About Me

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Three and a half years ago I became vegetarian. Three and a half weeks ago, anticipating a certain health diagnosis at any time, I also gave up all added sugar in my diet. My mother is of a certain generation and, although a very good cook, struggles to know what to offer guests with specific dietary restrictions. She once had a vegetarian and a coeliac for dinner at the same time, and nearly lost her reason! So, the idea for this blog was born. Every recipe that features here will be vegan (and, obviously, vegetarian), gluten free, sugar free, lactose and dairy free, and suitable for people on a low sodium diet. That's right, you read that correctly. Even if you have guests with each of these restrictions coming to the same meal, everything here is safe for them. And, before you expect weird and wonderful ingredients to make an appearance, everything I'm using can be bought in larger branches of all major supermarkets - you don't even need to visit health food stores. Try the recipes and tell me what you think!

So What's This Tweet Treats Thingy All About?

Watch the brilliant 30 second trailer below and all will become clear!

Tweet Treats Trailer from Catherine Ryan Howard on Vimeo.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Pint And A Haircut

While working on tweettreat, I was introduced on Twitter to @PintAndAHaircut, a guy called Garret Pearse who was working on a similar project; a compilation of true Irish stories to benefit Haiti. I sent a very short piece to Garret, and was delighted when he decided to include it in the book.

The book has now been launched, titled A Pint and A Haircut: True Irish Stories for Haiti, and all royalties are going to Concern's Haiti Fund.

I decided to interview Garret for this blog, curious about the similarities between our projects:

So Garret, how did you come up with the idea for Pint and a Haircut in the first place?

Last Christmas, I got a book from my sister called ‘True Tales of American Lives’ which was a compilation of true American stories submitted by listeners to a show hosted by the author Paul Auster on National Public radio.    While I was in the middle of reading it, I heard about the awful earthquake in Haiti and I had the idea of doing an Irish version as a way of raising money for Haiti. 

Where on earth did the title for A Pint and a Haircut come from?

I racked my brains for weeks to come up with a title but couldn’t think of one I was happy with.  They were all a bit clichéd and unremarkable.  I then ran a competition for people to submit their suggestions and while I got some pretty good ones, none of them really grabbed me.  Then I got a suggestion from a lady called Jean Cousins to just use the name of one of the stories I’d posted on my blog, ‘A Pint and a Haircut’ and I thought – yep – that’s it!  Now why didn’t I think of that weeks ago?!  Funnily enough, ‘A Pint and a Haircut’ was the very first story I received. 

Compiling a book like this is a huge amount of work to take on. Are you by any chance slightly mad?

I’ve a great ability for blind optimism and self deception.  When I first sent out the email asking people to send in their stories, I thought it would be just a case of checking my email account a few days later and selecting some of hundreds of stories and then sending of to a publisher who would fall at my feet in admiration while offering me a deal on the spot!

The reality was obviously a little different.  Everybody said ‘oh that’s a great idea, I know someone who could give you a story’ but that missed the point – I wanted them to tell me story.  In hindsight, I now realise how hard it can be for someone to sit down and put pen to paper.

All the same, it’s been amazing how generous people have been in so many ways to get the project to where it is now – generous with their stories, their advice, their help, their money (Thanks SoftCo!) and even just their enthusiasm which kept me going through the darker moments.

You seemed to get a publishing deal very quickly. Who did you have to sleep with to get that? ;-)

What? I could have slept with someone instead?!  Now there’s a bit of advice I could have done with ages ago! 
Seriously, I got some good advice from the likes of Willie O’Reilly at TodayFM who suggested getting a sponsor to help defray some of the publishing costs.  I’m very fortunate that I work for an Irish company (yes that same SoftCo) who are incredibly supportive of charity projects. Securing some very generous sponsorship from them made the approach to publishers a lot easier.  I submitted my idea and a few of the stories to Londubh and it moved pretty quickly from there.

Who exactly will benefit from the book, and how?

All the royalties from the book will go to Concern’s ongoing relief work in Haiti.  The last story in the book is from Mary Donohoe, a Concern worker in Haiti and it illustrates better than I can, how critical it is that Haiti continues to receive help and how beneficial that help can be.

Who are the people who contributed to the book?

One of the most pleasing aspects of the book is how diverse the contributors have been.  Stories have come from people from all walks of life, of all ages and from all around the world.  I received a few stories from established writers but also from people who have only recently started to write and even those who’d never put pen to paper before and just wanted to help with the project.

Was it difficult to choose the stories that finally made it into the book?
Yes, extremely.  And that’s not a facetious answer.  We had to leave some fantastic stories out for the simple reason that we didn’t have room and I tossed and turned for a week fretting over which ones to include and which ones to leave behind.  Included in those left out was one by submitted by my mother.  She seemed to take it well although she did mention something about meeting her solicitor the next day ‘to make some changes’ to something or other...Actually now that I think of it, she hasn’t had me round for dinner in ages either...hmmmm....

