About Michelle Loughran

I have a Master's degree in Journalism and am currently working in the Marketing and Communications department at BBC Northern Ireland. I love cooking and creating an online food blog has combined two of my passions, writing and cookery.

An evening with Ambrosia…and not the rice pudding variety.

It had been a while since I met two old school friends for a catch up and after much discussion about cooking indoors or getting a takeaway, we decided to treat ourselves to a spot of dinner.

We wanted somewhere that wouldn’t break the bank – this was a before pay-week Thursday night – and my friend suggested Ambrosia an Italian restaurant on the Ormeau Road. I had eaten there previously and enjoyed the food and at only a six-minute walk from my house the location was an added bonus. Continue reading

On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me; 12 chicken drumsticks with a honey and soy sauce glaze

On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me 12 drummers drumming, 11 pipers piping, 10 Lords a leaping, 9 ladies dancing, 8 maids a milking, 7 swans a swimming, 6 geese a laying, 5 gold rings, 4 calling birds, 3 French hens, 2 turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree.

This morning dear reader I share with you the final installment of my guide to the 12 days of Christmas on a plate.
Continue reading

Two days for the price of one; fish pie with leaping salmon and Maris Piper piped potatoes

On the eleventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me 11 pipers piping, 10 Lords a leaping… and a bountiful of other fine gifts.

 Fish pie with leaping Salmon and Maris Piper piped potatoes

 We are nearing the conclusion of our mammoth 12 day food journey and as my waistline cannot handle much more of these rich pickings, today I am combining days ten and eleven and present to you – fish pie. Continue reading

The ninth day of Christmas; dancing girls and Viennese whirls

On the ninth day of Christmas my true love gave to me nine ladies dancing.

Viennese whirls

I do enjoy watching a good Viennese waltz on Strictly Come Dancing; this classic ballroom dance is elegant and graceful and it takes a delicate touch to perfect.

On day nine of our song the ladies are dancing and for me Viennese whirls – little bites of sweet buttery biscuit and jam – have waltzed away as the obvious choice for today’s recipe. Continue reading

Day eight and the cream has risen to the top; hot chocolate with Bailey’s cream

On the eighth day of Christmas my true love gave to me eight maids a milking.

Hot Chocolate with Bailey’s cream

I have taken a break from food today and instead will shine the spotlight on that old winter favourite – hot chocolate.

The inspiration for this one came from Harlem, a cafe close to my work where the menu board had advertised Bailey’s hot chocolate in the run up to Christmas and had me salivating every time I walked past it. Continue reading

And on the seventh day she created… Meringues with vanilla custard and chocolate sauce

On the seventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me seven swans a swimming.

Meringues with vanilla custard and chocolate sauce

I decided floating meringues would best represent a swan swimming on the seventh day of Christmas and have worked very hard to create an elongated neck line the Strictly Come Dancing judges would be proud of.

Getting this recipe right has been a technical challenge; baking meringue and making custard from scratch has proven to be a difficult task for a cook who doesn’t like to follow strict processes. Continue reading

What’s good for the goose..

On the sixth day of Christmas my true love gave to me six geese a laying, five gold rings, four calling birds, three French hens, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree…

Boxing Day has arrived, Christmas is technically over and we are left wondering what all that fuss and gluttony was really about.

I ate so much yesterday, my elasticated jogging bottoms feel tight and there is still a small mountain of turkey to get through today. Continue reading

On the fifth day of Christmas my true love gave to me… five gold rings.

Festive whiskey marmalade

Let me start by wishing you all a Happy Christmas, I hope Santa delivered lots of lovely gifts.

So as the song goes today’s gift is five gold rings, the best line in the entire song; I save my limited higher register of my singing voice for this one every year. Continue reading

Day four will leave you wanting more; prepare for the meat sweats with this decadent four-bird roast

On the fourth day of Christmas my true love gave to me four calling birds, three French hens, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree…


Today folks I present you with what is possibly my most literal interpretation of the song lyrics; a four-bird-roast using chicken, turkey, duck and pheasant.

I conducted much research in preparation for this one and there are many variations – some recipes use partridge and goose – but I decided to use the birds I like most and as the pheasant is the smallest and most delicate of the meats kept it to the centre. Continue reading