Saturday, July 3, 2010


Yesterday was incredible, Sarah and I felt like Queens, you waited on the whole time you are there, I never once opened a door for myself, the second my teacup was less than full, it was refilled.. It was incredible. But then, we went to do some light shopping, finding ourselves, of course, in H&M.

I had spent a good half hour looking at everything but I hadn't found much that I wanted/could afford. And then I saw it. A beautiful shiny beacon of yellow fabric and print. It was like Moses and the Red Sea, all the rails parted as I was pulled towards this glorious item. Golden clouds started to float around the room and glitter began to fall from the skies. Cloud poodles danced around the room with big smiles and fluffy bottoms. As I picked it up, the clouds seemed to part to allow the sun to shine directly in its path... Cherubs sang Hallelujah as I tried it on. And as I looked in the mirror, I realised that I could not possibly leave without it. It was a yellow cotton blazer, with a repeated print of black poodle silhouettes. I almost died it was so beautiful.

Then, to my horror, I realised that it was thirty euro. I had a tenner for the bus home. So, I proceded to spend as much time wearing the jacket as possible until Sarah insisted that we were going to miss the bus. We went our seperate ways.

Today, I am trying to convince Dad to drive me to Carlow to the H&M there, because for some messed up reason, there is no H&M in Kilkenny. I need to get it.

My camera's a bit dodge at the moment, so I had to take afternoon tea pictures on my phone which is extremely shit. So when I've photoshopped the photos a bit sharper, then I'll upload them and tell you about afternoon tea :D

Thursday, July 1, 2010

A Spot of Afternoon Tea..

Tomorrow, I'm bringing my best friend to The Merrion in Dublin for afternoon tea,because it's her birthday sooon :D So to get into the mood, here is your complete guide to afternoon tea, from scones to darjeeling, it's all here.

The afternoon tea party holds its origins in the Victorian and Edwardian ages in the United Kingdom and the Gilded Age in the United States. As the name so eloquently suggests, it is usually scheduled between mid and late afternoon.

Afternoon tea is distinguished by the use of fancy cutlery and crockery, such as bone china or silver. Everything is supposed to look super pretty and quaint. The tea is accompanied by a variety of foods: thin sandwiches, such as cucumber or tomato, cake slices, buns or rolls, and cookies are all common.

Author Henry Fielding's quip that "love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea," suits me perfectly, as Sarah and I have ALOT to discuss :D

HOME-MADE AFTERNOON TEA (one you don't have to spend sixty quid on)


Scones are pretty much an afternoon tea given. Afternoon tea without a scone? Phhhh.


* 1 3/4 cups flour (you could use wholewheat flour, they'd be more coarse, but just as yum and much healthier)
* 1 teaspoon sugar
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 2 teaspoons baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
* 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
* 1/2 cup raisins
* 3/4 cup buttermilk, or slightly more as needed


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Mix the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda in a large bowl with a whisk or spoon.

Cut in the butter until the mixture looks like oatmeal. Stir in the raisins. Using a large spoon, blend in buttermilk until a soft dough forms.

Place dough on a floured board and roll out to 1/2 inch thickness. Using a sharp knife, cut dough into six squares, then cut each square again on the diagonal. Place triangles on ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until golden brown.

Makes 12 scones.



* 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves, rinsed, spun dry, and chopped fine
* 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
* 2 tablespoons cream cheese
* 6 slices of whole-wheat bread
* a 3-inch length of seedless cucumber, cut into thin slices


In a small bowl combine the mint, butter, and cream cheese and stir. Spread the bread slices with the butter mixture, top 3 of them with the cucumber, distributing the cucumber evenly and seasoning it with salt, and top the cucumber with the remaining bread slices. Cut off and discard the crusts and cut each sandwich diagonally into PERFECT and EXACT quarters. :D mmm.




* 1 cup all purpose flour
* 1/4 cup sugar
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 3/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut, toasted, cooled
* 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes


* 3/4 cup sugar
* 2 large eggs
* 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
* 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon peel
* 1 teaspoon all purpose flour
* 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
* Pinch of salt
* 1/4 cup icing sugar


Preheat oven to 180°C. Line 8x8x2-inch metal baking tray with foil, leaving overhang. Butter foil. Combine flour, sugar, and salt in processor; blend 5 seconds. Add coconut and butter; process until mixture resembles fine meal and begins to clump together. Gather dough into ball. Press dough evenly over bottom of prepared pan. Bake crust until golden at edges, about 25 minutes.

