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Coronation Chicken Terrine a lá Emma and Wendy 

You may have been following my school friends’ epic colour-themed Come Dine With Me battle that’s been going on since my partner Fiona and I hosted our Mellow Yellow evening back in October of 2010.  The Orange Team held their night in November, followed by a Green evening in February of this year.

Last Friday night, it was time for the final evening of our Come Dine With Me series.  The Red Team were up and as it was April 29th, it would have been rude not to acknowledge the Royal Wedding in some way.  And so it was that I went to a Royal Wedding Themed Come Dine With Me dinner last Friday night.  And what jolly good fun it was, too.

A big thank you to Emma, Fiona, Frances, Jenny, Judith, Sarah and Wendy who made this year’s CDWM even more fun than the years before.  And also a shout-out to Edwina and Julie Anne who joined us for the soirée last Friday night.

Have a look after the jump for more pics of the Royally Red evening and to find out who walked away from this round as the winners!

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Aperitif of mint and apple cocktails with green sugar rims

Last Saturday night saw Round 3 of my friends and I’s colour-themed Come Dine With Me.  It was the night of the Greens, and after Come Dine With Me Orange last month and my partner and I’s Come Dine With Me Yellow the month before that, the Green Team (Jenny and Frances) had their work cut out for them.

As you can see from the pics, they fulfilled their brief very well and provided us with a lovely evening of food.  Good work!  Maybe too good!

Asparagus with scallops and pancetta, smothered in a Hollandaise sauce

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Last week saw my group of schoolfriends’ Come Dine With Me in Colours move onto Round 2.

This time it was Judith and Sarah’s turn and holy wow, did they deliver.  Although I do think Fiona and I did a lovely job with our yellow evening, the Orange girls raised the bar quite significantly.  Looking forward to Round 3, which is either Green or Red.  Bring it on!

Have a look after the jump for Judith and Sarah’s wonderful orange-tinged dinner.  Phwoar!

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Our Come Dine Yellow With Us menu

It’s that time of year again, folks.  That’s right – it’s Round 3 of my school friends’ Come Dine With Me, wherein we ruthlessly mark each other out of 10 for cooking a three course meals in teams of two.

This is the third year that my friends Frances, Fiona, Emma, Jenny and Judith have come together to dine competitively.  We  have two new members of Sara and Wendy this year, bringing us up to a more bubbly number of 8.  It’s a different crowd from this series of CDWM. you may have read about last year.

Bizarrely, I’m truly not a competitive person but I seem to find myself in competitive cooking situations rather often…hmmmm…

The first year we didn’t assign themes, as getting through a three course meal was stressful enough without having any particular restrictions, whereas last year we were brave enough to assign countries – France, Spain and Italy – as themes.

This year we’ve upped the ante a bit by creating themes of colours.  The other teams are doing Green, Red and Orange, while my partner Fiona and I were given Yellow, as well as the arduous task of hosting the first evening.

The marks were all done in secret at the end of the night, written on bits of paper with comments, plopped into andd envelope which was then bound with tape, signed by us all and adorned with a makeshift wax seal i.e. a bit of candle wax smudged with a wine bottle cork.

Have a look after the jump for pics of our Yellow Feast 🙂

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The CDWM Crew – me, Colette, Alan, Jocelyn and John with Niall taking the pic.

So, remember, like waaaay back last August (LAST AUGUST?!?) myself and Niall hosted the first Come Dine With Me? Well, we had the second Come Dine With Alan & Colette in late September, followed by John and Jocelyn’s night in November.

Well, let me tell you.  It is super hard to get six people plus a neutral judge and his other half together for a Winner’s Announcement meal.  We had hoped to go out together to The Hop House on Parnell Street for one last meal and a divulging of scores.  In the end, we were all together last night for Colette’s birthday, and our brilliant neutral judge @fensterdj texted us the results, bit by bit!

We had marked each other’s nights out of ten for five separate categories: Starter, Main Course, Dessert, Presentation and Ambience.  Here’s how we got on…

Winner of Best Starter: Aoife & Niall with The Strawberry Salad with 36/40!

Winner of Best Main Course: Alan & Colette with their Fragrant Lamb Curry served with Raita and Chutney with 28.5/40!

Winner  of Best Dessert: John & Jocelyn with that amazing Cheesecake with 36/40!

Winner of Best Presentation: Alan & Colette with 33.5/40!

Winner of Best Ambience: Alan & Colette with 33/40!



The final scores were:

1st: Alan & Colette with 164/200

2nd: Aoife & Niall with 160/200

3rd: John & Jocelyn with 150/200

FYI: John & Jocelyn lost most of their points for having the first Ireland vs France (not the handball one) on in the background during dinner.  Take note!

