Homemade Chai Tea Mix & Raw Goji Sunflower Seed Bark : Gorgeous Edible Christmas Gifts!

rooibos chai tea recipe 1

Earlier this week I gave a Healthy Edible Gifts demo in The Cake Cafe in Dublin. Making  really gorgeous food presents is a great idea, and perfect for the last minute especially when you want to avoid queues and panic buying.

Below are two of my favourite ideas and ones that I would love to get myself! The Chai tea mix is incredible and so fresh, it’s especially nice made with homemade hazelnut milk. The bark will keep in the freezer for up to three months and is a big hit with small kids too!

Have a lovely Christmas!

Lilly x

rooibos chai tea recipe 2

Chai Tea Mix

Makes about 12-16 servings

If you know someone that goes weak at the knees for a chai latte then this is the perfect gift for them!  By making your own chai tea mix you can be sure that it has really good quality ingredients and doesn’t have the reputed 42g of sugar that a leading coffee retailer’s grande chai latte has!!

Ingredients: 

12 green cardamom pods
1/2 teaspoon whole pink peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
1 4-inch cinnamon stick
3 tablespoons chopped candied ginger
1/2 cup loose black tea or I like to use Rooibos

Method:

Preheat oven to 180°C.

With a sharp knife, split the cardamom pods in half. Place on a baking tray or into a shallow cake tin along with the peppercorns, fennel, coriander, cloves and cinnamon. Toast in the oven for about 5 minutes, or until the spices are fragrant. Remove and cool.

Crush spices lightly with a rolling pin or in a mortar and pestle. You may have to crumble the cinnamon stick with your hands.

In a bowl, toss the spices, candied ginger and tea together until blended.

Once your tea is blended spoon into your container of choice (mason jar, jam jar or parchment or waxed paper bags, vintage tea tin, etc.) Include fillable tea bags and brewing instructions. Alternatively, you can fill each tea bag with approximately 1 tablespoon of the chai mix and tie it loosely to close.  A really nice idea would be to buy a pretty tea pot with a filter for using leaf tea. I got a lovely Zero Japan one in Love Supreme that I use each morning. www.lovesupreme.ie  Don’t forget to include the Brewing instructions below!

rooibos chai tea recipe 3

Brewing Instructions for the Chai Tea Mix

tea for one

1 cup of water
1/2 cup of milk
1 tablespoon of Chai Mix placed into a tea bag
Sugar or honey to taste

Bring the water to a boil in a small saucepan and add the teabag. Turn off the heat and let steep for about 5 minutes. Add the milk then reheat until hot. Remove from heat, discard teabag, sweeten to taste, enjoy! 

Raw Goji Sunflower seed bark

Raw, Vegan Chocolate Bark with Goji Berries and Sunflower Seeds

This is, strictly speaking, not vegan because I use honey here, but you can use Agave syrup or Maple syrup just as easily. The coconut butter gives this bark a real richness along with the pure chocolatey goodness of the raw cacao. This bark becomes deliciously crunchy when eaten straight from the freezer. I like to layer this in little air tight boxes with sheets of greaseproof paper between each layer. It lasts for three weeks in the fridge and even longer in the freezer.

Yield: 3-4 cups

Ingredients:

175 g (solid) coconut butter (just over 3/4 cup after melting)

1/2 cup raw cacao powder

1/3 cup honey (you can adjust this to your taste, and also substitute agave syrup if you like)

Pinch sea salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup goji berries

3 tablespoons sunflower seeds

Method:

Melt the coconut butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat, or over a double boiler..

Pour the melted coconut butter into a mixing bowl. Add the cacao powder, agave, sea salt, and vanilla, and whisk till the ingredients are totally smooth.

Pour the chocolate mixture onto a foil-lined baking tray. Allow it to cool for 2-3 minutes (Keep the baking tray in the fridge or freezer before you pour–it’ll give the chocolate a head start on solidifying).

Sprinkle the chocolate with the goji berries, then with the sunflower seeds.

Transfer the chocolate to the freezer for about 20 minutes. Remove it and break it into pieces with your hand. Layer in an airtight box.

