#cupcakehour mince pie tips

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Just like other pastry items, treat your mince pie pastry with a light touch

If using a food processor, only process the dough until it resembles breadcrumbs, before finishing it off by hand

make sure you allow the pastry to rest for at least 20 minutes before rolling it out and cutting the circles

You can make mince pies any size you like. Choose a muffin tin for a conventional size

You can store any uncooked mince pies in the freezer for up to 2 months

grease proof paper between the pies to prevent them from sticking and store in an airtight container

Pop the frozen pies straight into the preheated oven

try using an all-butter pastry recipe.

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James on fish & fishing

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Salmon and cod account for 60% of the Irish fish market. And most of the cod eaten here is imported because the Irish fishing industry has notoriously low quotas for cod catches. Our addiction to cod means that overall about 40 percent of the fish eaten on this island nation is actually imported.Meanwhile, the waters around Ireland are full of up to 40 different species of fish, many of which are regarded as delicacies in Spain and France.for me its like the irish people do not realise the variety of fish in Irish waters.We export most of these fish because there just isn’t a market here for them but in spain they’ll pay good money for a fish caught here that most Irish people won’t even have heard of. in this day and age where governments are trying to make money wouldn’t it help to start advertising irish fish which would cut the cost of importing them not only that but when you go into your big named shops and you see fish for sale how fresh is that fish actually lets go through it it has to be caught ,processed ,packaged ,put on a ship ,from ship to truck ,to shop how many days old is that fish now makes you think .

Follow james on twitter @boilingjames

Kevins spanish omelette

 

My Spanish omelette

 

One of my favourite dishes to make.

Take 2 large enough potatoes

1 red pepper

1 large onion

1 pack of thick cut trad bacon

6 eggs.

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Peel and cut the potatoes (I like little half moons)

 

And then slice everything else.

Fry the potatoes until soft in the middle. You may have to fry several times because you don’t double them up. (Fry separately) as in the photos.

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Take at the potatoes out and using the same oil fry off the veg and bacon until the bacon goes almost crispy. Then strain the oil.

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Layer all the ingredients after that potato then veg & bacon mix, potato then veg & bacon mix. Then add the beaten eggs. Then cook the base of the omelette on a low heat and the top of the omelette under the grill. This will serve 2 people or 4 people with chips and salad.

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Kevin is on twitter @parsnip78

#cupcake hour cookie tips

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Dust rolling pin and smooth surface with flour. This will prevent dough from sticking

Too much flour will make cookies tough and dry.

Roll only part of the chilled dough at a time. Keep the remaining dough in the refrigerator

Roll the dough to the appropriate thickness. Thinner dough makes a crisper cookie; thicker dough makes a softer, chewier cookie

Check the thickness with a ruler. Cookies will bake evenly when the dough is rolled to a uniform thickness

Use a pancake turner to transfer cookies. This will prevent unbaked cookies from stretching and tearing and baked cookies from breaking

Refrigerate dough before shaping, if necessary, for easier handling

Flatten cookies with your thumb, a fork or the bottom of a glass. Dip them in either flour or sugar to prevent sticking

Refrigerate the rolls up to 1 week. You can also wrap them in foil and freeze for up to 3 months.

A visit to torc brewing co.

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Recently at eabha joans restaurant for the listowel food fair one of our menus was a craft beer & food pairing menu & i had the pleasure to visit the torc brewing .

And had a chat with the lads behind it, as i ended up using a few of their fine beers throughout the menu .

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This raspberry & vanilla ended up on the menu in a dessert, never know it existed pior to that very intresting drink well worth trying out .

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While there a was given a lesson on the beer process including smoked beers, torc have a very nice dark smoked ale & and a polish style smoked beer which is very tasty Indeed ,

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These are short run beers alongside the ones they already do . I have to say a big thank you to the guys for their time & all the info they shared with very passionate about what they do and it shows . In both they way they talk about beer & in the end product .

All hail the ale , all cheer the beer

Cheers  lads

Twitter @chefnoelk instagram @chefnoelkeane

Wild clams

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Clams and crabs

Recently while out on an evening forage I spotted a lot of sea birds making a lot of noise on the other side of the beach while I normally would get the sea greens.

I figured being a documentary watcher sea birds means food, thinking maybe a few crabs or something nice. To my surprise clams and periwinkles and some mussels, into my bucket ye go onto the dinner table later.

I spent an hour there picking clams bent down like I was footing turf. A crab came over and dug himself under my bucket. See pic of the angry little fella.

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Having never done this before, putting the clams under water overnight to purge they are still quite salty, they really need 2-3 days of purging to remove the grit and the excess saltiness to reveal the sweet tastiness that is clam meat.
To reference James on their final resting plate  alongside mussels, linguine and parmesan cheese yum yum.

