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Beer, Food, Travel, Laughs, Best Bars & Restaurants in the World, and a few bad oysters…

The Culinary Love Band bring you the most innovative Food and Drink concepts inspired by adventures around the world!

The Food & Beer Geeks follows restaurateur Brian Patton and Michelin Star chef Peter Zinter around the world while they gather inspiration, meet amazing people and try some of the worlds most exciting food and drink.

One Episode released every Wednesday beginning 1st of July 2015. Season One comprises of 7 Episodes.

Check out their blog at

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This is the easiest and possibly yummiest chocolate fudge recipe.

Chocolate marshmallow brown sugar fudge – Lorraine Pascale

Make this recipe for delicious, creamy fudge with very little fuss (and no sugar thermometers).

vegetable oil, for greasing

70g/2½oz butter

300g/10½oz soft light brown sugar

125g/4½oz evaporated milk

225g/8oz marshmallows

300g/10½oz milk chocolate, chopped

75g/3oz dark chocolate (at least 60% cocoa solids), chopped

Preparation method
1.Grease a 20cm/8in square cake tin with vegetable oil, then line with greaseproof paper.

2.Put the butter, sugar and milk in a pan over a low heat and melt gently. Once the sugar has dissolved, add the marshmallows and turn up the heat. Boil the fudge for 5-6 minutes.

3.Take the pan off the heat and add the grated chocolate. Leave for one minute, then stir the mixture together until everything is melted.

4.Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and leave to set for a couple of hours. Once set, remove from the tin and cut into 25 squares and enjoy.

For all you foodies out there, there’s a new blog on the block – check out Charlie P’s new blog for inspiration, new recipes and to learn about new Irish food heroes. Charlie P’s is an Irish Gastropub based in Vienna, Austria. It opened its doors in 1997 and in February 2010, it expanded to include the Dining Room bringing quality, up-market Irish food to the pub environment. As part of this and to share the team’s enthusiasm and passion for food and beer, they have recently launched a blog. It was officially launched on April 11th with a five-course food and beer matching night.

If in Vienna, it’s certainly worth a visit or if in Ireland, it’s certainly worth following the blog.

I had a really enjoyable experience at Jacob’s Creek Wine & Dine last Tuesday evening. Jacob’s Creek are hosting their ‘Wine & Dine Experience’ in Dublin, Cork, Galway and Waterford this March and April. For one night only, 50 guests in each location are invited to take part in a free wine tasting masterclass and delicious dining experience, which will encourage them to ‘See Beyond The Label’ and discover the true character of the wine and food on offer. And all I had to do to reserve a space at this event was to visit the ‘Wine & Dine Experience’ tab on the left of their Facebook page.

The Dublin event took place in Tailors Hall which dates from 1706 and is the only remaining Guild Hall in Dublin. It was the meeting place of the Guild of Merchant Tailors from 1706 to 1841. It is now the headquarters of An Taisce, The National Trust for Ireland. On the night we were introduced to the wines from the Jacob’s Creek winery by top wine expert, TV3’s David Whelehan and enjoyed a delicious three course meal prepared by award winning Chef, Neil Shirt who has used the Jacob’s Creek wine range as inspiration for his menu.

We arrived at 7pm and were greeted with a glass of sparkling rose and a string quartet. We were introduced to the chef, Neil Shirt who explained his inspiration behind the menu and his love for Irish produce. We started off with an amuse bouche of McConnell’s Smoked Irish Duck with Horseradish, Poached Rhubarb and Lamb’s Lettuce followed by a starter of Marinated Clare Island Organic Salmon with Warm potato, lemon and chive salad. Both of which were lovely dishes but the star of the show was the main course of slow cooked shoulder of wicklow lamb with spring vegetables, pressed potato and red wine jus. It was melt in the mouth and cooked for 16 hours at 80 degrees. Each course was served with a selection of Jacob’s Creek wines from the classic and the reserve range introduced by wine expert, David Whelehan. The cheese selection was a choice of Irish and continental cheeses followed by tea, coffee and petit fours. All in all it was a truly enjoyable experience and we left feeling pleasantly full after the delicious food, a little merry and with more knowledge of wine to rival any expert, well at least to know to look out for Jacob’s Creek on the supermarket shelves!

