Eclipse🌕

There are 2 solar eclipses and 2 lunar eclipses in the year 2021.

DateEclipse
May 26thLunar Eclipse
June 10thSolar Eclipse
November 18thLunar Eclipse
December 4thSolar Eclipse

Two celestial events occur tomorrow- a total lunar eclipse and a supermoon. The Moon will appear red and will be the first ‘blood moon’ since 2019. The Earth will pass between the Sun and the Moon, casting a shadow across the moon’s surface and making it appear a deep red colour. The entire eclipse will be visible to you if you’re in Eastern Australia and partially visible in many parts of Asia and America. Unfortunately it will not be visible if you’re in Ireland as the Moon is below the horizon during the eclipse.

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During the total lunar eclipse, the Earth comes between the sun and the moon, blocking the sun’s rays from directly reaching the Moon. During a lunar eclipse, the Earth’s shadow covers the moon. All eclipses happen during a full moon. When the moon is full, it means the sun, Earth, and moon are in alignment. However, there is not an eclipse during every full moon as the moon’s orbit is not perfectly matched up with the Earth.

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In contrast, the solar eclipse takes place when the moon comes between the Earth and the sun to cast a shadow on the Earth blocking the rays of the Sun. A solar eclipse always happen at a new Moon and only when the Sun, Earth and Moon are exactly lined up. A total solar eclipse is the most dramatic. The light from the sun gets blocked by the moon and for a few minutes, the day turns quickly into night.

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This May’s full moon is 2021’s biggest and brightest of the year and this lunar eclipse is expected to last approximately 15 minutes.

Photo of moon taken 26th May at 23:00hrs, Ireland

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jo

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Colin Cookie Dough🐛

What would a birthday be without Colin the Caterpillar?  This delicious cookie dough is easy to prepare and perfect for parties, picnics and indulgent snacks. 

ingredients

  • 65g plain flour
  • 55g butter
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 20g golden syrup
  • 15g cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 40g white chocolate chunks
  • 40g milk chocolate chunks
  • 40g chocolate brownie mini bites, cut into sixths 
  • M&S jazzie sprinkles
  • Mini Colin faces

method

  • Put the flour in a microwaveable bowl and heat on high for 60 seconds, stirring every 15 seconds to avoid burning, until an internal temperature of 75°C/167°F is achieved. Allow to cool. (This step is important as there’s a risk of using raw flour, heating kills any potential bacteria.)
  • In a large bowl, cream together the butter, caster sugar and golden syrup until light and fluffy.
  • Sift in the cocoa powder and cooled flour, then whisk until combined. Add the milk and continue to whisk until smooth.The mixture should now resemble cookie dough.
  • Stir in milk and white chocolate chunks and ¼ of a jar of jazzie sprinkles.
  • Gently fold in the brownie pieces, being careful not to overmix as they’ll break down.
  • Scoop the dough into a bowl and decorate with mini Colin faces before serving. Chill in the fridge if you prefer a firmer cookie dough.


Jo

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https://www.marksandspencer.com/ie/c/food/not-just-any-food/mands-brands/colin-the-caterpillar

Baked Vanilla Cheesecake Recipe🍰

This was my first time to ever make a baked cheesecake and my family were delighted when I served them this slice of heaven after dinner today.

ingredients

  • 150 g Caster Sugar
  • 3 large Eggs
  • 1 Lemon Zest
  • 300 ml SuperValu Sour Cream
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 150 g SuperValu Rich Tea Biscuits
  • 85g Butter
  • 280 g Cream Cheese X 3
  • 1 portion Raspberry Coulis
  • 1 portion Fresh Berries

method

  • Remove the cream cheese and sour cream from the fridge a couple of hours before you begin. Preheat the oven to 160°C/gas mark 3. Line the base of a 23cm spring-form tin with non-stick baking paper.
  • To make the base, blend the biscuits in a food processor or crush them finely in a ziplock bag with a rolling pin. Mix with the melted butter, then press firmly into the base of the lined tin and refrigerate for 10 minutes. 
  • Using an electric whisk, blend the cream cheese and caster sugar until smooth.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well each time, then the sour cream, finely grated lemon zest and vanilla until everything is just mixed, being careful not to overbeat.
  • Pour the mixture over the biscuit base, then place the tin on a baking tray and bake for 50 to 60 minutes. The filling should be set but with a little wobble in the centre. Turn the oven off and use a wooden spoon to keep the oven door ajar to allow the temperature to drop slowly. Leave the cake in the oven for several hours, until completely cold, to avoid cracks appearing on the surface. 
  • Run the blade of a knife around the edge of the tin to loosen the cheesecake before releasing the catch. This will also help avoid cracks. 
  • Refrigerate the cheesecake for at least 6 hours or preferably overnight to firm up the texture. Serve with fresh berries and raspberry coulis. I also dusted the cheesecake with icing sugar.