Were there any common themes running through the stories?
While not every story necessarily fit into a theme, we did receive a number of stories relating to similar topics – death, health and parents being the most common (which, it being an Irish collection, didn’t surprise me).  What was great was the diversity of stories even within those themes.

Have you a personal favourite story, or one that really struck a chord with you? 
It sounds trite but all the stories mean something to me.  However, I do find myself coming back to a few in particular.  If I were to pick one that I think combines everything I was hoping for in a story, it would be Speech! Speech! by Ian O’Malley.  It evokes many emotions from humour to sadness to hope and is an unmistakeably Irish story.

And finally, how can we get our hands on a copy?
The book should be available in all good book shops throughout Ireland.  It is being distributed by Argosy and Easons Wholesalers.
It is also available to buy online direct from the publisher, Londubh.

Thanks for that, Garret, and I wish you every success with the book - it's an amazing thing to have taken on!

If you'd like to read more, the gorgeous cover design is by @eolai who has blogged about it here

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Name of the Game

Hello wonderful, clever Twitterversians and Blogosphericals! I am in need of your assistance.

I'm currently beavering away at a book proposal for TweetTreat, and it has been pointed out to me that our title so far - TweetTreat - is a little unwieldy on the tongue. Therefore, I'm looking for an alternative title, or a subtitle, for the book.

As far as I'm concerned, the important details to bring out in the title are: 1) the recipes are short, 2) the recipes are easy, 3) the book is a bit of fun.

There are many popular cookbooks out there with titles like Meals in Minutes, so I want to play on that idea; but while not all Tweettreat recipes are for quick meals, all the recipes themselves are quick. Do you follow?

Anyway, I'm throwing my poor brain on your tender mercies, to see if you lot can come up with a better title than I have so far. Best one will be a new rockstar for the day, and will get credit in the book! Can't say fairer than that... ;)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Updated Celebrity Lists

Hi all,

I've finally found the time to fully update the list of celebrities who have donated to TweetTreat on the right hand side of this page. Isn't that some list?!  It's fully uptodate as of last night.

We're very, very nearly there... :)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Warning: Contains Nerdishness

Hi all, I'm going away for a week on Saturday so I've been just catching up with some of my spreadsheets etc. before I go. Want to know some of the latest nerdy statistics about #TweetTreat? Course you do!

So far, we have received:

1717 recipes from:
400 contributors, of whom:
95 are celebrities

Contributions to date have come from 17 different countries, and the combined total of followers of those 400 contributors is 5,895,407! Wowsers!

I know, I know, the celebrity box on the right hand side is seriously cluttered and out of date. I'll sort it as soon as I have a minute, I promise.

Anyhoo, while I'm on my holliers I'll be dropping in and out on Twitter (depending on connections etc) but I'm leaving my baby in the capable hands of celeb-chaser extraordinaire, @mduffywriter. :)

I'll be back in charge on Monday 9th August. If I can wrest the reins from @mduffywriter's grip, that is. ;)

Enjoy the Bank Holiday weekend, Irish people! ;)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Festival of World Cultures

This weekend saw the annual Festival of World Cultures return to Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin for two jam-packed days. I was contacted by @msf_ireland and asked if I would join the MSF staff at their tent on one of the days to tell members of the public about #tweettreat.

I was delighted, duly decorated a t-shirt with some information about #tweettreat and trotted along on Saturday 24th July. There I met fundraising officer Gareth and press officer Deirdre, both of whom I'd met before, as well as a number of other volunteers and staff. They are such an absolutely lovely bunch of people!

It was terrific to see a steady stream of traffic in and out of the MSF tent. Some were people who were very familiar with the organisation, others were hearing about it for the first time, and all had a chance for a good chat with members of the MSF team.

It was a very enjoyable day and it was great to see firsthand the fantastic goodwill that this organisation generates. I was also very chuffed to be there having reached the goal of 1700 recipes! People generally were fascinated by the celebrities who had contributed so far, so hopefully that interest will translate into sales once the book is published. 

Even the kids got involved, playing with toy doctors' kits, drawing pictures and looking at some of the equipment. My own darling daughter (with the pink leggings) was fascinated by the Plumpy'nut - a peanut based food fed to malnourished children - and with the MUAC tapes used to determine whether or not a child is in danger of starvation. Placing it around her own, well-nourished arm, she was able to see just how severely emaciated a starving child can be - an interesting lesson for a first-world child who has never been hungry.  

It was a thoroughly enjoyable, jam-packed day and I'm very grateful to the MSF staff for inviting me and for their huge enthusiasm for the #tweettreat project. I hope I can do them proud. 

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

You know, for Kids! - Again

Hi all, today's challenge was children's food, even though we'd done it before. I noticed I hadn't as many children's recipes as I'd like, and boy am I glad I asked for more - some fantastic ones came in today!

