All posts filed under: tips

Smyles’ 5 Ingredient Tomato Soup

“I’m the first to admit I’m not much of a cook. But since soup mainly involves tossing everything in a pot and waiting, it’s one of my better dishes.” ~ Suzanne Collins ~ There is something about cold, wintery, blustery days that just calls for soup. We have had plenty of them in the last few weeks and soup is indeed my comfort food of choice at the moment. This soup is one of my sister’s. I don’t really deviate in any way from her recipe, until it comes to the toppings. When I did my vegan month, back in November, she suggested this as something that could work quite well during it. And, boy, was she right! In fact, I’d get up early once a week, and make the soup (minus the blending) before I went on my morning walk. At that time, like now, we were in the middle of a national lockdown (and just in case you are reading this in 100 years, it was Covid-19 times!), and I was working from …

Breaded Fried Aubergine/Eggplant With A Kick

There is one day that is ours. Thanksgiving Day is the one day that is purely American. – O. Henry Despite the fact that I am Irish, I have always grown up with Thanksgiving as my Mam hails from Nebraska. While we never went all out for 4th of July, Thanksgiving was a sight to behold. Mam would have us on clean-up duty the entire week ahead of time, and, while we cleaned, she would bake and prepare tons of delicious food like her almond slices (to die for!), salad jelly (jello–which is one of my favourite Thanksgiving foods), and, particularly when we were younger, her homemade brown bread. By Thanksgiving day we’d be in a state of restless anticipation. Besides my own family, which numbers nine, over the years we’ve had several different guests, but some of the consistent ones include two of my Mam’s best friends in Ireland and my Dad’s cousin who is like an aunt to us kids. When the guests would arrive we’d usher them into the sitting room to chat …

Creamy Tomato Chicken Pasta Bake

Pasta doesn’t make you fat. How much pasta you eat makes you fat. – Giada De Laurentiis Years ago, I was visiting my sister who lived in Galway at the time. From my memory it was either late Autumn or early Winter. We had gone out the night before and had spent our day recovering by watching TV, chatting, and I believe she introduced me to the magic that was “G’s to Gents”. When we finally decided to eat she introduced me to what has become one of my favourite meals to make when I’m having friends over. All the vegetables and chicken smelled divine by themselves but adding the Dolmio® Creamy Tomato Sauce gave it that extra edge. My sister is one of those people who always ups her game when it comes to cooking and this recipe had already been given to her by another friend in it’s basic form of the Dolmio jar, chicken and pasta. My sister not only added vegetables, but she also stirred in single cream and added hunks …

Slightly Boozy Homemade Apple Cider

Autumn seemed to arrive suddenly that year. The morning of the first September was crisp and golden as an apple. – JK Rowling As much as I love spring and summer, there is just something enchanting about Autumn and Winter flavours, smells, colours and holidays. I love the look, taste, and smell of everything these two season have to offer: warm fragrant soups, pumpkin pies, apple tarts, oranges stuffed with cloves, hot minty chocolate, and hot apple cider — to mention just a few. The first time I ever had apple cider was at my first Thanksgiving in America as an adult (way back in 2001!). I was confused. I didn’t understand how it could be cider as there was no alcohol! Eventually I came to appreciate this kind of cider and now I really, really love all the flavours. Last year, for a tea night I decided I wanted to make American apple cider, however, most recipes I saw called for pre-made cider. I didn’t understand why, when surely you could just use apples to …