Tuesday, August 23, 2011

eclectic shabby chic @ Yesterdays

I have a cool auntie who's travelled the world, lived in France, Italy, Nepal and Hungary and loves surrounding herself with beautiful things. Her charming house is like a box of treasures, I love spending time at her place (I secretly hope that since I'm her favourite niece, I will inherit all her lovely bits one day). Walking into Yesterdays is a little bit like a visit to my auntie's. 

This beautiful shop has a feel of someone's living room. Someone's with a great taste and love for all things unique and beautiful. Yesterday is full of all kinds of everything: if you like shabby-chic, this is where you will love. There is a lot of elegant pieces too. Tiffany style lamps and lampshades, beautiful mirrors in all shapes and sizes, decorative knobs & hooks, and interior design books which will help transform your house into a home. Pretty Cake Stands, Egg Cups, candles and accessories. Their Cookbooks will make your mouth water just from looking at them. If I am ever stuck for a nice, unique gift, that's where I go.
And as if all the interior design and decoration cornucopia wasn't enough, they also have a rather tasty range of chocolates and truffles in store!

Yesterdays have another branch in Cork, as well as an online shop, but to soak up is great atmosphere and to get truly inspired you should really visit this beautiful place in the heart of Kilkenny.

Monday, August 1, 2011

tea time!

herbal tea, that is... self picked during my walk...
smells divine, tastes great and is sooo good for you!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

counting the days... #KAF11

The circling has been done, the tickets bought and I can't wait for the kick-off of this year's Kilkenny Arts Festival. The programme is a fantastic mix of "something for everyone"- Dance, Theatre, Music, Literature, Visual Arts, Craft and Street Performance, Kids workshops- 9 days Full of Culture with a capital C. Living right in the centre we get the best of  the atmosphere and buzz around the city during these 10 days of August. With all its pop-up galleries, exhibitions and street art performances Kilkenny turns into one big cultural sweet shop. I am so excited, I don't even think about the "more-than-our-flat-can-handle" number of friends we've invited to come to visit us during that time.

Next to the various gallery openings and visual arts treats available throughout the festival following are my personal MUST sees:
  • The artist Angela O'Kelly will curate Modified Expression Exhibition at the NCG. And it's all about books, paper, written word! - check!
  • Eric Sweeney& 3epkano -The Cabinet of Dr Caligari- a brand new live score to the silent cinema masterpiece- all in an amazing and a bit scary atmosphere
  • Hypnotic Brass Ensemble - the name says it all, but have a look here also...
  • TC Boyle - the sarcastic and vibrant author in talk about his latest book (*shall read before the talk...)
  • Kaleidoscope- an informal concert of classical and contemporary music in the beautiful grounds of Kilkenny Design Centre 
  • Body Duet - a thrilling way of ending my Arts festival. 

See you in Kilkenny!!!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

lemon drizzzzzzzzle

Love, love love lemon drizzle cake! I made it few days ago and gave a slice of it to my friend. She liked it so much next morning she was at my door asking for MORE.. The yoghurt makes this cake extra moist and the syrup makes sure it's lemony and tangy. For all you lemon lovers, it's the "want it all" kind of cake...

Super Moist Lemon Drizzle Cake

4 ounces butter at room temperature
1 cup caster sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
zest of 3 lemons
1 1/2 cups self raising flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup Greek style yoghurt  or creme fraiche

Lemon Syrup
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

Lemon Glaze
1 cup icing sugar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest

Preheat the oven to 175 degrees (350 F) Grease an 8 inch tin (the bread loaf one..)

Using electric mixes cream the butter & sugar until light and fluffy. With the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs, 1 at a time, followed by the lemon zest.
Add yoghurt, vanilla extract and lemon juice.
In a separate bowl mix the flour and baking powder and slowly add to the batter, mix for another minute or so until ingredients combine fully. Pour the batter into the baking tin, smooth the top, and bake for approx 35 minutes,  until a toothpick comes out clean.
Take the cake out of the oven, let chill in the tin for 10 mins. - Make your lemon syrup
combine the sugar and lemon juice in a pan over low heat until sugar dissolves completely. Take your cake out of the tin, prick it with a toothpick and drizzle the lemon syrup over it. Let chill for another 15mins. To make the lemon glaze, mix lemon juice with  icing sugar and lemon zest, glaze the cake with it. Enjoy!!!

Friday, July 8, 2011

perfect addition to the picnic basket...

I love Fridays. Especially Cookalong Fridays! This time "party and picnic food" is the theme and my addition to the picnic basket are these delicious savoury cornmeal muffins. They are always a big hit at parties and gatherings, anything that doesn't require cutlery is the perfect picnic food. 
The recipe can be made vegan using soy milk and use of rice flour makes sure the muffins are gluten free. It takes no longer than 10 mins to prepare the batter. So simple and soooo tasty!

Savoury Cornmeal Muffins (makes 12 muffins)

1 &1/2 cup cornmeal flour (use the finer variety..)
1/2 cup rice flour (or normal flour)
1/3 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons baking powder
good pinch of salt
1 cup milk or soy milk
your choice of spices/fillings (anything can do, some pesto, chopped herbs, a cup of sweetcorn, chopped chilli, greated cheese, seeds and nuts, etc...I have used chopped roasted peppers and sunflower seeds this time)

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius (390F) and grease your or line your muffin tray. Put all ingredients into a mixing bowl and mix thoroughly with a spatula (no need to use mixers), if your batter is too dry, add more milk or water. Distribute your batter into the muffin forms and bake for 15-18 mins until golden brown. You might want to experiment with the proportions of ingredients and also amount of milk you're using, I sometimes use more rice flour than cornflour and twice the amount of milk and they turn out much smoother, perfect breakfast muffins..)

 Enjoy warm or cold, with a bit of Sour Cream or chilli  relish... or just as they are! mmmmm....ah, and let me know how you liked them!