Author Archives: tara

Cooking with Kids! Sticky Chicken Drumsticks

Most kids really love these Sticky Chicken Drumsticks! I remember the first time we made these at one of our Kid’s Cookery Camps, the kids went crazy for them and there was a stampede for the last few 🙂

Chicken Drumsticks

Sticky Chicken Drumsticks

(Serves 4)


 8 Chicken thighs

2 tablespoons of soya sauce

2 tablespoons of honey

½ a teaspoon of paprika

½ a teaspoon of ground coriander

1 clove of garlic, minced

1 thumb sized piece of ginger, grated

1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted lightly


Preheat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4.

  1. Combine the soy sauce, honey, paprika, coriander garlic & ginger in a bowl.
  2. Score the skin of the chicken thighs a couple of times and place in an oven proof dish.Pour the marinade over, ensuring all the chicken pieces are coated.
  3. Cook in the oven for 30 mins and sprinkle with the sesame seeds when fully cooked.

Cooking with Kids! Lemon Meringue Swirls

Welcome to our first recipe in our new series, Cooking with Kids! These are really easy and delicious treats that the kids will love. A big thanks to Ramona Farrelly & Irish Country Living magazine for these images.

Irish Country Mag 4

Meringue Swirls with Lemon Curd and Cream


2 egg whites

A pinch of salt

150g of caster sugar

Red food colouring

¼ tsp of vanilla extract

To Serve:

Lemon Curd (see below) & Whipped Cream


  1. Pre heat the oven to 140˚C and line a baking tray with baking paper
  2. Put the egg whites into a large spotlessly clean mixing bowl with the pinch of salt
  3. Whisk until soft peaks form then gradually add the caster sugar until stiff peaks form
  4. Add in the vanilla extract
  5. Using a large spoon dollop the meringues onto the baking sheet leaving space between them
  6. Place the food colouring in the bowl and dip a skewer into it
  7. Swirl the skewer into the meringues to give a ripple effect
  8. Bake for 30 minutes or until the base of the meringues is hard and then switch of the oven
  9. Leave to cool in the oven if possible
  10. Mix some whipped cream with the lemon curd and serve with the meringues

For the lemon curd


1 egg

1 egg yolk

50g (2oz) butter

90g (3oz) caster sugar

Finely grated zest and juice of 2 lemons


To make the lemon curd:


In a bowl, whisk together the egg & the egg yolk.

Melt the butter in a saucepan over a very low heat.

Add the caster sugar, grated zest, & juice, & then the beaten eggs.

Stir carefully with a wooden spoon, over a very gentle heat until the mixture thickens.

This should take about  7-10 minutes. If the heat is too high, the egg will scramble.

The curd is ready when the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of the wooden spoon & leave a definite mark when you push your finger through it.

Remove from the heat and allow to cool.




Tara’s Weather Food Cast on LMFM (February)

For my second Weather Food Cast on LMFM’s Late Lunch with Gerry Kelly, I made a really simple and tasty Chicken & Orange Tray Bake and a super-light Chocolate & Orange “Web” Cake, perfect for getting the kids involved!  Listen to the podcast here


Chicken Tray Bake with Green Salad

Serves 4

8 Chicken pieces, a mixture of thighs, drumsticks and skin-on breast on the bone.

Potatoes, washed and cut into 1” chunks

Red Onion, peeled and cut into wedges

1 Orange, cut into wedges

8 Garlic cloves peeled but left whole

1 Courgette sliced into 2” chunks

1 Red or Yellow Pepper, sliced into 2” chunks

A few cherry tomatoes

Woody herbs such as rosemary, thyme, oregano. Fresh is best but dried can also be used.

Olive oil to drizzle


Preheat the oven to 200˚C, 180˚C Fan, Gas Mark 5

Place the chicken pieces on a large roasting dish and add all the other ingredients to the dish. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil.

Roast for 30 mins, checking and stirring every 10 mins or so to ensure the top ingredients don’t burn.

Serve with a simple green salad

French Dressing

2 parts Olive Oil to 1 part Cider Vinegar

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1 clove of garlic, peeled and bashed with the back of a knife

Salt & Pepper

Combine all ingredients in a jar and shake well to combine

Chocolate & Orange “Web” Cake


50g cocoa powder

90ml boiling water

3 eggs

4 tbsp milk

100ml sunflower oil

175g self-raising flour, sifted

1 rounded tsp baking powder, sifted into the flour

250g caster sugar

½ tsp orange blossom water




Preheat the oven to 180˚C, Fan 160˚C and line a 9” cake tin.

