Thursday, July 5, 2012

J P Keating

I mentioned the photographer J P Keating last week. This week in Le Cool mag he is featured again with a very beautiful photo.
" In fact, it's an image from a series of nudes I am currently working on exploring the insecurities we all have. "


Skerries 1960s

Someone posted this lovely photo of Skerries on Flickr of when the holiday camp was on Red Island.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Mediterranean potato salad

Oh how yummy does this look. And with the use of tinned cherry tomatoes and roasted peppers from a jar it is a great store cupboard recipe. Of course you could use fresh tomatoes and peppers but the prep would be longer and the tinned cherry tomatoes come in the lovely tomato sauce. From
Mediterranean potato salad
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion , thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove , crushed
  • 1 tsp oregano , fresh or dried
  • ½ x 400g can cherry tomatoes
  • 100g roasted red peppers , from a jar, sliced
  • 300g new potatoes , halved if large
  • 25g black olives , sliced
  • handful basil leaves , torn
    1. Heat the oil in a saucepan, add the onion and cook for 5-10 mins until soft. Add the garlic and oregano and cook for 1 min. Add the tomatoes and peppers, season well and simmer gently for 10 mins.
    2. Meanwhile, cook the potatoes in a pan of boiling salted water for 10-15 mins until tender. Drain well, mix with the sauce and serve warm, sprinkled with olives and basil.

    Tuesday, July 3, 2012

    Pecan carrot cake

    Chocolate and Zucchini must be one of the nicest cookery web blogs going. The most recent post for this cake looks scrumptous. Must be made soon!  
    Carrot Cake
    Pecan Carrot Cake
    - 175 grams (1 cup minus 2 tablespoons) unrefined cane sugar
    - 3 large eggs
    - 120 ml (1/2 cup) olive oil or other oil
    - 500 grams (1 lb 2 oz) carrots, peeled and grated
    - 130 grams (1 cup) all-purpose flour (I used the French T65)
    - 40 grams (1/3 cup) cornstarch
    - 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    - 40 grams (1/4 cup) cornmeal
    - 1 teaspoon warm spice mix (such as quatre-├ępices or pumpkin pie mix, containing cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and ginger)
    - 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
    - 125 grams (1 1/4 cups) pecans or walnuts, toasted if possible, coarsely chopped
    Grease a 9 x 5-inch / 23 x 12-cm loaf pan with oil and preheat the oven to 160°C / 320°F.
    In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar and eggs for a minute. Whisk in the olive oil, and fold in the carrots.
    In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, cornmeal, spices, salt, and pecans until combined. Fold into the wet ingredients, taking care not to overwork the batter.
    Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 1 hour, until a cake tester comes out clean. Let rest on a rack for 30 minutes before turning out, and let cool completely before serving.
    Adapted from Julie Andrieu's Les Insolites de Julie (Les Editions Culinaires).

    Sunday, July 1, 2012

    iPhone speaker

    Now, if this device actually works, it is very cool. Seen on
    The eco-amp ($7.99) made from recycled card, comes in flat packs of two easily assembled ‘amps’.
    More about it on "eco-amp is a product that can be easily assembled and used on the fly to amplify the music in your iPhone so you never have to be without great sound. Use eco-amp on vacation, by the pool, at a picnic or even at home instead of your bulky battery-powered speakers" Designed for iPhones 4 and 4S.

    Summer Reads

    These newspaper articles always come too late for me. I'm off in the next few days and have bought my summer books already- damn! Anyway, this article from the Irish Times gives a good few suggestions for my return to back garden reading in the hoped-for August sun.

    Ancient Light By John Banville
    “Billy Gray was my best friend and I fell in love with his mother.” John Banville’s new novel grabs the reader with its opening line. It’s the story of an ageing actor called Alexander Cleave, who looks back on his illicit teenage affair with a woman he still calls Mrs Gray. But Cleave is haunted by memories not only of his youth in a small Irish town in the 1950s but also of his daughter, who died by suicide.
    Me Before You By Jojo Moyes
    When Lou loses her job as a waitress and takes a job as carer-cum-companion to a quadriplegic young man, she doesn’t know what to expect. Her new employer, Will Traynor, is surly and uncooperative. But gradually Will and Lou start to expand each other’s horizons. So when she discovers he’s had enough of his life she is convinced she can change his mind.
    Ghost Town By Michael Clifford
    A fast-paced thriller about two sorts of criminal: those who carry out their crimes with guns and those who prefer to do it all on paper. Well-meaning ex-con Joshua Molloy enlists the help of a solicitor, Noelle Diggins, to find his missing son, and both are soon enmeshed in a dangerous world of crime, greed and violence.
    Capital By John Lanchester
    A Dickensian look at the residents of a London street as the financial bubble bursts. From rich bankers to the struggling immigrants who put parking tickets on their cars, all human life is in this epic story.
    Gold By Chris Cleave
    An insightful gaze on the world of Olympic-level speed cycling. Gold tells the stories of cyclists Zoe and Kate, friends and rivals. In their struggle to balance their difficult personal and professional lives, he shows the cost of sporting greatness.
    The Lifeboat By Charlotte Rogan
    After an explosion on a transatlantic liner in 1914, newly-wed Grace Winter is bundled into a crowded lifeboat. A few weeks later she’s on trial for a murder supposedly committed on the boat. From a Boston jail, Grace tells the story not just of her horrific time on the boat but also of the life that led her there.

