Recipe: Woman Crush Wednesday

Each Tuesday eve brings me the same excitement that some might have on December 24th. I can’t stop thinking of the joy that is bursting through my heart (and this screen from which you’re reading) about my Woman Crush Wednesday. And this week was even more so than ever. Because today I am going to be crushing on a lady so dear to my heart. The amazing chef Fiona Dillon is more than a foodie she is a proper Renaissance lady!  She is a wife, mother, broadcaster, blogger, and business woman as well.


Fiona not only cooks, but grows her own food, keeps chickens and pigs on her farm. There are also bees for honey, and she has a famous goose called Mahatma Gander that lives with the family.  But what I really admire is Fiona’s talent as a writer.  Not just a food writer for hire sharing her talents with magazines and online publications, but her own  books.  I first met her at the Dream It, Do It event which she created with one of my Sunday Spotlight Snap Sistas Nicola Curran of the Naked Blondie. These events help inspire Irish women to achieve their dreams.  She was so welcoming and open with her knowledge.  How on earth does she do it all and keep up with her popular social media channels?   It must be her delish food.


Today’s recipe is going to be a good one.  It’s tasty and healthy and it comes from one of her most special creations, her Freddy Buttons children’s book series.  I LOVE these books.  I received one in my goodie bag at the IBA this Spring.  I gave it to my granddaughter who adores it.  The books are so well written, funny and informative. The illustrations are warm and friendly.  And I love that at the end of the books there is a section with interesting food facts and a recipe as well.  Kids need easy to follow healthy recipes to teach them about food. And Freddy Buttons is the man!  I am so proud of this important venture of Fiona’s and my hope is that Freddy Buttons will travel the world sharing adventures and recipes to all children.  Until then I need to start cooking today’s recipe for Mahatma Muffins.  That is right, it’s an egg muffin. Just the perfect start to the day!


Mahatama’s Muffins


4 medium eggs

1 generous TBSP Glenisk plain yogurt

3 cherry tomatoes chopped finely (optional)

1 slice cooked ham chopped finely (optional)

50 g (1/2 cup) grated cheese

Pinch of mixed herbs (optional)

Salt and pepper


Preheat the oven to 190c/375 f

Rub a cupcake tray with a little oil

Crack the eggs into a bowl and whisk

Add all the other ingredients and mix well

Pour the batter into the cupcake tin and bake for about 20 minutes

Allow to cool slightly and release from tin with a plastic spatula

Mahatma’s Muffins are great for breakfast, lunch, tea and picnics


Well, I’d have to agree with Fiona, these are tasty little treats that are also wholesome and nutritious. What is great is the flexibility and adaptability.  If you have a child that might not like tomatoes than you could omit them all together.  And if I didn’t have ham on hand today I could have used chorizo which would also be lovely.  These egg muffins are delicious hot, but also just as nice cold. Since Hubby isn’t a big breakfast eater during the work week, I could make these in advance and he could take to work for his “elevensies” as the mid morning break is called over here.


I absolutely love all the recipes in the Freddie Buttons book and could have re-created any of them for my live Snapchat cooking tutorial (my username is blissbakery).  However, since Hubby and I are headed out for a little adventure like Freddy Buttons himself, we thought a nice substantial snack for the car ride would fit the bill.


But what I would recommend to anyone reading this that has small children, is to get your hands on a set of Fiona’s books.  Her writing style in the Freddy Buttons series is whimsical and engaging.  They would make a fabulous gift too.  And if you aren’t inclined for the young ins yet, get her book, Food From An Irish Garden.  Fiona doesn’t pretend to have the perfect life, but as the subtitle says, “the good life” and that is what it is.  Good food enjoyed with her family and friends. Fiona knows how to  savor the important things such as back to basics cooking.  And that is why she is my Woman Crush Wednesday. We can all learn a few tricks from her books!

A big button of LOVE,






A Different Sort of Woman Crush Wednesday

Today is my favorite day as it is Wednesday!  The day I spread some love in the culinary world by honoring a female chef.  But today is another significant day.  It is my mother’s birthday and every day on this date since 1990, the day she disappeared, it has been a strange experience . A sad moment of course, but also a day of unresolved emotions. I shared a bit about it last year and you can click here to read it. But in spite of all these mixed emotions, I was also given a gift or shall I say miracle into my life.  This year on October 19th, my mother’s 78th birthday, I was asked to speak at the #NWED (National Women’s Enterprise Day) here in Ireland.

With seven events around the country it is a massive initiative put on by the Local Enterprise Offices. What a great way to support, encourage, and inspire women in business or those wishing to start one. How awesome to have been asked to speak at such an event, which is only because of the courage of Loretta Gavin. But I was on the stage today at the ghotel in Galway with so many formidable women of all facets of business and media. And for me all I had to do share was a story. Though not so easy to tell. However it all  boiled down to one word. LOVE! And that is what got me through it all.