As soon as I saw this one I knew it was a winner:

"Cup of milk, one egg, halfcup plain flour, pinch salt, drop blue food die. Pan fry in butter, add bacon.#greeneggsandham"

How fantastic is that?! Thanks once again to @emilyjaneross!

Now for some significant news; our #tweettreat total is now at 1706 recipes, which means that we've exceeded our target! It's utterly incredible that we've collected so many, in slightly under twelve weeks. Thanks again everyone for your help. :)

So, what does this mean? Well, basically it means that today's challenge was the last. Unless I discover a gap in the book somewhere, which might mean one or two more; but certainly today's was the last regular one. Boo, sniff. 

Now, our attention needs to turn more strongly towards celebrities. We have a great list of contributors so far, numbering 90; but our aim is to get 140, so we have 50 to go. Please, anyone and everyone, if you can help to get celebrities' attention on Twitter, I would be very, very grateful. 

So, now the work also begins on compiling the recipes I've received into a book. I've had so many offers of help with this, which are hugely appreciated. Most recently, @MJulieMiller, who is an indexer, offered to do the index for me. I'm astounded by her generosity, and have very gratefully accepted! @MJulieMiller is new to Twitter, and is well worth a follow. :)

I'll continue to blog daily, to keep you all posted on any news, updates and celebrity acquisitions, so don't go away! 

Monday, July 19, 2010

Just Another Manic Monday

Hi all and happy Monday! For starters, the results of the jury are in on the frozen #tweettreats from Friday, and the winner is....

1 banana, half punnet of strawberries, half a large pot natural yoghurt, blend, then pour into ice lolly molds, freeze - Well done to @Pamreader!

Now, today's challenge was Manic Monday - food that can be prepared very quickly when you're having a busy day! My favourite was this:

"Tin green lentils (drain, wash) salt, oil&vin & sliced scallion. Nice w Fennel Salad: slice, oil&vin, salt & toasted pinenuts"

I was completely won over when @aoifemcl told me it was her kids' favourite dish! Wow. 

That brings me rather nicely to tomorrow's challenge. We now have 1685 recipes and are very close to our notional target of 1700, so I'm starting to look at areas and categories in which I'm short. So, tomorrow's category that I need to pad out somewhat is Kids Food - it can be sweet or savoury, I don't mind. As ever, the best recipe will be rockstar. I wonder if we can get to 1700 tomorrow? 

Wow, that's kinda scary...

Friday, July 16, 2010

Freezer Friday

Hello all, and welcome to the weekend! Today's challenge was frozen food; hints or tips for freezing, meals to make and freeze ahead, ice-cream, etc. Got some great recipes, mostly ice-cream funnily enough... ;) We now have 1656 in total!

Having found these ridiculously hard to judge, I decided to put my favourites to the public vote. Vote for your personal favourite in the comments below by their number, please (and no, you can't vote for your own!) and the recipe with most votes will be declared rockstar on Monday.

1. Sugar High Cake: Mix 2 fave ice creams, add 2 fave candy bars (crushed). Pour into pan. Drizzle choc sauce. Freeze. @HOHWwriter

2. 1 banana, half punnet of strawberries, half a large pot natural yoghurt, blend, then pour into ice lolly molds, freeze @Pamreader

3. Mix 2 eggs & 2 tsp sugar. Dip a scoop of ice cream in mix. Roll in crushed corn flakes. Deep fry for 15 secs & serve w/coulis @EleanorFitz

4. Heat 1/2pt tonic &1oz sugar til sugar dissolves. Cool. Stir in 1/4pt gin. Freeze in rigid container 3hrs. Stir. Freeze overnight. @rosamundi

5. IrishCreamsicles: 2/3c sug, 1/4c cornstrch, 1/4tsp salt, 3c milk, 3 yolks. Whisk&cook til thick. Add 1/2c IrishCream, freeze. @MontanaGael

6. Two frozen bananas-1 frozen mango-all in blender= raw vegan ice cream! :) @olivosartstudio

There's also another challenge for Monday - it's Manic Monday, and I'm looking for lightning-fast meals. :)

Have a great weekend everyone, and don't forget to vote!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Turkey Thursday

Thanks to a question from @Fictional100 I realised yesterday that I had rather a dearth of turkey recipes, hence today's challenge.

Today this one was my favourite:

"Sweat 6 leeks in butter for 30mins. Add wine, rosemary, thyme & cream, simmer. Add turkey & season well. Top with puffpastry." 

And so today's rockstar of tweettreat is @emilyjaneross - Thanks Emily!

