Construction Themed Birthday Party – Eli’s Bob the Builder 2nd Birthday

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Curried Butternut Squash Soup

Our little country took a battering yesterday from hurricane Ophelia. The wind was howling, it was miserable to look out at and all we wanted to do was curl up under a blanket and warm our bellies with a nice soup.

Thankfully our electricity stayed on long enough for me to make a curried butternut squash soup.

This is one of the easiest soups I have made and it is full of flavour. The trick is to roast the squash first, this will give the soup a gorgeous nutty sweet flavour.

Curried Butternut Squash soup I added a tbsp. of curry powder, it was mild enough to give to the kids but added lots of flavour for us adults too.

Curried Butternut Squash soup

Anyone who knows me will know that I have a slight obsession with plates and dishes. I have been longing to use these dishes from Carraig Donn for a while now. How fantastically autumnal are they?

Curried Butternut Squash soup

Tools needed
  • Baking Tray
  • Large pot
  • Hand blender
Ingredients
  • 1 butternut squash
  • 2 tbsps. Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 large Spanish onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. curry powder
  • 475ml (1 pint) vegetable stock
  • 360ml can coconut milk

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Half the butternut squash and remove the seeds. Chop into large pieces and place on a baking tray. Drizzle with 1 tbsp. of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake in the oven for approximately 50 mins, until the flesh is soft and the edges are brown and caramelised.

In a large pot, heat the remaining oil on a medium heat. Add the onion and soften for 5 minutes.

Add the curry powder and a dash of the vegetable stock. Continue to cook for a further 3 to 4 minutes.

Peal the butternut squash and add the flesh to the pot with the remainder of the stock.

Bring to the boil and allow to simmer for 10 minutes.

Add the coconut milk and blend the soup with a hand blender until smooth.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve warm with a drizzle of cream, fresh chives and roasted pumpkin seeds.

This recipe for curried butternut squash soup will serve 5 to 6 people.

Raspberry Coconut Muffins – Breaskfast Muffin

These raspberry coconut muffins are great any time of day but are perfect for breakfast. Whether you are relaxing with a cup of tea or running out the door, they are a tasty and healthy option in the morning.

Raspberry Coconut Muffin

I developed this recipe for my kids so I could allow them to have treats without it being unhealthy. They are made with wholemeal flour and coconut oil which are better alternatives to butter and white flour. They are also bursting with fresh fruit and full of gorgeous coconut.

Raspberry Coconut Muffin Raspberry Coconut Muffin

It was a complete accident that I used the coconut flour in this recipe. My husband was advised to avoid wheat and so we stocked up on alternative flours with great intentions of baking allsorts. Fast-forward 6 months and we still have coconut flour in the press waiting to be used. I am so delighted I used it in this recipe. The texture is very light which was a good contrast with the wholemeal flour and it really enhanced the coconut flavours in the muffin.

Tools
  • 12 hole muffin tin
  • Measuring Jug
  • Bowl
  • Whisk
Ingredients
  • 150g (1 cup) coconut flour
  • 175g (1 cup) wholemeal flour
  • 40g (1/4 cup) desiccated coconut
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 50g brown sugar
  • 200ml (3/4 cup) coconut milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 40g coconut oil (melted)
  • 150g fresh raspberries

Preheat the oven to 200°C

In a bowl, mix together all of the dry ingredients.

Measure 200ml of coconut milk in a measuring jug and whisk in the eggs and melted coconut oil.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix together until well combined.

Spoon half of the mixture into the muffin pan and top with half of the raspberries. Repeat until all of the mixture and raspberries are used.

Bake for 26 to 30 mins.

Cool on a wire rack.

This recipe for raspberry coconut muffins will make 12.

Afternoon Tea – 77th Birthday Party

Wow, I can’t believe it’s almost a year since I posted last. My gorgeous babies are taking up all of my time. :) Our second little boy is 7 months old today, he is the sweetest little baby. Eli adores him and is the best big brother. But my gosh we are busy. I have so many different ideas for dinners and brunches that I want to post about, but it is hard to find the time to perfect my recipes and share them here.