    Heft By Liz Moore
    Arthur Opp is a massively overweight former academic who hasn’t left his Brooklyn home in years. Kel Keller is a high-school student with a talent for baseball. The two very different narrators of Moore’s stunning novel are linked by Kel’s troubled mother, Charlene, Arthur’s former student.
    Charlotte Street By Danny Wallace
    A romantic comedy aimed, unusually, at both men and women. It’s the story of Jason Priestley, who after helping a woman into a cab, finds himself holding her disposable camera. Urged on by his hapless best friend, Dev, he gets the photos developed – and a quest ensues.
    Broken Harbour By Tana French
    The bodies of a man called Pat Spain and his two children are found in their house in Broken Harbour, a ghost estate in Co Dublin; Spain’s wife, Jenny, has been seriously injured. Det Scorcher Kennedy initially believes that Spain, who has been hit hard by the recession, had tried to kill his entire family, then killed himself – but he soon realises that things don’t quite add up.

    The Nameless Dead By Brian McGilloway
    The hunt for the body of a supposed IRA informer murdered in the 1970s uncovers the skeleton of a disabled baby instead. The rules of the Commission for Location of Victims’ Remains mean that no prosecutions can result from its findings, so Devlin is forbidden from starting an official investigation. But he knows a murder has been committed, and he’s determined to find out the truth.
    Angelmaker By Nick Harkaway
    Angelmaker is the dazzling story of Joe Spork, a quiet clockmaker whose father happened to be a master criminal. When Joe is asked to repair a mysterious 1950s doomsday machine, he ends up joining forces with retired superspy Edie Banister. What ensues makes for a witty and wonderfully sprawling fantastical thriller.
    A Message to Your Heart By Niamh Greene
    Frankie is a workaholic who seems to be more attached to her phone than she is to her family and friends. When Frankie loses her phone on a business trip to San Francisco, she’s distraught. But when she gets a replacement and starts receiving texts for another woman, she doesn’t realise that her life is about to change forever.

    Torn By Casey Hill
    Dublin-based forensic investigator Reilly Steel on the hunt for a serial killer whose first victims are found buried in sewage, frozen in a bath of ice and strung up in a tree. As Reilly tries to find out what links the murders, her colleague and friend Chris Delaney is struggling with his own demons.
    Tell the Wolves I’m Home By Carol Rifka Brunt
    Fourteen-year-old June has always been close to her Uncle Finn, a celebrated painter. When he dies of an Aids-related illness in the mid-1980s she is convinced that no one understands her grief – until she meets Finn’s long-time partner, Toby, a man whose existence her family have studiously ignored.
    Gone Girl By Gillian Flynn
    Nick Duane’s wife, Amy, disappears on the morning of their fifth wedding anniversary. He becomes the chief suspect, especially when Amy’s friends claim she lived in fear of him. But who, and what, can the reader believe?

    The Soldier’s Farewell By Alan Monaghan
    In the final part of Alan Monaghan’s trilogy, Dubliner Stephen Ryan, who served as an officer in the British army during the first World War, gets embroiled in the political tensions of Ireland in the early 1920s while trying to protect his fiancee from a vicious enemy. As Stephen joins in the Treaty negotiations in London and becomes a part of the new Free State, his brother Joe remains firmly on the other side, and familial and political strife are intertwined in this accomplished novel.
    Where’d You Go, Bernadette By Maria Semple
    Bernadette Fox has disappeared. The volatile, funny former architect has vanished a few days before a family holiday, and now her teenage daughter, Bee, is determined to find out what happened. Told through emails, notes, letters and reports by everyone from Bernadette’s husband and former colleagues to the other mothers at Bee’s school – her sworn enemies.
    Half Sick of Shadows By David Logan
    The darkly fantastical and eccentric story of Edward, who grows up in an isolated country house with a very dysfunctional family.

    HHhH By Laurent Binet
    It was said in the SS that Himmlers Hirn heisst Heydrich (HHhH), meaning “Himmler’s brain is called Heydrich”. The Heydrich in question was the Nazi leader Reinhard Heydrich, who became known as the Butcher of Prague. Laurent Binet’s brilliant new book tells the true story of two Czech resistance fighters’ mission to assassinate him in 1942. But how can Binet’s narrator be sure he’s accurately depicting the past? This Is How It Ends By Kathleen MacMahon
    In 2008, as financial structures start to crumble, an American former banker called Bruno arrives in Ireland to explore his family tree. There he meets Addie, an unemployed architect, and a romance ensues.
    The Art of Fielding By Chad Harbach
    A freak accident during a baseball game transforms the lives of five characters, from talented shortstop Henry Skrimshander to college president Guert Affenlight.
    Not Quite a Fairy Tale By Cee Liddy
    The story of John and Evelyn, two friends who meet at Trinity in the 1980s and become firm friends. Evelyn is the realist who doesn’t believe in fairy tales; John is the starry-eyed romantic. They’re just good friends, and over the years both find love with very different people. Could they be each other’s happy ever after? .
    The Age of Miracles By Karen Thompson Warner
    What would happen if days started to get longer? Very bad things, if Karen Thompson Warner’s chilling debut novel is to be believed. When the world starts turning more slowly, the longer daylight hours cause an environmental catastrophe as crops fail, animals die and gravity shifts. At first, 11-year-old Julia doesn’t see what the big deal is – is this really the end of the world?
    You Are Awful (But I Like You) By Tim Moore
    One of Britain’s funniest travel writers sets himself a grim challenge: visiting his native land’s least appealing holiday resorts. Read this hilarious, poignant book while on holiday somewhere that isn’t Skegness – and count your blessings.