So while many of you might have signed on here today to see which gourmet gal got crushed on and which recipe I cooked (while doing the bad singing and dancing) today you’re getting a story. But it is a story of the Hero’s Challenge that the awesome keynote speaker Natasha Fennel (of Stillwater Communications) shared this afternoon. It is a journey we all take from our first adventure into the world, with all its twists and turns, until we arrive back home.

I will share with you all the lovely details of the event, the ghotel, and all sorts of fabulous women I met for another post.   But for now I thank you! It was the day that is still marinating in my soul. And all I can say is this day has forever been morphed into something a bit more positive than before. Life is wonderful, life is strange, life is  LOVE!

Until next week, Slan! LOVE


P.S. If you’d like to check out the 45 previous awesome Woman Crush Wednesday honorees click here. Lots of inspiration and fab recipes to be found!

Recipe: Woman Crush Wednesday


I’m back in London and on fire to honor another gorgeous gourmet gal for Woman Crush Wednesday. After a break last week (though I did a comprehensive round up of the amazing chefs honored so far, which you can read here) I am ready to bust out some bad singing and dancing.  Of course only to compliment the awesome recipe on the docket. Today’s honoree is the talented chef, blogger and now a first time published cookery book writer Ayesha Curry.


Ayesha is a dual citizen like myself, though she is an American/Canadian citizen. She lives in San Francisco with her husband (basketball player Stephen Curry) and their two beautiful little girls Riley and Ryan.  She grew up with a mom who loved to cook and those culinary skills obviously rubbed off. Especially this recipe for Roasted Brown Sugar Chicken which I will re-create live on Snapchat . As usual, this is a recipe I have never made before. So you will see every step if you watch (my username is blissbakery) and I’ll post the photos below. So let’s get cooking!


4 Chicken Quarters
salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp chopped shallots
3 cloves chopped garlic
3/4 cup (177 ml) chicken stock/broth
1 cup (236 ml) low sodium soy sauce
2 cups (372 g) brown sugar
1 heaping tbsp freshly chopped ginger
Preheat oven to 350F/180c degrees. Heat a dutch pot on med high to high heat with your butter and olive oil. Generously salt and pepper your chicken quarters. Brown the skin of your chicken in the pot for about 2 mins on each side until it’s crisp and golden brown. Remove the chicken quarters and reduce the heat to medium. Add in the shallots and garlic. Deglaze the pot with the chicken stock. Scrape down all of the sides to make sure you get all of the delicious seasonings and flavors into the broth (I’m hungry already!). Add in the soy sauce, brown sugar and ginger. Simmer the sauce for about 5-10 mins. Add the chicken quarters back into the pot, place the lid on and bake for 45min to an hour. The chicken will be flavorful and falling off the bone. Mmm mmm mmmm!


Okay, for real, you have to make this recipe. It was so delicious and mouth watering. Literally the chicken fell off the bone it was so tender and  just melts in your mouth!  Hubby ate his and started in on mine too when I left the table for a moment. And the rice cooked in coconut milk was the perfect side dish. Even the broccolini was nice and sharp, crisp and a healthy green side. I’d make this whole dinner again in a heart beat!  LOVE!


Speaking of hearts, Ayesha is such a giving and kind hearted person. Even though busy with her cooking career and family (she was an actress and model before she had children) she makes time for philanthropic endeavors. Such as her wonderful  Little Lights of Mine in which she donates to the to No Kid Hungry campaign to feed hungry children for every bottle of her olive oil that is sold. It is refreshing that she is open about her Christian faith. So many celebrities feel the need to hide their religious beliefs for fear of alienating any of their followers. But Ayesha and her husband actually met as teenagers at their church. This foundation has kept their relationship rooted and grounded and they are delighted to share that with the world.


I so loved doing a #WCW for Ayesha. I hope she enjoys it as much as Hubby and I enjoyed her delish chicken.  And with two girls of her own ( I have one daughter and two granddaughters) having some #girlpower is a good thing!

Yummy LOVE!



A Virtual Hug for World Mental Health Day


These days there are so many designated events on the calendar such as “national donut day” or “international bacon day” that it is hard to keep up. Not that I have anything against them, I love donuts and bacon. But today is a day I hope most of us can get behind and support. World Mental Health Day. I wrote about my own experiences with depression here on the blog before. The main importance of that was to demystify the stereotype. I am a cheerful person, how could I have gone through depression? Well I did and by my sharing I hope to enlighten and encourage others.  It is also a way to remove the stigma. And that is why I love this day so much.

