Cranberry and Almond Brownies

Christmas Brownies

I spent a wonderful 24 hours in Dublin on Friday night and had the privilege of attending the 11th Trailblaze event held in the Grand Masonic Lodge. A stunning setting for the night of the Winter Solstice. We were welcomed into the lodge by the Christmassy smells of mulled wine and festive nibbles from The Cake CafĂ©. Such a treat. As we were led upstairs to the room where we would spend the next 3 hours, I couldn’t help but imagine what it was all like back in the 18th century. The Grand Masonic Lodge in Dublin is the second oldest lodge in the world and as you enter the main room upstairs, the walls are adorned with enourmous paintings of the Free Mason Elders. The night began with Brother Morgan telling us the history behind the Free Mason’s and where it all began. Clare and Cathy from Trailblaze then introduced each speaker. The theme of the night was ‘Secrets’, each speaker revealed a secret about themselves, other people, institutions and some even revealing the secrets about life. I was blown away by it all. At the end of the night, Clare Mulvany spoke once again and her words have stuck with me, ‘Ireland has so much potential, but it is up to us to make it happen’. Not a truer word spoken.

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Carolanne’s Christmas Cookies!

Christmas Cookie Experiment

I’m writing this from my beautiful parents home in the wild’s of Sligo in the northwest of Ireland. My hometown. My hands wrapped around a steaming hot mug of Barry’s Tea and a Christmas Cookie in my paw. This morning we ventured out for a walk underneath the misty overhanging mountain of Knocknarea. It was quite eerie and a little spectacular all at the same time. It is such a nice feeling to be back in a familiar environment surrounded by friendly faces that you haven’t seen in almost a year. Hugs have been aplenty and so have the laughs.

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Cauliflower Crust Pizza

Oh wow, this is amazing. I honestly did not know what I was getting myself into when I decided on a cauliflower crusted pizza for a mid week dinner. I must say I’m glad I did it. I had seen a couple of people mentioning it on the interwebz and I have to say I felt quite virtuous sitting down to my dinner. I’m always looking for lighter, healthier alternatives for some of my favourites and who doesn’t love indulging in a pizza as a mid-week treat. Now you can and it’s all vegetable. High five!

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Sweet Potato Brownies

Not your average kind of brownies, these are a little more dense and lot more nourishing. My obsession for Sweet Potatoes has been growing somewhat out of control these past few weeks and it was inevitable that they would end up in a sweet baked treat. I favour sweet potatos for their host of nutritional benefits and amazing taste. It is jam packed full of beta carotene, dietary fibre and pretty much has zero fat content.

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