Wednesday, October 27, 2004


Very warming on a cold winter morning!

two cups water
one cup quick-cooking oats
splash of whole milk
two tablespoons sugar (or honey, if you prefer)

Boil the water. A lid on the pot will help bring the water to the boil more quickly. Add the oats and sugar. Bring back up to a boil. Stirring briskly, splash some whole milk into the boiling mixture. Be vigilant, as you watch the pot, because, if one doesn't, the milk has a tendency to fuse with the bottom of the pot. Bring it to a boil again, stirring several times in the interim, until it has a nice creamy consistency. Pour into a bowl. Once served, you can add more milk if you want to lower the temperature of the porridge or to thin the consistency somewhat. This should feed one person of moderate appetite or two persons of lesser appetite.

Irish Breakfast for Two

An absolutely delicious, albeit occasional, indulgence.

8 rashers of bacon
8 pork sausages
4 eggs, prepared as preferred
8 one inch rounds of black pudding
8 one inch rounds of white pudding
4 slices of tomato

Fry the above, then:

butter 4 slices of whole wheat bread
butter 4 slices of white toast

and, finally:

brew one large pot of very strong tea to be taken with milk and sugar

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Beef Stew

Perfect comfort food for a winter evening!

2 1/2 pounds cubed beef
3 tablespoons olive oil
5 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 1/2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 1/2 onion chopped
1 1/2 celery stalks, diced
30 ounce can of tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1 clove
3 cups beef stock
3 tablespoons tomato paste
3 large potatoes, peeled and diced
3 large carrots, peeled and chopped
pepper and salt to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees farenheit. Heat oil in a large ovenproof pot (we find an enamel one works well). Sear the meat, adding chili powder, salt, and pepper. Mix thoroughly and cook for about six minutes. Add the flour. Cook for a further 4 to 5 minutes. Remove meat and set aside. Add butter to the pot. Add garlic, celery, onion, and seasonings and cook for about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes (with juice). Put the beef back into the pot, mixing well. Add pepper and salt to taste. Add beef stock, mix and stir in tomato paste, cover and bring to a boil. Finish cooking it two hours in the oven. After one hour add the vegetables. After 30 minutes remove the cover. Should serve four persons with moderate appetites or two with hearty appetites who like leftover stew for lunch the next day!


This takes a little time but it is well worth the effort!

16 pieces lasagna pasta
1 large (about 30 ounces) jar of spaghetti sauce
1 pound ground beef (or Italian sausage, whichever you prefer)
4 cups ricotta cheese
1 egg
mixed Italian spices (oregano, basil, thyme)
16 ounces whole milk mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees farenheit. Cook the pasta in a large pot. I find it helps to prevent sticking if you add a tiny bit of olive oil. Simultaneously, brown the ground beef (or Italian sausage), draining off any excess fat. Stir in the spaghetti sauce, reserving some for the bottom of the baking dish and for the top of the lasagna. As the strips of lasagna pasta cook place them on a sheet of aluminum foil. Put some sauce in the bottom of the baking dish (to prevent sticking). Place a layer of pasta on the bottom of the dish. Cover with the meat mixture. Cover the meat with a layer of pasta. Mix one egg and Italian spices into the ricotta. Spread evenly over the pasta. Cover ricotta with another layer of pasta. Spread sauce over the pasta. Cover the topmost layer of pasta with shredded mozzarella cheese and sprinkle with dried oregano. Cover with foil. Bake for 40 minutes. Remove the foil and cook for a further 10 minutes. The cheese on the top should be thoroughly melted and starting to bubble and brown at the edges. Let it stand for about 10 minutes before trying to cut it.

This is very nice served with some garlic bread and red wine.

Sausage Casserole

This is a tasty breakfast dish.

16 ounces pork sausage
8 eggs, beaten
2 1/2 cups of milk
1 1/2 teaspoons dried mustard
6 ounces shredded sharp cheddar
5 cups cubed white bread
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees farenheit. Combine the milk, mustard, eggs, and salt. Place half the bread in the baking dish (a 9 X 13 inch dish should do). Distribute half the sausage and half the cheese over the bread. Cover with the remaining bread, then with the remaining sausage and cheese. Pour egg mixture evenly over the casserole. Bake uncovered for 60 minutes or until eggs are set. You may wish to cover with aluminium foil so as to avoid the eggs browning too rapidly.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Yellow Cake

This is a nice plain yellow cake, very wholesome.

