Get ready for Pancake Tuesday

Thu, Feb 19, 2009

Twenty five per cent more Tesco Ireland customers choose to buy milk, flour, and eggs to make their own pancakes rather than buy convenience pancake products, a survey by the supermarket chain has revealed.

It’s no wonder, given that any number of delicious home-made pancakes can be made using these three ingredients, and the result is far tastier than the just-add-water variety available in supermarkets.

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Home expressions

Thu, Feb 19, 2009

Consumers’ increasing interior design confidence and personal tastes make any style fashionable for 2009. From sleek, glamorous, leather suites and corner units to fabulous floral and print fabric suites, home décor is now geared more towards self expression and glamorous living experiences.

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Conlon’s Oyster Bar and fresh fish in Ballybane

Thu, Feb 12, 2009

During the summer of 2008, Conlon’s Seafood Restaurant moved to its new premises, a few doors away in Eglinton Street. As you enter the new restaurant, there is a gorgeous art deco feel and the off white decor and furnishings add to a sense of openness. They have several different menus, a great value lunch menu offering a choice of five or six main courses for €9.90, eg, seafood risotto with salad and garlic bread, grilled fresh plaice with creamed potato and vegetable, and good old fashioned fish and chips.

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Quality Irish lamb from farm foods direct

Thu, Feb 12, 2009

Everyone is looking for value for money at the moment. Farm Foods Direct in Tuam can offer exactly that. Dedicated to producing and supplying quality free range lamb and beef direct from the farm, Farm Foods Direct lamb and beef is excellent value compared to supermarket prices. Buy direct from the farm — not only do you save money but you get quality Irish food products produced locally fresh from our farm and help support local farmers.

Farm Fresh Foods is now taking orders for spring lamb. You can buy a half lamb or a whole lamb. A half lamb weighs approximately 10kg and a full lamb weighs approximately 20kg and contains four half legs, two shanks, lamb stew, and approximately 70 lamb chops/cutlets from rack, shoulder, and loin.

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Ready to go dinners and tips for dining out on a budget

Thu, Feb 05, 2009

Goya’s in Kirwan’s Lane has expanded its range of foods to include dinners to go. All the meals are cooked on site with the same attention to raw ingredients as if cooking at home. There is also an interesting range of salads that you can purchase by weight and when I asked Emer, the proprietor, why they are any different from their competitors, she said that it is the attention to small details like boiling the potatoes with their skins on before chopping into potato salad, or shredding all the cabbage by hand. Some of the dishes are: chicken in coconut, chilli, and lime, buttered squash and chorizo risotto, pork in cider sauce with roast vegetables, and Moroccan spiced lamb. The dinners are €8.50 each and if you are fairly local they will also deliver. As the selection varies it is a good idea to phone first on (091) 567010. They have a special offer of two free desserts if you purchase two dinners, which means you have dinner for two for €17 — not bad. The dinners are also available in Alan and Susan’s pantry in Oranmore and McCambridge’s in Shop Street.

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A spoonful of Manuka honey is the best medicine

Thu, Feb 05, 2009

Most of us have heard of the new miracle remedy called Manuka honey. Manuka honey is made by bees that collect nectar from the manuka bush which grows wild in New Zealand. Manuka honey has traditionally been used for its health benefits and is renowned for warding off infections, and promoting natural healing and general wellbeing. The honey has been researched for decades, but only recently has a team of researchers from Germany identified its active ingredient, called methylglyoxal.

Methylglyoxal (MGO) is a naturally occurring antibacterial agent. It can be measured by laboratory test and is expressed as “MGO” with a number indicating its strength. This strength usually varies between MGO100 and MGO400. To ensure antibacterial activity, only MGO Manuka honey available in health stores should be purchased.

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Changing times

Thu, Jan 29, 2009

It is a frequent comment among restaurant customers that they would like a particular menu changed more frequently, however sometimes customers do not want a restaurant to change its menu, especially when it has been in place and very popular for 10 to 15 years. This fact was brought home to me recently when I was talking to Charlie Chan, the owner of the original Royal Villa in Shop Street. Two years ago he moved to a new location in Oranmore and called the restaurant Asian Fusion. While it has been very successful and has some dishes that I particularly like, many of his old customers from Shop Street asked him to consider bringing back the original menu.

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A dessert with a difference at Glasson Golf Hotel

Thu, Jan 29, 2009

Romance and a little bit of mystery are in the air this Valentine’s weekend at Glasson Hotel and Golf Club, Athlone, Co Westmeath. Head chef Mike Stugel has put together a very special menu full of delicious treats for Valentine’s weekend — but the highlight for one lucky woman will certainly be her dessert.

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A guide to weight /fat loss supplements

Thu, Jan 29, 2009

Calcium/vitamin D: Calcium is clearly great for bone loss, and there is evidence that it can help reduce body fat — increasing dietary calcium can lead to significantly increased weight and fat loss and increase the percentage of fat loss around the trunk region. Vitamin intake affects weight and fat loss, too. The major function of vitamin D is to help maintain normal levels of calcium. This dynamic duo is important for achieving a lean body.

