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My Favourite Stuffing Mix for Christmas or Anytime!

This is a stuffing recipe that I have used for many years. It is versatile and adaptable and can be used with any type of meat. This makes enough for 8 people - generous portions!

You really can add whatever herbs you like to your stuffing!

My Ingredients:
250g (10oz) butter
200g (8oz) diced onion
100g (4oz) diced red onion
100g (4oz) grated carrot
1 tblsp chopped thyme
1 tblsp chopped parsley
1/2 tspn cracked black pepper
2 cloves garlic diced
1 tablespoon of Mixed herbs
300g (12oz) white breadcrumbs made with crusts and all
300g (12oz) wholemeal breadcrumbs made with crusts and all
Use Gluten Free Bread if you wish

My Method:
1. Simply place the butter and all other ingredients, except the crumbs, on a medium heat and cook gently, stirring, until the onions and other veg are soft.

2. Add the breadcrumbs and mix in well until the crumbs have absorbed all the butter and juices.

3. If the stuffing feels a little dry (depending on the type of day, the weather, the heat of the kitchen or one of another hundred amazingly uncontrollable conditions) I tend to add a little splash of my favourite white wine at this stage and mix well and then add a little of the cooking juices from the cooked turkey just before serving.

From my 10 Tips for the Perfect Turkey & My Stuffing Recipe see Full Post Here


Winner of Eurotoques Ireland 2012 Young Chef of the Year 2012

Eurotoques Ireland 2012 Young Chef of the Year 2012

For background details see this post:


A Little Taste of Christmas in Donegal Town Sunday 25th November

The Donegal Town Annual Christmas Food Event ‘A Little Taste of Christmas’ will be held this Sunday, 25th November 2012, from 11am to 6.30pm in the Abbey Hotel , Donegal Town.

This festive fun day marks the launch of the Christmas period in Donegal Town, in conjuction with the official switching on of Christmas Lights, on the Diamond in the centre of town, at 7.30pm.

Over 60 stands are taking part in an indoor Festive Market which will be offering the very best of quality local goods in food, craft, wooden traditional toys and decorations, along with a host of Christmas gift ideas, entertainment and much more throughout the day.

Organised by the Taste of Donegal Food Festival committee, under the direction of the local Community Chamber, this promises to be another exciting day full of the tastes and spirit of Christmas. The committee have built up a solid reputation, over the last few years, for putting on professional and entertaining shows aimed at encouraging shoppers to buy local whenever they can.

Community Chef Brian McDermott at last years Donegal Taste of Christmas

Cookery Demonstrations will operate throughout the day in the Demo Area - This year they are:

12.00pm - 1.00pm
Siansplan Christmas E-Book Launch
1.15pm - 2.15pm
Brian Mc Dermott Community Chef
2.30pm – 3.30pm
Anthony Armstrong WACS
3.45pm – 4.45pm
Brian Mc Dermott Community Chef
5.00pm – 6.00pm
Anthony Armstrong WACS

McGettigan's famous Sausages will be one of the many local stands exhibiting

Childrens Events during the day

12.00pm – 7.00pm
Santa’s Grotto
1.00pm – 6.00pm
Christmas Movies
1.00pm – 4.00pm
Face painting
6.00pm - 7.00pm
Mr Scallywags Christmas Puppet Show
Christmas Light Switch On with Santa & Friends

Products on display and for sale will include:

Hampers, Breads, Cakes & Puddings, Wine’s, Champagne andLiqueurs. Cheeses, Chutney, and Relish’s. Hotel and Restaurant Vouchers, Jewellery, Toys for Big Boys, Robots, Pets & Accessories. Ladies and Gents Gift sets with Perfumes and Aftershaves. Christmas Cards, Calendars & Candles. Health, Hair, Lifestyle, Beauty & Dental Products with expert advice, Ladies and Gents Clothing including Handmade Tweeds & Knits, Electrical Goods, Confectionery, Photography, Art work and Pottery, Household, Furniture, Garden& Wood Products. Cooking Oils, Turkey and Ham!

Edel Doherty from Turning Point Design see

You can Download the Donegal Taste of Christmas Festival Stand layout, in PDF format, HERE.

