A taste of home – giving the gift of food and drink this Christmas

With Christmas approaching, the sales and special offer notifications are crashing into my inbox on a daily basis and with that comes the temptation to buy things for myself and the loved ones of course.

While waking up on Christmas morning with lots of presents to open, might not be what the season is truly about, for me there is still an excitement attached to guessing what lies beneath the festive wrapping paper that never grows old. Continue reading

A cracking Spring Break in Poland

City breaks are my favourite type of holiday and this year I hoped to visit the USA on an epic city hopping tour taking in New York, Seattle and San Francisco.

Hopes and reality however, are two very different things and with a house to buy and eye-wateringly expensive flights getting in the way – the American Dream was on hold.

While the US trip got away from us this time, husband and I agreed to a more affordable Spring Break and with an abundance of great European cities practically on our doorstep, the holiday search moved closer to home. Continue reading

Mastering the art of baking; remember to use your loaf


People have been baking bread since the Middle Ages and what began as a process born out of necessity, has become fashionable again with more and more of us baking at home.

The rise in popularity of home baking is often credited to TV programmes like Bake Off or Nailed It!, but consumers have also become more health conscious and want to know exactly what they are eating. Continue reading

Clean eating; my New Year experiment

At the start of a new year, we all feel obliged to clean up our acts. From dry January to fad diets and rigorous exercise regimes, a post-Christmas health and wellbeing reformation is a high priority.

I too felt the urge to purge, and determined to find my own sacrificial January lamb decided vegetarianism might help to moderately improve myself.  Radically changing your eating habits can be difficult, so I challenged myself to one week with no meat. Continue reading

Saint George’s Market Opens For Twilight Food Fayre

Saint George’s Market is opening its doors on Wednesday evening and will host some of Northern Ireland’s top chefs and food producers at the inaugural Twilight Market.

The Twilight Market celebrates the best in local produce and with over 100 stalls packed into one of Belfast’s oldest venues is the perfect appetiser to Northern Ireland’s Year of Food and Drink 2016. Continue reading

Kim Lenaghan uncovers the flavours of autumn as The Foodie returns to BBC Radio Ulster

The Foodie returns to BBC Radio Ulster on Sunday, October 11 with presenter Kim Lenaghan on a journey across Northern Ireland to uncover world class ingredients that are produced locally.

Continue reading

Reinvention Test Helps MasterChef Regain Its Sparkle

The MasterChef finals week starts this Monday and with five evenly matched contestants battling for the title of MasterChef champion 2015 – the voiceover woman is literally in my head – this series has been a surprisingly exciting watch.

The five finalists have given us moments of culinary brilliance, but also served up the odd disaster dish making it impossible to call a winner.

Last year I took a break from watching MasterChef on the basis it had become predictable and often fast forwarded through entire segments; in my opinion sending the amateurs to a professional kitchen in the early stages added no value to the competition.

In the 2015 series new challenges and format changes have helped MasterChef regain its sparkle and here are some of my top picks. Continue reading

Guest Blog: Louise’s homemade truffles

This year has almost reached its conclusion and looking back 2014 has been eventful; I have changed job, moved house twice, organised a hen party and sadly bid farewell to my grandfather.

While there are many highlights – the hen party was a triumph – in this season of goodwill I am awarding the prestigious title ‘Michelle’s Moment 2014’ to my sister Louise for her wedding in August past.

To give the whole day an authentic touch Louise and Barry (with sporadic help from yours truly and other members of the supporting cast) made invitations, table decorations and their wedding favours; it really was a beautiful and unforgettable day that gave everyone something to look forward to.

As her reward Louise has been granted a guest slot on my blog (much cheaper than buying a trophy) in which she exclusively shares the recipe for her homemade truffles …

Happy New Year everyone. Continue reading

‘Tis The Season To Be Jolly: Sold Out At The Christmas Market

Tonight Lord Sugar will choose his new business partner in The Apprentice Final, a programme that often leaves me shouting at the TV screen as the teams battle to make his Lordship cash.

Watching from the comfort of an arm chair it is easy to pin point errors such as poor branding, the wrong product selection or a flawed pricing strategy, and think I could do better than that.

Well a few weeks ago I had an opportunity like this at the Orba Health and Well Being Christmas Market, run by Bridin Mullan. Continue reading

Taste and Dine – The curtain raiser to Belfast Restaurant Week

Pop up restaurants are pitching up at the City Hall this weekend to celebrate the start of Belfast Restaurant Week.

At the Taste and Dine event food lovers will have a rare chance to sample food and eat at pop up versions of some of Belfast’s best loved restaurants including Ten Square,  James St South and Mourne Seafood. Continue reading