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Cheese is more than any normal food. For some people, it is basically a religion.

If you know someone whose eyes start to sparkle at the mention of a cheeseboard, we have some great ideas of Christmas gift that will make them incredibly happy. 

1. A crackers and chutney hamper

EDINBURGH PRESERVES, Cheese Wedge Gift Pack, €18.00, brownthomas.com

2. A cheese maker

LEKUE Cheese Maker, €35.95, arnotts.ie

3. An elegant cheese dome

J by Jasper Conran – White marble and glass cheese dome, €60.00, debenhams.ie

4. A cookbook devoted to grilled cheese

Cheese Melts Cook Book, €17.55, asos.com

5. A delightful print

Kitchen Wall Art Print 'French Cheeses', €28.54, etsy.com

6. A pair of earrings

Cheese Earrings by BY POPPY, €11, notonthehighstreet.com

7. A cheese knife set

MASTERCLASS 3 Piece Cheese Knife Set, €25.00, brownthomas.com

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If there is one thing we love about Christmas – apart from the boozing, snoozing and chilling, it is the excuse to binge on chocolate totally guilt-free. 

While most people enjoy chocolate on a regular basis, we all know a person who is truly obsessed it. Real connoisseur or simple cacao enthusiast, the chocolate lover in your life will be over the moon if you get them one of these presents!  

1. A chocolate fondue kit

Chocolate fondue set, Debenhams, 25 euros

2. A hot chocolate kit

Cocoa Creations, Whittards of Chelsea, 25 euros

3. Some sweet soaps

Box of Chocolate Soaps, Uncommon Goods, 24.23 euros

4. A chocolate workshop

1 Day Chocolate course, The Baking academy of Ireland, 150 euros

5. A dangerous game

Chocolate Russian Roulette Game, Debenhams, 11 euros

6. A membership to a chocolate tasting club

Bean and Goose Tasting Club Membership, from 20 euros

7. A hot chocolate room spray

Chocolate Fragrance Room Spray, by Sensory Decisions, 11.30 euros

8. The ultimate Parisian chocolatier gift box

Hatbox by Nastry, La Maison du Chocolat, 132 euros

9. A book with the best chocolate recipes ever 

'I Want Chocolate!' by Trish Deseine, 15 euros

10. A fun notebook

Chocolate notebook, Amazon, 5 euros

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Fancy a two-course brunch paired with all the Grey Goose Vodka cocktails your heart desires?

Who are we kidding? – Of course you do!

This weekend, Grey Goose Vodka is teaming up with Mulligan & Haines to Host a series of exclusive events complete with tasty bites and delicious tipples.

Located on Dame Street, Dublin 2, the Ulysses inspired bar will kick off the jam-packed weekend with an after-work party from 5pm – 7pm on Friday, November 24, where staff will provide beautiful canapes and a complimentary Grey Goose cocktail to each guest upon arrival.

Spaces are limited so attendees should RSVP via the bars Facebook event here to avoid disappointment.

The fun continues across the weekend with €7.00 cocktails until 9 pm on Saturday night to get you in the mood for the main event on Sunday.

Taking place from 12-3pm on Sunday, November 26, the exclusive Grey Goose Vodka Brunch if offering guests a two-course meal and bottomless Grey Goose Vodka cocktails for just €25.00.

The brunch menu consists of a variety of scrumptious starters and mains including French onion soup, Smoked duck carpaccio with black cherry chutney, Beef & Guinness Hot Pot and Chicken & Leek Pie.

Tickets are limited and can be purchased by contacting bookings@mulliganandhaines.ie or calling 01 882 4355.

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Christmas is a great opportunity to show our friends and family how much we love them with a thoughtful present. When the gift helps raising money for a charitable cause, it only makes it even more meaningful.

In 2011, Our Lady’s Hospice & Care Services launched a cook book called The Mixing Bowl, which contained a collection of recipes contributed by the residents and clients of the Extended Care Unit and the Community Reablement Unit in Harold’s Cross, Dublin 6. This was a great success and raised over €95,000.

Six years later, The Mixing Bowl, Second Helpings is finally out, offering a special collection of tried and trusted recipes generously shared by 67 patients, residents, volunteers and staff of Our Lady’s Hospice & Care Services.

