Margaret M. Johnson's Blog (97)

Very Berry Scones

Strawberry season has just arrived where I live in the Northeast. The season is over almost as quickly as it arrives, so I grab as many as possible and eat, bake, or freeze them as fast as I can. As the Fourth of July approaches, they’re especially colorful in red, white and blue scones, treats you…

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Added by Margaret M. Johnson on June 20, 2019 at 8:30am — No Comments

Potatoes -- The Stuff of Greatness

I’m writing this post from Dublin, where I’m finishing up another great visit to Ireland. You know what that means? I’ve had potatoes [nearly] for breakfast, lunch, and dinner in as many shapes and textures as one can imagine: fried potatoes for breakfast, chips to go with fish at lunch, and…

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Added by Margaret M. Johnson on May 24, 2019 at 10:00am — No Comments

'Eaton Mess' An Easy Springtime Dessert

While locally grown berries are not quite in-season yet in most parts of the U.S., their wide availability makes them popular year-round. For a quick and delicious Easter dessert, you might want to serve this easy-to-assemble berries-and-cream dish known as Eton Mess. Despite its rather inelegant…

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Added by Margaret M. Johnson on April 16, 2019 at 2:30pm — No Comments

Baking With Guinness

If it’s March, then it’s time to start thinking of soda bread, one of Ireland’s most iconic foods. It's safe to say that every Irish cook has a recipe for it that's been personalized by families either by name, ingredients, or method of baking. A few decades ago, I judged an Irish cooking contest and…

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Added by Margaret M. Johnson on March 5, 2019 at 8:30am — No Comments

Love and Chocolate . . . Irish Cream Cheesecake

It’s that time of year again when thoughts turn to love — love AND Champagne, hearts, flowers and, of course, chocolate. Try this yummy Irish cream-laced chocolate cheesecake for a delicious Valentine’s Day treat. You’ll find other recipes like this in my Favorite…

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Added by Margaret M. Johnson on February 10, 2019 at 12:00pm — 1 Comment

Make Your Own Brotchán Foltchep (Leek and Potato Soup)

Leek and potato soup, also known as brotchán foltchep (from the Irish words meaning “broth” and “leeks”), is one of Ireland’s most popular soups. Once thickened with oatmeal, today’s leek broth is thickened with potatoes and then buttermilk or…

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Added by Margaret M. Johnson on January 24, 2019 at 9:30am — 3 Comments

Soup's On: Add Guinness

Onion soup is a surefire hit on anyone’s winter menu. Instead of using only yellow onions, this soup uses three — yellow, red, and shallots — adds Guinness to flavor the broth, and tops it with hearty, thick-cut croutons with melted blue cheese — Cashel Blue preferred! You can make the croutons…

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Added by Margaret M. Johnson on January 11, 2019 at 12:00pm — No Comments

‘Bring Us Some Figgy Pudding'

Often called “plum pudding”—despite the fact that it contains no plums whatsoever steamed pudding was first recorded as “Christmas Pudding” in 1858 and later popularized in the carol “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.” The name is probably derived from the substitution of raisins for…

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Added by Margaret M. Johnson on December 12, 2018 at 8:00am — 1 Comment

Giving Thanks for Irish Cheese

If you’re still looking to add an Irish “touch” to your American Thanksgiving meal, look no further than this delicious starter featuring Cashel Blue, Ireland’s first (and most delicious) blue cheese. This recipe comes from award-winning chef Kevin Dundon, proprietor of Dunbrody House in County Wexford,…

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Added by Margaret M. Johnson on November 15, 2018 at 3:00pm — No Comments

Almost Time To Celebrate Samhain

The ancient Celtic harvest feast called Samhain (pronounced SAH-win) marks the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter, the “darker half” of the year. It’s celebrated on October 31-November 1, which is nearly halfway between the…

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Added by Margaret M. Johnson on October 17, 2018 at 3:30pm — No Comments

The Last Peaches of Summer (With Apologies to Tom Moore)