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Raw Chocolate Cheesecake & Mini Raw Carrot Cakes

I really enjoyed Bakefest in Galway again this year, all in aid of the brilliant charity ACT for Meningitis. I also caught up with the lovely Nessa Robins but didn’t get to taste her amazing scones and blueberry compote as the stage was flooded with people once she invited everyone to taste! Nessa will be hosting a 5 week cookery course in her local town, Moate, soon and if you live anywhere near I suggest you sign up as they’ll be great fun as well as learning loads of gorgeous family recipes.  The brilliant Ali Honour from Bakestone in Cork did two demos, including a really fun ‘make your own pizza’ demo for kiddies on Sunday. There were also lots more demoes including Edward Hayden, Stuart O’Keefe and lots of cake decorating and sugar craft workshops. It was the second ever Bakefest and has firmly established itself as Ireland’s leading baking festival.

This year I made raw cakes. A risky choice considering it was a baking festival! There was great interest in the cakes though, there seems to be a huge demand for sugar, wheat and dairy free treats. I made a beautiful chocolate cheesecake and delicious little carrot cakes.

There wasn’t a crumb left once the crowd dispersed. Always a good sign!

Lilly x

raw chocolate cheesecake

Velvety Chocolate and Hazelnut Cheesecake
Raw, Vegan, Sugar and Wheat free
Serves 10-12

For the base:
150g hazelnuts
200g dates

For the filling:
350g cashew nuts, soaked in water for at least 2 hours
150g dates
60g coconut oil
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract

3 tbsp cacao or cocoa powder

220ml water
Pinch of sea salt

To decorate:
A few hazelnuts
2 tbsp cacao nibs

First make the base. Blitz the hazelnuts and dates together until the mixture becomes a sticky dough. Press into a 8” tin, flatten down the entire base. Place in the fridge.
For the filling, drain the cashew nits and discard the water. Place into the bowl of a food processor along with all of the remaining ingredients. Blitz till smooth and creamy. It should have the consistency of a thick smoothie. Pour into the tin on top of the base. Smooth down and scatter the top with a few chopped hazelnuts and cacao nibs. Place in the fridge overnight or the freezer to set.

Mini raw carrot cakes

Little Carrot Cakes
Raw, Vegan, Sugar and Wheat free
Makes 12-14

Icing:
200g coconut oil
2 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp maple syrup

Cakes:
2 large carrots (250g) , peeled & chopped into bitesize pieces
75g oats
125g buckwheat flour (or just use more oats, finely blitzed)
200g dates
1 tsp cinnamon
150g sultanas
50g walnuts (and extra to decorate)

First make your icing. Blitz the coconut oil, lime juice and maple syrup until whipped into a nice smooth icing. Taste and add more lime or syrup according to taste. Place in the fridge.

Next make the cake. Place the carrot pieces, oats, buckwheat flour, dates and cinnamon into the bowl of a food processor. Blitz in a few bursts intil it starts to come together. Add the walnuts and sultanas. Blitz briefly. You want there to be crunchy nut pieces and bits of sultana visible. Press a large tbsp of the mixture into circular cookie cutters or press firmly into silicone cupcake moulds.
Top with a tsp of the icing and a piece of walnut. These are best kept in the fridge.

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Raw Lemon Cheesecake , Raspberry Chia Jam & Recipes from my Electric Picnic Demo

raw lemon cheesecake

As ever Electric Picnic was fantastic this year and I was honored to be asked to do a demo at the Theatre of Food. Thanks so much to John & Sally McKenna and all their brilliant team for having me! Thanks also to the lovely Alex Meehan for MCing.  I made a dairy and sugarfree raw lemon cheesecake, raspberry chia jam and a red cabbage and mango salad. All gorgeous, raw healthy food that can fit easily into you’re diet without making you feel restricted or deprived! I love dabbling in raw food and am incorporating it more and more into our daily meals. The chia jam is becoming an obsession, It makes the most amazing breakfast with coconut based chia pudding!

Lilly x

Raw Raspberry, Chia & Vanilla Jam

Vanilla And Raspberry Chia Jam

Raw, Vegan, Gluten free and refined sugar free

Makes 1 pot

I suggest using ground chia seeds here as there is enough texture with the raspberries seeds. If you can’t source ground seeds them grind them yourself in a clean coffee grinder or use them whole. This jam works well with most berries so use whats in season, blackberries or blueberries work particularly well. I like lime juice in place of lemon for my blueberry version and it’s amazing on pancakes. I like to add a little honey but it’s not always necessary, it depends on the sweetness of the berries. Maple syrup or agave can also be used.