Entry fee to the Taste of Christmas Venue at the Abbey Hotel is €3 for adults and €1 for children and the Town's Christmas Lighting ceremony is Free on the Diamond at 7.30pm.

For more see


Winners of the Good Food Ireland 2012 Food Experience Awards

Good Food Ireland was established by Margaret Jeffares in November 2006, after identifying a gap and opportunity in the development of a strong food and tourism proposition for the island of Ireland. The aim was to link the agriculture & food sector with the hospitality sector and it has worked very successfully!

The Good Food Ireland Food Experience Awards 2012

The members of Good Food Ireland share a passionate belief in well-prepared and well-presented Irish, local and artisan food along with excellent standards of accommodation and hospitality services. The group has quite a rigorous set of standards that all members must adhere to.

The Good Food Ireland (GFI) Food Experience Awards 2012 celebrate their choice of excellence in their members. This year's awards, in association with Kerrygold, were held in The Shelbourne Hotel on Tuesday, November 20th with special guest attendance by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny T.D.

And the winners are:

Good Food Ireland Ambassador of the Year 2012
Ed Cooney, Executive Chef, Merrion Hotel, Dublin   @Edcooney

GFI Restaurant of the Year 2012
Restaurant FortyOne at Residence, St Stephen’s Green, Dublin

GFI Café of the Year 2012
Cafe Rua, Castlebar, Co Mayo

GFI Casual Dining Restaurant of the Year 2012
Farmgate, Midleton, Co Cork

GFI Cookery School of the Year 2012
Ballymaloe Cookery School, Co Cork

GFI Culinary Haven 2012
Renvyle House Hotel, Co Galway

GFI Culinary Hotel of the Year 2012
BrookLodge, Co Wicklow

GFI Food Lover’s Choice Award 2012
Kai Cafe and Restaurant, Galway city

GFI Food Producer of the Year 2012
The Foods of Athenry, Galway

GFI “Come and See” Producer of the Year 2012
The Apple Farm, Cahir, Co Tipperary

GFI Food Pub of the Year 2012
Hargadon’s, Sligo town

GFI Local Food Shop of the Year 2012
The Food Store, Claremorris, Co Mayo

Good Food Ireland Supreme Award of the Year 2012
Aniar Restaurant, Galway

Regional Newcomer Winners were: 

South: Sage Restaurant, Midleton, Co Cork and Mount Juliet, Co Kilkenny (Joint winners)
West: Aniar Restaurant, Co Galway
North: Balloo House, Killinchy, Co Down
East: Harte’s Bar and Grill, Kildare Town

For more about Good Food Ireland visit their website
at and follow them on Twitter @GoodFoodIreland

Congrats to all involved in raising the standards of Modern Irish Hospitality & Food!


The Big Mac Fundraiser for Ronald McDonald House at Our Lady's Children's Hospital, Crumlin

On the 24th November I'm taking the kids for a Big Mac. We don't have one here in Donegal Town so I'll have to drive 30 miles to Letterkenny to get there. I have my reasons. 

This Saturday, for one day only, McDonald’s will donate €1 to Ronald McDonald House (RMHC) for every Big Mac sold in Ireland.  

RMHC, the independent charity that funds and operates Ronald McDonald House in the grounds of Our Lady’s Hospital, Crumlin, has today launched McHappy Day 2012. All proceeds raised on Saturday will go to The Ronald McDonald House. I had a family reason, a few short few years ago, to use this great facility and we would get involved in fundraising locally for this charity.

The charity provides accommodation and a caring and supportive environment for families whose children are seriously ill and are hospitalised or undergoing medical treatment at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin, Dublin 12. 

Ronald McDonald House at Our Lady's Children's Hospital, Crumlin

RMHC Ireland Ltd. was set up in 1997 and the first Ronald McDonald House in Ireland opened in 2004. The House has a total of 20 en-suite family bedrooms in two separate buildings, each of which is adjacent to the Our Lady’s Hospital, Crumlin. The original building has 16 bedrooms and the second building which opened in March 2010, has 4 bedrooms. Each bedroom has a direct telephone line so parents can be quickly and easily connected to the hospital. 

