What better thing to make on St. Patrick’s Day then the absolute BEST Irish Bread! This moist and buttery bread is hands down the best I have ever tasted, and super easy to make. You will definitely be sharing the luck of the Irish with anyone you make this for 🍀
3 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 egg lightly beaten
2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup raisins
Sift all dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.
** I make buttermilk by adding 1 tbsp. of lemon juice to the 2 cups of milk and letting it sit until it begins to curdle.
Combine the beaten egg with the buttermilk.
Add egg and buttermilk mixture to dry ingredients and mix only until just moistened.
Stir in the melted butter.
Fold in raisins. For this batch I didn’t add that many raisins because my family doesn’t like them and picks them out. When I make the bread for others I add more.
Bake at 325 degrees in a greased loaf pan for 45-50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the bread comes out clean.
Cool on a wire rack. The bread tastes even better when it has been wrapped in aluminum foil for several hours.
Making pasta is simple, but making it by hand without a pasta maker is quite a workout. Wow. This was my first time making pasta, and even though I just purchased a pasta maker and can’t wait to try it, I wanted to try it the old fashioned way first. All I can say is those little Italian grandmothers must be strong enough to lift a car!
To make pasta all you need are four ingredients; flour, eggs, salt, and water.
Mix 2 cups of flour with a tsp. of salt in a bowl, or on a board, and make a little well in the center. Add two eggs into the well.
Start mixing the eggs into the flour with a fork by stirring only in the center and gradually taking more flour from the sides into the center.
Add small amounts of water until it becomes a manageable dough. Use your hands while it is in the bowl to do this.
Then put the dough onto a board and start kneading.
Knead the dough for quite some time until it really starts to look and feel like the right consistency. I think I kneaded for about 10 minutes.
Cover the dough lightly with plastic wrap and let it rest for about 30 minutes.
Now if your arms aren’t already tired from kneading, they are going to get tired now. I cut the dough into three parts because I was rolling on a cutting board and only had so much room.
Roll the pasta out as thin as you can get it. If your dough is springing back when you roll it, it needs to rest more. As you can see, I wasn’t able to get it all that thin. I did my best.
I decided to gently roll the flattened dough, and cut it with a knife into thin strips. I know it isn’t perfect, but not bad for my first try!
I then let the pasta dry on cooling racks for about an hour until I was ready to cook it.
And that was it! Homemade pasta! I added some of my homemade pesto and it was delicious!
Every now and again when I am in the North End of Boston I will treat myself to an arancini. If you are not familiar with arancini, it is an Italian stuffed rice ball coated in bread crumbs and fried. It is always served with a little bit of red sauce. The most common types of arancini are spinach and cheese, and hamburger and peas. My favorite kind is spinach and cheese, so of course that is the kind I make.
I am not going to lie, these are very time consuming and take hours from start to finish. They are completely worth it and these taste like you ordered them in a restaurant. I use my own homemade sauce with them, and you can find my sauce recipe by following this link:
One thing that makes these arancini so delicious is you cook the rice like risotto, so you need to keep adding, and stirring, etc. The creaminess of the rice is well worth the extra effort.
Cook white wine, salt, and rice over medium heat for 5-10 minutes while stirring often.
Once you get the rice started, heat the chicken broth in a pan on low/medium heat and keep it heated until you need to use it.
After the 5-10 minutes, add 2 cups of the heated chicken broth and stir into the rice. Cook for 10 minutes.
Then add the remaining 2 cups of broth, stir into the rice and cook for another 10 minutes while stirring often. Turn off the heat.
Add the 2 cups of chopped spinach, grated cheese, butter, and pepper to taste. Stir well.
Spread the rice mixture on to a parchment lined cookie sheet and refrigerate until the rice is cool. This while take some time.
Once the rice is cool, cut it into squares. Put either a cube of mozzarella, or a little shredded mozzarella in the center of each square and use your hands to form the rice into a ball around the cheese.
Use three separate bowls for the flour, beaten eggs, and bread crumbs.
Roll the rice ball into the flour, then in the eggs, then in the bread crumbs.
Drop the balls into a pan of oil that is heated to 350 degrees. Use a slotted spoon to keep moving them around in the oil and remove to a paper towel lined plate once they are brown.
If you are looking to make a little healthy homemade snack, try making hummus. I made a batch today for my family, and it was delicious! A little too delicious as I had a hard time stopping myself from eating it. This recipe makes a lot, which was great because I was able to freeze half of it for another time. If you would rather make less, just divide the recipe in half.
I also decided to make my own pita chips, which was very easy. Today I used eight grain pita pockets to be a little healthier and that recipe follows the hummus recipe.
Here is what you need to make hummus:
2 – 15oz. cans of chick peas (save the liquid)
1/2 cup tahini
Juice of two lemons
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. cumin
The best way to make a creamy hummus is to peel the skin off of the chicken peas, which I just didn’t feel like doing. You can tell the difference because the hummus is a little chunkier with the skins, but still just as delicious.
