Fun Days Out

Afternoon Delight

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I recently went out with my mam and sister for afternoon tea at the Killashee House Hotel in Naas, Co. Kildare. It was a mothers day treat for our mam (a little bit later than expected), and myself and my sisters birthday treat to each other (our birthdays are the day after each others, and the week after mothers day). So we decided to celebrate all three occasions together. To book you can either phone or email the Bistro. I emailed and was replied to within the hour with two time choices. The two settings for afternoon tea are at 1.30 and 3.30 and lasts for two hours. I went for the 1.30 time slot.

When we arrived, we were immediately brought to our table. A beautiful spot by the window, which led into the stunning garden area. Thankfully it was a super day, so we had lots of sunshine beaming in to make a happy day even more cheerful. We had the option of ordering either the sparkling afternoon tea for €30, which included a glass of prosecco, or the traditional afternoon tea for €25, which included tea and coffee. As both myself and sister had little people to return home to, we went for the traditional afternoon tea. I know if I had even sniffed a glass of prosecco I would have been on my ear!

The food was absolutely gorgeous. I was so full afterwards that I didn’t need to eat a dinner later that evening! The set menu consisted of:

I enjoyed all of the food on offer. But I have to say, the Caramel Choux Bun and Macaroons were exceptional!! We spent a full two hours at the hotel, which is just the right length of time to spend enjoying afternoon tea. When the bill came, I got the happy surprise of not having to pay extra for the two cups of cappuccinos that I had ordered. Any where else that I have had afternoon tea at, have always charged extra if you order any kind of drink not included on the afternoon tea menu. Most places just serve black coffee, so I nearly always ask for a cappuccino instead and expect to pay extra for it. But happily in Killashee, they included it in the price as I did’t ask for a pot of coffee. In total, for the three of us it cost €75. Not a bad price for a relaxing two hours of eating and drinking!

I would definitely recommend going to Killashee hotel for their afternoon tea. It is such a nice way to catch up with and spend time with friends and family. If you would like book afternoon tea click here and click on ‘Dining’ and scroll down to ‘afternoon tea’ to follow details on how to book.

Picture taken from the gallery at http://www.killasheehotel.com

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Recipes

Spaghetti Bolognese

This is a recipe that I cook regularly in my house. It’s the one dinner that I know Ruby will eat every time I cook it. I know everyone probably knows how to cook this already – with both the well known jars of sauce brands or sauces made from scratch. The recipe I am going to share with you is my own. The measurements of ingredients are only suggestions as I tend to throw ingredients into the pan and measure with my eye. You can add any veggies in that you fancy. I mostly add in  mushrooms and red peppers. Sometimes I chop up carrots really small and hide them in the sauce! I also chop up all of my veggies nice and small first before I start to cook anything. Then they are ready to pop into the pan when needed. Like everything that we buy, nearly all of the ingredients are from Lidl, where we do our weekly shop. Anything that we can’t get in Lidl we get in Tescos.

Prep time: 10-15 minutes

Cooking time: 30-40 minutes

Ingredients:

500g mince 

1 medium sized onion

2-3 cloves of garlic

60g mushrooms

1 red bell pepper (or yellow)

1 Carrot (optional)

1 tin of chopped tomatoes 

Tbsp worcestershire sauce

I beef stock cube

150 – 170 ml boiling water

Tsp each of dried basil and oregano

Salt and pepper to taste

Pasta (brown or white)

Method:

1. Chop up the onion, garlic, mushrooms, bell pepper, and carrot (if using).


2. Once this is done get the pan heated up and add your oil of choice (I use rapeseed oil spray from Tescos).

3. Add the onions and garlic (if using, add the carrots here too) and sweat for about 5 minutes.

4. Add the mince and cook until it turns brown. Boil some water in the kettle.

5. Add in the mushrooms and peppers and cook for a few minutes. At this stage dissolve the stock cube in the boiling water.


6. Once dissolved, add the water and stock cube, along with the tin of chopped tomatoes and worcestershire sauce to the pan. Add seasoning here too.

7. Lower the heat and simmer away for about 10-15 minutes until the sauce reduces down and thickens up.

8. While the sauce and meat are reducing get your pasta on (I assume we all know how to cook pasta?!).


9. Once the pasta is cooked and soft, serve it up with the bolognese and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese (optional).

10. Enjoy!

Tip: If you are cooking this for little people, like myself, chop up the veg really small (they will also cook quicker). I often batch cook, cool, portion and freeze a lot of the food I cook for Ruby. If I was to do this with the recipe above, I wouldn’t cook the pasta until I needed it. I would let the bolognese cool and portion it into little freezer bags and freeze until I needed it. Then all you need to do is get the bolognese out of the freezer in the morning and leave in the fridge to defrost. It should be thawed by dinner time and all that’s left to do is heat it up and cook some pasta!