Adventures In Killarney, Ireland Part Two

driving-in-killarjey-ireland
Good afternoon friends. Hope you enjoyed your weekend.

Continuing on with my Ireland series, today I’m sharing the second installment of our adventures in Killarney. You can read Part One here.

After a very sound sleep at Redwood Country House, we were lured out of our comfy bed by the delicious smells of breakfast. As we traveled throughout Europe we rarely came across a ‘big breakfast’ and were looking forward to something hearty and healthy.

breakfast-at-redwood-country-house
Evelyn, our host put on a delicious spread of freshly baked breads, cereals and fruits to accompany the a la carte breakfast menu which had plenty to choose from including a traditional Irish breakfast with black pudding. I opted for something a bit more vegetarian-friendly, simple but delicious scrambled eggs with roasted tomatoes.

After breakfast we packed up the car and thanked Evelyn for her hospitality. We were sad to leave and vowed to come back soon. If you do visit Killarney, I highly recommend Redwood Country House. Here are a few shots we took of the grounds.

redwood-country-house-grounds

redwood-country-house-grounds-2
Our first stop was a visit to Muckross House & Gardens.

muckross-House
Within Killarney National Park stands Muckross House, a stunning 19th century Victorian mansion. We were fortunate enough to go on a tour of the estate and admired the beautiful ornate interiors as we listened to the stories of the many families who had previously called Muckross home.

Unfortunately we could not take photos inside but the website has a few.

Before we knew it lunchtime was upon us and we decided to dine at the garden restaurant located within the grounds. The ‘cafeteria-style’ restaurant had plenty of hot and cold menu options to choose from plus an impressive spread of sweets.

During our travels throughout Ireland and in some countries throughout Europe and The UK, we noticed people would often have dessert after lunch. Is this a common custom? In Australia we usually reserve dessert for after dinner or on special occasions.

After a delicious lunch, we took a stroll around the beautiful gardens.

Muckross-House-Gardens

Would you check out those Rhododendrons!

Rhododendrons

I love flowers and we were very fortunate to see the garden while it was in full bloom.

Muckross-House-Grounds

Before heading back to the car, of course I had time for a sneaky shop at the gift store. I ended up purchasing several items to take home including a beautiful photo from photographer Sean Tomkins which you can view here (product code:067)

Our next adventures in Ireland would take us to Kinsale, a historical fishing village in County Cork which I hope to share with you shortly.

Until next time, thanks for reading and enjoy your day 🙂

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Fat-Free Potato And Eggplant Curry

potato-eggplant-curry
I’ve had a massive craving for curry the last few days and this low-fat, oil-free and vegan curry was just what my taste buds were calling out for.

When making curries I think it’s best to add a little spice at a time and taste test throughout the cooking process. I have listed approximate measurements for spices but I always add these gradually and adjust to taste. Feel free to add whatever vegetables you like, cauliflower would work well and you could even add some chickpeas.

potato-eggplant-curry-1
Fat-Free Potato & Eggplant Curry

Serves 2

1/2 small onion, roughly chopped
1/2 large garlic clove, finely chopped
1 1/2 tins (600g) crushed tomatoes
10 small new potatoes, chopped into chunks
3 large mushrooms, chopped
3/4 medium eggplant, chopped into chunks
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp curry powder
1/2 tbsp turmeric
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tbsp fresh coriander (cilantro)
Water

(I washed the potatoes and eggplant and left the skin on)

Method

1. Add a small amount of water to a large fry pan. Over a medium heat, add your onions and cook for 2-3 minutes or until they are soft and fragrant. Add garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes.
2. To the pan, add the crushed tomatoes, ground cumin, turmeric, curry powder and fresh coriander. Followed by your potatoes, eggplant, mushrooms or your other vegetables of choice.
3. Simmer on a low heat for approximately 30 minutes or until the vegetables are soft. Stir the curry occasionally and add a bit of water if mixture is sticking to the pan.
4. Add garam masala and add more spices if desired.
5. Serve the curry with your favourite rice and coriander to garnish. Enjoy.

Workout Playlist Of The Month

running-trail-port-douglas

Favourite running trail

Good evening! How was your weekend?

On Saturday I purchased a bookcase and a storage unit for my bedroom. As the furniture came flat-packed it needed to be assembled and I was determined to put them together on my own, no man required.

I’ve never really attempted to put furniture together but I was keen to show the boyfriend that I was a closet handy-woman just waiting to get out. Sadly I report that my ‘cabinetry skills’ have so far failed to impress with the furniture remaining in pieces, taking up residence across the bedroom floor. I blame the instructions 😛

What I did put together this month is my November workout playlist which I want to share with you tonight. I have been listening to this playlist while running and also during my Kayla Itsines circuit training workouts. This playlist includes mostly house music which I love as it keeps the energy up. As you can probably tell I’m particularly fond of Calvin Harris.

