Irish Recipes

Obviously, we’ve had a tough time getting posts up! It’s not for lack of desire but because both of us have been stretched thin lately. However, we couldn’t let St. Patrick’s Day pass without at least linking back to a few of our favorite Irish recipes from past years. I’m thinking a few of these are going to make it on my table tomorrow – a day late but still great! ūüôā

 Irish Soda Bread by Heather

Corned Beef & Cabbage
Homemade Horseradish Sauce
Guinness Bread
Irish Raisin Cake

Irish Soda Bread

Irish Tea Cake

Irish Colcannon

Pear & Ginger Crumble
Farmhouse Vegetable Soup

Hope you enjoy! Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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Vegetable Egg Scramble

I’m just not great at making omelets – they stress me out and never turn out the way I want. So, my solution is to make a veggie egg scramble. It is easy, gourmet, and delicious. I actually prefer it because the flavors so beautiful marry. Also, I’m kind of weird about cheese in my eggs – I just don’t love it even though cheese is one of my top favorite foods. So, my solution is to sprinkle the cheese on top of the eggs as an optional addition. This is a dish that you can totally personalize which is especially nice for choosing the ingredients that would be most appreciated by the person or people you are cooking for! And again, you can easily add fresh herbs as a garnich or put them in for the last few minutes of cooking for a lovely, fresh flavor.


VEGETABLE EGG SCRAMBLE
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2 eggs per person
vegetables (I used onion, multi-colored peppers, and fresh baby spinach), chopped small
breakfast meat, optional (I sued sausage)
cheese, optional
butter
salt & pepper

Beat the eggs until light in a bowl. Add a little milk and salt and pepper to taste (you can always add more but you definitely want to cook them with some seasoning).

Melt a little butter in a skillet on medium to high. Add the chopped onion and peppers and saute until almost tender. Add the spinach (I do not chop this) and cook until wilted and veggies are tender. Reduce heat to medium. Pour in the eggs and scramble Рfully mixing in the vegetables. Cook until eggs are fully cooked (add herbs right before finished if desired). Serve garnished with cheese if desired.

Rustic Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Here is the second of my Valentine’s Day breakfast-in-bed recipes. These are a delicious and unexpected addition to a brunch or a wonderful side dish for any meal! We like these more than traditional breakfast potatoes. They are rustic because we scrubbed them and left the skin on but you can feel free to peel them if you prefer. The recipe can be adapted for however many people you are serving.¬†You could also very easily add fresh herbs if you have them.

RUSTIC ROASTED SWEET POTATOES
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1 sweet potato per person (unless they are really big)
olive oil
butter, melted
seasoned salt
fresh ground pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Thoroughly scrub the sweet potatoes and then dice them and put the in a bowl. Combine olive oil and butter and pour on the cut potatoes and toss to thoroughly coat (I used about 4 Tb. total for 4 large potatoes). Season generously with seasoned salt and lightly with fresh ground pepper.

Pour potatoes in a jelly roll pan or stone (jelly roll pans have about a 1 inch side). Bake for 15-25 minutes until tender and starting to carmelize/brown (I actually put mine back in the oven after the picture because I realized I wanted them done a little more). Stir every 5-10 minutes.

Season’s Greetings

We wish you a very Merry Christmas!

May you have a wonderful day full of great food, beautiful memories,
and sweet family and friends!

Alaina, Andrew, & boys

Stephanie & Jeremy

We are so thankful for the chance to share recipes and photos with you. Thank you for making us excited to blog.

We look forward to continuing to bring you great food in 2012!

We will sneak back in this next week with a few new recipes, so stay tuned!

Overnight Coffee Cake

In case you still haven’t set your Christmas breakfast menu, let me offer this delicious coffee cake! My favorite part is that you make it the night before and refrigerate it overnight before baking. In the morning you can stick it in the oven and hit snooze a couple more times or send your significant other down to stick it in while you stay asleep – I would, of course, never¬† do that (hehehe).¬†This recipe is delicious and you are a total rockstar for effortlessly serving a warm cake.

I like to pair this with egg casserole which can also be made the night before AND they can be baked at the same time. WIN!¬†Now you will actually need to accept an award¬†for your fabulous, organized, awesome breakfast – I promise I’ll keep the easiness a secret from your admirers… ūüôā The awesome thing about this egg casserole is that you can customize it for your taste – you can add veggies, herbs, different meats, or various kinds of cheese – it is an all-time¬†family favorite!

You will thank your self for getting it done the night before and you will love the results! I serve with coffee and tea and with fruit juice and/or fruit salad. Since it’s the holidays, sometimes we will sneak in some of our favorite(!) eggnog from the local creamery or a wonderful champagne cocktail or sparkling wine. Delish!

OVERNIGHT COFFEE CAKE
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3/4 c. (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
1 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. yogurt (or sour cream)
3/4 c. packed brown sugar
1/2 c. chopped pecans
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
3 tablespoons milk

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add vanilla. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon,¬†nutmeg and salt; add to the creamed mixture alternately with¬†yogurt. Pour into a greased 9×13 in. baking dish.

