Sunday, December 27, 2009

a cocoa bean boy!

welcome to barnaby william denham sandford, born on christmas eve!
and congratulations to emily, chris and lola.... and santa who found his way to the hehir's house to fill lola's stocking on christmas morning!
barnaby was a whopping 10lb 6oz and was born one day early, sneaking in just five hours before his due date!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

quality presents, the irish examiner and near perfect vision

if you don't have the super human vision required to read the bit under the ladybird in the article above, it says that cocoa bean's chocolate tree decorations (€4.95) are in the top three chocolate treats for christmas as recommended by roz crowley. thank you - we are delighted! our christmas tree was originally decorated with all three designs (stars, trees and baubles) but we have already eaten them, being unable to keep chocolate in the house for two minutes. luckily the girls are prolific in the manufacture of replacement decorations and eggs decorated with sequins and feathers are the chosen medium this weekend. classy!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

golden tickets and party fun

here is butterslip's christmas picture showing the lovely ladies of kilkenny having a super dooper christmas party in the shop. there was supposed to be more pictures of tempting pressies and party fun but there was so much cake eating, chatting and laughing that the photos were forgotten. the cake was a worthy distraction; both extremely pretty and harbouring willy wonka style golden tickets worth €200 in butterslip vouchers. wish i had won....

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

institutes, women and back to chocolate class

WI was great - a kind of hectic whirl of activity! the air was heavy with the aroma of toasted cardamoms and the giggles of women away from their children, dipping their fingers into bowls of dark, melted chocolate laced with port and lemon zest.

christmas food and wine

over 500 people came to see the delicious artisan food on offer at mccambridges this christmas. the wine was flowing and everyone at the fair got the chance to sample lots of goodies. you can see grainne rooney from mccambridges pictured, happy to be surrounded by the festive chocolates!
eoin mccambridge toasts j-me, originally from new zealand, now in spiddal co galway, who makes great dressing and chutney. If you haven't been already, seek out mccambridges. if you live in galway, you already know how lucky you are!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

christmas in cork

cork is such a lovely place to capture the thrill of preparing for christmas. it's great mix of high street shops and quirky backstreets remind me of exciting childhood trips to york. finish the day at the english market and pick up some culinary christmas treats. i believe in getting started on the festive food as soon as december starts. winter continues for a long and stark time after the new year begins so take advantage of the natural exuberance of december and eat well!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

stilton and chocolate

we had a fabulous night at knightsbridge harvey nichols on tuesday where champagne was flowing freely and artisans were handing out the best of their festive food. the mood was cheery and christmassy! i love meeting the customers who already eat our bars and delighting the ones who haven't yet tasted them. everyone has their favourite and seem willing to passionately fight their corner across the tasting table with strangers: sea salt against chilli; lime and black pepper against gin and tonic!

i bought the harvey nichols jasmine leaf tea, some balsamic vinegar, a small bunch of red grapes and a wedge of highly recommended coltson basset stilton. when aidan and i were eating the stilton for lunch yesterday, surrounded by my preparations for the WI demonstration - aidan discovered dark chocolate drops and stilton are a heavenly combination. i have had a delicious stilton and white chocolate truffle before but this 60% was moreish. try it...