Let me know in the comments below what songs you are currently loving.

November Workout Playlist
Duration: 42 minutes

Under Control – Calvin Harris & Alesso
Silhouettes (original radio edit) – Avicii
Changing – Sigma & Paloma Faith
Feel So Close (radio edit) – Calvin Harris
Ready For Your Love – Gorgon City & MNEK
Break Free – Ariana Grande & Zedd
Let’s Go – Calvin Harris & Ne-Yo
Lost In Your Love – Redlight
Gecko (overdrive-radio edit) – Oliver Heldens & Becky Hill
Outside – Calvin Harris & Ellie Goulding
Take Me Over – Peking Duk & SAFIA
Strong – London Grammar

What’s The Craic? Adventures in Killarney, Ireland

killarney-national-park
Earlier this year I traveled throughout Europe and The UK. High on my list of places to visit was Ireland. A close family friend who was more like a Grandfather to me was Irish and I always wanted to visit his home country which he always spoke so fondly of. Ireland surpassed my expectations with its picture perfect landscapes and its people who were so incredibly warm and friendly.

As we were only in Ireland for a short stay, we decided to road trip around Southern Ireland selecting a few townships to explore.

Upon landing at Kerry Airport, we picked up our hire car from Avis and headed to Killarney, a township of approximately 9,000 located in the south-western corner of Ireland. A town best explored by foot, it’s a little slice of paradise for adventure lovers where you can hike, kayak, swim, fish, play golf and horse ride while enjoying views of twinkling lakes and picturesque mountain ranges.

We stayed at the gorgeous Redwood Country House, located only 2 miles out of town. It was probably the best B&B I have ever stayed in and our Host Evelyn was incredibly welcoming and helpful; recommending places to visit, booking us a table for dinner and being so patient and helpful when we got lost…several times!

lakeside-killarney-national-park
Our first stop was the incredible Killarney National Park. After months of exploring the big cities, a quiet stroll through the park was just what the doctor ordered. It was so peaceful in the late afternoon with hardly anyone around. We were taken aback by the beauty of the lake, the mountain ranges and the bluebells growing wild amongst the trees.

muckross-abbey
Located inside the park is Muckross Abbey, a Christian Church founded in 1448 and a burial place for several prominent County Kerry Poets. As strange as it might sound it felt like the ideal resting place, at peace with God and nature.

torc-waterfall
Torc Waterfall was one of the highlights of our stay in Killarney.

Ross-Castle
As was witnessing the sunset at Ross Castle.

Killarney-at-sunset
I really wanted to do a sunset kayak on the lake but it wasn’t meant to be. Something for our next Killarney adventure.

Swans-at-Ross-Castle

We were keen to try traditional Irish foods and Evelyn recommended Bricin Restaurant which is famous for it’s boxty, a traditional Irish potato pancake with a choice of fillings.

Unfortunately I didn’t get any photos but for entree we started with deep fried camembert with red currants followed by boxty with ratatouille which was delicious. We finished our meal with a traditional fruit crumble for dessert. I highly recommend Bricin Restaurant if you’re in town; the food is delicious, the prices are very reasonable and it has a great ambience.

I will be back shortly with more adventures in Killarney and our next destination Kinsale.

Have a lovely weekend 🙂

What I Ate Wednesday #5

Happy Hump Day!

It’s that time of the week again when I share what I eat in a day. Today I loaded up on plenty of nutritious carbs to power me through tonight’s sunset beach run.

Breakfast
sun-kissed-smoothie
Sun-kissed smoothie with frozen mango, pineapple, orange juice and passionfruit.

I was up with the birds this morning and enjoyed this summery smoothie while catching up on my favourite blogs and listening to music. It made me feel so energised and ready to attack the day.

Lunch
roasted-vegetable-salad

Roast vegetable & kale salad served with yoghurt chia seed dressing.

I just discovered this salad mix from Coles Supermarkets, its a kale coleslaw with red cabbage, carrot, beetroot and broccoli. I added some pumpkin and baby potatoes cooked in no oil or salt just baked with a sprinkle of Italian herbs and fresh thyme. I topped the salad with a yoghurt and chia seed dressing and a sprinkle of sesame and pumpkin seeds which came with the salad mix. I’m usually a bit of a skeptic when it comes to pre-packaged salads but this was delicious and low in calories and fat.

Dinner
pumpkin-and-leek-quiche

Pumpkin and leek quiche served with green beans.

I wasn’t feeling super hungry and ate about half the amount pictured. The quiche was homemade with pumpkin, sweet potato, leek, garlic, eggs, ricotta, parmesan and basil.

Thanks for reading and have a great day 🙂

Taste Of Melbourne 2014

peanut-choc-icecream-sandwich

Good Evening. I hope your week is off to a good start.

