Kir Royale – Electric (Ireland)
It’s time to break out the bubbly and toast to the New Year! I bought a big bottle of my favorite Japanese sake, Junmai Daiginjo Mu to say an extra special goodbye to 2012, one of the dizziest years of my entire life. Champagne, beer, sparkling wine, Martinelli’s, sake, soda, tea, cocktails, wine or juice – what are you going to have in your glass as you salute 2013?
Fresh Bread at The English Market – Cork, Ireland
Today I went over to the fruit bowl to check on the state of my various fruit, dismayed to see that my bananas had turned too brown to enjoy with breakfast. ‘Well,’ I thought, ‘Time to bake some banana bread.’ There are precious few aromas more alluring than that of fresh baking bread, especially on a Sunday in November. I live fairly close to a small handful of bakeries, but I’ve yet to find that special one, go-to bakery for all of my bread-y needs. The time for such a place is right upon me, too, as I would prefer fresh baked challah or brioche to make my pumpkin bread pudding
with come Thursday. The bread stalls in The English Market are among my favorite, though I usually just wind up standing in front of them, indecisively weighing my options as I enjoy the aroma of their kitchen until some Irish mam pushes me aside to buy her loaf.
Do you bake your own bread, or do you have a go-to bakery?
Breakfast of Irish Champions
Though this picture is now over two years old, I don’t know if I ever properly wrote about it here on my blog. This is the first real breakfast Steffie and I ate at the apartment we rented in Cork, Ireland, back in 2010. It was so good to be off the road, with a place to come ‘home’ to every night after day adventures. Having our own rooms was especially nice, as we checked in on the heels of a three-night camping stint, snuggled up against the cold in a very cozy tent. This breakfast includes proper porridge with butter, milk, fresh blueberries and bananas, Stoneground wheat bread from the English Market, Dairygold butter, raspberry jam and tea with milk. It may seem like a lot, but this was our main meal of the day and kept our energy fueled up for more exploration and adventure!
While dog-sitting for my aunts over the summer, a sudden craving for a strawberry milkshake overwhelmed me. This isn’t entirely unusual; it is my go-to dessert beverage and favorite shake flavor ever since I was a child. I even consider strawberry milkshakes to be the unofficial mascot of Glass of Win, as they were heavily featured in early banners/headers/buttons.
When I was rummaging through the kitchen and pantry for a snack, I came across some French Vanilla ice cream and a basket of strawberries. A light bulb went off, the stick blender was brought out and viola! I classed it up by drinking out of a martini glass. Instant inner-child craving satisfaction.
What is your favorite milkshake flavor, and where is the best milkshake found?
This picture (and post) is a testimony to the genius of a book I purchased last year: Put ‘Em Up!
A comprehensive preserving guide for the creative cook. It’s all about caning, freezing, pickling, preserves and other instructions on getting back to the basics. I’ve always been fascinated by caning, and had the wonderful opportunity to witness my grandmother make everything from pickles to applesauce to homemade preserves (even if I did not appreciate it at the time. Stupid kid.)
As I have a very dark and limiting kitchen, I have been unable to really throw myself into the art of caning, but I have tackled a few of the non-caning recipes such as roasted red peppers, oven-dried tomatoes and recipes where caning is optional, such as the orange marmalade. The shelf life is shorter, so you just have to eat it quicker! I’ll not repeat the recipe here (buy the book!), but I was able to actually make three jars worth of orange marmalade (the smallest is not pictured) using the oranges from my aunt’s orange tree. All three jars were gifted to friends and family. Reports back on the outcome have been exceedingly favorable!
Have you ever made your own preserves or took an interest in caning?
Leave a comment and let’s Nosh!
Pastries from Julienne
These airy, sweet cheese filled pastries were served after the Mad, Bad and Dangerous Women panel, a subdivision of the L.A. Irish Film Fest. Someone informed me they came from Julienne, which I have already written about
in great length
. Pastries don’t usually do it for me, as I tend to find them static and dry. Certain baked goods at certain institutions have broken through my otherwise cautious barrier: chocolate chip rugula from Canter’s; chocolate croissants from Buster’s. However, there is just something about Julienne, a beloved San Marino gem, that cannot be denied; especially if someone involved with the festival took the time to place an order, pick it up and drive these all of the way to Santa Monica! I guess that says it all.
Do you have a favorite bakery/baked good you would go out of your way for?
Leave a comment and let’s Nosh!
Eggs Royale – Liberty Grill (Cork, Ireland)
Look familiar? These beauties are from Liberty Grill
, which I reviewed
a while back. Upon my return, I had full intentions of ordering the crab cake Eggs Benedict but as luck would have it, the one day I went in, they were out! Sometimes a food itinerary just does not fall into place as I expect it to. Oh, well. Resigning to the fact that my craving will just have to continue to crave, I went for the Eggs Royale this time around. My, do I love a good eggs benny.
What is your favorite take on Eggs Benedict and from where?
Le Grand Aïoli
This is a beautiful Provençal plate made this week last year when I went up to South Lake Tahoe with my friend Natalie and stayed with her family. Her cousin Karen, from France, made us so much incredible food during that fabulous week, but it was this simple dish – aioli – that stood out above the rest. Salt cod, boiled carrots, green beans, and skinless potatoes and best of all, the eponymous aioli. This dish is a staple among the folk of Provence, France. We call aioli “garlic aioli” here in the states but that is a bit redundant since aioli translates to ‘garlic oil’. It was after I feasted on this dinner that I decided I would ask for a pestle and mortar for this year’s birthday, which I did and received. I can’t wait to tackle my own aioli!
White Sangria with peaches and nectarines
I always thought red was my #1 sangria, but after the white sangria at La Luna Negra trumped any red I’ve ever tasted I find myself unable to make a definitive choice. Fortunately, I have sangria enthusiasts in my family so I was able to have both the red and white variety at my family birthday barbecue party a few weekends ago. I tackled this one, using two bottles of a pinot grigio along with some triple sec, peach juice, and probably a splash (or two or five) of brandy or rum. It was cool, refreshing, and light. I sipped on my first glass on the covered patio while enjoying a quiet moment to reflect the joy of being surrounded by my loving family, and to remember my grandmother, whose birthday I was born on. Cheers, gran, this one is for you.