Let them Eat Cake!

It’s been birthday season in my family-my Dad’s birthday was earlier this month; my Mom’s birthday was exactly a week prior to his(Halloween); and my brother’s was exactly a week prior to hers. It’s great being around family after these last couple of years abroad. Dinner is our household (about 12 adults and 6 grandchildren!) is a time to: catch up, reminisce, gossip, celebrate; it’s loud; chaotic…BUT I really wouldn’t have it ANY other way! And there’s no shortage of food or wine…ever!

I’m really looking forward to cooking Thanksgiving dinner this month. I’ll be in charge of the main bird itself, as well as the stuffing, the gravy, and the pumpkin pie…but I also have two little recipes up my sleeve for the Day. Last Christmas I cooked the turkey and a few good sides, so I’m not feeling too nervous about cooking the turkey…it’s just deciding what flavors I want to include…

While I brainstorm new recipes, here’s a look at some of the cakes I’ve been making in the San Francisco/family home test kitchen: (Who needs/wants a cake in San Francisco??)

 

 

 

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Saintly Rocky Road

I am back in San Francisco (for a little while) after living in Ireland for the good part of just about three years! I hummed and hah-ed about moving home, but now that I’m here I am so happy I packed up and moved back! I’m excited to try all the cafes and restaurants I’ve been craving as well as reading about-pretty spoiled for choice here in SF. I am also just so happy to spend time with family and friends.

Rocky Road is a pretty popular treat in Ireland. I had the duty of making about four slabs daily at a bakery I worked in– up to triple that amount during the holiday season! When it’s made with dark chocolate, it’s really dreamy.

Below I am sharing a cleaner alternative to the traditional Rocky Road: it’s sugar free and vegan friendly. There’s also no baking/ melting chocolate involved with this recipe, all you need is a trusty food processor or blender.

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Carmel’s Saintly Rocky Road

Ingredients

14 dates

Small handful of almonds

Half a cup of your choice of nut butter

Teaspoon of vanilla extract

A couple of drops of water

2 heaped tablespoons cacao powder

Method

Soak the dates and almonds in a bowl of warm water for about a half hour. Then blitz all ingredients together, but NOT until it’s completely smooth. The dates act as the marshmallows, and the almonds act as the hard m&m candies or malt balls typical used. Line a bread tin with parchment paper and press mixture into it. Before pressing it into the bread tin, or casserole dish, you can fold in dried fruits or even more nuts if you fancy. Freeze for about two hours, or even better, overnight.

Keep in the freezer for a more firm texture! If left in the fridge it gets more soft fudge, which would actually be a great sauce for ice cream when warmed up!

Keeps for about a week in Tupperware.

Easy and guilt free treat!

 

Paleo Dutch Baby

Dutch Dutch Baby!

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I had one of my pancake cravings this morning, but was also feeling a little bit lazy. This is just a simple recipe, which I’m sorta feeling this week, after a couple of days…well more like, weeks…of indulgent eating between it being the Regatta Festival in West Cork, my birthday, and taste testing for the eBook. I would also consider this on the healthier side, using all natural fresh ingredients. I see my blog’s recipes taking a healthier, cleaner route,  and my eBook certainly reflects that!

This is definitely a great recipe idea for a brunch with family and friends, served sliced and alongside coffee mimosas and you are pretty much guaranteed a good morning. The little amount of washing up is an added bonus! It’s another recipe of mine that is a great easy go-to.

Paleo Dutch Baby:

Ingredients:

3 eggs

1 1/2 tablespoons coconut flour

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Heaping tablespoon of coconut oil

Small handful of berries

Method:

Preheat oven to about 220C. In a medium frying pan, melt the coconut oil over a medium heat. While it’s melting, beat the eggs then add the other ingredients. Pour into pan, and let cook for about 2-3 minutes. Sprinkle on a couple of berries, and cook for another 3 minutes. It’ll look pale, and almost like it’s curdling. Then pop it in the oven for another 5-6 minutes, and cook through.

Serve with a splash of maple syrup, berries, coconut slivers, or yogurt!

Spicy Prawn Salad

Sun’s out in Dublin, and it’s beautiful! Such a change from yesterday. Maybe you’re hosting or going to one last summer BBQ? Or just don’t feel like cooking a massive meal?