 

 

Some of the featured recipes include a scrumptious Lemon Butter Cake, a yummy Peach Cobbler, a hearty Boatman’s Stew, as well as a Speedy Banoffee. 

The Mixing Bowl, Second Helpings costs €15 and is available in all good books shops, in Our Lady’s Hospice & Care Services both in Harold’s Cross and Blackrock or online

 

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We're all been there – you're out for a meal in swanky restaurant, decide what mouth-watering dish you're going to order, and eagerly wait its arrival so you can finally dig in.

But wait, not so fast.

No dining experience would be complete without the perfect Instagram post, right?

It's pretty much common practice in every restaurant across the world, and while some food bloggers have managed to make careers from portfolios of gorgeous food snaps, not everyone is keen on the trend.

 

A lovely view of our friends at @watersideinnbray

A post shared by Bray Cottages (@braycottages) on

In a rather controversial move, The Waterside, a Michelin-starred restaurant in the UK, has banned its customers from photographing their food.

According to The Daily Mail, renowned French chef, Michel Roux, has had enough of the millennial practice and has even gone as far as to place a sign on the door saying: “No photos, please.”

He said: “I mean, what are they doing? Maybe once during the meal you want to take a little photo of something because it’s unusual. But what about the flavours? A picture on a phone cannot possibly capture the flavours.”

The popular restaurant, named fourth best in the UK, was founded by brothers Michel and Albert Roux in 1972 and is now run by Michel’s son Alain – though Michel remains an active member of staff.

Alas, it seems like Michel's efforts could be in vain, as a quick snoop through Instagram shows a number of diners choosing to blatantly ignore the ban. 

 

Lean in: mirabelle #souffle at The Waterside Inn #threemichelinstars #michelin #bray #berkshire #restaurant #pudding #dessert

A post shared by Ben McCormack (@mrbenmccormack) on

 

Venison Wellington at The Waterside Inn #bray #berkshire #threemichelinstars #michelin #restaurant

A post shared by Ben McCormack (@mrbenmccormack) on

 

A post shared by Garry Dick (@garrydick) on

In fairness, these all look pretty amazing. 

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When it comes to gin and tonic, we can't get enough of the damn stuff.

And the more variations of it that are produced, the better.

So, when we heard Fortnum & Mason had launched gin and tonic tea bags, we thoughts all our mid-morning breaks had come at once.

But before you begin thinking your tea break will leave you with a raging hangover, let us fill you in.

The predominant ingredient in Tea for Tonic is green tea, but the luxury retailer has piqued the senses of G&T aficionados by also including a mixture of juniper berries, coriander, fennel, lemon balm and dried cucumber and lime

If you want to 'enjoy a G&T without the consequences' as the retailer perfectly puts it, you can order your box of 15 teabags right here.

And ladies if they're sold out by the time you get around to ordering them, you'll know who to blame.

(That'd be us.)
 

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Mondays are hard enough without having to deprive ourselves from tasty food.

While we often try and be good with our diet (at least until Tuesday), we all need a little bit of a treat to make it through the day, right?

With these delicious and healthy recipes, you can indulge without feeling guilty. You are welcome!

 

1. Chocolate peanut butter power balls

 

2. 3-ingredient ice-cream

 

3. Banana peanut butter spring roll

 

4. Fruit nachos

 

5. Oatmeal cookie sandwich

 

6. Healthy banana bread

 

7. Chocolate strawberry frozen yoghurt bites

 

8. Healthy peanut butter cups

 

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College life is hard, guys.

Juggling classes, assignments, jobs and of course, going out (you are in college after all) takes it toll on you and can leave you constantly tired.

While getting a sufficient amount of sleep is essential, eating well is another key element to success in college. 

You probably don't have the time and money to make Insta-friendly acai bowls with hemp seeds and goji berries, but this doesn't mean you can't be healthy, 

If you follow these simple rules, which are more like general guidelines, you are sorted. 

 

1. Learn how to make the most of a microwave

Microwaves are great to reheat some pre-cooked food, but you can also cook loads of things with this appliance: mug cakes, rice, pasta, eggs, veggies, potatoes, fish.

