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by Kristin

Giveaway – Sláinte: The Complete Guide to Irish Craft Beer and Cider

September 19, 2014 in Giveaways

Caroline and Kristin co-founded the IFBA back in 2011. Now they’ve co-authored a book!

Sláinte: The Complete Guide to Irish Craft Beer and Cider covers everything from the basics of how beer and cider are made to profiles of the people who make them and the stories behind the microbreweries that are fuelling Ireland’s craft beer revolution, all the way through to tips on matching beer and cider with food and Irish farmhouse cheeses and recipes that incorporate craft brews. Whether you’re already a fan of craft beer or someone who’s just getting started and wants to know more, there’s something for everyone in the book.

And thanks to New Island Books, we have three copies to give away! To be in with a chance to win one, just leave a comment on this post. And why not tell us your favourite craft beer or cider while you’re at it?

The giveaway will close on Friday, 26 September at 6pm. Winners will be notified by email. Books can only be shipped to addresses in Ireland. Good luck!


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by Kristin

Giveaway: Bread on the Table by Val O’Connor

May 2, 2014 in Giveaways

Bread on the Table is a fantastic new guide to bread baking which reveals how simple and easy it can be to bake delicious healthy meals, snacks and treats. With helpful baking tips and advice, it’s ideal for both beginner and confident bakers alike. Packed with delicious recipes, this is the book for anyone who wants to bring bread baking back home.

  •  Treat yourself to crusty baguettes, spelt muffins and sweet things, brown bread, blaas and barmbrack.
  •  Make your own yeast bread, spelt bread and gluten-free bread.
  • Try classics with a modern twist: wholemeal and honey loaf, griddle cake burger buns, tea and coffee brack, Irish breakfast pizza, scones with black pudding and apple, wild garlic focaccia, and Guinness, treacle and walnut bread.

Valerie O’Connor is a cook, food writer and photographer; she has cooked in professional kitchens from Brussels to Malaysia. She is a qualified organic horticulturalist and tutors in food growing, cooking and baking. She is widely published in the press and has appeared as a guest critic on Masterchef Ireland. She also blogs at Val’s Kitchen.

Thanks to O’Brien Press, we have six copies of Bread on the Table to give away! To enter, just leave a comment on this blog post (one comment only, please – multiple entries will be disqualified). The winners will be randomly chosen and notified by email. The competition will close on Friday, 9 May at 6pm. Good luck!

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Bloom ticket giveaway!

May 17, 2013 in Giveaways

Neven Maguire demo at BloomThe June Bank Holiday Weekend is fast approaching and, thanks to Bord Bia, we have 10 pairs of tickets to give away to food bloggers interested in attending this year’s Bord Bia’s Bloom in the Park.

Bloom, which takes place from Thursday 30 May to Monday 3 June, is Ireland’s largest gardening, food and family festival. It provides a fantastic opportunity to meet with food producers, take some colourful photographs, try some amazing artisan food and most of all, it’s a fun day out!

Bloom will take place within a 70 acre site in the Phoenix Park, Dublin, this June bank holiday weekend. Now in its seventh year, the event attracted over 80,000 visitors last year. Bloom 2013 will be officially opened by The President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, on Thursday May 30th and will run until Monday June 3rd. Visitors will have the opportunity to view 28 spectacular show-gardens, sample a wide range of artisan food as well as craft beers and spirits from over 100 Irish food and drink producers and attend more than 25 cookery demonstrations by some of Ireland’s best loved chefs. The popular Floral Marquee will also return featuring 50 nurseries along with almost 200 retailers.

This year, Bloom is also inviting 1,000 people to the Gathering of Gardeners – offering people a chance to bring together their friends and family to share in the wonderful experience that is Bloom in the Park.

Each winner will receive a pair of day tickets, which are valid for any day over the weekend – and remember that kids go free at this event so you can bring the whole family! To enter, just leave a comment on this blog post (one comment only, please – multiple entries will be disqualified). The winners will be randomly chosen and notified by email. The competition will close at 12pm on Friday 24 May. Good luck!

Highlights from the Feast-ival of Food

  • The hugely popular Bord Bia Food Village will once again offer visitors the opportunity to sample some of the finest artisan foods produced around the country.
  • At the Bord Bia Quality Kitchen stage, some of Ireland’s best loved chefs with live cooking demonstrations including Neven Maguire, Catherine Fulvio, Martin Shanahan and Donal Skehan, among others. The events will be hosted by TV presenter and well known foodie, Ella McSweeney who will also interview food producers throughout the weekend.
  • Fans of craft beer and whiskey will enjoy a visit to the ‘Bloom Inn’ while Bloom will also host the Irish Cheese Awards for the first time this year.
  • Ireland’s food and drink industry is on a sustainability journey through the Origin Green development programme that aims to demonstrate the commitment of the sector. This journey will be explained in Bord Bia’s Food Village using interactive features allowing visitors to discover what it means for them.
  • The ‘Horticulture for Health and Wellness’ exhibit located beside the fruit and vegetable market will demonstrate to the public, how important horticultural produce is, in a very practical way, to health and wellness in our everyday lives.
  • Bloom Farmyard will feature dairy cows being milked each morning and evening, a beef cow and her calf, sheep and lambs, pigs and chickens. Visitors will have the opportunity to ‘meet the farmer’, with several producers on hand throughout the weekend.

