Thursday, July 30, 2015

WINTOUR&GUINNESS AND DAN CHURCHILL'S "THE HEALTHY COOK" FLOURLESS BANANA BREAD RECIPE


Yesterday I finally caught up on the final of Masterchef Australia's seventh season. It was a bittersweet moment for me, for although I am a huge fan of the show; sixty-two episodes later I can finally put that series to bed and finally watch something else. See, a show like Masterchef Australia takes over your evenings and whilst you are happy to become obsessed with each of the contestants and the challenges they face daily; its a huge commitment and sometimes you want to just get to the end and find out who wins. 

Now the main prize this year was insane, but not every winner goes on to become big and famous. Over the years some of the most successful contestants have barely made it into the top five. Daniel Churchill made it to eighth place in season five of the show and since then has become one of the most successful celebrity cooks in recent years. Recently returning from the states, Churchill has two books under his belt so far, The Healthy Cook (2014) and Dude Food (2015). Before returning back to Ireland in December, I made sure to pick up a copy of The Healthy Cook as I was keen to incorporate some healthier dishes into my diet and this guys seriously practices what he preaches. 

One of the hardest things for me to avoid are desserts and treats (especially in the evening time) and I have a massive sweet tooth. Over the years I lived in Melbourne, I couldn't help but order banana bread whenever I went out for breakfast. Lets not try and fool anyone here, banana bread is by no means healthy, especially when you order it from McCafe or toasted with a side of maple cinnamon butter. Agh, yes I can hear a collective sigh from all of you wishing you had a slice of that right in front of you. The smell of freshly baked banana bread in the morning is a thing of joy and an Aussie tradition for those looking for a little sweetness in the morning. With that, Dan decided to create his own healthy(ier) version of this Aussie staple. 


I recently made this with great success, having enough to last me for a few days (which is rare in our household) and with a lot of people having a sweet tooth like myself; I wanted to share it with you all. 

Ingredients:

3 Bananas 
3 eggs, separated 
2 tbsp honey (or agave if you have it)
2 tsp ground cinnamon (I put extra in as I love the taste)
1 tsp all spice
1 cup of sifted almond meal
1 tsp chia seeds

Cooking Steps:

Preheat your oven to 160 degrees Celsius. 

Halve a banana length ways and set one piece aside. With the remaining 2 and a half bananas, slice them and with the back of a fork mash them. Don't completely mash them, leave them with some chunks (its always a thrill finding a nice big piece banana in your slice).

Whisk the eggs yolks with the honey until they are nice n' smooth. Add the mashed banana, cinnamon, chia seeds and all spice and combine. 

Using an electric mixer, whisk your egg whites and keep doing so until they are light, fluffy and you are able to turn the bowl upside down over your head within them moving. Then add in the egg yolk mixture, a third at a time and combine nicely without over beating them. You want to try keep as much air in there as possible. 

Add the almond meal and fold through to achieve a nice cake batter consistency. Grab your baking dish and make sure to grease the inside (this ensures that the banana bread won't stick to the dish and it will come out of the dish easily). 

Place the remaining piece of banana that had been set aside earlier on top of the cake batter and then place in the oven for 20-25 minutes depending on the heat of your oven. 

What comes out is light, indulgent and you don't have to worry about the calories you find in traditional banana bread as this one is much, much cleaner. 

For more information on Daniel, make sure to check out his website here.  

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

WINTOUR&GUINNESS AND THE BLUEBERRY PANCAKE BIRTHDAY BRUNCH AT BALFES



I've always felt quite weird about birthdays. Whilst I love the idea of everyone's focus on me, I must admit that when it actually comes to it; I tend to run for cover. This year I edged even closer to that milestone birthday of thirty and whilst I'm not expecting thirty to be all that life altering a birthday, it does make you take it account of where you are in your life and what you want. Hey, what I want in life and where I want it to go, that's a whole other blog post. 

I happened to have a few hours to myself the day after my birthday and with a stack of new magazines, I thought a spot of brunch would be absolutely perfect. Its quite hard to think of a comfortable place to go to chill out, with a stack of magazines, to grab a great coffee and some tasty food. I ventured into town and walked around for a while looking for that perfect spot eventually deciding upon Balfes. I had been meaning to try this place for a while as I'm a big fan of The Westbury Hotel just above it. 


