Hubble bubble

Disclaimer: This post may have a slight Blue Peter feel about it. If this upsets you, don’t read on. Also, don’t even ATTEMPT to make any of these unless you are wearing a suitably punny food-themed costume.

Halloween Party food on the cheap

Bloody popcorn

Easiest and cheapest AND quickest to make. What more could you ask for. Make/buy popcorn in the usual way. Douse popcorn with paprika. Using a toothbrush, splatter popcorn with red food colouring. Done.

Toffee/chocolate apples

Push the lolly stick in first or it can be tricky to dip. And don’t forget to wash your apples.

Few ways to make these. Easiest way is obviously to skip the toffee altogether and just dip the apples in melted chocolate. Or you can drop a tin or two of condensed milk (don’t open the tin) into water and boil for 90 mins to make a soft caramel. Pour the contents over the apples and roll them in chopped nuts. Done.

But if you’re not into those cheating ways, a full recipe can be found here.

Severed finger dips

Buy/make favourite dips. Scrub carrots, and slice out a tiny wedge about an inch from the top. Shove an almond into the wedge so it looks like a nail. Stick carrots/fingers into dip. Done.

Cinnamon spiderweb fritters

Make pancake batter. Transfer to piping bag. Pipe onto hot pan in spiderweb shape. Douse with cinnamon and icing sugar. Garnish with jelly spiders. Done.

And finally…

A lil sumin sumin to get ya in the mood

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Can we tin it? Yes we can

The invention of the canning process revolutionized the food industry. It was invented in France in 1795 by Nicholas Appert, who was determined to win the prize of 12,000 francs offered by Napoleon for a way to prevent military food supplies from spoiling. He used glass jars sealed with pitch, and filled them with vegetables and meat. Ya know, normal stuff.

That was then, this is now.

If you can dream it, we can can it

Pork Brain in Milk Gravy

Pork Brain and milk gravy, a classic combination. The canning process allows the delicate flavours to slowly infuse, resulting in an unctuous cocktail. Sure, it has 1170% of your daily recommended cholesterol intake, but it looks so utterly delicious that I think we’d all be prepared to ignore that. Have to treat yourself occasionally, live a little etc.

Canned Russian Herring

Mmm… crunchy. I don’t know what looks more appetizing, the razor-sharp teeth or the grey bile they’re floating in.

Canned possum in Coon Fat Gravy

Hey maw, you gone done got us some dayum good possum. I do hope this one is a joke.

Whole canned chicken

This one’s a real store cupboard necessity. You never know when you’ll need a whole chicken, so I’d recommend getting in a few cans just to have on hand, in case of unexpected guests or someone important dropping by.

Cheeseburger

A paradigm of the genre. But as the saying goes, when life give you cheeseburgers, can them and you’ll be able to eat them whenever you want for the next two years. Yummers.



Easy Food to Feed your Boyfriend

I find there is only 1 really essential ingredient needed to feed the boyfriend: meat. No matter what sauce it’s covered in, what accompanies it on the plate, or even what form it comes in, meat is sure to put a smile on their face. And it’s pretty darn tasty too.

Toad in the Hole and onion-y Gravy

This dish mixes two of the best food groups- Meat (the sausages) and batter (the Yorkshire pudding- basically just a tasty batter… is that redundant?)


Food List

8 Pork Sausages 
(Or 4 big auld Jumbo sausages)

110g (4oz) Plain White Flour 
(ish)

300ml (½ pint) Milk 
(ish)

2 Small Eggs

A pinch of Salt

3 tablespoons Sunflower Oil (probably won’t work if you use olive oil..)

(I say “ish” cause you don’t really have to be super exact. It’s only batter.)

2 Large Red Onions

2 Cloves of Garlic (I resent any comments about how kissing after garlic is gross. Garlic is sexy.)

2 knobs of butter

6 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 vegetable stock cube

What To Do

  1. Preheat Oven to 230 C° (450 F°)
  2. Mix flour (sieve it first though, so no lumpy batter), eggs and milk and salt in bowl. Mix real good.
  3. Then get a whisk, or use an electric beater if you’re weak, and don’t stop whisking til there are little bubbles on the surface.
  4. Put the batter to the side.
  5. Get out your sausages and start to fry them on a low heat in a frying pan. (Just to colour them)
  6. Once they have a nice golden-y colour (but aren’t properly cooked through) then take them out of pan and leave to the side for a minute.
  7. Keep the oil/fat in frying pan and put in your small roasting pan.
  8. If oil from frying pan isn’t covering the base of the roasting pan then add some of the sunflower oil. (You only need layer of about half a centimetre)
  9. Put roasting pan in oven to heat oil. Leave it in there til smoky. Roughly 7 minutes.
  10. Take out pan, pour in batter, place sausages on top and put back in oven.
  11. Bake for about 10 minutes or until the batter around the sausages has risen and is a scrumptious deeep golden brown.

