Thursday, March 15, 2018

Celebrate St. Patrick's Day with Coffee & Cupcakes

(photo & recipe Martha Stewart)

I am Irish by marriage and our family celebrates their Irish heritage every every year with our favorite dishes and being together.  Here are 2 recipes that easy to make and guaranteed to make your get together a success.  The cupcake is flavored with brown sugar and espresso and has a frosting spiked with whiskey.  This recipes makes 15 cupcakes and top it off with Irish coffee for a fabulous celebration.    

Irish Coffee Recipe:

Serves 4

1 cup heavy cream

1/4 cup sugar
3 cups strong black coffee
4 ounces Irish whiskey


Whisk cream and sugar together in a medium bowl until stiff peaks for.  Divide coffee and whiskey among 4 coffee cups, then top each with 1/2 cups whipped cream.  Serve immediately.

Irish Coffee Cupcakes


For the cupcakes -
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup boiling water
2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
1/4 cup whole milk
1 stick unsalted butter (room temperature)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs

For the frosting -

1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon confectioner's sugar
1 tablespoon whiskey
instant espresso powder (for dusting)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Make the cupcakes..whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Pour water over espresso powder and let cool.  Combine espresso with milk.  Beat butter, granulated sugar and brown sugars with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy.  (about 3 minutes.) Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.  Beat in flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with espresso - milk mixture, beginning and ending with flour.  

Spray 15 cups in your cupcake tin with cooking spray like Pam or use cupcake liner papers instead.  Fill the cups 3/4 full.  Bake about 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted. 
Let the cupcakes cool and turn them out from pan.

Make your frosting in a bowl.  Whisk together heavy cream and confectioners sugar until medium peaks form.  Add whiskey, whisk until slightly stiff peaks form.  Top each cupcake with 2 tablespoons frosting and dust with espresso powder.  


Monday, March 12, 2018

No Blarney it's Easy Crock Pot Corned Beef and Cabbage

May the Irish hills caress you.
May her lakes and rivers bless you.
May the luck of the Irish enfold you.
May the blessings of Saint Patrick behold you.

Easy crock pot corned beef and baggage recipe below you put together in minutes!
Place the corned beef in a slow cooker lightly sprayed with non stick cooking spray. Open the packet of seasoning that comes with the corned beef and sprinkle on top before cooking.

Place the potatoes on top of the beef.

Baby carrots placed on top of the potatoes. I cook my corned beef without cabbage, but traditionally you place the cabbage on top on the carrots.  Pour 5 cups of water into the slow cooker, cover and set for 10 hours. 

Aroma packed and delicious Irish soda bread served sliced with butter.
Have you tried Kerry gold Irish butter?  It's sold in most super markets and it adds exceptional creamy flavor.

Whether you were born Irish or are Irish for the day...celebrate St. Patrick's Day with great food, drink, family and friends.  This crock pot recipe gives you a delicious corned beef and cabbage dinner. 
Let the crock pot do the work so you don't have to. We plan to celebrate this coming weekend. How about you?  

Ingredients are:  1 head cabbage cut into 6 wedges, small bag of  baby carrots, 1 corned beef (about 3 pounds) WITH seasoning packet included, 5 cups water, 1/3 cup prepared mustard, 1/3 cup honey. 

Place the corned beef in the bottom of the slow cooker. Place the cabbage into the crock pot with the carrots, a 3 lb. bag of rinsed small red potatoes (skins on) and sprinkle the contents of the seasoning packet on top.  Pour in the water, cover and cook on low for 10 hours.

  Before serving, combine the mustard and honey in a small bowl.  Stir to blend.  Remove the corned beef to a cutting board and slice.  Serve with the vegetables and mustard sauce.    

Irish soda bread is a must to serve with this meal.  You can make your own or buy it fresh from the bakery at your local supermarket as I did.  

Many Irish Blessings to you & Yours☘☘

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Friday Fish Fry

You know when you're visiting the great state of Wisconsin, you need to find time for a fish fry on Friday evening.  Almost all restaurants offer a fish fry on their menu, whether it be baked, broiled or fried.  They almost always come with potato pancakes, coleslaw, applesauce and a slice of rye bread with butter. We have been residents in Wisconsin for 20 years, and it goes unsaid that we end our week with a fish fry. Fish fry nights are popular all year around, even during the slower winter months of a resort town.  We have several favorites, but one at the top of our list is Gordy's.  It's on the waterfront of Geneva Lake in Fontana, Wisconsin and it's a great neighborhood spot for family and friends to gather.  