Initially grabbing a table inside, I was amazed by the fantastic interior. There is nothing more disappointing that visiting a restaurant and it being let down by a terrible interior (no matter how good the food). The interior instantly made me feel like I was sitting in some Parisian cafe just off The Avenue des Champs-Élysées. 

Ordering the blueberry pancakes and an almond latte, I thought to myself how beautiful their outdoor area was (out the front) and given its Summer (and I use that word loosely) at the moment it would  have been criminal not to use it. Moving outside, my food and coffee wasn't to far behind. 

Having craved pancakes for the last few weeks I was really looking forward to this dish and thankfully it delivered. Fluffy, full of plump juicy blueberries and slightly crispy around the edges - heaven. One of my main complaints when it comes to brunch in Ireland is the way in which most places prepare their bacon. Cafes love to toss around the word "crispy" when referring to their bacon and when you eventually get it, its chewy, fatty and resembles nothing like the image you have in your head. Thankfully the bacon was nice and crispy at Balfes, with the fat rendered down perfectly. Maple syrup accompanied the dish and it really brought all the different elements together. 


Coffee-wise, I ordered an almond latte which can be hit and miss depending on the location. Unfortunately I'm not sure what brand of almond milk Balfes uses but it was very artificial tasting, with a really strong taste of marzipan. Next time I think I'll be sticking to regular milk. 

Overall, Balfes really surprised me. My food was really good and really hit the spot. If I was to make any negative comments about my experience there, it would be the chain smoker who decided to sit next to me the entire time I was eating. I know this occurs everywhere there is an outdoor dining section as its not illegal, but I applaud the likes of Sister Sadie who have listened to their customers and made their outdoor dining area non-smoking. I think in this day and age, most people will agree that smoking in dining areas is not particularly attractive and doesn't do anything to enhance the enjoyment of your meal. 

But hey that's just me.

Balfes
Balfe Street,
Dublin 2
Website: www.balfes.ie
Telephone: (01) 646 3353

Thursday, July 9, 2015

THE WINTOUR&GUINNESS SUPPER CLUB: PALEO FRIENDLY CHICKEN & MIXED SALAD WRAPS

If you've been following Wintour&Guinness on Instagram (@wintourandguinness) lately you will have seen that I'm trying my hardest to stick to a diet of no dairy or grains. Its something I decided to do a few weeks back, after I'd experience a major outbreak of dermatitis. I'd experienced something similar early last year in Australia and its something that's consistently popped up every so often. Having gone down the traditional path of antibiotics and various creams; I decided to tackle this problem through the introduction of a healthy, clean diet.

Suffice to say, I've noticed a greater difference to my skin through the removal of dairy and grains from my diet and I've also noticed how much better I feel physically. There's several high profile nutritionists, chefs and bloggers out there, such as Amelia Freer, Pete Evans and Luke Hines that promote and talk about this type of diet, so if you want to look further into it I would suggest looking them up online. 


One of the greatest barriers to eating a typically "paleo" type diet is the lack of imagination. You don't have to survive on a piece of protein and broccoli every night. Most people when changing their diet focus on all the foods they cannot eat, but I say focus on all the foods you are now able to eat. These almond crusted chicken tenders are so easy to make and they taste amazing. Serve them with my lettuce cups and you have an easy, delicious and clean meal that can be prepared in less than half an hour. Just follow the recipe below. 



What you will need (per person):
1 free range (organic if possible) chicken breast
1 cup of ground almonds
1 free range (organic if possible) egg

For the lettuce wraps (per person):
1 head of baby cos lettuce
1 tub of sundried tomato hummus 
1 large tomato (sliced) 
1 red onion (sliced)
Half an avocado (sliced)

What you need to do

1) Grab two bowls, place the ground almonds in one and crack the egg into the other. Gently beat the egg and leave both bowls to the side. 
2) Cut your chicken into strips (I cut length ways to ensure I get a good coating of ground almond).
3) Using your left hand, dip a piece of chicken into the egg. Ensure that its evenly coated and then drop it into the ground almonds. Use your right hand to toss the chicken around. Trust me, using one hand for each step is a much cleaner (and easier) experience. 
4) Lay the coated chicken on a baking tray and place in a pre-heated oven (approx. 180 degrees c.).
5) Whilst the chicken is cooking, prepare your vegetables any way you choose (sometimes I make a guacamole to go with this dish, other times I just slice them nice and chunky). 
6) Arrange your lettuce cups on a dish, place a generous serving of sundered tomato hummus inside each of the leaves and assemble your vegetables as you wish. 
7) Once the chicken is a light golden colour, remove from the oven (ensuring that the meat is cooked thoroughly) and place one piece of chicken into each of the cups prepared. 

