Posts made in November, 2012

When food is love connecting families

When food is love connecting families

I love my two children and their ability to bring a smile to my face (or even a tear to my eye) from the other side of the world. When Claire is in one of her bubbly moods, her enthusiasm is infectious. And Shane has a soft side that tugs at my heart strings. In the last two days both of them took on new cooking challenges. When Claire visited home briefly in September she got bitten by the Chinese cooking bug and she took a copy of Fuchsia...

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Hunan Style Crispy Chilli Beef

Hunan Style Crispy Chilli Beef

We amateur cooks are very lucky here in Ireland to have so many options if we want to improve our skills. Apart from a great selection of home-grown food programmes on TV, with our very own celebrity chefs, there are places right across the country offering courses to suit all tastes and levels of ability . These include venues like the Dublin Cookery School and Cooks Academy whose courses range from an evening to several months and...

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The ancient art of butchery

The ancient art of butchery

As I said when I started writing this blog, I’m not a trained cook. I’m just someone who loves good food and I’m feeling my way towards a deeper understanding of the raw materials that I use to try and create authentic Chinese cuisine using the best of Irish ingredients. I decided to take some time out this month to attend a few cookery courses and demonstrations that might help me improve my basic knowledge and technique....

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Red Braised Lamb Stew

Red Braised Lamb Stew

The arrival of Shan’s Mum in Beijing from her home in Urumqi in Xinjiang Autonomous Region has brought back memories of our visit last Summer to that intriguing area. I will be writing of some of our experiences there over coming days. In Urumqi and throughout the region the influence of the Uighur people, who are Turkic speaking Sunni Muslims, is very evident. Lamb dominates the local diet and the nomadic history of other Turkic...

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Pot-sticker dumplings

Pot-sticker dumplings

Ah jiaozi… on the last day of our visit to Shan’s family in Urumqi the capital of Xinjiang Province, we listened, as Shan translated for her mother. She explained that it is traditional to serve these dumplings to family members before they depart from home, to remind them that family wraps itself around you even when you are far away. That good lady is on my mind today as she has just journeyed thousands of miles from her home in...

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