Carrageen Moss Cough Cure

Dilisk Seaweed

Marie shared with us her Carrageen Moss Cough Cure on our recent Seaweed Forage – Keep it safe people!

Put about 20g dried dilisk in a saucepan with about 1300 mls of water and soak until the seaweed goes soft – about 10-15 mins.

Then bring to the boil, turn down to a simmer immediately and simmer for about 15 mins, until the liquid thickens a little.

Strain about 1/3 rd of the liquid through a sieve, and transfer into a glass.

Add some lemon and honey or even blackcurrant juice to taste and drink preferably at bedtime.

Place the remaining seaweed/ liquid in a glass / porcelain jug / bowl, cover and leave somewhere cool or in the fridge.

Next day – or evening – warm it gently and again, strain off half the liquid, flavour and drink.

Repeat and take final drink on 3rd day.

You can place the leftover seaweed on the compost heap.

A persistent cough may require 3 more days of “treatment”, if so, repeat the full dose, starting with a fresh 20g of carrageen.

Cinnamon Apple Ice Cream Recipe

Autumnal Tastes for Ice Cream Lovers! 

Having an abundance of homegrown apples I’ve been looking for recipes online and stumbled across this delicious sounding ice cream recipe from the fabulously named website. So I decided to give it a try.

Homegrown apples

Make sure your ice cream machine has been frozen overnight!!

This recipe can take 2 hours with refrigeration before adding to ice cream maker so plan ahead! 

The US ‘cup’ measuring system can be hard to figure (must buy one of these ‘Measuring Cup Sets’ ) plus I am pretty sure my little ice cream maker is about the half the size of theirs, so I halved everything thus so:

Ice Cream Base


Ice Cream Base:

240ml heavy cream

120ml milk

75g caster sugar

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon sea salt

Apple mix

Cinnamon Apple Swirl

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

2 large apples, peeled, cored and diced into bite sized pieces

25g soft brown sugar

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

small pinch nutmeg

small pinch ground cloves


In a mixing bowl whisk the cream, milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and salt. Covet and refrigerate for 2 hours

Melt butter in a skillet on medium heat, toss apples with brown sugar and spices and heat until tender -about 2 to 3 minutes. Let it cool then refrigerate along with the above cream mix

2 hours later:

Give the cream mix a whisk before pouring into your ice cream machine. Churn away as per ice cream machine instructions adding the apple mix about 5 minutes before end. (ie before it will be too thick to mix in) 

My ice cream machine generally takes 10-15 minutes before it’s thick and ready to be put in a tupperware container and left in freezer until serving. 


(Just had a sneaky taste and OMG it’s delicious!! Gonna serve it later with Ginger & Orange Cake) 
Ice Cream After Churning


What A Pickle!

My Polytunnel is still producing food in the form of Cucumbers and today I found an absolute GIANT of a cucumber hiding amongst the basil that grows alongside. So I decided to make some Cucumber pickle to enjoy in sandwiches and – my favourite – on top of a homemade chicken breast burger – Mmm. 
Homemade Cucumber Pickle
After a bit of online searching I decided upon Jamie Olivers’ Spicy Cucumber Pickle Recipe which uses Shallots, Mustard Seeds, Tumeric, Star Anise, Caster Sugar and I used Cider Vinegar in mine. I love Jamie’s recipes as they are always so easy to follow. 
Anyway – here is the result and I leave it now for 24 hours at least. Having made a batch a week ago I can confirm that it tastes DELICIOUS! Highly recommend it – if you don’t grow cucumbers why not buy a nice organic couple and try t out for yourself. Pickle lasts a lot longer than cucumber! 

Christmas Recipes

Festive Drinks

Mulled Wine Recipes
Nothing quite says Christmas like mulled wine – albeit a marmite drink, you either love it or hate it! There are so many mulled wine recipes out there that we thought we’d put our favs here for you to try.

Jamies Mulled Wine Recipe

We especially like the sound of Jamies Mulled wine recipe although it may be slightly more expensive than others (vanilla pods and star anise can cost around a fiver) but I reckon it’s so worth it!
Ingredients include:
2 clementines
Peel of 1 lemon
Peel of 1 lime
250g caster sugar
6 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
3 fresh bay leaves
1 whole nutmeg
1 whole vanilla pod, halved
2 star anise
2 bottles of Chianti, or other Italian red wine
View the full recipe here >>

Martha Stewarts Mulled Wine with Brandy

Fancy something with a bit of bite? Then Martha Stewarts Mulled Wine with Brandy is for you!
Ingredients include:
1 bottle (750 mL) light-bodied red wine (such as Beaujolais)
3 ounces brandy
1/2 cup sugar
6 whole cloves
4 strips lemon zest (3 inches each)
2 cinnamon sticks
2 star anise
View the full recipe here >>

