Sunday, September 30, 2012

Family Menus

So, today I'm planning the usual Sunday family meal and I'm also thinking about how hard it is toplan the most basic requirement-meals that the whole family likes. I have one vegetarian, one "just chips & no pizza", one "no wet sauces" and one "not too fussy" in my four kids. It's a challenge and thank God for Quorn. But I tend to plan a weeks menu in advance so as not to get caughton the hop at tea time with the panic of "what shall I cook?". This weeks menu looked like this;

Sausages/Quorn sausages& chips
Chinese chicken with rice/Bean & potato veg stew (V)
Friday night pizza/plain pasta
Pasta & sundried tomato pesto with pinenuts & bacon (separate to add)
Sunday roast chicken/Quorn fillet(v)
(to come)
mince hotpot topped with glazed potatoes/cheesy root gratin(v)
beef casserole & potatoes/ root gratin reheated (v)+fresh veg

It's a pain, but I find if I take the five minutes to think it through I spend much less on impulse in the supermarket and have all I need in the house.

A few recipes;

Chinese-style lemon chicken with rice
Mix 1 egg, a crushed garlic clove and grated rind 1 lemon together and add 500g cubed chicken breast. Marinade 15 mins then stir in 2 tbsps cornflour to dissolve and coat the chicken. get your rice on. Heat tblsp oil in frying pan, add half the chicken pieces a piece at a time, cook 5 mins then turn over for another 5 mins. Remove and add other batch. Return all chicken to pan, cook 2-3 mins more till cooked .Squeeze over juice 2 lemons and 2 tsp sweet chilli sauce. Heat through and serve with rice.

Veg and bean casserole
I adapted this from a weight watchers recipe that included quorn sausages so you could add sausage to this if wanted.
Tip a 400g can butterbeans into saucepan, add a veg stock cube. Chop an onion and some mushrooms and fry lightly, add to saucepan. Peel and large dice 3 medium potatoes and a carrot. Add a tin of chopped tomatoes and half the can again of water. Bring to boil then simmer gently till potatoes are cooked. You can add any root veg to this and change the veg depending on what you have available. I have thinned this the next day and added small pasta to make a hearty soup.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Books read in September

The Land of Decoration-Grace McCleen.
I spoke about this book when it won the Desmond Elliot prize but I've only just got round to reading it. It was just a great, very unsettling read. Narrated by a ten year old girl whose father is a member of a religious group who believe in the coming Armagedon, she tells of her isolation and bullying at school and her belief in her own power to perform miracles. Odd and well recommended.

Dream of Ding Village-Yan Lianke
The first thing about this extraordinary book is that the author is one of China's most controversial novels and had his previous novel banned. This novel too was banned and all this one of their most established writers who has won many prizes. The controversy here is the 'factional' basis of the story, villagers in China infected with Aids and dying after selling their blood. All the more difficult to read after googling it and reading the news stories in The Guardian etc. Another interesting and recommended book.

Limassol-Yishai Sarid
I haven't finished this yet but it's a very unusual story. The main protagonist is an Israeli Secret Service Agent who gains information through torture. Sounds grim eh? We are witness to the disintegration of his marriage and the parallel story of his official befriending an artist friend to get to the father of a wanted terrorist leader. Quite spare in its language it quickly draws you in, bringing you closer to the complications of modern day Israeli society. It was on the shortlist for the IMPAC prize this year.
(LIMASSOL) BY Paperback (Author) Paperback Published on (11 , 2010)
Whisper of Nemesis-Anne Zouroudi 
I've only just discovered this novel series with the Greek detective Hermes Diaktoros , but this is the fifth one. It's set on a small Greek island where the remains of a body are being dug up in line with Greek Orthodox belief to see if the bones are white sybolising a pure life. But the bones have been transformed to those of a pig and from here the mystery builds. Gentle, entertaining and satisfying.

Postal geography at Instituto Cervantes

I don't mind recommending this great website I regularly check it out for free things to do in Dublin and plan my week around it.

During Culture Night I went to this exhibition "Postal Geography" which is on in Instituto Cervantes in Lincoln Place, Dublin 2 until 17th November. In the first half of the 20th Century the family of Spanish poet Federico García Lorca and the De los Ríos family sent each other postcards almost daily. Some of them are very beautiful, others are just very interesting to see the historical pictures of the places visited. It's free so go see it.


This is why we love Paris so...