I am delighted to be able to share our recent family gathering with you and show you all the delightful cakes and sandwiches we enjoyed.

During the summer we celebrated my great aunts 77th birthday with an afternoon tea for all my family, all 30 of us. She wasn’t just 77, her birthday also fell on the 7th of the 7th, so it was a little bit special.

Afternoon Tea Like all parties we have, the menu is always the most exciting part for me. As soon as my Mam suggested having an afternoon tea I was thinking about dainty little cakes and clotted cream on scones, egg finger sandwiches and tea served in fine china. Afternoon tea for 30 isn’t an easy task but my Mam and I cleverly created a menu with easy to prepare courses. We choose desserts and sandwiches that could be prepared in advance and no item on the menu had more than 5 ingredients. We even cheated where we could by buying some pre-made items….who makes macarons :P

Afternoon Tea

Course 1 (Sandwiches)

Smoked Salmon with Cream Cheese on Herb Scones

The herb scones were baked the day before.

On the day we spread the scones with herb cream cheese and layered with smoked salmon.

Roast Beef with Horseradish on Toasted Ciabatta

The beef was roasted and sliced the day before.

On the day we cut the ciabatta into thin slices and toasted. It was then buttered before layering on the roast beef slices and a small spoon of horseradish.

Afternoon Tea

Brie and Caramalised Onion Filo Tart

The filo tarts were prepared the evening before and reheated before serving.

A mini muffin tray was lined with filo pastry and filled with caramelised onion and slices of brie. They were then baked until golden.

Afternoon Tea

Egg Mayonnaise with Chive Finger Sandwiches

The egg mayo and chive was prepared the evening before.

On the day we assembled the sandwiches, removed the crust and cut into battens ‘finger sandwiches’.

Afternoon Tea

Coronation Chicken with Green Grapes

I prepared the coronation chicken the previous day. To cook the chicken breasts I boiled them for 25mins. Boiling made them easier to shred. Once cooked and cooled the chicken was shredded and mixed with mayonnaise and a little curry paste.

On the day the sandwiches were assembled and a green grape was skewered on top. Afternoon Tea

Course 2 (Scones)

Fruit Scones Filled with Rhubarb Jam and Clotted Cream

The fruit scones were baked the day before.

on the day we filled them with rhubarb jam and clotted cream.

Afternoon Tea

Course 3 (Sweet Treats)

Crème Patissière Fruit Tartlets

The mini sweet pastry cases for these tarts were bought in Dunnes Stores.

On the day we filled with crème patissière and fresh fruit.

Lemon Posset with Mango

These possets are super easy to prepare and the whole lot can be made in advance.

  • 600ml double cream
  • 200g golden caster sugar
  • Zest and juice of 3 lemons

Make the posset by gently heating the cream and sugar, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to a simmer and bubble for 1 min. Turn off the heat and stir in the lemon zest and juice. Divide between small pots. Once cool, allow to chill in the fridge until set.

These possets are beautiful just on their own but we topped them with finely chopped fresh mango, covered with a thin layer of lemon jelly.

Orange Chocolate Eclairs

These are best made on the day. I have made them in advance before but I find they soften a little overnight.

I followed this recipe for my eclairs. Filled them with fresh cream and topped with melted orange chocolate.

I bought my macarons, life is too short :)

We delegated a few jobs too.

One aunt made mini chocolate brownies.

Another made white chocolate, ginger, caramel and macadamia tarts. Wow they were fab.

Afternoon Tea

The menu was printed on pretty floral card and each item had a matching floral label so our guests knew what everything was.

Afternoon Tea

Afternoon tea wouldn’t be the same without tiered cake stands and floral china cups, so we borrowed some items to add to our own and the table looked fabulous when set up.

Afternoon Tea Afternoon Tea To make the day a little easier we used paper plates and napkins. These beautiful plates we used from Amazon are such good quality, it was hard to believe we were eating from paper plates.

afternoon tea

This was such a lovely way to spend an afternoon with family.

Everything was prepared when the guests arrived, the food was out and the tea was brewing. So as hosts we got to enjoy ourselves too.