LAST MINUTE FOODIE VALENTINE'S GIFTS: Have you awoken this morning to the realisation that Valentine's Day is just two days away? If your beloved is a foodie, pop out to your local supermarket where you should be able to pick up a hamper full of delicious heart-shaped treats.
In any good kitchenware store, you'll able to find the romantic heart-shaped ramekins which you could fill with your very own chocolate mousse (see recipe here http://bit.ly/lecreusetrecipe). Sometimes, however, there's nothing more romantic than breakfast in bed, especially if your toast has been smothered in honey and a teaspoon of cinnamon, and cut into the shape of a heart by your true love. Bliss.
CALLING ALL TOP CHEFS
Conrad Gallagher has launched the search for Ireland's next ‘Head Chef ’. The competition will be played out as part of TV3's latest cookery series, documenting the journey of eight hopefuls as they are brought under Gallagher's wing.
Gallagher is looking for someone with drive and talent, though not necessarily in parallel with professional experience and skills. If you think you might fit the bill, see www.tv3.ie/headchef for details on how to apply.
COME DINE WITH US
Many people are using the ‘Come Dine With Me’ format as a way of reconnecting with old friends or ensuring a commitment to dinner dates with mates. The idea of throwing in a competitive aspect assures each cook pushes the culinary boat out. For the more adventurous supper clubs are emerging nationwide; think a monthly book club with less Margaret Atwood and more Jamie Oliver.
The Dingle Supper Club, organised by Sharon Ní Chonchúir of Foodie Fancies (foodiefancies.blogspot.com) is currently recruiting members from the local area, while Rebecca Smyth of Nutritious Nibbles glutenfree cookies (www.rebeccasmyth.com) is rounding up foodies for a similar event via the For The Love of Food Facebook group (on.fb.me/FTLOFclub). Go on, be brave and join the party.
WHETHER IT’S HANGING BASKETS of herbs growing alongside sacks of spuds on urban balconies or the plethora of delights being produced in allotments, more and more folks are growing their own. However, this can be an intimidating prospect for those of us with a decided lack of green fingers.
Grow It Yourself Ireland (GIY Ireland) was set up in 2008 by author and journalist Michael Kelly (left), aimed at creating a supportive network for people who are already growing or wish to grow their own food. The network began in Waterford, and there are now 40 operational GIY groups around the country, with more in the offing. The organisation offers advice through meetings, such as today's — Dublin City Centre Meeting: Plotting Pots and Plots — in Dublin's Food Co-op in Newmarket, D8.
There is also a veritable vegetable patch of information on the GIY Ireland website, with tips on a range of topics such as keeping your own chickens and how to create the perfect spud. See www.giyireland.com.