Story recently read on
Clothes sold by the kilo

"Clothes sold by the kilo
September 27th, 2012

"I would like 1 kilo of retro skirts, 500 grams of vintage scarves and 2 kilos of printed blouses". In this market, they don't sell apples, they sell second-hand clothes. Welcome to Kiloshop, the new fashion addicts' haunt that just bloomed in the Marais.

The concept of this titanic loft ? Vintage clothing... sold by the kilo. You smell and appreciate the material, feel the weight, and come across a lovely top or a designer dress. All the clothes are gathered according to the colors or prints. Leather pouch : 12,50 € / kg. Jeans and shorts : 20 € /kg. Here's a strategic plan : choose a silk shirt that will weigh a lot less than a big wool sweater. At such a price, why deprive ourselves ?

60-71 rue de la Verrerie, 75004
Tél : 09 67 13 79 54"
Now, that's the way to do it!!

Edna O'Brien's memoir

I can't wait to read this; Country Girl: A Memoir By Edna O’Brien.
Country Girl: A Memoir
 I went over to hear the marvelous lady speak last year in Dun Laoghaire as part of the writers festival. She was no disappointment, telling us in her theatrical velvet brogue that she "had to write or else I'd die". Wonderful! The theatre was packed with adoring fans and she was a pleasure to listen to.

Mary Robinson has reviewed the book in today's Irish Times saying how she was "seduced again by her exquisite use of language and wonderful capacity to write a beautiful paragraph". Definitely going to the top of my not-yet-made-cos-it's-too early christmas list.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Positive Ageing Photo exhibition

This looks good, in The European Commission building on Dawson Street.

"Drop into us next week for the Positive Ageing Photography Exhibition on display from Monday 1st to Wednesday 3rd Oct.
The exhibition is made of 30 photos which are a selection of entries from 4 Positive Ageing Photo Competitions 2007-2010 which is run by Age Action. The images are about older people getting out and enjoying life. Some are still working, while others are continuing to enjoy hobbies perfected over a lifetime and some are captured passing on their skills to another generation."

Dublin Art Listings of Interest-week 28th September

A Change in the Air
Meditative, closely observed landscapes by Mayo-based Keith Wilson. Oliver Sears Gallery, 29 Molesworth St Until Oct 25 01-6449459

The Cold Edge
Stunning polar images by photographer, writer and environmentalist Dave Walsh. Copper House Gallery, off Synge St Fri 10am-5pm Ends Sep 28 14 01-4784088
Iceberg Cemetery

Companion show to Gavin Murphy's current RHA exhibition, exploring ideas relating to progress, novelty and creative responsibility. Oonagh Young Gallery, 1 James Joyce St Thurs-Fri noon-6pm, Sat 1-4pm Until Oct 28 01-8558500

Futures 12
Highlighting emergent artists Lucy Andrews, Peter Burns, Caoimhe Kilfeather, Ed Miliano, Jim Ricks and Stephanie Rowe (Until Oct 28). On Seeing Only Totally New Things/Something New Under the Sun: Gavin Murphy explores the social, cultural, personal and industrial histories of the long- gone modernist Imco building in Dublin (Until Oct 28). Draw full size: Julie Merriman's work centres on plans and blueprints (Until Nov 4). Enlightenment and Legacy: Seán Keating and the ESB, curated by Dr Éimear O'Connor (Until Dec 21). Predella: eight folding chairs by Michael Warren (Until Dec 21). Royal Hibernian Academy, Gallagher Gallery, 15 Ely Place Mon-Tues 11am-5pm, Wed-Sat 11am-7pm, Sun 2-5pm 01-6612558

Gingles & Gingles
Collaborative show of sculpture, painting and works on paper by Graham and Lisa Gingles. Peppercanister Gallery, 3 Herbert St Fri 10am- 5.30pm, Sat 10am-1pm Ends Sep 29 01-6611279

Niamh McCann's sculptures, paintings and collages disrupt the cultural narrative of the 1960s. Green on Red Gallery, 26-28 Lombard St Tues-Fri 10am-6pm, Sat 1-4pm Until Oct 6 01-6713414
LIFE, journey to the moon, 399 pieces (2012)

IPS Annual Exhibition
Work by Polish and Irish artists. Polish House, 20 Fitzwilliam Place Fri noon-5.30pm, Sat-Sun 2-6pm Until Oct 12

Jack of All Trades
Yeats's Punch cartoons and illustrations by Irish painters. (Until Dec 2). Real Life? - Hogarth's Images of Love, Death and Family: focus on the gallery's impressive holdings of Hogarth's satirical print works and his paintings (Until Nov 18). Artists Face to Face: 25 portraits of artists, on display in the Beit Wing (Ends Sept 30). Plus works from the permanent collection. National Gallery of Ireland, Clare St Mon-Sat 9.30am-5.30pm, Thurs 9.30am- 8.30pm, Sun noon-5.30pm 01-6615133