300g raspberries

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 tbsp honey

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 1/2 tbsp chia seeds, ground

Place the raspberries, vanilla, honey and lemon juice into a bowl. Crush the berries with a fork and roughly mix everything together. Taste and add more lemon or honey according to taste. Mix through the ground chia seeds, place in a jam jar and leave in the fridge to set for a few hours or overnight. This should keep for up to a week in the fridge.

raw lemon cheesecake 2

Lemon and Poppy seed Cheesecake

Raw, Vegan, Gluten free and refined sugar free

Serves 12-14

Dairy free cheesecakes are one of Mother Natures miracles. The first time I made one of these I couldn’t believe how creamy it really was. This is a great basic recipe and can be tweaked and changed as you wish. Raw baking isn’t as volatile as regular baking and is more of a fun science! Use raisins, sultanas, figs or dried apricots in place if the dates if you want to. You can use cacao or coffee in place of the lemon flavour, cacao nibs can be added to the base in place of the poppy seeds. This cake is beautiful topped with finely grated lemon zest and is stunning with lots of berries piled on top.

For the base:

300g ground almonds

60g desiccated coconut

100g dates, chopped and soaked in warm water

Zest of 1 lemon

12 tsp vanilla extract

1 pinch sea salt

1 tbsp poppy seeds

 

420g cashew nuts, soaked for at least 2 hours in water

125ml coconut milk

Juice of 3 lemons

85g coconut sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla

Pinch sea salt

150ml coconut oil, melted

1 tbsp psyllium husk

Line the base of a 20cm springform cake tin with a circle of greaseproof paper.

Drain the dates and remove as much water as possible. Place the dates into the bowl of a food processor along with remaining base ingredients. Blitz together until the mixture starts to come together and become sticky. Place the sticky dough into the tin and flatten down with the palm of your hand. Wet your hands if it becomes too sticky. Place in the freezer to set.

Drain the cashew nuts and place in the bowl of the food processor. Add the coconut milk, lemon juice, coconut sugar, vanilla and salt. Blitz till smooth and creamy. Next add the melted coconut oil and psyllium husk, blend till completely mixed.

Pour the filling over the base, smooth down the top or create a swirl pattern with the spatula. Leave in the fridge to set overnight or for at least two hours in the freezer.

Top with lemon zest before serving. Divide the cake into slices and keep in the fridge or in the freezer, in a sealed container, for up to three months.

Electric Picnic Demo

Red Cabbage And Mango Salad

Raw, Vegan, Gluten free

Serves 6

This salad is so fresh and really tasty, bursting with nutrients and all completely raw. This salad is great as a main meal but can be a fantastic side dish to grilled fish. It keeps really well and is perfect for lunch boxes. Try to use mangoes that a little underripe as they are firmer, you don’t want to mango to be too ripe and become mashed when mixing the salad. Add coriander leaves or mint and a few strips of crunchy red pepper to add give more flavour and texture to this gorgeous dish.

 

1/2 red cabbage, finely shredded

2 mango, julienned

3 carrots, peeled & finely julienned

1 tbsp nigella/ black onion seeds

2 tbsp coconut flakes

Dressing:

1 tbsp soy sauce

Juice of 1/2 lime

2 tbsp rice wine vinegar

1 tbsp sesame seed oil

 

Mix the shredded cabbage, carrot and mango in a large bowl.

Whisk the dressing ingredients together, adding the sesame seed oil last, and taste.

Pour the dressing over the salad and coat well. Leave to sit for 15-20 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with the nigella seeds and coconut flakes just before serving.

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Dairy & Sugar free Strawberry & lemon balm ice cream

strawberry icecream

Here’s my really easy, quick and healthy strawberry and lemon balm ice cream! Basil is fantastic with it too. It’s a massive hit with teething babies and toddlers too!

Lilly x

Strawberry & Lemon balm ice cream

Serves 6

4 bananas, sliced & frozen

8-10 strawberries, hulled & halved

A drizzle of honey or Highbank orchard syrup

8 lemon balm leaves, torn

 

The night before you want to make the ice cream, slice the bananas and freeze them.

The next day place in the food processor with the rest of the ingredients. Sweeten to taste, it’ll already be very sweet. Blitz till smooth and place in a resealable tub and freeze for a further hour or so.

When ready to serve scoop into a bowl or cones and serve immediately.

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Guest blog post up on the Litfest Website!

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The boys picking wild garlic; my little muses for the Litfest guest blog!

With less than a week to go this year’s Ballymaloe Literary Festival of Food and Wine is starting next friday! JR Ryall kindly asked me to write a guest post on his blog so head on over to the Litfest website to read more!

There are still tickets available for plenty of events and there will be a fantastic family friendly atmosphere in the Big Shed so it’ll be a super place to spend the weekend.