2 cups sugar
1 cup milk
4 separated eggs
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup unsalted butter, slightly softened
3 cups white flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons baking powder

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees farenheit. (In general, whenever I cook most anything, I preheat the oven. Food does not like going into a cold oven). Blend the salt, baking powder, and flour together. Mix the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in egg yolks one at a time along with a teaspoon of the flour mixture. Then, mix in the remaining flour, the vanilla extract, and the milk. In another large bowl beat the egg whites with an electric beater until they are very stiff. Fold these gently into the mixture. Divide into two buttered and floured nine inch cake pans. Bake for 25 minutes. Test for done-ness with the tip of a knife. Allow them to cool, then fill with raspberry (or some other ) jam.

Chocolate Cake

In honor of my 37th birthday tomorrow, herewith a recipe for chocolate cake!

1 cup of white granulated sugar
6 eggs, the largest you can find*
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup white flour
raspberry jam for the filling
powdered sugar for dusting the top

*If at all possible, the eggs should be at room temperature.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees farenheit. Beat the eggs and sugar until they are light and fluffy. Combine the baking powder, flour, and cocoa powder, then fold into the egg and sugar mixture. Mix thoroughly, then pour equal amounts into two buttered tins that have been dusted with flour. I generally use nine inch ones. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes. When the cake is firm to the touch and begins to recede from the sides of the pan it should be done. Generally I insert the tip of a knife into each cake. If it comes out clean (non-sticky) they are done. Let the cakes cool, then fill the center with raspberry jam and dust over with powdered sugar. Alternately, of course, you could use a store-bought frosting...perhaps chocolate...and strew the top and sides with slivered almonds. This is also quite nice.

Shepherd's Pie

This is a nice warming dish for a chilly evening.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 of an onion, chopped
1 tablespoon parsley
1/3 teaspoon allspice
1/3 teaspoon cloves
1/3 pound coarsely chopped mushrooms
2 pounds ground beef
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon basil
2 cups tomato sauce
4 cups mashed potato
dash of salt for the potatoes

Preheat oven to 400 degrees farenheit. Heat the oil in a large pan, cooking the onion and parsley for a couple of minutes. Add the allspice, cloves, and mushrooms. Cook for several minutes more. Add ground beef, thyme, and basil, cooking over medium heat. Add tomato sauce and again, cook for several minutes more. Spoon mixture into a large baking dish and cover with mashed potatoes. About 5 or 6 medium-sized potatoes should do, but a good deal, of course, depends on the size and depth of your baking dish. Use your best judgement!. Bake for 1 hour. After taking it out of the oven I would allow it to sit on top of the range top before it is served.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Chili Con Carne

1 cup onion, finely chopped
2 pounds hamburger
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves finely chopped garlic
1/2 cup water, boiled
4 tablespoons chili powder
1 pound, four ounces canned undrained tomatoes
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
30 ounces kidney beans, undrained

Saute hamburger, onion, and garlic until hamburger is browned. Dissolve chili powder in boiling water and add to meat mixture along with tomatoes, salt, oregano, and basil. Simmer over a low heat for about one hour. Stir occasionally. Simmer uncovered for about twenty minutes. Add beans. Continue cooking until most of the liquid has evaporated. Should make six to eight servings.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Apple Cake

This is a nice cake to have along with a cup of coffee.

2 1/4 cups flour
2 eggs
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 cup granulated white sugar
1/3 cup melted butter
2/3 cup milk

5 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced thinly

Mix flour, baking powder, spices, and sugar. Combine the milk, butter, and eggs, then mix these in as well. Pour the mixture into the cake pan. Cover the top with sliced apples, then the butter, then the cinnamon and sugar mixture. Bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes or until a knife, inserted, comes out clean.

A very tasty cake.

White Soda Bread

This can be a plain bread or you can add caraway seeds and raisins (which makes it nicer, I think).

4 cups white flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups buttermilk
raisins, to taste
caraway seeds, to taste

Mix all the dry ingredients together. Create a "well" in the center. Add buttermilk, drawing in flour mixture from the sides. If desired, add raisins (about 1 cup) and caraway seeds (about 1 - 2 tablespoons). Knead gently on a floured board. Form into a circle. Place on a baking sheet and cut a cross onto the top. Bake for 40 minutes at 400 degrees farenheit. Tap the bottom of the loaf when the 40 minutes are up. If it sounds hollow the loaf is done.

