Mixed Berry Eton Mess

When all else fails and you simply cannot get your head around making desserts, this is the one for you. If you can whip cream you can make this. For those of you that have tried the meringue roulade in the book you’ll have no problems with this one. In fact, you’ll be able to keep all the little broken up pieces of meringue and use the, in this. An English classic that traditionally is made with strawberries it was served at Eton College at the annual cricket game against the pupils of Harrow School.

Bananas were also used and in fact initially it was made without meringue but that came about around the 1970s.

As I often say, there are no rules in cooking. If you want to put your own little twist on things always feel free to do so. If you have any fruit left over or about to go fof simply pick up some cream, meringue nests and away you go. It can be strawberry Eton mess, banana Eton mess, blackberry Eton mess or simply ‘everything I found sweet in my fridge’ Eton mess.

Huevos Rancheros 

My days off are almost always Mondays and Tuesdays. It was on one of my days off that I was in the car travelling home to Donegal. It was just after the US Presidential election and I was listening to our friend George Hook on Newstalk talking to Michael Graham, a radio presenter from Boston. As always the conversation was getting pretty heated.

George was put out by Michael’s breakfast choice of Huevos Rancheros and didn’t shy away from giving Michael his thought on them.

Having had the pleasure of cooking with George on RTE’s The Restaurant I know he loves his food so I’ve decided to put a little Irish twist on Huevos Rancheros and let’s hope big George gives them a whirl.

This is a family style recipe and great for a weekend morning when family or friends are visiting. You can divide the recipe out for smaller numbers but the one here will serve approximately six adults.

Chambers Ireland Corporate Social Responsibility Awards

Bluebird Care was delighted to be honoured with a commendation award at last weeks Chambers Ireland CSR Awards. We were commended for excellence in CSR Communications for our nationwide event series ‘An EngAGEment with Bluebird Care’. Below is the full press release and the list of winners on the night from Chambers Ireland.

10690155_731840556852715_5573323387313234627_nMarks and Spencer Ireland has won the Outstanding Achievement in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Award at the 2014 Chambers Ireland CSR Awards, held in Dublin last night (18/09/14). The judging panel selected Marks and Spencer Ireland for the sustained excellence of their CSR programmes. The eleventh annual Awards were partnered by Business in the Community Ireland, run in association with the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government and kindly sponsored by BAM Group Ireland and the Environmental Protection Agency. Each winner was presented with a specially commissioned trophy designed by Tipperary Crystal. Speaking at the event, Ian Talbot, Chief Executive, Chambers Ireland, said “Every year, we need to come up with new superlatives to describe the dedication and commitment shown by Irish businesses as they embrace CSR. Companies and their employees continue to get ever more creative to run their businesses in a sustainable way and consider their impact on the local community, the environment and their stakeholders. We are privileged to have the opportunity to recognise the best Irish companies have to offer as they embrace CSR.” Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, Minister Alan Kelly T.D. continued, “I am delighted that my Department continues to support these awards. Everyone has a role to play in protecting our environment and enhancing our local communities and the companies on display tonight have embraced this role with vigour. I would like to congratulate not only all of tonight’s winners but all of those who have been shortlisted.” “Renewed focus on sustainability is allowing companies to build more robust business models for the future and is a viable route to regeneration and growth. These awards aim to inspire CSR excellence by embedding sustainability through the realisation that the companies who are winners and nominees in these awards already have a head start on building a sustainable business for all our futures,” said Business in the Community Ireland’s Chief Executive Officer, Tina Roche.  “The nominees and awardees join a progressive community of businesses committed to the belief that customers, employees, investors and regulators place a high premium on trust and that ethics and good governance are key in earning it.” Theo Cullinane, BAM Group Ireland said: “At BAM Group Ireland we are delighted to sponsor the Chambers Ireland CSR Awards again this year, as CSR and sustainability are a key part of our company ethos. Although recent years have been difficult economically for businesses, the focus on CSR has not wavered and I was heartened that this year brought a record number of entries for the Awards. I would like to congratulate Chambers Ireland, Business in the Community and all the entrants and finalists involved.” Other awards presented on the night: Excellence in International CSR Arthur Cox for their Zambia Project. The Zambia Project is a trainee pioneered initiative designed to raise standards of living in rural regions of Zambia, by devolving and investing in health, agriculture and education infrastructure. Excellence in Environment Award – Large Indigenous Company  ESB for Ardnacrusha Station Sustainable Generation Initiative. ESB has changed how it manages its scheduling of energy generation, with consequent achievements in terms of efficient water usage and offsetting of Ireland’s CO2 emissions. Excellence in Environment Award – Multinational Company – Joint Winner Abbott Ireland for their Waste, Water & Energy Programme (2009-2013). Abbott’s various initiatives in waste, water and energy lead projects that positively impact their business, communities and environment. Excellence in Environment Award – Multinational Company – Joint Winner AbbVie Ireland for AbbVie Ireland Operations – Reducing, Reusing and Recycling. Two of AbbVie’s facilities in Cork and Sligo have implemented cutting edge waste and energy management technology to uphold responsibility to the community and environment. Excellence in Workplace CSR  Award – Large Indigenous Company  ESB for Positive Mental Health Promotion among ESB Staff. To promote positive mental health among staff, the project included a range of supports to encourage self-awareness, develop coping strategies and where necessary, provide access to more acute intervention routes. Excellence in Workplace CSR  Award – Multinational Company  Enterprise Rent-A-Car for Enterprise Founding Values – Workplace Diversity and Inclusion. The project identified specific gaps in the demographics of employees and implemented important strategic initiatives; which has lead to an increase in female, LGBT and Disability inclusion. Excellence in CSR by an SME Award The Carambola Ltd for the Carambola Kidz Foundation-sponsored Library at St Thomas’ SNS, Jobstown, Tallaght, Dublin. This initiative formed a team that helped create a library in St Thomas’s Senior National School in Jobstown, Tallaght, Co.Dublin. Excellence in Communication Award Intel for their Stakeholder Communications project. The project has included stakeholders in the management of change and the achievement of social, economic and environmental objectives by establishing different tailored communication methods, both internally and externally. Excellence in Marketplace CSR Award Abbott Ireland for Abbott Nutrition Hospital to Home programme. This free service offers comprehensive bespoke education and support services for health care professionals, carers and patients to support the transition of patients from hospital back to the community. Excellence in Community – Partnership with Charity – Large Indigenous Company eircom for eircom & Special Olympics Ireland (SOI) – The Partnership. For 30 years eircom has partnered with Special Olympics Ireland to deliver national awareness and fundraising, with activity and results increasing year-on-year. Excellence in Community – Partnership with Charity – Multinational Company Vodafone for Vodafone Ireland & Young Social Innovators ‘Go Do’ Partnership. Vodafone Ireland Foundation has partnered with Young Social Innovators to engage 100,000 young social innovators by 2015 by leveraging its people, superior technology and engaging brand. Excellence in Community – Volunteering – Large Indigenous Company A&L Goodbody for Volunteering for Step Up – A&L Goodbody’s Community Programme. A&L Goodbody’s ‘Step Up’ program has created a number of community programmes, in key focus areas: education, enterprise, and pro bono; all to benefit the people most in need in the community. Excellence in Community – Volunteering – Multinational Company Oracle for Leadership in Society (LIS). The Oracle Volunteer programme focuses on ‘transferring employee skills’ and making social impact to support initiatives, volunteering projects and engaging employees with non-profit/charitable organisations. Excellence in Community – Community Programme – Large Indigenous Company Lidl Ireland for Lidl and Crosscare – Partnering to create Ireland’s first structured food donation programme. Lidl has partnered with Crosscare to collect surplus food and non-food products daily from participating Lidl stores and distribute the products to charities in need; with the remaining going to Crosscare Community Cafés and a Meals-on-Wheels service. Excellence in Community – Community Programme – Multinational Company Citi for Access Outreach Programmes at UCD Access Centre and DCU Access Office. The Citi Foundation funds two innovative access outreach programmes at the UCD Access Centre and DCU Access Office; both targeted at Delivering Equality of Opportunity schools linked directly with these colleges in south west Dublin and North Dublin.

