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With the end of summer and the beginning of autumn comes a change in scenery, and a change in our food palettes to accommodate the soon-to-be festive season.

Despite the cold weather, one of the best things about the winter has to be the food. Gourmet meals, culinary masterclasses and a cosy setting are all on the menu of Taste of Dublin's new event.

The festive edition is set to run from November 28 to December 1 in the RDS, and is modelled on a similar winter food festival in London. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Taste of Dublin (@tasteofdublin_) on

The winter version of Taste of Dublin will have fewer sessions (six over four days) but will feature huge indoor square footage and a comfortable experience.

While 32,000 flocked to the Iveagh Gardens in June, 18,000 attendees are expected over the festive four days. What does this mean? More room to manoeuvre around and get the best views of masterclasses.

Entertainment, food and more will be housed inside the RDS, Merrion Road, for the perfect way to kick off the holiday season.

From November 28 until December 1, 2019, get inspired in time for Christmas.

Fifteen of Ireland’s top restaurants and food experiences will be present in this winter wonderland, ready to serve up a selection of over 50 dishes for audience members.

A packed line up of cooking demos, drinks masterclasses and live entertainment are all in the works, with 30 top chefs warming up the kitchen.

Taste of Dublin's summer festival has taken place in the capital for the last 14 years, and is now building on the hype and success just in time for the cold weather. Food is the perfect warm-up, we say.

Inspired by Tesco Finest, we can't wait to sit in on the beautiful baking shows, food and drink sampling with Ireland's top brands and enjoy the live musical entertainment.

Indulge yourself in all things food and book your tickets for Taste of Dublin: Festive Edition online here before they sell out. 

Dont worry: We won't be judgemental like Ginny Weasley if you eat your way through the RDS:

harry potter eating GIF

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We got a text (message) about the future of Ovie Soko's career, and it's looking bright.

The Love Island star has become the latest Islander to land a presenting job after leaving the villa, with Maura Higgins appearing on This Morning for her own Maura Than Meets the Eye segments.

The professional basketball player will join Ruth Langsford and Eamonn Holmes later this week on This Morning to present his own segment, according to The Mirror.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by  (@oviesoko) on

Ovie will have his own portion of the Thursday show, thanks to his egg-making talents from the Spanish villa. We don't reckon they'll include his "MESSAGE!" catchphrase, unfortunately.

"Cooking on This Morning is going to be dope, but I’ll need to graft hard if my infamous eggs are to live up to the hype for Love Island fans, Eamonn and Ruth," he joked. "They’re daytime royalty after all."

This Morning’s editor Martin Frizell said the team were “thrilled” to have the 6ft 7in basketball player on their team. Soko joined the show in the Casa Amor part, and later came in third place with India Reynolds.

Ovie's famous catchphrase was referencing the 1996 Wayans Brothers film; Don’t Be A Menace To South Central While Drinking Your Juice In The Hood. 

This Morning is putting Ovie in charge of the brunch menu, but he's not the only ex-Love Island star joining ITV's ranks.

Maura Higgins will travel across the country solving viewer problems for her Maura Than Meets the Eye segment, which hopefully will be comedic gold.

Feature image: ITV/REX

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If you’re looking for ideas for lunchtime … look no further. We’ve teamed up with Dubliner Lighter to bring you our favourite cheese recipes that are perfect for lunch.

Dubliner Lighter Courgette Fritters

These are so gorgeous and they’re ridiculously easy to make.

Makes 9 – 12 fritters, depending on size, and has 102kcal/100g

Ingredients

2 Courgettes, grated

85g flour

3 spring onions, finely sliced

2 eggs

100g Dubliner Lighter White, grated

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp black pepper

Method

Place all ingredients together in a large bowl then mix until all ingredients are combined.

Heat a large frying pan over medium high heat, when hot, lower temperature to medium heat then add a drizzle of olive oil.

Drop large spoonful’s of mixture into the pan, use the back of the spoon to flatten fritters slightly and cook for about 4 minutes. Flip fritters over and cook for another 3 – 4 minutes.

Leave cooked fritters to drain on paper towel while you cook the remaining mixture.

Serving tip: Delicious served with a dollop of sour cream.

 

Dubliner Lighter Phyllo Pizza

Who doesn’t love pizza? This one is seriously tasty and makes a great homemade alternative to the shop bought ones.

This recipe makes one pizza, and 241kcal / 100g

Ingredients

Makes 1 pizza

Ingredients

3 phyllo pastry sheets

Olive oil

2-3 tbsp passata

4 slices Dubliner Sliced Lighter Red

4 slices Dubliner Sliced Lighter White

Salt & pepper

Toppings: tomato, mushroom, rocket, peppers, onions, corn – really anything you love

Method

Preheat oven to 220°C / 200°C fan assisted and line a baking tray with parchment paper.

