Strawberry & Cream Sponge Recipe🍓

ingredients

  • 75g Self Raising Flour
  • 3 eggs (separated and at room temperature)
  • 75g Golden Caster Sugar
  • Few drops of vanilla essence (optional)
  • Filling:
  • Fresh Strawberries, Sliced
  • 150ml Whipped Cream

method

  • Preheat oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6. Grease and base line two 18cm/7½” sandwich tins with greaseproof paper.
  • Place the three egg whites and salt in a large, clean, dry mixing bowl. Stiffly beat until mixture is dry looking in appearance.
  • Next add the sugar and beat for a few seconds, then add the egg yolks and beat until mixture thickens and the trail of the beaters is visible.
  • Finally, sieve in the flour and fold it into the thick mixture using a metal spoon. To fold, just cut through the mixture, over and over with the metal spoon until all the flour is blended. Never beat, as it will beat out all the air.
  • Fold in the vanilla essence if used, then transfer to the prepared tins and bake for about 15 minutes.
  • As soon as sponge is baked, transfer to a wire tray to cool.
  • When cold, spread one sponge with whipped cream and layer sliced strawberries on top. Then put second sponge on top to sandwich together. Dust with sieved icing sugar, if desired.

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Jo

https://www.odlums.ie/recipes/strawberry-cream-sponge/

Summer in Salthill🍦

Salthill is one of my favourite places to go for a walk. I went there yesterday and it was very busy as it was a sunny day. I went with one of my best friends Niamh after we went for brunch. We walked the prom and went on the ferris wheel that is beside Leisureland before buying a cool drink at Centra and sitting by the sea. The Salthill prom in County Galway is a lovely place for a walk, especially when the weather is good. ☀️

Niamh

Jo and Tara

Jo

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Bristol🇬🇧

Over a year ago, I visited Bristol with my Mom. My aunt won two flight tickets on the radio and gave them to us. Bristol is somewhere I would never think of going otherwise, so it was hard to know what to expect. We stayed for 3 nights in a lovely hotel close to the centre. One of the days we went to Bath, which was an hour bus journey. It was worth the trip to this pretty town. Highlights in Bath included The Roman Baths and a Fashion museum. There are lots of shops in Bristol and one of the main attractions was Clifton Suspension Bridge. We also did a river cruise.

Millenium Square
Millenium Square

Banksy street art
Jamaica Street (cool street art)
Bristol Shopping

Bristol Shopping
Bath
Bath



Comment below if you have ever visited Bristol or Bath and subscribe!✨💭

Jo

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Strawberry and Lemon Cheesecake Recipe🍓🍋

This recipe is by Irish blogger Niamh O’Sullivan.

  • 250g Digestive biscuits
  • 100g Butter (melted)
  • 600g Full fat soft cheese
  • 100g Icing sugar
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 250ml Double cream
  • Strawberries and lemon zest for decoration

Method

  • To make the base, butter or line a 23/24cm loose-bottomed tin with greaseproof paper.
  • Put the digestive biscuits in a plastic food bag and crush them all to crumbs using a rolling pin.
  • Transfer the crumbs to a bowl, then pour over the melted butter.
  • Mix the melted butter and crumbs thoroughly until crumbs are completely coated. Tip them into a prepared tin and press firmly down into the base to create an even layer. Chill in the fridge for 1 hour to set firmly.
  • Place the cream cheese and icing sugar in a bowl, then beat with the electric mixer until smooth. Tip in the lemon juice and double cream and continue beating until the mixture is completely combined.
  • Spoon the cream mixture onto the biscuit base, starting from the edges and working inwards, making sure there are no air bubbles. Smooth the top of the Cheesecake down with the back of a dessert spoon or spatula and leave to set in the fridge overnight.
  • Bring the Cheesecake to room temperature about 30 minutes before serving. Remove it from the tin and slip the cake onto a serving plate.
The Next Day

Fam feedback:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Jo

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May, 2020

Galway coffee and dining🍴☘️

There are so many places to eat in Galway city and county. It is no wonder Galway was awarded the European Capital of Culture 2020. Below are a list of coffee and food places I recommend in Galway city. This list is most definitely not exhaustive and I will update this blogpost regularly☕🍴

Coffee/Hot drinks: Espresso 44, Little Lane Coffee Company, Costa, Esquires Coffee, Javas Creperie, Starbucks (if you’re basic enough), Cupán Tae, Gourmet Tart Co, The Jungle Café, Renzo, Brazco Coffee Co., The Secret Garden, Mocha Beans, Poppy Seed, The Natural Way (Clarinbridge), Little Mammas, Espresso 44, Coco Café Salthill, Coffeewerk+Press, Little Collins CBD Dispensary, Éan Bakery&Restaurant, Jungle Café, An Tobar Nua, Kali Coffee Bar, Bar Italia Ciarlantini, Renzo – Gallery – Cafe, Ré Coffee + Design