Now, tomorrow's challenge is one suggested a while ago by @thejayfaulkner, and it is for frozen food. Either quick dishes you can rustle up from your freezer, or good meals to freeze till later, methods of freezing certain foods, anything goes. And, of course, ice-cream. :)

We've hit a total of 1,644 recipes today, which is a great number. We're so, so near our target (which is a notional 1700). Keep up the good work, everyone! Thanks for all your help. :)

Finally before you go, and in honour of Turkey Thursday, here is Ireland's unofficial mascot Dustin singing his version of Lemon Tree, "Christmas Tree". Enjoy. :)

Till tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Like Momma Used To Make

In ongoing honour of my recuperating husband (who had better stop overdoing it post-surgery or he'll have me to answer for), today's theme is convalescent food, the sort of thing your Mum used to make for you when you were sick.

Some lovely recipes came in, bringing us to the terrific total of 1630. My favourite was this:

"L'Aigo Boulido
4C water slt 12clv garlic To boil Add 1baylf chpd sage dash olvoil Ck 2m Steep 10m Slice brd in bowl Top olvoil grtd cheese soup."

Apparently it's a Provencal recipe, reputely an elixir for convalescents and new mothers - and a godsend for those with hangover! That's according to @JackyHSF, our rockstar for today. :)

Now, thanks to a question from @Fictional100, I've realised that we have a dearth of turkey recipes. So, tomorrow is Turkey Thursday - I'm looking for recipes for ground turkey/mince, turkey steaks, turkey legs, you name it. As ever, the best one will be rockstar. 

Till tomorrow!

Monday, July 12, 2010

This One's For My Other Half

Happy Monday everyone, and apologies for my absence over the last few days - I was dutifully nursing my beloved husband through a laparoscopic cholecystectomy (that's gall bladder removal to you).

Anyway, last Thursday's challenge - which carried over till today - was for low-fat, high-fibre foods in my husband's honour. You guys are amazing - you kept pushing and plugging away at the #tweettreats all weekend, and we now have a grand total of 1605 recipes! Hopefully another 100 should do the job. We're also close to 90 celebrities, which is incredible - 50 or so to go. :)

Today's winner was very hard to choose out of so many, but I really liked this one and can see myself using it:

"Low Fat Houmous:
1 tin chickpeas,1/2gn chilli,1/2tsp cumin,2tbsp lem/juice,3 minced garlic,1 tbsp chickpea liquid. Blend until smooth."

That's from @CountryLets - thank you! Thanks also to the various new contributors to #tweettreat who joined over the last few days - lovely to see you all. :)

My dear husband has also suggested tomorrow's challenge, which is for nice convalescent food - stuff your mom used to make when you were sick, chicken soup etc. 

As ever, if you try any of the #tweettreat recipes do let us know. :)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Toad-in-the-hole with Pavlova

Hi all, today's challenge was for food that was named after someone or something. It was also an opportunity for some ridiculously silly puns, and you didn't disappoint!

It was a hard choice, but here is my favourite for the day cos it's dead posh, so it is:

"Tournedos Rossini
Fry filet mignon in butter,place on a crouton,top w/slice foie gras,garnish w/black truffle,madeira sauce."

And today's rockstar is @LevParikian! :)

Now, I may not be around much tomorrow. My beloved husband is having surgery (nothing major - should be home tomorrow evening!) so I'll be in hospital for the day. I'll pop in and out of Twitter when I can. 

Anyway, hubby has been advised to eat a low-fat, high-fibre diet for a while after the surgery, so that's tomorrow's challenge - Hubby Helpers!

Talk to you all at some stage tomorrow. :)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


Happy Chews-day everyone! Today's challenge was simple - it was for chewy food. My willpower has been sorely tested today, as I received not one but two recipes for fudge - my greatest weakness! Both fudge recipes were fantastic, but I had to choose this one as rockstar (even if I had to edit this person's recipe down to 140 characters. AGAIN.)

"Baileys and White Chocolate Fudge
Heavy saucepn,stir500g sgr,500ml cream,50ml Baileys, simmer.Boilwhen sgr dissolved.Stir FTTT.Add150g white choc. 22cm LINED tin,cool.Cut"

Apparently FTTT means "from time to time". This one had to win cos as well as fudge, it also featured Baileys. Drool. And today's rockstar (for what, the third time? Fourth? Lost track) is @chiddle84! You're starting to sound positively domestic these days, you know.

Now, tomorrow's challenge came to me in a convoluted way. I was thinking about Wednesday, and how it was named after Odin or Wodin the Norse God, especially as I was thinking of @neilhimself's American Gods a lot. Then I started thinking about things that are named after other things, and the end result is this: Tomorrow's challenge is food that is named after animals (toad in the hole?) or people (Pavlova?). There you go, a fascinating insight into the working of my brain. ;)

See you all tomorrow!

Monday, July 5, 2010

'Merican Monday

Howdy y'all and I hope you had a great 4th of July if you were celebrating it!