Lay 1 sheet of phyllo onto the baking tray then lightly brush one half with olive oil. Fold pastry in half then brush the top lightly with olive oil. Lay another sheet of phyllo on top, making sure the edges are mostly lined up, then repeat above steps until you have 6 layers of phyllo in total.

Spread passata over the pastry then arrange Dubliner Lighter slices on top. Add your favourite toppings to your pizza then bake in the oven until edges are crisp and golden, about 4 -5 minutes.

Enjoy while hot.

 

Dubliner Lighter Sweet Potato Taco Fries

Sweet potato tacos are a real favourite of mine at the moment, perfect for a lunchtime pick me up, they’re tasty and warming.  In fact, they would suit any meal time. This one is simple to pull together, and of course it’s with Dubliner Lighter cheese which has 33% less fat.

This recipe serves 4 and has 104 kcal / 100g

Ingredients

– For the fries

2 large or 3 medium sweet potatoes

Olive oil

Salt & pepper

– For the mince

500g beef mince

1 onion, roughly diced

1 carrot, finely diced

1 red chilli, roughly chopped

1 packet taco seasoning

2 tbsp

tomato purée

1 tsp salt

½ tsp ground black pepper

1 can kidney beans, drained

– To serve

Dubliner Lighter White, grated

Crème fraîche

Fresh chilli, sliced

 

Preheat oven to 200°C / 180°C fan assisted and line a baking tray with tinfoil. Cut sweet potato lengthways into wedges then loosely arrange on prepared baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt and a bit of pepper. Lightly toss.

Bake until cooked through, 15-20 minutes.

Meanwhile for the mince, heat a large pan over high heat, when hot drizzle with olive oil then add the mince. Cook until mince is browned.

Lower heat to medium then add the onion, carrot and chilli. Cook until the onions have softened, 2-3 minutes.

Add the taco seasoning, tomato purée, salt and pepper, stir through. Add the kidney beans then leave to simmer on low heat until the sweet potato fries are cooked.

To serve, spoon mince on top of sweet potato fries then top off with a generous handful of grated Dubliner Lighter White cheese, crème fraîche and sliced chilli.

 

Dubliner Stuffed Aubergine Boats

This is a brilliant way to include Aubergine in your diet, providing you with fibre, vitamins B1, B6 and potassium. They’re also full of antioxidants (the skin especially), so if you’re not already eating them, start now.

This recipe serves 4 and has 133 kcal / 100g

Ingredients

2 aubergines

Olive oil

1 red onion, roughly chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

½ tsp salt

125g cherry tomatoes, quartered

100g quinoa, cooked in vegetable stock

200g Dubliner Lighter Red Cheese, grated

Pine nuts, optional

Method

Pre-heat oven to 200°C / 180°C fan assisted and line a baking tray with parchment paper.

Cut the aubergines in half lengthways. Using a sharp knife, cut a 1cm boarder inside aubergine halves, then use a spoon to help remove the flesh from the middle. Roughly dice the removed aubergine flesh and set aside.

Brush hollowed out aubergine boats with olive oil, place cut side up on the baking tray then bake for about 20 minutes until cooked and the edges are starting to char slightly.

Meanwhile, prepare the filling. Heat a large frying pan on medium high heat then drizzle with 1-2 tbsp olive oil. Add the diced aubergine and allow to brown slightly, stirring occasionally. Lower the heat to medium low and continue to cook until aubergine is mostly cooked through.

Add the onion, garlic and salt and cook until onion is tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in the cherry tomatoes and cooked quinoa, cook for further 5 minutes until tomatoes start to soften and release their juices. Remove from heat and stir in 150g of the grated Dubliner Lighter Red cheese.

Spoon filling into the roasted aubergine boats and sprinkle each with pine nuts (or any other seed of your choice) and the remaining 50g grated Dubliner Lighter Red cheese.

Return to the 200°C / 180°C fan assisted oven and bake for 10 minutes, or until the cheese on top has melted.

Serve immediately.

 

Dubliner Burrito Bowl

Don’t spend a fortune at lunchtime buying these – not only are they expensive, but they won’t taste half as good as the one you make yourself.