Make sure to keep the liquid from the chick peas when you drain them as you will need to add some if your hummus is too thick.
Today I realized my Cumin had expired quite some time ago so I decided to go without. It was delicious as is, so if you don’t have any Cumin, don’t fret.
One of these days I must accept the fact that I can’t find my food processor and buy another one. Hummus was not easy to make in my little chopper. It took multiple batches and much longer than necessary.
If you have a food processor, just add all of the ingredients and really let it mix until it is smooth. If the hummus is too thick, which it most likely will be, add a little bit of the liquid from the chick peas until you get it to the consistency you desire.
If you would also like to make your own pita chips you only need pita bread, olive oil, and some salt. As I mentioned I used eight grain pita bread, but you can use whichever kind of pita bread you prefer.
To make pita chips, cut the bread into eight triangular pieces.
Then separate the triangles into two pieces and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
Brush each piece with a little olive oil and sprinkle with salt. You can also season with other spices if you would like.
Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes or until crispy.
Oatmeal cookies are one of my favorite types of cookies. I love them with raisins, but since my family would probably throw them at me if they contained raisins, I started making them with chocolate chips. Years ago an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie recipe was on the Quaker Oats container and I haven’t seen it there since, thankfully I kept it because they are just the best cookies.
Whenever I make these cookies I add whatever I’m in the mood for, or what I have in the house. Sometimes I go with Craisins with white and milk chocolate chips, sometimes coconut and dark chocolate chips, and sometimes everything together. Today I went with coconut, milk chocolate chips, and dark chocolate chunks. Yum, yum, yum. And you can add as much chocolate or coconut as you want.
I also like that this recipe makes a lot of cookies, that way no one notices when you eat 12 of them while baking. Well, maybe not 12, but close 😬
1 3/4 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup (2 sticks) of butter, softened
1 1/4 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
2 tbsp. milk
2 1/2 cups oats
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
3/4 cup milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup coconut
Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl and set aside.
Cream softened butter.
Add sugars to butter and cream together well.
Add eggs, vanilla, and milk and beat well.
Add flour mixture and combine well. Then add oats, coconut, and chocolate chips.
I was definitely using my arm muscles today! 💪🏻
I like to use a cookie scoop, but if you do not have one then drop by tablespoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake for 9-10 minutes at 375 degrees until the centers are pretty much set. Let them cool for 1 minute on the cookie sheet before transferring to the wire rack.
Even though you won’t want to, make sure to share with family and friends!
Fresh basil, cheese, olive oil, and garlic, those ingredients just scream yummy. Pesto is such an easy thing to make, and the freshness of it just can not be beat. As an added bonus, your house will smell so good!
A little pesto goes a long way on pasta, and the leftovers can easily be frozen for another time.
4 oz. of fresh basil
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 grated parmesan cheese
2 tsp. minced garlic
pepper to taste
You need quite a bit of basil, so make sure to buy, or pick, enough. I only use the leaves and not the stems.
Since I was using a mini chopper to combine all of the ingredients, I had to make the pesto in batches. I would combine about 1/4 of the ingredients, and then add more.
Be sure to pulse the chopper long enough so there are no large pieces of basil.
Doesn’t that just look so good?
After I mixed it with some pasta, I grated a little more parmesan on the top. You can never have enough cheese 🙂
Yesterday I woke up craving cake, which is not something I typically crave. Don’t get me wrong, I crave lots of other sweets but just not usually cake. I must have had a dream about cake or something. Not only was I craving cake, but I could vividly see the picture in my mind of the Chocolate Chip Cake shown in my mother’s Betty Crocker Cookbook that I would look at as a child. I am not even sure if she ever made that cake, but I wanted it.
In my Betty Crocker Cookbook the Chocolate Chip Cake is a version of the Silver White Cake. I feel like it used to be a yellow cake in her older cookbook, but I went with the white cake. Since I am also not a fan of frosting unless it is cream cheese or ganache, I decided to frost it with ganache as opposed to the buttercream frosting suggested. Let me say, the cake was delicious!
Ingredients for the cake:
2 1/4 cups flour
1 2/3 cups sugar
2/3 cup shortening
1 1/4 cups milk
3 1/2 tsps. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
5 large egg whites
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
Grease and flour two 9″ round cake pans, or a 13″ x 9″ rectangular pan.
Combine all of the ingredients except egg whites and chocolate chips in a large mixing bowl.
If you have never used shortening in a recipe or have difficulty measuring it out, I find using a knife instead of a spoon works best as I have shown in the next two photos.
Beat ingredients on low speed for 30 seconds, then on high speed for 2 minutes.
Add egg whites and beat on high speed for 2 more minutes.
Fold in the chocolate chips and pour into the pans.