In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, pecans and cinnamon; sprinkle over coffee cake. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees F for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for a few minutes. Combine confectioners’ sugar and milk; drizzle over warm coffee cake.

Gingerbread Cookies

We enjoyed having friends over to decorate giant gingerbread people Рcandy, icing, sprinkles, the works! It was much less work than houses for our age group.

So I was in search of the perfect gingerbread cookie recipe and I think this one is pretty close! The recipe I adapted it from received great reviews but after reading them and reading the recipe, I adjusted the spices. So, this is my version of gingerbread.

I rolled these out but I’m also thinking you could form them into balls, dip the bottom of a cup in sugar and flatten the cookies before baking. If you do the latter, I think the refrigeration time would matter less.

These make your house smell wonderful and they are truly delicious – not too sweet. It was so fun making memories with my kids and their friends as they decorated their people. Their cookies were be-decked with candy – too cute! My examples are not nearly as cute. ūüôā

GINGERBREAD COOKIES
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3 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground allspice
3/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp/ salt
1/4 tsp. freshly milled black pepper
2 stick unsalted butter, softened
1/4 c. vegetable shortening, at room temperature
1/2 c. packed light brown sugar
2/3 c. unsulfured molasses
1 large egg

Position the racks in the top and bottom thirds of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.

Combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, cloves, salt and pepper into a medium bowl.  Set aside.

In a large mixer, beat the butter and vegetable shortening until well-combined, about 1 minute.  Add the brown sugar and beat until the mixture is light in texture and color, about 2 minutes. Beat in the molasses and egg.  Gradually mix in the flour mixture to make a stiff dough.  Divide the dough into two thick disks and wrap each disk in plastic wrap.  Refrigerate until chilled Рat least 3 hours.  (The dough can be prepared up to 2 days ahead.)

To roll out the cookies, work with one disk at a time, keeping the other disk refrigerated.¬† Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let stand at room temperature until just warm enough to roll out without cracking, about 10 minutes. (If the dough has been chilled for longer than 3 hours, it may need a few more minutes.) Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface and sprinkle the top of the dough with flour.¬† Roll out the dough 1/8 inch thick, being sure that the dough isn’t sticking to the work surface (run a long meal spatula or knife under the dough occasionally just to be sure, and dust the surface with more flour, if needed).¬† For softer cookies, roll out slightly thicker (about 1/4 inch or a little less).¬† Using cookie cutters (or these templates – I printed the large boy and girl¬†on cardstock and cut around them), cut out the cookies and transfer to nonstick cookie sheets, placing the cookies 1 inch apart.¬† Gently knead the scraps together and form into another disk.¬† Wrap and chill for 5 minutes before rolling if it is sticking and then cut out more cookies.

Bake until the edges of the cookies are set and crisp, 10 to 12 minutes.  Cool on the sheets for 2 minutes, then transfer to wire cake racks to cool completely.  Decorate as desired.  (The cookies can be prepared up to 1 week ahead, stored in airtight containers at room temperature.) Makes about 3 dozen depending on size of the cookies.

Champagne Cranberry Cocktail

These lovely cocktails will be making an appearance at our Christmas Brunch. They are beautiful and festive. If you like them sweeter (as my husband prefers), I think you could add a sugar cube in the bottom. These are quick and easy and lovely!

Oh and you can easily serve them to all of your guests by substituting sparkling white grape juice!

CRANBERRY CHAMPAGNE COCKTAIL
adapted slightly from Food Network
Print This Recipe

1-ounce cranberry juice (sweetened)
1 wedge lime
Chilled Champagne or sparkling white grape juice
Cranberries (frozen)

In a Champagne flute add cranberry juice and a squeeze of lime. Top off the glass with Champagne or sparkling white grape juice. Garnish with 3 or 4 cranberries or sparkling white grape juice. Makes 1 cocktail.

Cocoa Chocolate Chip Meringues

I’m going to squeeze in one more chocolate treat recipe for you. Made with whipped egg whites and sugar, meringues are much lower in fat than the average Christmas cookie or candy. This particular recipe is flavored with cocoa powder and chocolate chips and the chocolate flavor certainly shines through. These aren’t overly sweet, making them a nice change. And, as an added bonus, they are naturally gluten-free.

My husband and I both enjoyed these crispy little cookies. I know they’ll become a regular holiday treat in our house.

COCOA CHOCOLATE CHIP MERINGUES
(from Gluten-Free Christmas Cookies by Ellen Brown)
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3 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
pinch of salt
3/4 c. granulated sugar
1/3 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 c. miniature chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 275¬įF. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Place egg whites in a grease-free mixing bowl and beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until frothy. Add the cream of tartar and salt, raise the speed to high, and beat until soft peaks form. Add sugar, 1 Tablespoon at a time, and continue to beat until stiff peaks form and meringue is glossy. Beat in cocoa and vanilla. Gently fold in chocolate chips.