Time for tea!


Raisin Scones

These are lovely buttered with a nice hot cup of tea.

4 cups white flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
slight pinch of salt
8 ounces butter
4 tablespoons sugar
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
4 eggs
raisins to taste

Combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix in butter and sugar. Add the eggs, and gradually, the buttermilk. Add raisins to taste....perhaps about one cup. Knead gently until you have a smooth dough. Place on a floured board and cut into desired shapes. I find a floured drinking-glass works well for this. Bake on a greased cookie sheet for 20 minutes at 350 degrees farenheit.


Monday, October 11, 2004

Sponge Cake

It is the first really cold day this October. Time to bake a cake! This is a nice one.

7 ounces white flour
splash of lemon juice
9 ounces of granulated white sugar
5 separated large eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees farenheit. Beat egg whites in a large bowl until stiff white peaks appear. Beat egg yolks thoroughly. Add the lemon juice and sugar to the yolks. Beat until mixture is thick and lighter in color. Mix in egg whites gingerly. Add the flour, folding in the same manner. Pour into two buttered and floured nine inch cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees for thirty minutes. Spread raspberry jam in the middle of the cake and dust over with powdered sugar.

Perhaps having the oven on will warm us up somewhat!


Saturday, October 09, 2004

Brown Soda Bread

This is a great recipe for brown soda bread.....the only problem is it gets eaten up very quickly indeed and I am in danger of putting the pounds on whenever it is within reach!

4 ounces white flour
12 ounces wheat flour
2 heaping tablespoons of wheat germ
1 heaping teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
tiny pinch of salt
1/2 pint of buttermilk
1 beaten egg

Preheat oven to 400 degrees farenheit. Blend the flours, then mix in the wheat germ, bicarbonate of soda, and salt. Blend in the beaten egg and buttermilk and combine well with a large fork. Turn out onto a floured board and knead lightly. Shape into a round. Put on a greased, floured cookie sheet and cut a cross on the top. Dust the top with some flour. Bake for approximately 40 minutes. Tap the bottom at the end of 40 minutes....if it sounds hollow, it is done.

Spread with butter or jam and enjoy!

Friday, October 08, 2004

Irish Christmas Cake

It strikes me that the festive season quickly approaches. Therefore, my recipe for Irish Christmas Cake:

2 teaspoons baking powder
4 cups flour
4 teaspoons mixed spice: nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, ginger, and mace
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups butter
2 cups brown sugar
2 cups molassas
6 eggs
3/4 cup of milk
1 pound currants
1 pound golden raisins
1 1/2 cup dark raisins
3/4 cup candied peel
1 cup chopped figs
1 cup chopped dates

*The butter and eggs should be at room temperature.
*A pan of water should be placed under the baking cake.

Sift together baking powder, flour, mixed spice, and salt. Set aside. Cream butter, brown sugar, and molassas. Beat in eggs one at a time and add one tablespoon of the flour mixture every time you add an egg. Add the remaining flour mixture alternately with the milk, beating well. Mix fruit mixture into creamed mixture and mix well. Line tin with several layers of greased brown paper. Top with a greased round of brown paper, to prevent overbrowning. Bake at 325 degrees farenheit for one hour then reduce temperature to 300 degrees farenheit for 4 1/2 to 5 hours until inserted knife comes out clean. Remove paper lid in the last hour.

An excellent cake, well enjoyed with a glass of ruby port.

First Entry

The recipes in this blog are derived from numerous sources. Many are from my personal collection of handwritten recipes received from others or noted down by myself over the course of many years. Some were clipped from coupon circulars or promotional materials or from various newspapers. Most, over time, have been adapted and changed in one manner or another. Some are taken and/or adapted from the following volumes: The New York Times Cook Book, McCalls Cookbook, Healthy Cooking, Recipes For Two, Mrs. Beeton's Guide to Household Management, The Afternoon Tea Book, The Irish Gourmet, Budget Cooking, A Guide to Modern American Cooking, The Christmas Book, and Any person seeking further information on the source of any recipe listed in this blog may contact me directly at and I will be happy to provide further information.