Lilly x

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Nearly time for Ballymaloe Litfest 2014!

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I’m thrilled to be taking part in this year’s Ballymaloe Literary Festival of Food & Wine this May 16th-18th. Last years figures rose from an anticipated 2500-3000 to a jaw dropping 8000 people including authors, chefs, bloggers, foragers, wine experts, gardeners, publishers, writers and journalists. Visitors came from all over the world, sharing and gaining knowledge about all things food and wine related.

I went to the first one last year and was truly delighted with the guest speakers. Cathal was almost five months old and it was my first time spending a good few hours away from him but no better place to go! I was in my element, and even at that I only managed to go for the Saturday. It was the same excitement I felt when packing my tent into the car for Electric Picnic only that I was bringing my well charged phone, pens and notebooks. This year I will be better prepared and bring my stash of cookbooks for signing. There will literally be thousands of much used copies of Plenty being thrust towards the unsuspecting Yotam Ottolenghi when he enters into the food lovers paradise that is Ballymaloe.

If you haven’t already booked tickets then do visit the website. There are so many brilliant and varied events to choose from. I know tickets sold out incredibly fast for the highly anticipated events like Rene Redzepi but there are still lots left. I’ll be taking part in three events this year. One is already sold out but there are still tickets available for my demo in the cookschool with Clodagh McKenna and Jordan Bourke. We all have gorgeous recipes planned and I can’t wait to get cooking in the Ballymaloe demo kitchen again, especially with such brilliant company!

I was to take part in the Food Styling talk but it clashes with the demo unfortunately. I’d love to see all the talented panel at the talk and it promises to be entertaining and informative as the experts let you in on their gorgeous food photo tricks! I will be back in The Grainstore with my blogging buddies for this brilliant talk though, ‘Food & Wine Blogging, No Publisher, No Editor; Is it good enough?’. The panel is fantastic including Caroline Hennessy, Donal Skehan, Nessa Robins, Sharon Bowers, Tom Doorley, and Tom Parker Bowles in conversation with David Prior.

With the Big Shed being packed full of delicious food and plenty of family friendly activities it really does promise to be a dream weekend for food lovers!

Details of tickets are here and are going fast! www.litfest.ie

I hope to see you there,

Lilly x

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St.Patricks Day Wine recommendations from Tindal Wine

A few months back I did an interview with Harriet from Tindal Wines. I absolutely love wine and am so keen to learn more about it. I got in touch with Harriet recently and asked that she do a guest post here on the blog and let me know all about what patriotic wines she’d suggest for this coming Patrick’s weekend! I love her suggestions, Thanks so much Harriet and have a lovely long weekend everyone! 

Lilly x 

W Fevre high res logo

For those of you wanting to remain true to your roots on Paddy’s day here’s some suggestions, of which some are supporting Irish families and others have a vaguely Irish link.  None will fail to please your palate!

The Bartons, an Irish family, purchased Leoville-Barton in St.Julien in 1836. Anthony Barton has lived in Bordeaux for 55 years, born in Straffan House, Kildare, he was transplanted to St.Julien and for the last 20 years has run and owned the Chateau and its neighbour Langoa-Barton. Barton has never had time for the greed that characterises so much of the Bordeaux scene, so his wines have always offered exceptional value.

La Réserve de Léoville Barton, St Julien, Bordeaux 2008 – €39.25

  • This is regularly one of Bordeaux best ‘second wines’ and is produced from younger vines from both Léoville and Langoa Barton.  Elegant and concentrated with lovely fruit and well balanced tannins, this classic St Julien style offers value for the true claret connoisseur.

Château Léoville Barton, St Julien 2ème Cru Classé, Bordeaux 2008 – €99.25

  • Good colour with a concentrated nose.  Quite intense with distinct cassis notes, the palate is very forward despite its relative youth. Very impressively packed with fruit, yet most refined; with complexity, fine balance and a very long  finish.

William Fèvre in Chablis are a well respected house who own their own vineyards and produce outstanding examples of the ‘terroir’ driven wines that Chablis is famous for. Their logo has a particularly relevant logo for the day that’s in it and for those of you who will be glugging back some native oysters on Monday it is the perfect match!

Chablis AC, William Fèvre, Burgundy 2010 – €21.75

  • Pale gold with hints of green; refined bouquet of citrus and white flowers entwined with a light mineral touch.  Fresh, rich mouth balanced by good freshness.