This recipe serves 4 and has 110 kcal / 100g

Ingredients

For the mince

2 tbsp olive oil

500g beef mince

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp smoked paprika

½ tsp cayenne pepper

1 (400g) can chopped tomato

1 (400g) can kidney beans, drained

250ml beef stock

Salt & pepper

For the salsa

4 tomatoes, seeds removed & finely chopped

¼ red onion, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

1 tbsp fresh lime juice

½ red chilli, finely chopped (optional)

To assemble

4 portions cooked basmati rice

Cooked mince

2 avocados, sliced

Salsa

150g Dubliner Lighter Red Cheese

Sour cream

Fresh coriander, roughly chopped

Method

To cook the meat, heat pan on medium high heat. Add olive oil then add the mince. Break up large pieces with a fork and spread out over surface of the pan. Brown the meat, stirring occasionally.

Lower heat to medium then add the onion, cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook further 1 minute.

Stir in the cumin, smoked paprika and cayenne pepper. Add the chopped tomato, kidney beans and beef stock. Stir to combine, then leave to simmer on medium low heat until half of the liquid has been reduced, stirring occasionally. Between 15-20 minutes. Taste for seasoning, add salt & pepper as needed. Remove from heat.

While mince is cooking, make the salsa. Combine all salsa ingredients and stir together. Chill in the fridge until needed.

To assemble the burrito bowl, spoon a layer of cooked Basmati rice into serving bowls. Spoon cooked mince over about half of the rice, then spoon fresh salsa next to the mince, covering about 1/8 of the rice. Arrange half an avocado on top, then sprinkle generously with Dubliner cheese. Garnish with fresh coriander and serve with sour cream on the side.

 

These gorgeous recipes are all made with Dubliner Lighter which has 33% less fat, for more great recipe ideas you can follow them here on facebook or here on insta.

 

 

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With the mid-week slump hitting us right in the face, it can be tempting to get on your phone and order dinner from your favourite takeaway. 

While we have nothing against a cheeky food delivery, making your own takeaway would probably be a cheaper and healthier option. 

So why not try one of the tasty recipes below? They won't take you long to make and will certainly please your family! 

1. Crispy orange chicken

2. Chinese dan dan style noodles

3. Korean fried dumplings

4. Chinese Szechwan supper

5. Pork chow mein with vegetables

6. Singapore rice

7. Asian noodle soup with prawns

8. Classic sweet and sour chicken

9. Pork with black bean and noodles

 

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If you promised yourself you’d hone your cooking skills in 2017, but are still struggling to operate the defrost setting on your microwave, you’re not alone.

Deciding that you’re going to become a culinary queen might happen overnight, but putting it into practice definitely doesn’t.

By acknowledging that you won’t be whipping up gourmet meals any time soon, you’ll give yourself a chance to arm yourself with the tips, tricks and tools needed to become a better cook in no time.

Ladies, we’ve got you covered.

1. Assess your knife collection

You wouldn’t try to write an essay or report with a broken or leaking pen, and the same should apply in the kitchen.

Sharpen your knives so they’re actually functional when you use them.

Struggling to handle your ingredients a result of shoddy implements is enough to put anyone off cooking.

2. Invest in a good frying pan and saucepan

Like knives, you wouldn’t believe the difference durable pots and pans make when you’re learning to cook.

Spending your hard-earned euros on kitchen equipment doesn’t sound in the least bit appealing – we know this, but believe us, it’s worth it.

Ruining what has the potential to be a great meal because your pan is an old rustbucket is the last thing you want.

3. Learn how to chop an onion (no seriously)

Onions are used in so many dishes, so it’s worth your while learning how to chop them properly.

(No one likes picking a giant hunk of onion out of their teeth, right?)

Cut off the top of the onion, and bin it. Peel off the outer layers, and chop the onion vertically. Then, chop it horizontally, and you're sorted.

4. Learn how to cook rice

The sign of a good cook is someone who can cook rice without looking like they're intending to feed (or poison) the entire town.

The key to cooking rice is to use the 1:2 ratio, so it's one-part rice, two parts water. 

And a fist-sized portion of rice generally counts as one serving.

5. Bulk buy chicken breasts 

Chicken is so versatile, and so easy to cook as well.

Bulk buy and store in your freezer, so you know for certain you will always have the basis for a quick and easy meal.

6. Invest in a cookery book

And actually study it.

Do your research and choose a publication which features simple meals suitable for any beginner.

Don't get overwhelmed by the content at the start, and instead tell yourself you'll have conquered all the recipes by the end of the year.

7. Focus on three recipes

If you try to master too many recipes at once, you'll have a meltdown and jack in your resolution for good.

Instead, focus on three recipes (breakfast, lunch and dinner) or three evening meals, if you'd rather, and master them before moving on.