Follow for more adventures on Twitter @chefpaulc Instagram @chefpaulc

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Sid on Hypothyroidism

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Hypothyroidism -(Underactive Thyroid)

 

The thyroid gland, consisting of two large lobes is located at the base of the throat, just below the voice box. It produces hormones essential for the proper functioning and maintenance of all the cells in the body, therefore helping to regulate the body’s growth, metabolism, digestion, body temperature and heart rate.

 

What is it?

Hypothyroidism or the under activity of the thyroid gland is a condition, which occurs when the thyroid gland fails to produce enough thyroid hormone. This results in the metabolism becoming sluggish, and can often mimic long-term mild depression. It affects women four times more than men especially those between 35-60 years.

 

What causes it?

 Heredity: thyroid problems can simply run in families.

 Iodine insufficiency: its strongly proposed that millions of individuals develop hypothyroid due to lack of adequate iodine intake, which may be due to soil depletion and lack of iodine in our diets. Since iodine is necessary for the synthesis, storage and secretion of thyroid hormones, a deficiency of iodine can result in hypothyroidism.

 Auto immune: most cases of hypothyroid result from an auto immune disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks the thyroid gland.

 Genetic factors, hormonal disturbances elsewhere in the body, surgery, radiation or medication are other possible causes.

 

Signs and Symptoms

These include: Fatigue, depression, unexplained weight gain, decreased appetite, dry skin, hair loss, disturbed sleep, muscle and joint pain, heavy menstruation, constipation and hoarseness among many more.

 

Dietary and Lifestyle factors

 Exercise is particularly important in hypothyroidism as it stimulates thyroid gland secretion and increases tissue sensitivity to thyroid hormone.

 One’s diet must incorporate adequate amounts of iodine, selenium, zinc, copper, vitamin C and E. All of these micronutrients are crucial for thyroid hormone synthesis.

 Goitrogens: Must be limited within the diet, these include turnips, cabbage, kale, brussel sprouts, radishes, peanuts and pine nuts. When eaten these foods should be well cooked to breakdown their goitrogenic constituents.

 Soy products: Must also be limited within the diet as they have a definite anti-thyroid and goitrogenic effect. Long term consumption can promote formation of goitres (protruding bulge on the throat) and development of autoimmune thyroid disease.

 

#cupcakehour baking tips muffins

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Stir to moisten dry ingredients, counting 12 to 15 strokes. Batter will remain lumpy

Muffin cups can be lightly greased or lined with paper baking cups. Fill each cup 2/3 full with batter for pebbly-topped, rounded muffins

Lightly spray paper baking cups with nonstick cooking spray to prevent muffins from sticking to the paper

To get nicely domed muffins, grease the baking cups on the bottoms and only halfway up the sides

If there isn’t enough batter to fill all the cups, fill the empty cups with water before baking to protect the pan.

Muffins are done when their tops are golden

To store muffins, cool completely. Place them in a plastic bag, seal, and store at room temperature for up to three days

To freeze muffins, wrap them tightly in heavy foil or place them in freezer bags and freeze for up to three months

To reheat frozen muffins, wrap them in heavy foil. Heat them in a 160c oven for 12 to 15 minutes

Most muffins, especially reduced-fat versions, are best served warm from the oven. Reheating briefly in the oven or microwave can revive flavor and texture

Kevin on trends

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A gaggle for a goose.

 

Over the past number of years people have really followed the trends. From a serious illness of a celiac to the lifestyle choice of being gluten intolerant. People are slowly but surely giving everything up. Sugar is an issue, everyone knows about aspartame, stevia. There’s agave, corn syrup and the list goes on. Sid Sheehan talks about this more in his article on sugar. Following trends tends to take away individuals choice, ” I can’t have that cake because Majella would kill me”. That’s not having a choice. Having a good healthy choice is about putting forward the best version of yourself as possible. Some people have the ability to put forward a seriously healthy version, others are happy with floating along. Dipping into the world of “oh this isn’t good for me 🙂”. We all know what’s good and what’s bad. Moderation is the best most can hope for and perfection is an illusion, a curse placed upon the few. Diet how important it is, the relationship you have with yourself is more important. If you have a good steady relationship with yourself then your relationship with diet and food will be better and the need to follow trends or fads will pass. Have a look at what your eating and ask yourself is that me? Believe in yourself and if that’s hard at the start then start by doing something nice for yourself everyday to improve your relationship with yourself and then see if your diet changes. The entire movement will have a knock on effect. Healthy body healthy mind healthy eating. Live the dream my friends and mind your bodies, your thought process and life balance or what’s on the table to loose!!