It's now 2011 and I'm not sure where the last 26 years have gone yet somehow here I am. I've just moved out of my parent's family home and have set up a new home with my wonderful boyfriend Ronan in the pretty harbour village of Howth in Dublin ,Ireland .

This blog will follow my journey through 2011 and I will include recipes and cooking/ baking tips I come across throughout the year as well as any 1950's inspired ideas for house, home, fashion and life in general. I hope that some of you out there might be able to share some back. Leave a comment or mail me and say hi!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

one for the road

I will post a proper blog later this week, just waiting to upload some accompanying photographs first :D

In the meantime, just to tide you over, here's a recipe I've written for my version of Spanish Chicken. Perfect for a lovely sunny day like today. Feels ( and smells ) like summer! Enjoy!

Leanne’s Pollo Espagnol

Ingredients :
2 large chicken breasts
100g chorizo, diced  
200g new potatoes ,cut into cubes/ quarters
1 small red pepper, chopped
1 small green pepper chopped
1 small yellow pepper chopped ( optional)
300g baby leaf spinach
2 tbsp country relish/ Ballymaloe relish and/or sour cream ( optional)
Method :
1.  Boil the new potato pieces  in hot water ,skins on, for 6-8 minutes until soft.  Then slightly rough them up by using a potato masher and lightly pressing it onto the potatoes so that the skins break and the edges are rough.
2. Place the chicken breasts on a roasting tray and cover with some olive oil and put into the oven at 200c for 20mins until cooked through.
3. Meanwhile, add the potato pieces to a frying pan  and fry in oil for 5 mins until they go golden and crisp.
4. Add the chorizo and the peppers to the potatoes and mix well. Cook until the peppers have softened and the chorizo goes cripsy.Some oil will come out of the chorizo when its done.
5. Arrange a handful of the spinach leaves on a plate, place the hot chicken breast on top. Put a portion of the chorizo potatoes on the side of the plate and garnish with a spoonful of relish/sour cream.
© Leanne Whelan, 2011

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Chocolate cups galore! Where's the kitchen sink gone ?

Well, April has been a fun month.

Finally met up with a cheer friend from Washington/ Oregon, Katelyn Mashburn who moved to Dublin with her lovely bf Ben . Have been enjoying hanging out with them and getting to know them better :D 

Katelyn and Me

I 've been cooking like crazy too.  I tried rabbit for the first time last week by making a lovely rabbit stew which was delicious. 

I also made some peanut butter from scratch and made some peanut butter cups for a friends cheer bake sale. 

This prompted me to experiment with chocolate cups and I'm going to box some for friends for Easter including mint choc cups, strawberry mousse  cups, lemon cups and  caramel cups .

Going to a vintage fashion show tomorrow night thanks to vintage shop Quack and Dirk. Someone had better hide my purse ! 

I'm also going to the Dublin Flea Market on Sunday to find some vintage treasures which I am vert eggcited about hehe.

Since the sun has finally made it's way to Dublin, myself and Ronan have decided to go for walks in the evenings and enjoy the East Dublin coastline.  We went for a walk around the Howth peninsula and enjoyed some stunning views although the pathway on the lower cliff walk/hike route goes VERY close to the edge. Luckily we don't have vertigo . Here are some pics of the fantastic view.

Finally, I'll leave you with tonights dinner recipe. If you make it too , let me know how it turns out !

Gratin of smoked haddock, spinach, emmental and crème fraîche


  • 2kg/4lb fresh spinach
  • 2 large smoked haddock fillets, skinned and boned
  • 4 large ripe tomatoes
  • 240ml/8fl oz crème fraiche
  • 125g/4oz emmental cheese, grated

Preparation method

  1. Pick off the stems and wash the spinach.
  2. Put on a large pan of salted water to boil. When rapidly boiling cook the spinach for 2 minutes, pour into a colander and refresh under cold water. Squeeze dry with hands.
  3. Slice smoked haddock into bite-sized pieces.
  4. Take a large earthenware baking dish or gratin dish, roughly chop the spinach and sprinkle on the base of the dish.
  5. Next place on the smoked haddock, smear over the crème fraiche, then place sliced tomatoes sparingly onto the cream.
  6. Finish with the grated emmenthal cheese.
  7. Place in an oven at 160-180C/325-350F/Gas3-4 for 30 minutes and finish under a medium grill for 5 minutes.
  8. Serve with crusty bread
Next time I'll be talking vintage dresses, time for tea, Parisienne macaroons and scrabble! 
Enjoy !
L x