Cooking is all about confidence, so the moment you've mastered three meals, you'll be much more prepared to tackle the next set.

 

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If you're the type of person who sets the kitchen on fire making a cup of tea, then it's always nice to know you're not alone, right?

With our social media feeds awash with other people's culinary accomplishments, it can be easy to think that nightly disasters in the kitchen are the reserve of you, and you only.

Thankfully, comedy act, Foil Arms and Hog, are on hand to remind the rest of us mere mortals that cooking dinner is not easy – end of story.

Whether it's forgetting to turn on the hob, fishing through a bin for cooking instructions or forcing yourself to finish the charred mess in front of you, these lads have your back.

And for some of us here at SHEmazing HQ, this video like looking in a mirror.

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These days, it seems like every celebrity has their very own cookbook – and now, Kim Kardashian might be hopping on the bandwagon.

If you follow the reality star on Snapchat, then you'll know all about her 'Soul Food Sundays' she snaps about every week.

Yep, the mother-of-two has turned into quite the domestic goddess, and Kanye, Chrissy Teigen and John Legend have all given her the seal of approval.

A source told People, that her friends and family love her cooking so much that they want her to write her own cookbook.

"Kim is starting to cook so much more than she has in her entire life.

"She's actually considering a cookbook, and she's pretty serious about it. It all started with Kanye's encouragement as he loves when she cooks him food," said the insider.

The source added that Kim is "testing the waters" at the moment to see if her fans would be interested in a cookbook and has even started posting more foodie pics on social media.

We're not too sure about this one… Would you be able to handle a Kimmy K Kookbook?!

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Instagram would have you think everyone spends their evening whipping up gourmet meals while you crack into your second packet of crisps, right?

And while some of us are naturally talented in the kitchen, even more of us avoid that room at all costs, haunted by memories of past Home Ec. classes.

If you're time-poor, nutritionally-focussed and harbour a deep-seated fear of cooking, you'll know how difficult it can be to keep on track.

Lucky for you, we caught up with Time Management and Productivity expert, Yasmin Vorajeewhich, who advised us how to whip up healthy meals without spending all our time slaving over a hot stove.

1. Plan your meals

It seems like a fairly dreary way to spend an hour or two every Sunday, but it's actually one of the best ways to make the most of the week ahead.

Planning your meals for the week not only saves you time in the long run, but also saves you money as you can be super-strict and organised when hitting the shops for your groceries,

No more hanging around the kitchen waiting for a tasty meal to cook itself!

2. Know your staples

In the same way certain essentials can always be found in your handbag, your kitchen cupboards should also boast failsafe staples.

If your presses are guaranteed to have tinned tomatoes, rice, mixed herbs, chicken and Knorr Pan Cook, you'll never struggle to whip up a quick and nutritious meal.

Coming in at just €1.35 a pop and available in Paprika, Garlic and Herb, and Piri Piri, you'll keep things in the kitchen interesting without breaking the bank!

3. Master some recipes

Home cooking doesn't have to be a stressful, time-consuming affair as it's simply about having the right ingredients to hand when you need them! (See point 1, ladies!)

It's always a relief to know you have certain dishes you can throw together with your eyes closed, right?

By using a Pan Cook your dinner can be ready in just 10 minutes, and you'll be able to spend the rest of your evening chilling out, working out or flaking out.

4. Optimise your time

Yasmin Vorajee tells us that it's important to optimise your time when preparing meals.

If you have a phobia of all things cooking-related, you won't want to spend your entire evening in the kitchen, so get creative with your time!

Respond to emails, snap a shot for Instagram or catch up on Twitter scandal while your ingredients are doing their thing on the hob.

5. Know your outcome

Decide what you want out of your meal before you commit to the task.

If you know you're cooking for a group you need to expect to spend more time in the kitchen, but if you waste an entire evening preparing a meal for one you need to reassess your method!

Learn from your mistakes in the kitchen and remember not all of us were born with Nigella's know-how, but that doesn't mean our meals can't be tummy (and Instagram) worthy with a little slick time management!

 

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She's taken her blog to the next level in Ireland, and now Pippa O Connor is hoping to take her food to the next level in The Restaurant.

The model is going to take part in the next series of the show, and will show her cooking skills that was passed on from her late mother.

Her mam, Louise Mullen, who passed away in 2014, was a Cordon Bleu-trained chef and no doubt Pippa will pull some inspiration from her for her menu.

“Pippa was in filming with us for the new season of the show and she was great,” said The Restaurant's pastry chef, Louise Lennox.

