Friday 24 November 2017

Foodies Aoife McElwain and Aoife Barry: Naughty or Nice?

Enjoying food is all about balance, so let foodies Aoife McElwain and Aoife Barry give you a naughty and a nice option each week. Choice never tasted so good!

BREAD FOR THE NAUGHTY, BREAD FOR THE NICE: NAUGHTY: Brown soda bread for beginners Homemade soda bread doesn't have to be an annual St Patrick's Day treat, especially with Darina Allen's brown bread for beginners from ‘Forgotten Skills of Cooking’.

This easy-to-follow recipe takes less than 15 minutes to put together and about 45 minutes in the oven, and it always turns out right. This recipe isn't exactly naughty but it is almost lazy, as it’s so easy to put together. A perfect place to start if you're a newbie to homemade baking. See for the recipe.

NICE: Gluten-free Irish soda bread If you're can’t eat gluten, then you may have thought you'd never get to eat Irish soda bread again. Well, thanks to industrious gluten-free bakers such as Seattle's Shauna James Ahern and her husband Danny Ahern, any recipe can be de-glutened. For St Patrick's Day, the couple created an Irish soda bread, inspired in part by Darina's motherin- law, Myrtle Allen. The key with this recipe is measuring your flours. See


If your mother is a foodie, there’s a bevy of food festivals around the country to whisk her away to. This weekend, there’s the Dublin Bay Prawn Festival in Howth ( with plenty of wine, music and shellfish. It runs until tomorrow. Waterford’s Festival of Food, from April 14-17, will celebrate all the best of Waterford food, with plenty of hefty tasting opportunities (

The end of the month sees the Renvyle Peninsula host the Connemara Mussel Festival (www.connemaramusselfestival. com), from April 30 to May 2, and could prove to be the perfect weekend away for foodie mums.


Dublin’s Donnybrook Fair is running a Kids’ Cookery Club from April 26-29, 10am-2pm daily. It will teach practical hands-on cooking, focusing on seasonal produce, sustainability and nutrition. Recipe booklet, certificate, lunch and food costs are all included for €160. It’s a small price to pay when you think of all the cakes that will be baked for you afterwards. Tel: 01 668 3556 for details.




One of the Food Blog finalists at this year's Blog Awards, Sheila Keily runs Gimme The Recipe ( for her Cork kitchen and specialises in “easy food ideas for busy people”. Follow her on Twitter to keep an eye out for her blog updates of delicious recipes and her events section — essential reading for foodies.



Someone who truly embodies the title herbivore is Lindsay Nixon, aka Happy Herbivore, a cookbook author and blogger in NYC. Her tweets are full of information for vegetarians and vegans. If you want inspiration, check out her tweets. Her ‘hotelroom burger' is just one example of how eating veggie food on the go can be a cinch!

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