We had a just a couple of days in Dublin.. I have been here before with my husband a few years ago. I really enjoy being in Dublin.. love the walkable city, food and the people. We took a 1 PM train from Belfast and got to Dublin around 3:15PM. It was raining and we quickly found a cab and made our way to the hotel which was not very far away. After unpacking a bit, we decided to venture out with our umbrellas in tow. The problem with venturing out is that you need to know where to go.. I am quite directionally challenged and have trouble with maps, although Belfast was quite straightforward. Dublin on the other hand is very complicated, with tiny streets going in all directions. Luckily I was able to use the GPS on my phone which was a life saver!! We walked around and reacquainted myself with the lovely city.
We stopped for a cappuccino and hot chocolate early during our walk as it was quite chilly and wet. The sun peeked out every half an hour or so… My daughter wanted something other than Irish food for dinner so we ventured out and found an Asian restaurant and ordered some noodle dishes- the food was okay, nothing special. We then walked around some more and finally found a gelato place, which my daughter was desperately searching for. I had a delicious scope of passion fruit cream gelato topped with a dollop of whipped cream. I love coming to Ireland for the delicious butter, cream and yogurt and of course cheese! It is all so delicious!
The next morning, we had a yummy Irish breakfast and ventured out for a historic Dublin walking tour. It was really good and walking for two and half hours prompted us to head to Queen of Tarts, a cafe and dessert place with delicious desserts and lunch. I ordered a bunch of madeleines served with raspberry compote and fresh whipped cream! All my favorite things on one plate. I washed it down with a delicious glass of pinot grigio. We lingered there for a while and read our books and enjoyed the delicious aromas coming out of the kitchen.
We then walked to the Stephen Green area, which is a beautiful green area with a lake and lovely walking paths. We walked around a bit and headed back to the hotel for a rest before heading out for our last dinner in Dublin!
It was raining, yet again and so we decided not too walk very far for dinner. Hairy Lemon it was! A highly rated Irish pub around the corner from our hotel! It was packed as we walked in but we managed to get a table for 2. I ordered a glass of cabernet as I was planning on getting the burger. Although this place was famous for it’s stew, I just wanted a juicy burger- and it was great, with bacon, cheddar, tomato and arugula! It was yum! We didn’t have any dessert as I had seen an ice cream place the night before called Murphy’s Ice Cream made in Dingle. Now, Dingle is a place on the west coast of Ireland, in county Kerry that I had visited and fallen in love with a good 8 years ago. I was thrilled to see a reference and wanted to eat their ice cream.. plus they had some very different sounding flavors like caramelized brown bread ice cream, brown butter ice cream… I indulged in one scoop each of the caramelized brown bread and Irish coffee… both of which were spectacular… a perfect end to a great trip.
We are back home tomorrow, just in time for me to get back to exercising and not eating everything in sight!!!
My daughter’s class is having a mini celebration for St. Patrick’s day with green bagels, green grapes and green juice. As I was volunteering to send some Irish butter, my daughter expressed her disappointment about not having some green cupcakes for St. Patty’s day. So, of course as a responsible (and gullible) Mom, I volunteered to bake some. She was overjoyed as we decided to check with the teacher first.
Once we found out it was a go- I started looking at recipes online. There was one in Martha Stewart’s site that looked good. I decided on making the mini ones- no reason for 23 kids to be running around with tons of sugar in their bodies.
The recipe was enough to make two batches of 24 mini cupcakes. I didn’t have two of the same 24 cupcake pans so I decided to make 24 mini and 6 regular sized cupcakes. That way the two teachers can have regular sized ones. I used my usual white whole wheat flour, evaporated cane sugar and extra light olive oil. If you want to use butter instead- one cup is equivalent to 2 sticks. I also added zest of a Meyer lemon to give the cupcakes some extra flavor. If you don’t have a Meyer lemon, use a lemon or an orange instead. The frosting was delicious with cream cheese, vanilla extract and the butter- yes, I used butter in here- there is really no substitute for it in frosting. Overall the cupcakes looked beautiful with the bright green sugar on top.
St. Patrick’s Day reminds me of my all time favorite vacation to Ireland. It is the most beautiful country with super friendly people I have ever been to. We flew into Shannon and stayed in a beautiful town called Dingle. It is a gorgeous little town that has the most amazing restaurants and vistas. We ate amazing food and for someone who is not a beer gal, I drank it with every meal. I feel the urge to go back every year around this time as I hear tourism ads on the radio to Ireland and feel the weather changing.
I guess I will look at the green cupcakes and think of the gorgeous landscape in the beautiful country, Ireland. Happy St. Patrick’s Day to all of you!!!
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As I stood in immigration line, I flipped through my passport and noticed it had been five years since I have been back to this beautiful country. We visited the west coast and flew into Shannon airport and spent the most glorious week driving around, drinking beer and eating the most delicious food- I know the food part comes as a big surprise but Ireland has come a long way as food is concerned. The countryside was absolutely beautiful. We had rented an apartment in a small town called Dingle and it had the most amazing restaurants. It was a glorious vacation.
I have been meaning to go back ever since.. in fact, I wanted to buy a house and just stay there. Fast forward five years and here I am. This time we decided to experience the city life and of course Dublin came to mind. After taking a red eye flight, we finally landed at the airport. A quick shuttle took us to our hotel right in the middle of the Trinity college area, which is filled with restaurants and bars- my kind of scene.
We quickly unpacked and got ready to venture out and look for a place to eat- I was starving! Our biggest argument whenever we are on vacation is how often to eat- I tend to get hungry every four hours (according to some people in my family). I just want to go out there and experience all the food I can without overdoing it. So, we walked around and found a lovely pub. I wanted to have a huge burger filled with amazing Irish beef. We settled in with a beer and a wine- I know.. I need to have some beer. Last time in Ireland, I had delicious beers and I am not a beer person at all. For some reason, I wanted a glass of red wine with my burger.
The burger came with the beef patty in a strange looking bun. It was thin like an English muffin but tasted like a regular bun. I was happy to have less carbs as the pile of fresh chips (french fries) were extremely tempting. There were some greens as well- very yummy. There was melted Irish cheddar on the patty. I smeared some English mustard and went at it. It was very enjoyable and the best thing was- I didn’t feel overly full… I think it was the fresh ingredients used….
Stay tuned for tomorrow….