Tag Archives: Food

RECIPE: Homemade Pizza

I hate buying frozen pizzas. I don’t even like ordering pizza in. I don’t know what it is, perhaps something to do with my being Italian in a former life. Well, I do gesticulate wildly when I speak, do I not?

As you know, I have zero time for the likes of waiting for dough to rise, so I love that yeast-free dough is A) better for your bum and B) requires no rising time. Recipe below!


  225g self-raising flour | 1/2 teaspoon salt | 60g butter | 150ml milk

  1. IMG_2202Preheat the oven to 190 C / Gas 5.
  2. Sieve the flour and salt into a bowl. Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Pour the milk into the bowl and mix to a soft dough.
  3. Knead the dough and roll out into a large circle about 1cm thick. Place on oiled/buttered baking tray.



Well, you can obviously add whatever toppings you like! I went for passata tomato sauce for the base, followed by as much mozzarella cheese as I could squeeze on; chopped ham, tomatoes, mushrooms and lashed some dried oregano on top.

Bung in the oven for about 20 minutes or until crust is golden brown and shove in mouth – enjoy!!


Coconut Oatmeal Drop Cookies

I got up with Jacob this morning and thought ‘What the f*ck am I going to do with you today?!’ Yesterday, he went for a swimming lesson, the playground, in to the city to see Santa, ate mince pies…. Today, I’m exhausted. If we even make it to the shop for milk, I’d be surprised.

So whenever I have days like this (or it’s lashing rain), I can always be guaranteed that baking something together will kill a bit of time. There’s also a major cute factor as I help Jacob into his ‘Mammy’s Little Helper’ apron ;o)

Today’s recipe: Coconut Oatmeal Drop Cookies from NYC’s Magnolia Bakery Cookbook.





1 1/2 cup plain flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon cinnamon – chuck into a bowl & stir

2 sticks butter, 1 cup brown sugar, 1 cup normal white sugar – lob in together & mix ’til creamy

1 egg, 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract – whisk into butter mixture. Fire the flour mix into the butter mix

Add in 1 1/2 cup porridge oats & 1 cup of shredded coconut. (It gets pretty tough to hand mix


IMG_1840at this stage so flex those muscles!! I also throw in a drop of milk if the mixture is very dry at this stage, just to make it bond a bit better).

And that’s it!! Pop tablespoonfuls of the mixture onto 2 baking trays with a sheet of baking parchment on them, in the oven at about 190 degrees.

And then shove them into your gob with a nice cuppa. Enjoy! x



See the easiest chocolate biscuit cake recipe here! My First Chocca Biscuit Cake!

My Ikea Shame

Ikea. We’ve all been there and if we’re smart, we’ve never been there on Sundays when it’s HELL ON EARTH. Tuesday mornings is my preferred time of week to visit, as I can tend to get in and out in under an hour and a half if I plan it right. My usual ‘route’ is backwards – not for me the following of the red arrows on the floor, despite what all those sandy haired Swedish-looking customers think of me – oh no. I like to hit the kid’s section, and work my way backwards and then hit the market place downstairs, which, for me, is when the fun really starts. I love the image I have in my head of my crazy shopper self – arms flailing as I reach for yet another pack of 12 scented candles to add to the ignored pile in a bag under the sink, or another pot plant that I hope won’t die in the office (and it will).

I scootch through the checkouts, hit the lifts to the car and I’m gone … under normal circumstances. I always ignore the fast food grub at the checkouts (especially since that meat report during the year…shudder), and the samples of cake in the food store (especially since I have common sense and know that everyone has had their lightbulb-buying hands all over them).

But last week, I was running late. I was running late and it was getting to 2pm – waaaay past lunch time. I was overcome with hunger pains and a slight panic that if I got lost on my way back to the office, which I normally do, it could be another hour before I got some grub into me. I don’t do hungry well, never have – I once caused such a shit storm in a hotel in Wexford about my breakfast going M.I.A. that they upgraded me to a suite (granted, I was pregnant at the time and actually, in hindsight, I think that they just felt really sorry for Ass Monkey).

So I did The Unthinkable – I parked myself and my trolley in the queue for the fast food and ordered a hot dog and chips. I mean, the smell of Almost Meat nearly took me over. I consoled my deluded self that at least I was going to wash it down with my bottle of water and not a fizzy drink, as I suffocated the entire roll and meat in tomato ketchup.

I shoved it all into a takeaway bag and made for the car park. The actual inhaling of food that went on when I sat in my seat cannot be underestimated. It was that kind of wolfing down that requires your nostrils to work overtime to help you to breathe, so not only do you look like a pig with ketchup on your cheeks, half-opened salt packets in your hair and disgusting pieces of hot dog skin between your teeth – but you sound like a hog too.