Land and Sea
Chris Wilson's recent work explores the luminous grey light of Irish landscape (Until Oct 4). A room of one's own: Roisin O'Farrell's domestic interiors (Until Oct 16). Doorway Gallery, 24 Sth Fredereick St Mon-Sat 10.30- 6pm, Thurs 10.30am-7.30pm, Sun 2-5pm Until Oct 4 01-7645895

Magical Materials
The peculiar properties of spectacular materials, from the lightest solid, aerogel to tough- as-kelvar silk spun by spiders. Science Gallery, TCD Tues-Fri noon-8pm, Sat-Sun noon-6pm Until Oct 14 01-8964091

Particles of the Past
Ireland's scientific past in an exhibition drawn from the National Library's collection, marking Dublin City of Science 2012. National Library, 2 Kildare St

PhotoIreland Festival 2012: Migrations
The Seán Hillen Collection: Photographs from the North of Ireland 1979-1990. National Photographic Archive, Meeting House Sq (Ends Sep 30)

Postal Geography
Martin Parr selects postcards from the extensive collections of the García Lorca and De los Ríos families, bringing us close to the daily life of Federico García Lorca. Instituto Cervantes, Lincoln Place Mon-Thurs 2-7pm, Sat 10am-2pm Until Nov 17

John Fitzsimons's work reflects current thinking on the Egyptian pyramids . Olivier Cornet Gallery, 1 The Wooden Bldg, Exchange St Upr, Temple Bar Fri-Sat 11am-6pm, Sun noon-5pm Ends Sep 30 01-6770280

Reciprocal Space
Imagery packed with symbols in paintings by Geraldine O'Neill. Kevin Kavanagh, Chancery Lane Tues- Fri 10.30am-5.30pm, Sat 11am- 5pm Until Oct 13 01-4759514

Revolutionary States: Home Rule & Modern Ireland
Portraits from the gallery collection featuring most of the key figures associated with the introduction of the Third Home Rule Bill 100 years ago (Until Oct 21). Sleepwalkers: Jesse Jones - The Triology of Dust: Three films made by Jones over the past three years (Gallery 10 Until Oct 7). Sleepwalkers: Production as Process: Clodagh Emoe, Lee Welch, Sean Lynch, Linda Quinlan, Jim Ricks and Gavin Murphy (Gallery 8 Until Jan 27). Dublin City Gallery, The Hugh Lane, Parnell Sq Nth Tues-Thurs 10am-6pm, Fri-Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 11am-5pm 01-8741903

Something Thrown & Caught
Paintings by Bennie Reilly. Talbot Gallery & Studios Tues- Fri 10.30am-5pm, Sat 11am- 4pm Until Oct 5 01-8556599
Something Thrown and Caught

Patrick Hogan's photos document his surrounding in rural Tipperary through portraits, interiors, still lifes and landscapes. Gallery of Photography, Meeting House Sq Until Oct 28 01-6714654

"Modern alchemy" in Nina Canell's playful and poetic sculptural works "about air as well as all that moves in it". (Gallery 1). The Paradise [37]: new installation by Fergus Feehily about light & darkness. Douglas Hyde Gallery, TCD Mon-Fri 11am- 6pm (Thurs 11am-7pm), Sat 11am-4.45pm Until Nov 14 01-8961116

New bodies of work by renowned Scottish abstract painter Callum Innes. Kerlin Gallery, Anne's Lane, Sth Anne St Mon-Fri 10am-5.45pm, Sat 11am-4.30pm Until Oct 13 01-6709093
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Whitewashing the Moon
Objects transformed in works by Caroline Achaintre, Jorge De la Garza, Eleanor Duffin, Barbara Knezevic, Raphael Zarka and Edward Everett Hale (Until Oct 27). The Forgotten Works: commissioned, site- specific installation by Ruth E Lyons expanding out from the bjuilding's facade (Until Oct 20). Here's to You: Site-specific installation by Kevin Kirwan in the Grotto series (Until Oct 27). Project Arts Centre, 39 East Essex St, Temple Bar Mon-Sat 11am-7pm 01-8819613

New paintings by Nick Miller based on the metal workshop yard adjacent to his rural Co Sligo studio. Rubicon Gallery, 10 St Stephen's Green Tues-Sat noon-5pm Until Oct 6 01-6708055

Chester Beatty Exhibition

That lovely museum, the Chester Beatty, has a new small exhibition running until next March 2013 of 30 of the 400 paintings that were owned by Chester Beatty himself that he gifted to The National Gallery of Ireland.
Caravan on the Nile The Gulf of Aqaba by Jean Léon Gérôme, c. 1897.
Falcon Hunt (Algeria Remembered) by Eugéne Fromentin, 1874

The Gleaners by Jules Adolphe Aimé Louis Breton, 1854.

