About Me

16 Aug 2009


In a former life, I spent my days working in broadcast production while living in Minneapolis, New York, and Los Angeles. I now reside with my husband, Richard, and our son, Geoffrey on our centuries-old family farm in the southwest of Ireland.

Farmette is a diary of my adventures in starting over from scratch, embarking on a second life where nearly everything that made up my former identity was replaced with a new set of circumstances complete with a pair of wellies and a whole lot of muck to trek through.

It is a blog about leaving behind a career, a city, a nation and a slew of family and friends when I fell in love with a man, a son, a farm, a country and its traditions….and perhaps most prolific: finding my way around an Irish kitchen and becoming a bonafide cook in a world where traditional trumps quick or convenient.

My first book, The Farmette Cookbook, Recipes & Adventures from My Life on an Irish Farm was published by RoostBooks and distributed by Penguin/Random House in the USA, Ireland & UK, March 2016. It is available for order here and here and here.

Thank you for visiting.


Farmette has been featured in Saveur Magazine, Food and Wine Magazine, The New York Times Diner’s Journal (here and here as well) Food52,  Spenser Magazine, Apartment Therapy, The Huffington Post, Image Interiors & Living, The Irish Times, The Sunday Independent, The Sunday Times UK, The James Beard Foundation BlogThe Irish TimesThe Foodie BugleThe KitchnSweet PaulDean & DeLuca Gourmet Food Blog, Wayfare Magazine, The Los Angeles Times Daily DishRTE Radio 1’s Countrywide, Foodie Crush Magazine, RTE Radio 1’s Marian Finucane Show, The Irish Examiner, The Irish Daily Mail, The John Murray Show on RTE Radio 1, Newstalk with Sean Moncreiff, Irish Tatler magazine, Easy Food Magazine, and RTE 2FM’s Dave Fanning Show.

If you fancy, you can read my weekly column, “Tales of A Modern Farmette”  in Irish Country Living/Irish Farmer’s Journal each Thursday or my quarterly piece in Irish Country Magazine. I also contribute to Condé Nast Traveler, sharing travel  + food stories when I can break away from the farm for a spell.  Follow on Twitter @ModernFarmette visit my Facebook page, Pinterest boards or Instagram feed. Alternatively, if you wish to make contact directly, email me at imenmcdonnell@gmail.com or fill out the form below and I will be happy to get back to you as soon as I can.

Imen x


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50 Responses to “About Me”

  1. Faaiz Rajut says:

    In any case, I do particularly make the most of your blog and recalling my own time spent living in Ireland. I trust that you will keep on updating the world as often as possible about your Irish experiences. They are grand, similar to your wonderful pictures. I trust you will look at my blog and read about a portion of recollections, a considerable lot of which happen in Dublin!


  2. Sandy says:

    I bought The Farmette Cookbook as I was so excited to see those lovely scones on the front cover. I have combed the book for the recipe and have had no luck….Please advise….Thank you.

    • imen says:

      Hi there! I am sorry, that recipe was not in the book — BUT it is essentially adding currants to the cream scone recipe. Hope you give it a try! x

  3. paddy hirsch says:

    I’ve been working with your Diviner’s Tea Brack recipe and having a lot of problems with it. I wondered if you might be able to help.
    My first issue is that all my fruit falls to the bottom of the loaf. Do I need more flour, do you think? Perhaps I should use bread flour, instead of all-purpose.
    Second, I’m getting hardly any rise out of the loaf. Maybe a quarter inch. Certainly nothing like the rise you have in the illustration. Should I use more raising agent? Baking soda as well as baking powder, maybe?
    Third, the outside of the loaf is very dark, and yet the inside is still very moist. A couple of times I’ve hauled the thing out because it’s burned, but the inside is barely cooked.
    In short, I’m not getting the kind of loaf that I’ve a) remembered from what I was a kid and b) expected from the illustration in the book.
    Could you ever help me, please?



