All posts tagged: the mc bride guide

In praise of kindness

I am always heartened by the kindness that occurs every day if you look for it. Despite the ugly and horrific things we read and see, it is happening all around us. Is it the person who puts their change in the charity box at the till? Is it the person who cancels their plans to be with a friend who is having a rough time? Is it the parent who donates their bone marrow to their sick child? Is it the person who brings you a coffee because you are tired, or sad, or just because it’s Saturday? Is it the locals who rally round a family when they have lost someone they love? It is all of these things. It is one of the single most rewarding and healing connections we can make, or have, with another person. Being kind is being vulnerable, it is forgiveness, sacrifice, selflessness and rewarding. And there can never be enough of it. People will always respond to kindness because if you are treated kindly you are instantly …

Recipe – Derry Clarke’s Chocolate fondant with Rum and Pecan Ice Cream

There was a little girl, Who had a little curl, Right in the middle of her forehead. When she was good, She was very good indeed, But when she was bad she was horrid. – Henry Wandsworth Longfellow Longfellow’s description of the little girl and her curl also reminds me of chocolate fondants. A tricky, temperamental creation that can be glorious or utterly horrendous.  This is my favourite chocolate dessert and certainly is hard work to pull off, getting the gooey, rich, decadent centre just right, not too soft, firm on top but not overcooked, not too sweet and not too bitter.  This recipe from Derry Clarke, owner of Dublin’s Michelin star restaurant l’Ecrivain is a stunning dessert and paired with the boozy Rum and crunchy pecan ice-cream a total knockout for any dinner party. Very good, indeed. Ingredients: 1 lb dark chocolate ½ lb butter ½ cup cream flour 1 cup sugar 5 eggs Ice cream ingredients: 50g of ground pecans 50ml dark rum 4 egg yolks 250ml milk 250ml double cream 100g castor sugar …

Recipe – Derry Clarke – Roast spicy, sweet and sour chicken

There’s nothing like roast chicken to soothe the soul. Chef Derry Clarke, owner of Dublin’s Michelin Star l’Ecrivain, has kindly shared this lip-smacking recipe for spicy, sweet and sour roast chicken to warm up your Sunday lunch. He suggests serving it with roasted vegetables seasoned with spices and it is also delicious with a Mediterranean cous cous. Ingredients 1 whole chicken (not too big: about 1.3 – 1.8 kg or 3-4lb) For the paste: 2 red chillies (- and chopped) 2 tablespoons of curry powder or any spice mix 50g ginger chopped 6 cloves garlic chopped 2 tablespoons brown sugar 2 tablespoons chopped thyme 1 tablespoon chopped sage 1 tablespoon sea salt 3 tablespoons olive oil 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar Method Preheat oven to 190C Mix all the paste ingredients together except the oil and vinegar. Rub the chicken with the olive oil and vinegar and sprinkle the dry mixture over the chicken. Season with some freshly ground black pepper. Roast the chicken for about two hours (30- 35 minutes per 500g/ 25 – …

Florrie-Jane’s Vintage – Donegal woman’s online vintage store success

Laura Doherty returned home to Ireland in 2014 after a few years in Australia and New Zealand, and like many others, she had no plan for what was next. All she did know was that her collection of vintage clothing had grown so big, even her boyfriend was concerned. ‘I’ve always loved vintage clothing and would have sold bits and pieces over the years on eBay. While I was travelling in Australia and New Zealand I collected so many bits and pieces of vintage I had to ship a lot of it home.’ Laura (28) started her online vintage store ‘Florrie-Janes’ Vintage’ just over a year ago and she is now listed as a boutique with one of the world’s biggest online stores Asos.com and cannot keep up with the demand for her vintage pieces. She operates her store from her home in Dunfanaghy in north west Donegal. Surprisingly, the majority of her clothing goes to the UK and she’s only sold around 10 pieces in Ireland so far. She trained as a hairdresser initially and then worked for a …

Remembering elBulli

Sunday October 18th  of 2009, table for 2 people at 7.30 p.m. under the name: CIARAN HAYDEN It is almost six years since I had the best dining experience of my life in elBulli restaurant. My friend Ciarán had won the gastronomic lottery and managed to get one of the 8,000 table bookings they offered a year. elBulli was a three Michelin star restaurant with head chef Ferran Adria at the helm until it closed a few years ago. The Godfather of molecular gastronomy’s cuisine was so sought after that the restaurant, on the Catalonian Costa Brava, received over two million requests a year for just 8,000 tables. Naturally, Ciarán and I thought we hadn’t a hope. He rang me a week before Christmas in 2008 to tell me about the table and I’m probably still not over it. Although it was over five years ago, I can still taste every dish. It was one of the most spectacular nights of my life.  Adrià closed the restaurant in 2011 because it was losing so much money. I was …