I’d like to think that today people would take the opportunity to talk, share, connect and let our humanness shine forth. Social media is all well and good.  Even though I am late to the game I love it.  But unless it is serving a higher purpose then what is the point?  There are many folks out there where social media is their life line. And many have shared with me their struggles with mental health.  When someone is there to listen and empathize it means we are not alone. We can support one another even if we don’t live in the same town. “Seek first to understand, then be understood” as the saying goes.

Why is talking so important? Well I’ve always said it is “better to talk it out, than take it out.” By that I mean that if people are suffering from mental health issues, they can take their frustrations out on themselves through self harm, addiction or even suicide. They can take it out on another through abuse or abandonment. The destructive cycle just gets perpetuated. However when the illness is channelled in a more positive way such as talking (and possibly medication) the cycle can be broken.  That is what happened in my case.

From my experience living in Los Angeles for more than 35 years, there are more therapists than supermarkets and dry cleaners combined. In fact many people have more than one therapist. Talking about “issues” seems to be a bit easier for Americans anyway, as the stereotypical Yankee is chatty and open.  As for addictions, AA meetings have become the new “pick up” place. Some alcoholics anonymous meetings in L.A. literally have a line around the block. Everyone is trying to get in!  But there can still be a stigma about deeper mental health issues such as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia for instance. This is a generalized statement only based on personal experience, but people will talk about depression and anxiety but if you want to discuss more severe forms they kind of check out. Okay that’s TMI.  Whereas if you talk about cancer and its various stages they aren’t as squeamish. Does this make sense?  So even though Americans are more open there is still work to be done there.

In other parts of the world such as Ireland it is only recently that people are really able to freely discuss mental health issues. One person who has been a massive role model is Social Media Influencer Rosemary MacCabe.  In fact in one of the first times I watched her on Snapchat she showed her journey to her therapist appointment and was open about her struggles with mental health. This is so important for people to see as it normalizing it. In the next snap she might be out shopping for new shoes or meeting a friend for brunch. The same as if she had a sore knee from too much training. But no one would blink about a knee. Yet when you say depression and anxiety in Ireland it has been known to make people recoil. Oddly enough, though the stereotype of an Irish person is joyful and cheery, often that isn’t the case, in the deeper sense. But now it is becoming acceptable for people to admit that without the fear of judgement and rejection.

In essence today is a day that is so needed in modern day society.  With so much information at our fingertip what we also need is a caring human being to hold our hands and tell us it is going to be okay. We have probably all been touched by mental health issues in our small circle whether family, friends or ourselves. It is okay to not be okay as the saying goes. So if you are racing around today and find someone upsets you for walking too slowly, take a deep breath and try to smile. That person just might be going through a bout of depression after the birth of their child.  And if you are feeling overwhelmed with work commitments and starting to feel anxious to the point of hyperventilating, its okay. Take a deep breath and talk about it with someone you trust. Chances are they’ll understand. We are all broken in our own unique way.

I once heard the quote, “we aren’t human beings trying to be spiritual, we are spiritual beings trying to be human”. Let’s embrace our humanness by reaching out to another that might need a hand. It will help us too I am sure of that!

Be Kind! Give Hugs, Real or Virtual,


Recipe: A Different Sort of Italian

I’ve had a love affair with opera since I was a kid. All thanks to a certain Bugs Bunny cartoon!

I’ve been blessed to have been able to see numerous live opera performances over the years. And this weekend, for a welcome back treat, Hubby got us tickets to see The Barber of Seville  at the Royal Opera House in London!!! Since it coincided with my weekly Snapchat takeover of Cookreel’s account (their username is cookreel) I decided to fashion it into an Italian theme. Yes I know Seville is in Spain, but the composer of the opera is the famous Italian Gioachino Rossini.


Before our venture up the Thames River into town to the theater, food was on the docket.  What are two of the most iconic Italian dishes, spaghetti and tiramisu of course. But me being me I had to do a spin on each.  So I created a vegetarian gluten free spaghetti made with courgetti (courgette/zucchini noodles) and made a deconstructed tiramisu. Both of these dishes are so delicious and super easy. I have posted the tiramisu recipe on here before, but have never done it for a Snapchat cooking tutorial. By the way my own Snapchat username is blissbakery in case you ever want to check out the fun. This version of the decadent Italian favorite makes for a fun interactive dessert and it doesn’t have to be made well in advance as traditional tiramisu recipes. The courgetti is a very flexible recipe and one where you could add prawns/shrimp (as I have done in the past) or chicken if protein was in order. Or you could add some mushrooms for an earthy taste.  It is one of those dishes that adapts to what you have on hand and I love those kind!

