Archive for the ‘Tasty Tuesday’ Category

Since I decided today would be Corned Beef and Cabbage day in our house, I thought I might try my hand at some soda bread to go along with it.  I tried it once with my mom as part of a project in my 6th grade Social Studies class, and I don’t think it came out well – although admittedly it’s been awhile and I can’t quite remember. 🙂

Either way, I do know that it can be a bit dry if not done well, so I found this recipe when Googling on another blog that includes honey and raisins and basically just sounds delicious.  So I plan to try it and will include have included a picture of my own attempt at it.  I also snagged some tasty Irish butter on sale this week and I can imagine that will be a yummy addition…hoping it turns out well!

From bakingbites.com:

Oats and Honey Irish Soda Bread

Here's what it turned out like!

1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup quick cooking oatmeal
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp honey
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup raisins

  • Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, stir together flour, oats, baking soda and salt.
  • Add in honey and buttermilk and stir until dough comes together.
  • Stir in raisins. Dough should be only slightly sticky, so that it is easy to knead. If it is too dry, add an additional tbsp or two of buttermilk.
  • Keeping the dough in the bowl, knead it for 1-2 minutes, turning the dough, pressing it firmly with the heel of your hand, then turning the dough and repeating.
  • Shape dough into a ball and place on prepared baking sheet.
  • Flatten dough until it forms a disc about 1 – 1 1/2 inches thick.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes, until loaf is golden brown.
  • Allow to cool for at least 20 minutes on a wire rack before slicing.

Makes 1 loaf, serves 6.


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Today is Shrove Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Pancake Day…there are lots of names for this day before Ash Wednesday.  A lot of the tradition around this day involves using up all the fat, lard, sugar, butter – you know, all that yummy, bad-for-you stuff – before fasting for Lent.

But where I come from, it’s Fasnacht Day!

I grew up in Lancaster County, PA – Amish Country.  I am not Amish, my family is not and never has been Amish (not that there’s anything wrong with that – just a common misconception :).  I do however have some Pennsylvania Dutch roots.  My mom’s grandparents grew up speaking a Pennsylvania dialect of German and both spoke English with a PA Dutch accent (and even spoke English a little funny too ;).  When I was in high school, I worked at a bakery that made and sold a lot of PA Dutch specialties and every Fasnacht day, guess what we found in the donut case?

A Fasnacht is a type of donut and it goes along with that whole tradition of using up all the lard, sugar, etc before the start of Lent.  Some folks make them with potato, some don’t.

I must admit that I have never personally attempted to make fasnachts, but I did find a recipe to share today ,which was a lot harder than I thought!  I guess that’s because a lot of people from my old neck of the woods don’t use computers.  Or electricity.  Anyway…I picked this recipe because it had relatively “normal” ingredients, i.e. no lard – I mean who doesn’t love a little lard now and then?  But really, how many people do you know who just happen to have good old-fashioned lard sitting around the house these days??  I also liked that they are called “Nana’s Fasnachts” because, well – my PA Dutch great-grandma was Nana and anything that reminds me of that fiesty little lady is okay in my book :).

Nana’s Fastnachts

Rated: rating
Submitted By: Sandy
Servings: 60
“These are similar to doughnuts but much tastier! They are usually made on Shrove Tuesday (Fat Tuesday).”
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45
degrees C)
1 teaspoon white sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
3 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup margarine, melted
1 cup white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 quarts vegetable oil for frying
1. Warm the milk in a small saucepan until it bubbles, then remove from heat. Let cool until lukewarm. In a small bowl, proof the yeast by adding the warm water to the yeast. Let stand 10 minutes.
2. In a large bowl mix together the teaspoon of sugar and 3 cups of the flour. Stir in milk until smooth. Add proofed yeast and mix well. Cover and let rise until doubled in size.
3. Stir in beaten eggs, melted butter or margarine, one cup of sugar, salt, and enough of the remaining flour to make a stiff dough. Cover and let rise for a second time until doubled.
4. Punch down dough and divide into 2 portions. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut dough with a biscuit cutter. Make 2 slits with a sharp knife in the middle of each doughnut. Cover and let rise a third time until doubled in size.
5. Deep fat fry in oil or lard for 3 to 4 minutes on each side until lightly browned. Rotate to ensure even cooking. Drain on brown paper bags. Toss in confectioners sugar while still warm. 


ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © 2011 Allrecipes.com Printed from Allrecipes.com 3/8/2011


So, happy Fasnacht Day – now go fry something!

But first, feel free to leave a comment!  Does your family or part of the world have any special day-before-Lent traditions?  Share away!

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The Cliffs of Moher in the West of Ireland - taken by me!

Welcome to Tasty Tuesday!  Each week, I will seek out some new fun international recipe to share.  I hope this will 1). be able to bring a little taste of the world to your home and 2) keep myself updating this blog on a regular basis 🙂

Since today is the beginning of March and March is the month of St. Patrick’s Day, my first Tasty Tuesday post comes from the Emerald Isle.

I love all things Irish.  It’s a big part of my heritage.  I love the music, the language, the jaunty accent, the dancing (I wish I was graceful and coordinated enough to do a little Riverdance) and yes – the beer (their special way of making coffee is also pretty delicious 😉 ).  DH and I went on a trip there right after Christmas 2009 and that just affirmed my love even more.  It’s one of my favorite places in the whole world.

This recipe features one of those great Irish exports – Guinness beer.  Thanks, Arthur Guinness, on behalf of St. Patrick’s Day revelers everywhere for drawing up that 9,000 year lease on your brewery.  Stews featuring beef and Guinness are popular with Irish folk.  Hey, it’s cold there and this is something great to warm you up!

Beef and Guinness Stew (originally posted on IrishAbroad)
– By Margaret Johnson

• 3 cups Guinness
• 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
• Sprig of fresh rosemary
• 2 bay leaves
• 3 pounds beef stew meat, cut into cubes
• 3 tablespoons canola oil
• 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 2 to 3 onions, peeled and sliced
• 3 stalks celery, chopped
• 3 carrots, peeled and thickly sliced
• 1/2 pound white mushrooms, quartered
• 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
• 1 garlic clove, minced
• Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
• 2 tablespoons minced parsley


In a large glass dish, combine 1 cup of the Guinness, mustard, rosemary, and bay leaves. Add the beef cubes, stir to coat, cover, and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Drain the meat and discard the marinade. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Brown the meat in batches, 3 to 5 minutes on each side, then transfer to a large casserole dish. Add the butter to the skillet, and when it foams, add the onions and cook for 5 minutes, or until browned. Add the celery and carrots and cook, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes, or until tender. Reduce heat to simmer, stir in the flour, and cook for 2 minutes, or until blended. Add the remaining 2 cups Guinness, garlic, salt, and pepper.

Pour the vegetables over the meat, cover, and cook for about 2 hours, or until the meat is tender. Stir occasionally, and add a little more Guinness if the stew seems dry. Adjust seasonings and sprinkle with chopped parsley.
Serves 6

Éirinn go Brách!

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