You might have noticed I've been quiet on the blog, but quite active in my Instagram feed (I love it, I'm totally addicted!). I lead a very busy life: a full-time job for a fabulous Irish charity Localise, I run My Mexican Shop with my other half and partner in life Alan Foran, and I write this blog. In between, we fit life in: dinner with friends, family commitments, Alan's huge interest in theater and household chores.
Last week's weekend and the beginning of this one, have been absolutely jammed packed with foodie life. So being short of time, but always attached to my phone, I try and use Instagram as a sharing tool to let you know that I'm not gone or have forgotten you, I'm just busy!
On Thursday, my instagram feed started to show my mad cooking stint with a pot of gorgeous Cochinita Pibil (pork pibil)...
Thursday evening also saw me (but not sharing as I forgot amist the madness of the day) making my Drunken Beef Barbacoa, a stunning overnight cooking of beef in onion, bay leaf and tequila! I don't have a shot of the actual cooking, but fastforward to Sunday morning for a shot of the leaftover tacos we had before travelling to Cork.
Friday Morning I spent it cooking and shooting a recipe of chicken mole for the blog:
Friday afternoon was awashed with meetings. We spent some time with the fabulously creative team of designers and web genius at OVO, our design and digital agency, then I went on to a couple of exciting meetings for a project I'm working on, but cannot share with you just yet (bear with me, it will be worth your while), but I managed to find time to grab coffee in Roasted Brown and a fabulous cake from my mate Kate from The Wild Flour Bakery.
I was up bright and early on Saturday to visit the Honest2Goodness Market for a quick shopping trip (needed peacanuts and milk) and a quick meeting with the talented girls behind Bean and Goose Chocolates (exciting, sweet news leaked out on twitter last night about this collaboration project with Nathalie and Karen as part of our Irish-Mex offering for the shop).
Back in the kitchen, I began working for a dinner with friends and lifestyle bloggers I was hosting that night. The pressure was on as I wanted a nice, generous Mexican spread. So I cracked on with the icing and base for a very nice Mexican Cake which is a sort of speciality in my hometown of Monterrey, Mexico: Pastel Mostachon (recipe to follow soon).
I finished the cake with a topping of canned Mango from the shop, it's absolutely devine!
I also took the time to mark International Womens' Day with a tweet and a Picture of the Charity Partnership Special K (the Kellogg's cereal) had launched with Chime for Change. I always, always have time for a good cause. Knowing the plight of both, womens' rights in underdeveloped countries and the fabulous work charitable organisations do for worthy causes, I couldn't let the day pass without sharing the message. Thank you to my friend and fellow blogger Clare Kleinedler and to Kellogg's for the lovely bag and the yummy granola!
I made two salsas for the bloggers' feast: my old time favourite, Red Ramirez Salsa, and one I will be blogging about soon: a chipotle, toasted peanut and tequila salsa. Look at the close up shot of this salsa, it's so thick and delicious!
I also cooked, but didn't share homemade tortilla chips, cuitlacoche sauce and seared beef, poblano rajas and sweet corn and courgette flower tacos. At this point I decided to just open a tin of beans from the shop and use those... I also had a bowl of salad (which we didn't eat in the end) and a big tub of sour cream!
The evening flew between food, laughs and some heartfelt chats. No better way to spend International Womens' Day than with this bunch of talented women. The table was plentiful and we had a ball! I didn't go to bed until 2 a.m.!
I had such a fun night with these girls! Kate Packwood, Alex Crarberry, Ajda Mehmet, Rinci and my niece Daili Perez. The gorgeously retro polaroid above was taken by the super talented Nathalie Marquez so she's not in the picture and neither is Emily Westbrooks, who was a bit poorly (kudos for showing up) and sensibly went home a little earlier.
Sunday had a sluggish, slow start: up by 9 a.m. and packing orders to leave stuff ready for the shop on Monday. We sat down to breakfast (more of a brunch really) around 11:30 a.m. and had some leftovers tacos of my drunken barbacoa from the night before.
Since we knew we were going to Cork on Sunday, I made double the quantities of everything I cooked since Thursday to have things to bring to Cork. I left myself very little cooking to do for Monday. So we took a an hour to pack for a 2 night stay with friends in Ballinspittle, near Kinsale in County Cork. We were attending a Mexican Themed Pot Luck dinner party on Monday at the new home of Shannen, the gal behind the Diva Boutique Bakery and Cafe. We met her at the Theatre of Food in Electric Picnic a couple of years ago and this was a sort of reunion for West Cork and Cork foodie-Electric Picnickers with 2 blow ins (Alan and I).
It was lovely to see Caitlin Ruth (the amazing chef behind Deasy's Harbour Bar & Seafood Restaurant in Clonakilty) and the fabulous Bridget Healy (the force behind the place). Those empanadas and the chocolate pots Caitlin brought were to die for! She also made a salted bacalao dish that I found hard to stop eating. John, Sally and Connie McKenna are always a pleasure to chat to. Sally perfected her tortilla making skills ready for a challenge I'm planning for Electric Picnic this year. The night was fabulous. Full of chatter, catching up and a lot of food! This is only half the table and doesn't show the desserts!
John brought Rick Bayless' 30 minute mole with a meat and vegetarian versions. It was delicious! Shannen made a Tres Leches Cakes with her Diva twist: rum and almonds, I am only sorry I didn't take a picture of it, it looked stunning! Jim & Maria Kennedy were in charge of Margaritas and they did a fab job! Taylor (head baker at Diva's) and Kevin had an amazing avocado and grapefruit salad as well as a chunky tomato salad with wheat tortilla crips. I brought pork pibil, drunken barbacoa, refried beans, 2 salsas and cooked cuitlachoche in salsa and white wine fresh there and then and I also had the pleasure to meet the lovely Rita Higgins.
We spent the whole of Monday from 10 a.m. till about 5 p.m. exploring the beautiful town of Kinsale, which for some odd reason, I had neglected to visit before. The place is really pretty. Although the town was still a little sleepy (season doesn't start until this weekend), we managed to fit in a visit to Fishy Fishy for lunch, a fab breakfast in Cucina and a piece of cake from Lemon Leaf Cafe! (see some fab photos of Kinsale at the end of the pots). Then headed to Shannen's place to party!
On Tuesday we got up as early as we could (Alan hit the margaritas hard) and headed back to Dublin as we had another party to attend! This time with our dear friends Bill and Sharon Gunter. The Gunters were organising a retro menu themed party to celebrate Bill's stint in the Irish version of MasterChef. The idea behind the viewing party with the retro theme came after a fab night out with Sharon and other blogger friends two weeks before, so we couldn't miss that for the world! Unfortunately, we got stuck in a traffic jam outside Cork City and we didn't get back home till 5:30 pm! The party was at 7, so I lashed two retro dishes and got to the party around 7:30 pm!
I made a quick mostachon cake again (I had all the ingredients handy) but this time I used strawberries and blueberries. I aslo made a rather hideous looking 'sandwichon' (gigant yellow sandwich on the top, right corner of the photo) a 1970's possibly-Nestle-sponsored-recipe which tasted pretty good, despite the fact that it had no time to set at all. The cake arrived to the Gunters' unassembled and still hot, but I put it all together during the last ad break! It was such a fun thing to do. Everybody brought a retro dish. We had spinach dip, a cheese ball, onion dip, sushi, sausage rolls, pretzels, cruidites and my favourite Rotel Queso (a cheese dip with rotel tinned tomatoes). Super proud of Bill, he did an amazing job!
On Wednesday afternoon, my back and neck seazed and this weekend all I plan to do is spend time with my family, resting! Thanks for reading this far!