Margaret M. Johnson's Blog (81)

Eggnog, Crimson Mimosas -- These Favorites Light Up Yuletide!

From traditional to trendy, mulled wine to mimosas, ‘tis the season for all things hot, cold, and boozy. Merry Christmas to all!

BOGO: It’s not too late to buy a signed copy of my Christmas Flavors of Ireland cookbook and receive…

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Added by Margaret M. Johnson on December 19, 2016 at 11:00am — 1 Comment

Making Merry With Mincemeat

Mincemeat, a mixture of chopped dried fruits, spices, and spirits, is one of Ireland’s most popular Christmas foods. It was developed more than 500 years ago in England as a way of preserving meat without salting or smoking. Some early recipes…

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Added by Margaret M. Johnson on December 12, 2016 at 11:00am — No Comments

More Delicious Scents Of The Season!

For one more gingerbread-inspired holiday treat, try this rich, spicy pear and ginger cake reminiscent of an upside-down cake your mother might have made. This recipe starts with a raisin-studded pear and caramel bottom that’s topped with…

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Added by Margaret M. Johnson on December 5, 2016 at 3:00pm — 1 Comment

Gingerbread Helps Make Scents of the Season

Gingerbread men, gingerbread houses, even the smell of ginger signals that the Christmas season is upon us. Made from sugars and spices brought back from the Middle East by soldiers returning from the Crusades, gingerbread first…

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Added by Margaret M. Johnson on November 29, 2016 at 8:00am — 4 Comments

Leftover Heaven!

A great way to use up leftovers from Thursday’s turkey is to make a potpie laden with potatoes, carrots, and peas. (Add mushrooms if you like.) This recipe is a popular post-Thanksgiving dish in the United States and a year-round favorite in homes and…

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Added by Margaret M. Johnson on November 21, 2016 at 11:30am — No Comments

Countdown to the Holidays: Crazy for Cranberries

If you’ve tried every possible recipe for cranberry desserts and are looking for something new, you’ll love this one! Similar to an Italian panforte, a classic fruitcake-like confection loaded with nuts, dried fruit, and spices (the name means…

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Added by Margaret M. Johnson on November 14, 2016 at 10:00am — No Comments

Countdown To The Holidays: More Smoked Salmon Ideas

For the festive season, serve hot- or cold-smoked salmon on mini potato pancakes or in crispy bread baskets. Top the pancakes with a dollop of sour cream or crème frâiche and a sprinkling of fresh chives; try tangy horseradish-mustard cream on…

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Added by Margaret M. Johnson on November 7, 2016 at 6:30am — No Comments

Counting Down To The Holidays

Happy November! I’m purposely posting today so I can shock you into thoughts of the coming holidays: Thanksgiving in 24 days and Christmas, well, you know when that is! Shopping aside, it’s also time to start planning holiday foods, and what…

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Added by Margaret M. Johnson on November 1, 2016 at 7:30am — No Comments

Celebrate Samhain

The ancient Celtic harvest feast called Samhain (pronounced SAH-win) is celebrated October 31-November 1, marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter, the “darker half” of the year. It was suggested in the late 19th…

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Added by Margaret M. Johnson on October 25, 2016 at 4:00am — No Comments

Baking Season Elicits a Hearty Bravo!

There’s something about mid-October that I love — the weather, the thought that Halloween (and Thanksgiving) is right around the corner, and baking breads like this “brack,” a fruity loaf from the Quay House, in Clifden, County Galway. Dating from…

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Added by Margaret M. Johnson on October 17, 2016 at 10:00am — 1 Comment

Perfect Pears, Part II

Delicious on their own, pears are also a wonderful ingredient…

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Added by Margaret M. Johnson on October 10, 2016 at 6:30am — No Comments

Perfect Pears, Part I

There are over 3,000 known pear varieties grown around the world, each with a distinctive character, texture, and flavor. The most popular and recognizable pears are the yellow Bartlett, egg-shaped Anjou, graceful Bosc, pudgy Comice, and tiny Forelle. Crisp,…

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Added by Margaret M. Johnson on October 3, 2016 at 2:30pm — 1 Comment

Bring on the Crisps and Crumbles

 Last week we officially welcomed the first full day of autumn, so you know what that means — crisps, crumbles, and pies made with apples, with fall’s favorite fruit. From a culinary standpoint, there’s little difference in an apple crisp and an apple…

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Added by Margaret M. Johnson on September 26, 2016 at 4:30pm — 1 Comment

Perfect Autumn Hors D’Oeuvres

You’ll love this Irish cheese-inspired dip for the slightly Mediterranean taste it gets from the marinated artichokes, the color it gets from the spinach, and the creamy texture from Kerrygold’s Dubliner and cream cheese. Perfect for autumn…

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Added by Margaret M. Johnson on September 19, 2016 at 7:00am — No Comments

Nearly There! Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day

Next Saturday marks one of the most celebrated days on the Irish calendar, the day the optimists call “Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day.” It’s a great excuse for a trip to an Irish pub, or at least a good reason to serve some foods with the name “Irish” in them…

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Added by Margaret M. Johnson on September 12, 2016 at 7:00am — 2 Comments

Game Day Breakfast

Okay, it’s not the Super Bowl, but for fans of Ireland, the Aer Lingus College Football Classic pitting Boston College against Georgia Tech in Dublin on Saturday was nothing short of “super!” Regrettably, I didn't attend the big game at Aviva…

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Added by Margaret M. Johnson on September 1, 2016 at 7:30am — No Comments

Celebrating Blackberry Time!

BLACKBERRY TIME

Late August, given heavy rain and sun

For a full week, the blackberries would ripen,

At first, just one, a glossy purple clot

Among others, red, green, hard…

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Added by Margaret M. Johnson on August 22, 2016 at 5:00am — 1 Comment

The Irish Beet Scene

In my last post, I confessed to my love of cheese and my nearly non-stop indulgence in it while traveling through Ireland in May. On quite a few occasions, I found cheese, especially goat’s cheese, paired with beets in a sweet-tangy combination…

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Added by Margaret M. Johnson on August 15, 2016 at 11:30am — 1 Comment

The Piquant Power of Irish Cheese

I really love cheese, and ever since I was introduced to Irish-made cheese — from the great selection of Kerrygold cheeses like Dubliner, Blarney Castle, and Swiss to harder-to-find ones like Cashel Blue, Ardrahan, or St. Tola — I enjoy it as often as I…

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Added by Margaret M. Johnson on August 8, 2016 at 3:30pm — No Comments

Berries, Berries Everywhere

Why settle for a dessert with only one kind of berry when you can combine all the best the season has to offer in a dish appropriately called “Summer Pudding.” This deliciously simple sweet some attribute to the English; however, it's popular with Irish cooks as well and…

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Added by Margaret M. Johnson on August 1, 2016 at 10:30am — 1 Comment

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