Smoked Pork Salad & Book Review

smoked pulled pork salad

I hope your summer has been awesome!!  Here in Missouri we are at 100 degrees or more every day and 101 on Saturday without the heat index!  So instead of swimming in the bathwater temperature pool, we had a family reunion on Sunday.  For the main meat, I purchased 10 pounds of pork shoulder to smoke.  I love this electric smoker!  It makes everything taste good.  Alton Brown had one in his episodes and I have been hooked ever since.  Thanksgiving will never be the same – we liked the smoked turkey better than the roasted.

Book Review:

Book review time!

I have been reading “Positive Discipline: Tools for Teachers” although many of the skills would work for parents as well.  Each section is very thoughtfully laid out and peppered with many real-life examples.  The chapters begin with the discipline tool such as “Greetings,” describes the tool, highlights several examples of using the tool in real classrooms, gives 3-5 tips on using the tool and finally – my favorite part – explains the research behind the tool.  The tools in the book remind me of “Teaching with Love and Logic” and “Discipline with Dignity” if you are familiar with those books and programs.  There are 281 pages of tools and examples in the book, so there is something in it for every teacher.  I would highly recommend this book for any brand new teachers and teachers that would like more discipline tools to use and try in the classroom.  In my experience, every tool does not work on every student.  Each child is different and some respond differently than others due to family history or simply personality.  One chapter in particular explains Curiosity Questions.  Instead of barking at the student to finish the worksheet, it begins with a conversational question.  This question starts a discussion and I know many of us have had those “Aha!” moments when they had a short discussion with the student: I can’t focus, my mom is in the hospital, my little brother cried all night, etc.  Of course, learning objectives do need to be met, but a little grace goes a long way when trying to start a conversation and make a plan on how to overcome those obstacles.

In short, there is something for every teacher in this book.  The cartoons and quotations peppered throughout the book break up the text well. The author’s tone is conversational and easy to read and understand.  I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review.

 

Recipe:

Leftovers to the rescue!  I have made this with leftover restaurant smoked pork and homemade.  Both are equally delicious!  Scale this up or down for a huge BBQ or a small family dinner or a healthy and tasty lunch!!

This is my all time FAVORITE BBQ SAUCE recipe.  I whip it up in a jar, shake and good to go!  No high fructose corn syrup and preservatives necessary.  There is enough vinegar in my sauce to keep it in the fridge for quite a while.   I don’t use liquid smoke too often, but the price is cheap and it lasts a long time in the pantry.

The corn bread muffins were from my favorite corn bread recipe, too.  Feel free to use store bought.  Or make these and freeze the leftovers for another day.

 

Smoked Pork Salad & Book Review
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
:
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 corn muffins
  • 4 cups romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 2 cups smoked pulled pork
  • 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • ½ red onion, sliced thinly
  • ½ cup BBQ sauce
  • ¼ cup ranch dressing, optional
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Slice the corn muffin into small cubes. Spray with olive oil cooking spray. Place on a cookie sheet and toast for 6 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Divide the lettuce into 4 bowls.
  3. Add about ½ cup pork to each bowl. Add tomatoes, some sliced onion and corn bread croutons on top. Now drizzle BBQ sauce or combine ranch and BBQ sauce together if that floats your boat.
  4. Enjoy!

 

 

Magic Eye String Art

Hello!  Here is an easy and fun art project for those stormy summer days.  String art is very popular right now and can be used to make anything from your initials, to objects, to this “magic” eye.   As they say: everything old is new again!  We made string art in Algebra II/Trig back when I was in 10th grade!  My math teacher hung them around the wall to show how straight lines can make a curve.

This project requires NO hammering!!!  Many of the string art projects involve wood and nails and a hammer – this seemed like it would take a while to hammer everything plus it makes the artwork heavy.  Using wood requires brackets to hang, etc.  So instead I tested different ways to make a foam board from the dollar store.  You can cut and paint your own foam 5×8′ sheet down to the size you want from the hardware store.  I used foam core boards from Dollar Tree.  I tried to use black poster board, but the poster board is so cheap and flimsy that the glue ruined the flat board.  I think a glue stick could solve the problem… but I had black spray paint and used that instead since the black poster board was a fail.

I love changing decorations often and do not want heavy ones.  Here in my office I made a photo wall out of cheap Michael’s art canvas and a piece of foam core in the middle.

 

Here is how to make your own version of Magic Eye String Art!

