American City meets Irish Countryside: Farmette (previously I married an Irish Farmer) shares the adventures of Imen McDonnell, an American expat living in rural Ireland. The blog chronicles her move from her glam life working in tv, film & advertising production in the US to her new life with her husband Richard & son Jeffrey on their farm in Co. Limerick. Since her move across the pond, Imen has taken it upon herself to learn a variety of new skills from making butter from scratch to brewing her own cider. Imen shares her take on Irish cuisine with her own American twist (check out her Irish Sandwich Cake) & offers a fresh, honest insight to Irish daily life. Wonderfully illustrated, easy to navigate & with content that will delight & intrigue the reader (Hay Ice-cream anyone?), Farmette is not to be missed! farmette.ie
I Can Has Cook? is the lovely, clever blog from food writer and journalist, Aoife McElwain. It represents the best of blogs, because this is not simply a one-way transmission of good recipes (although there are plenty of these - we really like Ottolenghi Inspired Eggs and Spiced Roast Chicken). Instead, it feels like one long and fascinating food conversation, helped by its wit, candour (what did go wrong with those banana muffins?!) and what is apparently an insatiable curiousity about food. Lots of excellent vegetarian recipes and a strong international flavour, along with consistently beautiful photography, all add to the charm. Addictive. www.Icanhascook.com
Dermie O'Sullivan's Gas Mark Seven is a feast for the senses, with beautiful photographs and mouth-watering recipes. His passion for Irish food shines through, with plenty of reviews, recommendations and interviews with Irish food producers, chefs and restaurateurs. Chocolate features heavily in Dermie's recipes (his Salted Dulche de Leche Hot Chocolate is a taste sensation), even making an appearance in savoury dishes with great results. (Try his Chocolate Chilli Con Carne if you don't believe us). There's plenty of inspiration for non chocoholics though, often with a strong focus on seasonal produce. We loved the Jerusalem Artichoke Soup & Crispy Chorizo. Decadent and delicious - don't miss it. www.gasmarkseven.com
Warm & Snug & Fat is the blog of Anne Marie Carroll, a Tipperary lady with a grá for all things food related. Clear, easy to navigate and full of delicious recipes, this has been our go-to virtual hang out spot for the past month but its cosy title belies the fact that it has great recipes for all year round. The photos are beautifully taken and the recipe ingredients are simple and accessible. Our favourites include the Apple Cuscakes (that is apple and custard cupcakes to the rest of us) and the Banana Cream Pie which is a hit with kids, family, friends and, curiously, people with ill-fitting dentures ... now you have to read it to find out why.
Mona Wise's Wise Words is the talk of the blogosphere since she picked up 4 awards at the recent Blog Awards Ireland. Winning gongs in the categories of food, photography and journalism, she also won Best Overall Blog. This is no mean feat by any standard, but when you consider how strong Irish food blogs and blogs in general are currently, it's an outstanding achievement. Apart from being one of the most gorgeously designed blogs you'll find, Wise Words is the kind of site you could lose hours in. More (much more) than just recipes, this is an irresistible collection of stories, musing, kitchen dreaming and family anecdotes. But it also contains mouth-watering recipes (Pecan Pie is compulsory) created by Mona's husband, Ron Wise. No surprise that Mona has her own column in the Sunday Times and has just published a memoir with recipes, The Chef and I. Enjoy!
Not to be missed is Wholesome Ireland, Caítríona Redmond's Foodie Blog. Beautifully laid out, well-indexed and easy to navigate, it also features a lovely and very clean style of photography. There are lots of delicious recipes (lemon yogurt cupcakes are to die for), including plenty of clever and suprising offerings like Fatless Swiss Roll and Sugar Free Tea Cake, where you can see how Caítríona has really challenged herself (and successfully taken on generally accepted wisdom) to create tasty recipes with simple ingredients. Sometimes less really is more and the proof is in the eating! Wholesome also features posts that give a great insight into Caítríona's own food and family philosophy, like this thought-provoking one on lifeskills. Food for thought!
This month, we are really enjoying Fiona Dillon's Hunters Lodge Living blog. A love of food, and specifically where it comes from, combined with an obvious passion for writing makes it an irresistible read. The Queen of Self Sufficiency, Fiona is a mum of 4 and has turned her hand to growing vegetables and fruit; keeping hens, ducks, geese, pigs and bees; blogging; contributing a weekly slot to KCLR96FM and even making radio documentaries. Best of all, she finds time to teach others how to do the same (even apartment dwellers!) and you can find details of her courses here. This honest, frank and funny blog about the successes (and occasional failures) of being self sufficient takes the mystery out of growing and rearing your own food, and is a joy to follow. www.hunterslodgeliving.com
Nessa's Family Kitchen has lots of fans at Glenisk, thanks to a (frankly enormous) database of consistently good recipes; and a lovely, easy to navigate blog. As a mum of four, it’s no surprise that kids food features strongly, including a must see Party Planner and a section on Cooking with Kids. We’re not sure if Nessa has the best-lit kitchen in Ireland, is a PRO photographer or just has the most photogenic offspring, but we especially love the pics of Nessa’s children, their faces a study in concentration as they help cook, make and bake with their mum. Our favourite recipes include Feel Good Noodle Soup and do check out the video section for a practical how-to-guide. nessasfamilykitchen.blogspot.com
Nenaghgal is the blog of Lisa McGee, an American living in Tipperary. An author, stylist and all-round creative force, she blogs about food, travel, art, craft, design, interiors, gardening and specifically her experiences of Ireland - her enthusiasm for travelling the island is genuinely infectious. We especially like her moist Lemon Cake with its impressive giftwrap. For an ambitious but fun home project, we also recommend her Home Made Sushi! Great for getting stuck into food. http://nenaghgal.blogspot.com
This successful blog belongs to Sheila Kiely, mother of 6 children who runs a food safety business with her husband. So successful in fact, that it is now a book, (also called Gimme the Recipe) published by Mercier Press. With a bio like hers, it’s no surprise that Sheila’s recipes are created for busy people. We love her recipes for Cranberry Pork Chops, and the super decadent Raspberry Chocolate Fondant. Sheila's comprehensive lunch box planner is a must-view for busy parents or those fed up decanting uneaten sambos from box to bin at the end of the school day. www.gimmetherecipe.com
Babaduck is the gorgeous food blog by Aoife Ryan and is one of our favourites. Well-written, it offers tasty recipes, easy to follow and beautifully photographed. A francophile who hates blue cheese (Sacre-Bleu!), this is a no-nonsense, no food snobbery blog with lots of interesting ingredient combinations. We especially love Aoife’s sweet Funny Valentine Biscuits with the unexpected sour cream icing, and her ‘Deformed’ Courgette Halibut. Well worth a look. Dig in at www.babaduck.com