Vegetarian Courgetti Spaghetti



3 large Zucchini aka Courgettes

Tomatoes (use 6-8 large vine ripened tomatoes which have been peeled and chopped or you can use a tin of chopped tomatoes)

2 cloves Garlic, minced

1 Onion, finely chopped

1 stalk of celery chopped

1 carrot, peeled and finely diced

¼ cup mixed fresh chopped herbs (such as rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil, parsley)

6 Sundried Tomatoes, diced (and a couple TBSP of the oil they come packed in. If you can’t find them in a jar with the oil, you can buy them dried, but then use olive oil to sauté the veg)

½ head Cauliflower, remove from the stalk and then broken up into tiny bits

1-2 Tbsp red wine

½ cup Pine nuts, toasted to sprinkle on top

Grated parmesan cheese if desired for the top

Salt and pepper


Spiralize the zucchini into noodles and set aside. Heat the oil in the frying pan and sauté the onions for a minute. Season with salt and pepper. Then add the garlic, celery and carrots and herbs. Cook for 5 minutes or until soft. Deglaze the pan by adding the red wine to the pan and let it cook off a bit. Add the tomatoes, sundried tomatoes and cauliflower and season a bit more and cook covered for 10-15 mins. When ready to serve pop the noodles into the pan with the sauce and cook only for a minute or so until the noodle get a bit soft. But not too much or they will become soggy. Taste and adjust seasoning. You could also add some chili pepper flakes if you like a bit of heat. Put on a plate and sprinkle with the pine nuts and grated parmesan cheese.


Deconstructed Tiramisu



4 Tbsp strong espresso coffee

2 Tbsp Coffee Liquor

85 g (3 oz) dark chocolate, roughly grated

2 Tbsp caster (fine granulated) sugar

½ cup (4 oz or 116 g) mascarpone cheese

½ cup cream

4 Tbsp icing sugar (powdered sugar)

1 tsp vanilla extract

24 Boudoir Biscuits (Lady Fingers)


Mix the coffee with the sugar in a saucepan. Over a low, heat stir constantly until the sugar dissolves. Simmer over very low heat for one minute. Remove from the heat and add the coffee liquor. Then let it cool, placing it in the fridge when the pan is no longer hot to the touch.

Next place the mascarpone in a bowl, along with cream, icing sugar and the vanilla extract. Whisk until soft peaks just begin to form.

To serve, place the coffee mixture in a small cup, the mascarpone mixture in a small cup and the chocolate shavings in a small cup. Place them on a plate along with three Boudoir Biscuits. The diner can then dip away at their heart’s content with a personal deconstructed tiramisu!


After the culinary creations it was a dash to get into city center to see the opera. But we had some pretty sights of London on the way via our boat on the River Thames.


The opera was simply mesmerizing and it certainly helped we had front row seats. Wow what a treat!  Hubby and I had been to the Royal Opera House Covent Garden once before several years ago, but it was to see the ballet Romeo and Juliet. It is amazing that this theater originally built in 1732 is actually the third construction as the first two were damaged in fires. It is so lush and fancy with all the red velvet and even the audience comes well dressed in tuxedos and ball gowns. But what I love most is that a piece of art, an opera, can still be enjoyed many years after it was first created. Like classic food dishes that can be recreated and appreciated today too. So I hope you enjoy my versions of these Italian delicacies. And most definitely you should check out an opera just to see the beauty of it all!  Even if only on youtube. Like tasting new foods, a small bite helps to wet the palate for more!

Thats Amore LOVE!


P.S. A massive thanks to Cookreel for the opportunity to share my passion for cooking with all of you via their Snapchat Takeovers. Long may they last! I would write an opera for them if I could, but if you’ve heard my bad singing you know my musical skills are lacking.  LOL! So I’d better stick to my pots and pans!


Woman Crush Wednesday Recap #6


It’s Wednesday, my fav day of the week, yippee!  It is also the last day before I say goodbye to America and my daughter and family. My least fav day of my life! Whenever I have been unable to do a Woman Crush Wednesday due to travel and not having a kitchen I post a recap of several of the most recent recipients. And though tomorrow I will have a kitchen, my daughter’s which she’s kindly let me use these past two weeks, I decided to post a recap. Yep, I am gonna take the day to enjoy their company, pack my things and wipe some tears. However, I’m going to post a roundup of the last nine fabulous foodie females that have received the love from me on my weekly episodes. And they have provided fantastic recipes that we have all enjoyed!  I’ll be back next week with another installment of this awesome celebration of gorgeous gourmet gals out there setting the culinary world on fire!