This past weekend we were super excited to be attending ‘Taste of Melbourne’. If you fancy yourself a bit of a foodie you would love the Taste festivals which operate in 22 cities across the globe.

Over four days, Melbourne’s scenic Albert Park Lake was transformed into an outdoor festival where you could sample signature dishes from the cities top restaurants (no wait list required). It was also an opportunity to sample the countries best wines, beers, ciders and a huge variety of artisan produce. You could even take part in cooking classes and watch demonstrations from some of the best Chefs in the business!

This was my third year attending the event and I have to say it’s one of the most well organised events I have ever been to. You always have plenty of room to set up a little picnic in the sun and aren’t squashed in like sardines. We tend to go to the most popular restaurants first but the lines are never too dramatic. One thing I did miss this year was the cocktail making classes which I hope return to next year’s program.

What I Ate:

Burch & Purchese
peanut-choc-icecream-sandwich
The dish of the day! Peanut butter choc ice cream sandwich.

explosive-raspberry-tubes
Explosive raspberry tubes with raspberry, milk chocolate, popping candy & marshmallow.

Huxtaburger
Huxtaburger-sondra-jr-burger
Sondra Jr. organic tofu burger with sesame & yuzu mayo. It was absolutely delicious.

Mamasita
Mamasita-street-style-corn
Elote Callejero ‘street style’ corn, queso, chipotle mayo and lime. Always a crowd pleaser. We went back for seconds.

N2 Extreme Gelato
N2-extreme-gelato-ferrero-rocher
Ferrero Reveal. Nutella and hazelnut gelato topped with rice bubble choc served with a syringe of warm chocolate ganache.

Cacao Fine Chocolates
cacao-salted-caramel-popcorn-doughnut
Salted caramel & popcorn doughnut. So so delicious, like eating a cloud of caramel.

Drink of the day:

Two Elk Cider
Two-Elk-Cider

Berries and Lime Cider. Our pick of the day. Apparently Two Elk Cider contains no artificial flavours and is less heavy than other ciders on the market which gives it the big tick of approval from me 😀

It truly was a delicious day and I would recommend the Taste events to anyone looking for a fun day (or evening) out. You can find out more about the taste festivals here.

Delicious Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

vegan-chocolate-chip-cookies
I was in the mood to bake this morning and couldn’t resist trying out a new recipe from the latest cookbook in my collection ‘Chloe’s Vegan Desserts’. The Author, Chloe Coscarelli was the first vegan winner of the TV program Cupcake Wars and has several books including a new Italian cookbook which I’m dying to get my hands on!

chloes-vegan-desserts-cookbook
Flipping through the pages I was spoilt for choice with more than 100 recipes to choose from including cupcakes, cookies, pies and even a cupcake recipe for dogs! I promised Oscar that ‘Pupcakes’ are next on the list.

oscar

Where Are My Pupcakes?

I opted for the classic chocolate chip cookie and let me tell you these babies didn’t disappoint. I did make a few tweaks to the recipe mainly because my oven is super super hot. But I have listed the original recipe below with a few tips.

If you like the chewy, melt in your mouth types cookies you’re going to love these.

vegan-chocolate-chip-cookie

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes 60 x 2 1/2-inch cookies

Ingredients
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch or arrowroot
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup vegan margarine (You could use Earth Balance or Nuttelex)
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups dairy-free milk (semisweet) chocolate chips (I used Sweet William chocolate chips)

Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius (350 degrees fahrenheit). Line 2-3 baking sheets with parchment paper or baking mats.
2. In a medium bowl, sieve and whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, use a stand or hand-held mixer to beat together the margarine, brown sugar, white sugar, water and vanilla extract until fluffy.
4. Slowly beat in the flour mixture.
5. Once the flour mixture in incorporated, add your chocolate chips.
6. Scoop about 1 rounded tablespoon of dough at a time onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches between each scoop.
7. Bake for approximately 10-12 minutes or until the edges are golden. Let cool on the pan and serve.

Recipe Tips

1. I lowered the temperature of the oven to 140 degrees celsius (284 degrees fahrenheit) as I noticed the cookies were browning too much on top.
2. I baked the cookies for approximately 8 minutes.When making cookies, always cook by eye and remove from oven when they are still soft and not completely set. They will continue to cook as they cool.
3. Cookie dough can be made in advanced and refrigerated for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 1 month.

What I Ate Wednesday #4

Good evening! How is your day going?

My day has more or less revolved around preparing an application for a government job I’m going for.

What has been really helping my resume writing is this nifty article I came across recently ‘185 Powerful Verbs That Will Make Your Resume Awesome’. I highly recommend you check it out if you’re on the job hunt and wanting to get creative with your resume.

Today’s menu was pretty basic with being pinned to the laptop all day.