Jo

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https://supervalu.ie/real-food/recipes/baked-vanilla-cheesecake?ref=meal_planner

Jack Devlin- Summer🎸

Listen here:

Spotify:

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Youtube:

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Jack Devlin holds the attention of any crowd, with a magnetic stage presence and undeniable energetic talent. He is a young singer songwriter with dynamic original music played both acoustically and with a full band. Alongside regularly playing in bars across Ireland, Jack
headlines original gigs and spots at festivals, and accrues loyal and lively fans, often also supporting high class Irish and international acts, such as David Keenan and Hermitage Green. His music is reminiscent of Paolo Nutini, Jeff Buckley, Kings of Leon and Ben Howard among others; but with a raw, full voice that dips and soars, Jack creates an individually distinctive sound.
Influences from folk, rock and indie genres are intertwined with a low-fi twist on many original tracks, resulting in a varied and recognisably unique musical catalogue. Working with other local artists on their tracks, and founding the original music night ‘Evening Noise,’ Jack is
quickly becoming a respected influence within the musical community. Recently cherry picking some of the most gripping and addictive tracks from his catalogue of over 40 originalsongs, Jack has been working with producers Michael Mormeca and Phil Dalton to release his first EP in 2020.

‘Summer’
This song’s meaning is how life carries you through the years, how things within life evolve, drafting moments and memories from past summers and admiring the future in those moments of euphoria. Growing individually reflecting on moments of joy and even anxiety of the future as continues to evolve for us as individuals this song also has a feeling of relief and an uplift In darker times, knowing there’s always a better day ahead.

Recording Process
As I was writing this song, I was hanging out with my little brother and he was chatting in the background when I was recording the voice note. We listened back a few weeks later. I really liked the vibe it gave so I took some recordings of our conversation and put it into the song.
I am an avid Bike lover, so I suggested the idea of having a bike chain noise to add to the groove of the song Micheal took the idea and made some magic with it, it’s just subtle but I find it really cool, the ending of the song we actually made in the studio and it was a off the whim first take was cool to have that little bit of magic happen in the studio.

Summer has a fresh, atmospheric sound that is very creative and original. Jack is a talented singer with a unique voice. – Jo.


Jo

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Mark Duggan- Promenade Firework Show🎸

For Release 4th December, 2020, Ireland
Listen here:

Spotify:

Apple Music: https://music.apple.com/ie/album/promenade-firework-show-single/1538754938

Soundcloud:

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🎆

Waterford based singer/songwriter Mark Duggan is set to release a new single “Promenade Firework Show.” The indie-rock tune features layered guitars, a retro drum machine, and a nostalgic, 80’s rock feel.

Mark says, “My friends and I would always go to the firework show at the end of the summer in Tramore as kids. The song is a fictional story about a couple who do the same, and try to use the evening to rekindle their relationship, to shed themselves of the baggage they picked up along the way, start off clean and get on the right track.”

Mark was messing around with drum machine loops, and liked the combination of a static drum loop with a rough and ready tele-guitar sound. The drums were looped consistently while the guitar would go in and out with a looser feeling. He was inspired by Bruce Springsteen’s 1983 home demos, which would have used the same method.

Mark says, “A lot of things in the song work in pairs, to reflect the couple that the story is about. The lead guitar is doubled, with different effects on each, as is the rhythm guitar and keyboard; everything has its related pair. It’s meant to be a metaphor for relationships: sometimes two people work perfectly together in tangent, and sometimes they don’t.” The song was recorded and produced in Mark’s home studio.

Mark is a singer/songwriter from Waterford. His music combines folk and indie with electronic elements, complete with clever lyricism and thoughtful songwriting. He is inspired by the likes of Bob Dylan, Bruce Sprinsteen, and Joni Mitchel, and has been playing and writing music since he was young. He started releasing music in 2018 with the single “Hey Blue.” In 2019 he released “Long Way Home,” twelve continuous songs with no breaks that tells the story of a character who’s been away for work for a while driving home late at night, trying to get there as quickly as possible. His most recent release was the acoustic single “As The Sun Hits The Day Down” in February 2020.

