! I can’t wait to adorn the stand with a classic tea time treat.


cake stand and jug

In My Kitchen…

… Stands this fabulous brown and cream plate. I love the pattern! The cup cakes are the Forrero Rocher ones that I’ve made before.


beautiful plate

In My Kitchen…

… Sits these cute dishes, perfect for all sorts of goodies!


cute dishes

In My Kitchen…

… There are new additions to my cinnamon pantry. I met the producers of these local products at the weekend at a local food and craft fair. I bought Dunany spelt and Rye flour and something I’d never heard of before Spelt berries. I’m sure someone reading this will have a great recipe for me???? I tasted them at the fair mixed with garlic and salad and they were delicious. I made some rye bread yesterday and it turned out really well.

I also bought some Lannléire Honey which I tasted for the first time at The Boyne Valley Boyne Appetite dinner and Cecilie’s handmade Irish truffles which went down very well with a glass of red wine (as suggested).


local produce


fresh rye bread

In My Kitchen…

… Sits my gorgeous tagine which is a constant reminder of the wonderful trip to Morocco that we took last year. Dr Doolittle has got really good at making lamb tagines, however this one was special…. It was the first time that he had used Elaine from Foodbod’s Ras El Hanout spice blend. It was yummy!!!




lamb tagine

Melissa xx

P.S. What are your thoughts on my new header???

Lemon and Raspberry Muffins

A few weeks ago the lovely people at Donegal Rapeseed oil tweeted that they were looking for recipes using their oil. I cheekily tweeted back that I’d be happy to come up with a recipe if they sent me a bottle, so they sent me four!!! I was utterly shocked to receive a beautiful gift box containing lemon, chilli, garlic and a honey and mustard dressing.

It is multi-award winning oil; the garlic infused oil has a wonderful ‘just pressed’ garlic flavour ideal to cook fish and seafood, or simply used to roast potatoes or drizzle onto pizza. The chilli flavoured oil is perfect for adding spice to your cooking. It is great for stir-fries or use to inject some spice to any casserole, soup or pasta dish. The lemon infused oil is zesty, refreshing oil that will ignite your taste buds. It is fantastic for cooking fish and chicken, and delightfully refreshing drizzled on a summer salad.


gift box

Donegal Rapeseed Oil website explains that it has less than half the saturated fat of olive oil, resulting in it being one of the healthiest culinary Oils in the market.

It says it contains no artificial colours, flavours, or preservatives, and is a natural source of healthy fats known as omega 3, 6, and 9. Omega 3 and 6 are essential in the diet and are well known for their health benefits. They help to maintain normal cholesterol levels in the body, which is important for a healthy heart and cardiovascular system. It is a rich source of vitamin E, a natural antioxidant which helps to protect the body’s cells from damage.


beautiful colour

Sticking to what I know best, I thought that I would bake something sweet. I decided to go for some classic, easy to make, fruity muffins and use the lemon oil, which smelt incredible and had a wonderful fresh zesty flavour!

Lemon and Raspberry Muffins

250g plain flour

150g caster sugar

2.5 teaspoon baking powder

0.25 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

240ml milk

115ml Donegal Lemon Rapeseed Oil

2 eggs

190g fresh raspberries


muffin mix

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and line a muffin tray. In one bowl whisk together the oil, milk and eggs and in a second bowl combine the dry ingredients.

Stir half on the dry ingredients to the oil, milk and egg mixture, ensuring that it is mixed thoroughly. Then fold in the second half of the dry ingredients.



Finally, fold the raspberries into the mix. Using a teaspoon carefully place the mix into the muffin cases and pop into the oven. Bake for 20 minutes, until slightly golden.


muffin cases

Leave to cool on a wire rack.


lemon and raspberry muffins

The smell and the taste of these muffins are incredible! The Donegal Lemon Rapeseed Oil works brilliantly to give these muffins a wonderful light texture and fantastic taste.


Lemon and Raspberry Muffins

I’m bringing these beauties to Angie’s party over at Fiesta Friday!

Melissa xx

Kookee cookies

Several weeks ago a local company sent me six samples of their produce, asking for honest feedback. I was that impressed that I decided to write a full post about them!


6 mixes

Kookee is a family run Artisan business that started in County Louth in 2009. They specialise in “high quality” cookies. Their products range from freshly baked cookies, frozen uncooked dough for restaurants and deli counters and an easy make dry mix so you can create your own cookies at home. Their ingredients are locally sourced, and are of the highest quality, several of their cookie mixes are also Gluten free. Kookee’s website explains the heart warming story behind the brand, explaining that the inspiration for Kookee came from spending Saturday mornings baking.


Add 1 egg and 100g butter

I decided to start with the Triple Chocolate Chip cookie mix (no surprise there); I was impressed to read that it contained ‘normal ingredients’, ingredients that I would use when baking, such as brown sugar and baking powder not unheard of replacements.

I emptied the mix into a bowl and followed the instructions. I set the oven to 180 degrees and insured my butter was at room temperature. After that it was easy, stir in the butter and one egg into the mix!


making cookies

I stirred the mix until a dough was formed (really easy to do), they I made 16 little balls and placed them on a baking sheet. Finally, I flattened the balls out and placed the baking sheet into the preheated oven.


fresh cookies

After about 15 minutes I had these wonderful fresh cookies! I left them to cool for a minute on the baking tray before transferring them onto a wire rack.


fresh cookies

I was really impressed that the large white, dark and milk chocolate chips had stayed intact, giving the cookie that fantastic chocolate flavour.


