I think I’m going to complain about the weather more often as every time I do the next day ends up being really hot. So all together “THANK YOU LORRAINE”! I accept all gifts, I’m not that fussy – Gucci, Armani, D&G – I’ll leave it up to you:)

I was delighted to see an ad on TV the other night about Jamie Oliver’s new programme starting Aug 7 called “Jamie at Home” which seems to be all about simple cooking that we all can do. I think there seems to be a big shift in eating habits especially here in Ireland to more casual dining using simple ingredients. It’s taking it’s time getting to Limerick mind you but there seems to be a big craze in Dublin judging by all the reviews I’ve been reading lately. Fine dining is great for a special occasion but there is a huge gap between this and the fish and chip shop. I think the Gastro-Pub seems to fill this gap in the UK but this concept is a bit slow to take off here unfortunately, I don’t know why?? There has been a lot of complaining regarding a drop in business in the pub trade since the smoking ban so serving good, home-made food would probably be a step in the right direction – a few good cocktails wouldn’t go astray either. How hard is it to find a good Mojito in Ireland??

I know I go on about how wonderful everything is in Italy but when it comes to food and drink there is nowhere better than it, they do have their negatives too especially with the economy, politics and bureaucracy etc but to me food is more important so I always look at it with my rose tinted glasses plus I don’t live there! Take the local bar in Atina, it’s a tiny place serving the locals and you’ll get a better cappuccino or alcoholic beverage than in a lot of expensive restaurants in Ireland. When they serve their gin and tonic there are no measurements and they squeeze some fresh limes in front of you and the fresh lime juice adds a great twist. I don’t know how many times in various pubs I’ve had to ask for a slice of lemon and after the look and reaction I get I wonder was my little slice of happiness worth asking for?? In Italy just take such pride in all aspects of food and drink as they are just so passionate about it!!

So on the subject of passion here is a really easy and tasty vegetable dish to go with anything, we had it with some aged fillet from Superquinn! 


  • 1 aubergine –  chopped in big chunks
  • 1 courgette –  chopped in big chunks
  • 1 red onion – chopped in big chunks
  • 1 sweet red pepper – optional
  • 5 cloves garlic- leave skin on
  • 1 tin Italian cherry tomatoes or good quality fresh cherry tomatoes
  • olive oil
  • basil- 10 leaves, you can add some thyme or rosemary if you like.
  • sea salt and black pepper.


 – It’s so simple, just put everything into an oven dish, season with salt and pepper and pour over some olive oil!!

 – cook for 30 – 40 mins in the oven at 200 degrees and serve.