“Her mum was a chef, so I think it meant a lot to her as her mum used to teach her to cook. I was surprised at how much food knowledge she had,” she told the Herald.

All of the celebrities that will be on the next series of the show have not been named yet, but the pregnant model and former Irish soccer star Kevin Kilbane have been confirmed.

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Irish model Roz Purcell is currently living it up in Iceland but something very nasty happened to her lips yesterday. 

The brunette beauty took to Instagram to share the horror of seeing her lips all swelled and puffed up after she went snorkelling in the cold.

Roz wrote: "They warned us of the after effects of snorkelling in minus temperatures."

She then goes on to describe her ordeal, saying that she appeared rather differently under water.

"The 'Angeline Jolie effect' lips. In the water I actually looked like Mrs. Fish… In the worst way possible."

But that didn't stop her from munching down on Iceland's "infamous" hotdog today. 

It does seem that Bressie is having a spot of bother with food while Roz is away though, posting a picture to Twitter and begging his girlfriend to come home.

We're not even sure what he was supposed to be cooking there. 

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The humble spud has been a dinner plate staple for as long as we can remember.

Some days all we want to eat is just a giant plate of chips and live a carb-filled life of no regrets. Other days mashed potatoes are what we really need. Yum. 

minion

So, potatoes are great and we love them dearly. However, peeling them is not something that we enjoy doing to be honest.

However, thanks to this handy tutorial our days spent hovering over the sink getting wrinkled fingers and pieces of potato skin everywhere are no more! 

Yes, it turns out that we have all been peeling spuds the wrong way but this method is about to change your life.

You don’t even need any fancy utensils! As long as you have a knife then you can basically just pull off the skin.

Think of all the time we can save with this. We love it, and we think everyone should give it try at least once. Christmas dinner prep is going to be much easier now.

You can see the hack in action in Foody Tube’s video below: 

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Demonised for years as being high in saturated fat, there’s no doubt that butter is now very much back in vogue.

From paleo plans to your morning bulletproof coffee – at the core of a load of healthy eating habits of the moment is grass-fed butter.

In fact, far from being something to avoid, in moderation the food is something of a nutritional powerhouse: think oodles of vitamins A, D, and K-2, not to mention heart-disease preventing CLA.

So here at SHEmazing! we were pretty excited to see that the Improper Butter brand is expanding for the festive season.

Enter the wholly Christmas-appropriate trio of sage, rosemary & thyme butter; boozy brandy butter; and cinnamon & honey butter.

Yes, we’re already thinking of the yuletide delights we’ll be whipping up when the limited-edition range is finally released at the end of this month.

Because, in short, Improper makes us seem waaaay more competent in the kitchen than we actually are – so any expansion of what the brand currently has on shelves is to be warmly welcomed.

Suddenly we are Donal Skehan (albeit with less impressive hair): we bring steak alive with a dollop of garlic, snazzy up fish with sunblushed tomato & basil, and concoct a mean prawn dish from scratch with garlic, chilli & basil.

And it’s not just us either. Since the brand’s launch last year (it’s available in SuperValu stores, close-to a dozen Tesco outlets around Dublin, and in gourmet grocers nationwide) it’s proved immensely popular with fabulous foodies and creative culinary types.

Driven by talented 20-something businesswomen Elaine Lavery and Hannah O’Reilly – the duo met in UCD before they graduated in 2012 AND they’ve already been backed by the DragonsImproper has recently launched in the UK too.

Need some inspiration to put the brand’s festive range into good use? Check out Elaine and Hannah’s top tips below:

1) Sage, rosemary & thyme butter – with fresh Christmas herbs. Butter under the skin of your turkey or bird of choice before roasting, to keep it succulent and tasty. Or why not create the perfect stuffing? Simply melt down one pack and add 300-500g of breadcrumbs. RRP €2.89 for 100g.

2) Boozy brandy butter – with brown sugar, brandy, lemon and orange zest. Not just for Christmas puddings and mince pies. Slather over scones, toasted brioche and pancakes in the run up to the big day. We’ll go back to counting calories in January. RRP €3.49 for 100g.

3) Cinnamon & honey butter – smooth honey and freshly ground cinnamon. Swirl through porridge or spread on toast, French toast, pancakes, scones and waffles. The best suggestion yet? Melt and toss over popcorn (YES!) while you gather round for your family’s favourite festive film. €1.99 for 100g.

The three new seasonal Improper festive butters will be available from November 23 for a limited five-week run in SuperValu stores nationwide as well as independent stockists, including Fallon & Byrne and Donnybrook Fair, both in Dublin. Also see improperbutter.com.

 

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