Just how I like my cookies

Next, I tried the Gluten free Coconut and Cranberry mix. THE SMELL!!!!!!!! As soon as I opened the packet I was hit buy a delicious fresh coconut smell and I could see large dried cranberries. Just like the chocolate chips, I was impressed by the quality ingredients that had been used. These cookies would be great for someone that isn’t a chocolate fan, but who likes a treat with a cuppa.


Milk and cookies

The Kookee website also gave me another idea; when is a cookie not a cookie???? Er, when you can adapt the mix to use for other things! Their blog was full of great ideas, so I thought I’d give one of them a bash with the third packet…


Great idea!

I used the Gluten free Oatmeal and Chocolate mix to make a crumble topping to go with some soft pears from the fruit bowl. All I had to do was rub 100g of butter into the mixture and pop it on top of the fruit. I should point out that I sprinkled some cinnamon onto of the pears before I added the crumble…


crumble mix

I popped the crumble into a preheated oven (180 degrees) for about 40 minutes. I let it cool for a couple of minutes before serving it up. It was crunchy and biscuit-y which matched the soft juicy fruit perfectly. A really clever idea!


fresh apple and pear crumble

So, my verdict…. What great products! I’d highly recommend them if you want a quick child friendly bake for the children or if you need something sweet to serve up with a pot of coffee.


Kookee crumble and Kookee cookies!

Melissa xx

Bacon and Cherry Pancakes

It’s pancake day once again, so I’m sharing our favourite version in The Glen House…. Nigella’s American pancakes! There’s no need to mess with this recipe, it’s perfect as it is….


1 tablespoon baking powder
1 pinch of salt
1 teaspoon white sugar
2 large eggs (beaten)
30 grams butter (melted and cooled)
300 ml milk
225 grams plain flour
butter or oil for frying

I find it really easy to mix up the batter by hand in a bowl; make a well in the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar, beat in the eggs, melted butter and milk, and transfer to a jug. DO PUT IT IN A JUG, it’s much easier to pour the batter into the pan than to spoon it.


Heat a pan on the stove and add in oil or butter. When you cook the pancakes, all you need to remember is that when the upper side of the pancake is blistering and bubbling it’s time to cook the second side, and this needs only about 1 minute, if that. I get about 16 small pancakes out of this.


Remember to use sheets of grease proof paper to seperate the pancakes while you keep them warm!


First up, I served the American pancakes with bacon and maple syrup. It makes a great brunch dish!


To sweeten up the pancakes I used these amazing cherries from Aldi with a couple of spoons of cherry icecream. Really quick, really lazy and really delicious!


If you prefer traditional crepe like pancakes then check out last year’s post for traditional pancakes.

Have fun today!

Melissa xx

Welcome to the party Winter Warmer

Happy 1st birthday Fiesta Friday! I received this invite to the Fiesta Friday block party, a two week blogger party hosted by Angie at The Novice Gardener. I’m delighted to be attending….


I’m bringing this delicious winter warmer to welcome guests as they arrive at the party. It’s fruity, spicey and can be made with or without alcohol.


I made the cocktail in one of my Christmas presents, a beautiful cast iron milk pan.


I gathered together some star anaise, cloves and cinnamon.


I popped them in the pot with some apple juice.


I brought the juice to the boil slowly to infuse the juice.


Finally, I popped in a shot of the honey vodka that I brought home from India.


Other cocktails that I’ve brought to previous Fiesta Friday partys include
Elderflower Fizz


And a Sparkly Cosmo


I’m bringing a tray of ‘welcome to the party’ winter warmers to the party… Happy Fiesta Friday!

Melissa xx

My review of 2014

The lovely people at WordPress have put some stats together for 2014:


You crazy, lovely people are all over the world!


Remember you can find me on Facebook and Twitter too.


These are the top 5 most viewed posts of 2014…

1. In My Kitchen September 2014


2. In My Kitchen October 2014


3. In My Kitchen November 2014


4. In My Kitchen December 2014


5. Dutch Bar Snacks


Do you have a favourite post (or cake) from 2014? Here’s a few of mine…

Fresh Vanilla Sponge


Chocolate Crispie Cake


Gold Ferrero Rocher Cupcakes


Who knows what 2015 will bring to The Glen House???

Happy New Year!

Melissa xx

Advent Calendar Day 24: Christmas Cake part 2


I’ve finally finished my first ever iced Christmas cake!

It all started a last month when I made
the cake. Since then I’ve been topping it up with a drizzle of spicy rum every now and again.


On Monday I gathered some marzipan, icing and apricot jam…. I’ve never finished a Christmas cake before so it was my first time using marzipan.


I rolled it out in icing sugar until it was large enough to cover the cake.


I covered the cake in apricot jam.


I placed the marzipan on top and smoothed it out, cutting away the extra.


I left it to settle for a day and then placed the ready rolled icing on top, smoothing it out with this funky tool.


Finally, I studded a star shape in gold balls on the top and wrapped a gold ribbon around the edge.


Simple, but stylish.


So that’s it! My 24 day Advent Calendar is complete. Wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas or indeed a Happy Holiday!

Melissa xx