Do a bit of research and you'll be surprised to see how useful a microwave can be. 

 

2. Get a small blender

For a healthy breakfast or a quick snack, throw whatever fruits you have around, a handful of spinach, almond or peanut butter, almond milk, yoghurt or just water and make a tasty smoothie.

This is an easy way to make sure you get a lot of nutrients and fibres at once, even of the rest of your day is instant noodles or pizza.

 

3. Eat bananas

They are cheap, easy to carry to classes, don't make a mess when you eat them, and also, they are quite delicious. Rich in vitamin B6, manganese, vitamin C, potassium, copper and fibre, bananas are nature's best snack on-the-go.

Get a bunch of bananas every time you do your food shopping so you'll always have something healthy to snack on when you get hungry. They are also a tasty base for your smoothies. 

4. Eat something green every day

No, this doesn't include green Smarties and M&Ms. We are talking broccoli, spinach, courgettes, kale, peppers, and any leafy green.

Even if you struggle to get your five a day, including one portion of greens ensures that you get essential nutrients and fibre.

 

 

5. Have substantial meals

Chocolate bars and packs of crisps are not real food, they are empty calories. The reason why you crave them is because they fill you up quickly when you are hungry.

To make sure you don't get the midday slump, get (or make, even better) a hearty pasta salad for lunch, a bowl of soup with a sandwich, a big salad with carbs and protein… Something that will actually keep you going for a while.

 

 

6. Avoid sodas as much as possible

Sugary and fizzy drinks (even the light version) are pricey and not healthy. Water should be your beverage of choice 99% of the time.

To this day, water is still the best way to stay hydrated, and also the cheapest if you invest in a water bottle. 

 

7. Stop everything when you eat

It is important, even for a few minutes. While we understand breakfast is a tough one, get 15 minutes to enjoy your lunch and your dinner, without being on your phone or on your laptop.

Use this time to focus on your food, chew properly (the first step to a good digestion), talk with your friends or just empty your head. 

 

 

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Sneezing, coughing and nose-blowing season has officially started and it is time to bring out the hand sanitizer to try and not catch your beloved friends/colleagues' germs. 

In order to keep the doctor away, an apple a day is a good start, but if you add certain foods to your diet, you could get a real immunity boost. 

And here are just five!

1. Citrus fruits

Essential for fighting infections, vitamin C stimulates the production of white blood cells. Unfortunately, your body cannot store it, so you need to make sure vitamin C is on the menu every day. 

While vitamin C tablets might come in handy, you can get your daily dose of ascorbic acid (the scientific name of the molecule) from oranges, grapefruits, lemons, limes or clementines. 

 

2. Kiwis

For the very same reason, kiwis are your friends during the winter. In fact, two kiwis contain enough vitamin C to cover your recommended daily dose of the immunity-boosting nutrient.

On top of that, kiwis are also a good source of vitamin K, copper and fiber.

 

3. Sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin A (a powerful antioxydant) and a mere cup of cooked sweet potatoes provides more than 200% of the recommended daily intake.

Antioxidants are essential for immune system support as they help your body fight off infection. Sweet potatoes are also a very good source of vitamin C, manganese, copper, pantothenic acid and vitamin B6. 

 

4. Broccoli

A real nutrition powerhouse, one cup of cooked broccoli is enough to cover your daily needs in vitamin K and vitamin C. It is also a very good source of chromium, folate, fiber, pantothenic acid and vitamin B6. 

To make sure you get the most of the benefits, steam them instead of boiling them as this aggressive cooking process destroys most of the vitamins.

 

5. Spinach

While we always love to learn about new superfoods, some of our cupboard/fridge staples can also claim the title. Take spinach for example; not only do they taste great as a salad base, they are also a true food hero. 

One cup of cooked spinach contains a tremendous amount of vitamin K, while it is also an good source of vitamin A, manganese, folate and magnesium, to name a few. Just like broccoli, the least you cook it, the better!

 

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So, while a lot people who choose to follow a vegan diet are generally satisfied with the plant-based food products available to them, most will admit there are a few things they miss.

Sure, there are a number of alternatives on offer – vegan cheese, yogurt, and even chicken, to name just a few.

