HAPPY SAINT PADDY'S DAY!
Updated: Apr 8, 2021
I always am very excited around Saint Patrick's Day! There are so many authentic Irish dishes, libations and treats! Even if you are not Irish by birthright, it has become a holiday universally celebrated throughout the United States. Everyone seems to take part in the festivities during this time of year.
My aunt who is Irish on both sides of her family got me into a tradition as a little girl. I remember visiting her in La Jolla, California during this holiday and making Irish Soda Bread with her. It is not only a fond memory for me, but something I have continued baking throughout my adult life during the holiday of leprechauns!
You can find Irish Soda Bread for purchase at many markets, but experiencing the baking project is a fun way for the family to come together during this time. If you would like to try my passed-down recipe it is as follows:
Traditional Irish Soda Bread
2 Cups of all purpose flour
5 Tablespoons of divided sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 season of salt
3/4 teaspoon of baking soda
3 tablespoons of chilled, cubed butter
1 cup of buttermilk
2/3 cup of raisins
Raw sugar for sprinkling before putting in oven
Non-Stick cooking spray
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees fenenheit. Spray and 8-inch diameter cake pan with the nonstick spray. Whisk the flour, 4 tablespoons of sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda in a large bowl and blend together. Add the butter and rub all of it in until a rough material forms. Add the buttermilk slowly and slowly stir the dry ingredients into the milk to blend. Combine the raisins evenly. Shape the dough into a ball with floured hands. But the dough on a readied pan and flatten just a little. Sprinkle the dough with the rest of the sugar and add the raw sugar as well to add texture.
Bake the bread until it is browned and a toothpick comes out clean. The bread should bake for about 40 minutes. Set it out on a rack to cool or serve hot. I prefer to eat it at room temperature, but hot with a smattering of butter is always delicious, too!
Irish or not, a little, green pop of color is always appreciated at at Saint Paddy's Day Soiree! I love to create simple, pretty and delicious appetizers when having guests over. It's great to have a selection of easy snacks for your friends to much on before a meal is served. You never know if if someone will come extra hungry and wants to have a tasty treat with their cocktail!
Here is my recipe for these savory, zesty bites that are sure to have your guest's mouths watering for more!
1 fresh Baguette
1 sliced, long English cucumber
16 ounces of crumbled Feta cheese
1 jar of sliced and pitted kalamata olives
1 8 oz Terrapin Ridge Farms pesto aioli squeeze bottle
1 bunch of washed, cilantro
Slice the baguette carefully into pieces less than 1/2 inch. Put a generous smattering of aioli onto one side of the baguette slices. Carefully slice the cucumber, and make sure the slices are not too think or fat. about 1/8 inch is a good size. Add one slice of cucumber in the middle of the baguette. Break off two sprigs of cilantro and place at an angle spaced about 1/2 inch apart slightly grazing the cucumber. Add half a tablespoon of the kalamata olives between the cilantro sprigs. Top off with your favorite, fresh feta cheese. I like to purchase mine from @thefreshmarket #thefreshmarket. Serve on a pretty platter, tray, or charcuterie board!
I wish everyone a wonderful Saint Paddy's Day filled with laughs, love, and the luck o' the Irish!