Irish Soda Bread.
You can buy it from so many places.
The supermarket, the bakery, heck, even your 24 hour convenience store may sell it,but it never is as good as when you bake it yourself.
It’s simple, inexpensive and trust me. You make it one time you will be hooked.
Not familiar with Irish Soda Bread?
The sugary top? The raisins? The “X” on top?
Many Irish soda bread recipes tell you that you need to make an “X” slashed into the top prior to baking.
According to history, there are a few reasons for this. Because Ireland is a primarily Catholic country, it may be in respect of the symbol of the cross and a blessing of the bread and giving thanks. It may also be to ward off the devil and to protect the household or most likely there is a more practical reason, like it allows the bread to stretch and expand as it rises. I also think that when you slash a cross into it you can easily divide the bread into breakable chunks.
I hope you enjoy making this as much as I do!
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
Let me know what you think and don’t forget to share the love!
and on Instagram @thefooduluv
- 4 1/2 cups flour
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 5 Tbsp butter
- 1 cup raisins
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 3/4 cups buttermilk
- Preheat oven to 425°. Whisk together flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and set on the set. Whisk together just 4 cups of flour (saving 1/2 cup), the sugar, salt, and baking soda into a large bowl.
- Fold the butter into the flour, sprinkle in the raisins and by using your fingers, massage the butter into the mixture until it looks like grainy oatmeal. Now gently mix in the raisins.
- Make a well in the middle of the dough, add buttermilk, egg, knead into dough: Make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Add a beaten egg and buttermilk and mix in manually with a spoon until dough is too stiff to stir.
- Coat your hands with some flour, then knead dough in the bowl until it forms a, not so perfect, soft ball. Keep in mind that if the dough is too sticky or gummy add a little more flour to it.
- Bring your dough to a lightly floured counter top, cutting board or clean surface for you to shape it into an almost round loaf.
- Mold the dough just until the flour is moist and the dough barely stays together.
- Transfer your dough to a large, lightly greased baking sheet or cast iron skillet.
- Take a serrated knife and make a cross or X mark on the top of dough about an inch and a half deep. Essentially scoring the dough will help heat get into the center of the dough while cooking.
- Into the oven it goes and bakes until the bread is nice and golden and the bottom of the loaf sounds almost hollow when tapped. This should take about 35-45 minutes. When it's time, the bread is golden brown stick a toothpick into it and if it comes out clean, your bread is ready.
- Let it cool for 10 minutes before removing it from the skillet or pan. Eat !!!!
- Bake in preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Check it after half an hour. If it is browning too fast, you can place a piece of foil on top of it.
- Tasty tip: Brush the loaf with butter half an hour into the baking process.
- You can also use currants instead of raisins if you like.
I originally posted a version of this recipe a few years ago and received rave reviews about it, so I wanted to post it again.
I was not the perfectionist with the pictures and stories as I am now, but the recipe is really worth sharing.
I hope you enjoy.
Did someone say Football?
That’s right kid’s. The Super Bowl is right around the corner and to me that means food.
“Don’t you mean football?”….
Nope…I’m not a huge football fan ..but I do love food….so on with the show.
Let me be perfectly upfront with you.
This is going to be one of the best things that you have ever tasted in your life.
I know this sounds a little over the top for a simple “dip”…but trust me, it’s so much more than just a dip.
Imagine being in the middle of a tornado, ok?
Now, imagine that tornado being made of cheese sauce..but not your average cheese sauce, but, The Ultimate Cheese Sauce.
Well, there is beer in it and there are 6 bottles to a 6 pack and the recipe does call for beer so as I was perfecting the recipe I had to regulate the amount of alcohol vs cheese ratio numerous times and by default…
Let’s just say I had to call a cab to get me home from the test kitchen but the good thing is…
I created your new favorite food item.
Your go to party dip..
The Sunday football invite guarantee.
It’s warm, sweet, tangy and seriously delicious.
Give it a try and let me know how you like it.
Spread the Love!
Like me at…..
and on Instagram @ thefooduluv
- 4 Tbsp salted butter
- 3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup beer (use a quality lager. Not Budweiser)
- 1 tbsp tabasco sauce
- 1 tsp. dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp cayenne
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp chopped parsley (for garnish)
- In a large sauce pan over medium heat, slowly melt the better.
- Once the butter is melted, whisk in the flour until smooth.
- Remove pan from the stove and whisk in 1/3 of the milk until it's smooth.
- Then whisk in another 1/3 of the milk slowly.
- Now add in the remainder of the milk and continue to whisk until it's smooth.
- Stir in the beer, tabasco, dijon, onion powder, cayenne and salt.
- Bring the pan back to a medium heat and stir until the sauce is smooth and thick.( 2 min)
- take off heat.
- Whisk in cheese a little at a time and make sure it is melting nicely before adding more cheese.
- The reason why I break the milk amounts into thirds is to make sure that the sauce is smooth and all bits of flour are dissolved.
A home filled with amazing aromas, family, friends and food.
A holiday to be thankful for so many things, to give thanks to others and to relax…but not for the cook, unless you play your cards right.
As a foodie, I do love Thanksgiving, but not for the main course. The big bird.
God knows that I can get creative in planning, prepping and preparing the perfect poultry, (say that three times fast), but for me my true passion is in the appetizers and sides.
The turkey is and will always be the center of attention and it will always be the big boss and the star of the show, but do not forget that there are many players that need to come together to make a perfect performance.
Enter the perfect muffin.
Summer is still with us and my inner caveman needs to be near fire, sticks and raw stuff every night.
( ok, and beer or wine or martinis..but mostly beer..ok, never martinis or wine..I just wanted to sound classy)
Why is that?