Simple, tasty and seriously nutritious. Make sure to share your paleo friendly chicken and mixed salad wraps with me using my Instagram handle @wintourandguinness.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

WINTOUR&GUINNESS PRESENTS THE AUGUST 2015 ISSUE OF TOWN & COUNTRY FEATURING IRISH ACTRESS EVE HEWSON


Brooklyn Beckham, Lily-Rose Depp, Dylan Brosnan and Gabriel-Kane Day Lewis are just some of the names that are cropping up in the world of fashion at present and as you can guess they all have one thing in common. They are the offspring of some seriously successful actors, musicians and fashion designers. Eve Hewson is another "celebrity offspring' that is doing quite well at the moment, however unlike the above; she is doing things her way according to T&C in their latest issue. Click through here to check out the list of Town & Country's Top 50 Modern Swans, one of which is our very own Eve. 

WINTOUR&GUINNESS VISITS STRANDFIELD FOR A FATHERS DAY FEAST OF FRENCH TOAST, SMASHED AVO & GREAT COFFEE


Fathers Days may have come and gone, but my trip to Strandfield is still fresh in my mind. I had been meaning to write this post closer to Fathers Day however there's been a few things keeping me busy this end; so but I am finally getting around to it. I remember having lunch in the Eastern Seaboard Bar & Grill in my hometown of Drogheda a few months back, when Jeni; its owner mentioned to me about this amazing place near Carlingford called Strandfield. It had been on my mind for several months and staying up in Drogheda the weekend of Fathers Day, I decided that the time was right to give this place a go. 

Jumping in the car we made our way up the M1, taking exit number eighteen, following the directions to Carlingford. Taking the first exit on the right, its clearly signposted so there shouldn't be any issues finding your way there. A long driveway leads to a rustic, farmyard setting and you are met with a vast selection of flowers and shrubbery that immediately sets the tone for what awaits you inside. 
We first entered the grocery section, which also houses the florist's. The grocers was full of all the delicious organic fresh fruit, vegetables and produce one would expect from a setting such as Strandfield. On the particular day that we visited there was a vast array of seasonal organic fruit such as flat peaches, organic violet garlic and ripe avocados (perfect for smearing over freshly toasted sourdough).


Considering we were all quite hungry, we made our way into the cafe section of the building and joined the hustle and bustle which was contained, away from the tranquility of the grocery store. Similar to The Fumbally in Dublin, you order and pay at the counter and then grab yourself a table. On the day we visited the line didn't seem to move for quite some time and I wasn't sure if that was due to the staff being slow on the till or that customers were having a tough time choosing what to order. On a positive note, it gave us the opportunity to look at all the cakes and baked goods that covered the counter top. It was hard not to smell the pear scones, freshly baked brown bread and apple pies on offer, they smelled divine, as if straight out of the oven.  
I ordered the French Toast with natural yogurt, maple syrup and mixed seasonal berries. It was sensational. An exercise in how a plate of French Toast should be executed. Sticky and sweet, the bread was perfectly caramelised and the yogurt and berries were perfect for cutting through this richness. Mum ordered the daily special, which was smashed avocado on toast with beetroot and a poached egg. While Dad ordered the lentil stew which had a great kick due to the fresh chilli that was sprinkled on top. 


We all ordered coffees and I was delighted to see that the young guy on the machine knew what he was doing. It reaffirmed that these guys are clearly passionate about the food and drink they are serving and it clearly showed in every facet of our meal. We finished off with a single slice of apple pie with fresh cream. It was the type of apple pie that your Nana would have made and it had the crumbliest pastry I'd ever tasted. 


Its not somewhere I think I'll be for a while (due to its location), but I've developed a real fondness for Strandfield and I look forward to returning again. I highly recommend you take the trip up the M1 and give it a go yourself. I don't think you'll be disappointed. 