Non Alcoholic Mulled ‘Wine’

And for the wonderful designated drivers, pregnant ladies, kids and non alchohol drinking peeps, a warm spicy recipe to get you in the festive spirit!
Ingredients include:
1 litre orange juice
1 litre cranberry juice
2-3 cinnamon sticks
5-6 cloves
7-8 all spice berries
Slices of orange to serve (optional)
View the full recipe here >>


That Christmas drink that we have all seen on so many American sitcoms is becoming popular on this side of the water too. Here are two Eggnog recipes to try:

Alcoholic Eggnog

This recipe brings to mind one of my favourite cocktails – Brandy Alexander which I first had in New York in the 1990’s. I am definitely giving this a go this Christmas!

6 eggs
2 extra egg yolks
4 cups whole milk
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons of sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 cup bourbon
View the full recipe here >>

Non Alcoholic Eggnog:

12 medium egg yolks
11/2 cups (one and a half cups) or 320 g white granulated sugar
4 cups or 1 liter of 4% or full fat milk
2 cups or 500 ml heavy cream (31% fat or higher)
1 tsp ground nutmeg, or adjust to taste
1 tsp good quality vanilla extract
View the full recipe here >>

Plum and Custard Tart Recipe

HomeGrown Plums and Free Range Eggs

self sufficiency perksIt’s days like this that I remember why I decided not to move back to Dublin in 1999!
Living in the Countryside has it’s challenges ( social life, transport, jobs) but the positives are space, land, nature and the ability to become self sufficient!
Anyway, As many of you know I grow a variety of my own veg inc plums which I bought from Lidl about 5 years ago… This is only the second year that they have been so fruitful so I like to make the most of them when I can.
Thus this fabulous Plum and Custard Tart recipe which I would like to share with you now.

Plum and Custard Tart Recipe:

halving plumsIngredients:
450g plums
110g plain flour
55g butter
300 ml milk
2 eggs
55g caster sugar
few drops vanilla essence ( you can also use almond but be wary of too many drops as is very strong)
All inMethod:

  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees
  • Half the plums (cut round then twist apart) and de-stone them – set aside
  • Mix flour and butter in bowl to resemble breadcrumbs
  • Add enough water to make a soft dough
  • Butter a tart dish and roll pastry out to fit.
  • Place in tart dish
  • Bake blind in oven for ten minutes ( I cover with greaseproof paper then fill that with risotto rice as baking beans – this stops base from rising)
  • Meantime mix milk, sugar and eggs together with vanilla or almond essence
  • Take out of oven and place plums on bottom face down
  • Pour liquid over plums
  • Bake in oven for 45 mins


Making Elderflower Champagne

My Elderflower Champagne Making Attempt #1

elderflower-bunchesYou may recall that last year I missed my window of opportunity to make elderflower champagne what with college and work, although I did manage to harvest the elderberries later in the year to make elderberry liquor of which I still have half a bottle!
This year life has begun to reach a balance so I have kept an eager eye on my elderflower tree and also on Twitter which is great for reminding me to do stuff!
So it is that today I managed to begin my first batch of elderflower champagne – fingers crossed eh?
I decided to follow Hugh Fearnley Whittingstalls’ recipe.
I also researched quite a few different recipes and took some of the readers’ comments and tips into account.
Hopefully as I pass them on here they may help you get creating your very own FREE summer party champagne!

What You need:

  •  A 7 litre bucket min
  • 15 Flowering heads of elderflower
  • pre-mixing4 lemons – juice and grated rind
  • 700g sugar
  • 2 tablespoons White Wine Vinegar – I used Aspalls
  • You may later need A pinch of dried yeast – see below for suggested type of yeast.


  • ingredients-added-togetherI have read many differing views on the best time to pick your elderflowers- morning or later in the afternoon.. but all agree that it must be a warm sunny day – I picked my first batch at around 6pm on a hot afternoon – there were puffs of pollen coming off them as I picked them and as this is what your looking for I considered it a good sign- guess we’ll see..
  • I gently ran my fingernails over the flower stems to detach the flowers from the stem – it took me about an hour and a half so get comfy!
  •  Note that the stems and leaves are toxic – ” Separate the flowers from the stalks, trying to remove as much of the stems as you can (a few are fine, but too many can be toxic).