Rafferty Aims For Europe After Successful BRC Campaign

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Newly crowned BRC Rally Two champion Dean Raftery says he hopes to compete on selected rounds of the Junior European Rally Championship next year. The Galway driver spoke about his future plans while reflecting on a very successful season in the British Rally Championship.

Rafferty has been on fire this year and capped it off with multiple championship wins with his Fiesta R2 including the BRC2 class, the FiestaSport Trophy and the RAVENOL Oils Newcomer championship alongside navigator Aileen Kelly.

Speaking to Maximum Power Rallying Raftery said “It’s been a great year for us, we started the season with the aim of winning all the championships we entered and we achieved it. Taking third overall in the BRC standings was a great feeling too.”

The Galway man had a drama filled final round on the Rally Isle of Man. A roll on Thursday night almost put them out of the event, “It was a downhill section into a hairpin left we just cut it a little two tight and she went onto her roof. The damage put us out and I thought that was our championship over. The team and I were up till five in the morning repairing the car it was a brilliant effort by everyone.”

As part of his prize for his BRC success Dean earns a free entry into the final round of the

WRC, Rally GB. The Galway driver says his plans for the event will be starting soon. “Our preparations will hopefully be starting next week and I’m really looking forward to it. There will be a great Irish contingency there with the likes of Daniel McKenna, Kris Meeke and Alastair Fisher. We’ll be bringing the Fiesta to Wales to compete with the best and it’ll be tough on the car and tough on me.”

Looking towards 2015 Raftery is hoping to compete in the Junior European Rally Championship. “With the British Rally Championship not running next year we will be looking to compete on selected rounds of the JERC. It’s a fantastic series that offers drivers a lot of exposure and competition. It will be a great test for me. ”

With many people tipping him for the Billy Coleman Award this year Dean Raftery is going from strength to strength. Early indications would suggest that 2015 will see a lot more Irish competitors rallying in Europe next year and with morale and performance high for the Galway man 2015 will be an interesting year!

Dean’s 2014 campaign was aided by his sponsors Bluebird Care, Craughwell Tyre Services, King Car Parts and Black Hawk Fuels.