Not long after I started dating my now husband he took me out for dinner to a Mexican restaurant. I’d never eaten Mexican food before and was amazed by the flavours and tastes. Since then we regularly eat fajitas, nachos or enchiladas, my favourite being fajitas.

We used to buy all our Mexican condiments from the supermarket until one day a few years ago we decided to make our own guacamole. Once we did this we realised we could never go back to the shop bought stuff. The taste of home-made guacamole is unbelievable. So fresh and packed with flavour.

And all from just four ingredients:

3-4 garlic cloves,

Handful of coriander,

Juice of 1-2 limes,

2 avocados.


 The ingredients. 

To make:

Peel and mash the avocados to the consistency you like. Some people prefer it very smooth where as we like it to have some decent chunks in it.

The only thing we find is that you can be waiting for the avocados to ripen. Days of them not being ready, then a small window of being “just right”. Two tips I know of how to check if it’s ripe is to pick off the little stalk at the base. If it’s green underneath it should be ripe and ready to eat. Another way is to gently press the base of the avocado. If it gives slightly then it’s ready. One that feels soft all over is either overripe or bruised so don’t buy it.


Mashed avocado.

Crush the garlic and add to the avocado.

Chop the coriander leaves but not too fine and add to the mix. Finely chop the stalks and use too as they hold lots of flavour.

Finally add the juice of 1-2 limes. This is where you need to be tasting it to make sure it’s  just right for your tastes.

In relation to the garlic and lime juice it’s a very personal thing as to the amount you use. Once you make it you will soon learn the quantities you like. We sometimes add some fresh chilli to it too but I prefer its cooling complexities against the spicy flavours from the rest of the meal.



All ingredients prepared.  


The finished product.

And there you have it, fresh full-on flavoured, home-made guacamole that will enhance even the simplest meal or snack.

Give it a try next time instead of just buying the tasteless shop bought version.

All  comments welcomed and don’t forget to follow me on Facebook and Twitter.


My first quilt.

When we found out our second child would be a girl I wanted to make her something special that she could have forever. I decided on making her a patchwork quilt.

This would be a totally new venture for me as I’d never used a sewing machine before. Therefore I needed some guidance. One weekend when I was back in my home town of  Buncrana Co. Donegal, I sat in one of the beginner classes at Gaye was extremely helpful and showed me the basics to patchwork. She has a beautiful shop stocked with shelves of lovely fabrics. I was hooked. Before I left she cut material to size for me to start my quilt.

Since then I have learnt how to cut my own materials which need to be accurate to achieve identical squares.


I decided on half square triangles which I made into basic spinning wheels. These are made by placing two squares right side together. A line is drawn on the diagonal and the pieces pinned either side of it. You then sew quarter inch seams either side of this line. All seams must be a quarter inch so that everything matches up when put together. Chain sewing is the quickest way to do this. This means you continue to sew one piece after another without breaking the thread. Once you’ve finished them all you simply cut the thread between each one. It saves lots of time and thread rather than stopping and starting each piece individually.

Then you cut along the line you drew diagonally and when you open the triangles up you have a square made with two triangles of different material. Press them flat with an iron and removed the small point of material at the end of the sewn line. Once I returned home any spare minute was taken up with sewing.

I first made up all the squares and decided on the final layout.


They were then stitched together into rows first then all rows attached to each other.

A week or so later I had the top of the quilt finished.

IMAG0330I then added the wadding and backing and quilted it with “stitch in the ditch” technique. This was nerve racking as I was so worried I would ruin it and all my work on the quilt top would be wasted. However after a few late nights it was finished.



I then had to bind the quilt. I cut the binding and stitched it on. However I wasn’t happy with the finish I was getting so I called in help from a friend back home who very kindly helped me out the next time I was up there.

(Thanks Rachel


 Once it was on I hand stitched the back of the binding and presto it was fully completed. I am very proud of what I achieved. I couldn’t even set up my sewing machine when I started the project and ended up with a beautiful handmade quilt that I hope will be passed down the family.


This is our daughter Isabelle for whom the quilt was made.

See you soon

Thank you for looking at my page. I’m still working on the layout and design of my blog, which will be up and running soon.

Until then please take a look at my sister page where you can follow our allotment and self sufficiency progress.

See you all soon!!