What you will need:

-pencil
-ruler (I used a 12″ plain ruler and my quilting Omnigrid though the Omnigrid is not required but helpful)
– minimum 2 colors of embroidery thread (any colors you like – my eyes are blue so I used blue and white)
-black spray paint or black foam core or good black poster board
-3  of 20″x30″ or 20″x20″ foam core  ($1 at Dollar Tree)
-glue
-600 of 3/4″ pearlized pins
-graph paper or here
-X-acto knife (optional – I explain if you do not have one but it does make a cleaner cut)
-cereal bowl

Directions:

1.  I started by sketching my design on graph paper.  Each square = 1″ on the graph paper.  Foam core comes in sheets of 20″x30″ and I wanted a square shape, so I sketched my design as a 20″x20″.  Of course you can choose any size you like.

2.  Option A;   with X-acto Knife:  I glued together with plain Elmer’s glue the 3 sheets of foam core.  Do not skimp and use 2!  If you do, the pins will go through the boards and cut up your thighs.  (Ouch.)  Let the boards dry.  At this point, you can try to glue stick the black poster board if it is thick enough.  Thin poster board will warp and wrinkle when it comes into contact with wet glue.  If using black spray paint instead, go to step 3.  Now, cut 10″ off of the foam core with an X-acto knife.  This will give a nice even slice.

Option B:  With no X-acto knife, you will need to cut each foam core board down to 20″ by 20″ with scissors.  I prefer X-acto knives, but I want to make this project as accessible as possible.  Once all the sheets are cut, glue all 3 foam core sheets on top of each other making sure they are lined up.

3.  Now go outside and spray paint black paint onto one side of your foam board.  You can skip this of course if you used good black poster board.

4.  Your board is prepped and the fun begins!  Use sketch to mark out all of the squares you are going to do.  You start in the center and make a 2″x2″ square.  Then, you make another square in the same direction 5″x5″.   Once the 2 squares are drawn, it is easier because you simply use the corners of those squares to create the next square which is tilted. I just followed my graph paper and those measurements.

5.  Once you draw the squares, I drew the points to put the pins for the most middle square first.  In string art, they usually put all the nails in at the same time.  I find it easier to start in the center and work my way out.  So, the for the middle square only, I used one pin every 1/4″.  Do this all the way around.

6.  Next, is the string work.  Keep your thread in a bowl – this will keep it from unraveling all over the place.

I found a youtube video on how one lady did the string and included a photo with numbers as well.  You tie one string on the bottom left pin (leave a 3″ tail of thread!!)  – we’ll call this “1”.  Then keeping the thread on the inside of the design, wrap it around the other “1” pin at the top.  Bring the thread back down and wrap it around “2”.  Then take it up to “2”.  Etc. etc.  Once you are at the end of the line, I take the entire board and turn it once clockwise.  I proceed doing the 1-1, 2-2 again.  I do this four times all the way around.  Then I end my square by wrapping it several times around the pin, cutting it with a 3″ tail and using the two tail threads to tie several knots.  That is why I always leave a tail.  Once you feel it is secure, trim the threads.

**Make sure to keep the thread taut they entire time or it will unravel.

7.  With square #2, make a mark every 1 centimeter.  This will work well for all of the squares.  Put your ruler so you have a number in the center and work your way out from the center.  Once in a while, I didn’t end exactly on a centimeter and just played with it a bit.  As long as it is the same number of pins on all sides, it won’t matter.  This would be easier to explain in a video… if I make a red/white and blue one, I will try and tape it.

8.  Repeat the threads just like the first square.  It will look weird at first and like it isn’t going to look good.  But once you get to the second to last square it will look awesome.  Sometimes I had to push pins down in order to put threads on top of them.  That’s okay.

This art project took about 4 hours to complete.  I am almost caught up watching The Flash Season 3 as a result  🙂

Happy Making!

Chocolate Cream Cheese Dip

It’s strawberry season!  My favorite food in the whole wide world!

My 6 year old daughter made this chocolate cream cheese dip with some leftover cream cheese we had and it was DELICIOUS!  So quick and easy!  Plus it pairs well with all kinds of fruits and graham crackers.  The kids are sometimes hungry after playing outside or after school and this will fit the bill nicely.  Lots of fruit and protein and chocolate 🙂   It sounds weird, but pineapple tastes really good with chocolate, too!

Book:  The newest book I am reading is a textbook for my class starting next week:  Comprehensive Curriculum for Gifted Learners.