Ok, I'll drop the awful accent. Today's challenge was 'Merican Monday, in honour of 4th of July. All American recipes were welcome, and some great (and peculiar!) ones came in. I especially liked this one:

"Hush Puppies
Mix 2 beaten eggs,1/2c sugar,1 diced onion,add 1c flour,1c cornmeal, drop by tsp into 2inches 350 degree oil, fry til golden"

I find that recipe fascinating, cos if you're Irish this is what Hush Puppies are. ;) Anyway, today's rockstar - who also happens to be a Yank - is @DazedPuckBunny! She's well worth a follow, too. Thanks for the recipes, hon. :)

Now, tomorrow's challenge; it's Chews-day. Did you see what I did there? Didja? Didja? Basically, anything chewy is welcome. That can be toffee or caramel, or fudgy brownies, or sticky flapjacks, or soft-baked cookies... oh boy, I'm drooling! Looking forward to tomorrow now. 

Tonight we hit 1555 recipes - what a lovely number! What are our chances of hitting 1600 tomorrow? It's a long shot... We've also received recipes from 86 lovely, charming and obliging celebrities. I wonder who'll join us next? 

Till tomorrow!

Friday, July 2, 2010


Welcome to the weekend, everyone! It was another great day on #tweettreat, starting with the receipt of a recipe from @heatherofficial - Heather Mills herself! Heather is a big campaigner for charity, so it's fantastic to have a contribution to #tweettreat from her. Kudos to @mduffywriter who tracked her down and asked her. :) We have now received 1525 recipes, exceeding our target for the week which was 1500. Our number of celebrity contributors is also up, and now stands at 83.

Today's challenge was fried food, particularly for food that you wouldn't normally expect to fry. As ever I got some great recipes in, some of them utterly intriguing. My favourite was this:

"Mix cream cheese, grated Cheddar, grated apple,Tabasco, salt, pepper. Make wholemeal bread sandwich. Fry in butter both sides."

And today's rockstar of #tweettreat is @ClodaghMMurphy - thanks Clodagh, I've got to try that one. :)

Now for Monday's challenge; as Sunday is the 4th of July, a big event on the American calendar, I hereby declare that Monday is 'Merican Monday. I'm looking for typical American food, particularly if you would normally eat it on July 4th. I know that 18% of contributors to #tweettreat thus far are from the US, so there should be no excuses! As ever though, I'm happy to take any recipe, any time. 

In other news there is now a Facebook page for #tweettreat thanks to @rebeccaebrown. Please go and "like" it to help spread the word!

Finally, in the spirit of Fry-day (and with thanks to @davidgilray), go to Google, type in 2204355 and click on "I'm feeling lucky". Enjoy! 

Have a great weekend everyone, and if you're celebrating 4th of July I hope you have a ball. :)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Cakes and Bakes

It's almost the weekend! Time for a spot of baking, don't you think? Today's challenge was cakes and baked goods. Some of you found this challenge quite difficult, but came up with some good recipes nonetheless, bringing us to a total of 1509.

My favourite for today was this:

Lge mug,mix 4tbsp ea SR flour/sugar 2tbsp cocoa,1 egg then 3tbps ea milk,oil ½ tsp coffee essence M'wave 3mins @ max When risen/set tip out"

In fact, I liked the sound of this one so much I decided to try it with my daughter to see if it really worked. The results are here: 
Picture one
Picture two
And today's rockstar, for the second time, is @JackyHSF - well done!

Well, tomorrow is Friday. Since so many of you were horrified earlier this week by my fried jam sandwiches, I have declared tomorrow to be Fry-day. I want to hear about food that can be fried, especially food that you wouldn't normally fry but is somehow delicious! (Did I ever tell you about my father-in-law who discovered that he could cook an entire fried breakfast in his deep fat fryer? Sausages, bacon, tomatoes, mushrooms, bread... only the eggs escaped. Now that's a real cholesterol special!)

I expect to be shocked, horrified, entertained and amused by tomorrow's offerings...  :-D

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Packed Lunches and Picnics

Evening all!

This morning started off very exciting in #tweettreat land, with recipes donated by @LouDPhillips - Lou Diamond Phillips himself - and by @Schofe - Philip Schofield! How cool was that? Thanks and kudos to @ShirtnTie and @thejayfaulkner respectively for those two, very well done guys. :) That brings our celebrity total to 82 - a mere 58 to go! Very doable.

Some lovely, unusual recipes came in for today's challenge. Though we didn't quite hit the 1500 mark - we have 1494 recipes - I'm sure we'll get there tomorrow. I really like this one:

"Fry onion garlic add Shi-i-take s&p put in wrap smeared with smashed avocado+juice fresh lemon tomato&salad on top"

And today's rockstar is @CreaZin! Well done, nice to see another newbie winning a challenge. :)

Tomorrow's challenge, as suggested by yesterday's winner @Danoosha, is for cakes - or any and all baked goods, including cookies, etc. As ever, the best recipe will earn rockstar status. 

