Spicy Asian Chicken Salad 

I recently had an amazing dinner at the Meeting House Dublin and fell so I love with the Asian fusion style food that I needed to try to recreate my favourite dish of the night – a crab salad. 

Now, the salad on the night had crab and mango, neither of which are actually in this salad but it still tastes good – I made do with what I had, which was some leftover cooked chicken. 

If you are counting Syns allow for the sesame oil and cashew nuts (which i think can be a healthy B, it’s been a while since I’ve been to classes or read the books!!) but don’t leave them out please as they make the dish! 

Serves 1 

1 cooked chicken fillet, finely chopped/shredded 

1/2 small red onion, finely sliced

1 vine tomato, finely sliced 

1/2 cucumber, peeled and cut into sticks (or cubes, whatever shape you feel like) 

1oz cashew nuts, roughly chopped (toast them if you feel energetic) 

About 4 stalks fresh coriander, remove leaves and roughly chop 


2 tsp fish sauce 

2 tsp sesame oil 

4 tsp white wine vinegar 

2 tsp soy sauce 

1/3 fresh chilli finely chopped or pinch dried flakes (to your heat preference) 


Mix everything together 
Let me know what you think of it 🙂 

Candy topped cake

I’ve always loved seeing the images online of the cakes topped with piles of sweets (or candy) and when I was recently asked to make one with the top in sections I was delighted!

As this celebration cake was to be served for dessert I made chocolate mud cake, a rich, dense and moist chocolate cake – perfect with cream or ice cream. This was then cut in half and filled with dark chocolate ganache and then coated with ganache.

I baked this cake in a 10 inch round tin, so it took almost 4 packs of cadbury chocolate fingers to surround the sides!



As the chocolate fingers were too short to divide the top of the cake, I made some chocolate sticks using dark chocolate and drizzled with melted white chocolate.

The sections were then filled with milk chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, chocolate coated toffees, M&Ms, mini chocolate eggs and Oreo mini mix


Along with the cake, my customer ordered cake pops and here is a picture of them all wrapped up and ready to go. Filled with chocolate cake, chocolate buttercream and biscuit then coated in dark chocolate and lots of sprinkles or drizzled with white chocolate



Cottage Pie with Cauliflower Mash Topping

Cottage Pie with Cauliflower Mash Topping

So, 2 weeks into the new year and lots of cooking to catch up reporting on! First up, cottage pie (although I grew up calling it shepherds pie even though my mum always used beef mince!) With the updated Slimming … Continue reading

Smoked Salmon with Pasta and Garlic Cream Sauce

Happy new year readers!!!

Time to get back to cooking properly and not using the entire month of December as an excuse to eat everything that isn’t nailed down!!!

I weighed in at SW on Tuesday and was astonished to find I was down 1.5lb. A stone since September!! Half way there!!

Last night was New Years Eve. An day I find emotionally tough, losses seem harder as another year passes. Coupled with a headcold, I decided to ignore all invites to socialise and to hibernate, with some nice food 🙂

I still haven’t got my head around the new plan with Slimming World, but this meal is 2 syns each as I used 125mls wine between us, you could use less, or none at all.
This would also be even better with proper cream, use about 2/3 tablespoons per person and add before the salmon and spinach, reduce slightly.

<strong></strong><em></em>Smoked Salmon pasta with garlic cream sauce

<em></em>Serves 2

1 small onion, finely chopped
1 yellow or red pepper, sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
Pinch dried oregano
125ml White wine (4.5 syns)
100ml water
6 tablespoons fat free fromage frais or quark
(Or fresh cream, add 1.5 syns per tablespoon)
200g smoked salmon (this is quite a generous amount)
130g dried pasta of choice (I used buckwheat as trying to cut back on wheat/gluten)
2 large handfuls baby spinach leaves

– put the pasta on to boil in salted water
– sauté the onion, garlic and pepper until softened.
– increase the heat and add the White wine, boil for 1/2 mins then add the water and boil rapidly for 2 mins to reduce, add the pepper and oregano
– reduce the heat, add the spinach and stir until slightly wilted, then stir in the salmon.
– turn off the heat and stir in the fat free fromage frais
– drain the pasta and mix well with the cream sauce

– add 1 tablespoon fresh grated Parmesan for 1 Syn extra per person


One small step….off the scales!!!


Last week, on Thursday morning, 10 days ago, to be precise, I took the batteries out of my weighing scales.

The scales that I stood ok every.single.morning (after going to the loo and no clothes on naturally). And every morning I would get upset. So I would do it again every night before bed, so I could judge how bad the morning weigh in would be.

And THEN I PAID to go once a week to get weighed by someone else!! And I’d gain or loose the same 3/4 pound, for 2 years, and leave miserable, and binge eat on the way home.

So, as I said in the last post, something changed. Something had started and I don’t know what it is.