€1 is being donated from every Big Mac sold in Ireland on Saturday, 24th November

Each room can accommodate up to four family members at a time. There are three kitchens and a large dining area in main building with a toddlers’ room, a TV room, a library and full laundry facilities. There is also a small garden and a dedicated children’s play area. The second building is also fully equipped with its own cooking, dining and laundry facilities.

McHappy Day is RMHC’s national fundraiser and will take place on Saturday, 24th November. McDonald’s Restaurants of Ireland and Owner Operators nationwide are showing their support for the charity with €1 being donated from every Big Mac sold on the day. RMHC will also be selling festive Santa hats in McDonald’s restaurants nationwide from 24th November until 5th December. 

With running costs of €300,000 a year, the charity receives no funding or financial support from either the hospital or the Government and relies on fundraising and donations to be able to continue to provide a ‘home away from home’ for over 2,200 families to date from across Ireland. 

The charity receives no government aid and is dependant on fundraisers and donations

Leinster and Ireland rugby star Shane Jennings (who is also on the charity's Board of Trustees)  today said: “Ronald McDonald House is an important resource for parents who are caring for children who are seriously ill. Having to be out of home for long periods of time to be close to their children can cause major stress emotionally and financially, this is where RMHC steps in. The idea is simple, nothing else should matter when a family is focused on healing their child.” 

Marian Carroll, Volunteer CEO of the RMHC said: “McHappy Day is our biggest annual fundraiser where all proceeds will go directly to the Ronald McDonald House. RMHC receives no government funding, relying on support of the public and fundraising initiatives to keep this important facility in operation."

Marian added, "This Saturday, for one day only, McDonald’s will donate €1 to RMHC for every Big Mac sold, so go on treat yourself!" McDonalds use 100% Irish Beef in their Burgers and every euro helps and we are calling on the public to show support and get down to your local McDonald’s this Saturday. McHappy Day Santa hats will also be on sale for €2 for a limited time only in restaurants nationwide."

Shane Jennings, Leinster & Ireland Rugby star, at the launch of the RMHC fundraiser

RMHC is an independent charity run by a Board of Trustees appointed by the Charity. For more about the Ronald McDonald House charity or to make a donation go to

This is a very excellent facility for family visiting sick kids in Our Lady's Children's Hospital, in Crumlin and this fundraising day is a very good cause, so if you don't normally eat much fast food make this fundraising day a good enough reason to have a Big Mac!


SMORGASBOARD - Win the Ultimate Board Game for Foodies!

Do you like fun & food with friends? Then you’ll love SMORGASBOARD®, a fun new game for foodies created by Irish husband & wife entrepreneurs, Richard Kelly & Maggie Leonard who form RichArt.

Born from a passion for food and a love of design, Richard & Maggie have spent the last two years developing SMORGASBOARD® and once the concept for the game was perfected, they used the Irish small business funding website FUND.IT to help get it to the production stage. The game has been wonderfully illustrated by the award winning designer Steve Simpson whose work has exhibited in London, LA and New York.

Players take on the guise of aspiring chefs as they work their way around the board in search of gastronomic success. The object of the game is to be the first team of chefs to graduate from Rick’s Culinary Academy! The losers... do the dishes! Divided into teams of two or more players, teams choose a Chef token to represent them on the board: Mister Broc, Señor Gamba, Monsieur Fromage, or Les Champs. All teams start at the space marked 'Start'. Play moves along the figure eight path towards 'Rick's Culinary Academy'.

To successfully graduate from Rick's Culinary Academy, teams must answer questions and complete activities from four food-related categories:

4BIDDEN-FRUIT: To win this category, your team must correctly guess the food related word by selecting a member of your team to describe the word, in the time allowed, without using the word itself or the '4' forbidden words.
KITCHEN-KAOS: To win this category, your team must correctly identify the food related word in the 'Word Jumble' anagram, correctly identify the 'Missing Ingredient' in the classic recipe, or correctly identify the 'Spoiler' that would spoil the classic recipe, in the time allowed.
NUÜDLE-DOODLE: To win this category, your team must correctly guess the food related word by selecting a member of your team to draw the word on the paper provided in the time allowed. However, once the pencil touches the paper, they may not lift it again until your team has correctly guessed the food related word or the time has elapsed. Prepare for noodle shaped drawings!
TASTO-QUEST: To win this category, your team must correctly answer the 'General Knowledge', 'True or False', or 'Multiple Choice' question in the time allowed.