 (photo credit: Amazon)

It is the best book on Gifted instruction that I have found in regards to teaching and curriculum.  This book is not necessarily full of printables and handouts.  The text is a firm grounding in the research of gifted education and how to set up the curriculum and goals for the class.   If you homeschool gifted children or teach some in your classroom, this textbook is a GREAT resource.  It goes into depth on the goals of many gifted classes:  critical thinking skills, research skills, and problem solving skills.  I believe addressing the affective needs of these students by adding a goal of self-understanding of their strengths and weaknesses as well as high level oral and written skills should be added.

Recipe:  Since this recipe involves chocolate, I recommend the Rodelle Dutch Cooca.  Costco sells it during the winter time and I stock up.  Amazon also carries it and Hy-Vee.  I have heard great things about Ghirandelli as well.  It is not necessary, but the chocolate products seem darker and richer when using higher quality cocoa instead of Hershey.  Dutch cocoa also blends better with liquids – which is a nice perk when making this or hot cocoa!

The recipe makes a 4 serving amount of dip, so you may want to double or triple the recipe for a party.  Or keep it small like this for that family dessert or afternoon snack.

 

Chocolate Cream Cheese Dip
 
Prep time
Total time
 
:
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 4 ounces cream cheese or neufschetal cheese (like cream cheese but fewer calories)
  • ⅔ cup plain Greek Yogurt
  • 2 T unsweetened cocoa powder (baking cocoa powder)
  • 6 T powdered sugar
  • 2 T mini chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, allow the cream cheese to sit and come to room temperature. Or, put the cream cheese in a microwave safe bowl for about 30 seconds to soften.
  2. Add everything except the mini chocolate chips and mix with a fork until well combined.
  3. Top or stir in chocolate chips.
  4. Serve with strawberries, graham crackers, pineapple, kiwi or bananas.

 

Greek Yogurt Pancakes

Greek Yogurt Pancakes

Good morning!  And you will definitely have a GREAT morning with these super awesome deliciously HEALTHY pancakes!!  The hubby and the kids all loved them.  If you love buttermilk pancakes, then these are for you!

Many of us are winding down the school year and these are great for “brinner” or for a pancake breakfast on those summer mornings.  Our last day of school is Thursday – so we may be having these Friday morning.  I like making them Sunday because then I freeze the leftovers and we have some breakfast all ready to go for the week.

What’s new?  I finished 9 credit hours in Gifted Education this Spring and will be done after 3 credits this Summer!   I finished up my semester teaching Gifted Education full-time and will not be returning as it was a one-year contract.  I will miss the relationships made in the district with the administrators, faculty and students.  The next adventure will be to return to substitute teaching so that I can stay home when mine are sick or need help in the classroom with parties, etc.     Here are a few of the 58 students I had this Spring semester.  Such a sweet, sweet group!

Why I love these:

-I love buttermilk pancakes and the acid from the yogurt has the same yummy taste!
-Lots of protein from the eggs and yogurt!
-Freezer friendly and filling!


Greek Yogurt Pancakes
 
:
Serves: 20 pancakes
Ingredients
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup + 2 Tb. whole wheat flour
  • 2 Tb. sugar or sugar substitute
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups Greek yogurt, plain
  • Toppings: butter, syrup, sugar free syrup, berries and whipped cream, etc.
Instructions
  1. Preheat your griddle to 350 degrees or skillet to medium heat.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the eggs and vanilla.
  3. Now, in a large bowl whisk together the dry stuff: flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Add the Greek yogurt on top. Whisk it all up with a whisk or fork.
  4. Finally, add your egg mixture. This will be thick! Whisk until it is all combined.
  5. Once the skillet or griddle is hot, spray with cooking spray or add butter to coat. Pour pancake batter into ¼ cup dollops. Spread it out a little bit with your cup or ladle. Cook 2-3 minutes. Once you see a bubble, check the bottom. Once the bottom is golden brown, flip it and cook another 2-3 minutes. These took a little longer to cook than my regular pancakes.
  6. Serve warm with toppings.
  7. Freezer option: Lay staggered in a ziploc bag and freeze. To reheat, microwave for 1 minute.

 

Chicken Mac and Cheese

Reading now:

I finished watching part of the HBO drama “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” with Oprah since I adore the book.  The book is fantastic and was a hit at our book club!  I really couldn’t finish the HBO show.  I was bored …. maybe because I knew what was going to happen?  I’m not sure.  I stopped watching after 30 minutes.