    • imen says:

      Hi Paddy, I am not sure why it’s not working, it was tested several times. As far as the fruit, trying tossing it in a little of the flour first before adding to complete mix. Try that and see if it helps overall. I am so sorry it’s not perfect because it is actually really and truly divine! Let me know how you get on. Thank you, Imen x

      • Patrick Hirsch says:

        Thanks Imen. I actually ended up doubling the flour and that worked well. I had lots of time to practise, because of all the self quarantining. Silver linings!

  4. Jane Taaffe says:

    HI Imen
    I hope you are well. I am a TV producer in Dublin ( Kite Entertainment) and am currently casting for a new TV series called ‘Love in the Countryside’ ( it’s the Irish version of the UK series of the same name). I am contacting you ( randomly )as you seem like the type of person who may know some eligible male or female farmers who may want to find love. It’s a lovely series and not your usual ‘dating’ show. I love your blog and had to stop going down rabbit-holes there when I came across it as I am supposed to be working ! What a story! Anyway if you had five minutes it would be great to have a chat or if you had an email I could send you a short blurb about the show. We’d love to find somebody a bit older who may have kids AND cows to feed but is thinking – you know what – it’s time I put myself first – and was up for a bit of craic!. Sure nothing ventured nothing gained. Thanks a mil for your time Imen . Best wishes , Jane Taaffe. TV producer. 087 6683720

  5. Good morning,
    I am doing a book on Irish produce where 13 chefs Anna Haugh, Vineet Bhatia, Alfredo Russo, Grant MacPherson, James Knight Pacheco, Daniel Negreira, Luigi Vespero, John Buenaventura, Reif Othman, Alfonso Crescenzo, Saradhi Dakara, Shane Born and Steven Smalley their take on Irish beef, lamb, salmon, oysters and crab.
    I would honored if Imen Mc Donnell would pen a few lines as the First Words for THOUGHT PROCESS – A CULINARY MIX.
    Appreciate your kind reply and Happy Holidays.
    Sincere Regards
    Flavel Monteiro

  6. Loving your take on Irish food, Imen. A wonderful mix of colour and humility! Do you have a newsletter or similar? If so, sign us up, puh-lease!

    • Zane Waddell says:

      I wanted my ex lover back and a friend of mine told me to contact robinsonbuckler @hotmail. com i did as i was told after i contacted him >>> he told me he will bring my lover backhe brought him back after 3 days, i am so so so happy

  7. Craig Martin says:

    Hi, my wife loves your writing. She gives me reports. We are from Pennsylvania and she loves to cook tasty dishes as well. I am the administrator of the Comeragh Wilderness Camp. We would welcome your visit to the camp. We post updates on Facebook. We also operate Comeragh Stores to help support the camp.

  8. Wendy says:

    I enjoy your website. However, when I clicked links in your ‘traditional Irish skills’ section, a page comes comes up for how to grow marijuana. I clicked a few & it happened every time. Either you’ve been hacked, or I have, but I thought I should let you know.

  9. Elisha Forde says:

    Hi Imen

    My name is Elisha and I am one of the Producers on The Restaurant this year. We are in the process of reaching out to food blogger and the general public who are big foodies. I would love to talk to you about the possibility of coming along to one of our shows. If this is something you might be interested you can call me 0863099815 or via the email above.

    Thank you

  10. […] drink warm tea, while wearing fuzzy slippers and comfy pants while you do. Farmette, maintained byImen McDonnell, is a dream in digital typeface and imagery. Her styling and photography are breathtaking, and her […]

  11. […] drink warm tea, while wearing fuzzy slippers and comfy pants while you do. Farmette, maintained byImen McDonnell, is a dream in digital typeface and imagery. Her styling and photography are breathtaking, and her […]

