Julie's

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Valentine’s Day Dinner

It’s February, we all need a little pick me up after January, and what better way than a nice romantic meal to celebrate the season of love! And because we love our readers so much we have a little surprise competition at the end of this blog… so keep on reading! One thing I love to do for Valentines is to cook a nice meal, I mean let’s face it… the restaurants are crowded and overpriced and at least if you cook at home there is no need for a designated driver. You can both enjoy a nice glass of wine with your meal. But what to cook… this year...

Spring Clean with M&B

January has arrived and we all know what that means, budgets, diets, resolutions and promises to ourselves. Some of them we’ll keep and some we’ll forget within the first two weeks… but one thing we can all do that will last longer than the spur of the moment gym membership is a really good spring clean. A little time spent on this now will have you reaping the rewards all year long! We’ve put together this guide to help you get the most from your spring clean. I think the place to start is the kitchen. A clean and organised kitchen is a great place to start as for most...

Hosting & Toasting – Top 5 Tips

The presents have been unwrapped, the turkey carved and the box of Milk Tray has been eaten down to the second layer… Christmas is well and truly here and the party season is fully underway. Who doesn’t love a good get-together over Christmas, toasting to family and friends? If you are thinking of hosting a party this Christmas, let these tips be your guide to the perfect drinks party! A Warm Welcome Set the scene the moment your guest arrive with candlelight and scent. Scented diffusers dotted throughout the house will have your guests in the seasonal mood in no time. Warming scents of cinnamon and clove, notes of pine,...

Turkey Toolbox – the ultimate gadget list

Nothing seems more daunting than the task of cooking Christmas Dinner, but with our Turkey Toolbox you’ll be all set. This is the ultimate list of tools and gadgets that you need to make sure that bird comes out juicy and tender and on time! Oven Prep One of the most important things when it comes to cooking the turkey is oven temperature. Because poultry needs careful cooking in order to ensure it is safely cooked, we would always recommend an oven thermometer. Ovens can often be off by some degrees, so pop this Jamie Oliver Oven Thermometer in as the oven is preheating. Then you can be sure that...

Christmas Table Perfection at Meadows & Byrne

It’s the biggest meal of the year for most people and it’s your turn to host… Don’t panic, Tabletop Buyer and self-confessed Christmas nut Julie has all the tips that you need to prepare the perfect Christmas Table this year! 1. Preparation Preparation is key when it comes to hosting dinner for a group, whether that’s Christmas Dinner or any other big event. What I like to do is about 2-3 weeks beforehand, lock down how many guests you will have. This is important as you will likely need to order your turkey and ham. Them have a look at your tableware and serveware and make sure that you have...

Winter Warmers at Meadows and Byrne

The seasons have officially turned we are now in winter mode, it is time to think about changing what we are serving for dinner. This time of year is all about winter warmers. Think full-bodied stews, casseroles and soups that are full of seasonal veg. Most of these types of dishes are even better the second day and leftovers are the perfect lunch. Saving you both money and time and impressing everyone with your delicious flavours, what’s not to love! Kitchen & Dining Buyer and self-confessed food-addict Julie is going to give you some ideas here on how you can make the most of your cookware and ingredients this season…...

Simple Sauteed Cabbage

Cabbage is a very traditional Irish vegetable that gets a very bad rep! Soggy, boiled to within an inch of it’s life and served in a pool of salty water… hardly something to shout home about. However, it doesn’t have to be like this, cabbage is a wonderful vegetable that can be exciting again if we give it some love. I have taken to sauteing it in the manner below and served alongside a rich stew or on the side of a slow cooked beef brisket it really is almost joyful! It is ready in less than 20 minutes and I’m confident it will make up for years of over...

Julie’s Winter Vegetable Curry

If you are searching for a curry that is easy to make, cheap to whip up and a surefire crowd-pleaser then look no further. This Winter Vegetable Curry makes the best use of seasonal vegetable and store cupboard ingredients to create a tasty all in one meal. Simply serve with some rice and you have a great vegan alternative to the traditional curry. All of the vegetables are seasonal, ensuring a lower carbon footprint if you go for local produce. They can be sourced plastic free if you are trying to avoid some of the packagings too, so this is a good one to include in your menu once in...

Chicken with Caramelized Apples

Looking for a chicken dinner with a difference? Well, look no further… This unusual casserole is a one pot dinner, ready for the oven in 15 minutes. All you have to do then is let the oven do the work. With gorgeous caramelized apples and warming hints of cinnamon and ginger, this is a perfect Autumn dinner. Use chicken thighs for flavour and I recommend using a cast iron casserole to allow you to do all the cooking in one pot. Save on that washing up! INGREDIENTS 3 Braeburn apples, peeled, cored and thickly sliced 2 teaspoons Honey 30g Butter 1 small Cinnamon stick 1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg 1 tablespoon olive...

Baking made easier – Tips to streamline your baking

With the Great British Bake Off final airing this week, interest in baking reaches its peak. Baking brings back fond memories for many people, learning to bake alongside their Granny for example. It can sometimes seem like a much more difficult process than cooking is. You have all that extra measuring, extra precision and extra steps. However, our tips will help you streamline your baking and make it a regular feature in your kitchen again. I know all about how daunting baking can seem, I decided to bake my own wedding cake… A great idea in theory,  but in reality, with a month to go to D-Day, this Bride-to-Be was...

Table Setting, the Meadows and Byrne guide to the perfect table.

We all want to impress with our hosting skills when we invite our friends or family for dinner. From the food to the drinks, right down to the perfect playlist, every detail is important. A perfect table setting is the centre of it all. This is something that many people worry about. I have put together my top tips for styling the perfect dinner table. This step-by-step guide will be your guide the next time you have a table that you want to dress to impress. What overall impression are you trying to create? Is it going to be casual or formal? What kind of details are you planning to...

Buying Guide: Dinnerware

While food is undoubtedly the star of every meal, dinnerware is the frame that holds this work of art together. Having the right dinnerware can change the whole dining experience. “If you have to dry the dishes / And you drop one on the floor / Maybe they won’t let you / Dry the dishes anymore.”  — Shel Silverstein, How Not to Have to Dry the Dishes Dinnerware Buying & Care Guides The first thing to consider before you invest in dinnerware is the material. Here are some key points about the most popular materials used for dinnerware. Stoneware – A hard and durable option for your everyday plate. –...

New Season Tableware

Nothing lifts a dinner party or afternoon tea better than a gorgeous tableware to show off the culinary masterpieces you have produced. Who among us doesn’t have one or two different sets for different occasions? Or is that just me… I will admit the long-suffering Mr Kitchen Buyer has often looked at me sideways when tasked with getting the spring-dinnerware out of the top press! But there is just something about tableware that I love and I especially love to change it up. What you dress your table with can be a wonderful way to express your personality, highlight an occasion or simply show off the food. If showing off...