Monday, March 17, 2008

Irish Soda Bread

I know today is St. Patrick's Day...but you could make this next year! My family has celebrated this holiday heartily since I can remember. Maybe it's because my great-grandparents both hail from the beautiful isle of Ireland. We make Irish stew or corn beef, with a veggie tray that looks like the Irish flag (carrots, cauliflower & broccoli or cucumbers), steamed fresh string beans, boiled new potatoes with butter & fresh chopped parsley on top. My family looks forward to this yummy treat each year. Hopefully, yours will too. This bread is really moist and is delightful served warm with butter. Enjoy!!

3 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. sugar
2 T. caraway seeds (I usually omit these for the kiddos)
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 eggs
2 c. (16 oz) sour cream
3/4 c. raisins

In a lg. bowl, combine the flour, sugar, caraway seeds, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. In a sm. bowl, whisk eggs and sour cream. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in raisins.

Spoon into a greased 9 inch spring form pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cook on a wire rack for 10 minutes before removing sides of pan. Cut into wedges & serve warm.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Iron Chef for Teenagers: Ideas?

Our ward is having an Iron Chef competition for a combined young men/young women activity in a few weeks. I've honestly never seen more than fifteen or twenty minutes of the show, but have been doing a lot of reading up on it. It sounds like fun. How do I pull off a cooking competition for roughly 15-20 teen age boys and girls (mostly girls), especially on a very limited budget and in around 45 minutes? My biggest fear is that two or three will do all the work and the rest will wander the halls playing with their cell phones and ipods?

Any ideas for simple foods that will keep everyone interested and involved?

Here are a few that I've come up with. Maybe that will generate some ideas from all of you, too!

Set up a "grocery store" and give each person a set amount of money. Everyone has to buy something that will contribute to the meal.
Have some sort of secret ingredient like pineapple or potatoes (any other good ideas?) that everyone has to use in some way
Have each team make crepes: they get to choose the ingredients to make the fillings--one dinner crepe, one dessert crepe.
Have each team designate two head chefs, one girl and one guy. Do you think that would help the kids pay closer attention and keep themselves more occupied?

I went on a really fun date in high school where we had a cooking competition. We all went to the grocery store with $1 each. My team made stone soup (broth and veggies mostly) and had gummy peach rings for dessert. I think the other team made hotdog cut up in tomato soup or something.

I've been reading about hosting grown up iron chef dinner parties. I wonder if we'd end up with hot dog soup with a bunch of thirty something husbands making dinner.... (To his credit, my husband is an excellent and creative cook who loves to try new things. And he doesn't really like hot dogs any way. Grilled cheese is more his style.)

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Deutsche Butterpl├Ątzchen (German Butter Cookies)

So I don't know much about Germany, except they make really cool castles, cars and dogs. These cookies however, are awesome. I got the recipe from culinary institute. The theme was left over Easter eggs. I would suggest making these... they are yummy


this is a large ( ward size) recipe you can cut in half, or fourths.
8hard boiled egg yolks, mashed.
1 lb softened butter
1 cup sugar
1 tsp almond flavoring
4 cups flour (sifted)
Cream butter, adding sugar gradually. Add egg yolks and almond flavor. Add flour slowly, mixing well, but DO NOT OVER KNEAD.Using a cookie shooter we made them into little balls and flattened, press onto parchment-lined baking sheet. If you are using a flower-shaped shooter, you can put a smudge of jelly, or a small chocolate morsel or 1/2 a maraschino cherry in the center of each one - but don't use sprinkles, they just detract from the cookie. Bake at 400 degrees until the edges are JUST brown. Any more than that, and they are over baked

Friday, March 7, 2008


Ages ago there was a request for this recipe...I didn't remember until I made it to go with tacos the other night. Hope you can still use it. Enjoy!

  • 3-4 large, ripe avocados
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 3-4 green onions, chopped
  • Lime or lemon juice, preferably fresh
  • 1-2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro (chop the stems as well as the leaves, that's where a lot of the flavor is the oils contained in the stems)
  • 1 med-large tomato, chopped

Cut each avocado in half. With a spoon, scoop out the avocado seeds and set aside, do not throw them out as you will use them later. Next, scoop out the meat of the avocados into a medium bowl. Mash the avocado with a fork or potato masher to make a slightly chunky mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix in garlic and green onion. Add lime/lemon juice to taste, mix well. Stir in tomato and cilantro, mix well. Once you're happy with the taste of your mix, add back into the mix the avocado seeds. Leaving the seeds in the mix will help keep it from turning brown. Refrigerate until ready to serve. When ready to serve, seeds can be removed or left in bowl. Serve with tortilla chips as a dip, or as a garnish with tacos, burritos, enchiladas, sandwiches, burgers, etc.