I did also start the Margaret Peterson Haddix series “The Missing, Book 1″ that was in one of our 4/5th grade classrooms.  It was great!  A very fast read – I think I finished in a couple of days.  The plot moved along and the kids were interesting characters.  I love the revelation at the end.

Recipe:

What kid doesn’t like chicken or mac & cheese?  This dinner was a hit with kids big and small and will be for yours too!  I just love the Instant Pot and use it to cook almost everything now from roasts, pasta, rice, yogurt, stew, soup and chicken.  I haven’t used my slow cooker in years now unless I need to keep something warm for a pot luck.  I don’t like how chicken dries out and the roasts are still not cooked all of the way by the time I get home.

I do include how to make this without a pressure cooker/instant pot in the Notes section!

**Warning**  If you do use the Instant Pot or pressure cooker for the recipe, please release the vent SLOWLY.  I made the mistake of releasing the valve full blast!!  Pasta water and chicken stuff sprayed everywhere!  But don’t worry!  You can learn from my mistake.  Use a towel or wooden spoon to move the vent halfway slowly and not quick like me 🙂

 


Chicken Mac and Cheese
 
:
Serves: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into small bite size pieces
  • 8 ounces dried elbow macaroni or spiral pasta (I like whole wheat)
  • 1 and ½ cups half and half or milk
  • 1 Tb. all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. mustard or Dijon mustard
  • ½ tsp. dried thyme
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. pepper
  • 1 and ½ cups shredded Cheddar cheese (about 6 ounces) (or use your favorite cheese)
Instructions
  1. Add to you instant pot: 6 cups water, chicken and pasta. Cook on high pressure for 5 minutes. (No pressure cooker/instant pot? Just go to the notes section)
  2. Once finished cooking, SLOWLY open the valve HALFWAY. Allow the pressure to slowly release.
  3. Pour the chicken and pasta into a colindar.
  4. Meanwhile, put the pot back on the stove or insert back into the Instant Pot. Switch it to saute mode and keep it on normal. Add the half and half, flour, mustard, salt and pepper. Whisk together! Allow the mixture to come to a boil and boil to thicken for about 2-3 minutes. Whisk while it boils to keep the bottom from getting too hot!
  5. Now, add your pasta, chicken and cheese back into the pot. Stir it all up and eat!
  6. Serve warm with a salad, peas, broccoli or any of your favorite veggies!
Notes
No Instant Pot? Fear not! Just cook the pasta and drain. Use the same pot to the saute part of the recipe where you mix the half and half, mustard, etc. Boil and thicken 2-3 minutes. Add the cheese. Stir. Add the pasta. Add in some rotisserie chicken and voila!

Recipe from "The Great Big Pressure Cooker Book" by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough

 

Simply Homemade Ham and Bean Soup

Ham Soup

Good morning!

If you notice on the homepage – I have a new Twitter account!  It is @ThisIsMaryEllen and will include more Educational items that I am learning in my graduate classes and using in my classroom.  Graduate school was SO much easier before kids, house and a full-time job!!!  If you are thinking of going after college and can figure something out financially, just DO it because it is ten times harder later to take those classes.  Mizzou is pretty rigorous though and there are easier programs out there.  But if they are so much easier, do you learn as much?  Probably not.

Lesson Learned this week:  So, I spent $36 to have my transcript reviewed by the Missouri Department of Education.  I am enrolled in 9 credit hours now and planned to do 6 hours in the summer.  But!  The transcript review says I only need THREE more hours this summer instead of SIX to be certified Gifted K-12!!!  Happy Dance!!!  Because that $36 saved me over $1000 this summer!  And the moral of the story is: sometimes it pays to spend a little money up front.

Recipe

This past week I was making ham and bean soups to find something simple and delicious.  Most of us will have some leftover ham next weekend, right?  And sometimes there isn’t enough for everyone to get a second meal out of it.  Or, you are just tired of plain ham.  So, make this soup instead!  It is filling, healthy and delicious.

Freezer friendly if you want to make a big batch, too!  So if you are worried about buying too big of a ham this week – don’t worry, this recipe has got you covered!