I weighed myself on Thursday morning then I took out the batteries.
Then, I celebrated my wonderful, empowering step by having lunch out with my beloved nana, I had curry, extra veg; no rice and pinched a few of nana’s chips.

I met my friend and her gorgeous daughter and we went for a walk and had coffee and cake.

And I went out for dinner with my husband, had 2 glasses of red wine, starter and a delicious risotto.

Then I came home and went to bed. I didn’t weigh myself. I knew I couldn’t. I had given the batteries to himself with strict instructions to keep them for a week.

I woke up the next morning and didn’t weigh myself. I looked at the scales, it occurred to me to search for the batteries but I didn’t.

Writing it down and even talking about this ridiculously unhealthy habit has made me realise how free I feel not weighing myself every day.

I need to work on my self-image and stop hating my reflection but now I don’t depress myself every morning.

If you are a slave to the scales, I hope this entry may help you realise it Dosen’t have to control your life.

So I will leave you with this image and recipe, because now I bake with my son without guilt – I just have to not eat the entire batch!!

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies


Something new…

Sometimes, something triggers a change. I needed a change.

I started Crossfit. I’ve been going twice a week for 3 weeks now and loving it while hating how hard I find it!!!realising how very, very unfit I am and puffing my way through workouts has been a struggle but I’ve found something I know I will keep going to and can’t wait to see myself getting fitter and stronger!!!


So, for a few weeks now I’ve been trying a new lifestyle, experimenting with Paleo recipes, some lo-carb, some just made up and I like them recipes!!

But basically I’ve been trying to cut out processed food. No bread, no pasta, no rice, no sweets, crisps, chocolate, etc.

It’s rough, I won’t lie, I’ve slipped, about every 2nd day a rogue half slice of toast has found it’s way to me, or some cake, I can’t resist cake, but for the most part I’m embracing the new challenge, actually it’s no longer feeling like a challenge, it’s becoming more just what I do.

I feel better, I’m sleeping better, I’m not bloated all the time. I notice when I do eat processed food the instant and negative effect it has on my body.

The paleo theory tells me no cheese, no dairy, I’m not ready to abandon cheese in my life but now I only have a little, Maybe in a salad or grated over my beloved taco fries (which I now just have with homemade garlic mayo instead of the fat free yoghurt), or in a salad, but it’s max twice a week. I use lactose free milk in my tea and coffee now.

Little changes, adding up

I plan to get back to posting again and hope to share my new cooking style, and most of what I cook can still be adapted to the SW way if that’s what you like to do!!

breakfast today
Last night we had a meal out, with red wine, a temporary relaxing of eating habits, there was breadcrumbs on my starter, and rice in my main, but I am learning to enjoy my treats and leave the guilt go, that is the hardest step, letting the guilt over food go.

Today for breakfast, usually I would hit the toast after a night out, but today I chopped lettuce and spinach, made some scrambled eggs with a little butter, fried up some left over chilli until crisp and topped with some rough guacamole.



Day 3 “Juice and Other Stuff Diet”

Weighed myself first thing. Down 1lb. So 2lbs in 2 days. If I lost a pound every day for 2 weeks id be as happy as anything but as we will see further down, this is unlikely!

10.30am. First time I feel hungry today. Been to wholesaler to get flowers and bits I needed and drank water in the car but no hunger. Drank sunrise juice. I really like this one.

1pm Friend has been visiting since 11 and I’ve been too distracted to be hungry.

1.30 ok now I’m hungry

2pm – green juice. It’s no longer green after 3 days in the fridge and despite shaking it, remains an unattractive sludge colour. I manage half of it.

4.30pm kids have requested pizza for dinner

5.00pm feed kids. No.1 says “Mammy, where is your dinner” I said I already ate it, “no you didn’t he says” and comes back from the counter with 2 slices of thin base traditional sauce pepperoni Goodfellas Pizza, well I didn’t want to hurt his feelings…..

7pm – beetroot juice


I tried, I really did. I just could not drink any more juice. I managed 1/3 of it and gave up. I needed hot food so I microwaved a portion of soup I had frozen and had that instead


(Syn free Butternut Squash and Basil Soup)

On day 4 (yesterday) I checked my weight and I was Still only 2lbs down. To be honest if I had stuck to it properly I might have lost more but I did my best for first attempt! Next time (next week) il be more prepared. Kids dinners will be done in advance and won’t be convenience food every other day and I’m going to have soup on standby for wobbly moments.

I celebrated the end of the detox by having lasagne, chips, coleslaw followed by cake for lunch yesterday and suffered for hours after with cramps!!

Today was a write off food wise ended with Indian takeaway and peanut butter M&Ms


Tomorrow will be back to SW plan, apart from the cake I’ve made for my aunts birthday……oops 🙂

Juice “Diet” Day 2….

