Menu Plans

Beer Can Chicken

Beer Can Chicken

What a glorious Irish summer we have been enjoying. It reminds me of the idyllic summers of my Wexford childhood or my rose-tinted memories of them anyway. Irish seaside holidays are back in fashion. Duncannon is teeming with families, small children licking 99 ice-creams, trailing sandy towels up the tiny main street, teenagers in languid groups chatting, the beach packed with cars acting as windbreaks for impromptu picnics of sandwiches,...

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Gan Guo Tu Duo Pian – Hunan Spiced Potato and an easy Chinese dinner party menu

Gan Guo Tu Duo Pian – Hunan Spiced Potato and an easy Chinese dinner party menu

I’ve started Chinese lessons. Once a week Wei Wei, who was Shan’s bridesmaid, comes to my house. We spend a few hours poring over her notes while I try to get my head and tongue around Chinese phrases, echoing the sounds and tones familiar in Beijing. My dream is to surprise Shan’s Ma Ma, my qing jia mu, with a text message in Mandarin characters and by addressing her in Chinese the next time we meet. I’ve a long, long...

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Funcannon BBQs on the Big Green Egg

Funcannon BBQs on the Big Green Egg

Our second last meal on our recent trip to China was the Grill Mates BBQ with Shane and Shan’s friends in a hutong on the outskirts of Beijing. While the menu that day had all the hallmarks of a classic American BBQ, the experience of sharing good food with family and friends, everyone helping themselves from a communal table, felt quite Chinese. I arrived home looking forward to a summer of experimenting with my Big Green Egg and to...

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Shan’s Home-style Chinese Dinner

This is how the blog began – with Shan teaching me how to cook authentic Chinese dishes at home. Looking back at my very first post in July 2012, it all seems such a long time ago. At first it was a way of getting to know my daughter-in-law to be as well as a gaining a deeper understanding of her culture. Since then this blog has developed in all sorts of unexpected ways. While Shan got diverted by her pregnancy with our first grandchild...

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A Dinner Party Menu to celebrate the Chinese New Year

A Dinner Party Menu to celebrate the Chinese New Year

In Sydney, Claire and Mike have just celebrated their first Australia Day as Australian citizens. In Beijing Shane, Shan and Dermot are packing their bags to fly to Urumqi to celebrate Chinese New Year with the Gao clan. The year turns once more, the Year of the Horse is upon us. Thursday 30th January is both New Year’s Eve and Claire’s birthday. Here in Dublin we are deciding how best to celebrate both these events in the absence...

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A Buffet with Bling and Chinese Dumplings – the perfect start to 2014

A Buffet with Bling and Chinese Dumplings – the perfect start to 2014

Sometimes life has a way of turning full circle. Last New Year’s Day I remember remarking on the beautiful morning in Duncannon and the start of a “shiny new year”. Within three days we had lost Derry’s mother and within a few weeks his younger sister Deirdre. Both deaths were unexpected. Suddenly the new year didn’t seem so shiny any more. But you get through things and you get on with it and baby Dermot arrived on...

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