What to do for the Gravy – (this one has far less steps, I promise)

  1. Chop up onions and garlic finely
  2. Fry them in the butter on a medium heat until they go soft
  3. Add balsamic vinegar and let this reduce by about half
  4. Add stock cube and maybe a small mug-full of water and let simmer til looks and tastes scrummy.

Voilà:

Toad in the Hole:

This makes for about 4 people. But regardless, the leftovers are tasty.

A little head’s up: DON’T buy your roasting pan etc from Dunnes Stores. The glue bit that they use to stick the cardboard label on the inside took longer to take off than it did to make the entire meal.

Spud U Like

The age of celebrity chefs is over, and Come Dine with Me is now the best thing on foodie tv.  Enough of Nigel Slater and his pretentious cooking in allotments, pseudo-sexy Rachel Allen and her bland brand, Anthony Worral-Thompson and his constant snivelling. Nobody cares. It’s boring.

Instead, people want to see average sort of folk dropping the meringue and covering the burnt bit in gravy and forgetting to buy cloves.

If you haven’t seen it, the central concept of the show is that five strangers take it in turns to host a dinner party. After each party, the four guests rate the host, and whoever gets the highest rating in the end wins a grand.

In such a dinner party charged atmosphere, who could help but get caught up in the magic of cookery one-upmanship? And so, a group of my friends have decided to host a Come Dine with Me themed night… with an Irish slant, obviously.

Their night is called

Come Spud With Me

The general concept is pretty similar, with each member of the group required to cook some form of potato dish and provide entertainment. Each is then secretly rated. The winner is then lauded and the loser ostracized forever.

I’ve a feeling it will catch on.

Banana bread is appealing

Banana jokes are appalling.

What to do with all my minging bananas?

I bought them to be healthy but ate Koka noodles instead and now they’re gone all brown.

Get your fine self

3-4 over-ripe bananas

2 beaten eggs

110g brown sugar

115g butter

5g baking soda

250g flour

shot of expresso

walnuts

you can also add cinnamon, vanilla extract or a handful of chocolate chips if you’re into that kinda thing

Then

  1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees. Grease loaf pan. If you don’t have a loaf pan, you can do it in a muffin tray, but reduce baking time. I dunno what you should reduce it to though because I do have a loaf pan.
  2. Combine flour, baking soda, and a pinch salt in one bowl.
  3. In a second bowl, cream butter and sugar. Stir into this the eggs and mashed bananas.
  4. Fold banana goo into flour mix just enough to moisten.
  5. Bake for 60-65 mins, leave to cool for ten and EAT.

Good stuff.

Looks nasty, is nice

Food blogs are, generally speaking, thinly veiled food pornography. Beautifully coiffed elegant food is photographed on pretty plates with nice lighting and possibly avant garde cutlery.

Well not us. It’s time ugly food got a heads up. So close your eyes and open your mouth and see what foodie gives ya.

Five nasty looking foods that taste awesome

1. Battered Mars bars

Now what we have here is something with the appearance of a battered turd. I would imagine that the consistency is also rather similar. But push past these ocular prejudices and you’ll find that they really are delicious, like eating twelve chocolate pancakes at once. Just don’t expect to have any room for anything else that day.

Also, in an aside, did you know when you Google image search for “battered”, the first three suggestions are “battered women”, “battered woman” and “battered Rihanna”? What kind of world is this at all. Moving on.

2. Periwinkles

Or sea snails. You have to boil them alive, and eat them with a curved needle. Most people find this off-putting, for some reason. But they taste wonderful, salty and chewy and strangely moreish.

They’ve been eaten in Ireland for thousands of years. If you go as far away from the toxic Irish sea as possible, you can pick your own. They live on the rocks beside the sea, and summer’s the best time to go looking for them. According to the infallible Wikipedia, they are commonly sold in paper bags near beaches in Ireland, salted and with a pin attached to the bag to assist extracting the mantle from the shell.

Now I’ve never seen this, but if Wiki says it, it must be true.

3.  Banana Sandwiches

This one is a bit of a turncoat. It starts its short life golden and beautiful, but within ten minutes has succumbed to being a brown sludge sandwich. Like the Ugly Duckling, but in reverse.

They are ridiculously good though, Elvis was a big fan.

4. Monkfish

No list of ugly but tasty food is complete without a mention of monkfish, the most monstrous of all delicious fish. Most fish are ugly cos they don’t have to be cute to humans to survive, but this one is really pushing it. It’s also called “rape” in Spanish, as in pricetag in photo.

5. Celeraic

Poor poor celeraic. It always reminds me of the token ugly kid in the really hot family.  Most vegetables look colourful, exciting, tasty. Celeraic looks like a voodoo shrunken head.

And yet, as if compensating in some way, it tastes fabulous. Its smooth flesh is slightly reminiscent of celery and parsley, and it can be raw or cooked, boiled, roasted, steamed or mashed. At its best in Autumn/Winter so try it now, if you can work yourself up to it.