Don’t forget, Bloom is a family event, kids go free and there will be a variety of entertainment options for all the family to enjoy including music, Budding Bloomers, a dedicated children’s play zone, with games and activities, craft workshops and a picnic area. The picnic area surrounding the Main Stage promises to be a perfect spot for relaxation and enjoyment with various musical artists entertaining visitors from mid-morning to late afternoon, for the duration of Bloom.

Tickets are on sale now at Follow Bloom 2013 on Facebook, or join the conversation on Twitter, or #Bloom.

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by Kristin

Giveaway: Mash Direct

March 12, 2013 in Giveaways

Mash Direct started like so many other good things: over a glass of fine Irish whiskey. At a dinner party in 2003, Martin Hamilton told his host and friend Tony Reid about his dreams of setting up a production facility on his own farm to produce champ. After much discussion, determination and hard work, one year later that dream had become a reality. A small factory had been built and Mash Direct Ltd had been formed. Mash Direct now leads the market producing an innovative range of delicious quick-serve mashed potato, vegetable and cabbage products. There are no artificial additives, preservatives or colourings in their products – just the taste and texture of homemade food, like the food you’d make yourself in your own kitchen, but with a big added bonus: convenience.

Martin and his wife and business partner, Tracy, had been successfully growing and selling vegetables for over 25 years. Martin himself is a fifth-generation farmer and now Mash Direct is a family business, employing Martin, Tracy and their two sons. Using heirloom vegetable varieties grown for taste, not appearance, they developed a small plant on the farm to recreate a traditional cooking style. All Mash Direct vegetables are steam cooked and packaged right on the farm. Most of the veg are from the Hamiltons’ own farm, but what they can’t produce themselves, they buy locally from neighbouring farms. Vegetables that were picked in the fields at 5 a.m. can be cooked, packaged and loaded onto the lorry by 11 a.m. The Mash Direct products are often fresher than the fresh veg in the produce section.

To learn more about Mash Direct, check out these blog posts from The Daily Spud, Cakes and Bakes NI and The World of Kitsch.

We have a hamper full of Mash Direct products to give away! To enter, just leave a comment on this blog post (one comment only, please – multiple entries will be disqualified). The hamper can only be delivered within the Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland. The winner will be randomly chosen and notified by email. The competition will close at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, 19 March 2013. Good luck!

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by Kristin

Giveaway: Wild Food by Evan Doyle and Biddy White Lennon

February 18, 2013 in Giveaways

Wild Food is a fantastic new guide to foraging which reveals the secrets of how to identify, pick, preserve and cook the most common wild foods that grow in our hedgerows and woodlands and on our hillsides and seashores. Packed with helpful tips and advice on gathering, preparing and cooking foraged foods, this combined field guide and cookbook was inspired by the growing interest in wild food and foraging in Ireland today and is the perfect introduction to harvesting nature’s bounty. It includes:

  • Where to look, what it looks like, how to pick.
  • A guide to foraging through the seasons: nettle, dillisk, carrageen, garlic, sea beet, samphire, St George’s mushrooms, sorrel, hawthorn, elderflower, sea lettuce, strawberries, chanterelles, bilberries, field mushrooms, blackberries, damsons, ceps, blackjack online elderberries, hazelnuts, rose hips, sloes and more.
  • How to prepare and preserve your foraged finds.
  • Over 60 delicious recipe ideas, including tempting treats from The Strawberry Tree at The BrookLodge Hotel.
  • Traditional uses for common wild foods.
  • Great gift ideas for family and friends and lots more.

Thanks to the O”Brien Press, we have 5 copies of Wild Food to give away! To enter, just leave a comment on this post (one comment only, please – multiple entries will be disqualified). The winners will be randomly chosen and notified by email. The competition will close at 6 pm on Monday, 25 February 2013. Good luck, and happy foraging! The giveaway is now closed. Congrats to the winners: Karen, Andy, Dee, Niamh and Katie!


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by Kristin

Giveaway: Dinner for Two at LovePasta

September 17, 2012 in Giveaways

Who says good food can’t be fast food? LovePasta, one of Dublin’s newest italian eateries, brings good food, made with love and fresh ingredients, to the capital. Specialising in heart-warming pasta dishes and thin crust pizzas that are ready to go in minutes, LovePasta’s menu is devised by its chefs and prepared each day on the premises. Using the best ingredients, locally sourced and organic where possible, LovePasta offers eat in, takeout and delivery options. Devotees can even bring the LovePasta experience to their own dining table with special take home packs available, all bursting with authentic Italian goodness.