With peaches still available at local farm stands, you’ll love this recipe for baked peaches filled with ground almonds and amaretti cookies. Top them with vanilla ice cream, crème fraîche, or mascarpone cheese. You’ll find recipes like this in my cookbook Favorite Flavors of Ireland; signed copies available from…

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Added by Margaret M. Johnson on September 26, 2018 at 1:00pm — No Comments

Bake This Delicious, Free-Form Apple Tart in Minutes

Who says making a fresh apple dessert takes hours? You can assemble this delicious free-form apple tart in minutes and pop it into the oven while you’re having dinner. Apple pie (or tart) with ice cream is a classic dessert, but you might want to try it with a drizizle of prepared caramel sauce instead. You’ll find…

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Added by Margaret M. Johnson on September 9, 2018 at 11:30am — No Comments

Just Peachy! (Peach-Blackberry Tart, That Is)

As August comes to a close, the fruits of summer show no signs of slowing down — lots of peaches, blackberries, plums, and nectarines available for snacking and baking. This tart recipe starts with a shortbread-like crust, and then it’s filled with peaches and blackberries (you can substitute blueberries and add…

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Added by Margaret M. Johnson on August 20, 2018 at 10:00am — No Comments

Chillin' With An Al Fresco Brunch: Lemon Ricotta Pancakes

With the recent stretch of warm — make that HOT — weather in Ireland and elsewhere, everyone wants to dine al fresco. I know I’ve been eating three meals a day in the great outdoors, especially brunch on weekends when I’ve been serving these delicious pancakes topped with blueberries. You’ll find recipes…

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Added by Margaret M. Johnson on August 3, 2018 at 10:00am — No Comments

The All-American Scone -- A Star-Spangled Treat

As Independence Day approaches in the United States, out come the BBQ's, the American flags, and just about anything red, white and blue — including recipes for these fruity, berry-filled scones. You can actually eat them all day; lathered with a little butter or clotted cream for breakfast or brunch or with a…

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Added by Margaret M. Johnson on June 22, 2018 at 1:30pm — No Comments

Worth Repeating: Strawberry Shortcake Day

Strawberry season is finally here! In fact, the entire month of June is considered to be “strawberry month” and “National Strawberry Shortcake Day” is celebrated June 14. According to Driscoll’s, a California company celebrating over 100 years of growing berries, “The first printed shortcake recipe appeared in an…

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Added by Margaret M. Johnson on June 12, 2018 at 6:30am — No Comments

Crumble Pots for Dessert

MIXED BERRY CRUMBLE POTS

SERVES 8

The recipe for these little pots of fruit with a crumble topping originated with a friend from Wexford, the sunny southeast corner of Ireland noted for its strawberries. Here in New York, where I live, we’re not quite into…

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Added by Margaret M. Johnson on May 16, 2018 at 8:00am — No Comments

When Life Sends You Lemons, Make Lemon Bread

Lemon desserts seem to be more delicious on a spring day, but you’ll want to keep this one on a year-round basis to have with a cup of tea. Technically, it fits into the “quick bread” baking category, but the glaze definitely elevates it to a cake. Whatever you call…

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Added by Margaret M. Johnson on April 17, 2018 at 7:30am — No Comments

Happy Easter, Happy Chocolate

Chocolate is definitely the flavor-of-the-month when Easter rolls around, so you might want to add just one more recipe — like this creamy cheesecake — to your dessert basket. You’ll find this and other springtime desserts in my cookbook, Flavors of Ireland. Signed copies are available on…

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Added by Margaret M. Johnson on March 26, 2018 at 9:30am — 2 Comments

Big Breakfast for the Big Day

If you’re looking for a delicious pre-parade dish to fortify you for the “big day,” you’ll love this hearty three-in-one casserole. The recipe originated with Peter Foynes, director of Cork Butter Museum in Cork City, and has appeared in several of my cookbooks. Signed copies are available on my website…

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Added by Margaret M. Johnson on March 15, 2018 at 11:00am — No Comments

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