Have fun!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Staff of Life

Happy Tuesday everyone, especially to newcomers to #tweettreat - feel free to read down through the blog, try out some of the recipes, and spread the word! :)

Today's challenge was Bread; either baking it or recipes featuring it. You have been a very busy lot and loads of great recipes came in; it was really, genuinely hard to pick a winner today. In the end, I chose this one:

60g bttr, 3tbsp mlk, 2 egs, 30g sug, 275g pl four, 1 sch yeast tsp mixspc milk into melted bttr, add rest set brd mker on sweet 500g loaf"

That is a perfect example of a #tweettreat if ever I saw one - concise, intelligible and yummy! What's amazing to me is that this great effort came from a #tweettreat newbie, @Danoosha, who is today's rockstar of #tweettreat. Some of the rest of you could learn a thing or two from that (cough@chiddle84cough)

Tomorrow is my darling daughter's last day of school before the summer holidays (can you smell the dread from there?). So, tomorrow's challenge is for packed lunches (cos no more of them for a while) and picnics (if the weather holds!)  As ever, the best recipe will win rockstar status. :)

At time of blogging, we have 1482 recipes and 80 celebrities! I'm sure we'll easily pass the 1500 mark tomorrow.

Thanks again everyone, and huge ongoing thanks to #teamtweettreat - I couldn't have picked a better bunch of people to work with even if I had, you know, actually picked you. Instead of you foisting yourselves on me. Love you all! ;)

Monday, June 28, 2010

Musical Monday

Hi all and I hope you had a good weekend!

My Monday got off to a truly stonking start when I received a #tweettreat from none other than @neilhimself - Neil Gaiman! A very nice recipe it is too, for cherry crumble. I'm still on cloud nine. :)

Anyway, today's challenge was for musically inspired food, either suggested by the title of a song, featuring in a musical, etc. There was less messing today than I'd feared with this topic, and some very good recipes were tweeted. Today's winner is one which put a nice twist on the music-inspired theme:

"Toast 2 sl of bread. Put peanut butter on 1 piece, banana on other. Sandwich together and fry in real butter. Bow to the King."

Today's rockstar is @jeanharrie! Well done you. As of today, I've received 1442 recipes from 340 contributors including 79 celebrities. Not half bad. :)

Tomorrow's challenge, as suggested by @chiddle84, is bread. You can tweet recipes for baking bread, or to use leftover bread (breadcrumbs?) or even things to make with bread, such as sandwiches. A nice, versatile task that - so no excuses, right?

Now, a few more statistics for you. I've been getting rather nosy about you lot and wondering where all of the #tweettreats have been coming from, so I spent the day on some more statistics. So far, I've received recipes from 15 countries, with the nationalities of people donating #tweettreats breaking down as follows:
UK               47.18%
Ireland          19%
USA             17.8%
Scotland       3.26%
Canada        2.37%
France         1.48%
N. Ireland    1.19%
Australia        .89%
Netherlands   .89%
Kenya           .60%
Bahrain         .30%
Israel            .30%
Mexico        .30%
Qatar           .30%
Spain           .30%

I find this sort of thing fascinating, though it'll prolly bore you lot to tears! I thought it very interesting that although this project started in Ireland, by far the most contributors to date have come from the UK. On a day you're all probably pretty down about the World Cup, that's something you can feel good about!

Talk to you all tomorrow. 

Friday, June 25, 2010

Thank Crunchie it's Friday!

Welcome to the weekend!

Today's challenge was Thank Crunchie it's Friday - or thank Mars, or Maltesers, or Skittles, or anything else. You were invited to create quick and easy desserts with choccie bars from the corner shop (so long as they weren't Nestle.)

Now, remind me never to do a challenge like this again, cos I've had a longing for chocolate all day that has nearly been the undoing of me! You all relished this task, with double cream, caramel and chocolate abounding in your recipes. Evil sods that you are.

Anyway, it was hard to pick a winner cos they were all massively calorific, but this one really sounded good to me:

"Melt 300g mlk choc & 25g butter Bash sm pk Rich Tea bisc & 4 Crunchies & stir in Press into 15cm sq foil tin Chill Cut into sqrs"

Today's rockstar is a relative newcomer to #tweettreat, but a very welcome one - @JackyHSF! Well done, and keep them coming. :)

We also beat our goal today, which was 1400 - we now have 1409 #tweettreats, and 73 celebrities! The celebrities section on the right hand side of the site will get a makeover during the weekend, cos it's getting a bit unruly...

On to Monday's challenge; given how much fun everyone had with Food on Film, Monday is Musical Monday. Food in songs (even bad puns; "Oh, EClaire..."), food from musicals (Oliver?) etc. Let your imagination run wild! Try to make actual recipes, though. If you can. 

Now, if anyone reading this blog is still confused about what Twitter is and what it's for, this video... really won't explain anything at all. Sorry. 