This song is upbeat, lighthearted evokes feelings of joy and nostalgia. Promenade Firework Show is carefree and has a summertime ambience. -Jo


In association with Fluttertone

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Jo

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Peach Melba Smoothie Recipe🍑

This fresh, sweet smoothie serves 2 and it turned out delicious (:

ingredients

  • 410g can peach halves
  • 100g frozen raspberry, plus a few for garnish
  • 100ml orange juice
  • 150ml fresh custard

method

  • Drain and rinse peaches and place in a place in a blender with raspberries.
  • Add orange juice and fresh custard and whizz together.

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https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/peach-melba-smoothie

Lemon Curd and Blueberry Butterfly Fairy Cakes🍋🦋

I enjoyed making these fairy cakes. For a slightly healthier option, natural yoghurt or crème fraîche may be used instead of cream if preferred. Blueberries may be substituted with any other fruit. Chopped kiwi, grapes or other berries may work well too.

ingredients

  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 100g Caster Sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 lemon (finely grated zest only)
  • 100g Self-Raising Flour
  • 100g Unsalted Butter (softened)

To decorate

  • 150ml Fresh Cream
  • 125g Fresh Curd
  • 36 Blueberries
  • 1 tbsp Icing Sugar for dusting (optional)

method

  • Preheat the oven to 180°/gas mark 4. Line a 12-hole bun tin or fairy cake tin with fairy cake-sized paper cases.
  • Put all the ingredients for the fairy cakes in a large bowl and beat until smooth and well combined.
  • Divide the batter evenly between the paper cases. Bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes until lightly golden, risen and cooked through. A skewer should come out clean from the centre. Remove from the tin and leave to cool on a wire rack. Leave to cool.
  • Once cool, use a sharp knife to slice the top off each fairy cake to give a disc. Cut this in half and set the pieces aside. Spread an even amount of lemon curd on top of each fairy cake.
  • Whip the cream to soft peaks, then spoon a small dollop in the centre of each one.
  • Arrange two of the reserved fairy cake halves sitting upright on top of each one to resemble butterfly wings. Put three blueberries down the centre of each one. Dust with a little icing sugar.

fam feedback:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Jo

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https://supervalu.ie/real-food/recipes/simple-lemon-curd-and-blueberry-butterfly-fairy-cakes?ref=meal_planner

Coconut Milk Smoothie Recipe🥥

This recipe is by myrecipes and serves 4. This smoothie has a thick consistency due to the yoghurt and I prefer this recipe to the Strawberry-Coconut Smoothie Recipe I made recently.

ingredients

  • 1 10-ounce bag frozen berries
  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 1 cup plain yoghurt
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons honey

method

  • In a blender, puree the berries, bananas, yoghurt, coconut milk and honey. Serve.
🥥

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https://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/coconut-milk-smoothie

https://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/coconut-milk-smoothie

Tallinn🇪🇪

Last summer, I visited Estonia and was there for three nights. I had never been there before so it was hard to know what to expect. We went to Tallinn, the capital. Tallinn is very pretty and unique. There is a town with lots of crafts and markets, there is also the Old Town. The architecture is very pretty and bright. The city reminded me of Prague in a way. The weather was good for the four days and we did lots of walking and sightseeing. We considered going to Helsinki for a daytrip as it is only across the sea but we didn’t- maybe next time. Below are some highlights, check out my Instagram for more ⭐

Alexander Nevsky Cathedral
Kadriorg Palace
Baati Jamma Turg
Telliskvi Creative City
Olde Hansa Medieval Restaurant

Comment below if you enjoyed this blogpost or have ever been to Estonia and subscribe! ✨💭


Jo

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Little Britain (TV series)- To Helsinki?

Pineapple & Banana Smoothie Recipe🍍🍌

I enjoyed this refreshing smoothie with my breakfast this morning while sitting outside in the sun.

4 ice cubes

¼ fresh pineapple-peeled, cored and cubed

1 large banana, cut into chunks

1 cup pineapple or apple juice (I used apple juice)

method

  • Place ice cubes, pineapple, banana and apple juice in a blender and process until smooth and thick.

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https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/138159/pineapple-and-banana-smoothie/