There are more evenings planned in Cork, Galway and Waterford so if you are in those locations, I’d recommend entering the competition for a really lovely evening. Simply go to the Jacob’s Creek Facebook page for more details.

Looking for a easy to make but impressive and tasty dessert, then look no further. Try this idiot-proof recipe for Tiramisu meaning “pick-me-up” in Italian. I’d recommend Tia Maria instead of Marsala, making it a day in advance and three layers are better than two.

Find the recipe here:

Rachel allen’s dark chocolate and stem ginger biscuits
150g plain flour
25g of rice (or corn) flour
125g butter
50g light brown sugar
75g chopped crystallised stem ginger

1. Mix up until it comes together as a dough
2. Roll into balls onto a baking tray.
3. Flatten slightly with a wet fork.
4. Place in a preheated moderate oven (160) for 12-15 minutes.
5. Leave to cool completely.
6. Brush/dip with melted dark chocolate (70% in coco solids)

Excellent anytime but also make great edible pressies. I made them without the ginger and they were lovely.

A easy but tasty way to entertain a la Nigella Lawson. It’s bung everything in a tray and bake in the oven – easy peasy!

•2 x 15ml tablespoons regular olive oil
•12 chicken thighs (bone in, with skin)
•750g chorizo sausages, whole if baby ones, or cut into 4cm chunks if regular-sized
•1kg new potatoes, halved
•2 red onions, peeled and roughly chopped
•2 teaspoons dried oregano grated
•zest 1 orange

1. Preheat the oven to 220°C/gas mark 7. Put the oil in the bottom of 2 shallow roasting tins, 1 tablespoon in each. Rub the skin of the chicken in the oil, then turn skin-side up, 6 pieces in each tin.
2. Divide the chorizo sausages and the new potatoes between the 2 tins. Sprinkle the onion and the oregano over, then grate the orange zest over the contents of the 2 tins.
3. Cook for 1 hour, but after 30 minutes, swap the top tray with the bottom tray in the oven and baste the contents with the orange-coloured juices.
Serves: 6

And with the leftovers, make yourself Chicken Quesadillas.
So, just get as many soft flour tortillas as your leftovers command, take the bones out of the chicken, dice the meat along with the chorizo and potatoes, and stir in some diced, shredded or grated cheese (Cheddar, mozzarella, Monterey Jack, all are possible), dollop some of the mixture into each tortilla, fold, then griddle or fry.


The big question after christmas is always what to do with leftovers, well here’s the answer a la Jamie Oliver – it’s simple and yummy.

• 2 rashers smoked streaky bacon, the best quality you can afford, roughly chopped
• ½ bunch of fresh thyme, leaves picked
• olive oil
• a large knob of butter
• 2kg leeks, washed, trimmed; white end chopped into chunks, green end finely sliced
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 800g cooked white turkey meat, torn into big chunks (brown too if you want)
• 2 heaped tablespoons plain flour, plus extra for dusting
• 2 pints turkey, chicken or vegetable stock, preferably organic
• 2 tablespoons of crème fraîche
• 1 x 500g packet puff pastry
• 1 egg, preferably free-range or organic, beaten