This is a super quick and easy salad recipe, but there is a lot of flavor. It’s a colorful and bright dish, but the marinade really steals the show! It’s a good go-to for get togethers. Although it’s only August, this would make for a great, and very refreshing, starter at Christmas time.

The prawns are from Castletownbere, where the seafood is unreal. If you ever find yourself in West Cork, picking up some seafood is a must! Top chefs all over Ireland use, and give high praise to, West Cork’s seafood.

I made this Spicy Prawn Salad at my cooking demo earlier this month, and it was such a hit! Thanks again for those who came out.

 

CARMEL’S SPICY PRAWN SALAD

Serves 5-6

 

INGREDIENTS:

6 ears of fresh corn

1 lb cooked prawns

10 ounces cherry tomatoes

1 red bell pepper

 

1 teaspoon cumin powder

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon paprika

¼ cup tablespoon olive oil

2 cloves of garlic, minced

sprinkle of chili flakes

 

2 tablespoons parsley

2 tablespoons lime juice

2 tablespoons white vinegar

salt and pepper

 

METHOD:

Marinade the prawns for at least 45 minutes(the longer the better!). Marinade is: olive oil, cumin, turmeric, paprika, garlic and chili flakes. While marinating the prawns, cook the corn. Place the corn in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to boil, then drain and rinse. Set aside to cool. Whisk together parsley, lime juice, vinegar and salt and pepper. Put corn, prawns, tomatoes, and bell pepper in bowl. Pour the parsley dressing over. Serve alongside BBQ and enjoy!

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AVAILABLE NOW, my EBook!

I’m so excited! My recipe EBook is available now!!

It’s full of my most popular recipes from my blog, as well as two exclusive recipes just for the EBook. All the recipes are more from my ‘Saintly’ category.

It was challenging at times, but I love a challenge. It also made me tweak current recipes, tasting and testing my skills even more.

This will be the first of several!

Purchase here:

https://www.amazon.com/Quick-Easy-Cookin-Carmel-Recipes-ebook/dp/B01KG4VN6O/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1471868893&sr=8-1&keywords=Quick+and+Easy+Cookin%27+with+Carmel

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First look at my recipe eBook!

Here’s a peak at my FIRST recipe eBook! A handful of my blog’s most popular recipes, as well as two exclusive recipes just for the eBook, and some of my favorite pantry essentials!

I wanted to keep the cover clean looking and keep it fairly short. So the theme is quick and easy, and for the most part, it showcases more ‘Saintly’ than ‘Sinful’.

I’m just tweaking the layout and it’ll be ready for purchase!

It’ll be available August 21–keep your eyes out for more updates/news!

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COOKING DEMO NEXT WEEK

In West Cork next week?! I am giving a cooking demonstration on Bere Island! It’ll be at 5pm in the Community Center.

There’s a lot of fun activities on Bere Island happening over the next week, check out the line-up:

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Rozanna Purcell’s Natural Born Feeder Peanut Butter Brownie Squares

I’m a BIG supporter of Rozanna Purcell‘s cooking philosophy, and her recipes are delicious. I am thrilled to have her as a Guest Blogger; feature a Natural Born Feeder recipe!

I have a soft spot for peanut butter. And brownies. These Natural Born Feeder Peanut Butter Brownie Squares are perfect when you want something sweet, minus all those additives. Guilt free, but I am finding it hard to stop at one!

Peanut Butter Brownie Squares

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Ingredients

Base

  • 150g dates
  • 200g almonds
  • 50g dark chocolate melted

Top Layer

  • 150g coconut oil
  • 200g peanut butter
  • 150g maple/agave/honey (although maple or agave taste a little better here)
  • 100g roughly crushed roasted peanuts

Method

  1. For the base, mix all in the base ingredients until a fine bread crumb like mix.
  2. Press this mix down firmly and evenly into a square brownie tin (6″ or 8″).
  3. Set aside to the fridge while you make the awesome topping!
  4. For the top layer, melt the coconut oil over low heat( ensure there is no bubbling or boiling), stir in the peanut butter, maple and stir until there is no separation between the liquids.
  5. Remove from the heat and stir in the crushed peanuts, pour over the base. Place in fridge for 2-3 hours until set.

Yummm!

Pop over to Rozanna Purcell’s  Natural Born Feeder for more recipes!

Want to be a Guest Blogger/collab? Drop me a line at cookinwithcarmel@gmail.com!