Margaret M. Johnson's Blog (139)

Rhubarb's Here!

     

Rhubarb makes only a brief appearance each spring, but because of its tart, bitter flavor, it makes a big impression. Rarely eaten on its own, it’s generally paired with a sweet fruit, especially berries, to balance the flavor. Rhubarb wasn’t a popular ingredient until the eighteenth century,…

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Added by Margaret M. Johnson on June 18, 2022 at 6:58am — No Comments

Strawberry Season Has Arrived

 

         Once upon a time in Ireland — at least at the time I made my first trip in 1984, and even a decade later — a salad was not a salad as we know it today: think a few leaves of iceberg and a slice or two of tomato. Perfectly acceptable at…

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Added by Margaret M. Johnson on May 23, 2022 at 8:04am — No Comments

CHOCOLATE + WHISKEY + CARAMEL = EASTER

     Irish whiskey is a popular ingredient in desserts, where its distinctive taste complements a wide range of flavors. The combination of whiskey and chocolate is especially delicious, and when caramel and nuts are added (you can substitute walnuts, if you wish), this tart simply screams “Easter.”…

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Added by Margaret M. Johnson on April 11, 2022 at 7:30am — No Comments

Celebrate St. Patrick's Day With Irish Soda Bread

IRISH SODA BREAD

MAKES 1 LOAF

Every Irish cook has a recipe for this delicious cake-like bread, but this is my favorite. I’ve used it in several of my cookbooks (to order, visit irishcook.com) and even turned it into “mini” soda breads by baking it in a cupcake pan (makes about 24).…

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Added by Margaret M. Johnson on March 13, 2022 at 8:00am — No Comments

Oh-So-Easy Oatmeal Crumble

If you love a bowl of oatmeal topped with fruit for breakfast, you’ll love this crumble that puts the fruit on the bottom and the oats on top. A warm fruity crumble is always a welcome dessert, and this one comes with a little kick from crystallized ginger. You’ll find recipes like this in my…

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Added by Margaret M. Johnson on February 15, 2022 at 3:30pm — No Comments

In Honor of Tea, Lemon-Ginger Drop Scones

Serious tea drinkers and wellness enthusiasts celebrate “National Hot Tea Month” in January. During the month, many extol the virtues of tea drinking for health reasons: Studies show that drinking tea can counteract tiredness and benefit work performance; can support cardiovascular health; and…

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Added by Margaret M. Johnson on January 17, 2022 at 11:30am — No Comments

The Sweetest Part of Christmas

After two rather miserable years of smaller gatherings and quieter celebrations, we can all only hope that Christmas 2021 will be the merriest of all — fingers crossed! I assume the Christmas cakes have been baked by now, but there’s still loads of time to make a yummy…

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Added by Margaret M. Johnson on December 14, 2021 at 2:30pm — No Comments

Celebrating Mairgead Mór

In addition to offering a wide-range of holiday recipes in my new cookbook, Festive Flavors of Ireland, you’ll also enjoy reading about many long-standing, often bygone, Irish holiday traditions at the end of each chapter. Brian Nolan, a Loughrea, County Galway native,…

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Added by Margaret M. Johnson on December 7, 2021 at 7:30am — No Comments

Fa la la la la! Let the Season Begin

     

It’s official: the festive season has begun! Holiday parties, family gatherings, and all manner of get-togethers are already marked on our December calendar, a sure sign that you’ll need a few fresh recipes. Whether you’re a guest looking for a perfect offering…

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Added by Margaret M. Johnson on November 26, 2021 at 11:30am — No Comments

HEARTY SOUPS FOR THE HOLIDAYS

     With two major holidays to celebrate in the next few weeks, a good recipe for a tasty starter is always welcome. This one includes two autumn favorites — tart apples and sweet parsnips. Parsnips have a unique growing season, and where other vegetables thrive in the spring and summer, the peak seasons for this hardy root vegetable are the fall and…

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Added by Margaret M. Johnson on November 12, 2021 at 9:41am — No Comments