Madeleine Shaw is a not only a chef but also a breath of fresh air. She glows for a reason as she cooks delicious food that is also good for your insides. It isn’t a surprise that this Londoner (who made the conversion to a healthier lifestyle while living abroad in Australia) has a successful blog and other popular social media. But her best selling cookbooks speak for themselves. And they say, “go ahead and lick my pages” because each recipe is that good! I made two of her recipes, her “Life Changing” Spicy Tomato Soup and her Spinach Bread, for my Snapchat cooking tutorial on the day (my username is blissbakery).  You can make them yourself if you click here for the recipe and story about her.


I had the absolute best time recreating Irish chef Sharon Hearne Smith’s totally mouth watering no bake Chocolate Date and Peanut Butter Bars. In fact if you click here for the story and recipe and choose not to make them, I think I might have to make them for you, but will probably eat the whole batch myself!  They are very simple and yet impressive at the same time.  And Sharon herself is actually beyond impressive. She is so genuine, sweet and quite humble about her culinary prowess. I love her whole retro vibe and even tried the look out when I recreated her recipe live for the Snapchat tutorial. It made me appreciate her even more! I’m used to my comfy chefs clothes yet her effortless style just makes me love her even more.


Ching He Huang is one of the most knowledgable chefs on Asian cuisine. Born in Taiwan but now makes London her home, this powerhouse has written numerous successful cookery books and is a household name in the U.K. due to her television appearances. She a wonderful person and involved in so many charitable causes. I recreated her Shredded Duck Lettuce Wraps which my hubby devoured in no time. I must make them again soon, just thinking about them makes me hungry. If you too want to be transported to Asia through your palate, click here for the recipe and the story about this amazing chef!


Sarit Packer is one half of the founding team of the London restaurant Honey and Co. But since my series is about crushing on the women, her lovely husband Itamar will have to bask in the glow of his gorgeous wife and fantastic chef. I visited their restaurant twice now and can hardly wait to go again. They are expanding and the cookbooks keep rolling in too. The success is so well deserved and I’m delighted that Middle Eastern cuisine is gaining mainstream popularity due in part to Sarit’s fabulous recipes. And one of my all time favs is her Pomegranate Molasses Chicken. Click here to check out the deliciousness and learn more about this inspirational woman!


I just love Paula Deen. A true Southern Belle who is shares her family and her recipes generously. I baked her scrumptious Hummingbird Cake recipe, which you can click here if you’d like to give it a go yourself. It really is a showstopper dessert that is a proud centerpiece at any event. I had the pleasure of visiting Paula’s restaurant in Savannah, Georgia and with a line around the block, along with her best selling books and television shows, this woman is a real role model for women achieving their dreams. Especially since she hasn’t had the easiest time of things in life. But that’s why I love her as she tries her best to carry on and certainly cooking is one way (of which I can relate) that healing can be attained.


New York born chef Ruth Rodgers has lived in the U.K. for many years and is one of the founders of the Michelin Star restaurant River Cafe. Hubby and I enjoyed a fabulous meal there a few years ago and I can agree this place deserves all the accolades. And the number of chefs that have worked there and gone on to their own success is astounding. In large part due to Ruth’s skills in the kitchen and management. It’s no wonder she was awarded the MBE from Queen Elizabeth II in 2010. For my Snapchat cooking tutorial I made Ruth’s outstanding Pasta with Asparagus and Herbs. Click here if you’d like to recreate this dish or just read about the amazing achievements of this most worthy WCW honoree.


Mary Berry is a British national treasure. She has done more for home cooking than most anyone else. Her recipes are easy to recreate yet are still very impressive. In her 81 years old she has written over 70 cook books besides numerous television shows. Of course the most popular of late is the Great British Bake Off. So with that show in full swing on television this season I decided to make one of her desserts. Though funny enough when I saw her at the BBC Good Food Show she actually demonstrated a savory dish. But since I love Banoffi Pie, I recreated her recipe and was so glad I did. It is so delicious! Please click here and give it a go yourself. You’ll be happy you did! We owe Mary Berry a debt of gratitude for her contribution to the culinary world.


Marina Delio is the author of the popular blog The Yummy Mummy Kitchen and recipe book of the same name. Her food is as beautiful as she is. And it is delicious too. I recreated her Protein Nice Cream Pies which are dairy, gluten and sugar free and they were a big hit here at my daughter’s house with my granddaughter. Harper is dairy free so finding treats for her can be a challenge. In fact it was my daughter who told me about Marina as she knew  of her from when she and my son in law lived in Santa Barbara where Marina lives. If you’d like to try some healthy recipes yet still want to feel like you’re splurging, then click here!


Cliodhna Prednergast was my most recent Woman Crush Wednesday. If you missed my Snapchat cooking tutorial last week then you missed a fabulous recipe for Orange Cranberry Cookies. You also missed the usual bad singing and dancing I do when I am doing my love fest for the chefs. But I am sure you aren’t sorry about skipping that. But you can still click here to read my love story to Cliodhna, get the recipe and also learn more about this inspirational woman. She is not only a chef, but also the creator of the Lens and Larder workshops (along with another WCW recipient Imen McDonnell). Cliodhna is also the founder of Breaking Eggs a blog and video series to help teach children to cook.