1. Preheat your oven to 190°C/375°F/gas 5.
2. Put your bacon in a large pan on a medium heat and add your thyme leaves. Add a lug of olive oil and the butter and let it all fry off a few minutes.
3. Add all of your prepped leeks and fry them off for about 3 minutes so they are well-coated in the butter. Add a pinch of salt and pepper then pop the lid on top, turn the heat down to medium and let them cook away gently for 30 minutes, stirring every 5 to 10 minutes to make sure they don’t catch.
5. When your leeks are ready, add the turkey meat to them and stir.
6. Add the flour, mix it in well then pour in your stock and stir again. Add the crème fraîche then turn the heat up and bring everything back up to the boil.
7. Pour the mixture through a sieve over another large empty pan and let the wonderful gravy from the mixture drip into the pan while you roll out your pastry.
8. Get a deep baking dish roughly 22 x 30cm. Dust a clean surface and a rolling pin with a bit of flour and roll your pastry out so it’s about the size of your dish.
9. Spoon that thick leek mixture from your sieve into the pie dish and spread it out evenly.
10. Lay your pastry on top, tuck the ends under then gently score the pastry diagonally with your knife.
11. Add a pinch of salt to your beaten egg then paint this egg wash over the top of your pastry.
12. Pop your pie in the oven for about 35 to 40 minutes or until the pastry is puffed up and golden brown.

When the pie is ready, re-heat the lovely gravy and serve with your pie, along with some peas tossed in butter, lemon, salt and pepper and everyone’s happy!

This easy to make, delicious cake will wow anybody and create an impression. Perfect with a cup of tea.

Recipe via Home Baking
For the sponge
175g/6oz unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
175g/6oz light muscovado sugar
3 large eggs, beaten
3 tbsp strong black coffee
175g/6oz self-raising flour
1½ tsp baking powder
115g/4oz walnut pieces

For the frosting
115g/4oz unsalted butter
200g/7oz icing sugar
1 tbsp strong black coffee
½ tsp vanilla essence
Walnut halves, to decorate

1.Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Grease and line the bases of two 20-cm/8-inch sandwich tins.

2.In a bowl, cream together the butter and sugar together until very light and pale.

3.Gradually add the eggs one at a time to the butter and sugar mixture, beating well to completely incorporate each egg before adding the next egg.

4.Add the coffee to the mixture and stir well.

5.Sift the flour and baking powder into the mixture, then fold in lightly and evenly with a metal spoon before foldling in the walnuts and stir well to completely combine.

6.Divide the cake mixture between the prepared cake tins and smooth level.

7.Transfer to the oven to bake 25-30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean and the cake is golden-brown.

8.Remove the cakes from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack.

9.For the frosting, beat the butter, icing sugar, coffee and vanilla essence together in a small bowl until smooth and creamy.

10.Use about half of the mixture to sandwich the cakes together, then spread the remaining frosting on top and swirl with a palette knife. Decorate with walnut halves.

If you’ve been watching the new series of Rachel Allen’s dinner parties, you will have seen the dinner recipe that I decided to try over the weekend. I love trying out new recipes and these cookery programmes provide plenty of ideas. In this series, Rachel’s on a mission to show us how to throw the perfect dinner party. Each week, a dinner party host joins Rachel in her studio kitchen for an exclusive dinner party acting as Rachel’s sous chef helping her prepare a mouth watering three course meal. They also enlist the help of an interior designer to add stylish finishing touches to dazzle the dinner party guests.

Confit Chicken with Creamy Lentils and Rosemary Potatoes
Recipe via RTE One for Confit Chicken
I used chicken breast on the bone instead of chicken legs and thighs which were very tasty and had lots of tender meat. They also took a lot less cooking time – about four hours instead of the suggested seven.

Recipe via UKTV for Creamy Lentils
I have never cooked with lentils before but this recipe provided lots of flavour and provided the perfect accompaniment to the chicken dish.

Recipe via UKTV for Rosemary Potatoes
These sauteed potatoes are a lovely side dish to any meal packed full of rosemary flavour.

Chocolate Lava Cakes

Recipe via Rachel Allen Daily Mail
I have always wanted to try my hand at chocolate fondants and I found this recipe which are really chocolate fondants with a sponge outside and molten chocolate gooey centre. I was very excited when I cut into the middle and low and behold I found the gooey centre – perfection!







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