Aug 12 2012

A kaleidoscope of Irish summer

Posted by     37 Comments    Posted under: Kaleidoscope

Maybe I have writers block ….

Rory Belle (age 9) Jack (age 7)


Because everytime I sit down to write … one of my four munchkins comes in and BLOCKS me from what I am trying to do.

(The HSE does not allow us to put photos of our two foster kids on the blog which is why you only ever see two kids. The other two are gorgeous, happy, health, smiley girls. Picture it, ok?)


Veggie lasagne

Veggie lasagne


Someone around here is ALWAYS within one minute of ‘dying of the hunger’ so we try our best to keep a lot of vegetarian food ready to go. If they are really hungry – they will eat it and love it and come back for more.


Chioggia beets

Chioggia beets – our favourite veg from the garden


A new favourite of the children’s is grated beets (raw) on their salad. They also like ’em roasted in a bit of bacon fat.


Moules Frites from THe Kings Head Pub in Galway

Moules Frites from The Kings Head Pub in Galway


When we let them off their leash and take them in to town for a bite to eat they are making fairly smart choices. At least no one is begging to go to Mickey D’s anymore Chef!


Veal tartare

Veal tartare


I did not think they would eat this – but they did. And now they want it every day.


Hot cheesy poppers

Hot cheesy poppers


I made these ‘extra’ hot so they would not like ’em … and that backfired too.


Cranberry Rice Pudding

Cranberry Rice Pudding


The chef has one of the best – and easiest – recipes for rice pudding. This one will make a great breakfast treat for the kids when the weather turns cold.


Courgette cupcakes

Courgette cupcakes


This is one of my favourite images. I know it is in B & W … the colour one looks HIDEOUS.


Paella with Galway Prawns

Paella with Galway Prawns


First time making Paella – the Chef makes the best darn dinner we have ever had. The secret is in the rice. Run out and buy The Sunday Times today. They have the recipe.


Chocolate Brownie

Chocolate Brownie


I know. I still do not like – or eat – chocolate. BUT, I am told by many that this is the best brownie ever.


We are delighted to have been long-listed in THREE categories for this years Blog Awards of Ireland and I cannot tell you how freaking excited this makes me. I know the lists are indeed very long and the chances of making it to the short list are very slim – but let me tell you folks – it is the best feeling in the world just to be nominated.

Thank you readers for making this my favourite place to be, right here, in Blogtopia.


WiseWords three categories

WiseWords three categories


Those are all the WiseWords I have for today, ’tis Sunday after all!



Oh – PS. The book sales are going very well. If you are still looking for a copy offers free shipping worldwide!

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37 Comments + Add Comment

  • Beautiful kids, beautiful food, beautiful blog. You’ll win, i just feel it!

    • Ha ha! Of course you know I would love to win! Thanks for the nice compliment.
      It is a lovely way to be able to express ones self this blogging lark
      and only made all the more fun when people like you pop in for a visit!

  • Gorgeous photos Mona sometimes photos are just enough 🙂
    I think I should come over and stay with you to learn how to make smart food choices 😉

    • Hey Magda,
      You know, I agree. No need to make it too wordy…just a few glimpses into
      the life of strangers, right? Let me know when you make it to Galway Magda
      and we will have lunch or supper together x

  • Seriously …. It’s 9 am and I want paella and brownies with spicy peppers and roasted beats for brekkie….. Seriously miss ye guys lol… K x

    • Ha ha ha … Sunds like a very strange craving there bro. Too early for half that stuff, but I would
      totally start with the spicy cheesy peppers and a poached egg followed by the brownie with the coffee xx

  • Oh and congrats on the blog awards … Where can I vote for ya?

    • Well you can’t – sorry. Wow. Imagine if it were ‘people’s choice’ and I had to get folks to vote for me?
      I’d be mortified begging for votes. There is a panel of judges assigned to the task and I am sure they will choose the right blogs for the awards. It is run by a top notch group of Irish bloggers so no shady business at all. Thanks for the vote though!

  • Congratulations on the nominations in all three categories Mona,I;ll be rooting for ya to win all three.
    But I must say that I’m especially excited to see you in the photography selection because, I really enjoy your photographs. (Something I secretly wish I had taken up.)

    Best of luck…you deserve a win in all three 🙂

    • Hey Robert!
      It is never too late my friend! Get your camera out and start clicking!
      Then post them all over Facebook for me to see ;0)
      I LOVE photography and can’t wait to get finished with college so I can
      take a few serious classes on how to take better photos. For now,
      I am just in the right place at the right time!

  • The Kings Head is where we take Hannah when she has a hankering for mussels, their Moules Frites are her favorite and the staff are lovely. I hope you win all three categories 🙂

    • They have the best staff. We sat out on the street because we had Pearl with us and they
      gave her a bowl of water and everything! Thanks Amee … Hope you win too!

  • Lovely piece Mona as always, those children are beyond gorgeous & obviously well fed from the sounds of it. Paper set aside for when I get to bed – may give the paella a go next weekend. Have a lovely week & congrats on all your nominations well deserved. R

    • Aw … Thanks so much Rosemarie ;0)
      Let me know how your Paella turns out. The rice is so good!
      Thank for the good wishes…Deeeeelighted to get nominated!

