An imperfectly delicious stack of homemade banana bread pancakes. Soft, pillowy, wholesome and filling. I usually fall asleep dreaming about my breakfast and last night was no different. After I received the amazing news about becoming a finalist in the … Continue reading
Last weekend in Cape Town, I imbibed in a delicious Milkshake concoction of Jack Daniels and Peanut Butter. It was glorious and the perfect accompaniment to the Royale Eatery‘s Wagyu Burger. I’ve been dreaming about milkshakes ever since coming back … Continue reading
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 Café. 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.
I really don’t think I will get used to hearing the speakers all over town blast out Christmas songs when it’s a blistering 35 degrees out and I’m ducking inside for a bit of cooling air con. I am dreaming of a White Christmas…do you think we will have snow in Ireland this year? It’s cold enough for it!
It’s Avocado season here in South Africa at the minute and I’m lucky enough that one of the girls at Bootcamp brings us a box of freshly picked Avo’s every fortnight. Last Friday I snagged some of the last few Avocados with dreams of making a creamy, rich and decadent chocolate mousse with them.
Chili con Cacao, sounds good right? Who couldn’t resist this traditional Spanish dish, infused with my very own raw chocolate. Simmered over a low heat for the day and served up with basmati rice, this dish was perfect for the Irish Foodies Chocolate Cookalong. It was my first time experimenting with savoury and bitter sweet and I really enjoyed the flavours and so did my guinea pigs. A little more chili for an extra kick is more than welcome. I was a little apprehensive about using chili and only used 2 red chilis in this but I think that 4 would have given it the desired POW! factor.
Here are the ingredients and feel free to mix it up a little bit. Make a dish your own by adding in your favourite flavours.
500g Minced Beef
2 large onions
3 cloves garlic
2 cans of tomatoes (diced)
4 tspns cumin
1 tspn oregano
2 bay leaves
2-4 red chilis
2 tspns salt
1/2 tspn pepper
2 cans of kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
80g Raw Chocolate
1/2 glass of wine
1 cup of rice
Heat a saucepan with olive oil.
Dice the onions and garlic and add to the pan. Sweat for about 15 minutes.
Add the meat and brown.
Add in the cumin, bay leaves, oregano, salt and pepper.
Cook for 10 more minutes to release the flavours.
Pour in the two tins of tomatoes.
Simmer for 30 minutes.
Tipple in the red wine.
Break in the chocolate and allow to melt.
After draining the kidney beans, throw them in to the pan with the chili.
Leave the chili on the lowest heat and simmer for about 2 hours.
Boil up the cup of rice with 2 cups of water and serve with the chili.
Sprinkle with some cheddar and devour.
I left my chili cooking for 4 hours in total and I feel it needed every second. It had the chance to release and absorb all of the flavours, the meat was tender and the flavours had combined to form a rich and exotic taste.
It was followed by these mini chocolate and rummy cakes. The guinea pigs had a great feast! I’d be lost without them 🙂