So there you have it, a full recap of the last nine Woman Crush Wednesday chefs! If you’d like a recap of the previous ones you can click here, here, here, here,  and here.  Forty four amazing human beings who just so happen to be women working in the world of food. But I am sure even if they were in another industry, they’d be shining lights. They are all creative, hard working and inspiring. And thanks for all your support of this fun and educational weekly segment. Hope to see you back next week. I’ve already got the honoree, recipe and of course the infamous songs all lined up for the Snapchat tutorial and also a post for this blog.

Girl Power and Love,


Happy Birthday with Triple H




Today was my daughter Heather’s 34th birthday. It’s strange to say that number. It only seems like yesterday that she was one year old and the famous German children’s photographer Hella Hammid captured images of my precious little baby. Now Heather has two babies of her own. Well one is a very darling five year old little girl named Harper and the other is a cute one year old baby named Hope. So I am thoroughly blessed three times with H’s!



I am lucky that I was able to be here to celebrate the occasion and get to soak in over two weeks of special memory making. Last year I was in London and of course it is hard to be apart at all let alone on special occasions. I wrote a blog post on my daughter’s birthday last year. Click here if you’d like to read it. It was early stages of this blog, but re-reading it, I have to say it was a cathartic and honest piece.  Life isn’t easy, let’s face it.  Yet it is so wonderful and I wouldn’t change a thing.  I just want to savor the good and learn from the bad. And for this day, I’m grateful to be Heather’s mom as well as Harper and Hope’s “Amma” (their nickname for me).


Because I am here with them in America, I don’t have access to all my photos. But Heather has the book of the Hella Hammid photos. These memories and the ones we are creating now are what make us humans so unique. Though Heather came from my body she is absolutely her own soul. And my granddaughters are totally different from one another. But we share the same blood and more importantly share LOVE. That is the one element that is timeless!


Triple H LOVE,


Recipe: Woman Crush Wednesday


As we near the end of September and autumn is indeed here, it’s another weekly opportunity to shower a female chef with some foodie love. I look forward to Woman Crush Wednesday as it’s such a joy for me to honor these inspirational ladies making a difference in a male dominated profession. Today I am delighted to share with you a most wonderful Irish woman and mommy of three.  The fact that she is an amazing talent in the kitchen is just part of the story. She has combined her culinary wizardry with her passion for teaching children to cook into a website and video series called Breaking Eggs. Even if you don’t have children, it is a must watch. The stunning footage of the best Ireland has to offer, along with wonderful recipes, make Cliondhna Prendergast a goddess of the gourmet world!


I had the wonderful fortune of meeting beautiful and friendly Cliondhna on two occasions. Once at the London book signing for Imen McDonnell (another of my Woman Crush Wednesday honorees) and a second time at the Ballymaloe Lit Fest at a presentation the two were giving. They are the creators of the popular Lens and Larder workshops. It is my dream to attend one day, but until then I will continue to drool over their otherworldly photos of foodie scenes. I suppose it is all about telling a story. And I could stay mesmerized for days with their stories!  But as I do each week, I recreate a recipe from the WCW recipient’s arsenal. So I’d better get to it! I am going to be baking Cliodhna’s Christmas Cranberry and Orange Stars. Because let’s get real, Christmas is only 87 days away! These look simple but delightfully unique with the orange zest and cranberry combo. I’ll be doing the demo live on Snapchat (username blissbakery) so try to come see it if you can as it will only be available to view for 24 hours.


8oz (1 and 3/4 cups or 210 g)  Self -raising Flour
5oz (141 g) butter
4oz (1/2 cup or 100 g) caster sugar
1 egg
4oz (112 g)  Dried Cranberries ( chopped a little for easy cookie cutting)
Finely grated zest of 1 ½ oranges
Rub the Flour and butter together to a rough breadcrumb texture.
Add the sugar and mix in.
Add the grated orange zest and the dried cranberries and mix in.
Beat the egg and add to the dry ingredients and mix together.
Wash your hands and turn the dough onto a floured surface and flatten a little.
If you have time rest it in the fridge for 30 min, it makes it easier to deal with when its not so soft.
Roll out to about ¼ “ thick and with a star cookie cutter, cut and place on a lined oven tray ½ “ apart.
Bake at 350f/180c/gas mark 4 for approx. 7 minutes.
All ovens are different, these do not need to brown very much, there should just be a slight color at the edges.


