Bow ties ‘n’ bolly

Did someone say bolly?

Oh yes please! I’ll just have a wee little drop; oh how I love those bubbles! And what better to pair with bubbles than some beautiful spring strawberries. They’re a match made in heaven.

Fresh spring strawberries

Last weekend we went to a rather wonderful wedding; a very very special wedding – one where there were two dapper and dashing grooms, and not a bridezilla in sight.

One of the handsome grooms happens to be my Fella’s very good friend. So you can only imagine how proud I was to see The Fella stand up beside his mate on the big day, offering moral support, remembering the rings and delivering a suitably embarrassing speech.

Strawberries in white chocolate shirts

I made these strawberries for the Fella to bring over to the boys house that morning while everyone was getting ready. I thought them rather fitting, given the bow ties; and I knew the guys would enjoy them with a pre-ceremony glass of champers.

I got the idea from the fabulous The Vanilla Bean Diaries. Esté’s versions are much tidier (I think she’s going to make it as a master confectioner well before me); and she has the in-process shots down pat, something I’ve never managed.

Strawberries in milk chocolate jackets

However in this case, it probably had a lot to do with the fact I spent most of my time trying to scoff the melted chocolate and not concentrating on the whole photo-taking-bit, ops!

Try these today with a glass of bubbles, I’m sure if you think long enough you can come up with a reason. They really are a match made in heaven, much like our wonderful friends Scott and Mike.

You gotta love the love.

Strawberry bow ties

Chocolate dipped strawberries

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Gone visitin’ with a new look!

This week I’ve gone off galavanting, which is always fun! I’m guest blogging and eating cheesecake at my friend Mary’s wonderful blog Where’s the Zoom.

Mary is an American friend, who I met when she (very excitedly) packed up her entire life and moved to Ireland, and all for a buachaill – swoot soooooo!!

After three years in Dublin she married the self same boy – everybody say ahhhhh. Now, she lives in sunny North Carolina with her handsome Irish hubbie and two beautiful babies, who feature regularly on her fabulous blog.  Check it out, it is beyond cute and the photos are to die for. I guarantee you will not be disappointed.

Hope you enjoy the new look.

I’ll be back next week for some more yumbolicious-ness!

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Kumquat, vanilla and vodka scented marmalade

What fun and yummy little fruits kumquats are.

For those of you unfamiliar with these petite citrusy bites, they’re all kinds of entertaining. For instance, you can pick them up and pretend to be a really big scary giant, just hanging out with an orange.  See? Fun!

Or if prancing around the kitchen shouting fee-fi-foo-fum at the cat isn’t really your idea of a good time, you could always offer them to unsuspecting boyfriends, telling him of course they can be eaten skins and all; and try to supress your giggles while his face puckers up and turns inside out. Ha!

But if winding up your loved ones ain’t your thang, I guess you could just make marmalade. It’s not quite as fun, but it’s sure as hell deeeeelicious.

I love marmalade and will always have a jar of it in the fridge for weekend toast-fests. I’ve made it plenty of times before, but never with kumquats, so I hit the interwebs for a little inspiration. I found quite a few recipes recommending adding vanilla extract, which seemed straight forward enough; but I also found several recommending using rice wine (or a mixture of rice wine and water) as the cooking liquid. Alcohol in a recipe is always guaranteed to grab my attention, I was intrigued.

For my own marmalade, I decided to use vodka. I figured the citrus flavour could handle a bit of a kick, and hell, even if it didn’t work, it would certainly make the weekend toast-fests a little more entertaining.  I got lucky, it worked; and boy does it taste good.

Kumquat, vanilla and vodka scented marmalade

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