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fries

Since it started getting in on the likes of sweet potato fries (fancy pants alert), Abrakebabra has evolved from guilty pleasure on a night out… to just straight up pleasure.

Case in point being its most recent announcement: festive fries.

We think of it as Christmas dinner with a chipper twist – pretty much perfect for the discerning Irish palate. 

Boasting Abra fries – natch – the dish is loaded with tidings of turkey and ham, as well as stuffing and a pretty perfect gravy garland. 

Launching tomorrow, suffice to say we're sold!

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Anyone who has eaten at McDonald's will know that its red container of fries is never enough. Whether you go small or large, within a minute all the fries just seem to disappear. Poof.

That's why this glorious chain in Missouri, USA unveiled plans to have all-you-can-eat fries this summer.

It has been dubbed the "McDonald's of the Future," as the new location will also feature table service, digital order kiosks and the ability to customise orders.

"Today's customers seek a comfortable and inviting atmosphere," the local franchise owner Chris Habiger told New Press Now. "So we're committed to providing a modern look and feel to this restaurant."

We just want ALL the fries. Imagine how amazing all-you-can-eat-fries would be with a hangover?! YUM. 

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Hurrah for pumpkins! The giant veg have now hit supermarkets, getting us oh-so excited for Halloween.

But just WHAT should we do with the leftover sticky, sweet mess of orange flesh and that tough, waxy exterior? Because all too often it all just ends up in the bin come November 1.

Fear not! There are actually loads of different things you can do with your spooky pumpkin once Halloween concludes.

Here, SHEmazing! rounds up our favourites tricks…

 

1) In the kitchen:

Pumpkin fries are a delicious, healthier-alternative to their potato counterparts:

  • Cut the flesh into thick chips 1-2cm thick.
  • Wash and pat dry with kitchen roll before transferring to a bowl.
  • Sprinkle generously with salt and leave aside to draw out any excess water.
  • Place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Lightly drizzle with a vegetable oil of your choice.
  • Bake at 200C for 40 minutes before serving immediately.

 

Roasted pumpkin hummus is a welcomed twist:

  • Cut the pumpkin flesh into cubes, drizzle with vegetable oil and bake on parchment paper for 35/40 minutes at 200C.
  • When cooled, add to a food processor. Top with a can of drained chickpeas, two cloves of garlic, two tablespoons of lemon juice and ground cumin to taste.
  • When the motor is running, add in about 60mls of virgin olive oil.
  • Remove and dress with chopped parsley and black pepper before serving.

     

2) In the bathroom:

Make a pumpkin spice body spruce to banish dry, rough skin as we head into the winter months:

  • Take a mixing bowl and add in 400g of brown sugar, 100g of white sugar and a sprinkle of ground cinnamon, nutmeg or clove. Mix together.
  • Gradually add in 100mls of almond or coconut oil until you have a damp, solid mass.
  • Transfer to a re-sealable jar and keep in the fridge for up to eight weeks.
  • Apply with exfoliating gloves to clean skin while in the shower and rinse afterwards.

 

3) In the water:

The more ambitious individual might fancy fashioning their giant pumpkin into a boat: a pumpkinfest in Maine in the US runs an annual water-based competition with participants racing in hollowed out pumpkins.

This year’s event, the 10th pumkin boat regatta, kicked off last week and will run until Monday. But don’t worry – the 2016 festival is already earmarked for 12 months’ time.

 

4) In the living room:

Painted pumpkin seeds can be dried out and used to create gorgeous Christmas tree decorations:

  • Wash the seeds, dry thoroughly and then toast on a low heat in the oven for 10 minutes. Leave these to sit overnight.
  • Take some cardboard and cut into Christmas tree shapes. Next glue the dried seeds to the template, with the pointed end facing downward to create a pinecone effect.
  • Allow the glue to dry before applying green, red, silver or gold spray-paint.
  • Finish with glitter or top with ribbons to hang from the tree.

 

5) In the party spirit:

Pumpkin-infused vodka or gin is a delightful as a seasonal liquor or in cocktails:

  • Dry roast pumpkin cubes on parchment paper for around 25/30minutes.
  • Decant 750mls of vodka or gin into a re-sealable jar and then add the pumpkin cubes, along with cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  • Allow to sit for three weeks in a cool, dark place.
  • Strain out the liquid through a cheese cloth so you’re left with a clear, orange infusion.
  • Keep in the fridge and serve on its own or as part of a cocktail.

 

6) In the garden:

Simply rough chop any remaining pumpkin and work it into garden soil to act as a fertiliser. And why not sow your own for next year’s festivities?

Plant in late April in a greenhouse, conservatory or even on a window sill indoors, before transferring outside in late May or early June. Be careful not to over-water but use plenty of compost. Watch out for hungry slugs and snails too.

 

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There’s no doubt that Ireland was once pretty readily associated with potatoes.

In fact, plenty of our parents would have sat down to meat-and-two-veg (aka meat-and-spuds-two-ways) meals most days of the week.

These days we reckon – phew! – our own taste buds come along somewhat. Still, there’s no denying (nor is there any shame in) our nation’s great love for one particular category of potato: namely, the humble chip.

Skinny or chunky; crispy or supple; heavily salted or just plain – chips are king.

Our personal favourite is a fresh bag from the chipper, eaten on the walk home.

Your mouth is sensitive from the first few hot slivers of potato; warm vinegar trickles down your arm while your fingers accumulate ever more delicious residue. Perfection.

But it’s come to our attention that other nationalities don’t seem to have quite the same affection for the food.

Indeed, in Ireland chips accompany meals they never ordinarily would anywhere else.

Here, SHEmazing! rounds up the five best – and most bizarre – feasts you’ll find with a side a fries…

 

1) Lasagne:

Already a deliciously carb-heavy concoction of pasta, meat and creamy sauce – it regularly comes accompanied by chips.

Admittedly, alternatives for health-conscious types includes rice or, if you’re really sticking to the diet, a salad – but those are, thankfully, but rare choices for the average Irishman and woman.

 

2) Curry:

Sure, from the outset it seems strange – but there is something so deliciously right about chips with your curry.

The rice side is still requisite (half-and-half for the win)… but so is all that crispy potato goodness to soak up some of the spicy sauce.

3) Chinese:

Technically speaking, they probably don’t feature too often in traditional Chinese cuisine, but no Chinese take-away would dare set up shop on these shores without offering a chips stable.

And, of course, the three-in-one concoction of fried rice, curry sauce and chips is practically a national dish at this stage.

 

4) Garlic bread:

Scrumptious garlic goodness on heavily-buttered toast – all straight from the oven. So simple; so good.

It’s hardly like you need a carb side with your carb-heavy snack, but garlic bread is somehow rarely complete without chips. All of the stodge? Yes please.

5) Pizza:

In Ireland, pizza comes two ways: fancy-pants, gourmet style – and the version we all grew up on: heavy dough topped with lashings upon lashings of cheese. Pepperoni optional. And it is the latter category which needs a side of fries to make it complete.

At the core of countless children’s birthday parties during our youth, our taste-buds evidently still have a weakness for this glorious pairing today. 

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