As a business Tindal Wine Merchants has family members at the fore. Run by Anthony Tindal with his son William, following in his footsteps, whilst running his area in the North West, servicing restaurants and hotels between surf breaks. I’m the daughter and run all things web, with the site, social media and education keeping me busy, on top of my studies for the Master of Wine qualification.

ST04 label cropped

We have introduced our own range of wines, which Anthony blends each year on his trip around to the Southern Hemisphere. The original one was Swallows’ Tale from South Africa, which lends its name to the migration of the swallows from Ireland to South Africa and back again. More details on our ‘flock’ of own label wines can be found here.

Swallows’ Tale Sauvignon Blanc—/Chenin, Robertson 2013  

(Found nationwide in restaurants and hotels as a house wine)

  • 85% Sauvignon Blanc, 15% Chenin.  Simple yet elegant green pepper and apple add subtle Sauvignon tones to the more tropical Chenin Blanc.  A refreshing acidic lift on the finish leaves a pleasing citrus taste on the palate.

Swallows’ Tale Shiraz—/Cabernet Sauvignon, Robertson 2013

  • Shiraz 45%, Cabernet Sauvignon 35% & Merlot 20%. Rich and ripe bramble fruits offer an appealing rounded palate.  Ripe tannins and sustaining acid give some structure to the wine.

For those of you who’d like to know more about wine and enjoy discovering new places to eat around the country come and see us at our next monthly wine club meeting on 27th March at the Drury Buildings, Dublin 2 where we’ll be opening and discussing a few bottles in an informal manner with the option of staying for dinner afterwards. Follow us on Facebook or visit our events page to register your interest and find out about more events like this nationwide.

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The Hope Foundation Sugar & Spice Competition

The Hope Foundation is launching a new fundraising campaign this May in Cork, Eat4StreetKids supports the lives of the street and slum children of Kolkata (formerly Calcutta). As ambassador for this worthy charity you’ll see me mention them and use the #eat4streetkids hashtag a bit for the next while as more and more restaurants and cafes get involved. All of the campaign details are here on The Hope Foundation website.

But today I’m telling you about a really lovely cookery competition that is taking part to highlight this campaign. All of the details are below. Myself, Gautham Iyer from award winning Iyers Cafe and Ali Honour, owner of Bakestone Cafe will be judging and it will all take part in the gorgeous Bakestone Cafe in Ballyseedy.  If you love food and cooking, and are based in Cork then please do enter as the more entries we receive the more gorgeous dishes I get to taste! If you don’t feel like entering then do come along on the day as it’ll be a celebration of all things tasty whilst raising much needed funds.

I hope to see you there!

Lilly x

Sugar & Spice

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Babytalk Festival

I think that nature has designed parents to be absolutely obsessed with their children. I know that even after an incredibly long day running around after my two babies I then spend my evening regaling stories of how hilarious they were during the day, what new words they said and we’ve even started a ‘breakage journal’ because our youngest has an impressive throwing arm and is relentless in his mission to search and destroy. When he’s 21 I’ll present him with the notebook and demand that he source replica crockery.

Anyway as a big fan of babies and all the joy they bring I must tell you about Babytalk Festival. I’d love to be going this weekend if I was in Dublin, there’s a brilliant lineup and loads of fantastic information and educational resources for parents or parents to be. And grandparents gain entry for free!

Rachel and Marie from Curious Design (they designed my gorgeous website too!)

Rachel and Marie from Curious Design (they designed my gorgeous website too!)

No such thing as a silly question at Babytalk Festival

Becoming a parent is a life-changing experience – it can bring enormous joy, but also huge responsibility and a mass of new, and sometimes confusing, advice. An exciting new event called Babytalk Festival (22-23 Feb O’Reilly Hall, UCD) aims to celebrate this exciting time in families’ lives while also providing easy-to-understand, accurate information.

The two ladies behind The Babytalk Festival are Rachel Lane and Marie Dunne. Rachel has one little girl and is expecting her second child in April and Marie is in the family planning stages. Both have experienced difficulty in finding accurate and trustworthy information about family planning, pregnancy, birth and the millions of questions that new parents have.

Rachel and Marie own and run Curious Design, an event and graphics company and both turned to online sources to find that information but whilst it was very helpful to get information from peers it sometimes wasn’t enough. They found that they were asking each other questions about the stages they were both experiencing and this eventually gave birth to Babytalk Festival.