Brunch: Dela, Ard Bia Nimmos, Mr. Waffle, Ground&Co, Javas Creperie, Hyde

Lunch: McCambridges, Pascal’s, Mr.Waffle, Mixgreens, Ground&Co, Café Temple, The Kitchen, The G Counter, Hyde, The Pasta Factory, The Gourmet Offensive, Urban grind, Café temple, The Creamery, Gourmet Food Parlour Salthill, The Old Barracks (Athenry)

Dinner: Park House, The Huntsmann Inn, Blake’s Brasserie on the corner, Martine’s, Papa Rich, Venice Italian, The Buddha Bar, Seven bar and restaurant, Éan Bakery&Restaurant


Jo

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loveyourself,relationships

Love yourself💖

Everyone experiences insecurities and self-esteem issues at some stage of their life. As I grow older, I am learning to love who I am, recognise my self worth and recognise and appreciate my good qualities. What’s not to love about Jo <333🥰🥰🥰

Whether you have been bullied, had body image issues, didn’t have many friends, had an unsupportive family, no hobbies or interests, didn’t talk about openly about your true feelings, had anxiety, parents have low self-esteem, didn’t perform well at school.. there are many reasons that can cause someone to have a low self-confidence. People who make you feel as if you are unworthy or unlovable are not the people you need in your life. Like attracts like. People who do not even like or respect themselves attract the same. People who respect themselves and respect others will attract the same. Don’t let someone get comfortable lying to you and disrespecting you

I am 23 now and would say I am pretty confident in myself. I believe you can be confident without being arrogant. I have dreams, ambitions, a good friend group and get on well with my family. I know I have lots of good qualities and that I am a good, loving person. I am smart, pretty, friendly and happy (most of the time). I find that spending more time at my hobbies and what I enjoy makes me a happier person. Not engaging or showing any interest with people who could not care less about my feelings is a weight off my shoulders. I am spending more time doing soul-nourishing activities such as art,photography, yoga, mindfulness and baking. More soul less ego🕊️ I find that I am singing a lot these days, a good indicator of my happiness and wellbeing. Inner peace is the new success 🕯️ There are many negatives in the world nowadays, such as racism, discrimination, health problems and more. Investing time doing things you love is a good way to build self-esteem, confidence and happiness. Spending time with friends often has a positive impact on one’s emotional health.

I have volunteered a lot throughout University and have found this is a good way to meet like-minded people,build self-assurance and team-building skills. Whether it is an hour a month or more, it makes me feel more productive and more valued. Family relationships can be strengthened by doing weekend activities. Problems with body image and bullying can vary from age to age and can fluctuate throughout one’s lifetime. The only way to deal with bullies is to not give them the reaction they want from you and to report it. Body image confidence can change from one day to the next, but if you focus on your good qualities rather than what you are insecure about you will realise you have a lot more good qualities than bad. Social media plays a big part in todays world regarding how people feel about their bodies. It is important to know that images are photoshopped and not real. Comparison is the thief of joy👀

Another part of learning to love yourself is knowing what people you should be keeping in your life. If someone does not value you or makes you questions your worth, why are they around? If someone is calling you names or picking on you, why would you have to put up with that? There are a gazillion people on this planet and knowing that you deserve to be treated with respect is an important step of learning to love yourself. Don’t let people use you, take advantage of you, label you, or determine your self-worth. You know yourself better than anyone. You know your past experiences, values and what you stand for. Don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise. Know your worth👑 and slay👠

Comment below what your thoughts are💭


Jo

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travel

Noël en Belgique et aux Les Pays-Bays 🇧🇪 🇳🇱

I have been to Belgium twice and I would recommend travelling there if you have never been before. One of my best friends is currently doing a Masters in Digital Media and Society at KU Leuven. She did her Erasmus in Belgium in third year of her B.Sc Commerce at Leuven. The first time I went to visit her in Belgium was in summer 2018. I stayed for three nights and we had a busy weekend with lots of walking and things to see and do. I was also in Belgium last Christmas and I would highly recommend seeing Brussels at Christmas time.

Brussels attractions include Grand Place, the Atomium and Manneken Pis. Belgian beer, frites and chocolat are a must! 🍺🍟🍫One of the days, we went to both Bruges and Ghent. (+20,000 steps walked😪). I personally prefer Bruges to Brussels city as it is prettier and more picturesque. In Ghent, we did a river cruise and did some sightseeing. Belgium has lovely architecture and has lots of nice cafés and restaurants. A lot of people speak English there and the people there are very good-looking, I must say.

Last Christmas, Niamh and I went to visit Alanna in Belgium. It was a wholesome weekend filled with yummy food and Christmas spirit. The Christmas markets at Brussels and Leuven were amazing. Everywhere was covered in colourful lights and the smell of sugar and Gluwhein whafted through the air. We went on a big ferris wheel and ice-skating and did some shopping. One of the days we got the train to Maastricht in the Netherlands. A return ticket was only 18 euros and it was definitely worth it! There were more Christmas markets in Maastricht, shopping and food🥨 Winter time is a great time of year to visit Belgium and the Netherlands. My flight to Belgium was after my last Christmas exam for my Masters so it was very exciting. The winter lights in Brussels are amazing at Christmas time. One evening we went to Leuven, where there were choral singers and a candle-lit ceremony. It was truly magical🥰💫

Gluhwein
Churros

Leuven the Christmas vibes
mes chéries


Jo

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blogpost

Weekend in London 🇬🇧

Friends from my M.Sc course and I were lucky enough to go to London before the lockdown. We stayed in London for three nights. We were really excited the weeks leading up to it and would not stop talking about it and planning what we were going to do. A month beforehand, we went for brunch in Java’s Creperie, Galway and made an itinerary. We booked a hostel for a good price and found some good deals on Ryanair too.

