Margaret M. Johnson's Blog (129)

Hot Soup: Coming Soon to a Table Near you

         The temperatures are still mild in most parts of the U.S., 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 in autumn, you know a good bowl of soup is…

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Added by Margaret M. Johnson on October 17, 2021 at 9:02am — 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

Hot Tea Month Is Here

Did you know that January is celebrated as “National Hot Tea Month”? I didn’t! As a member of a tea-loving Facebook group, I discover all sorts of information that only passionate tea-lovers know and share. And as the author of Teatime in Ireland, I do know that tea plays…

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Added by Margaret M. Johnson on January 3, 2021 at 11:00am — No Comments

Downsizing the Christmas Cake -- Mini Bundt Fruitcakes

For obvious reasons, Christmas 2020 will be scaled back a bit, so for many the “big Christmas cake” won’t happen this year. Not to worry: for those like me who still love holiday baking, these mini fruitcakes will fill the bill. Same great flavor, same great taste, just sized down to fit the “new…

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Added by Margaret M. Johnson on December 7, 2020 at 3:00pm — No Comments

Cranberry Bread: A Seasonal Favorite!

Cranberries take center stage this month in both sweet and savory dishes. One of my favorites is this quick bread, sweet enough for dessert but not-too-sweet for breakfast or afternoon tea. The versatile little berry is widely available in markets this month and next, so buy a few…

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Added by Margaret M. Johnson on November 12, 2020 at 12:00pm — No Comments

We Still Love Pumpkins -- Nutty Pumpkin Muffins

While pumpkins are not native to Ireland, they are in great demand during the autumn, from Halloween straight through to Christmas. In the U.S., we use pumpkins and other winter squash varieties in many sweet and savory dishes, always enticed by the look of a supermarket display or a roadside…

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Added by Margaret M. Johnson on October 29, 2020 at 12:30pm — No Comments

APPPLE TREAT FOR OCTOBER

If it’s October, it’s time to add apples to the menu. This recipe for an apple tea loaf is reminiscent of a traditional Irish apple cake. The brandy adds a little kick and the nuts a bit of crunch. I like to bake it in a stoneware tea loaf pan (12 x 4 x 2 1/2-inches) that creates smaller slices than a traditional full-sized loaf. The tea loaf pan (I…

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Added by Margaret M. Johnson on October 1, 2020 at 12:00pm — No Comments

Fabulous Figs . . . From Teatime to Cheeseboards

Fresh or dried, figs are it! While not native to Ireland, they’re no longer considered “exotic” and are widely available to use in dishes ranging from teatime sandwiches to appetizers and. Christmas bakers have probably already started to stockpile dried ones for holidays sweets, but, in…

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Added by Margaret M. Johnson on September 4, 2020 at 1:00pm — 1 Comment

A Delicious Tart That's, Well, Just Peachy!

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 is then filled with peaches and blackberries. (You can substitute…

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Added by Margaret M. Johnson on August 16, 2020 at 10:00am — No Comments

Blueberry Fool -- A 'Foolproof' Summer Dessert

A fruit “fool” – the word supposedly derives from the French fouler, meaning “to crush”—calls for combining puréed fruit with beaten eggs and sugar, whipped cream, sour cream, or yogurt for a virtually “foolproof” dessert. This recipe, which pays homage to the fraughan (also known as…

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Added by Margaret M. Johnson on July 29, 2020 at 7:30am — No Comments

A Berry Merry Summer Pudding

What could be sweeter (and easier) than a big bowl of fresh berries for a summer dessert? A trifle, perhaps? A cobbler? A summer pudding? A bit more effort, I agree, but the rewards are greater too. You'll find recipes for other delicious summer recipes in my new cookbook Teatime in…

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Added by Margaret M. Johnson on July 21, 2020 at 8:30am — No Comments

Very Berry Summer Cake

Long before gluten free was a food phenomenon, a friend gave me this recipe for an unusual, flourless — thus gluten free — cornmeal cake that became my go-to summer dessert. The original recipe suggested a fruity wine syrup topping, but I also love it as an…

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Added by Margaret M. Johnson on June 28, 2020 at 11:00am — No Comments

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