Brie, Nut and Ginger Wheel

Great for sharing between two for Valentine's Day or as an appetizer or dessert during a dinner party

Lentil Salad with Sunblush Tomatoes and Feta

From: Today

This is one of my all time favourite salads. It has a really moreish taste with a lovely texture. This is one of my 'substantial salad' recipes: salads made with resilient ingredients that are filling, transport well and stay fresh. Lentils are economical, highly nutritious and easy to cook. This salad makes a great packed lunch, and will stay fresh in the fridge for three days. Delicious hot or cold, served with grilled fish or on its own.

Monica's Magic Molten Chocolate Pudding

This is my mom's recipe and it is the easiest, most decadent chocolate pudding. It is like a giant chocolate fondant baked in a lasagne type dish. There are two parts to the recipe, a sponge batter and a sauce. These get made separately and then poured into the dish. They curdle and look strange, but during baking they separate and you get chocolate sponge on the top and a rich dark chocolate sauce underneath. Serve warm with cream or ice cream and fresh or frozen berries. Some of the solid ingredients are measured by volume in millilitres, so use your measuring spoons for small amounts and your measuring jug for larger quantitites.

Ginger hoisin beef

This is the very first stir fry recipe I cooked in the wok that my dad bought me when I was 17. The wok is still going strong and so is this recipe. The ish factor is the sauce and the marinade. Hoisin sauce has a lovely sweet plummy taste and oyster sauce is deep and rich, perfect for beef. The pale dry sherry is the substitute for Chinese rice wine,and really enhances the aromatic heat of the ginger. Use extra veggies if preferred and serve with rice or noodles to mop up the sauce.

Sweet Potato and Tomato Soup

Simple, tasty, figure friendly, family favourite, lunchbox filler, freezes well - this recipe from Rozanne Stevens ticks all the boxes.

Sweet and sour chicken

This is a favourite takeawayish recipe, perfect for kids and people trying to convert to healthier dinners. Jam packed with extra crunchy, colourful veggies that you can sneak into your family's diet. The ish factor is the sauce, a really tasty authentic sauce but with a fraction of the sugar of shop-bought 'cook in' sauces.

Monica's Apple Caramel Sponge

My mom has been making this recipe for as long as I can remember. First, you bake the appley, cinnamony sponge, then you pour the steaming, rich caramel sauce over and allow it to sink in. Heaven with cream or custard. There are 140 varieties of apples that are native to Ireland with wonderful names like 'Cavan Rose' and 'Irish Molly'. Any eating or cooking apple will work, so have fun experimenting with different types, not the same old same old!

Seafood Chowder Pies

Ireland is very fortunate to have such an abundance of fresh seafood - so important as part of a varied and healthy diet. I love to experiment with new recipes, but I still come back to old favourites like fish chowder. I fell in love with seafood chowder on a wet October weekend in Doolin when I moved to Ireland many years ago. I use this basic mixture in several different ways - delish over a baked potato too!

Pork and Papaya Salad

One for those summer evenings.

Spiced Citrus Cake

This is a wonderfully light, fluffy cake due to the airy whisked egg whites folded in. Subtly scented with spices and lightly fragranced with citrus, this cake is perfect with a cup of tea. Or serve as a dessert with Greek yoghurt and fresh fruit if you want a lighter finish to a meal. I've used vanilla bean paste here which is one of my Pantry Pals (I love the aroma and natural sweetness of real vanilla seeds). The solid ingredients in this cake are measured in millilitres, so use your measuring jug instead of weighing scales.




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