Simply Homemade Ham and Bean Soup
 
:
Serves: 8 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 and ⅓ cups dried Northern Beans (soaked overnight) or 2 cans (15oz.) or 4 cups cooked
  • water if using dried beans
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 cups chopped carrots
  • 1 cup chopped celery (or ½ cup; I like a lot of celery)
  • 1 large onion, diced small
  • 2 teaspoons or cloves of minced garlic
  • 5 cups chicken broth (low sodium is what we use)
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 2 cups chopped ham, ½ inch pieces
  • ½ teaspoon white or black ground pepper
Instructions
  1. First, if you are using dried beans, I soak them overnight. Then, I add them to my Instant pot and cover with water until the water just barely covers all of the beans. Cook on high pressure for 20 minutes and let sit for 10 minutes before releasing the pressure. Drain and use. If you are using canned beans, then simply drain and rinse them. Set aside.
  2. Into a Dutch oven over medium heat, add the olive oil. Once hot, add the chopped carrots, celery and onion. I like to chop these in my mini electric chopper - so must faster!
  3. Once the vegetables are soft and onion starting to become translucent, add the garlic. Cook 30 seconds.
  4. Add the chicken broth. I do not like my soup too soupy. Feel free to adjust the amount of broth to how thick or thin you want your soup.
  5. Add mustard powder, ham, beans and pepper.
  6. Cook about 30 minutes on medium heat or until it has simmered for at least 15 minutes. You can let your soup simmer for much longer if you like. I would advise putting the beans in 15 minutes or so before serving because the beans are already cooked and you don't want to cook them again.

 

Extract Your Own DNA!


 

What is the white stringy stuff in the photo?  That is strawberry DNA!  You can see DNA as well with just a few household ingredients and materials.  Strawberry season is almost here and sometimes… well not every strawberry is great.  You can mash just 3 of these up over spring break or the summer for a little in home science experiment!

Materials:

-1 tall glass
-measuring cup
-3 strawberries
-1 small jar like baby food size
-1 Tb. dish soap
-1/2 cup rubbing alcohol
-cheesecloth – about 12″
-funnel (even one for canning will work)
-1/2 tsp. salt

  1.  Put the rubbing alcohol bottle in the freezer to get it cold for later.


  2.  Into a measuring cup, add 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/3 cup water and 1 Tb. of dish soap.  Stir until mixed well!  This is the extraction liquid.
  3. Now, take your funnel and put the cheesecloth on top.  Put the funnel and cheesecloth on top of your tall glass.


  4. Wash and remove the tops off of the strawberries.  Add them to a plastic sandwich bag that can be resealed.  Mash them for about 2 minutes.


    Make sure to squeeze the air out of the bag and if the bag gets a small hole, just put the bag inside of another bag.

  5. Take 3 Tb. of the extraction liquid and add it to the mashed strawberries.  Mix that around another minute or so.

    Extract strawberry DNA

  6. Carefully, pour the strawberry mix through the prepped cheesecloth funnel and into the glass.


  7. Next, pour that strawberry liquid into your small baby food jar until it is only one-quarter the way full.  You can make another experiment with the remaining strawberry liquid in the tall glass, or just throw it away.


  8. Remove the rubbing alcohol from the freezer.  Pour about 1/3 cup of it into a clean measuring cup.  GENTLY tip your baby food jar slightly and gently and slowly pour the alcohol into the baby food jar.  Stop when you have 1 inch of alcohol in the jar.  Try to not mix the alcohol and strawberry mixture.

  9. Observe and admire!

I found this experiment at a Food Festival actually.  There were STEM booths and one had this on it.  But we never saw how they did it and I found the experiment online here at Scientific American.

Tie-Dye Cupcakes with 7 Minute Frosting & Book Review

tie dye cupcakes recipe

Book Review:

Like these cupcakes…. this book has a surprise inside!

Open when… Letters to Lift Your Spirits by Karen Salmansohn

This book reminds me of pop-up books as a child.  The book is filled with envelopes that you open and reveal the message.  One page will state “open when you are feeling stressed” and you open it up to find your message.  Another page is “open when you want to get centered.”  Some of the responses are short and some a little longer.  It is funny and short and I think some people would find it helpful to have on their desk.  It would be a fun coffee table book as well.

A few negatives about the book is that it is really short.  I expected lengthier responses or more pages.

It isn’t made to a true self-help book as more of a quick pick-me-up.  I would give it 4/5 stars.

I received a review copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for allowing me to review.

Recipe:

We saw a tie-dye cake made on the Kids Baking Championship on the Food Network a few weeks ago and the kids wanted to give it a try.  I’m not a huge fan of overly buttery buttercream slathered on cake, so I made a 7 minute frosting instead and forgot how delicious it was!  Marshmallowy and light and sweet!  It is perfect to go with the perfect springtime cupcake!

