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Delicious homemade pizza recipe

Delicious homemade pizza recipe

My delicious Pizza Recipe

If you are looking for a tasty meal or snack to share then you can’t go too far wrong with a homemade pizza. This is my own homemade pizza recipe. It includes a pizza base recipe and a pizza sauce recipe.

I have followed recipes online and from time to time they don’t actually work out. I can guarantee the pizza recipe here does work. I have made it twice and it just improves each time I make it.

There are 4 stages to this pizza recipe. The pizza dough, the pizza topping and the pizza assembly…. and of course actually baking the pizza.

The Pizza dough

(this pizza receipe makes one 12 inch pizza, thin base. If you want thicker or if you want 2 thin pizzas you need to double the quantities.)

You will need the following to make the pizza dough: 

  • 150g flour.
  • 120ml warm water
  • Teaspon of oil
  • Half teaspoon sugar & a bit less same for salt
  • Just over 1/2 teaspoon dry active yeast
    (If you use quick yeast you may need to play around with the quantities)

Pizza Base method

Mix the warm water (1/3 almost boiling mixed with 2/3 cold) and the yeast and the sugar. Give this a good mix around with a fork for 30 seconds. Leave to rest for 5-10 mins until it looks frothy.

In another bowl sieve the flour and salt and then add a drop of oil as per the ingredients.

Once the yeast mix is ready make a well and pour into. Don’t put all the water in as you might have enough in 110 or 115 ml. Mix together with a fork. When it looks like it is coming together, form a ball and place on a surface with some flour. Now you need to knead and stretch it for 10 mins. Once this pizza dough mix has been kneaded put in an oiled bowl for 45 – 60 minutes covered with a damp clean cloth or cling film.

This should double in size during that time.

Pizza recipe – The topping sauce

This pizza topping sauce is my own recipe. It was developed out of necessity as I had none, but I had tomatoes. If you already have one store bought you can skip this. However the flavour from a home made sauce is phenomenal.

You need the following ingredients:

15-20 cherry tomatoes or 2-3

Large tomatoes

Pinch of salt

Black Pepper

Half clove of crushed garlic (optional)

1 tsp Spinach pesto (optional)

1 tbsp of Rojo sauce (optional)

Cheese

Mushrooms

(Any other toppings eg spinach, sweet corn etc)

Chop the tomatoes as small as you can without being blended mush. They should still have some consistency. Heat a pan on a medium to high heat with a drop of olive oil. Once hot place the tomatoes on the pan with the pinch of salt and some freshly cracked pepper and fry for a few mins. Reduce the heat and add the pesto and Rojo sauce. After 10 mins you should be able to break up the tomatoes further. Once in a sauce consistency place in a bowl and let cool in the fridge.

My Pizza Recipe - The Pizza before it is cooked

Assembling the pizza

Once the pizza base has doubled punch it back and knock out the air. Place on a floured surface and start rolling into a circular shape. Flour a pizza pan and place the dough on it. Leave in a warm place for 10-15 mins.

Heat an oven to 210C (fan) or 230 C (without fan).

Once rested and once the sauce is cooled you can progress. Spread the prepared sauce on the base ensuring to cover all the areas. Now add your toppings.

If the oven is at temperature place the pizza into the oven in the middle. Cook for 9-12 minutes (keep an eye). You should now have a delicious home made pizza. Use a pizza slicer and enjoy.

 

The Result – The cooked Pizza

My Pizza Recipe - The Pizza Cooked and delicious
My Top 3 Pub Hotels in England

My Top 3 Pub Hotels in England

My Top 3 Pub Hotels in England

England is one of my favourite destinations for a relaxing holiday and it’s only a ferry ride from Ireland. The first time I visited the UK for a long road trip style holiday was for Glastonbury 2013. On that occasion visiting southern Wales, Somerset, Wiltshire, Devon and Cornwall. Since 2013 I have been back 3 times; again with music festivals as the main reason Glastonbury 2015, Glastonbury 2016 and Ramblin’ Man Fair 2017. Normally accommodation is in hotels, mainly 4 star or hotels like Premier Inn. From time to time you get a surprise – a small hotel which surpasses all expectations… I speak of the many Pub Hotels in England which many travellers may overlook.

This blog post outlines my Top 3 Pub Hotels in England … (basically hotels which are situated above pubs)

These are listed my top Pub Hotels in England in no particular order as it depends on your location if you will avail of them. These are my opinions of my stays in these 3 establishments. 

The George at Nunney

The George at Nunney is a beautiful 17th century coaching Inn. It is located in the picturesque village of Nunney, near Frome in Somerset. Nunney is a village voted “the prettiest village in England” located near Frome, Somerset. The village has the ruins of Nunney Castle and one of the main establishments in Nunney is The George.