Since writing this blog I got a top tip from expert forager Fraser Christian who recommended to:”rub the flower heads in a circular motion between cupped hands”.. 
The Recipe and method that I Intend to follow can be found here:
Tips & Suggestions:
From the comments of Recipes Page:

  •  muslin-coveredTo avoid explosions, use strong bottles and strong seals.
  • It’s ok to use coke bottles/supermarket water  bottles – I would pay attention to how strong they feel though-see above.
  • Let the gas out every day
  • Using plastic bottles reduces risk of injury IF a bottle does explode
  • ” The trick is not to over fill them, and then as you are screwing the top on to squash them a little to expel as much air as you can. Then as the secondary fermentation kicks in, it produces co2 which pushes the bottle back into shape and hopeful there is still enough gas to make it fizzy!”
  • Water should be warm to hot(around 40 degreesC) when adding the flower petals
  • Leave some space in the bottle for the gas – Let out the gas DAILY!!!
  • “If unsure, just stick to plastic…but not Robinson bottles…they are not designed to take pressure…try fizzy drinks bottles which are designed to hold liquids under pressure.”
  • After 2 days, if no foam/bubbles at all then add the yeast as described.
  •  With the yeast, it’s probably best to stir the potion every day and that should keep from getting mouldy.
  • baker’s yeast should work fine
  • champagne yeast made the drink very alcoholic
  • Last year I added strawberry cordial which gave good results – much safer to try this way – you can buy good quality cordial from supermarkets and probably get more flavour for your money than buying fresh strawberries. You can also experiment by adding other concoctions when bottling – try adding creme de cassis for a Kir Royale; or white rum if you want to blow your head off.

I suggest you read through the channel 4 comments to get an idea of what other people have experienced, the above are just my favourites 🙂
Here’s to bolly darlings! x

My Secret Pavlova Recipe

How To Make Perfect Pavlova!

rozs pavlovaOkay so it’s not a secret anymore now that I am sharing it with you.. Without wanting to blow my own trumpet my Pavlova is descended upon by family and friends with many of them travelling down from Dublin just for a slice!
I use summer fruits like strawberries & raspberries when I can but as they quite expensive I often make it with peaches from a tin too!

  • 4 egg whites- if you have free range they will be fabulous for meringue!
  • a pinch of salt
  • 225g of caster sugar
  • 5ml/ 1teaspoon cornflour (NB)
  • 150 ml cream, 150ml creme fraiche
  • 450g fresh fruits or drain a tin of peache segments


  • Preheat the oven to 140C /275F/Gas 1.
  • Place a piece of baking paper on a baking tray – I make rectangular pavlovas – they are easier to fit on my baking trays! 
  • Whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt in a large clean bowl until they are stiff but not crumbly
  • Slowly add most of the sugar, whisking it through the mix until the mixture forms stiff glossy peaks
  • Sprinkle your teaspoon of cornflour over the mix then add the remaining sugar and whisk through the mix

Spoon the mixture onto the baking paper with a small hollow in the middle – I usually spoon the mixture so that sides are sort of formed…This gives you a nice area for the berries to sit in..
Bake for 1-1.5 hours – with my fan oven its only ever 1 hour! If you tap your nail off the meringue it should feel firm.
Allow the meringue to cool by lifting the meringue with the paper attached and placing it on a wire tray.
Later you can peel the paper off gently then add your filling.

  • Simply whisk the cream and creme fraiche together with a few drops of vanilla essence.
  • Place into the hollow / as you wish then decorate with your fruit.

Top Tip: If using strawberries keep the less pretty ones – about 5/6, to use for a delish sauce to pour over the pavlova when serving.
You simply whizz the strawberrys with a tablespoon of water and a tablespoon of caster sugar. That’s it! Simples 🙂
Voila! Enjoy x



Elderberry Liquor taste great!

What to do with Elderberries

Yum Yum!

Last year I was too late to collect elderflowers to make elderflower champagne  so I looked up some info on what to do with the berries instead and I found Andy Hamiltons Elderberry Liquor recipe. I began it as per instructions and on New years eve completed the ingredients process.
It was supposed to be ready by Paddys Day however, when we ‘tested’ it I found it too bitter.
Last week my lovely sister Linda came for an impromptu visit and we decided to try it again. MY Goodness! What a difference a month makes! It is delicious – too declicous in fact – we have already managed to drink half of it!!
So this year whilst I do hope to try making elderflower champagne I will also definately be making this liquor again too!
Try it yourself – it’s super easy – just takes patience that’s all.
Click here for recipe etc >>
Andys other delish homebrew infusions can be found here >>

Time to complete the Elderberry Liquor Recipe

Elderberry Liquer Part 2

making elderberry liquorRemember 3 months ago we followed Andy Hamiltons Elderberry Liquor recipe? It has been sitting in a dark cupboard since then and today is the day we take it out for the second part of the process:

Pour sugar into the vodka bottle and strain the liquor over the top of it – you may wish to “upgrade” to a 750ml swing topped bottle for aesthetic reasons. Shake vigorously and return to the cupboard for at least two months, shaking every time you remember it is there (once a week for the first week, then less). After this time it is perfectly drinkable but, if you can manage to restrain yourself, it will improve with age as long as it is left sealed.
Andys’ website has some great Booze for free recipes and books >>


All done- just wondering if there’s anything we  could do with my strained alco elderberries now.. hmm.. New Years punch anyone?
P.S. it smells gorgeous already! Here’s to Paddys’ Day when it will be ready! Cheers!!

