Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Garlicky Mashed Potatoes

Let's talk comfort food.
I lurv it.  I lurv it a lot.  That's why my rear end is so ginormous.
My comfort foods include, but are not limited to, butter, pizza, perogies, mashed potatoes and gravy, soup, chicken and dumplings (omigosh - I haven't MADE that with you yet?  My bad), fresh tray buns with butter, turkey, stuffing, cake with lots of icing, Laughing Cow cheese, Biscoff, cookie dough blizzards, cookies, muffins, lasagna, pasta with cream sauce, etc. etc.
I would say that this potato side dish definitely would constitute as a comfort food.

'Cause it's full of delightful things - and it's EEEEEEEEASY!!!!
Cook potatoes until they are fork-tender.  Then add in butter and sour cream.

Then mash the potatoes until smooth as desired and throw in the green onions.  The recipe actually calls for chives, but I couldn't find any.  And the garlic.

Spread the potatoes into a 9 x 13 baking pan.

Top with cheese and bake until the cheese is melted.  It'll only take a few minutes.

Then top with a container of French-fried onions.  Can never have too much of those.

Then bake until the French-fried onions are crisp and golden.

Oh MY these were so good!!!  The crispy onions, the cheesy love, the garlicky mashed potatoes.  Yum, yum, yum...... 
So if you're having something like chicken fingers or a slow-cooker roast beef and need a side - I recommend these.
Believe me - you'll be adding these potatoes to your list of comfort foods in no time.
xoxo - Heather

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Guinness Beef Stew

Three years.  It's been three years since I got brave enough to start writing for the whole world to see.
I've been looking back at some posts and wondered - "ugh, what was I thinking!", or - "good grief I wish those pictures were better".
Three years, 152 posts, tons of recipes under my belt.  Some good, some bad, some out of this world.
I don't know if you remember, but on March 19th, 2011, I posted about Irish Lamb Stew.  There were no pictures, I had serious verbal diarrhea, and I had no clue about what I wanted to do with this blog.
So to celebrate three years, I figured I'd do a stew again, same but different.
Today's recipe comes from Tracey at Tracey's Culinary Adventures.
In the grand scheme of things - it doesn't have a lot of  ingredients - but it takes time.  So it's a Sunday recipe if you're working.
In a large dutch oven (this one is 5 quarts and was graciously provided by my sister-in-law), heat the oil over medium-high heat, then add the onions and cook them until they're golden brown.

Then add the tomato paste and garlic.

This is really the part where you'd add the flour - but I kind of forgot - so you make sure you add it here.  Add the chicken broth,

And the Guinness.


Add in the thyme and the brown sugar and whisk together to scrape up any bits that are stuck to the bottom of the pot.

Bring to a simmer and cook for a few minutes, then add the beef.

I'll never figure out how to make raw meat look appetizing. 
Bring the pot back to a simmer, then put the pot in the oven and cook uncovered for 90 minutes.
Then add the potatoes and carrots and return the pot to the oven.  Cook for an additional 60 minutes, until the vegetables and meat are fork tender.

Very lastly, add in the remaining Guinness and the fresh parsley.  Stir to combine and serve.
With soda bread!

This came out really, really good. 
Even though I missed the flour step and didn't salt and pepper the meat before adding it. 

It's hearty and filling without being rich, the meat was tender and fall apart perfect.

This version of Guinness stew I really loved.

And just so you know - it made a TON.  I fed 5 grown-ups, one 4-year old and had lunch for two days from this one pot!.

That's A LOT. 

So here's to 3 years of blogging fun.  Thank you for letting me into your homes and kitchens - I can't wait to see you here in another three!

xoxo - Heather, The Cane Girl

Monday, 17 March 2014

Irish Soda Bread

Today is St. Patrick's Day.  We drink green beer, eat green food, and wear green clothes (in order to prevent getting pinched!). 

I have a permanent St. Patrick's Day out.  My eyes are green.


And if you're having a St Patty's Day supper, I recommend this traditional Soda Bread.

Also - super, duper easy.  5 ingredients.

Pretend there are 5 ingredients in that picture there.

Start by measuring out the flour into a bowl.

Then add the caraway seeds.

Then the salt.
And the baking soda.
Stir everything together.
Pour in the buttermilk.
Stir everything together until moistened.
Turn out onto the counter and knead until it comes together.  Shape into a disc about 6-inches across and 2-inches thick.
Cut an "x" across the top of the dough, about 1-inch deep.
Bake until golden.  You'll know it's done when you knock on the bottom of the "loaf" and it sounds hollow.
Sadly - mine was a little over-done.  I think you'd be surprised to know that I'm still getting used to my oven.  

And it is sure great for sopping up stew!

Dense and chewy - the caraway gives the bread a terrific flavor.

Now - I'm not terribly sure if this is a very traditional soda bread - it's been hanging around in my recipe book for a few years now.

But - regardless of traditional or not - it's really good and perfect with stew.

Happy St. Paddy's Day!

May the road rise up to meet you,
May the wind be ever at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
And rains fall soft upon your fields,
And until we meet again,
May God keep you in the palm of his hand.
                     -Irish Blessing

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Buttery Honey Beer Bread

Did that Beer Cheese Soup warm your bones?  I would hope so.

How about some Beer Bread?

Yeeeaaaah - I may be resorting to putting alcohol in EVERYTHING to make it to Spring.

The only thing I can't get it into is breakfast.

Because that's inappropriate.

This quick bread is tasty, buttery, and not overly sweet.  It actually makes the perfect addition to any meal without tasting like dessert.

In a bowl, combine both types of flours.

Add the sugar.

Then add the baking powder.

And the salt.

Whisk together and gently add the beer.

Then the honey.

Stir everything together and pour batter into a 9 x 5 loaf pan.  I found that the batter was fairly stiff and more "spreadable" than "pourable".  You'll know what I mean.
Melt some butter and pour over top.

Bake in the preheated oven until golden and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

Topped with a big dollop of butter (maybe with a little honey stirred in), this makes a wonderful side dish for any dinner.

The crumb was big and the bread was moist.  I also really liked the crust and that it had a little bit of a crunch.

Thanks to Michelle from Brown Eyed Baker for the fantastic recipe!  You always make my day!

As for you - run out and make this bread.  It's comfort in a loaf pan.

xoxo - Heather