Rachel said “Babytalk is the festival I wanted to go to myself but couldn’t find”. Marie added “For us, one of the most important considerations is that Babytalk is welcoming and inclusive, everyone is welcome – from those just considering starting a family, parents-to-be, young families plus extended families and friends. Grandparents even get free entry!”

Rachel and Marie have designed the event to ensure that a wide range of areas are covered – from conceiving topics, pregnancy wellbeing and birth options to infant nutrition and baby’s first year, plus lots of clever and useful products and services.

The talk line-up is impressive and includes experts such as Newstalk’s consultant psychologist David Carey, dietician/nutritionist and International Board-certified lactation consultant Dr. Genevieve Becker, Cuidiú representative Fiona Rea plus a panel of Irish parenting bloggers. Visitors can also get advice, support and information from a range of support agencies at the Ultimate Maternity Information Station throughout the weekend.

Celebration and fun is at the heart of the festival and the two days are jam-packed with attractions, from readings by children’s authors such as Sarah Webb, and children’s entertainment from RTE’s Reuben to stand-up comedy show “Ireland’s Got Mammies” from the creator of the hilarious Irish Mammies books, Colm O’Regan.

All the details for a stress-free day out have been considered with free car parking, buggy parking, baby changing and feeding areas, goody bags to take away, plus a café area where you can refuel and relax.

The festival promotes a strong ethical policy, emphasising transparency and accuracy of information, including careful observation of the WHO International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes when choosing sponsors and exhibitors.

“We think that giving advice and information to new and expectant parents is a huge responsibility,” explains Rachel, “so it is very important that sources are unbiased to guarantee that the information is genuinely in the best interests of families. We wanted to create something different, a fun experience where people can come together and celebrate little people and parenthood. It’s a big deal this parenting marlarkey – a life changing time, full of excitement, joy, laughter, tears, tantrums, pooey nappies, dribble, worry, questions and most of all – love, and that’s what we want to celebrate”.

Located in the spacious O’Reilly Hall, UCD, Dublin, the festival will be a comfortable, family-friendly space full of exhibitors, speakers, product and service demonstrations, experts at hand to chat with parents plus music, comedy and entertainment. Entry €10 for one day or €15 for the full weekend with tickets available for purchase online or at the door.

Full list of speakers available here: http://babytalkfestival.ie/festival-line-up/

 

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Food Photography: Just Food’s new HiLo soups

hilo1

When I first started out blogging it didn’t even occur to me that I was taking the photographs myself. I just saw food blogging as being blogging and not writing, photos, cooking and styling etc. But the longer I do it the more I realise that by having a hobby like blogging you’re constantly practicing and improving what are technically skills.

Paula is the perfect example of this. She began her gorgeous food blog and it soon became obvious that she has a natural talent and an incredible eye when it comes to photograhy. She’s now in demand for her incredible portraits and attention to detail especially when it comes to food photography and styling.

Donal Skehan is another such talent. His books are such things of beauty and now he’s started a dinner journal; Feast Magazine and is doing all of the incredible photos. He’s also doing photography for other peoples cookbooks like Theodora Fitzgibbon and the soon to be published first solo book by Sharon Hearne Smith.

I’ve done the photos for both of my books and for every article and recipe of mine in newspapers and magazines. It’s one of my favourite aspects of this work. After school I did a year long course in Colaiste Stiofain Naofa. It was a FETAC art, craft and design course. A brilliant way to learn about lots of different creative mediums and a great way to spend the year before knuckling down into a serious four year degree (well a design degree but serious none the less!). I think FETAC courses are brilliant, a really good way of dipping your toe into the water. I did one in Animation too and loved it. Anyway during that time I learned how to use a camera. Not a digital one but an actual camera. We had a dark room and developed photos and hung them up to dry, very old school! It was great though and I hadn’t really thought about all that until I recently began photographing work for other people and began to remember what I’d learnt.

hilo2

One such client is Just Food. They started out at Midleton Farmers market with just a few products, mostly soup, hummus and granola. Everything is organic and made in small batches. It’s my aunt Deirdre’s company. I know how incredibly hard they work and it’s been amazing to see it grow over the years into the company it is today. Stocked in SuperValu, Dunnes and Tesco all over the country. They’ve just launched a new range of HiLo soups that are high in protein (all made with organic chicken stock) and low in fat. They taste amazing and are super filling too. So I took a few photos for them and got SO MUCH SOUP! The Supergreens one is my favourite. It’s like a green smoothie thats actually delicious with hints of mint and a clean spinach finish, amazing! It’s real clean feel good food and I know I’m probably biased but I love it!

Lilly x

 

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