Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Kiss me! I’m (pretending to be) Irish!

We managed to sneak in a full-fledged Irish dinner on Tuesday before Momma had to dash out the door to her quilting class. Hubby wasn’t there for our familial celebration, alas, but the babysitter seemed to enjoy it.

(To John’s credit, he pulled in the driveway as I was leaving. Babysitter Megan was just covering for him until he arrived. This is our “quilting night arrangement.”)

Corned Beef & Cabbage

Corned beef and cabbage is very easy to make. Have you tried it? No? You must. All I did was boil the corned beef for 30 minutes (to reduce its saltiness) with half the contents of the little spice pack that comes with it.

Then I popped it in my new Dutch oven (which I love) and drizzled it with olive oil. I added a handful of carrots, (peeled and chopped) and a handful of onions (also peeled and chopped in large sections so the kids can avoid them). A little salt and pepper, a couple pats of butter, and into the oven it went.

I cooked mine for about 3 ½ hours at 325 degrees and it was so very good—crispy on the outside and very tender on the inside.

Oh, and I added the cabbage about an hour and 1/2 into the baking. You don’t want mushy cabbage.

You know.

* * * * * * *

The second recipe I got from my sister that very afternoon. I phoned her up to see how she was preparing her corned beef & cabbage, (because I just knew she’d be making corned beef & cabbage), and she told me about this funky Irish side dish they were having.

“It’s in the new Centennial Cookbook that I’m editing for our parish,” she said. It’s called ‘Thumblededore’ or ‘Dumblededoop’ or something like that.”

She was close. : )


Rumbledethumps is actually its Scottish name. In England, this dish is known as Bubble and Squeak; in Ireland, colcannon.

The names didn’t much matter to my kids, although they did like saying “Bubble and Squeak.” Even more than that, they liked eating it.

Here’s the recipe:


1 pound potatoes
1 pound cabbage (about 1/2 head)
4 tablespoons butter
1 onion chopped
3/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1 teaspoon chopped chives or parsley
Salt and pepper


Peel, boil and mash your potatoes. Set aside.

Chop or shred your cabbage. (You choose! It’s a free country.)
Melt the butter in large skillet or frying pan and
sauté your cabbage and chopped onion
until they are soft.

Add the cabbage to your bowl of mashed potatoes.
Season with salt and pepper and mix well.
Turn into a buttered ovenproof dish, sprinkle with grated cheese,
and brown under broiler or bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.

Garnish with chives or parsley and serve!

For a printable version of this recipe, click here.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Bailey’s Irish Cream Cheesecake

tend to get a little bit, um, obsessive come St. Patrick’s Day.


You’d think I was actually Irish.

(In truth, I am 100% French Canadian. I haven’t a drop of Irish in me, unless you count all the Guinness beer and Irish Cream that I am fond of consuming this time of year. And mind you, being pregnant doesn’t place a damper on my love of all drinks Irish. I merely dump the Guinness into the stew and make cheesecake with the Bailey’s. Problem solved.)

So yeah, the festivities last for days around here, mainly because I can never narrow the menu down to just one meal. We will have Irish stew and soda bread for one meal and corned beef & cabbage for the next. Certainly we’ll have some Reuben sandwiches for lunch one day—not because they are Irish, necessarily, but because they are just so very good.

And the corned beef is on sale.


We had our biggest meal on Sunday night because I’ll be gone the evening of St. Patrick’s Day. I know, I know—what’s wrong with this would-be Irish lass?

(It’s my first quilting class, is what it is, and I really shouldn’t skip it.)

For Sunday’s meal, I went with Guinness Irish Stew and a nice crusty loaf of pumpernickel. For dessert we had Bailey’s Irish Cream Cheesecake (for the grown-ups) and shamrock shakes for the kids. Except, come to think of it, the grown-ups were snitching the shamrock shakes in addition to their slice of cheesecake.

Note to self: buy more ice cream next year.

I got all the recipes out of this month’s Faith and Family.




And so without further adieu, here is that recipe for…

~ Bailey’s Irish Cream Cheesecake ~


10 whole graham crackers, broken into pieces
¼ C. sugar
6 T. butter, melted


24 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
1 C. sugar
3 large eggs
1/3 C. Bailey’s Irish Cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract


1 ½ C. sour cream
¼ C. powdered sugar (I used a touch more.)
1 ½ oz. white chocolate, grated

For crust: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease 9-inch springform pan. Grind the graham crackers and sugar in a food processor until you’ve got a nice bunch of crumbs; add the butter and pulse a few times. Press the crumbs onto the bottom and sides of your springform pan and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Have some Bailey’s in a glass. Start on the filling.

For the filling: Blend your cream cheese and sugar in a large bowl until smooth. Whisk the eggs, Bailey’s, and vanilla in a small bowl, then blend this mixture into the cream cheese. Pour into the springform pan and bake until the edges of the filling are puffed and look dry, and the center is just set, about 50 minutes.

Cross your fingers. Have another glass of Bailey’s.

Cool the cheesecake on a rack when it’s done.

For the topping: Mix sour cream and powdered sugar in a small bowl. Spread onto the cooled cake with a rubber scraper. Refrigerate for six hours or so; sprinkle with grated chocolate; consume with wild abandon.

Good St. Patrick, pray for us!

*For a printable copy of this recipe, click here.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Really Yummy Taco Soup

Not to mention, really easy.

Really Yummy Taco Soup


1 ½ lbs. Ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 can (15 oz) kidney beans, undrained
1 can (15 oz) black beans, undrained
1 can (15 oz) whole-kernel corn, undrained (See a pattern?)
1 can (28 oz) stewed tomatoes
1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
1 or 2 packages taco seasoning mix, to taste

In a heavy stockpot, brown your ground beef and onion. Drain off the fat if you like.

Dump in everything else.
(I guess that makes this “Dump Soup.” If you call it that, and I did, I guarantee that your preschooler will be delighted.)

Simmer for about an hour and serve with:

A handful of tortilla chips (We like the lime kind)
Some shredded cheddar or a Mexican blend
1 dollop (Optional unless you’re me,
in which case it’s never optional.)

Oh and if your soup should seem too thick, toss in a can or two of water while it’s simmering.

Enjoy! Say a prayer for your big pregnant friend while you do so.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


My kids would never drink carrot juice if I gave it to them in a glass.

"Orange" Popsicles I

But they will eat it in a popsicle.

*Recipe found at Elizabeth’s blog
here (Take #4). I left out the coconut oil.

Yours in times of deception and truth,