Combine 3/4 cup sugar, eggs, lemon juice, lemon peel, flour, baking powder, and salt in processor. Blend filling until smooth.

Remove crust from oven. Pour filling evenly over hot crust. Return to oven and bake until filling begins to brown at edges and is just set and springy to touch in center, about 30 minutes. Transfer from baking tray to rack; cool bars completely.

Using foil as aid, transfer lemon bars to work surface. Flatten foil edges. Cut into 16 bars. Sift the icing sugar over et voila ! Vous avez un plaisir délicieux d'heure du thé ! I hope that french is right or I'll look a damn fooool.


There are literally like a billion varieties and types of tea, and it would take me weeks to write about them all. Screw that. So here is an extremely compressed version of the tea essay which I one day aspire to write.
For afternoon tea, I think your everyday Barrys or PG Tips would do, BUT if that just doesn't quite meet the mark..

*English Breakfast tea (optionally served with milk and sugar or honey)
*Earl Grey- Which is flavoured with oil of Bergamot and is my favourite :)
*Darjeeling-this tea contains an abundance of polyphenols and has higher antioxidants than most green teas. A black tea with all the benefits of a green tea :)

These teas are all pretty standard, and would probably be most suitable for afternoon tea as they are known and loved by most :)
But that's not to say that herbal teas would not be lovingly welcomed at afternoon tea! Par exemple:

*Rooibos- A.k.a Red bush tea, it contains a load of antioxidant type things and mainly popular in Cape Town, South Africa. Caffeine free and naturally sweet :)
*Chamomile- Chamomile is a sweet and fruity herb so this tea is caffeine free, and is really good with a teaspoon of honey.
*Fruit teas- These are so good, and there are so many kinds..lemon, berry, peach..

You can make your tea with teabags or with loose tea leaves. You'll need a tea strainer if using loose tea leaves :)

Coolest tea strainer ever.

And now, because I love you, my amazing FOUR followers, I have scoured (phh) the internet for the most precise and exact tea-making method and *DRUM ROLL* here it is:

It also has a tutorial video, which is useful if, by some enormous downfall in your luck, you have never made tea before.


Tomorrow, Sarah and I will be going to the Merrion in Dublin because I've heard it's the loveliest and it serves award winning afternoon tea (2004 Afternoon Tea Awards)

In The Merrion, reservations are not 100% necessary but I would reserve just in case. I called up like an hour ago and made reservations for tomorrow soo.. You can be served standard afternoon tea for two with champagne for just under fifty quid :)

There are lots of other places in Dublin that serve afternoon tea, such as The Westbury Hotel, The Four Seasons, The Clarence Hotel and The Gresham Hotel.

THE RITZ: The heaven of the High Tea world

My father proposed to my mother over afternoon tea at The Ritz in London, and when he told me the story, I finally understood the phrase, "putting on the Ritz".
In the Ritz, one is expected to be in full formal attire for afternoon tea, jeans and sports shoes are not allowed and tables need to be reserved a minimum of three months in advance. Afternoon tea is £39 per person, they serve 17 different varieties of tea and The Palm Court is .. incredible.

So there it was, afternoon tea.. I hope I covered everything, I'm pretty sure I didn't.
Here's some delightful pictures to make you nice and hungry.

See you cats on the flip flop lataa..

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Recipes and Jelly :D

Yesterday I had my 17th birthday party :) It was such a laugh, there was a ridiculous amount of food, (most of which is sitting in my fridge-people stop getting hungry after the 3rd round of cakes and quiches) and I got to spend some time with people that I love being with :) So, in honor of the many left over delicacies waiting to be eaten in my fridge, here are a few recipes for the things we had last night :D



For the base

225g plain flour

100g caster sugar

225g butter
100g semolina

For the topping

175g butter
175g caster sugar

4 tbsp golden syrup

397g condensed milk (this seems extraordinarily precise)

200g dark chocolate, broken into pieces


Set the oven to 160C/gas2. Lightly grease a 20cm x 33cm oblong/ Swiss roll tin.

2. Place all the ingredients for the base into a food processor and whizz together until they form a smooth dough (if preferred this can be done by hand in a bowl).
Press the mixture into the base of the Swiss roll tin and prick with a fork. Bake for about 30-40 minutes until golden and firm. Set aside to cool.

To make the topping, place the butter, sugar, syrup and condensed milk into a saucepan and stir over a low heat until the butter has melted.