Breakfast
yoghurt-with-oats-granola-and-fruit

Rolled oats, Five:am organic cocoa & coconut granola, Five: am organic raspberry yoghurt, fresh mango & banana

Lunch

I didn’t end up taking a photo but it was a simple toasty with tasty cheese and Vegemite. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it 😉

Snack
I’m rapt that mango season is here 😀 . For a quick and healthy afternoon snack I gobbled up a Kensington Pride Mango (Local Australian variety) and a banana with natural peanut butter. Yum!

Dinner
Pumpkin-and-purple-onion-tart

What a delicious dinner! Roasted pumpkin, thyme & purple onion tart. So easy to make. Let me know in the comments if your interested in the recipe.

I’m off to watch some cheesy reality television (my favourite 😉 ) and relax.

Hope you all have a lovely evening

xoxo

Janelle

Workout Wear I’m Currently Loving

I love fashion and in particular the ‘Sporty Luxe’ trend that is currently doing the rounds. Here are a few of my favourite workout clothes of the moment which are loosely inspired by the trend.

current-workout-clothing-favouriteslorna-jane-hoop-time-tank         Vie-Active-Wear-Lori-Sports-Bra

Lorna Jane Hoop Time Tank            Vie Active Wear Lori 2.0 Leopard Sports Bra

lorna-jane-salina-excel-tank               Reebox-crossfit-nano-4.0-shoes

Lorna Jane Salina Excel Tank                  Reebok Crossfit Nano 4.0 Shoes

lorna-jane-mix-up-run-short          Adidas-XT-adizero-shoes

Lorna Jane Mix Up Run Short                Adidas by Stella Mccartney XT Adizeo 2.0 Shoes

Reebok-crossfit-knit-woven-short

Reebok CrossFit Knit Woven Boardshort

* I’m not affiliated or sponsored by any of the brands listed.

Question Of The Day:

What’s your favourite workout clothing brand or item of the moment?

Mexican Bean & Rice Bowl

mexican-beans-and-rice-bowl

Mexican beans & rice bowl

It’s now officially week 6 of the Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Program and as each week goes by the workouts are getting more and more intense. The format stays the same (as I talk about here) but the moves become more advanced. Today’s workout was tough, a new arms & abs workout which quickly turned me into a hot and sweaty mess. But I was happy as I could feel that I was getting stronger and able to keep up with the more advanced moves while maintaining good form.

If you’re like me and sometimes get discouraged with the scales or how quickly your waist line is shrinking, go do a workout and think about how far you’ve come in terms of your strength and/or flexibility. Today I completed more push-ups than I have ever before and not the ‘girly’ type of push-ups 😛 . It gave me a boost of confidence that the program is working and that if I’m patient and consistent that stubborn fat will continue to shred.

After the workout I was after a well balanced meal complete with carbs, protein and healthy fats. I quickly whipped together this rice and bean dish which was inspired (again) by Anji & Ryan from Happy Healthy Vegan and their recent camping trip which I talked about here. This dish is super super simple to make and perfect for a quick weekday dinner. Don’t be put off by the addition of miso. It doesn’t make this Mexican dish taste Asian, it just adds a bit of salty deliciousness.

Mexican Bean and Rice Bowl
Serves 2

Ingredients

To make the rice:
2 cups basmati rice (You can use any variety of rice you like)
3 large white mushroom cups
1 tablespoon miso paste

To make the beans:
250g tinned black beans
250g tinned mexe beans
2 teaspoons burrito seasoning (to taste)
400g crushed tinned tomatoes
3 large white mushroom cups, diced

To make the salsa:
2 tablespoons purple onion
1/2 large tomato, roughly chopped
1/2 lime
*I would add some chopped up cilantro if I had this on hand
Chopped avocado to garnish

Method

*I use the absorption method to cook rice but you could easily cook this in a rice cooker.
1. Follow the instructions on the packet to cook your rice. I added to a heavy-based saucepan, 1 cup of uncooked basmati rice and 1.5 cups of cold water. Add your miso and diced mushrooms and bring the rice mixture to the boil. Once boiled, turn the heat down to low and pop the lid on and cook until the water is fully absorbed and the rice is fluffy. It usually takes about 10 minutes for me to cook basmati rice.
2. To a separate saucepan add all the ingredients for the bean mixture. Cook until mushrooms are soft and cooked through. This should take about 5 minutes.
3. While the rice and beans are cooking, make your salsa by finely chopping up purple onion, chunky tomatoes and cilantro. Mix together until evenly combined and drizzle with lime. Chop up your avocado and either add to the salsa or leave aside to add as a garnish.
4. Once your rice and beans are cooked, place the rice in the bottom of your serving dish, followed by the bean mixture. Top with salsa and avocado and drizzle with lime. Enjoy.

Question Of The Day:

What’s your favourite weekday dish?