First of all, a big thank you to the many people who supported the St James’s Hospital target lung cancer event in Clontarf last Thursday. I appreciate all of the support for this cause that is close to my heart. The many sponsors were very generous

This is a great time for our beautiful bramley apples. This soup is an unusual combination with the apples, potatoes and blue cheese, but it works. It is a variation on a classic French onion soup and uses cider instead of white wine to deglaze the caramelised onions. Some people are nervous of blue cheese and you could make it without, but I think it is worth a try. Baked apples with medjool dates is a classic old-fashioned dessert and it is always worth keeping some dates in the cupboard. They are great for things like sticky toffee puddings. To vary the taste, you could use rum instead of the sauterne wine.