The George was one we found in 2013 and we have been back a few times since. The food is excellent and combined with the cosy rooms and friendly service it is certainly a great place to stay. The lounge, restaurant and 10 bedrooms have all been recently renovated so it has a really contemporary feel. There is also an outdoor area, ideal to enjoy some alfresco eating or drinking should we get a summer. There are plenty of walks around the area so there is always something to do. The breakfasts here are really good and you will leave full, rested and happy.

Website : http://www.thegeorgeatnunney.co.uk

Twitter : @GeorgeNunney

Instagram : @george_nunney

The George at Nunney - Room Photo of one of the many Pub Hotels in England

The White Hart, Somerton

The White Hart in Somerton was a real find. Located in a beautiful village called Somerton it seems like going back in time to a simpler age. Somerton is a small town in the English county of Somerset. It has held a weekly market since the Middle Ages, and the main square with its market cross is one of the main attractions in the town. Located near this square is the White Hart Pub and Hotel.

The White Hart has been trading as a pub since the 16th Century. It was recently renovated in 2013 so it has all the features you would need. The meal we got here at the White Hart was amazing and it remains one of my favourite spots in Somerset. We enjoyed a quinoa chicken dish and a very signature style pasta dish.

The White Hart offers a spacious bar, fantastic food, relaxing dining area and of course eight en-suite rooms. The rooms have really well appointed bathrooms, and you will be guaranteed a great nights sleep. On sunny days there’s also the opportunity to enjoy your food and drink outside in the courtyard and garden.

Another great plus with the White Hart is that it is pet friendly. Dogs are welcome in all rooms at the White Hart, just at an extra charge of £10 per dog.

Website : http://whitehartsomerton.com

Twitter :  @WhiteHartSom  

The White Hart, Somerton, Room Photo of one of the many Pub Hotels in England
The White Hart, Somerton, Food Photo - Chicken Quinoa at one of the Pub Hotels in England which I love

The Dog and Bear, Lenham

The Dog and Bear is located in a small village in Kent called Lenham. It overlooks the picturesque village square and has a wonderful warmth both in the bar and in the staff who work here. We visited here in 2017 and it was a very special spot. We enjoyed the room with the four-poster and it was very comfortable – check out the website for room images. The bathrooms were very big with a very nice bath, ideal for soaking sore bones if you have just walked the nearby Pilgrims Way.

Rooms are furnished to the highest standards but you do get the feeling that it is a historic building. Apparently the Dog and Bear was originally built in 1602 and the hotel was visited by Queen Anne in 1704. If you look closely you can see that a coat of arms to Queen Anne is displayed above the door.

The food here was superb. I recall a fish dish with hints of star anise and also a key-lime pie which was amazing. I could have eaten the meal twice it was so good. Afterwards visit the bar, we enjoyed some pool, darts and meeting the locals including Laura and her lovely dog Rocky.

If is a very special spot at the Dog and Bear and one we hope to visit again.

Website : https://www.dogandbearlenham.co.uk

The Dog and Bear, Lenham - Room Photo - Rooms of Pub Hotels in England

In all three pub hotels mentioned above the room, the food, the staff, the location and the ambience have all combined really well. This results in a stay which is both enjoyable and indeed memorable. Infact, we are re-visiting the George at Nunney again in the coming weeks and who knows this list might be added to in time.

I hope you have enjoyed this list of my Top 3 Pub Hotels in England. If you have any comments about Pub Hotels in England or the ones I have mentioned, please feel free to leave them below. If you like this post, please share it via social media.

 

Map of the 3 Pub Hotels mentioned in this post

The George at Nunney

The George at Nunney

The White Hart, Somerton

The White Hart, Somerton

The Dog and Bear, Lenham

The Dog and Bear, Lenham

 

 

Disclaimer : I have not been compensated in any way for the comments, links or inclusion of any properties mentioned in this post. I visited all 3 hotel pubs in the past 3 years and I felt it was important to share such great hotels with others. The information in this blog post on shanemcdonald.ie is correct at time of publication and I advise researching your stay on other channels such as booking.com and Tripadvisor before making a booking. What suited me, may not suit others. I can guarantee that I was very very happy with all 3 pub hotels mentioned above. If you have any comments regarding Pub Hotels in England please leave them below.

Support Solas Cancer Care Waterford – Film for Life 2018

Support Solas Cancer Care Waterford – Film for Life 2018

Film for Life 2018

Film for Life is in it’s second year. This year, I decided to give it a go; not in the area of photography (being the camera) rather as an actor. Over the past 6 weeks rehearsing and filming, I have been involved in acting out a scene from a famous movie.

This years movie is The Hangover and I play Phil, the Bradley Cooper character. 