 SMORGASBOARD® is manufactured at Hasbro Ireland in Co. Waterford and proudly carries the 'Guaranteed Irish' logo.


Richard has kindly given me a copy of SMORGASBOARD®  hot of the production line, to give away here as a Blog prize! To enter you simply:

1. LIKE the SMORGASBOARD® Facebook Page

2. LIKE the Irish Food Guide Facebook page

3. If you're not on Facebook JUST LEAVE A COMMENT with your NAME on This Blog Post.

This Competition will run until 1st December and the winner will be posted here on the blog.

This SMORGASBOARD® board game will make a perfect Christmas for the foodie in your Life. The game is available in these shops now and can also be purchased online at and you can follow them on Twitter @richart_games.

And the Winner of the @richart_games SMORGASBOARD game from the Irish Food Guide Blog competition is Kat Laing @ThePurplePage1  - We'll be in touch!


ASADOR - A Barbecue Restaurant opens in Dublin

Barbecued Food in Ireland took on a whole new twist last week, when a new restaurant officially opened it's doors last Thursday, 8th November and the concept of "Barbecuing in Style" was born.

The brainchild of Shane Mitchell, Rebecca Murray and John Quinn, ASADOR serves all the classic flame-grilled foods: Steaks, Chicken, Burgers, Lamb & Pulled Pork along with Lobster, fresh seafood and all the other traditional barbecue favourites are served with flair and a touch of class!

Everything is cooked over fires of oak, apple and lump wood charcoal
The food is all cooked on a wood-fired, bespoke 7-foot long Parrilla-type Grill. The word Asado means Barbecue in South America and  Asador means the Barbecuer or Chef. In Spain & Portugal the term Asador is usually applied to the style of cooking on a Barbecue Grill!

Only the finest Irish Steak is cooked on the Barbecue 
The three friends from Dublin had discussed the idea of a barbecue restaurant for many years. They wanted a new concept which was not in Dublin and one that would impress. Following some great meals in restaurants while on holiday in Spain and Portugal, the idea of using this type of barbecue grill, with all the theatre that goes with it, was born.

Head Chef, Eric Mooney - pic Tony O'Shea, sunday business post
The Head Chef, Eric Mooney, worked for the One Pico Group for four years and previous to that spent tome in the kitchens of Bon Appetit and Chapter One. He also lived and cooked in Spain for some time. "It's all about the balance of the flames, the flavour and the food. cooking modern cuisine using ancient methods". You can see the restaurant's menus here.

A bright and colourful and comfortable looking restaurant
The restaurant manager is Richie Huggard, who joins from the Residence member's club on St Stephen's Green. "We are open for Lunch, Brunch, Pre-Concert & Dinner, small or large parties. ASADOR is set to be one of the most sensory and satisfying dining experiences in the city and you can follow the restaurant on Twitter too @asadordublin"

Lemon wrapped Scallops on the Grill
For more see 
ASADOR, 1 Victoria House, Haddington Road, Dublin 4. Ph: 01 254 5353  - email:


The 2nd Annual Wicklow Wild & Slow Food Festival takes place 10th November weekend

"A year-long event culminating in a unique festival that celebrates everything that is good about Irish Food:
...fresh, local, traditional and wild." 

That's how Slow Food Ireland are describing the Wild & Slow Food Festival 2012 which is being held in Macreddin Village (80 km about a 1-hour drive south of Dublin) this weekend, the 10th & 11th November.

The Slow Food Ireland movement have been educating local communities and reminding people about the traditional skills used by their forefathers in gathering and preserving wild foods. Skills such as pickling, drying, curing, smoking, and preserving in oils, sugars and salts have been passed on, in detail, as well as information about the spectacular array of wild foods available during the Summer and Autumn months.