Fresh pasta is used in every dish, made on the premises in LovePasta’s very own Pasta Lab. With a choice of fusilli, penne, Lillies or shells, all are made from premium, hard wheat semolina and free range eggs. LovePasta offers a myriad of sauces prepared each day by the pasta chefs. In addition to the pasta and pizza options on the set menu, LovePasta brings a host of delicious daily specials to the masses. With gluten-free options available, LovePasta also serves breakfasts, soups, ciabattas, home-made cakes and tiramisu, antipasto, wine and beer.

The pasta bar is a new concept eatery for Dublin, meeting a growing demand for fast, convenient, hot and wholesome food in the city. LovePasta brings restaurant quality to the fast food mix in its own offering. With fresh ingredients and the right ratio of vegetables, protein and carbohydrate in each pasta portion, this is feel good food in every respect. Special take out boxes mean food stays hot for 20 minutes. LovePasta meals start at €6, around the same price as a sandwich, proving that wholesome, healthy food can be great tasting, convenient and affordable.

To celebrate their new menu, we have a voucher for dinner for two to give away! For a chance to win, just leave a comment on this post. The winner will be randomly chosen and notified by email. The competition will close at 6 pm on Monday, 24 September 2012. UPDATE: Congrats to the winner, Edith!

Open Monday to Friday, 7.30am to 9pm, LovePasta is located at Vault 4, Harcourt Station Building, Hatch Street, Dublin 2. For deliveries or large parties, call 01-411-0097. Join LovePasta on Facebook for news and updates on daily specials or visit

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by Kristin

Giveaway: Dinner at The Library at Dandelion

September 10, 2012 in Giveaways

The Library is a new restaurant set within Dandelion, the well-known Dublin bar that fronts onto St Stephen’s Green. With new menus, chef and management team, The Library at Dandelion is quickly becoming a dining destination in its own right, offering great food from the kitchen of Head Chef Robert Sabongi, cooked to a very high standard yet served in a casual setting.

Signature starters include Ham Hock and Pistachio Wellington, prepared using rare breed Irish ham hocks and served up on a slate with apple puree and horseradish cream, or the Chicken Liver and Foie Gras Parfait, complemented by Amarena cherries with caramel and toasted walnut and raisin bread. For mains, try Beef and Guinness Pie, a classic created with rare care, shown in the tenderness of sous vide ox cheek, sharing the sauce with pearl onions, mushrooms and seasonal vegetables topped off with flaky buttercrust pastry, or the Pan-roasted Sea Bream served with Sicilian caponata and salsa verdi, already a favourite in just the first weeks of opening. Desserts, like the bread, are all made in house, and favourites include Cherry Clafoutis and Almond and Orange Cake. There’s a full bar and a small but perfectly formed wine list. Everything you need for a meal to remember!

We have a €100 voucher for a meal at The Library to give away! For a chance to win, just leave a comment on this post. The winner will be randomly chosen and notified by email. The competition will close at 6 pm on Monday, 17 September 2012. Please note that the voucher will expire on 30 November 2012. UPDATE: Congrats to Emma, the lucky winner!

The Library at Dandelion is open Monday to Saturday from 12 midday to 10 p.m., 130 to 133 St Stephen’s Green West, Dublin 2. See

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by Kristin

Giveaway: Galway Oyster and Seafood Festival

September 4, 2012 in Giveaways

The Galway Oyster and Seafood Festival takes place from 28 to 30 September this year. Sunday, 30 September is Family Fun Day:

•        Meet Martin Shanahan RTE’s ‘Martin’s Mad About Fish’ and ‘Martin & Paul’s Surf ‘n’ Turf’
•        Enjoy demonstrations from an impressive line-up of award winning chefs
•        Marvel at the skill on show during the Tabasco Hot Oyster Awards
•        Play the giant family games from 12-3pm
•        Let the kids get their faces painted
•        Experience the touch pools from Galway Atlantaquaria
•        Win the marine themed fancy dress competition from 12-3pm
•        Welcome the winning sailing crew from the Annual Oyster Festival Sailing Race in Galway Bay
•        Dance in the Jive & Jazz
•        Cheer on the Irish Coffee Making
•        Party with all the fantastic entertainment on offer including the Amazing Apples, West Coast Big Band and Jive Talking Bee Gees Tribute

We have a family pass to give away for the festival on Sunday, 30 September. For a chance to win, just leave a comment on this post. The winner will be randomly chosen and notified by email. The competition will close at 6 pm on Tuesday, 11 September 2012. Please make sure that you’re able to attend the event on Sunday, 30 September before you enter the giveaway. UPDATE: Congrats to Vanessa, the lucky winner!

For more details of one of Ireland’s most famous food festivals, check out or follow them on Twitter @galwayoyster.

The Galway International Oyster and Seafood Festival is supported by Ballygowan.

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