Myself a mommy of two (and granny of two as well) I admire Cliodhna’s ethos on feeding her family, by not only nourishing their bodies but also their souls. Her children are blessed to be reared by someone so in touch with food from its very essence. Her experience chefing at numerous popular restaurants along with her experience at Ballymaloe (my alma mater) has certainly given her credibility. But she has earned the respect from so many in the field beyond the kitchen. Her campaign to help fight childhood obesity and her emphasis on highlighting artisan food producers and eating locally sourced food has helped Ireland see these issues from a different vantage point. With her new writing assignment with the Sunday Times even more folks will glean wisdom from this amazing chef!

Cliodhna with her three gorgeous kids who feature in the Breaking Eggs cooking videos.

Cookie LOVE,


Recipe: Woman Crush Wednesday

A while back I shared a delicious recipe and story called “Hand Me Ups” which refers to things I get passed up to me from my daughter. Well for this week’s edition of Woman Crush Wednesday I am in the U.S.A. with my daughter and family. And she kindly pointed me in the direction for this week’s honoree.


The lovely Marina Delio of the Yummy Mummy Kitchen is a wife and mommy, famous foodie blogger, self taught chef and cookery book writer. I remembered seeing the cookbook at my daughter’s house when they used to live in Santa Barbara.  She even has mutual friends with Marina though they never met while my daughter lived there. But the fabulous  Marina’s sumptuous and healthy recipes are perfect for this wonderful day. It is a chance to celebrate what some gorgeous gourmet gals are cooking up in the kitchen. Marina is the queen of beautiful everything and her food is only one of the fantastic inspirations you’ll find on her social media platforms.


Today I am going to recreate one of her recent delights, Protein Nice Cream Pies.  Since my granddaughter is dairy intolerant, this is a treat she can enjoy too.  Marina is the mummy of two little girls, like my daughter. And they love to help in the kitchen. Which is a great way to teach kids about food from its source. Though my granddaughter isn’t here while I make these for my live cooking tutorial on Snapchat (username blissbakery) I am sure she will help me devour these when she gets home from school. And they will keep in the freezer for days (if they last that long).



  • 1 cup (143 g)  almonds
  • 1/2 cup (40 g) unsweetened flaked coconut
  • 1 cup (226 g) pitted medjool dates
  • pinch of Himalayan or sea salt
  • 6 cups frozen banana slices, thawed for about 5 minutes (about 6 bananas)
  • 6 scoops chocolate protein powder, OLLY recommended
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml)  almond milk
  • 1/3 cup (85 g) smooth peanut butter, plus more for garnish
  • 1/3 cup (40 g) raspberries, halved
  • 2 tablespoons cacao nibs (optional)
  • To make the crusts, place almonds, coconut, and dates into the bowl of a food processor. Blend until nuts are coarsely ground and mixture just holds together. Not too long, or it will turn into nut butter! Taste and add a pinch of salt if desired. Coat a muffin tin with cooking spray. Scoop tablespoons of crust into each muffin tin well and press firmly into the bottom. Place in the freezer and rinse the food processor.
  • To make the nice cream, you want frozen but not rock hard bananas. I let mine sit on the counter while I make the crust. Place the bananas and protein powder into food processor. Blend until smooth. This takes a few minutes. Add milk if needed (NOTE: I didn’t need to use any almond milk when I made it) to turn the food processor or wait a few minutes while the bananas thaw a bit more. Taste and add more protein powder if desired. Add the peanut butter and blend or swirl in.
  • Smooth the banana mixture into the muffin tin over the crusts. To make peanut butter swirls, place small drops of peanut butter over the nice cream mixture and swirl with a toothpick. Garnish with raspberries and/or cacao nibs if desired. Freeze until firm, at least an hour. Store in the freezer.

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Wow these were super easy to make and are absolutely delicious. I know I am a self professed peanut butter addict, but even if you weren’t I think these would win you over. They are light and refreshing for a warm day and filling enough so you don’t miss all the “baddies”. No dairy, no wheat, no refined sugar and totally vegan, but filled with so much flavor and texture, this is a winning recipe for sure!  I made six with the raspberries and cacao nibs on top as Marina suggested. But I also made six without either and just a little drizzle of dark chocolate on top. Both looked great and tasted amazing, even my granddaughter was impressed!


With one successful cookbook under her belt I get the feeling another is on the way. She makes her food simple so that the precious ingredients do the talking.  Her photos seem effortless yet her amazing eye and skill as a photographer serve her in good stead.  And Marina’s Instagram is so stunning you’ll have to refrain yourself from licking the screen on your mobile device when you see her daily posts. But what impresses me most about the Yummy Mummy is her devotion to her family.  She is a wonderful role model about healthy living and life style balance.


