Börek / Spanakopita Recipe

I am back with a new recipe. It is not the most attractive of dishes, but it sure is tasty. My pictures certainly don’t do it any justice and I probably have killed the traditional recipe with my take on it. Right, I think that is all the disclaimers I need to state before setting this mouth-watering dish upon you.

Some people call it ‘börek’ while others call it ‘spanakopita’. I guess it depends on what country you are from or where you first sampled it. For the sake of political correctness, I call it ‘the delicious spinach and pastry dish’. First things first if you want to prepare the ‘the delicious spinach and pastry dish’, you have got to get to the supermarket and get yourself some ingredients. Continue reading

Restaurant Review: Panda Mama

When I made my first couple of trips home after moving to Berlin, there was one thing which dominated my mind: food. I was barely off the plane before heading into the nearest shop to buy bottles of Lucozade, bags of Tayto, etc. The list was long. In fact, if your are interested in my favourite treats from home, you can click here to read a previous blog post where I list them.

This gluttonous behaviour was repeated anytime I went to London as a selection of my favourite food items could also be found there. Then, something changed. It was kind of a sad time when I realised that my taste buds were becoming more accustomed to the food found in Berlin. I simply was not enjoying the same foods anymore and during my last time home, I set myself up for disappointment. Luckily, not all of my previous food habits let me down.

A trip to Panda Mama was an absolute success! Panda Mama is a Chinese restaurant located on Parnell Place, Cork City. It was an establishment I visited a lot when I lived back in the homeland and I always enjoyed it immensely. However, the last time I had Chinese food in Ireland (not in Panda Mama), I was not satisfied.

Entering the restaurant with a negative attitude encouraged me to set up a game plan. Therefore, I decided to have one dish which was something completely new, and another which is an old favourite. For my starter I choose salt and peppercorn prawns. Not only had I never sampled this particular dish before, I had never even eaten a prawn. It was a challenge I was ready to undertake. I ordered it as a starter dish and it was fan-tas-tic. The prawns tasted amazing and the batter which covered them was perfectly cooked. It was a very spicy dish, due not only to the batter but the addition of spring onion and red chili, making it a perfect choice for me. Now I am obsessed with this dish and I cannot find anything similar in Berlin.

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My main course was an old favorite – vegetable curry. I also enjoyed this dish very much but admittedly not as much as my starter. The portion was plentiful and I was also pleased with the wide selection of vegetables contained in the curry. Often it is the case that just peas, onion and beans are included. I had my curry along with some egg fried rice and a handful of chips snatched from the plates of others.

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So, what else is good about Panda Mama? Well, for one, they do an awesome early bird menu for €16.50 person. This is what I got minus the tea/coffee as I am not a fan of hot drinks. The restaurant itself is nicely decorated and spacious which means you are not sat nearly on top of the other diners. The staff were very friendly and the food was served in expert timing – something I am not used to having lived now for 3 years in Berlin.

Overall, Panda Mama presents a pleasant dining experience with great service and good food. Give it a try if you haven’t already!

*This post is not sponsored. The meal was paid for with my own money.

Book + Film Review: Life of Pi

‘Life of Pi’ was I film I avoided, despite the rave reviews, because it was a film which I simply thought was not my thing. However, the bargain lover in me could not resist giving the book a read when I snapped it up for just €1 at the Boxhagenerplatz Flea Market.

When I opened the first pages of the book, I was still pretty skeptical about whether I would enjoy it or not. In fact, I was pretty sure that I would not make it to the end of the book (usually I try to force myself to read until the end but I am trying to drum the mantra ‘life is too short to read bad books’ into my head). Luckily, it turned out ‘Life of Pi’ was not so bad after all. I didn’t get as stuck into it as I have with other books, but I did find myself enjoying it. Let me tell you why. Continue reading

The Jameson Experience

Quite simply, I do not meet the Irish stereotype when it comes to whiskey. In fact, it could be said that I actually bring shame on the country’s beloved drink. Why so? Because when I do drink whiskey it is mostly bourbon whiskey, and I also mix it with cola. On the odd occasion I have drunk Jameson, it was mixed with ginger ale. I must admit that it didn’t sit with me very well either. Therefore, I wouldn’t blame you for being surprised that this blog post is about my visit to The Jameson Experience in Middleton, Co.Cork. Continue reading

Travelling the Ring of Kerry

Last week I spent a fantastic few days back home in Ireland. Those of you who have been reading my blog for some time now will know that I love nothing better than a trip home. This time around we had some friends with us which made the holiday even better. I felt like a tourist in my own country as we visited some of the most beautiful spots Munster has to offer. Sometimes it is hard to appreciate what your homeland has to offer and it takes a spell away from the place to truly recognize its wonder. I highly recommend jumping on a train or bus and discovering what is underneath your very nose. Believe me, you will be in for a pleasant surprise. Continue reading

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry and Nights of Rain and Stars

I have been reading like crazy recently as I have so many amazing books to get through. That is thanks to the massive book haul I did a few weeks ago. Luckily all the books I read so far were an enjoyable read, so of course you want to hear my tuppence worth about what they were like. Continue reading

Spicy Pasta Sauce Recipe

Last night was nothing short of a miracle. I managed to cook something that was edible, that was not burned and was actually enjoyed by people other than me pretending it was good to save face. Best of all – I cooked it from scratch. The anticlimactic part of this story was that it was just pasta sauce which most people can do with their eyes closed, Yet, for me, this was a small victory in the cooking world. Continue reading

Review: NYC Big Bold Volume By The Lash Mascara

I can hear you sighing these very words right now: ‘Another mascara review’. Yes, yes it is. What I can I do when I have found so many great mascaras that I just have to share with you. Well, admittedly this was a gift from my sister, but you know what I mean. So, what is the mascara that warrants another such post? It is too long a wait to have you put your answers on a postcard so prepare to read now about the wonderful NYC Big Bold Volume By The Lash Mascara.

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My last cosmetic review was on the Rimmel Volume Flash Scandaleyes Mascara, and I was very excited about having found it. It is safe to say that I am even more excited about the NYC Big Bold Volume By The Lash Mascara. Some may say that the mascaras are more or less the same, and when it comes down to it, I cannot deny that both products are pretty comparable. Both have a really good brush which nicely separates the lashes. They also both are a deep black colour and a formula which certainly gives a lot of volume. Luckily, they both do not leave any black dots on the eyelids on application, or any dusty residue underneath after a few hours of wear. What are the differences then you may ask? Continue reading

The Reading Tag

I love reading and couldn’t resist going this tag that I found over on Love In Modern Life. Fellow readers will enjoy this and should link me if they do the tag themselves. Non-readers might want to give this a skip.

Do you have a certain place for reading at home?

Not really. I am more than happy to read anywhere. I suppose if I do think about it though, I spend most of my time reading snuggled up in the corner of the sofa. Continue reading

Joy Vs. German: Round 3: Failure To Learn

I really do not know why I am writing this post because it is going to be the same old ramble again. You all seem to like reading these types of posts though. I bet you are laughing at me fluently in German……

Well, the last time I updated you on my journey to learn the German language was in April. Luckily I did not make any promises which I yet again failed to keep. Instead I just listed the shame of previous promises I had made. You will be happy to read, however, that I have made a teeny tiny bit of progress since then. It has just been a matter of one step forward, two steps back.

I learned that free German lessons were being offered weekly by my work place. Yay! I joined and it lasted a grand total of 4 weeks. The teacher quit and they have not found a replacement yet. Those 4 weeks did benefit me in that I feel like I improved my skills a bit. Other times the classes just frustrated me and made me think I will never have even a minor grasp of the language. Continue reading