Bake at 350 degrees, round pans for 30-35 minutes, rectangular for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cool rounds 10 minutes and then remove cakes from pans and cool completely on a wire rack.
Now on to the ganache!!!!
Heat 2 cups of heavy cream in a pan until slightly boiling while being careful not to burn the cream.
Pour the cream over 16 oz. of semisweet chocolate and let sit for a few minutes. Whisk or stir until the chocolate is completely melted.
The consistency will be very thin and not ready to frost a cake. It is ready to use as a glaze, but not frosting. Refrigerate the ganache for a few hours whisking every so often until it becomes a thicker consistency.
Now it’s time to frost the cake!
Top one of the layers (round side down) with frosting, and then top with the second layer (round side up).
Frost the sides first, and then the top. Look how good that is starting to look!
My craving for cake was satisfied completely! Yum!
Recently I was at a restaurant that served Truffle Cheddar Popcorn and it was the best popcorn I have ever had. It was amazing! The type of food that the entire time you are eating you can’t stop saying “this is so good!”. I never make popcorn at home but needed to see if I could come even close to making those little kernels of amazingness.
I dug out an unopened air popping machine I had in my basement and tried that way, and it wasn’t good. Then I decided to try the old fashioned way with oil, which I had never done. First I tried with half truffle oil and half olive oil and used the imitation cheddar popcorn seasoning, and it wasn’t what I was hoping for. Since the only grated cheese I had in the house was parmesan, I decided to give that a try. Even though the cheese was different, this combination tasted very similar to the one I had at the restaurant, which made me very happy!
Here is what you need:
2 tbsp. + 1 tsp. truffle oil
1/2 cup popcorn kernals
2 tbsp. butter
Heat 2 tbsp. of truffle oil in a heavy pan with a few kernels in the oil. When they start to pop, then it is time to add the rest of the kernels. Once added, cover the pan and shake it side to side occasionally. The popcorn is done when the popping slows down to 1-2 seconds between pops. Remove from the heat. I transferred the popcorn to a large plastic bowl with a lid.
Melt butter and combine with 1 tsp. truffle oil and pour it over the popcorn. Shake the bowl to evenly spread the butter/oil mixture.
Add the cheese and shake well. I’m not sure how much grated cheese I put on, my hand was just kind of shaking like crazy because I like cheese. I tasted it a few times and added a little more cheese.
My family loves pumpkin pancakes all year round, and not just in the Fall. These pancakes are one of our favorite pumpkin foods other than my Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread. Have you tried making that bread yet? If not, make sure to take a look at that blog after you read this one. It’s so good! This pancake recipe is so amazing and requested quite often by my children with no complaints by me.
My family is split down the middle in regards to whether or not there needs to be chocolate chips in the pancakes, so I always make half with chips and half without chips.
Here is what you need to make these yummy pancakes…
2 cups flour
3 tbsp. brown sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground allspice
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup canned pumpkin
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
Mini chocolate chips
Combine all the dry ingredients in a medium sized mixing bowl.
In a separate large mixing bowl combine all the rest of the ingredients, except chocolate chips, with a whisk.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and whisk until well mixed, the batter will be thick.
Heat a frying pan on medium heat and spray with cooking spray.
Ladle the batter into the heated pan and flip when the bottom turns slightly brown. These pancakes don’t really bubble like other pancakes will, so you kind of have to get used to when they are ready.
If you are using chocolate chips, just sprinkle them on right after you ladle the batter into the pan. The thickness of the batter requires they cook a little longer than regular pancakes.
Once they are finished you will have trouble trying to stop eating them. Yum!
Yesterday my son and I decided to make homemade potato chips. This is not something I had ever done, and it was a fun thing to do together. I don’t think we will be putting Frito Lay out of business any time soon, but they were really good. They tasted much better than they look. A little too good actually, we couldn’t stop munching on them and there were hardly any left when we were done. They say there are no calories if you are standing while you are eating, so it wasn’t that bad 😜
We peeled some russet potatoes, the potatoes were small so we used six of them. Then sliced them as thin as we could get them.
I tried using a grater to slice the potatoes but they were coming out too thick so I switched to the sharpest knife I own, which was this small pairing knife. It definitely would have been easier if I owned a larger sharp knife.
As we were slicing the potatoes we kept putting the finished pieces in cold water to soak. Once they were all sliced we drained them, rinsed them, and put them back in a bowl of cold water with 3 tbsp. of salt and let them soak for 30 minutes.
We heated canola oil in a pan until it reached 350 degrees.
Drained and rinsed the potatoes and added them in small batches to the oil.
Once they browned we transferred the potatoes onto paper towel lined plates and patted them to remove the excess oil. They are browner than we wanted, but they still tasted delicious!
We made three different kinds; ranch, nacho, and sea salted. For the ranch and nacho I used popcorn seasoning.
We are already planning on making them again the next time we make turkey burgers. So good!