Well, it’s life back to normal around here; we drove nephew back to Mt. Pleasant yesterday; we left here at 12:02 and got home at 5:05 p.m. – really long day! I managed to finish knitting the bright green scarf for the homeless shelters – am going to hold off on scarf knitting for awhile. There might be an exception to that, though – when we were chatting, nephew made a comment about he’s never had anyone knit anything for him before (and he didn’t say it with a ‘hint-hint’ voice, either!). His school colors are maroon & gold so I’m thinking hat & scarf, but we’ll see. He is a really nice young man, great sense of humor – we had a great time for his visit. We took him for his first Thai food experience and he liked Pad Thai beef (no spice); the next day we went to our oldest son’s restaurant and tried smoked beef brisket; let’s just say if you’re into smoked meats it was probably great (I’m not so I had a Portobello mushroom cap sandwich). The place is very well known and popular; oldest came out to say Hi and said he was kind of short on time because they were preparing an ‘out’ party (outside of the restaurant) for 400 people and they only had about 1 1/2 hours before they had to deliver the food. I know he’s proud of his restaurant (you can tell); it’s just not our kind of food (but, of course, we didn’t say that to him!).
Today is open-ended, nothing particular planned – it feels funny not having a ton of things on my check list to get done before nephew gets here. I did my best to try to stuff him with food – sent him home with a loaf of banana nut bread & a huge box of cereal. His mom called while we were still driving, telling us he called her to say he had a great time (that’s good).
Since St. Patrick’s day is so close, here’s a few ethnic recipes for ya:
Sweet Potato/Parsnip Mash
1 lb. parsnips, peeled/ cut into pieces
2 lb. sweet potatoes, peeled/cut into
1/2 C. milk
1/4 C. brown sugar
2 T. butter
1/4 tsp. allspice
Combine parsnips & potatoes in a pot,
cover with water & bring to a boil.
Simmer until vegetables are tender &
parsnips have lost their bitterness.
Drain, return to pot over heat. Mash
with milk, brown sugar, butter, salt &
allspice. Serve hot. Serves 8
(recipe: russie-Marys Recipe Exchange)
Corned Beef & Cabbage Dinner
1 (3 lb) uncooked corned beef w/pickling
spices & juice
1 1/2 C. water, divided
1 C. beer
1 large head cabbage, quartered
4 large carrots, cut into 3″ chunks
6 potatoes, peeled, cut in half
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
In 6 qt. pressure cooker, place corned
beef with spices, 1 C. water & beer.
Secure lock & over high heat bring
to full pressure. Reduce heat just
enough to maintain pressure for 60
minutes. (remove from heat, wait for
pressure to drop). Remove lid; place
meat on cutting board & cover to keep
warm. Add remaining water & ingredients
to pressure cooker. Lock lid, over high
heat, bring to full pressure. Reduce heat
enough to maintain pressure 4 minutes;
release pressure. Remove lid; using a
slotted spoon, remove vegetables to
serving platter. Slice corned beef against
grain & serve with vegetables. Serves 4
Sweet & Sour Irish Cabbage
2 T. vegetable oil
2 T. white vinegar
1/4 C. sugar
1 tsp. caraway seed
1/4 C. water
4 C. (half medium head)
shredded green cabbage
In large skillet heat all
ingredients except cabbage
over medium heat 2 minutes,
stirring constantly. Add cabbage
& stir to coat. Reduce heat to low,
cover & simmer 20 minutes.
Irish Freckle Bread
a moist close-grained,
packed with fruit breakfast
1 C. brewed hot tea (Irish
breakfast tea is a good choice)
1 C. raisins, packed
1/2 C. currants, packed
1 C. pitted prunes, snipped
into small pieces
1 C. chopped dates
1 C. brown sugar, firmly packed
2 C. Irish-style wholemeal flour*
1 T. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 large egg
2 1/2 T. coarse sparkling
Pour hot tea over dried fruits in
medium bowl; set aside to cool to
lukewarm (about 1 hour).
Preheat oven 325 degrees F.
Lightly grease a 8″ X 2″ round cake
pan – if pan isn’t at least 2″ deep,
use a 9″ round pan. In medium bowl
stir together brown sugar, flour,baking
powder & salt. Add dried fruit & any
remaining liquid. Stir until thoroughly
combined; batter will be thick & stiff. Add
egg, mixing thoroughly. Spread mixture
into pan; sprinkle top evenly with coarse
sparking sugar. Bake 60-70 minutes until
a toothpick inserted into center comes out
moist, but without clinging crumbs. Remove
from oven, turn out of pan onto rack to cool.
