Since St. Patrick’s Day is next week, I thought an Irish recipe would be appropriate. Bonus points because this recipe has Guinness in it!
- 2 pounds chuck roast, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 pinch salt and ground black pepper to taste
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper
- 2 large onions, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 1/2 cups Guinness
- 2 cups chopped carrot
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley for garnish
Toss the beef cubes with 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper. Dredge the beef in this to coat.
Heat the remaining oil in a deep skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the beef, and brown on all sides. Add the onions, and garlic. Stir the tomato paste into a small amount of water to dilute; pour into the pan and stir to blend. Reduce the heat to medium, cover, and cook for 5 minutes.
Pour 1/2 cup of the beer into the pan, and as it begins to boil, scrape any bits of food from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. This adds a lot of flavor to the broth. Pour in the rest of the beer, and add the carrots. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 2 to 3 hours, stirring occasionally. Taste and adjust seasoning before serving. Garnish with chopped parsley.
We got into the Mardi Gras spirit today with a few special food items…Pączki, Cajun shrimp pasta, and a Doberge cake (a New Orleans twist on the Hungarian Dobos torte), a six-layer cake filled with homemade double chocolate custard, frosted with chocolate buttercream, and topped with a chocolate ganache.
Laissez les bon temps rouler!
For the Closing Ceremonies of this year’s Russian Olympics, I tried a new twist on my standard booze soaked cake…a White Russian cake. I used a premixed White Russian cocktail from Kahlua, but you could also substitute vodka and Kahlua in the proper proportions. I think this was one of the best cakes I’ve ever made!
- 1 (18.25 ounce) package white cake mix
- 1 cup Coffe-Mate Italian Sweet Créme non-dairy coffee creamer
- 1 cup White Russian mix
- 3 eggs
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1 (3.5 ounce) package instant white chocolate pudding mix
- 1 cup Coffe-Mate Italian Sweet Créme non-dairy coffee creamer
- 1/4 cup White Russian mix
- 2 cups heavy cream, whipped
Preheat oven to 325. Grease and flour three 8- inch pans.
Mix together the cake mix, 1 cup creamer, 1 cup White Russian mix, eggs and oil until blended. Distribute cake batter evenly between the cake pans. Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, making certain the cake layers do not overbake. Allow to cool completely before filling.
To make the White Russian whipped cream filling: Combine pudding mix, 1/4 cup White Russian mix and 1 cup creamer. Set aside for 5 minutes until thickened. Fold the whipped cream into the White Russian mixture. Use to fill and frost top of the cake. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
We had another fun season of special meals this year! Here’s a wrap-up of the feasts we enjoyed…
We started the holiday season with a typical Thanksgiving dinner, followed by an epic six pies for dessert:
On Christmas Eve we had our annual “pick out dinner.” Ryan chose Velveeta/Rotel dip, I picked my favorite jalapeno popper spread, Turkey asked for deviled eggs, Bunny wanted cream cheese stuffed peppers, Moose chose mozzarella sticks, Ladybug asked for cucumber sandwiches, and I picked red and green Goldfish crackers for Chickadee. Plus, we had the standard buffalo Chex mix, carrots, finger Jell-o in Christmas colors and shapes, and a cheese, cracker, and summer sausage plate. (We had Jesus’ birthday cake for dessert after church that night.)
Our fancy Christmas dinner was held the day after Christmas, when Ryan’s parents could join us. The star of the meal was a pork crown roast. We also had stuffing, cranberries, and roast potatoes, carrots, parsnips, and brussels sprouts:
The Christmas desserts were a rustic apple-pear pie with French vanilla ice cream and cream puffs:
On New Year’s Eve, I made French onion soup in my new soup crocks:
We didn’t have a Christmas tea party this year, but we did have a New Year’s Eve hot chocolate bar!
I made our traditional New Year’s Day dinner of pork roast, along with a cherry-pineapple Jell-o salad, twice-baked potatoes, and roast carrots and brussels sprouts, with a chocolate peppermint trifle for dessert:
The final feast of the holiday season is always Ryan’s birthday/Epiphany. This year, he chose fish tacos with a spicy cabbage slaw, and Guinness cake for dessert:
The time of feasting is over for now, but I’m sure we have plenty of special family meals in our future!