  12. Dianna Shimizu says:

    I lived in Ireland for a year, back in 1970, and met my (now ex-) husband there. Although I’ve traveled to over 70 countries, Ireland will always be my favorite and closest to my heart. Our newspaper here in Spokane, Washington had a St Patrick’s Day contest which I entered. We had to tell about our favorite Irish food and I wrote about Potato Farls. I know they’re technically from Northern Ireland, but I was addicted to them during the year I lived in both Belfast and Dublin. I won one of the six cookbooks they were giving away and was amazed when I received your Farmette Cookbook. I sat down and read it from cover to cover and it was the most enjoyable time I’ve had for quite some time. Admittedly, I’m a cookbook-aholic (with will over 8000 in my collection), but I will treasure your cookbook and will now also be a loyal follower on your blog. Thank you so much!

  13. […] country life and used the experience as an outlet for her creativity. Writing a famous blog called Farmette, raising a handsome son and doing loads of cooking a baking along the […]

  14. […] titled, “I Married An Irish Farmer: what one American city girl did for love.)   Imen lives across the pond from me, far and away, on a plot of Irish farmland, trading in her American […]

  15. […] Super-healthy, super-cute oat millet chia and banana flapjacks by American Ireland-based country cook farmette.ie […]

  16. Karen says:

    What is it about those Irish boys? I am prepping at the moment to move myself and family to my husband’s home to be with his family in Donegal. I was looking for fellow ex-pat’s blogs to get a sense of what I was getting myself into. 🙂 I look forward to trying some of your recipes!

  17. Jen says:

    One of my dreams is to ride a bike through the Irish countryside (but maybe only for a few miles… then a charming Irish man would drive me around for a couple of hours). Lovely blog!

  18. Catherine says:

    Hi Imen!
    I found your blog via bloglovin’, and I’m excited to look around. I’m currently trying to combine your “two lives” here in the US…I love your photos!

  19. Carly says:

    Hi Imen! I just stumbled across your blog via Mimi from Manger and I’m hooked! I lived in Galway City for a semester in college so I’ve got a soft spot for the Irish 🙂 Now I find myself living in Germany which is a different type of soft spot as I came over on the love boat so I know what it’s like to leave home for someone you love. Thanks for writing!

  20. Audra says:

    I stumbled upon your website a few weeks ago and it feels like home. I also married an Irishman, but dragged him to an island on the NW corner of the states (from Manhattan) to start our own little farmette. Your posts feel comfortingly nostalgic and remind me to make soda bread more often (instead of salmonberry jam with home started sourdough). I only wish I has some home spun butter ! I see cows on the horizon.

    Cheers, Audra

  21. Caroline Sanderson says:

    I have been following your blog since my son told me about it. You have a wonderful way of seeing life (yours) and expressing yourself so that I can feel like I experience it too. I also grew up in Mpls but have been living in Milwaukee for 40 some years. While I love to cook and eat wholesome things, I will never get the expertise you are acquiring; and I envy you at least a little bit. Thank you for sharing Irish life with someone like me, who can only wish to visit Ireland. The best I have done so far is attend Milwaukee’s Irish-Fest for it’s 4 day run each August, where I get my soul rejuvenated with Irish music

    • imen says:

      I think your son is the brewer? Thanks for your nice message. Perhaps I will meet you this summer. We love Milwaukee!

  22. Hi Imen, great blog. Tried to comment on the evaporated milk for the 3 milk cake but could not find a way to do so – just wanted to say thanks for sharing that, and next time I make Kulfi I will give making my own – for Connemara Kulfi see http://connemaracroft.blogspot.ie/2012/08/connemara-kulfi-or-qulfi-cill-dara.html – all the best – Simon, irishkitchengarden.com

  23. […] Cufon.replace('h1',{fontFamily:'lanprin bold'});if(window!=top)top.location.href=location.href; by: Imen McDonnellI will never forget my first St. Patrick’s Day experience after moving to Ireland. Everything in […]

  24. Mary Donegan says:

    Just found your blog on “Irish Abroad website. I love it. I left Ireland as a young married woman with three children waaaay back in the sixties. l now live on the East coast of the USA. Love your chat, sense of humor, recipies and photos of my home country. Will definetly be a follower.