Makes one loaf.
*You can also use King Arthur White Whole
Beer Cheese Soup with Potatoes
1 to 1 1/2 lb. potatoes
1/4 C. flour
3 C. chicken broth
12 oz. beer
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. thyme
1/2 tsp. celery salt
12 oz. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1 C. heavy cream
chives, chopped (garnish)
Scrub & dice potatoes; place in crockpot &
toss with flour. Add broth, beer & seasonings;
stir to combine & make sure flour is dissolved.
Cover & cook on High 3-4 hours or Low 6-8
hours. Add cream & cheese; stir to combine.
Continue heating another 15-30 minutes.
Serve sprinkled with chives, if desired.
1 lb. sauerkraut, rinsed/drained
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese
2 C. shredded Swiss cheese
1 (3 oz) pkg. corned beef, chopped-
or use deli corned beef
3 T. Thousand Island salad dressing
snack rye bread rounds or crackers,
or whole grain bread
Spray crockpot with nonstick spray.
Combine kraut, cream cheese, Swiss
cheese, corned beef & 1,000 Island
dressing in small 1 1/2 qt, crockpot.
Cover & cook on Low 2 hours until
cheese is melted. Stir to blend; serve
warm. Refrigerate leftovers. Makes
about 3 1/2 C.
Beef, Ale & Onion Stew
(crockpot or Dutch Oven)
2 lb. beef chuck, cut into 1 1/2″
1 C. flour
3 T. plus 1 T. olive oil
1 small onion, peeled/quartered
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 C. red wine
1 (12 oz) bottle dark ale*
1/2 tsp. dried thyme leaf
1 tsp. tomato paste
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. fresh black pepper
1/2 lb. pearl onions, peeled
(poster used frozen pearl onions,
14 oz. large button or cremini mushrooms
Cooked egg noodles or rice
Dry beef using paper towel; set aside. Place
flour in large bowl. Heat 3 T. olive oil in large
frying pan over low-medium heat. Dredge
one third of the beef cubes in flour, shaking
off excess; add to pan (add as much as will
fit without crowding). Brown meat on all
sides; place in 4 qt. crockpot or Dutch oven.
Dredge & brown remaining meat in batches,
add to cooker. Add onion, mustard, wine, ale,
thyme, tomato paste, bay leaf, salt/pepper to
pot. Cook on Low 6 hours (or in Dutch oven
over low heat, covered, 2 1/2 hours). At end
of cooking time add pearl onions. Trim stems &
cut mushrooms into quarters. In nonstick pan
heat 1 T. oil; add mushrooms & cook over low-
medium heat, shaking pan frequently, until
mushrooms begin to give off liquid & turn light
brown. Season with a pinch of kosher salt &
pepper; stir them into the stew. Cook a total
of 7 1/2 hours in crockpot or 3 1/2 hours
on stove top. Serve over cooked egg noodles
or rice. Serves 4-6
*Poster used Guinness Stout
(this one isn’t Irish, but I felt like I needed
to add a dessert recipe!)
Chocolate Pie Bars
2 C. flour
1 C. + 2 T. butter or margarine
1 egg yolk
4 T. water
6 egg whites
1 C. granulated sugar
5 egg yolks
1 tsp. vanilla
5 oz. chocolate, melted or
juice of 1 lemon
3/4 C. chopped walnuts or
Combine all ingredients for crust,
using your hands or food processor.
Wrap dough in foil & refrigerate 1/2 hour.
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Cut dough in half & roll to size of pan
(7″ X 12″). Grease & flour pan then
place rolled dough in pan. In large bowl
beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Add
gran. sugar & beat until well mixed. Mix in
egg yolks, one at a time. Add vanilla, chocolate
& lemon juice; mix slightly. Fold in ground nuts
& gently mix with a spoon or spatula (do not
use mixer for this step). Transfer filling to pan,
roll second half of dough & cover filling in pan.
Bake 30 minutes until top is pale golden. Sprinkle
top with powdered sugar before serving.
Our weather has been great for this
time of year: in the 50’s & sunny, which
was perfect for the long drive yesterday.
Gas prices are OK – $2.26/9 (would like
them lower, but that’s OK) – we only
used 1/4 tank yesterday!
Will probably go back to knitting on
‘the afghan project’ today; worked on
the Detroit Vet’s baby afghan a little
yesterday – was surprised at how
quickly I’d forgotten the pattern! UGH!
Guess that teaches me NOT to go too
long between projects, eh?
Hope you have a great, sunny day!