Just as I thought that my dirty little secret was going to stay that way – my carbohydrate-junkie self happened to turn to see a lady and her teenage son sitting in the car next to mine, staring at me with their mouths agog. Snared. Snared stuffing my face with junk food in my car in the Ikea car park. The horrors.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, I started to completely cack myself laughing, because all I could think about was this: Will & Grace

(Sorry, Ikea car park neighbors!!) x


My First Chocca Biscuit Cake!!

If you know me as I know you think you might know me by now… ;o) … I do love to make or bake pressies for people (if I have the time), rather than just buy something from the shop. So when my good pal Charlie O’Donoghue was turning 13… that was all the excuse I needed to get baking!

I’m not a flashy, fancy cake decorator or anything. I like quick recipes: anything that can be done in under 20 minutes AND whose ingredients can all be lobbed into the one bowl is my friend. On this basis, it is altogether extraordinary that I made my first chocolate biscuit cake two weeks ago! Not only does it REQUIRE that you shove all the ingredients into one bowl – you don’t even have to bake it afterwards. That’s right, it just gets chucked into the fridge until it’s done. Genius.

I just like thinking about a thing, and then Googling a thing – so I Googled ‘Best Chocolate Biscuit Cake Recipe’ and was directed to an amazing site called Cake In The Country. The entire theme of the site has a great wit about it, so I look forward to the email updates I’ve subscribed for!

Here’s how it all went down:

2 x 150 gram packets of dark chocolate – melted in a bowl over hot water

18 Rich Tea Biscuits – broken into quite small bits – chucked into bowl when choc was melted

1 x Twix bar – chopped up and chucked in

1/2 large bag Maltesers – chopped in half, chucked in

Just Outta The Fridge!

Just Outta The Fridge!

1/2 large bag Crunchie broken bits – chucked in

1 x small Snickers – chopped and chucked

1/2 bag mimi marshmallows – chucked

1 x small tin of condensed milk – mixed in with everything else at the very end before pouring into a loaf tin that I lined with greaseproof paper.

Pat it all down with the back of a spoon and leave in the fridge for a couple of hours. I left mine overnight.

For the icing, I got the mixer out and beat 2 sticks of butter and a tablespoon of milk together.

Covered in delish chocolate buttercream icing.

Covered in delish chocolate buttercream icing.

While it was doing it’s thing, I melted a packet of Dr. Oetker’s chocolate chips in a bowl in the microwave (30 seconds, stir, 30 seconds, stir!) which I then added to the butter and milk mixture after it had cooled a little. Next was a teaspoon of vanilla into the mixer for 3 minutes and finally I sifted about a cup and a half of icing sugar in until the consistency was gloopy enough to spread on the cake!


Lastly, since it was nearly Hallowe’en and all, I sprinkled some candy bats and ghosts on top and sent it off for scoffing. Happy Birthday Charlie! x

The finished chocolate biscuit cake for Charlie!

The finished chocolate biscuit cake for my main man Charlie!

Gender Specifics

As parents, does our child’s gender give us the right to dictate who they should be?

No, of course it doesn’t. So why do so many parents feel it is their child bearing right to dictate who their child should be because they are a boy or a girl? I have witnessed little boys pushing prams down a toy isle in a store, to see fathers snatch it away from them, as though it was sealing some sort of homosexual fate for their son’s future. Mothers, directing their daughters out of the toy isle with the toy cars, whilst quipping “these are for boys”.

Jenny with son Leon

Jenny with son Leon

Our son Leon has a colourful array of clothing, and he even has a purple buggy and pram…. will this make him gay? No. And if he does turn out to be so, then what? Well, then nothing. Because once he is happy, healthy, respects others and has a kind heart then what more could any selfless parent want?

I have known people in my lifetime, gay friends, who because of how their family would react, have said to me, “I am gay, but I will marry a girl”.

That then, is an endless circle of ruined lives.  The heart of this is surely insecurity within the parent? Which, in turn will create insecurity in your child.

Just because you have a son, this does not mean he has to play with toy cars, if he does not want to. And, maybe more importantly, if he wants to play with his sisters doll, let him. This won’t make your son gay, no more than a little girl who wants to play with toy trucks will make her any less of a girl.

Why then is it that so many parents have gender specific regulations for their children? Our children are surely going to grow up to become who they are meant to be regardless of whether they choose a boy, or a girls toy, or what colour clothes they wear. As a parent in today’s world, more than ever, I believe we do not have the right to push, or force our children to be who we want them to be. All that will do is cause friction in the parent and child relationship, and boost many an insecurity in your child’s self-esteem for many years into the future. As a mother, it is my duty (teamed with my unconditional love), to encourage and nurture my son’s personality, and to input values of kindness and respect. I am to discourage him from mistreating others, or disrespecting his parents and peers, and as he grows, deter him from any dark paths he meets along his journey.

We must encourage our children by making them feel safe, and keeping them healthy – mentally and physically. We can do all of this without dictating their lives to them, and there is such an huge difference between ‘encouragement’ and dictation.

Leon The Smiler!

Leon The Smiler!