Is it the great outdoors? The freedom of the backyard? The smell of freshly cut grass ? Or perhaps it’s the stress of trying to cook a great meal while making sure that my little guy and black lab don’t knock over, fall into or throw toys into the crazy hot BBQ?
Whatever it is…I’m taking advantage of the beautiful Long Island weather, the bounty of fresh basil growing in my garden and the massive bag of charcoal at my disposal.
Oh, to be asparagus: One of the most vilified vegetables of the bunch. Next to broccoli and Brussel sprouts, asparagus continues to be one of the most misunderstood and underutilized greens in the garden……but not for long.
We’re taking it back to the top, gang.
July 4th is Independence Day in the United States.
It celebrates the commemorating of the adoption of Declaration of Independence, July 4th, 1776, stating that the 13 American colonies were no longer part of the British Empire and that the United States of America was born.
It also gives us the right to shoot off fireworks, attend awesome parades, drink beer and participate in some serious grilling.
Let us not, ever, downplay the freedom aspect of the holiday and the respect portion.
Don’t ever let my humor, sarcasm, amazing culinary skills, ninja-esque veggie chopping abilities, outrageously handsome and rugged stature make you think that I am diluting the holiday. Not a chance. I’m just enhancing it with the previously mentioned details…because we live in the most amazing country ever and have freedoms that should never be taken for granted.
Now on to the cooking……
Spring has sprung.
Birds are singing their anthems…
The flowers are sweet and fragrant…
The sun is shining bright early in the morning…
The landscapers are in the backyard at 7 am waving their leaf blowers around like light sabers..
And the pollen count is already high….
But, that also means that farm stand fruits and veggies are on the menu, fresh seafood is at the market and we’re cooking outside more often, so get ready for a marinade that will not only be synonymous with the nice weather but will also be known as your favorite go-to recipe.
Enter: The Only Marinade You Will Ever Need.
It really doesn’t get any easier than this.
Freshly squeezed lemon juice, a high quality olive oil, a fragrant selection of dry and fresh herbs make this marinade the flavor of warm weather.
The zesty lemon, rich oil and delicious herbs compliment almost anything that you marinate, baste and brush this on.
Check out the recipe below in the Recipe Card section!
Spread the Love!
and on Instagram #thefooduluv
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped dill
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh garlic-about 2-3 large cloves
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest, from one lemon
- 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
- Whisk together lemon juice, oregano, parsley, dill, garlic, tablespoon salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and lemon zest in a large bowl and add oil in a slow stream, whisking while you pour.
- Perfect for chicken, seafood, meat or your favorite fresh veggies.
I originally posted this 3 years ago and I decided to post it again, as it’s very special to me.
So, here you go! Enjoy.
This Easter was the first “Real” big Easter celebration for my little guy.
The last 3 year’s were nice but this year there was a build up in expectations. It was more than just a candy overload holiday. There was a deeper meaning behind it to him.
It was very special.
This year he went to church more often and had been reading more about the holidays and their importance to us as a family.
But, being more vocal, he also let us know about all the cool Easter treats that he wanted and didn’t let a day go by without telling us how nutritious and healthy jelly beans are for growing boys.
2 Peas in a Pod.
He also knows the importance of friendship, building close bonds and finding the dudes that share his love of animals, are sensitive, can handle the stress of multiple egg hunts and love sweets as much as he does.
After hours of rummaging through grass for brightly colored plastic eggs, getting your hopes built up that you are going to be “That” kid who finds the golden egg that carries an extra sticker or peanut butter cup, the kid wanted some real food and drink.
Not just cheap jelly beans.
Not just rock hard Jolly Ranchers.
Not just petrified taffy that was probably manufactured when Men at Work were being played on the radio.
Real food was about to be on the menu.
But………. not for the kid on the left.
He was in a chocolate state of mind and was boycotting anything that wasn’t multicolored or in the shape of a rabbit or chick.
Me: “Pal, I need inspiration! I blog about food. I get motivated, create a dish and take pictures. I can’t do that with candy.”
My Son: “You’re so smart Daddy. I’m sure you’ll think of something.”
So, what does any self-respecting parent do?
I went to mass…but was late. Very late. In fact they were closing up, so I just sat for a minute, said a prayer and meditated. And then all of a sudden I came up with a few things.
Nothing too significant. They were mostly just images of sweets. Sweets that I wasn’t going to bake and then all of a sudden it hit me.
St. Joseph’s Pastry.
The light poured on me like a celestial spotlight directing me to the bakery for these delicious, cannoli cream filled puffs of love.
Ok, it didn’t happen like that at all….I’m just grasping at straws here. It’s Easter. Cut me some slack.
St. Joseph’s pastry is essentially a larger version of a zeppole filled with cannoli cream.
Sounds horrible, right? Good…so go away and leave them for me.
He, ( St. Joe) is the patron saint of the family, and is celebrated at the Spring equinox and his day is a feast of bread.
Bread..pastry, it’s all in the same family so it’s celebrated. Who am I to argue with this logic?
At the end of the day I did end up having some delicious treats as well as a wonderful dinner, of “real” food, with my family.
Halibut, roasted cauliflower, antipasto, etc. More details on that coming up shortly.
I hope you and your family had a wonderful day and if it was anything like mine…make an appointment with the dentist for next week.
Only kidding. Keep the feelings and memories in your heart.
“This is the time to remember, cause it will not last forever. These are the days to hold on to cause we won’t although we’ll want to.” Billy Joel.
Psst…show me some love.
and on Instagram @ thefooduluv
Ok, I give in.
The Summer is totally over….it’s time to to man up!
It’s time to put away the tiki torches…
And it’s time to take out the Crock Pot baby…’cause we be sloooooowwwww cookin’!
( ok, that sounded cooler in my head than when I read it)