The number of coeliac sufferers in Ireland is rising, but if you have an intolerance to gluten - found in foods like bread and pasta - it doesn’t mean life can’t be a piece of cake.
Cork-based Delicious Bakery’s award-winning, gluten-free goodies (www.delicious.ie) are sold in cafés and shops all over the country, while Rebecca Smyth’s award-winning Nutritious Nibbles cookies (www.rebeccasmyth.com) has Carlow’s sweet-toothed coeliacs covered. Companies such as Heron Foods (www.glutenfreedirect.com) and Eco Direct (www.ecodirect.ie) deliver gluten-free products direct to people’s doors all over Ireland.
If you have a suspicion that you may have a gluten intolerance, the Coeliac Society of Ireland’s website (www.coeliac.ie) is a great place to learn more about the condition.
ON MONDAY, MARCH 7, The Cookbook Club will be holding its sixth meeting in Ely Bar & Brasserie in CHQ, Dublin 1. Each month, a cookbook is picked as a theme. For €35, diners can enjoy a threecourse meal using recipes from the month's book, as prepared by Ely's head chef Ryan Stringer.
But the real treat is that the author of the chosen cookbook joins the group for dinner and will answer any questions about how to recreate the dishes at home. Past guest authors have included Domini Kemp, Catherine Fulvio and Kevin Dundon. This month, it's the grand dame of Irish cooking herself, Darina Allen, featuring recipes from her veritable library of cookbooks.
See www.cookbookclub.ie for details.
The top food apps for your smartphone
Long gone are the days of sneaking a peak at cookbooks in a bookshop on your way to the supermarket, as smartphone users now have a bevvy of food apps to choose from.
Ireland's own ‘Easy Food’ magazine (www.easyfood.ie) has a fantastic app for €2.39, with tips on seasonal eating, baking and lots more, plus 500 recipes. It has a What's In Your Larder feature to suggest how to use up your storecupboard ingredients, as well as a Perfect Match section, aimed at helping you create the perfect dinner party meal.
More useful apps are available from the BBC’s ‘Good Food’ range, including a Healthy Eating Recipes app, Quick Food Recipes app, One-Pot Recipes app and a Cake Recipes app, all priced at €2.39. Jamie Oliver has a range of food apps, including the free Jamie's Recipes, which is a taster for his main offering, Jamie's 20 Minute Meals (€5.99). Other chefs with apps include Nigella Lawson, Martha Stewart and Gordon Ramsay.
FOODIE TO FOLLOW: @englishmum
English Mum shares her home,
“English Towers”, in Cavan with her husband and two sons, a mad cat and a family of chickens. Her blog (www.englishmum.com) features tales of family life and animal rearing, alongside baking and cup-cake icing. English Mum’s gift for hilarious anecdotes has transferred gloriously to Twitter, so follow her at www.twitter.com/englishmum to keep up with her food and family life.