Sunday, March 21, 2010

St. Patty's Day Celebration

Just a warning: I did a lot of cooking/baking this past weekend- don't miss the Guinness Brownies on the previous post! This post is going to have a little bit of everything, but most importantly a wonderfully delicious Irish Soda Bread recipe courtesy of my favorite roommate from grad school.

Unfortunately, we had some things planned at work last week that didn't really allow us to have as much fun as we were hoping on St. Patrick's Day (since it was on a Wednesday). So to make up for our lack of celebration on Wednesday, we had a dinner party/St. Patrick's Day celebration Friday night complete with all the Irish fixins: corned beef and cabbage, cottage pie, Irish soda bread, and Guinness brownies. One of the girls at work also asked me to make her husband a Red Velvet Cake for his birthday so that made the menu as well!

I think I mentioned before that Mountain Man was in town this past week (only a few more weeks before he's here for good!) and it worked out perfectly because he was around to get the food going early Friday morning. It's great because he loves to cook and bake probably as much as I do, if not more- believe it or not- and we absolutely love to entertain and have friends over for dinner. Having made Darren's cake the night before and the main dishes taken care of  by the time I got home from work (got to love crock pots!) all that was left to do was the Irish Soda Bread and brownies.

My roommate in grad school was and is St. Patrick's biggest fan. Last year she made the best St. Patty's Day feast, topped off with Guinness Ice Cream Floats (definitely not as good as we had hoped they would be haha). Of course when I decided to have everyone over for dinner I knew I had to have her recipe for Irish Soda Bread and thankfully she shared the family recipe with me :)

So without further ado...

Irish Soda Bread
The Ryan-Way recipe
Oven: 400 degrees Bake time: 35 minutes

4 1/2 cup AP flour
2 TBS sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup raisins
2 tsp caraway seeds (optional)
2 cups buttermilk

Mix all dry ingredients together. Once combined, stir in raisins.
Add buttermilk. Mix with wooden spoon, then use hands when dough gets too sticky to stir.
Knead. Form in shape (MM chose to make it a shamrock) and place on lightly greased baking sheet or parchment paper. Brush with beaten egg, cut slits.

Bake 35 minutes and cool at least 20 minutes before serving.

After a full night of beer, laughter and food, the dinner was a success. Everyone left extremely full and happy. I love Good food and Good friends.