Place all of the cake ingredients, except the boiling water, into a large mixing bowl. Using a wooden spoon, or electric whisk, beat the mixture until smooth and well combined

Add the boiling water to the mixture, a little at a time, until smooth. (The cake mixture will now be very liquid.)

Bake in the preheated oven for about 20-25 mins

When the cake has totally cooled, cut it in half widthways.

Spread over one layer of the filling below on the cake. Place the other layer on top.


For the Frosting:

100g cream cheese

50g butter

1 orange, zested & juiced

1 tsp vanilla extract

65g icing sugar


For the frosting, beat the cheese and butter until soft and smooth. Add in the vanilla, a tablespoon of the orange juice and zest and sift in the sugar, and beat for a few moments until the mixture is completely smooth.


100g Dark chocolate

15g White Chocolate


Melt 100g of dark chocolate. Pour over the cake evenly. Allow to cool for a couple of minutes. In the meantime, melt the white chocolate and place in a piping bag with a very small hole (or use a small freezer bag and cut the hole in the corner) Draw a large circle around the perimeter of the cake, then draw another smaller circle about a centimeter in and another and so forth until you reach the centre.

Place a sharp point such as a skewer or knife in the centre of the cake and draw it through the white chocolate until you reach the edge.

Repeat at regular intervals.

Spicy Tomato & Basil Soup

This is a really simple and quick Spicy Tomato & Basil Soup. A little spice is great to warm you up but you can leave it out if you wish. We made this at one of our Kid’s Cookery Camps and all the children loved it!

Tomato Soup

Spicy Tomato & Basil Soup


1 onion, diced

1 garlic clove, chopped

1 tsp tomato puree

½ tsp dried chilli flakes

1 tin of tomatoes

250ml chicken stock

1 tsp sugar

Salt & Pepper

Fresh basil leaves, torn

A glug of oil

Optional: a dash of cream


Sweat off the onion with a little salt until softened and then add the garlic.

Add the tomato puree and chilli flakes and cook out for a few moments.

Pour the tin of tomatoes in with the sugar. Bring to the boil and add the stock.

Boil for 5-10 mins or until the flavour has developed. Blend until smooth and check for seasoning. Add a dash of cream if desired and the basil.

DIY Traditional Christmas Cake Class,TV3’s Saturday AM- 3 parts

It’s always nice to get an early start on making your traditional Christmas Cake. This year, we are holding our first ever DIY Christmas Cake class where all you have to do is bring along your cake tin and bring home your cake, ready to bake.  We will have all your ingredients and equipment and we will help you along the way. You will come back to us 2 weeks later to learn how to ice and decorate it. It helps the flavour to mature and “feeding” it with the alcohol of your choice every week or so before icing it keeps it nice and moist. If you can’t make it to our class but would like to see how to do it, watch baking the cake here and  here. Making the homemade marzipan here and finally d12391331_1090732594279652_3354634679935576129_necorating it here and here


Gluten Free Lemon & Mint Polenta Cakes in Irish Country Living Magazine

Lemon & Mint Polenta Cakes Farmers JournalThese are gorgeously moist cakes. I love making them in a variety of shapes and sizes which look gorgeous for a smart afternoon tea. They are lovely summery, light cakes and I have just simply garnished them with edible flowers from the garden.

(Makes approx. 10 depending on the size of your cake papers or tins)

This recipe can be made as a full cake in a 9” tin. Bake for an hour if  doing a whole cake.


230g butter

230g caster sugar

4 large eggs

140g polenta

200g ground almonds

2 teaspoons baking powder (make sure it is gluten free)

Zest and juice a lemon (saving 3 tablespoons for the icing)

A couple of sprigs of mint, chopped

For the Icing:

3 tablespoons lemon juice

100g icing sugar


Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3.

  1. Line up mini cake papers or mini loaf boxes on a baking tray
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time and mix thoroughly.
  4. Once the mixture is combined, add all the dry ingredients and the mint, zest and juice after you have measured off 3 tablespoons for the glaze.
  5. Transfer the mixture to the cake papers or mini loaf boxes, spread evenly, then cook for about 30mins (depending on the size of your cake papers) or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
  6. To make the icing, mix the icing sugar with the lemon juice until the lumps have disappeared.
  7. Drizzle the lemon glaze over the top of the cake and garnish with some mint flowers or leaves or any other edible flowers you have.

Lemon Polenta Cake Farmers Journal