This cupcake recipe is perfect for spring!  It is simple to make and light.  The crumb is fine and the cupcakes bake up beautifully.  My 10 year old made the recipe himself.  The flavors are bright and happy citrus flavors.


Tie-Dye Cupcakes with 7 Minute Frosting & Book Review
 
:
Serves: 12 cupcakes
Ingredients
  • 1 cup (7 oz.) sugar
  • 1 and ⅔ cup (7 oz.) AP flour
  • 1 and ¼ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 6 Tb. butter, room temperature
  • ⅔ cup milk, room temperature
  • ¼ tsp. Fiori di Sicilia extract, ½ tsp. lemon extract, or ½ tsp. orange extract*
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • food coloring liquid or gels (at least 3 colors)
  • Frosting:
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ⅓ cup water
  • ¼ tsp. cream of tartar
  • ⅛ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp. Fiori di Sicilia, orange or lemon extract or 1 tsp. vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line the cupcake pan with 12 liners.
  2. In a mixing bowl, mix the dry stuff: sugar, flour baking powder, and salt.
  3. Beat in the butter by adding it slowly and mix until it forms crumbs.
  4. Add the wet ingredients: milk and extract. Mix 30 seconds on low. Mix 30 seconds on medium.
  5. Add eggs 1 at a time. Mix on medium speed until the batter is smooth.
  6. Divide batter into three bowls and mix in food coloring.
  7. Divide batter evenly among the cupcakes. Swirl gently with a toothpick. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes and then remove from the pan onto a cooling rack. Cool completely before frosting them.
  8. For the Frosting:
  9. In your mixing bowl again, beat the egg whites until you have foam.
  10. In a saucepan on the stove, mix the sugar, water and cream of tartar. Cook this on medium-high heat until the mixture is boiling. Continue to stir until the sugar is completely dissolved - this may take a few minutes.
  11. Once the sugar is dissolved, turn the burner off. Turn the mixer on and get the eggs fluffy and foaming once again. While the mixer runs on medium-low, slowly pour the sugar water down the side of the mixer in one steady stream. Beat about 1 minutes and add vanilla. Beat another 4-5 minutes or the frosting forms stiff peaks.
Notes
Cupcake Recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour

 

Irish Soda Bread

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  Well, we finished Pi Day this week with a chicken pot pie this time.  Now, we have St. Patrick’s Day with the traditional corned beef and cabbage.

I have made Irish Soda Bread in the past from a mix and it is so easy to make yourself!  Anyone can do it – even a kid!  Plus you do not need yeast.  Irish Soda Bread is like a giant biscuit and you use baking soda and buttermilk to leaven the bread.  If you do not like raisins – just leave them out!


Irish Soda Bread
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
:
Serves: 8 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 and ½ cups (10 oz.) white whole wheat flour
  • 1 and ¼ cups (5.25 oz.) all purpose or bread flour
  • 3 Tb. (1.25 oz.) sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • ⅔ cup (3.5 oz.) raisins
  • 4 Tb. (2 oz.) cold butter, cut up
  • 1 and ⅓ cup buttermilk (or 1 Tb. lemon juice topped with regular milk)
  • 1 egg
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare a 8" or 9" round cake pan or pie pan with a coating of grease or baking spray.
  2. In a great big bowl, mix the dry stuff: white whole wheat flour, AP or bread flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and raisins. Whisk together!
  3. Using your fingers, drop the butter into the dry mix and work the butter in. I use my fingers, but you can use forks or a pastry cutter. You shouldn't see any chunks of butter.
  4. In a not so great big bowl: mix the buttermilk (or lemon juice and milk) with the egg. Whisk that with a fork until combined. Add to the dry mix.
  5. Bring the wet and dry ingredients together with a spatula and once the dough comes together, knead just a couple times.
  6. Place the dough into the prepared pan.
  7. Take out a bread knife and cut a large X into the top of the dough about ½" deep.
  8. Bake for 35-45 minutes. Watch closely in small convection ovens! Mine was done in about 30 minutes in the small convection. It will take closer to 40 minutes in a regular oven. Watch the top and it will be a lovely golden brown and a toothpick will come out clean.
  9. Allow to cool and slice! Add butter, apple butter, dip into beef juices, jam, jellies, you name it!
Notes
Recipe from King Arthur Flour
If you do not have white whole wheat flour, you may substitute whole wheat flour.

 

 

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