That was soooo much fun.  So, who’s going to take up the baton and start CDWM Dublin 2010?

Take a hop skip after the jump to find the recipes for each winning course!

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This post could alternatively be entitled “Why I Should Never Have Asked Jocelyn to Do Come Dine With Me.”

We most certainly had the best dessert of our little competition, and I think all of the other competitors will agree with me.  It was so good that I’ve provided three pics below for you to drool over.

We were greeted on Saturday night at the third and final heat of our Come Dine With Me with a little bowl of olives and delicious little puff pastry pies.  There was a choice of Caramelised Onion tarts or the Gorgonzola and Pear tarts.

The starter was a Seafood Linguine.

The main course was an Italian Hotpot served with Pumpkin Potatoes and roasted veg.

The dessert was the most heavenly Cheesecake I have ever tasted.  Joc is a genius.  I don’t want to say any more about any of the other courses as the marks are still secret at this point.  Once all the marks have been sent in, we’re all going out for dinner and our unbiased, uninvolved score-keeper will announce the winner over grub at The Hop House.  Hurrah!

Now, here’s that dessert.  From three different angles!

I could look at pics of that all day.  Although, obviously, I’d prefer to eat the dessert all day.

We also had a post-dessert dessert.  It was Alan’s birthday and John had made him a special cake.  We sang the song and all.  Then we watched The Yellow Submarine and myself and Alan had another dance-off.  Think there’s a video of it too…

CDWM menu

So, tonight is the night when Jocelyn and John pair up to prepare a three course meal for myself, Niall, Alan and Colette.  Their menu looks delicious.

This reminds me that I’ve failed to put up Alan’s recipes from his CDWM but I will do that asap.

We’ll be announcing the winners of our Come Dine With Me sometime in the next two weeks, I suppose, once everyone has sent their marks for Jocelyn and John’s night to our secret and entirely impartial judge.  Exciting!

mango cocktail

On Friday night, we were treated to a wonderful evening by Alan & Colette in our second Come Dinw With Me evening.

I won’t say too much as the scores are all secret and I don’t want to give too much away. All I can say is that it was slightly more subdued than my wino-fuelled night, and, alas, there was no 4am dance off, purely due to the fact that I had to work the following morning.  I’ll get you back next time Alan!

I’ll let the food do the rest of the talking.

Starter: Thai Fishcakes


The Thai Fishcakes were served with two delicious dressings (one spicy chilli based and mider fish sauce based) and a green salad on the side.

fishcakes half eaten nom nom

Full of fish were these fish cakes.

Main: Fragrant Lamb Curry

lamb curry  with raita and chutney

The lamb curry was served with a tomato chutney and two raitas.

tomato chutney yum

The tomato cinammon chutney.

cucumber mustard seed raita

The mustard seed and cucumber raita.

tomato and mint raita

The tomato and mint raita.

Dessert: Coconut and Ginger Ice-cream

coconut and ginger ice cream

And here’s a picture of my second helping.  I didn’t get a picture of my third helping 🙂

coconut and ginger ice cream second helping

Once all the scores are in, I’ll post the recipes for this lovely dinner!


You may remember the reports of my strawberry starter and disasterous main course back in August, when we had Round One of our very own Come Dine With Me.

The time is finally upon us for Round Two and this Friday it’s Alan and Colette’s turn to wow us with their culinary skills and hosting prowess.

I love what they’ve done with their menu – using the background of a tropical leaf to coordinate with their Asian fusion style tropical menu.  How simply thrilling!

I’ll be posting photos of the night on this blog, and after the scoring has been done, we may have a guest post from Alan and Colette detailing their behind-the-scenes adventures/mishaps.  Hurrah!

Jamie you're a bleeding legend

Jamie and one of our Maps of the World place mats

I spent the hours between 5pm and 7pm on Friday of our first CDWM running around the flat like a blue-arsed fly.  I was chopping and scrubbing and screeching and puffing and huffing and slicing and dicing and marinating and panicking basically.  I would have been lost without Niall who set the table beautifully and made sure the flat was up to a CDWM level of cleanliness.  I thanked him by shouting at him mostly so….sorry about that, babe.  Thanks again.

I have a confession to make.  My menu was almost entirely from Jamie At Home.  Alan remarked to me at the end of the meal that my menu concentrated really well on flavours and he complimented me on choosing recipes that worked so well together.  I nodded, feigning modesty while keeping my mouth shut about Jamie At Home and thinking to myself ‘So that’s what Jamie was thinking when he wrote the book’  I just picked the recipes because I thought the colours all matched.  Hah!

The first guest John arrived at about 7.05, gracefully late, followed by Alan and Colette at around 7.10 with Joc appearing around 7.20. We started the night by saying cheers to some Strawberry Champagne.  Made with Prosecco, you understand.

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