Have a great weekend everyone, enjoy and have a good rest - you've earned it!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Tart Thursday

I despair of the twitterverse, I really do. I mention that today's challenge is for tarts, and suddenly you all turn into giggly ten-year-old boys. Honestly.

Still, you seemed to be having fun coming up with the goods! Some fantastic recipes came in today, bringing us to a total of 1384. We've also now received contributions from 70 celebrities - half our goal of 140! Huge kudos today to @mduffywriter, who managed to get a contribution from @PaulaAbdul of all people - and to everyone else who's spread the word and pushed the message today, thank you too.

On to tonight's winner, which is this:

"Fill cooked pastry case with stewed apple.Dot with bits of marzipan,cook in mod hot oven til marzipan rich brown& sort of crispy on the top"

Tonight's rockstar is @Chadwickauthor! Fabulous sounding recipe. It had me at marzipan. ;)

Now for some interesting statistics, which took me all day! Thus far, I have received: 

1384 recipes from:
323 contributors with a combined following of:

How incredible is that?! And how amazing are all of you, for all the work you've done!

Round of applause for yourselves, please! 

Now, tomorrow's challenge is an easy one; Thank Crunchie it's Friday! I want simple recipes that involve Crunchies. Or Mars Bars. Or Maltesers. Or crisps. Anything, really, so long as it's not a Nestle product - no Nestle products will make the grade in this book!

Have fun with this one and I'll talk to you all tomorrow :)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Romancing the Stones...

A very quick blog post tonight, hopefully before midnight so it counts as today! Sorry, I had some friends drop in for a couple of drinks and got very held up with tonight's bloggage. 

Anyway, today's challenge was Romance - romantic food, aphrodisiacs, food your beloved loves, etc. All I can say is that this challenge proved that there are some very sick, very kinky people out there in the twitterverse! I expected oysters on the half shell, but I actually got multi-flavoured chocolate body paint from @mduffywriter...

However, that's nothing on tonight's winner, which is this:

"Aphrodisiac: One for the men, obviously! Cojones al ajo. Skin, slice, and gently fry sheep or stallion testicles in olive oil with garlic."

This jaw-dropping offering was from tonight's rockstar, @davidgilray! Remind me never to come to your house for dinner, ok?

Tomorrow is Tart Thursday. Tarts of all descriptions are welcome. Sweet, savoury, miniature, @mduffywriter ;) -  whatever. As ever, other recipes are also welcome. Today we reached the respectable number of 1355 recipes, and 60 celebrities. How far can we get tomorrow? 

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Mother Hubbard Miracles

Today's challenge was for those meals that you manage to ingeniously scrape together from whatever is left in the cupboards, rather than going shopping (or if you're broke!). You came up with some great ones, one or two that I'll definitely be trying.  Today's winner is this:

"Slice potatoes thin, parboil for 10 mins. Put in dish with onion, mushroom, cheese layers. Add stock and milk. Bake for 30 mins" 

I really like the sound of that. Today's rockstar is @dorristheloris - your student days have been worthwhile after all!

Tomorrow's challenge - as suggested previously by @neversarah - is Romance. It's a loose category (phnar phnar), so you can tweet heart-shaped food, recipes that sound romantic/poetic, aphrodisiacs, even your loved one's favourite dish. I'm not fussy. :) Remember, the daily challenges are just for fun and I'm happy to take any recipe, any time. 

Now, some news. The wonderful and very very clever @neversarah suggested some time ago that I should aim for 1400 recipes in the finished book, as a direct reflection of the number of characters in a tweet. She also suggested aiming for 140 celebrities. See what she did there? See? Told you she was clever. :)

Anyway, after due consideration, that's what I'm going to do. (I hope.) It means I'm going to have to increase the target from 1200 (which we've exceeded now anyway, we're at 1326) to about 1600, once again to allow for editing and culling. 

At present I've received recipes from 58 celebrities, so we're not quite halfway there on that score. Come on, #teamtweettreat! :) I hate to keep asking and pestering you all to help, but so many of you have gotten so good at celeb stalking - I mean, asking - that it's a little scary. ;) I know it's easy to start flagging at this stage - I'm fairly wiped myself - but I really believe that it will all be worth it in the end. I couldn't have gotten this far without all of you helping and contributing, and I really hope you'll put up with me for a while longer. :)

Talk to you all tomorrow!

Last minute edit - forgot to add this link, to another funny recipe blog post. Enjoy!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Muggle Munchies and Magic Meals

Well I for one am pretty glad Monday is nearly over! Getting recipes today has been rather like pulling teeth. I suppose you're all exhausted after your huge movie-meal effort last week, is that it? ;)

Anyway, today's challenge was for food from Harry Potter.  I didn't get many of those, though I got a good few other recipes today from some newbies - hello and welcome to #tweettreat! A special hello to @paulakahumbu who single-handedly tweeted about 20 recipes today. :)  Well, since I can't award rockstar status to myself (can I? No? Ok.) today's winner is this:

Slug Jelly
"In glass bowl layer diff coloured jelly & jelly Bugs sweets.couple drops green food colouring to whipped cream & use to top."