Bubble the mixture gently for five to eight minutes, stirring all the time until thick and fudge-like. Pour over the cold shortbread in an even layer. Leave to cool.

Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water.

Pour the chocolate over the toffee and leave to set. Cut into small squares and store in an airtight tin.

Thanks to Katie and Xander who made the most delicious millionaire shortbread like..ever.

We had a few quiches last night and they were so good (Thankyou Emily, Ruth and Katie) but I don't have their recipes :( .. I made a really good quiche lorraine for my junior cert practical like 2 years ago and it was delicious. So here's my quiche lorraine recipe.



For the pastry

175g plain flour

75g butter
1 cup cold water

A pinch of salt

Or you could just buy those rolls of ready made pastry..

For the filling

250g grated cheddar cheese

4 sliced tomatoes

200g chopped bacon

5 beaten eggs

100ml milk
200ml double cream

Salt and pepper (to taste)

2 sprigs of fresh thyme (to garnish)

1. To make the pastry, sift the flour together with a pinch of salt in a large bowl. Rub in the butter until you have a soft breadcrumb texture. Add enough cold water to make the crumb mixture come together to form a firm dough, and then rest it in the fridge for 30 minutes.
2. Roll out the pastry on a light floured surface and line a 22cm/8½inch well-buttered flan dish. Don't cut off the edges of the pastry yet. Chill again.
3. Preheat the oven to 190C/Gas 5.
Remove the pastry case from the fridge and line the base of the pastry with baking parchment and then fill it with baking beans. Place on a baking tray and bake blind for 20 minutes. Remove the beans and parchment and return to the oven for another five minutes to cook the base.

Reduce the temperature of the oven to 160C/325F/Gas 3.

Sprinkle the cheese into the pastry base and add the sliced tomatoes if you are using them. Fry the bacon pieces until crisp and sprinkle over them over the top.

Combine the eggs with the milk and cream in a bowl and season well. Pour over the bacon and cheese. Make sure ingredients are evenly spread around the pastry. Sprinkle the thyme over the top and trim the edges of the pastry.

Bake for 30-40 minutes or until set. Remove from the oven and allow to cool and set further.

9. Trim the pastry edges to get a perfect edge and then serve in wedges with a nice glob of relish and a rocket salad :D

My <3>
Anyone who knows me well, will know that I am completely obsessed with jelly. It's like the most delicious thing in the entire world, it's dirt cheap and ridiculously easy to make. A few evenings ago at 5pm, I made a huge bowl of raspberry jelly, put in the fridge and at 11pm, took it out and devoured the entire thing while watching Big Brother. It was the best almost-midnight feast of all almost-midnight feasts.

Yesterday, for my party, Sarah made a huge bowl of my favourite kind of jelly. RAINBOW JELLY. :)

So here it is:


1. Follow the instructions on the jelly packet for your first layer. You could choose any colour, but red would be ideal if you are a perfectionist like me. The instructions are usually along the lines of cutting the jelly cubes up into a large bowl. Jelly cubes dissolve a lot quicker and more evenly if, with sharp scissors, you cut the block into cubes following the mark lines, then cut each individual cube into quarters. It takes a little while, but it means much less stirring trying to dissolve whole jelly cubes. You must then pour a pint of boiling water onto them. I think it's a pint but I'm not entirely sure. You usually have to then top up the red gloopy mixture with a pint of cold water, and put it in the fridge until set. With Sarah's magical rainbow jelly, one also adds sliced strawberries and whole raspberries, which float to the top and set into the jelly.

Once the first layer has set (I'm hoping you made it red), repeat step 1 as many times as the size of your bowl will allow, but with various different colours. Sarah decorates her rainbow jelly with a full layer of sliced strawberries on the top of the jelly, which looks really pretty :)
Another thing I've done in the past is using the same method, but instead of a big bowl, I've put lots of clear glasses or plastic cups on a tray and filled each one evenly for each layer, to create individual jelly portions. It's really good for parties. :D And now because I love it so much, we're going to fill the rest of the page with delicious jelly. NOM NOM NOM.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Sore arm..

This morning I was at the doctor getting a rabies jab. I'm sorry, but every time I think of rabies, all I can see is a gross mangey dog.