Hot Soup: Coming Soon to a Table Near You

The temperatures are still mild in most parts of the United States, but cooler weather will be here before we know it. Cool temperatures also bring hearty pots of soups, many featuring flavors from autumn vegetables like butternut squash, leeks, potatoes and cabbage. When traveling though Ireland…

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Added by Margaret M. Johnson on October 17, 2021 at 9:00am — No Comments

Wild Mushroom and Blue Cheese Toasties -- Fast Meal for Fall Nights



WILD MUSHROOM-BLUE CHEESE TOASTIES

SERVES 6

This quick supper recipe comes from award-winning chef Kevin Dundon, proprietor of Dunbrody House in County Wexford. It’s part of a collection of recipes from Kerrygold, the cheese and…

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Added by Margaret M. Johnson on October 3, 2021 at 8:30am — No Comments

Celebrating Goat Cheese!

Did you know August is National Goat Cheese Month? Frankly, I didn’t, but a friend who follows a “National Day Calendar” that celebrates foods on a monthly and daily basis reminded me to promote goat cheese before I’m too late. No problem, as I’ve enjoyed goat cheese countless time during my…

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Added by Margaret M. Johnson on August 10, 2021 at 8:00am — No Comments

Another Easy Summer Supper

Everyone loves a good portion of fish ‘n chips, but not everyone appreciates the added fat and calories that come with it. Here’s where poaching comes in — a simple, healthier, and flavorful way to prepare fish with no batter, no breading, and no hot oil. When you return to…

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Added by Margaret M. Johnson on July 21, 2021 at 3:30pm — No Comments

EASY SUMMER SUPPER

If the idea of a one-dish meal with Irish roots is appealing, then this recipe will definitely please. I enjoyed it as the “catch of the day” many years ago at Aherne’s Seafood Bar in Youghal, County Cork. There it featured locally caught cod fillets cooked in a “parcel” with wine, fresh herbs, and wild mushrooms, but you can easily adapt it to…

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Added by Margaret M. Johnson on June 22, 2021 at 1:52pm — No Comments

Now's the Time for a Springtime Quiche

What’s not to love about spring vegetables!  Everyone welcomes asparagus, spinach, and pencil-thin spring onions for salads, soups and side dishes, but I love them in cheese-filled tarts and quiche. Make your own crust, use refrigerated or frozen pie crusts, prepared puff pastry, or make one…

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Added by Margaret M. Johnson on May 22, 2021 at 8:00am — No Comments

Mini Desserts for Every Taste

You like cheesecake. Your mother likes carrot cake. Your son likes brownies. If you’ve ever faced a dessert dilemma — or just looking for a fresh idea for your next special occasion meal or afternoon tea — dessert in a jar is your solution. In addition to making an impressive presentation, these…

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Added by Margaret M. Johnson on April 21, 2021 at 8:00am — No Comments

Spring Has Sprung, Helping Lemons Grab the Limelight

The March equinox (this year Saturday, March 20, at 5:37 a.m. EDT) marks the moment the sun crosses the celestial equator, the imaginary line in the sky above the Earth's equator, from south to north. In simpler terms, it marks the official start of the spring season in the Northern Hemisphere, a…

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Added by Margaret M. Johnson on March 19, 2021 at 11:30am — No Comments

'Eye' Candy: Carrot Cake With Cream Cheese Icing

Ever since the early 1980s when I first discovered carrot cake, I’ve been intrigued by the many iterations the little sweetie assumes. I thought about it again recently and dug out my carrot cake “file” filled with recipes shared by friends, neighbors, and chefs — no two were…

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Added by Margaret M. Johnson on February 21, 2021 at 10:30am — No Comments

St. Brigid’s Day Signals Spring Is Near

In Ireland, February 1 is the feast day of Saint Brigid, a woman whom many believe should be granted equal billing with Saint Patrick as Ireland’s female patron saint and that her feast day should be declared a national holiday. Saint Brigid’s…

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Added by Margaret M. Johnson on February 1, 2021 at 9:30am — No Comments

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