All those who took part in the information classes (adults and school kids) have been invited to gather and prepare their own wild food products and encouraged to present them for sale at what is being billed as Europe’s largest wild foods harvest market! Market Stall Holders, from all over Ireland, have being invited to provide and sell produce with a "Wild & Slow" twist over the weekend and the cream of Ireland's flourishing artisan Food Producers are taking part.

Made from the fruits of the Irish Forest 
The Wild & Slow concept is a celebration of all that is wild and naturally available in the garden of Ireland. The Slow Food mentors in the movement, want to help educate people of all ages, community based organisations, groups and clubs to gather and preserve, using traditional preservation methods, our wild herbs, leaves, berries, nuts and mushrooms.

Ireland has an abundance of wild and natural produce available to us throughout the seasons, if you know where to look and what to do with them! Wild Game, Fish, Mushrooms, Wild Garlics & Greens, Berries, Nuts & Fruits are to name a few. Check out this list of Irish Wild seasonal produce on the Wild & Slow website.

The members of Slow Food Ireland have also produced a brilliant collection of Wild & Slow Food Instruction Booklets (in PDF format) that can be downloaded from their website by clicking these links: Wild Garlic, Wild Elderflower, Wild Bilberries, Wild Sorrell, Wild Rowanberry, Wild Elderberry, Wild Ceps, Wild Crab Apple, Wild Rose Hip & Wild Sloe

The central concept of Slow Food Ireland is to cultivate enthusiasm
for fresh, local, home prepared wild foods.
Over the weekend of the Wild & Slow Food Festival, the organisers have set up a series of workshops and events presented by some of Ireland's top chefs, foragers, food producers and experts. They include Derry Clarke, Darina Allen, Ross Lewis, Sally McKenna, Evan Doyle, Ed Hick, Biddy white Lennon, Tim Daly, Gregory Alken, Enda Conneely, Mick Murphy, Oisin Davis, Mick Healy, Bill O’Dea, Clothilde Walenne, Philip McCabe and Frank Doyle. Click here at the Wild & Slow website for their full Workshop and Event details.

Slow Food Ireland is affiliated with Terra Madre, an international network of over 7,000 food producers, cooks, and university educators. Every two years, network delegates come together to discuss global food sustainability issues. The last Terra Madre took place in the autumn of 2010. Click here to visit it the Terra Madre website.

For complete details of the Wild & Slow Food Festival see: 


Chef Neven Maguire cooks for the kids of Donegal's GAA Bord na nÓg in Donegal Town

Award winning Irish Chef Neven Maguire comes to Donegal Town this week to help the local Four Masters G.A.A Clubs's Bord na nÓg (under-age players division) in their fundraising efforts. The club are based in Donegal town and cater for Footballer & Hurlers players at U8, U10 and U12. The Nursery provides coaching for U6 in Hurling, Camogie and Football in the local pitch at TirConnell Park.

Neven will be demonstrating a selection of Christmas recipes and giving some tips and tricks on how to plan your Christmas Dinner in advance so that the big day turns out to be a smooth and peaceful one!

Neven Maguire cooks for the kids of Donegal's GAA Bord na nÓg in Donegal Town
Neven will use a range of local Donegal artisan food products on the night of the demonstration and will be assisted on the stage by Community Chef Brian McDermott from Moville, who is one of Ireland's leading demonstration chefs. Brian specialises in educating people on how to eat a healthier diet. All those attending the evening will receive a recipe booklet containing a selection of delicious recipes from Neven’s new cookbook.

All-Star winning Donegal goalkeeper Paul Durcan
Neven will also be joined in the kitchen on the stage of the famous Abbey Hotel by Donegal All-Ireland medal winner and All-Star goalkeeper, Paul Durcan who has volunteered to help, or was roped in to help depending on who you ask! Paul (28) was born in Donegal Town and has a great affinity for Bord na nÓg as he rose through the young footballing ranks at the Four Masters Club, alongside the two other local players, Karl Lacey and Barry Dunnion, winning numerous under-age titles along the way.