Strandfield
Dundalk
Co. Louth 

Monday, July 6, 2015

WINTOUR&GUINNESS ON REAL COFFEE, MOVING AWAY FROM THE CHAINS AND THE PERFECT BREAKFAST SPOT IN THE CITY

My love affair with coffee started several years ago. I'm not even sure what sparked it all but I do recall it was sometime around 2008 and I was living in London at the time. Back in those days, the independent coffee shop was not the place to be going, it was Starbucks all the way. I would sip on skinny caramel macchiatos all morning long, unaware of just how bad they were for you and how, looking back they didn't really taste of coffee at all. 

That all changed in 2012 when I moved to Melbourne, eventually living there for four years. At the beginning strolling into work with my usual venti sized coffee, the looks of disgust hit me in the face each and every morning. Let me tell you it didn't take me long to learn that Starbucks, no matter how much they protest - is not real coffee & especially to Melburnians. Melbourne awoke something in me that, for the first time really made me appreciate just how wonderful coffee could be and over time each morning I ventured to a new independent coffee shop to taste various blends, roasters and styles. 

Living in Melbourne, known to many as the coffee capital of the Southern hemisphere; I was educated in what good coffee was and just how to experience it. 

Knowing that I was moving back to Ireland in December, I threw my eyes over a few of the Dublin food blogs such as Lovin Dublin and French Foodie In Dublin; keen to see what was happening and if by some miracle Ireland was going through its own coffee revolution. Ireland indeed was going through its own food and coffee revolution and with the Celtic Tiger taking its last breathe, tonnes of independent businesses were shooting up all over the country serving quality food and coffee to those eager to move away from the giant chains that had defined what coffee was over previous decade. 

One establishment that really stood out amongst the crowd in Dublin was Brother Hubbard. Situated on Capel Street, Brother Hubbard's aim from the get go was to serve people food and drink that was made using the best ingredients and served in a relaxed, casual environment. Excellent reviews and accolades started to pour in and the likes of Lovin Dublin, French Foodie in Dublin and the Irish Times couldn't get enough of this place and it seemed like the public couldn't either. Moving back in December last year, one of the first spots I visited was Brother Hubbard and top of my list to try was a) the coffee and b) their pulled pork sandwich (which is consistently voted one of the best sandwiches in Dublin). It was indeed one of the best sandwiches I'd eaten and the coffee was spectacular. 

Serving their own special blend in conjunction with 3FE, I let a sigh of relief out after the first sip. Yes, yes, yes, they serve real coffee. Hallelujah.  

Over the next couple of weeks, as I moved to Ranelagh; I became more acquainted with Brother Hubbard's little sister; aptly named Sister Sadie. 

Sister Sadie opened last year on Harrington Street and is the perfect weekday morning treat on the way to the office. Like Brother Hubbard they serve delicious scrolls, scones and my personal favorite; their granola. Served with Greek yogurt, a rose & berry compote and fresh mint; its absolutely delicious, moreish and thankfully its available to buy in little packs to bring home. 

Other items on the menu I've tried over the last few weeks include the raspberry, apple & rose juice, the ginger and lemon punch, the toast with homemade preserves (and when I say homemade I actually mean homemade), freshly baked scones and the pulled pork sandwich. All of which are borrowed from the menu at Brother Hubbard and taste equally as delicious.

The cafes minimalist interior was designed in partnership with Design Goat, with a mixture of copper lighting, neat wooden benches and oodles of natural light filling each of the main rooms. And outside, an extensive seating area can be found; perfect for the summer months. 

Sister Sadie opens from 7.45 each morning and closes at 4pm during the week. A full menu including  brunch is served from 10am to 5pm on weekends and you can keep up to date with all things Sister Sadie (or Brother Hubbard) by clicking through to their website here

Sister Sadie
46 Harrington Street
Dublin 8

WINTOUR&GUINNESS PRESENTS THE AUGUST ISSUE OF VOGUE AUSTRALIA FEATURING VICTORIA BECKHAM

Happy Monday everyone. What a wonderful weekend I've had and to top it all off, this cover image just arrived in my inbox. Looking amazing in Louis Vuitton, Victoria Beckham was shot by legendary Photographer Patrick Demarchieler for the August issue of Vogue Australia. Released on the 13th July, I really cannot wait for this one to land in my letterbox.

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...