First things first. Weigh myself. At 7.30am. After the loo, with no clothes on. Down 1lb since yesterday. Excellent. Only a million left to go.

Cycle to school with the kid. I feel so amazing and empowered by my 1lb loss that I even add an extra cycle on after the drop off. Feel amazing. Fabulous.

9.00am. Have sunrise orange/carrot juice.

10.00am. Starving. But Have been online all morning sorting out new website (check it out http://www.elegantflowers.ie)

11.00am. Get a text, passport applications for kids are missing vital things, namely my own passport, and No.1’s birthcert. I need to go to the Passport office 45 mins away today

Continue to work away, facebook, twitter and website are very effective at distracting me from the hunger.

I intend to have soup at lunch with friend and be super good and strong.

1.45pm. In cafe.

Waitress: What will you have

Me: I’l have the soup

Waitress: do you want bread with that?

Me: no thank you, just the soup

Waitress: If you get a wrap or sandwich and spend €6.95 the kid (No.2) eats free

Me: Ok, i’l have a BLT

So I ate the BLT (but no crusts) and 5 of the kids fries and decide that’s the only meal I’l have today, I will remain strong and positive for the rest of the day. They forgot to give me my soup. I ask for it when I pay and take it in a carton.

3.30pm. Went to SW Class to distract myself. I hadn’t been in 2 weeks as was away last week with the husband. I was down 1lb. Hurrah!

5.30pm Cook dinner for the kids. Chicken curry and rice is requested. God this is torture.

6.00pm Feed the kids. Have my evening juice, the beetroot one, it’s ok if I have LOADS of ice in it.

8.00pm. Feel miserable, tired and cold. I have the soup I didn’t have at lunch and feel better.

10.00pm. In bed, wrecked, head hits pillow and out. I better be thinner tomorrow.

Did I mention we launched our new website? It’s http://www.elegantflowers.ie

Also started a blog there yesterday, first entry is up 🙂

Feel free to like us on Facebook too!! https://www.facebook.com/ElegantFlowersDublin?ref=hl

Juice Diet Day 1 – Done……sort of

Ok. I am writing this entry on what is day 2 of my 3 day detox with Tonic Juices.

It’s going to be longer than 3 days at the rate i’m going, which is not to plan, lets say!

Tuesday Morning, Day 1.

9am. I have the Sunrise Juice. It’s nice, bit carrotty but hey, i’m on track, i’m on plan and I am DOING this!! This is after the school cycle and back. I’ve had my hot water and lemon. I am on FIRE!

11am. I am STARVING

12pm. Juice time. Green Stuff. It’s ok, I’m not mad about it but it’s not tasting as gross as it looks.

1pm. Starving

1.30pm. prepare pesto pasta for toddler. This is torture. Pasta has never looked so good. I’l just take one bit to make sure it’s cooked ok. The 20th piece tasted about right.

2.30pm. cannot.stop.thinking.about.food

3.30pm. Starving. Almost ready to go look in cupboards, considering making soup.

4pm. Reaching for the afternoon green juice. Friend texts me. I’ve told her i’m detoxing after crazy week last week, I didn’t mention what kind.

Friend: “lets do dinner, one last blow out”

Me, immediate reply “ok, dont’ tell husband, i’m meant to be detoxing”

Friend: “Our Secret”

So I Skipped the 4pm and the dinner juice.

6pm. Go upstairs to get out of tracksuit bottoms i’ve been lazing about in all day to get changed. Lie on bed for 20 seconds, wake up 30 minutes later. Feel WRECKED

7pm. Collect Friend. Go to restaurant.

I went out for dinner. The Shame. I had chicken liver Pate and 2 slices of toast and started to feel full….weird!! I ordered a grilled chicken fillet with lemon, and it came with a side salad and I ordered veggies as a side instead of chips (amazing or what!)

I managed less than half of it. Literally could not eat another mouthful. Had a pain in my stomach. Finished with a cup of green tea and rolled home.

Came clean to husband, admitted to chicken and salad, didn’t mention the pate!

I have been drinking water all day, every time I feel hungry I drink water. Whats strange is I still feel dehydrated, my lips are dry. I bring a herbal tea to bed.

Went to bed at 10 and read for a while, fell asleep really quickly it seemed but woke up with sweats a few times during the night!

Weigh in Check this morning: Down 1lb

Back tomorrow with Day 2’s Diary (confession)

3 Day Juice Detox – the night before!!

I’ve had my last wispa, my last Thai red curry and rice….I’ve lined my juices from Tonic Juices up in my fridge, and I’ve prepared himself to be supportive – it even says in the advice sheet provided “husband must be supportive”

It also says this….


….but he asked was that any different to usual????

I’m feeling afraid, but after Easter break and a trip away I’m determined!!

Wish me luck 🙂