That was from @NettieWriter! Well done Nettie. :)

Tomorrow's challenge - as set by @rebeccaebrown - is for store-cupboard meals. You know, those dinners you manage to pull together out of what's lurking in the back of the fridge/cupboard cos you just couldn't be bothered going to the supermarket! Inventiveness is the order of the day. Let's call it the Mother Hubbard challenge, shall we? ;)

We hit the 1300 mark tonight, which was fantastic. I'm aiming for 1350 tomorrow - can we do it? :)

Till Tuesday, byee!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Football Fever

Thank Crunchie it's Friday, eh? This week has been insane, so it was quite a relief that today was rather quiet in #tweettreat land. Still, we've reached a total of 1255 recipes, which is very respectable.

Today's challenge was for World Cup related grub - anything spherical, or served in a cup, or eaten while watching football. My favourite was this:

"Whiz 1/2onion, 1garlic, 2 eggs, bread crumbs, grated nutmeg, salt. Add to 1kg minced meat. Form balls & brown.#Tweatballs."

I mean come on! It even features a jolly good pun. :) Today's rockstar is @SCallejo!

Special mention also has to go to @thejayfaulkner, who seems to have trawled through his entire address book today in search of more #tweettreats - thanks Jay!

As you may remember, yesterday's winner was a recipe for pumpkin juice from Harry Potter. Earlier today @dorristheloris suggested that food from Harry Potter be the next theme, and a jolly good idea it is too.  Therefore that is Monday's challenge! Much of what they munch in Hogwarts is classic English fair; pies, puddings and custard, and so on. You can reproduce any dish - or have a go at Bertie Botts' Every Flavour Beans, if you fancy it! There's plenty of inspiration over at Mugglenet

A late addendum here; I knew I was forgetting something when I was writing this post! Here, courtesy of @davidgilray, is a very topical article - read and enjoy! (If you're male, you might want to cross your legs.)  

Hope you all have a great weekend, talk to you on Monday. :)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Food on Film

Heavens to Betsy, what a day!

Today's challenge of food from the movies - as suggested by @neversarah - seems to really have captured everyone's imagination. 104 recipes flew at me from all directions, I could barely keep up! Our new total is an incredible 1237.  Wowsers. That means we beat today's target, beat tomorrow's target and even beat Monday's target! (That means I can take tomorrow off, right? Right?)

Anyway, things got a little silly today, but it was all part of the fun. A lot of the recipes weren't actually edible, but did cause great hilarity. You can read them all in the #tweettreat stream, and some in the #movietweettreat stream created just for today.

However, I've decided that since this is a recipe book, the winning recipe actually needs to be edible, at least in theory.  It's still an incredibly difficult job to narrow down all the great recipes I received today, but this one stood out most:

"5 cups apple jce,1 cup pumpkin puree,ground ginger & cinnamon to taste.Whizz tog,serv over ice. Pumpkin Juice / Harry Potter"

Today's rockstar is the wonderful @NettieWriter! :)

Now, in keeping with the "theme" theme, tomorrow's challenge is the World Cup. You can tweet ball-shaped recipes, dishes of whatever nationality is playing, food you'd eat while watching football, or even things you can eat in a cup. I really don't mind, have fun with it! (But not as much fun as today, please, I'm flattened!)

See you all tomorrow, have a good night. :)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Regional Recipes

Welcome to Wednesday, whose challenge was for regional recipes - or dishes that are popular in your own neck of the woods.  We've now reached the terrific number of 1133 recipes. I wonder if we could hit 1166 tomorrow, and break the 1200 barrier by the end of the week? That'd be amazing!

This challenge generated some interesting and unusual recipes, my favourite of which was this:

Pease Pudding
"Split peas, onion, water. Bring to boil then simmer till soft. liquidise, add egg. oven gas 4 30 mins"

I finally know what the nursery rhyme of my childhood was all about; "Pease pudding hot, pease pudding cold, pease pudding in the pot, nine days old" etc. And so, today's rockstar is @rebeccaebrown!

Mind you, that's one recipe I definitely won't be trying. Groo. ;)

Tomorrow's challenge - as suggested by @neversarah - is food from the movies! It can be a dish suggested by the title of a movie, or a dish eaten or mentioned during a movie. Don't worry, I'm not asking anyone to recreate Babette's Feast in 140 characters. :)

Finally, I'll leave you with another funny recipe-type blog post, this one by @ElizabethBastos.  It seems very apt, given that I'm Irish and today's challenge was for regional dishes; anyone with an Irish mother (or Mother-in-law!) will relate. :)

See you all tomorrow.