But there is one food product plant-based enthusiasts have not been able to replicate – until now.

Four clever food science students from the University of Udine in Italy have created a product that looks, feels and tastes exactly like a hard-boiled egg.

According to Food Navigator, it's made from a selection of legume plants (such as beans, pulses and peas), vegetable oils, a gelling agent and vegan salt.

The 'egg' is packed with protein, but unlike the real thing, it's completely cholesterol-free.

The university is reportedly in talks with companies who might be interested in manufacturing the product, meaning it could be hitting our shelves sooner rather than later.

What a time to be alive!

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Trying to keep the runny noses, sore throats and pounding heads at bay this winter won't be easy, so it is important to get all the nutrients you need.

While some people turn to supplements (not guilty), eating a balanced diet, rich in fruits and vegetables, is the best way to boost your immunity naturally.

Incorporating superfoods is also a fabulous idea and can help you ensure you get your daily dose of vitamins and antioxidants. 

And while we are all familiar with the Instagram sensations that are goji berries, chia seeds, avocado and kale, there are some new kids on the block.

There are a number of new nutrition powerhouses emerging on the market that come with a lot of health benefits, such as reducing inflammation, improving digestion or strengthening your immune system.

Have a gawk, and let us know what you think:

1. Moringa

Originating from India, moringa is also referred to as the drumstick tree, and has been used as nutritional booster for centuries. The entire tree is edible but its most nutritious part is the leaves.

For a similar intake, moringa contains about  25 times the amount of iron as spinach or seven times the amount of vitamin C as oranges. It is also very rich in vitamin A, vitamin B, calcium, protein and potassium.

All good things, all good things. 

Generally sold as a powder made from the leaves of the tree, moringa can be found in most health stores. Add a spoonful to your smoothies, soups or porridge, or whisk it to almond milk and a drizzle of honey to get all its incredible benefits, like as boosting your immune system, reducing inflammation and regulating your blood sugar levels. 

2. Maca

Grown in Peru, maca is a cruciferous vegetable (from the same family as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage or kale) and its root has been used for medicinal purposes for hundreds of years. 

High in vitamin C, B6, copper, iron, potassium and manganese, it is mostly sold in powder form to add to food or as capsules. It is believed to improve the mood (say no more), reduce stress levels and anxiety and boost performances. According to some studies, it could even have a positive impact on fertility.  

3. Elderberry

You might be familiar with elderflower, which blossoms around June, but elder trees also produce elderberries, which are in full season in September. While they can't be found commercially, these fruits indigenous to Northern Europe are usually used in crumbles, jams and pies. They could also be used as topping for porridge or in smoothies.  

A real nutrition powerhouse, elderberries are a very good source of fibre, vitamin A and vitamin C, and also contain iron, potassium, vitamin B6 and betacarotene. Alongside the immunity-boosting effect, these tasty berries are diuretic and therefore boasts detoxifying properties. Interestingly, elderberries act as antiviral, which could really help you resist the winter flu. 

 

 

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Cocu has been one of our favourite foodie spots to grab lunch this summer, but sadly the epic Dublin eatery is closing it's doors.

Renowned for their hearty salads and healthy treats, Cocu is the perfect myriad of delicious ingredients and a heath conscious attitude. 

The Chatham Street location will serve its last customer today, before moving on elsewhere. 

 

A post shared by CoCu (@cocu_kitchen) on

'We are sad to announce that our short tenure in Chatham Street has come to an end, ' reads a recent Insta post.

'Cocu Chatham St will be closing its doors on Wednesday 30th August.'

'We’d like to thank all our lovely customers for their continued support.'

 

A post shared by K A L E + C O C O (@kaleandcoco_ie) on

Thankfully we don't have to be too devastated, as the Hatch St unit is still going strong, and is a mere five minutes away from the current location.

In more excellent news, this is more of a see you later than a goodbye, as Cocu announced that they will soon be setting up shop elsewhere.

The delicious foodie concept will be making a permanent home for itself in the IFSC in the coming weeks. 

The Kale & Coco smoothie bowl pop-up will also be finishing up this week, but Rebecca and Jen have promised that they will be running some amazing special offers in the remaining days. 

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