Have you been to a fish fry lately?

Gordy's fabulous fish fry.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Easy Ham Quiche

If you have 15 - 20 minutes and leftover ham, you can make a delicious Ham and Swiss Quiche for family or friends.  Using Pillsbury refrigerated roll out pie crusts saves time and they taste just as good as home made.  Give it a try!

Prep time - 15-20 minutes,  cook time is 45 minutes and makes approximately 6 servings.

You need:  

1 cup of half and half
4 eggs beaten
3 tablespoons honey mustard
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 cups cooked ham cut into cubes
1 1/2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
1 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350.  Take 1 pie crust out of the box and sit at room temperature for a few minutes while you prepare the filling for the quiche. In a medium bowl, mix half and half, eggs, mustard, flour, salt, thyme and pepper and beat until mixed well.  

Lightly spray a pie pan with cooking spray and  lay the pie crust gently in the pan.  Layer the ham, Swiss cheese and spinach in the pie crust.  Pour the egg mixture into the pie crust and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.  Bake at 350 for 40-50 minutes on until the crust is golden and the filling is set. 

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Easy Ideas for your Oscar party

I look forward to having a few friends over to watch the Oscars every year, but of course you have to begin with the Red Carpet show to see what everyone's wearing and who they are arriving with.  Celebrate the moment by having your guests walk your red carpet (I found mine this week at Party City for $7.99 (it's 15 feet).  Enough to feel like a VIP.  

Plan to serve an easy menu.  Mini deli ham and cheese sandwiches on slider buns made up ahead of time with honey mustard and an assortment of provolone, american cheddar or horseradish (my favorite) cheeses.  Place in large aluminum pan, cover with foil and heat at 325 for 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted.  Serve warm with a relish tray of cut up celery, carrots, grape tomatoes, ranch dressing, black and queen stuffed olives.    

Simple dessert is ice cream with your choice of chocolate, Bailey's Irish Cream or Frangelico Hazelnut Liqueur as a topping.  Set out the bowls, spoons, and toppings.  Making your own is always popular with every crowd. 
I like to make a cookie platter as well which goes nicely with the ice cream.  Chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin always make the cut in our house.  

Will you be watching the Oscars this year?

Monday, February 26, 2018

Easy Taco Stew in 30 Minutes

                                            Taco Stew with Three Beans

This is a very quick recipe for a one-dish meal with a Mexican flair that you and your family and friends will enjoy.  This recipe will give you 5 servings.  Increase the ingredients for a larger group. 

1 pound ground beef
1 envelope taco seasoning
1 or 2 cans (14 1/2 ounce) stewed tomatoes
1 or 2 cans undrained (15 ounce) dark & light red kidney beans
1 can (15 ounce) drained pinto beans
1 1/4 cups (approximately 6 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese

In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, cook your ground beef until browned.  Drain off fat.

Add 1 cup water, taco seasoning, tomatoes and beans and bring to just a boil.  Simmer for about 20 minutes on low.  Ladle into individual bowls and top with shredded cheddar cheese.  
Offer corn or tortilla chips and sour cream on the side to top the stew and enjoy.  
Corn muffins compliment this dish deliciously!  Enjoy!! :)  


Thursday, February 22, 2018

Snow Day! (Activities & Smirnoff for the grown ups)

I love the snow and welcome a full house of family or friends…that is IF our home is stocked with food, games, movies and drink fixings. We love hot chocolate around here and to make the Grown Ups happy, check out Smirnoff delights Fluffed Vanilla vodka or Whipped Cream Vodka to add in your hot chocolate. 

While the adults sip on their hot chocolates, try these activities for the family and watch the snow fall.

-Throw on some music and have a dance party

-Bring out all your pillows, blankets,  and sleeping bags (toss your blankets in the dryer for 10 minutes to make them warm and toasty) and pop in a movie!  Don't forget the popcorn

-Bring out all your board games and have a game marathon

-My favorite..Bake!  Nothing says warm and cozy like sweet smells from the kitchen. Trust me on this one:)

-Throw on the snowpants, coats, boots and all your winter gear and head outdoors.  Build a snowman and have a snowball fight.  Afterwards, head in for more hot chocolate!

Keep warm, Stay safe, and have a great weekend!