Next week I am heading back to Ireland for a month and boy am I super excited! (8 more sleeps!!). It’s been almost 2 years since I was home and I am bursting with excitement to reconnect and catch up with all my mates back in the ‘aul sod’. I’ve been incredibly fortunate in the past few years that I have been able to travel around the globe a bit both for personal holidays, but also for commercial photography work assignments. As a former somewhat nervous flyer, I now love the whole experience and think there’s nothing better than packing a bag (albeit in my case, packing everything bar the kitchen sink), the cameras, and heading off on a jet plane.
I decided to book my trip home to coincide with the launch of my second book; What Katie ate at the weekend, in the UK, Ireland, U.S. and Canada. Release dates are: April 9th in UK/Ireland and April 28th in US and Canada.
With my first book I was in Australia when it went on sale globally so I decided this time round I would like to be back on home turf to see it go on sale and attend some publicity stuff, but more on that later...
The second book has been really well received which I am chuffed with, as it was a slightly tough one for me to do. Most authors will attest your second book is always the hardest. I thought it would be nice to include a few recipes from my second book in this post which were inspired by my travels over the past while. This tends to be where I get most of my inspiration for my recipes, especially for my second book. The recipes are ones which were inspired by locations closest to my heart, including NYC, Italy and probably the place which most made a lasting impression with me; Japan.
For years people told me that due to being a Graphic Designer I "would LOVE Tokyo and Japan!" so when I finally got there I spent most of my time pinching myself I was actually there ~ oh and I have abiding memories of getting totally lost in an enormous camera store in Ginza where I could’t find my way out for about 20 minutes and as there wasn’t any English signs, I spoke no Japanese other than ’Sorry I don’t speak Japanese’ (!) it was all a bit like an episode of the Twilight zone, which I thought I was going to be stuck in for the rest of my life… Finally to much relief, I found my way out...
I was really fortunate at the time I went to Japan I had a load of frequent flyer points accumulated from travelling with work to treat myself to a business class ticket with Cathay Pacific. It was my first time flying with these guys and having always heard about them being the No. 1 airline etc etc, I thought I’d give them a whirl. To be honest I was blown away at their service and remember waxing lyrical/rabbiting on after way too many gin and tonics, to the gorgeous flight attendant "Just how damn good the food was and how I was never going to fly with anyone else EVER again.!” There was something really stylish about the way they served the food and just the overall presentation of the meal and drinks service was really notable. I think I remember spending most of my time during the meal service just photographing the food. Something I never even do when I am out in restaurants.
Anyway, that aside, one of the recipes I am going to include here is my "Soba Noodles with Prawns and Pickled Cucumber”, I remember having a starter on the plane which was similar and it fuelled me to come up with this recipe… who would have thought, a recipe in a cookbook inspired by airline food…?! There are great sweet-and-sour flavours going on in this dish. Don’t be nervous about pickling your own cucumber – it’s a cinch and once you try it, you’ll be hooked. This is a superb summery lunch recipe that tastes great both hot or cold. Nori flakes are available from selected health food stores and Asian food stores.
Soba Noodles with Prawns and Pickled Cucumber ~ Recipe here
The other recipes are two of my favourites from the book; Buffalo-Inspired Wings with Blue Cheese Dipping Sauce, On my first visit to New York in 1997, I visited a bar in Greenwich Village called Down the Hatch, which was (and still is) famous for its ‘Atomic Wings’ – deep-fried chicken wings smothered in a spicy ‘buffalo’ sauce (said to originate from the city of Buffalo). I ate buckets of them, and have been hooked ever since – so much so that I’ve spent years experimenting in the kitchen, trying to perfect my own version of the sauce.
Buffalo-Inspired Wings with Blue Cheese Dipping Sauce ~ Recipe here
And finally, a recipe from one of my most adored countries on the planet; Italy... This is a really flavoursome bread inspired by my trip over there in July 2013: give it a generous seasoning of sea salt before cooking to bring out the flavours. Serve it with a good-quality extra virgin olive oil or top-quality balsamic vinegar to dip into.
Caramelised Onion, fennel and Tomato Focaccia ~ Recipe here
As mentioned above I will be doing some publicity work when I am overseas and will be in the U.S. for a week. I am thrilled to announce I will be doing a really exciting event with one of my most favourite U.S. stores; Terrain. I will have more info on that in the coming days for everyone in the NYC/Pennsylvania area. I will also have info on a meet and greet in Dublin for readers of the blog and fans of the books back home.
Until then I hope you like the recipes I have included below.
P.S. Some links mentioned in the above post.
Also... Cathay Pacific are currently running a really exciting competition when I thought WKA readers might be interested in... They are offering an unforgettable trip to Hong Kong from 5-8 May 2015 (wish I could enter myself but alas I can't), including:
Return Premium Economy tickets for two adults Sydney to Hong Kong.
3 nights accommodation at The Peninsula Hotel Hong Kong in a Grand Deluxe Harbour View room, daily Traditional Peninsula Breakfast in The Lobby and round trip Rolls Royce airport transfers.
Peninsula Academy "Dim Sum Cooking Class": learn to make Chinese dim sum with our dim sum chef in the kitchen of our signature Cantonese restaurant, Spring Moon.
Culinary Journey: experience all our 4 signature restaurants in 1 night, starting from The Lobby, Spring Moon, then going to our French fine-dining restaurant Gaddi´s and enjoy dessert at Felic, our modern European restaurant designed by renowned designer Philippe Starck and enjoys the stunning Victoria Harbour view from the 28/F"
How to enter:
To enter the competition show me your most recent adventure by uploading it onto your Instagram and/or Facebook account and simply adding the hashtag #lifewelltravelled as well as me #katieqdwhatkatieate.
Terms & Conditions
1. Entries must be made via Instagram or the participating bloggers Facebook page to qualify. Participating bloggers are: Zanita (@zanitazanita), A Table for Two (@billy.law), D’Marge (@dmarge), Harper & Harley (@harperandharley) and What Katie Ate (#whatkatieate). 2. Entries close 11.59pm AEST 7th April 2015. 3. One entry per person, open to Australian residents only. 4. This giveaway is a game of skill. 5. Entry photos must answer the question: “What moment most encapsulates Life Well travelled to you? The judge’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. 7. Entries must identify one of the bloggers above using their Instagram handle [e.g. @BLOGGER] and must include #lifewelltravelled 9. Entries from all blogs will be placed together in the same pool and one winner chosen, 10. The winner will be announced via Instagram (@Zanitazanita) and the Cathay Pacific Airways Facebook page. Once announced, winners must provide an email address to receive further details. 11. Cathay Pacific will be in contact after winner has been drawn with details of redeeming your prize. 12. If the winner does not reply within 7 days the prize will be forfeited and awarded to the entry judged to be the next best. 13. This competition is not administered, endorsed or sponsored by Facebook or Instagram.
For full terms and conditions, please go to http://www.cathaypacific.com/cx/en_AU/latest-offers/other-offers/other-offers/life-well-travelled-competition-2015.html