Friday 6th March

We arrived at Shannon airport bright and early. After going through security, we did not have long before boarding the plane. I was sitting at a window seat and bought a coffee on the plane. When we arrived, we got Stansted express to the city which we had booked before arriving. Firstly, we headed for our hostel and left our bags in the luggage room. My first impression of Rest Up hostel was that it seemed close to the city and had a good student atmosphere. It was a bright, sunny day which was good. After leaving our bags in the lockers, we walked towards the London Eye. We didn’t have to queue for long as we already had tickets booked. There were stunning views of the city from the top. I had been on it before with my family when I was younger, but it was worth going on again. After the London Eye, we went for food. I had a nice grilled chicken and rice salad. Then, we did a river cruise. We boarded the boat with the London Eye river cruise company. The boat trip was approximately an hour long. I enjoy river cruises in new cities as you learn a lot of history and facts. I recommend doing a river cruise on the first or second day in a new city, so you have an idea of your surroundings. In the afternoon, we headed back to the hostel and checked in. The 5 of us had our own room, which was quite small. We did not mind though as we were only there to sleep. The bathroom was down the hall and not very clean, but we were playing a small price so could not complain.

Saturday, 7th March

We got up and went downstairs for breakfast. Unfortunately, there was no kettle, fridge or sink facilities. There was a café in the hostel however and a breakfast if you wanted to pay. There was a large seating area which we could use so we went to Tesco express across the road and bought some breakfast supplies. I bought porridge oats, peanut butter, bananas and a Costa coffee (good choice Jo). We enjoyed our breakfast, went back to the room for a couple of minutes and were on our way. First, we went to the Tower of London and Historic Royal palaces. We got a guided tour which was very good. The tour took about an hour and the tourguide was dressed as a beefeater. The crown jewels were amazing but we could not take pictures. It was nice to walk around the grounds and learn about the history. In the afternoon we got a light lunch at a nearby café. I had tomato soup. Then, we did the Tower bridge expedition. We didn’t have to queue for long. We were able to walk across the tower and look down at the river and cars underneath. I had never been there before. There were great views of the whole city from the top. Afterwards, we went to a small food market located nearby that was full of foods from all over the world. In the evening, Christina and I had a lovely salad at a Covent Garden cafe. It was a cute, dainty and aesthetically pleasing. The others had eaten earlier so went wandering about. Afterwards, we went to see the spectacular Lion King at the Lyceum Theatre. We bought tickets earlier in the day at a ticket booth in Leicester square. The show was 10/10. The location was a huge, stunning, fancy theatre. It was an unforgettable night. Christina and I bought sharing packs of Cadburys chocolate buttons beforehand, snacks are key. The show was definitely a highlight of the weekend. Afterwards we walked to Piccadilly Circus. It would almost remind you of Times Square, lots of bright lights, advertisements and stores. At around 11pm we went back to the hostel.

Sunday, 8th March.

In the morning, we went to Buckingham Palace to see the changing of the guards which was due to start at 11am. We were a little early so walked to St James’ Park, saw 10 Downing street and Parliament Square beforehand. The changing of the guards was worth seeing and it was a lovely sunny day. The marching band was fantastic and well-rehearsed. After that, we walked through Green Park and Buckingham Palace Garden to EL&N Café where we had yummy croissants and coffee. When we left the café, it had started to rain so we decided to get the bus to One New Change Shopping Centre. This is located near St. Pauls Cathedral and there are good views from the top of the shopping centre. We got snacks and lunch in M&S and sat down for a while. In the evening, we had dinner in an Indian restaurant called Saravanaa Bhavan, located near Trafalgar Square. We all ordered a dish called Dosa, which was served with coconut chutney, mint and sambar. It was the first time I had this Indian dish and it was very spicy, but tasty. We walked along the River Thames at night and the views of the city lit up at night were amazing.

Monday, 9th March

After our breakfast we got the bus to Camden Market. This was around 20 minutes away from the hostel and was worth going to. It was a marked packed of wonderful food stalls, jewellery and homeware items. Everywhere was so colourful and the town was very busy. We had lunch here in the afternoon, I got a falafel wrap. We went to Covent Garden on the same day. I preferred the ambience of Covent Garden although it was also mainly food stalls and people selling jewellery and bits and bobs. Covent Garden is a lovely part of London city that I would recommend seeing. At around 4pm we began to make our way to the airport. We had our bags with us so did not have to go back to the hostel. Several undergrounds and trains later, we got the Bus Eireann bus departing Shannon airport at 10pm to Galway.

It was a great weekend with great people 💞

Follow my instagram for snaps 📸


Jo

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