Scoop meringue into either a pastry bag fitted with a large star tip, or into a ziploc bag with the corner cut off. Pipe the meringue through bag of choice by heaping 1-Tablespoon portions onto prepared baking sheets. Bake for 30 minutes. Turn off the oven, and allow meringues to stay in the oven for an additional 30 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Makes 3 to 4 dozen depending on size.

Peanut Butter Pretzel Truffles

Have you been on pinterest? It’s this amazing site that is really like an online scrapbook of ideas. It makes you feel completely inadequate and empowered all at the same time. There are so many categories like cool crafts, awesome looking recipes, fashion ideas, and even fitness plans. Anyway this is actually not a commercial for pinterest but it is where I found this recipe. They were called Chubby Hubby Truffles (after some rather well known ice cream) or Peanut Butter Pretzel Truffles.

These are quick, very easy, and they look really nice. They are a wonderful combination of salt and sweet and the creamy peanut butter is a nice texture with the crunch of the pretzels. In full disclosure – I was not thrilled with how big I accidentally made them. These are really good!

Peanut Butter-Pretzel Truffles
adapted from Brown Eyed Baker

Makes About 18-24 truffles

1¬Ĺ c. pretzel pieces
¬Ĺ c. creamy peanut butter (I used Skippy)
1 Tb. unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 Tb. light brown sugar
3 Tb. powdered sugar
1 1/2 c.  milk or semisweet chocolate chips
1 Tb. vegetable shortening

Put the pretzel pieces into a resealable plastic bag and crush into very small bits – I used my food processor.

In a small bowl, combine the peanut butter, butter, brown sugar and salt. Stir until all of the ingredients are completely blended and smooth. Add the pretzel bits to the peanut butter mixture and mix thoroughly. Add the powdered sugar and mix until completely combined.

Line a small baking sheet or plate with wax paper. Using a small cookie scoop, or about 2 teaspoons worth of peanut butter mixture, gently roll  into a ball (I put a little butter on my hand to reduce sticking and had to wash my hands after every 5 or so). Place the ball on the wax paper-lined cookie sheet and repeat with the remaining peanut butter mixture. Place the baking sheet into the refrigerator and chill for at least 30 minutes.

When ready to dip the truffles, microwave the chocolate chips and vegetable shortening together in a small bowl at 50% power in 30-second increments, stirring after each, until completely melted and smooth.

Dip each peanut butter-pretzel ball into the melted chocolate and use a fork or spoon to roll it around, ensuring that it is completely coated with chocolate. Let any extra chocolate drip off and place back on the wax paper-lined sheet. Repeat with all of the peanut butter-pretzel balls.

Return the baking sheet to the refrigerator and again chill for at least 30 minutes. Garnish with a drizzle of melted peanut butter (melt the peanut butter for 30 seconds in the microwave and use a fork to drizzle) and crushed pretzels, if desired. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

White Chocolate Almond Truffles

Continuing in our week of chocolate, I thought I’d share a white chocolate recipe. These are rich, quite sweet¬†little treats, that don’t taste strongly of almonds or white chocolate. The flavor seemed almost caramelly to me. But not even exactly that either. ūüôā Still, these would make a unique addition to your holiday treat repertoire.

I did find the rolling of these to be incredibly tedious. Truffle rolling is always messy, but somehow these just didn’t want to be rolled.¬†See my note below the recipe¬†with a possible alternative finish to these candies.

WHITE CHOCOLATE ALMOND TRUFFLES

1 pound white chocolate
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup natural almond butter
1/2 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1 cup blanched almonds

Break chocolate into pieces no larger than a lima bean. Either pulse chocolate in a food processor fitted with a steel blade or chop by hand.

Heat cream, almond butter, sugar, and salt in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently, until mixture comes to a simmer. Stir in chocolate. Remove the pan from the heat, cover the pan, and allow chocolate to melt for 5 minutes. Whisk mixture until smooth, and transfer to a 9 x 9-inch baking pan. Chill mixture for at least 4 hours, or overnight.

While mixture chills, preheat the oven to 350¬įF. Place almonds on a baking sheet, and toast for 5 to 7 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove the pan from the oven, and in a food processor fitted with a steel blade, pulse to finely chop the almonds. Or chop finely by hand. Set aside.

Place chopped almonds in a bowl. Using a spoon, scoop out 2 teaspoons mixture, and gently form it into a ball. Roll balls in chopped almonds, and then refrigerate for 30 minutes or until firm.

Cook’s Note: If I make them again, I think I might grease my square pan, sprinkle in a layer of finely chopped, toasted almonds, pour in and spread the hot truffle mixture, and then sprinkle the top with the remaining chopped toasted almonds. Then, instead of little truffle balls, you could cut truffle squares.

Variation: Substitute natural peanut butter and dark chocolate to make chocolate peanut butter truffles.