"Futures 12" at RHA

Futures 12 is the new exhibition at The Royal Hibernian Gallery in Ely Place. 
The artists in FUTURES 12 are Lucy Andrews, Peter Burns, Caoimhe Kilfeather, Ed Miliano, Jim Ricks and Stephanie Rowe.      It runs until the 28th October 2012.   

Lucy Andrews

Hidden Dublin- Chaloner's Corner in Trinity

Bernd Biege, the Guide tells us, " Dublin's smallest graveyard, a resting place for notable academics.
Size isn't everything - Chaloner's Corner, Dublin's smallest cemetery, is tucked away into a corner of Trinity College, hemmed in by buildings and a footpath. Only a handful of persons found their eternal rest in this busy place (but more are interred either under the Chapel or in a nearby college cemetery). Worth a look for its curiosity value when you visit Trinity College.
 The most notable grave is Dr. Luke Chaloner's, he was the first provost of Trinity College (and gave his name to the cemetery in a corner ...)."

Interesting! It's just to the right of the chapel.

War Memorial Gardens at Islandbridge

I've been to most places in Dublin, but never to the War Memorial Gardens. It's just so awkward to get to by public transport, but I must remedy that soon as it looks very interesting.

War Memorial Gardens 1

War Memorial Gardens 2

War Memorial Gardens 4

These gardens are one of the most famous memorial gardens in Europe. They are dedicated to the memory of 49,400 Irish soldiers who died in the 1914 – 1918 war. The names of all the soldiers are contained in the beautifully illustrated Harry Clarke manuscripts in the granite bookrooms in the gardens.
These gardens are not only a place of remembrance but are also of great architectural interest and beauty. They are one of four gardens in this country designed by the famous architect Sir Edwin Lutyens (1869-1944). The others being Heywood Gardens (see p.63), Lambay Island and those in Howth Castle.
Sunken rose gardens, herbaceous borders and extensive tree planting make for an enjoyable visit to the gardens in any season.
Location: South Circular Rd, Islandbridge.
Entrance from Con Colbert Rd. and South Circular Rd. (Phoenix Park end)
Bus Route(s): No's. 51, 68 and 69 from Aston Quay.

Nigella Nutella Cheesecake

OMG! I made this last night. It is soooo easy and soooo delicious. To be honest, you can't eat too much cos you'll just get sick but it's still de-lish-us. I didn't change the recipe except for using less toasted hazelnuts on top.
  • 250 g digestives
  • 75 g soft butter
  • 400 g Nutella at room temperature
  • 100 g hazelnuts toasted and chopped
  • 500 g cream cheese at room temperature
  • 60 g Icing sugar

  • Just stick the biscuits, butter and a tablespoon of nutella into a processor and whizz till clumps form. Stir in a quarter of the nuts. tip into a spring-form tin, level out and chill.
    Blend the cheese and sugar, then add in the nutella, plop onto the base, smooth out, sprinkle with the rest of the nuts and chill. Voila! Yummy!


    This sounds really cool, and if you're in Dublin in the next fewweeks you should drop in- I will be.

    "The Icon Factory is pleased to host Fergal Coghlan's first solo show, "Six Riffs and a Tab", running from Friday, 28th of September to Thursday, 25th of October.


    Opening on Friday 28th September at 6pm (until 9pm)

    Dublin-born artist Fergal Coghlan has been painting, drawing and sketching since his early childhood. He specialises in portraits using mostly acrylic and spray paint on canvas, wood and vinyl. Fergal's lifelong interest in music is perfectly illustrated in his artwork by a whole series of musicians who inspire him, often painted directly onto old LP records. Fergal has grown as an artist in the last two years, developing more as a painter by incorporating his earlier graffiti styles into the finer art that he produces today."

    Behind The Hard Rock Cafe/Morgan Hotel just off Fleet St.
    The Icon Factory is a non-profit, locally based artist’s co-operative and gallery.
    The Icon Walk The Icon Factory Aston Place Temple Bar Dublin D2.