Tickets are available from the Four Masters GAA club and on the Door
The evening is being accompanied by a showcase of some of the areas finest local food produce including wine tastings, the members of the Leghowney Country Market & McGettigan & Sons award winning sausages. Doors will open at 6.00 pm and people are welcome to come early to visit the many delights available on the stands including an opportunity to select and sample the perfect Christmas Day Wine and much much more. 

There will also be a number of raffle prizes with Neven kindly providing the ultimate prize - a Voucher for Dinner, Bed & Breakfast for 2 people at his award winning MacNean House and Restaurant. Other prizes include a weekend break sponsored by the Abbey Hotel, exclusive meal vouchers and luxurious Christmas hampers. 

The All-Ireland winning Donegal team will be bringing the Sam Maguire Cup 
This promises to be a great night with an opportunity also to meet another Maguire….. Sam Maguire and some more of the Donegal All-Ireland winning players. Tickets available from the Abbey Hotel Reception, Bord na nÓg committee members or any manager of the under-age teams.

The demonstration will be held on Wednesday November 7th. Tickets are €20 and doors open at 6pm with Neven's demonstration starting at 8pm.

Irish Crisp Company launches a Spud Nav and a new Christmas Turkey Flavour

The Shamrock is widely regarded as the symbol of Ireland. In 2012 the Keogh Family launched the world’s first-ever shamrock flavoured food delight, "Hand Cooked Shamrock and Sour Cream Irish potato Crisps". These hand cooked potato crisps are produced at the crisping house on the Keogh’s Family Farm in north county Dublin. They slice each spud extra thick and gently hand cook them, skins and all, in fresh sunflower oil using a very old American kettle.

This entrepreneurial Irish farming family have been growing potatoes in north county Dublin for over 200 years. The city of Dublin has grown around the farm over the years. 

Peter Keogh on the farm in the 1950's
Tom Keogh, managing director of the family business is passionate about potatoes. “We are the only potato growers in the world who offer fresh potatoes and potato crisps from the same farm side by side in the same store and we sleep, eat, breathe potato crisps and potatoes!” he said. “We are committed to working with Irish food producers like ourselves to create a distinctly Irish range of crisps and we are delighted to be working with the "Living Shamrock" company in Ballinskelligs, Co. Kerry. This area has been producing fresh shamrock for the American President since 1952”.

The Keogh Family Potato Farmers
Keogh’s are the only “on-farm” producers of hand cooked potato crisps in Ireland. They set up a small ‘crisping house’ on their farm, hand cooking the crisps in small batches and turning them from “Crop to Crisp” on the same day.

Keogh’s also have three other original flavours of crisps available. They include: Roast Beef and Dungarvan Irish Stout Crisps, created with Irish Stout from Dungarvan Brewing Company, Keogh’s Dubliner Irish Cheese & Onion Crisps and Keogh’s Atlantic Sea Salt & Lewellyn’s Irish Cider Vinegar Crisps using David Llewellyn’s Irish Orchard Produce from his small-holding in North County Dublin, near the Keogh’s Farm, where he grows a range of fruits and produces his award-winning cider vinegar. 

The SpudNav will show you exactly where your Potato Crisps came from
Keogh’s recently launched their unique ‘Spud Nav’ through which consumers can trace their bag of crisps right back to the field it came from! Simply enter the potato field name (which is printed on each bag) into the ‘SpudNav’ page on the Keoghs website and the web app will show you the exact field that the potatoes were grown in!

This month, November 2012, will see the arrival of the fifth flavour of Keogh’s crisps. Just in time for Christmas they are launching a new hand-cooked Keogh’s Roast Turkey and Secret Stuffing crisp. They have seasoned these crisps with their own secret stuffing recipe, handed down through the generations and contains herbs and spices picked fresh from their farmhouse garden which was started in the 1920’s. The succulent roast turkey flavours give the crisps an authentic Irish home-grown festive taste.  Yum!

Keoghs Farm are on Twitter at @KeoghsFarm and you can check out more about their range of Irish crisps and purchase them too, online here.


The Wild Atlantic Way is the world's Longest Coastal Route