I almost forgot to share our fancy Christmas dinner! I didn’t have a theme this year…I just wanted to try something new. So, I chose a pork crown roast with pan sauce. I’ve been told that it was very good, even though I thought it was dry. We also had roasted carrots, parsnips, brussels sprouts, and potatoes, plus my “famous” stuffing and cranberries.
For dessert, we had a rustic apple-pear pie with French vanilla ice cream, and cream puffs. We were supposed to have a croquembouche, but it kept falling down, so we “just” had the cream puffs, instead!
Next year, I might just make a rack of lamb!
I thought I’d share this recipe since the commemoration for Santa Lucia is this week. I can’t verify the authenticity of the recipe, since I’m not Swedish, but I do know that the children love it when I make these, and Bunny loves getting to play Santa Lucia on December 13!
- 1 package dry yeast
- 1/4 cup very warm water
- 1/2 cup milk, scalded and then cooled
- 1/4 cup sugar (plus extra for sprinkling)
- 1/4 cup softened butter (plus extra for brushing on top)
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- pinch saffron (or yellow food coloring)
- 1/2 tsp. orange zest
- 3-3 1/2 cups flour
Dissolve yeast in warm water.
Stir in milk, sugar, butter, 1 egg, cardamom, saffron or food coloring, salt, and orange zest.
Stir in 1 1/2 cups flour and beat until smooth.
Stir in enough remaining flour to make the dough easy to handle.
Turn out onto a floured surface and knead 5-10 minutes.
Place in a greased bowl, turn, and cover. Let rise in warm place until doubled in size (about 1 1/2-2 hours).
Punch down the dough. Divide into two portions and cut each portion into six pieces.
Shape each piece into a smooth rope about 10-12 inches long.
Shape each rope into an “S” shape and curve both ends into a tight coil.
Place one raisin in the center of each coil.
Place on greased cookie sheets. Brush the tops with butter.
Let rise in a warm place for 30-45 minutes.
Heat the oven to 350. Brush the buns with the remaining egg beaten and mixed with water, and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.
This recipe is so easy, and looks so pretty! It would make a great addition to anyone’s Christmas baking! (Also, did you know that you can buy pre-crushed peppermints? No more hammering with a rolling pin, and never getting them fine enough, or running them through the food processor, and ending up with peppermint dust!)
- 1 package (12 oz.) semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 package (10-11 oz.) white chocolate chips
- 2 tsp. vegetable oil or shortening
- 1/2 cup crushed peppermint candy pieces
Line a jelly roll pan (about 10×15) with parchment paper.
Melt semi-sweet chocolate in a double boiler. Spread over parchment paper.
Melt white chocolate and vegetable oil in a double boiler. Spread down center of semi-sweet chocolate, and swirl with a skewer.
Sprinkle peppermint pieces over the top.
Refrigerate until firm, then break into pieces.
It’s almost Thanksgiving! Here are a few of my favorite Thanksgiving-ready pie recipes:
- S’mores Pie
- Apple-Cranberry Pie (also known as “Wassail Pie” in our house)
- French Silk Pie
- Caramel Apple Pie
- Butterscotch Pie
- Pecan Pie (corn syrup free!)
If anyone’s wondering, I just use the standard Libby’s Famous Pumpkin Pie recipe…nothing too fancy there!
Today I’ll share a bonus Tasty Tuesday pie recipe, in honor of the Thanksgiving holiday next week. You can never have too many pies at Thanksgiving! (Trust me, I should know…I got roped into making six of them this year!) I like this particular recipe because it doesn’t use corn syrup.
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup butter
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1 9-inch unbaked pie crust
Preheat oven to 400.
In a large bowl, beat eggs until foamy, and stir in melted butter. Stir in the brown sugar, white sugar, and flour; mix well. Last add the milk, vanilla, and nuts.
Pour into pie crust. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes, then reduce temperature to 350 and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until done.