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Great value food in Galway

Thu, Jan 22, 2009

Last week I asked restaurants to send me an e-mail about any special offers or particularly good value meals available. Coincidentally there were some offers advertised in the same issue and I will list below what is available.

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Smoked salmon pasta with Kalamata olives, spring greens, and vine tomato

Thu, Jan 22, 2009

Irish smoked salmon is without doubt one of the world’s great foods. Being the most westerly country in Europe gives Ireland the perfect environment for producing this versatile delicacy. Salmon has been smoked for centuries in Ireland using methods and secrets which have been passed down through the generations. The texture and taste of Irish smoked salmon is particularly good due to that extra bit of work the king of fish has to put in around our rugged and unpolluted west coast. Smoked salmon is rightfully considered an expensive food, but when used as an addition to pasta the smoked flavour carries brilliantly. This means that a small amount of salmon can go a long way. Another great benefit to eating smoked salmon is the fact that the oils of the salmon which are high in omega 3 remain very well preserved. Coupled with a healthy selection of spring leaves, this dish makes a well balanced main meal of the day.

This recipe comes courtesy of Oscar’s restaurant. Images courtesy of www.foodandwinephotography.com

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Local produce — local markets

Tue, Dec 30, 2008

As we have all painfully observed over recent weeks the consequences when large scale food production goes wrong can be disastrous. We cannot survive without these big companies, however it is well worth while supporting small local producers. During 2008 we saw the birth of some great farmers’ markets in Claregalway, Moycullen, and Oranmore. As a regular in the Oranmore Market, I have seen the build-up of regular customers and it is now part of many people’s weekly shopping.

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Get cheesy

Tue, Dec 30, 2008

Put Irish farmhouse cheese on the menu next year with these great recipe ideas from Bord Bia.

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Dinner parties, the easy way

Thu, Dec 18, 2008

There are many ways to reduce the stress associated with organising a dinner party for friends. You could ask your guests to bring dessert or starters instead of wine; you can cook the main course the day before if it is the type of dish that benefits from 24 hours in the fridge, eg, chilli dishes, curry dishes, or many types of casseroles. There is, however, an even easier way to remove the hassle, and that is to rent a cook for the night. Rentacook.ie was recently launched in Galway; it is the website for a business owned and run by Patricia Begley who has been providing a personal catering service for small to medium sized parties over the last few years.

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Go online for the tastiest turkey

Thu, Dec 18, 2008

Food safety promotion group safefood has launched new guidelines on cooking times for a safe and tasty turkey, with turkey cooking time calculator available online or via text to ensure your festive dinner is roasted to perfection.

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Christmas planning

Thu, Nov 27, 2008

There are many things that are synonymous with Christmas and one of them is stress. To eliminate some of this stress there are a few things you can do now to help to guarantee a calm and relaxed day. Firstly, plan the menu for the day now, and in order to do that ask the family what they want to eat. If nobody wants turkey then don’t bother with one; there are loads of exotic alternatives such as goose, duck, leg of lamb, fillet steak, venison, lobsters, scallops, and do not forget the great taste of a top class free range chicken, properly roasted, it is wonderful.

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Take the stress out of Christmas at An Fuarán, Moycullen

Thu, Nov 27, 2008

When it comes to food, drink and entertainment this Christmas, the businesses at An Fuarán, Moycullen, are on hand to make sure your life is as stress free as possible.

Have you still not booked your Christmas party and are worried you’ve left it too late? Give the Forge bar and eatery a call on (091) 868944. The Forge, which is always open for a wholesome and hearty breakfast, lunch, or dinner, also provides great entertainment every Saturday and Sunday night. So if it’s a bit of craic you’re after to lighten the mood, then visit The Forge this Christmas.

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Good things on offer in Westside

Thu, Nov 20, 2008

I called into Martin Divilly's butcher's shop in Westside and picked out some treats from their quite amazing selection. They have practically every meat type available that you can think of, and of course much of their focus is on providing meat that is prepped and ready for the oven. I sampled some of the stir fries selection and can recommend the Hong Kong stir fry made with round steak, the Piri Piri stir fry made with pork, and the Mexican stir fry made with chicken. Perhaps the handiest way to cook them is to just pop it in the oven for 15/20 minutes and serve.

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Get cooking...

Thu, Nov 20, 2008

Warm up your winter evenings with this hearty and delicious dish from Oscar’s restaurant.

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Mop up free radicals with super juice at Evergreen

Thu, Nov 20, 2008

CherryActive, a tasty new drink which is super-rich in antioxidants, is now available at Evergreen branches in Galway.

The rich juice concentrate offers the antioxidant equivalent of 20 portions of fruit in just one glass.

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E-paper

Read this weeks E-paper. Past editions also available from within this weeks digital copy.

 

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