Over a 6-week training programme we were tutored by a professional actor. And at the end of May we shot a few scenes from The Hangover. The Film for Life premiere will take place at a red carpet themed event in the Tower Hotel, Waterford on Saturday 16th June. The inaugural 2017 Film for Life event was great fun and seemed to be enjoyed by all who took part.

Tickets for Film for Life 2018 are available from the Theatre Royal Waterford, priced 25 Euro each – but act fast as these are in limited supply. This exciting Film for Life event will help fund the activities and services that will be provided by the Solas Cancer Support Centre in 2018.

I have really enjoyed bring involved and I hope you can support my sponsorship to raise funds for Solas Cancer Care – click here for details.

About Solas Cancer Care, Waterford

The Solas Cancer Support Centre offers free cancer support to those affected by cancer, their families and carers in the South East. These services are available in their centre at Williamstown in Waterford City and in their West Waterford service based in the Alternative Health Clinic in Dungarvan.

Support my "Film for Life" Fundraising event

If you wish to donate to my “Film for Life” fundraising event please click the button below. Any amount will make a difference and I appreciate all donations to this worth cause.

Everyone who supports the event will be mentioned later on shanemcdonald.ie !

Total € Donations So Far including Offline Contributions

Thank You …

I would like to thank the following people and businesses who have donated so far.

Maria McEvoy

Vera McEvoy

John & Caroline Duggan / Hawkeye Falconry

Greg Porter

Fergus McDonald

Mary Murphy

Sarah McGrath

Kay Murphy

Maria McDonald

Karen McDonald

Elaine O’Sullivan

Carol McGrath

Brian Kavanagh

Valerie Leahy

I will add the names of individuals and businesses here as donations are received

Lunch at The Bay Tree Bistro, Waterford – Restaurant Review

Lunch at The Bay Tree Bistro, Waterford – Restaurant Review

The Bay Tree Bistro

The Bay Tree Bistro opened in Waterford in 2015. Within a few months I was hearing about this amazing restaurant above a pub in Ballybricken. The restaurant later moved to the quays in Waterford and it has established itself as ‘the’ place in Waterford for fantastic food. In fact the Bay Tree Bistro was voted the Best Restaurant in Waterford 2018 by the Restaurant Association of Ireland.

I have eaten in the main restaurant upstairs and I can guarantee that it is a full-on dining experience. The tastes and combinations of ingredients are sublime. I will review this very soon when I return…

Earlier this year the Bay Tree Bistro started doing a lunch menu. The menu is served downstairs and is very different from the usual lunch menus. I spotted a few dishes I wanted to try and on one particular day I found myself being nearby and I just had to try it.

Lunch – Croque Madame

One of my favourite snacks / comfort foods is the croquet madame. You have bread, cheese, ham and a soft fried egg. What’s not to like? To my surprise and delight the croquet madame at the Bay Tree had 2 fried eggs. I was hoping to have the duck eggs, which are a small bit extra, but there were none on the day. The 2 eggs which were there were indeed delicious and perfectly cooked.

The red cabbage slaw which accompanies the dish is a perfect contrast to the croque – I also found that the raisins in the slaw were an unexpected taste sensation. There was also a delicious fresh side salad. The salad had cucumber, tomato, onion, spring onion, and leaves have a dressing which is fresh and contrasts with the heartiness of the egg, cheese and bread.

The relaxed atmosphere and nice music was a relaxing setting to enjoy a lunch at leisure. There was a lot on the menu which I would like to try on a repeat visit.  The specials of the day were very nice also, one was an asian pork noodle dish. I later saw photos on twitter and that might be one for a return lunch.

If you are in Waterford and you don’t want the usual boring ham sandwich for lunch, then try the Bay Tree Bistro.

The Lunch Menu

The Lunch Menu on the day I visited the Bay Tree Bistro was as follows;

SALADS

Warm Thai Chicken
Waldorf Salad 
Tuna or Chicken Nicoise
Mediterranean Vegetable and Feta Cheese
Add Homemade Chips

SANDWICHES

Croque Monsieur
Croque Madame
With Hen Egg or Duck Egg
Tuna Melt           Ploughman’s          Vegetarian Ploughman’s
Chicken, Sundried Tomato and Smoked Cheese
Roasted Vegetable, Tomato and Mozzarella

SAVOURIES

Pork and Caramelized Onion Sausage Roll         Quiche of The Day

Soups, chowders and cheese boards were also available and are very reasonably priced. 

There are a few options on the menu I would love to try, including the sausage roll, the ploughmans, and the warm thai chicken. There is something for everyone on the menu and you won’t be disappointed – portion size is just right!