Jerk Chicken Recipe

Quick and Easy To Make Recipes

This is a very simple to make dinner that feeds 4.
Best prepared 24 hours in advance for taste but even prepping an hour or two beforehand will make a difference:

Jerk Chicken Recipe

Boneless chicken thighs although I often use chicken fillets.
Jerk sauce:

  • 1 large chilli, ( usually I add 2 small birds eye chilli’s)
  • 1 red onion,
  • a bunch of fresh coriander,
  • inch of fresh ginger,
  • 1 teaspoon of ground allspice,
  • a grating of nutmeg,
  • half teaspoon of crushed cloves,
  • half teaspoon of ground cinnamon,
  • juice 1 lime,
  • 1 tablespoon of soy sauce,
  • 1 tablespoon of groundnut oil (or other flavourless oil),
  • 1 tablespoon of honey, salt and pepper.

Put all the above ingredients for sauce together in a food processor and whizz until smooth.
Place chicken in ovenproof dish or tin and pour sauce over it.
Get another lime and cut it into wedges, place on top of chicken and place in oven (around 180-190 degrees celius)
Cook for around 25-30mins until chicken cooked.
The sauce should have thickened around meat. If it is still runny put back in oven for another 5-10 mins until thickened.
Serve with Rice and Naan bread and garnish with coriander

Pear Chutney Recipes

How to Make Pear Chutney

I have two Pear chutney recipes for you today.
After preparing our Perry over the weekend we were left with lots of nicely mushed up pears which I then took any pips or stalks out of and made Pear chutney from the following recipe:

Recipe 1: Mixed Pear Chutney

  • 14 pears peeled and chopped
  • 2 cooking apples peeled and chopped
  • 1lb/450g onions
  • 1lb/450g seedless raisins
  • 1tsp hot chilli powder ( avail in lidl) 
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tsb salt
  • Juice and grated rind of 2 lemons
  • 1lb/450g brown sugar
  • 2 half cups / 570ml white distilled vinegar ( we used Aspalls white wine vinegar from Tesco)
  • Sprinkle of nutmeg


  1. Peel and chop onions, crush garlic clove
  2. Put all into large pot/pan with the vinegar and stir well
  3. Bring to the boil, stirring well regularly
  4. Reduce to simmer and leave simmering until mixture reaches a thick consistency
  5. ladle into hot, clean, sterilized jars, Cover and seal

We got about 12 regular jam jars out of  this mix. 🙂
Ready to eat next day but obviously will improve with age- perfect for Christmas gifts!

Recipe 2: Pear and Vanilla Chutney

Kindly Donated from Mr & Mrs @EyeBlinks on Twitter (Thanks Tommie)

  • 2 kg pears, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 2 kg sugar – or less if you prefer
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 vanilla pod, split and seeded


  1. Cook for one hour on a  low heat stirring on and off
  2. Allow to cool then spoon into sterilised jars
  3. Perfect for accompanying strong cheeses!

Feel free to send us in your recipes – we are happy to add them and credit you. 

Perry Making Fun!

Pear harvest and Perry making

pear treeTruly Autumn is the best time of the year as we get to harvest the fruits of our labour! We have been very lucky this year with our pear trees bursting with fruit. Last year we did not utilise them at all effectively , only adding them to roast veg late in the year – (delicious by the  way).
This year I plan to do as much as I can with what I have.
kevin forbes brewing bookWith this in mind I am going to make ‘Country Style Perry following the recipe from ‘Home Brewing’ Kevin Forbes, page 134 ( I bought this book in Springmount Garden Centre in Ballycanew/Gorey – they have a wonderful selection of books) .
I have 20 lbs of pears and his recipe basically says to use all of them leaving them in a warmish place for a few weeks until they start to get soft after which you chop and smash them into pulp.
He says to strain them through muslin and that a fruit press is best for this-( BTW Killruddery market will have an applepress at the market next week- 05th October 2013), then keep this juice in the pan in a warm place.
20 lbs of pearsThe natural yeast in the fruit is relied upon to ferment the juice so allow it to bubble..and when the bubbles rise to the surface of the liquid with the sediment dropped to the bottom you put it into a cask, cover tightly and leave for 6-7 months.
(Where do I get a cask!!?) Strain, bottle, enjoy!
I am hoping to make it to Killruddery on the 05th although I do not know if my pears will be soft enough by then.  Estimated enjoyment May 2013 🙂
Here’s hoping! 

Ecofriendly Gifts For Nature Lovers!