Sunday, March 16, 2014

Behind The Scenes.... Happy St. Patrick's Day Super Easy Recipes!

Freshly Baked Soda Bread 3-16-14
Happy St. Patrick's Day!  I thought that I would share a few recipes that are favorites with our family.  Champ, Colcannon, and Soda Bread have all long been  St. Patrick's Day staples for our family.  In fact, they are pretty much every day things that we like, but they were introduced to us via St. Patrick's Day. :) 

Champ and Colcannon can be served as sides, or on their own.  Soda Bread is great with just about everything.  Make a grilled cheese with this and you will be forever hooked. 

The one thing to remember with Soda Bread, is that you need to work quick.  I usually get my pan (s) and everything set up and ready to go before I add my liquid to the dry ingredients.  There are many ways to go about making this.  I am sharing my way.  I use parchment paper on cookie sheets to bake, although you can use an 8" cake pan etc..  For the liquid part, buttermilk is usually used, but you can use plain milk, soured milk, and I sometimes use plain yogurt.  

The idea is to not stress too much about.  For more in depth reading and variations, I recommend going to Peters-Mums-Soda-Bread-Recipe.  A while back, I could not find my recipe and referred to this for my measurements, baking temp.  I am not sure if there is a more accurate or informative place for traditional soda bread and all of it's lovely variations!

Soda Bread

Ingredients :

  •  3 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  •  About 12 oz. buttermilk, soured milk, etc. (After you make this a couple of times, you will get a feel for what works best for you.) I kind of just "eyeball" it.  If you choose to use yogurt - 1 32 oz. container  should do the trick.

  1. Preheat oven to 475 F.
  2. Get your pan ready 
  3. Mix your dry ingredients.
  4. Add your liquid.
  5. Stir until just mixed. My dough is usually really sticky. 
  6. Turn out onto baking sheet and shape into a round loaf about 8" in diameter.
  7. Sprinkle flour on top of dough and cut a deep cross into the dough. (quarters)
  8. Bake at 475 F for 10 minutes, then reduce to 375 F and continue baking until golden brown.  The bottom of the loaf will sound hollow when tapped. 

 ** You can bake 2 loaves at the same time, but I recommend mixing them in two different bowls, and you will probably need two baking sheets.**


I read somewhere that this originated in Northern Ireland, and Colcannon comes from Southern Ireland.

Ingredients :

This makes a lot! If you do not want left overs or need to feed several people, I recommend cutting the ingredient list in half.

  • 5 lbs. potatoes (I use Idaho) peeled and cut up like you would to cook them for mashed potatoes.
  • 1 bunch green onions chopped
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 sticks of butter
  • salt and pepper to taste

Prep :

  1. Cover the potatoes with water, bring to a boil, and cook until tender.
  2. While the potatoes are cooking, combine the milk and onions, and cook on low heat until onions are tender.
  3. Melt one stick of butter.
  4. Once the potatoes are done, drain and mash them.
  5. Stir in the milk-onion mixture until the desired consistency is reached.
  6. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Place potatoes on plates and make a well in the middle.
  8. Pour melted butter into to wells.
An Alternative way to make this, and the way I normally make it....

  1. Follow steps 1 & 2 then...
  2. Drain and mash potatoes.
  3. Add milk-onion mixture until desired consistency is reached.
  4. Add salt, pepper, and butter to taste.
  5. Serve

Colcannon, or "green mashed potatoes"

I make this with kale.  It is a great way to get your picky eaters to eat a healthy green!  Again, this makes a lot, so cut the ingredients to make less. :)

Ingredients :

  • 5 lbs. potatoes (I use Idaho) peeled and cut up like you would to cook them for mashed potatoes.
  • 1 bunch kale (washed, ribs and stalks removed)
  •  butter to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste

 Prep :

  1. Cover potatoes with water, bring to a boil, continue to cook until tender.
  2. While you are cooking the potatoes, fill a pot with water and bring to a boil.
  3. Once your water starts boiling, add the kale.
  4. Cook the kale until tender ( about 10 min.)
  5. Drain kale, chop, and set aside.
  6. Drain potatoes.
  7. Mash potatoes with the kale, butter, salt  and pepper.
  8. Serve.

Both of these dishes are great reheated.  My kids love them, so I usually make a lot for left overs.  


Check back Thursday for my Treasured Thursday post!

Until then...




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