Bay Tree Bistro – Contact Details

Website : http://www.thebaytreebistro.com
Twitter : https://twitter.com/baytreebistro
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/thebaytreebistro
Phone : 051 858517

 

Bay Tree Bistro – Map Location

Bay Tree Bistro, Waterford, Ireland

Bay Tree Bistro

16 Merchants Quay, Waterford, Ireland

Website : http://www.thebaytreebistro.com

My Butternut Squash Massaman Curry Recipe

My Butternut Squash Massaman Curry Recipe

There is nothing more delicious or satisfying then a lovely home made curry. Cooking something from scratch allows you to customise the recipe to your taste. By cooking from scratch you also know what has gone into your food. Using a set of prepped ingredients you can get this delicious Massaman Curry Recipe from chopping board to plate in under 90 minutes. This Massaman Curry Recipe is vegan but you could add chicken or meat if you wished.

Massaman Curry Recipe – Ingredients

SPICES
1 tsp of Garam Masala
1 tsp of Cumin
1 tsp of Tumeric
2 tsp of mild curry powder
1 tsp of smoked paprika
Pinch of salt
Pinch of Black Pepper

OTHER ITEMS
2 tsp of oil (I used rapeseed oil but Olive oil can be used also)
1 Garlic clove minced
1 large onion finely chopped
1 inch of fresh root ginger grated and peeled
Can of chopped tomatoes or 450g of chopped tomatoes
Can of Coconut Milk
1 Butternut Squash (you will only use half of the squash, peeled and chopped into 2cm pieces)
100g of baby spinach leaves
3 large potatoes, cut into eights
1 vegetable or mushroom stock cube
10-15 large button or chestnut mushrooms (optional)
Handful of Cashew Nuts (toasted)

This is my own Massaman Curry Recipe and it is a mixture of a few different recipes which I have cooked. This always works well for me. Apart from the first 25 minutes of cooking the rest of the cooking time requires little work on your part.

Recipe Method

  1. In a pan, heat the oil on a medium head and cook the onion and ginger until it begins to soften. Then add the garlic and stir so the garlic does not burn.
  2. On another pan fry and caramelise the butternut squash on a medium heat for about 15 minutes until you start to see a colour and the veg begins to soften a little.
  3. Place the chopped potatoes into boiling water and par-boil while the butternut squash is cooking in step 2.
  4. Make a paste with all the spices using a drop of warm water
  5. Once you have been cooking the onion for a few minutes add the spice paste to the onion, garlic and ginger mix.
  6. Cook off the spices for a few minutes and then add the chopped tomato and the caramelised butternut squash. Mix to coat the added ingredients.
  7. After a few minutes add the coconut milk and the par-boiled potatoes
  8. Mix the stock cube with 250ml of boiling water and add to the ingredients.
  9. Simmer on a medium heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking to the pan.
  10. Taste the sauce at this point and if you wish to add more elements from the set of spices used then feel free to do so. e.g. if there is not enough of a kick, add a few dashes of chilli powder or even a whole finely chopped chilli with the seeds. This is your opportunity to customise the flavour of the curry.
  11. Meanwhile, toast some cashew nuts lightly under the grill and ensure to toast both sides. You can also add some sesame seeds to the toasting mix also if you wish.
  12. Reduce the heat and on a low heat (3/9 on my cooker) leave to cook slowly for another 40 minutes until the sauce has thickened. If it has not thickened to your liking, you can increase the heat for a few minutes and this should do the trick.
  13. Once you are ready to serve, blanche the baby spinach in boiling water dry and place on the plate. Serve the curry on the bed of warmed spinach leaves (they will cook slightly in the heat also), top with the toasted nuts.
  14. Enjoy !

Suggested Accompaniment for this Massaman Curry Recipe

One thing which goes really well with this Massaman Curry Recipe is Chapati. These Chapati, known also as roti, safati, shabaati and roshi, are unleavened flatbread. They come mainly from the Indian Subcontinent but are really similar to other middle-eastern and asian flatbreads.

To make you need around 1 cup of flour, preferably chapati flour. (I don’t have this so I use half bread flour and half plain flour.)
Now add a good pinch of salt and 1/3 cup of warm water (added slowly). You need to get a non sticky dough. So keep working the dough until you have a wet-isa dough which is not sticking to your hands.

Flour the surface and roll 2-3 inch pieces into a very thin sheets. At this point you can add some crushed fennel seeds to taste (i like this).

On a medium hot pan, place the rolled dough onto the pan and press down. Once it starts to colour or small humps form , turn over. It might swell with air and puff up, if it does, just press it down with a spatula until it is slightly coloured and warmed on both sides.

You may need to experiment on temperatures but you will soon get the perfect thickness of dough and perfect temperature for a delicious chapati.