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As a child I started a love affair with strawberries. Here are some of my favourite recipes using the queen of fruit.

When asked which foods I loved as a child, I don't have to think twice: roast chicken, mashed potatoes and peas. And strawberries. Loads of them.

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The peach trees here at Ballymaloe stand against the gorgeous south-facing wall of the cookery school. The elegant trees are well sheltered with screens in the wintertime, as the Irish climate is not as forgiving as that which they're used to.
 
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Celebrity chef, Rachel Allen is travelling to India for the first time this week (Monday, June 16th to Saturday, June 21st) to help aid agency, GOAL shine a light on the plight of some of the people that the organisation is working with across Kolkata.

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Nothing beats a good barbecue. Check out these delicious recipes for a alfresco feast...
 
Cooking with fire is the most primal and pure way of cooking — meat, especially. The smoke and flames create that unmistakeable taste of real barbecue. It is a flavour I wish I could enjoy more often, but, when the rain stops long enough for a good barbecue, I'll savour the occasion and every smoky mouthful.
 
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With an abundance of citrus fruits now in our stores, Rachel Allen suggests adding zest to sweet and savoury dishes with oranges.

Every year, I make great big batches of marmalade from the glorious glut of oranges that this time of year provides. Right now, citrus trees are at their peak, the oranges at their sweetest and most orange!

It's also the time when a glass of orange juice tastes the best, freshly squeezed that morning – ideally, by my husband. Oranges make such divine juice, with none of the acid sharpness of grapefruits or lemons.

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This dish is full of invigorating flavours that simply explode in the mouth. 
 
I always remember my first taste of ceviche.
 
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Rachel Allen

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Puff pastry is easy to do and it can take home cooking to another level so it is worth taking the time to learn how to make it.
 
Why does puff pastry strike fear in the hearts of otherwise accomplished cooks? They'll happily whip up some shortcrust pastry or a few loaves of yeast bread, but claim they've neither the skill nor the time for puff pastry. Well, I think they have both! It isn't too difficult and doesn't take nearly as much time as you'd think. The dramatic, delicious results are well worth the effort.
 
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Not surprisingly the decline in home cooking closely mirrors the rise in obesity – and it’s also undermined our social skills.

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My friend, Jenny, is allergic to all members of the allium family and, while there are many worse afflictions, I don't envy her having this particular intolerance.
 
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The Kerrygold Ballymaloe Literary Festival launch was held in O'Connell's Restaurant in Donnybrook, last Wednesday 30th April at 6.30pm. Tom O'Connell and his professional wait team greeted the list of over 70 guests with delicious platters and wine.

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