I'm very excited to bring you a featured blogger for Seven Sporadic Question from across the pond for the month of November.
Eleanor from Ireland is the face behind Brownieville Girl, and I've been watching her blog for quite some time. I love visiting her site for the delicious food and the warm, inviting atmosphere. Let's get to know her a little better.
My new year's resolution for 2010 was to push myself out of my comfort zone. My two passions were reading and cooking/food - so they were the obvious outlets for my new bravery!!!
My first step was to do a couple of book reviews on local radio - I was so nervous, but got such a buzz from actually taking the risk and not making too big (!) a fool of myself!!!!
The next step was to do something with food - I had been enjoying reading some fantastic food blogs, and decided to take the plunge - I was so nervous, would anyone read it, would anyone like my writing/cooking/photos? I'm so glad I took the risk.
2. What's your favorite thing to make for a crowd?
I have a HUGE problem when I'm faced with catering for a crowd - I just can't stop!!!! I write a list and say "that's it, no more" - but then I sneak on an extra salad or three, and then a dessert or two more!! Actually the family love this failing of mine - there are always loads and loads of leftovers!!
Beetroot salad and Couscous salad
I love to cook salads and cold meats and fish - and I always have to try out some new ideas.
Three Bean Salad
Then it comes to desserts and I really go to town!!
One of my favourite things is to sit with a block of post-its and go through my cookery books deciding what to cook for an event - the best part is that I'm not constrained by my family's likes and dislikes - I can really go to town!!!!
3. What's your favorite thing to make for just you?
I rarely cook "just for me" - I do so much cooking every day (since my sister's passing, I cook dinner for her children every afternoon and then come home and cook a dinner here) that my idea of the perfect "alone meal" is probably a slice of batch bread with loads of butter!!!
4. If you could invite 3 famous people (living or dead) to dinner, who would they be? Any particular reason?
That's easy - I would invite my late sister, my late father, my other sister and my mother (I know that's one person too many but how could I leave one of us out???) Once we got past all the crying and sadness - we would have a ball, there is one thing I can say about my family and that is that they are great craic, it would be an evening full of laughs and fun.
This time last year I would have said that Dad, Nigella Lawson and George Cooney would be on the list - although I don't know if my father would approve of me flirting with George all night!! Actually he'd probably be busy flirting with Nigella!!
5. When you think of your childhood, do any favorite dishes come to mind?
I am very lucky because my mother was a fantastic cook - really adventurous, I remember in particular the time she made stuffed cabbage by deconstructing the vegetable blanching all the leaves, and reconstructing it with a meat stuffing - scrummy stuff, but really hard work!!
Our local green grocer used to dread seeing Mum coming - as she was always ordering vegetable he had never even heard of - it's hard to imagine now that Avocado Pears were considered exotic!!
That all said, my fondest food memories are Sunday Dinners - it was a wonderful family time, we would sit for ages over dinner and chat. We always had a roast of meat - usually beef and delicious roast potatoes - yummmmmmm!
Roast Beef and Roasted Potatoes
6. What do you have in your kitchen that you just couldn't do without? (besides your stove/oven of course)
Oh this one is difficult - every time a buy a new item for the kitchen I tell myself that it is totally essential!!!!
I think that I'd have to say my favourite pots and pans (which are properly non-stick, I've had too many years of useless pans!), or maybe it's my knives, or my Kitchen Aid mixer (makes baking so easy) - I can't make up my mind!!!!!
7. What's your favorite part of blogging? Do you think you'll keep doing it for a while?
This is the easiest question of the lot - the best part of blogging is the feedback I get from the people who are kind enough to read my blog. I'm slightly embarrassed to admit how much I hover waiting to see what comments come in!!!!!
I consider the time I spend writing my blog and visiting other blogs as my "me time" and I can't imagine ever giving it up!
Hope you enjoyed reading more about Eleanor and her delicious food! I know I did, and I learned a new word..."craic"--"Craic" or "crack" is a term for fun, entertainment, and enjoyable conversation. Now I just have to find a way to work it into my conversation :)