Thanks Marina for your fantastic contribution to the ever evolving culinary conversation. Not only for other chefs like myself, but for budding kitchen queens like your daughters and my granddaughters. For children to grow up knowing they can create food that is not only good, but good for you, is a wonderful philosophy. You’re a yummy mummy and a wonder woman in the foodie world!

With love and admiration,


Recipe: Cornhusker State Corn Cakes


The old saying “When in Rome” has been used to cover any city in which you “should do as the locals do”.  In the case of this week’s Snapchat takeover of Cookreel’s channel, it was a must to make anything with corn as the main ingredient.  I was in Lincoln, Nebraska my Hubby’s birthplace. We were visiting his family and attending a University of Nebraska Cornhuskers football game. Lucky for us we were staying with his brother and sister in law and they kindly let me use their kitchen to make the most delicious Sweet Corn Cakes. Like pancakes but even better as the little kernels of corn are a texture of delight for your mouth.


The thing about this recipe is its versatility. You can use the same batter and make it a savory or a sweet dish. I did both for the snapchat culinary creation. I made a stack of the corn cakes with some fresh organic blueberries and drizzled some organic blueberry syrup on top. It was a big hit with the very patient customers (all the family). I was having some wifi issues and couldn’t let them eat the corn cakes until I had finished uploading the snaps! Even though it has since expired, you could always check out my Snapchat account (username blissbakery) or Cookreel for some yum foodie fun!


I also plated up the cakes stacked with some maple bacon, sautéed greens (done with olive oil, garlic and onion), Trader Joe’s Cowboy Caviar (a corn/black bean salsa) and a fried egg and sprinkle of green onion on top. This could also be done vegetarian without the bacon and sautéed mushrooms and shaved parmesan cheese as a fab alternative.  If one wanted a spicy kick, you could add finely diced peppers to the batter or some chile powder. Just look through the recipe and get inspired!  I used corn flour which meant that this recipe was totally gluten free. But if you can’t find it you can substitute for regular plain flour (all purpose flour).



  • 1 1/2 cups (235g) corn flour (see Note, below)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder (preferably aluminum-free)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons (55g) butter, at room temperature, cubed
  • 1 cup (250ml) whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 ears of fresh corn (2 cups kernels, 300g)
  • 2 large eggs, separated
  • 1 large egg white
  1. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt in a large bowl.
  2. In a small saucepan, heat the butter with the milk and honey, until the butter is melted. Set aside until tepid, then make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and stir in the milk mixture, the 2 egg yolks, the corn.
  3. In a clean, dry bowl, beat the 3 egg whites until stiff and they hold their shape, then fold them completely into the corn mixture.
  4. Heat some butter in a skillet. When hot, spoon batter in flat round into the pan, spaced apart using a large spoon.
  5. Let the corn cakes cook until browned on the bottom and starting to bubble around the edges. Flip the corn cakes with a spatula and cook on the other side for about a minute, until lightly browned on the reverse side.
  6. Serve two ways, sweet by using fresh blueberries on top and blueberry syrup. For a savory option top the cakes with a poached or fried egg and bacon with some corn salsa or avocado.  You can also serve with some sautéed greens. Just cook spinach or other greens in a pan using olive oil and onion and garlic, salt and pepper for flavor.

Note: Corn flour is not the same as cornmeal; it’s very finely ground corn. You can grind cornmeal in a blender to replicate corn flour. In Ireland and the United Kingdom, corn flour refers to corn starch (which should not be used for this recipe because it is actually a starchy thickener for sauces)


As I do every Saturday with my Cookreel episode, I take the viewers on a gastronomic expedition. And with a football game, some awesome tailgating parties were on the docket. BBQ’s, all sorts of snacks and treats and of course amazing liquid libations. However, this week Cookreel asked me to do a take over of their Facebook Live account for this part of the presentation. However, if you’ve gained anything form me beyond my recipes, you’ll know I am a major non tech. But I uploaded (or is it downloaded) the app necessary to complete the mission. What I didn’t anticipate were the wifi challenges and of course my ineptness in navigating the ins and outs of Facebook Live. Since I’m not on Facebook myself it was a bit awkward.


By the time it was all sorted the game had started. I did some of the posts in the sea of Big Red and showed some typical stadium snacks (total junk food actually) but didn’t get to do as much as I had hoped. Maybe next time things will go a bit smoother. Nevertheless it is always a total blast doing these take overs and an huge honor to do so. Thanks Cookreel for your support and faith in me. And thanks to Mark and Sara (plus Abbie, Sophia and Grace) for letting me do my bad singing and dancing cooking tutorial in your beautiful home. Love you guys!

Even Snappy and Rose Kitty had a blast in Nebraska!

LOVE and Husker Hugs


P.S. The recipe is a variation from the wonderful David Leibovitz