A group of us are going to Uganda in August (!/group.php?gid=107929615916145&ref=ts) so I have to get 6 injections all together. It's completely freaking me out hearing all the possible things that could go wrong and all the fatal illnesses that I could very easily get. And knowing my luck.. :(

BUT my excitement kinda outweighs my fear. The opportunity is incredible. I mean, how many people get to do this ? Very few. Which sometimes makes me doubt myself. Is there someone else who could take my place who would make more of a difference or who would contribute more than I could?

This is one of the places we'll be volunteering in. Its website breaks my heart. ( I hope I don't get in trouble for stealing stuff off the website..

This is the kitchen from which 40 children under the age of 5 are cared for.

That little area with the tin roof? Kitchen. It killed me when I turned from the computer and looked at our kitchen. I mean, if they had a kitchen similar to the ones we have, imagine how many more babies they could feed..?

More Uganda posts on the way :)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A crazy week..

Ok I lie, it hasn't been that crazy, but the things that have happened have been pretty time consuming..

I spent today painting an extremely old and dirty house in Wexford with a group of friends.. It was only when I had started that I realised that I had never painted walls/doors/skirting boards/banisters before. So Sarah and I cleaned some windows.

For the duration of the car ride back to Kilkenny, 4 of us had what I can only call, a DMC. I love DMCs. Like, full on love. There's something amazing about thinking you have a person sussed out and then realising that you have so much left to learn about them. I love that when it comes to being a friend, there is never too much knowledge.. This is when Sarah comes into the picture. The term "best friend" doesn't quite cover Sarah. So everytime I learn something new about her, or realize a trait that I hadn't noticed before, it excites me that as friends, we still have a long way to go. But not in a negative sense, I mean in the way that our friendship can't ever be boring,
because there is so much more to discover.

Much like in Sense & Sensibility, when Marianne is talking about getting to know people.. "Seven years would be insufficient to make some people acquainted with each other, and seven days are more than enough for others.".. so maybe it's not really about time at all :P

I need to think about this more, I haven't quite formed an opinion.. :/

Monday, June 14, 2010

Phew. That's better..

Okayy.. that's so much better ! Thanks to Leanne ( who is a genius. Follow her.

Went to see Sex and the City 2 with the girlies tonight.. It made me want to go out immediately and spend €500 on a pair of killer heels. So I settled for the best that I could get.. online shoe-browsing.

Add Image
From Christian Louboutin's 2010 Spring/Summer Collection, this shoe made me want to put on a lace dress and go to Paris tomorrow. Have you ever seen a more glorious item in your life? No, is the answer you are looking for. I mean, silver python shoes? Only Louboutin.

Another Louboutin creation, but this time from the upcoming Fall 2011 collection. There is something about red suede.. It just screams luxury and glamour and this shoe in particular.. it's like.. nothing I've ever seen before. Mmmmm...

This is a Manolo Blahnik sketch from this season. Alot of Blahnik's designs are outrageous and unusual, but that is definitely what makes them so incredible. If you have not already scoured the website for valuable inspiration, I would definitely recommend doing so.

I usually reaaally dislike Jimmy Choo, the plain, mother-of-the-bride feel of his designs seriously disagrees with my stomach. BUT - look at these. One word: DELICIOUS.

Vivienne Westwood designs are beyond incredible. Teaming up with Australian brand, Melissa? Genius. This collection has been out for aages, but I'm going to keep pretending they're new until I own a pair. They're the jelly sandal from when you were 5, mixed with the Cinderella pumps you had when you were 10, mixed with the heels from your wildest dreams. And they come in varied colours and designs. Complete LOVE.

I am 110% positive that there will be many shoe-related blog posts in the future, and that I have left out so many important names, but that is all for today..

“It's really hard to walk in a single woman's shoes -- that's why you sometimes need really special shoes.” - Carrie Bradshaw

“Give a girl the correct footwear and she can conquer the world”
-Bette Midler

“I don’t know who invented high heels, but all women owe him a lot.”
-Marilyn Monroe

“I’ve spent $40,000 on shoes and I have no place to live? I will literally be the old woman who lived in her shoes.”
-Carrie Bradshaw

Am I the only one who would actually willingly live in a shoe?

Complete Confusion

I seriously don't understand this. Like, people say all the time, I don't get it, it's not working.. But i mean it. Blogging should be simpler. :P Well actually that's not what I mean, what I mean is, making my blog look pretty should be simpler..

The fish? They're doing their best. But a few floral motifs and maybe a swirly font would make such a difference. No one wants to read a blog with yellow stripes and a verdana font. Honestly, I wouldn't. But if anyone is actually reading this, bear (bare?) with me :/