Summer Fun & Entertaining

Summer Fun & Entertaining

Hello everyone I hope your week is off to a great start. I’m neglecting the blog a bit at the moment for the simple reason of trying to fit years of summer into a handful of days so spectacular they deserve our full attention.

Firstly in honour of our suddenly summer Adrian took Friday off work. We packed a picnic, buckets, spades, other essentials and headed west to Sligo and Rosses Point for two blissful days by mountains and sea. I don’t think I’ve ever seen our four year old as excited about anything as this, our going on holidays. It was heart melting to listen to her and watch her little face.

Making a picnic always makes me feel very much the mammy and the feeling is much stronger than when making dinner. I’ve just realised I’ve never done the romantic picnic thing! I think its that my frame of reference is the hay, the seaside or the bog and picnics invoke for me a sense of great excitement, nurturing or supporting of the work. I think of my mammy packing picnics for our days by the sea in Bundoran and so many memories of her and my granny packing picnics for those working at hay and turf, sandwiches, salads and tea of course.

PicMonkey Collage


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PicMonkey Collage

Home again, tired but happy on Saturday our thoughts turned to the barbecue we’d planned for Sunday. I’d planned the menu and done the shopping on Thursday but wanted to go through everything again.

Realising I didn’t have any mint but needed it for a few dishes, I, not for the first time, called on my neighbour, health and well being guru Marie Bradley who very kindly dropped it over to me. Well, there followed a few glasses of wine, a great evenings chat and even a demonstration of ‘the plank’ which Marie makes look easy but I cannot do! To visit ‘Marie Bradley Health Concepts’ click HERE

As I posted on my facebook page last night I was so busy decorating and preparing food on Sunday that I didn’t take ONE photo but I promised to share the menu so here it is…

From Nigella Lawson’s book ‘Forever Summer’ given to me by my friend Kerry McClernon recently (thank you Kerry we need our own date soon : ) …

  • Griddled Aubergines with Feta, Mint and Chilli
  • Squid Salad with Lime, Coriander, Mint and Mizuna (I used tiger prawns & rocket instead) Get the original recipe HERE
  • Barbecued Sea Bass with Preserved Lemons (I used rainbow trout)


  • Crispy Harissa Roast Chickpeas from the ‘Wholesome Ireland’ blog click HERE (thanks Caitriona : )
  • Turmeric Roast Cauliflower bites
  • Rosemary Roast Potatoes
  • Sweet Potatoes with Chilli, Cumin & Lime
  • Barbecued Balsamic Marinated Striploin Steak
  • Burnt to a Crisp Sausages


I enjoyed all the food and mmmmed and awwwwed my way through as I always do but the prawn salad and the fish in particular were my favourites. John remarked on how he’d never eaten in a place with no salt or pepper on the table and no one asking for them either! All the food was majorly healthy, satisfying and very flavourful.

And to drink…

  • Proseccco
  • Pina Coladas (soooo good)
  • Beer


And for dessert…only for Caoilfhionn there would have been no dessert but she’d made…

  • Raspberry and White Chocolate Blondies


So the guest list was…Caoilfhionn and Sean Brady and children and John and Edel McCartin and children. The children had a great time but even better the adults had a great time too : ) We sat in sizzling sunshine under paper lanterns surrounded by thousands of buttercups and ate and talked till there was nothing left.



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14 thoughts on “Summer Fun & Entertaining”

  • All sounds brilliant Jane and love the pics.

    Yup – the few weeks of sunshine we’ve had here in Dublin have been like a gift and I’ve treasured every moment.

    I’ve totally created a gorgeous back garden that was a swathe of 2 foot weeds only 3 weeks ago! It tickles me how much my 2 housemates love the garden and keep wandering out to enjoy the space.

    And if it rains tomorrow then I’ll feel like we had a good stretch and at least we’ll all look tanned in the rain – AND – my garden would love the water.

    And your menu was outstanding.



    p.s The new Life Dreaming site will be up sometime next week. And you know how much behind the scenes work goes into make something look good.

  • Jesus Christ there is a pool of drool around me after readin that and I can’t even blame the dog……..Good job there was no pictures of the food or I’d be up hokin through your bin!!!

    • That’s because you can’t see the work Candi just the grand plan and the end results : ) Somehow I always forget the work until I’m doing it again but the food was definitely worth it as were the pina coladas, they were very very worth it indeed : ) You will have to whip some up now : )

    • Now there’s a nice thought : ) Pop in any time but preferably the day or two after the grocery shop : )

  • I am with Maggie on the pool of drool. You are a pro Jane. And how I loved the pictures of the beach and your adorable little dress suit. When we visited Ireland, we hung out at Spanish Beach on the West coast (can’t remember the county)and watched the happy families. And marveled at the sand with its different colors.I was there with you as I read. We live forty five minutes from the Atlantic Ocean beach and do try to get there once during the summer. I remember Eamon calling the Seagulls ‘Eagles’ when he was wee. Love, Shalagh

    • Thanks Shalagh. Spanish Point is in County Clare Shalagh. Glad to hear you have good memories of your trip here : ) My dress ‘suit’ is just a little dress. I don’t do swimsuits in any form : )

  • Yum, yum, yum! We snatched some beach time while it was going too, what a pleasure to hear and breathe the sea air. Your photos are just fab and I love the one in the last post of you raking up the cut grass while your daughter danced on it! Typical!

    • Thanks Joanna, always lots of ‘help’ as you well know : ) Fingers crossed we get more of it, the beach weather that is!

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