  25. Debora Buckley says:

    Hello. I am from St. Paul Minnesota and I also married a farmer. I now live in County Kerry. My husband heard you on the radio.

    • Anne Bennett Brosnan says:

      Me too, I didn’t travel so far (from Cork) but I didn’t see a cow until I married my Kerry farmer! It’s great to hear from other ‘fish out of water’! No matter how incredible and lovely a life it is; it doesn’t come without challenges! Loving this blog girls!

  26. […] raise awareness and respect for the fishing industry in Ireland etc – Demos / tutored tastings from Imen McDonnell, Brock Lewin (Badger and Dodo coffee) and Cormac O’Dwyer (Dungarvan Brewing Company) – Ella […]

  27. Mary Kate Feighan says:

    Hello Imen… I’m an American who married an Irish Lobsterman and am living in Co. Sligo and heard you on RTE 1 this morning and couldn’t wait to read your blog. Well done! Perhaps you already have this cookbook; but, if not, I thought you might enjoy it. http://www.prannie.com/ It’s an Irish Seaweed Cookbook. If you’re ever in Sligo you’re very welcome. xo mikie

  28. hi
    do you have anyone leave comments for your posts??? I haven’t seen a spot to leave one – just wondering

  29. Eloise says:

    Hello Imen!
    In my excitement to praise you for your wonderful blog, I inadvertently sent a message instead of a post!
    But, I do very much enjoy your blog and remembering my own time spent living in Ireland. I hope that you will continue to keep the world posted about your Irish adventures. They are marvelous, as are your beautiful pictures.
    I hope you will check out my blog and read about some of my own memories, many of which take place in Dublin!

    All the best,

  30. Lisa McGee says:

    Imen – congratulations on being featured in the Irish Examiner today – I’m a fellow American – moved to Nenagh in July 2007 and have been blogging since April 2009 – must be something about living in Ireland! Your images are absolutely beautiful – I’ve heard about your blog but never actually found my way to it. Now I’m hooked! I’ll be back!

  31. Claire says:

    Thanks so much for your comment. I grew up in a very small town just two hours north of Mpls. My love for that state can’t be contained 🙂 Very excited to explore all of your blog — your stories and recipes are amazing and lovely!


  32. Maria Rossiter says:

    Very entertaining reading, lovely receipes and photos. Great to hear about Irish life from an American point of view!

  33. LozD says:

    Hey, stumbled upon this website & blog from listening to someone at a party friday last talk about your interview with Dave Fanning, I came home, googled you & find it.
    Love it. Very interesting & very funny.
    Must read some of your recipes.

  34. Kellebelle says:

    Just discovered your blog! What a great read – love all the receipes too! 🙂

  35. josie says:

    i just discovered your blog… well not just, a few weeks ago but i didn’t have the balls to comment til now. so anyway…. hi!!
    i will definitely keep coming back, you have such a funny and fab blog!

  36. kimme says:

    You have a fabulous, funny blog! I love to pop-in and read your posts.
    I know I will always find something interesting here. 🙂


  37. pienmash says:

    As an obvious lover of Irish related film we thought we’d give you our latest news …

    British Feature Fiction Film ‘BILLY & LILLY GO TO NEW YORK’ will have its World Première at the WATERFORD FILM FESTIVAL. The film is made by critically acclaimed maverick director Bill Maloney (LUNATIC) The film is shot in a realistic documentary style but it is a spoof. Bill playing himself (a cockney –speaking Irishman) goes to New York to represent his nominated feature film at a NY Film Festival but he decides to bypass the festival glitz in favour of shooting a documentary about the homeless people of NY. Their efforts lead to a tragic close.

    It would be great to see you at the Festival if you can make it – or tell your friends who live nearby?

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