Nicola’s Blog

Our Golf Gti & the AA October 30, 2008

Filed under: General — nickleickle @ 4:57 pm
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Poor Woody had a bit of a hard time with all the wet and snow while in Newbridge yesterday.. Monica & I were at traffic lights, when he totally died.  Nothing I could do would start him up again. We were sat at traffic lights while they changed at least three times, and not one person stopped to ask if we were ok, or needed a push to the side of the road. Despite obviously not being able to start the car and having the hazard lights on, people beeped, shouted, and drove around us – but didnt stop. I got it started again for a few seconds, and moved right into the middle of the junction where it died again. In an even worse position – and again, the lights changed at least twice before a man offered to help us push poor Woody out of the way. Unbelievable!!

So I got my first chance to phone the AA..  A helpful man said someone would be with us in an hour. In fairness to the people of Athgarvan (where we had stopped), one lady and one man came up to us while we were waiting to make sure we were ok- our faith in the helpfulness of mankind was slightly restored.  An hour and three quarters later… a man came & fixed Woody.  It was a wet/damaged cable apparently, and now he is as good as new! Yay for Woodyweb analytics

 

Roasted Pepper and Goats Cheese Bruschetta, Apple & Walnut Stuffed Pork Loin, Mushroom Risotto and White Chocolate Mousse October 25, 2008

Filed under: Recipes — nickleickle @ 3:14 pm
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Tonight’s dinner is a bit of an experiment – but I figured cooking for three lads (one of whom says that beans on toast is his favourite meal :-), and the other two being single) – that they wouldn’t be too critical.. We’ll see!

So for starters I am doing something that I have made before – a really easy and delicious starter that I had at an Italian restaurant in Kildare Outlet Village and really liked.

So you get half a ciabatta, or white crispy roll, drizzle on some olive oil and spread on some pesto.  Then you get a jar of roasted peppers (thank you Aldi! You could roast them yourself if you really wanted), and put a few pieces on each piece of bread. Add some goats cheese on the top (thanks again Aldi!), drizzle a little more olive oil on top & put under the grill for a minute or two till its heated up.

Serve with web analyticsrocket with a little more olive oil, and maybe some balsamic vinegar. Voila – easy and tasty!

 

The main course is a bit of an experiment.  One pork loin – rinse & pat dry.  Butterfly the loin and whack with a meat hammer (or rolling pin as I did!). Rub in some salt & freshly ground pepper. Soak 1 cup of croutons in half a cup of chicken stock and leave for 5 mins or so. In a mixer (or chop by hand for a rougher texture), add 1/3 cup dried cranberries, 1/3 cup walnuts, 1 cup chopped apple, 2 tblsp maple syrup, 1 teasp rosemary, 1/4 cup minced shallots (except that I forgot to put them in and rolled everything up, so I added some sliced onions underneath the pork roll, and some on top – hope it will do!) and the croutons. Whizz for a few seconds, and spread onto the flattened pork loin.

Roll it all up, tie with kitchen string (where do you buy that?? None in Tesco today – had to make do with some thread – hope that works too!!).  Put some olive oil in an oven dish and put in the pork. You can refrigerate it at this stage until you are ready to cook it.

175 C for about 1hour 15 mins (according to the recipe – haven’t tried it yet), and then slice up and serve.

I am also serving it with a mushroom risotto type thing, and some lightly boiled baby veg (that I got free in Tesco as they overcharged me!!).  Not sure about the combination of risotto and the pork, was trying to decide between roasted potatoes and roasted veg, but decided on the rice.

Dessert is a white chocolate mousse – melt 175g white chocolate in a bain-marie. Add 90ml milk (which I forgot to do… I blame Itunes for distracting me and making me forget half my ingredients!), stir and set aside.  Whip up two egg whites and 1tblsp lemon juice until stiff, and fold into the chocolate.  Whip 225ml cream also until stiff and fold that into the whole mixture too. I filled half my little glass dishes with the mousse, then put on a thin layer of mashed raspberries, and then filled the glasses up.  Put in the fridge for at least 2 hours. I am going to put some dark chocolate flakes on top, and a whole raspberry to decorate.

 

So that’s the plan… I will edit and add photos when we have eaten it all!!!!

Ok so here’s the verdict – the starters was yummy! The main meal was a bit of a weird combination – the risotto & pork didnt really go. The pork was way too sweet for my liking, but it wasn’t yucky! Could be nice with some tweaking perhaps. The dessert was good too – also quite sweet, but the raspberries made a nice sharp contrast – I would put more raspberries in the next time.

 

Wedding Photos October 24, 2008

Filed under: General — nickleickle @ 3:16 pm
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bj031-washGo to the “My Photos” page to view the latest wedding photos!web analytics

 

Chocolate Lovers’ 40 List October 21, 2008

Filed under: General — nickleickle @ 1:18 pm
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Some of you may have seen the “Omnivores’ Hundred” list that has been featured inmany blogs accross the world.
web analyticsWell, I have tried to do one myself at work featuring chocolate (of course).. So here goes – here are my results. 25/40 tried – 15 left to try.