  • Congratulations Mona on the well deserved blog award nominations! So happy for you. LOL at the hot beets story. The baker in me is really eyeing those brownies but honestly, everything pictured here looks gorgeous. Great shot of the kids too! Best wishes with the blog awards, I’m rooting for ya 🙂

    • Hi Paula,
      Thanks a million! Yes… The beets n bacon fat are pretty good ;0)
      Thanks for the good wishes Paula. I am excited just to be nominated.

  • Well done on the nominations Mona and very well deserved they are too ! Rory Belle looks just lovely in her braids. Mmmmnn beets in bacon fat, drooling Homer style here. Looks like it was a good summer in the Wise household.

    • Thanks so much Brenda!
      Rory is loving her new do. I never thought she would take to it so much actually,
      but now she wants to keep it so we will see how long that lasts!
      Yep..bacon fat n’beets is pretty fabulous. Summer was hectic here Brenda but
      wonderful. It was a bit damp but only two days so far where the kids were house bound!
      Hope all is well with your boys in Boston x

  • Great photos as always Mona. the summer holidays are flying by. I’d love 2 weeks of heat now before the kids go back to school

    • The holidays are flying by Lorna. The kids all got their hair cut today and uniform shopping tomorrow!
      I am glad they are so eager to return to school though – makes it a bitter sweet moment for me.
      Hope all goes well tonight for you xx

  • The kids are so cute, the food looks so good, your accomplisments are out of this world! Congratulations Mona.

    • Thanks Bernadine. They are very good well behaved kiddies. We are blessed to have them be the center of our world.
      Hope your summer is going well and you are enjoying a bit of vacation or down time from your job!

  • […] for reading and incase you missed the big news we are delighted to have been nominated in three categories for the Blog Awards Ireland 2012. We are delighted to be on the long list and […]

  • A perfect kaleidoscope. (I can’t believe the kids loved veal tartare! Impressive.)

    • I know. But they are sushi lovers so asking them to try raw meat was not too much of a stretch
      after eating and loving raw fish!

  • Mona – I love your food photos. I make a “zucchini” bread here in America, so I immediately thought about transforming my recipe into one for cupcakes just like your courgette cupcakes (I still call my veggies aubergines and courgettes instead of eggplant and zucchini, even after spending 24 years in America). Your children are adorable – thanks for all your lovely photos. Wishing you every success in the Irish Blog Awards – you truly deserve to be recognized for the outstanding job you do. Congratulations.

    • Hi Mairead,
      Thanks a million. We are bi-lingual here so they ask for courgettes and zucchini cupcakes at the same time!
      The kids are brats really – but occasionally they have moments of cuteness :0)

  • Haha! I don’t think you have writer’s block…you’ve got kid’s block!!
    I get that too here – as soon as I sit at the computer or pick up the phone, you can be sure some drama will happen that has to be sorted “right now”.
    Love the food pics…..I’m drooling!!
    And congrats on the nominations – I’m sure you’ll make the short list.

    • Thanks Ellie – I would be delighted to make it to the short list this year.
      ‘twould show I have made a bit of progress!
      You are right – dram central here – but fairly quiet right now – allowed to watch a movie because of the rain :0)
      I imagine by noon they hunger pangs will start to cause ructions.
      Thanks for the good wishes x

  • Hi Móna,

    We’ve recently launched the site, where our users can search among thousands of recipes from British and Irish food sites and blogs. In our site we have created the Top Food Blogs section, where you can also add your blog. And you don’t have to worry because everything on is free!

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  • Ah now I am so hungry after reading that. It was those photos! Can’t decide between savoury and sweet? How do you do it all Mona, I am exhausted after just virtual visiting. You are such a great Mum, lucky lucky kids:~)

    • You know – it is not easy. The kids, thankfully, play very well together so I feel lucky that they have
      worked out their differences … and behave like four normal siblings (i.e. killing each other most days).
      Honestly – I struggle with keeping my head above water like most parents I am sure.
      There are great days and there are days when I wonder ‘why’ I even ventured down the road of parenthood/fostering/college. But – and i guess this is what it is all about, right? – I have a very SOLID
      support system here with my hubby and my Mum. They keep me SANE and seemingly offer that unconditional love we all crave and need xx I do not comment often on your blog – but honestly never miss one post. Love your photos. Envy your talent!

  • It’s a good thing I can picture all the kids in my head..;) and I notice your pretty watermark is working fine too. Getting the hang of lightroom a bit? Love these dishes! But those poppers are making my mouth water. Love them!!

    • I am using it more often so I guess I am getting the hang of it – but need a lot of messing about with ‘bad’ photos (which I have plenty of!)
      to make it sing for me! The poppers are pretty delicious!

  • Hello Mona,
    I am so glad that I found your blog. I love your writing and I briefly browsed through your posts and I am sure that I will be back often to check your recipes. Beautiful blog with beautiful stories. Let’s stay connected.

    • Hi Vijitha,
      Thanks a million. Your own blog looks lovely too.
      Thanks for the visit.

  • […] weekend I was catching up on blog reading when I noticed that Mona Wise had mentioned courgette cupcakes in a recent post. I had all the ingredients in my cupboard to make […]

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About Móna
I am a native Galway girl that seems to be drawn to professions that rhyme with 'err'. Writer, Mother, Restauranteur, Wedding Planner, Dishwasher, Grass cutter, Cocktail maker. I suppose you could say I am a well rounded entrepreneur.
You can find me here
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