Friday, September 13, 2013


I was sent a sample bottle of hemp oil by and I tried it out in two salad dishes. Hemp seed oil is low in saturated fats, is a source of polyunsaturated fats, and is free from trans fat and cholesterol. The oil is of high nutritional value because of its 3:1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 essential fatty acids, which matches the balance required by the human body. Hemp oil is not really used in cooking, it's best used in dressings and dips and so on.

I used mine to make a salad dressing with red wine vinegar and a pinch of salt and pepper (three parts oil to one part vinegar). The hemp oil has a lovely clear green colour and has the slightly grassy taste of extra virgin olive oil, though I thought it was milder than olive oil. It was a good substitute and, as I find the smell of olive oil nauseating sometimes, the hemp oil pleased me.

I also used it to make the marinade for my Three Bean and Basil Salad, in place of olive oil, and it tasted great.

I associate hemp with hessian type clothing and woven mats so it was interesting to see this oil and try it out. If you find olive oil too pungent for dressings (as I often do), you might find that hemp oil is a pleasant alternative.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Gourmandize Interview

I was Blogger of the Day on Gourmandize on Saturday but, sadly, I was away and couldn't blog about it. They interviewed me though. A taster:

Are there any chefs that you admire in particular?

I love Nigella because she loves food.
In real life, Dennis Cotter, who runs the very excellent Café Paradiso in Cork, a gourmet vegetarian restaurant. We go there every September for my husband's birthday. And look forward to it all year. Veggie sceptics are blown away by Dennis's food.

We see that you're an accomplished writer, does writing a food blog as well help keep your pen in shape or is it more of a way of relaxing?

It's totally separate. Writing novels and short stories is the day job; baking is escape and relaxation. But I'm a compulsive writer so inevitably I write about the cooking!

The rest of the interview is here. Gourmandize is a great place for all sorts of recipes; well worth a browse.