Why not give it a go yourself?

1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
4) Optional extra: Post a comment at www.chocolateheaven-online.com linking to your results.

So here goes:

  1. A 100% Cocoa Chocolate Bar
  2. Chocolate Covered Turkish Delight
  3. Chocolate covered Marzipan
  4. Pralines
  5. Champagne Truffles
  6. Homemade Chocolate IceCream
  7. Hot Chocolate (made with chocolate, not cocoa powder)
  8. Chili Chocolate
  9. Chocolate covered Nougat
  10. Chocolate covered ants (not sure if I would try it or not.. hmm)
  11. Mocha (coffee/chocolate drink)
  12. Mole (Mexcian savoury dish made with chocolate)
  13. Chocolate covered toffee
  14. Chocolate made from Criollo cocoa beans
  15. Chocolate tasted in a chocolate factory
  16. 100% Fairtrade chocolate bar
  17. Chocolate beer
  18. Mississippi Mud Pie
  19. Dulche de Leche
  20. Marshmallows dipped in a chocolate fountain
  21. Chocolate raisins
  22. Chocolate covered coffee beans
  23. Carob bar
  24. Chocolate toothpaste (apparently it does exist!)
  25. Chocolate Wine
  26. Chocolate flavoured chewing gum
  27. Homemade chocolate brownies
  28. Cocoa butter
  29. Chocolate liqueur
  30. Cocoa Nibs
  31. Chocolate sandwich
  32. Chocolate fudge
  33. Chocolate covered strawberries
  34. Baileys hot chocolate
  35. Chocolate milkshake
  36. Dark Chocolate covered ginger pieces
  37. Dark Chocolate Rose & Violet Cremes
  38. Bacon flavoured chocolate
  39. Earl Grey Chocolate
  40. White Chocolate mousse
 

Restaurant Review – Kin Khao October 19, 2008

Filed under: Reviews — nickleickle @ 4:19 pm
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Having heard lots of good thing about Kin Khao Thai Restaurant, we decided to eat there yesterday night for our anniversary.  We were torn between Thai and Lebanese food, but the Thai won in the end because of it’s great reputation.  We will have to save the Lebanese for another occasion!
web analyticsAnyway, Kin Khao will definately be added to our favourite list of restaurants in Athlone.  The decor is cute and cozy, the staff very friendly, and the food exquisite!  We opted for the Early Bird menu for €19.90 per person, which is very reasonable, but if you went for the ordinary menu, you wouldn’t find the price of a meal a whole lot higher than that.

Donal had Won tons for starters, and I had some chicken satay skewers. Both we delicious, and I was really impressed by how fresh the ingredients seemed – the salad on the side was as fresh as if it were just picked! Kin Khao pride themselves in using authentic Thai ingredients, and Thai chefs – and it really pays off.

Our main course was just the right amount of food – I had a Paeng Curry, and Donal had a Mixed Sea-Food Stir Fry.  Both dishes were serves with rice and salad – I had fried rice, and Donal steamed rice.  Both of our meals were on the spicy side, but equally delicious. Most definitely recommended.

We shared a dessert of Sticky Rice Pudding, and were a little disappointed with the size of it – for €6.50, it was a very small serving.  But delicious none-the-less! The coconut/rice/mango combination was really different.

My only other criticism, and it’s a small one, would be that the tables were very close together.  The restaurant space upstairs is fairly limited, so I understand the need to fit in as many tables a possible, but even as I stood up to leave, it was hard to pull the chair far enough back without bumping into the person seated by the table behind me.

So my advice would be to visit Kin Khao if you like spicy food, and would like to try something other than steak and chips! Definite thumbs up from us!

Here is another good review of this restaurant, and here is the Bridgestone entry.

 

Ciao Reviews

Filed under: Reviews — nickleickle @ 3:55 pm
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Click here to read reviews on household items that I have tried and written about!web analytics

 

Jazz is like Guinness…

Filed under: Events — nickleickle @ 3:29 pm
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As mentioned in the previous post, we went to listen to the Elio Villafranca Quartet in Tuar Ard Arts Centre in Moate last night.

I was interested to see what Donal made of it, as it was his first real experience of live jazz.  I thought that his description was very good!  He said that jazz seemed to be like Guinness – you either love it, or you hate it; when you first taste it, it isn’t like anything you have tasted before, but after a while you can acquire a taste for it, and even start to enjoy it!  It was perhaps a little bit more progressive/modern than the jazz I am used to listening to, but it wasn’t so way out that we didn’t enjoy it – we did very much.

The audience for jazz in Moate seems to be very small – only about 30 people turned up – but it didn’t seem to make any difference to Elio and the other musicians! Its a joy to watch people who truly love what they do for a living, and this small group really looked like they were enjoying themselves.  They are extremely talented musicians -I particularly appreciated Elio’s piano playing, and the alto saxophonist/flutist Jane Bunnett.

I think that my favourite piece was one that was composed for a Cuban documentary called “Mirror Dance“.

And a cute little photo of us back at mum & dad’s place in Moateweb analytics