irish vegetable soup

  • 3 large leeks ,white part, 1/2 inch slices
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 large carrots, diced
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 1 large turnip peeled and diced
  • 1 pound potatoes, diced
  •  bay leaf , a few sprigs thyme and parsley
  •  Salt and pepper
  • ¼ cup cream, optional
  •  Chopped fresh parsley or tarragon, for garnish
  1. In a large soup pot, combine the leeks, garlic, carrots, celery, turnips, potatoes, herbs, 1 1/2 quarts water, 2 teaspoons salt, and pepper to taste. Cover and simmer 40 to 45 minutes, until the vegetables are very soft. Remove bay leaf, thyme and parsley.
  2. Purée in blender or processor or with immersion blender.
  3. Return soup to the pot and whisk in cream if using. Heat through, taste and adjust seasonings. To serve, garnish each bowl with optional minced parsley or tarragon.

spicy sweet and salty pecans

Great snack or salad garnish.

  • 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 cups pecans
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Mix together the sugar, salt and cayenne pepper.
  3. Add 4 tsp water to the sugar mixture. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add the pecans and stir to coat with the glaze.
  4. Transfer the pecans to the baking sheet and spread in a single layer. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the pecans are crusty on top, caramelized and golden. Immediately slide the parchment off the baking sheet to stop cooking and cool completely on a countertop.

guinness irish soda bread

From the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin.

600g whole wheat flour (300g stone ground)

150g white flour (450g if using stone ground)

75g oatmeal

2 1/2 tsp soda

1 tsp salt

3 T brown sugar

40g butter

480mL milk

200mL molasses

1 cup Guinness

Mix butter with dry ingredients, add milk, molasses and Guinness. Mix just until wet. Bake in a buttered or parchment lined loaf pan for 40-45 minutes at 325F.

sticky toffee pudding

This is lighter than the traditional English version made with dates. Adapted from Gordon Ramsay’s recipe. (Baking by weight is foolproof)


110g brown sugar

110g butter

1 egg

110g flour

8g baking powder

1 ripe banana, mashed

Cream butter and sugar, add egg, add dry ingredients and mashed banana.

Spoon into lined pan.

Bake 10 minutes at 350, then reduce heat to 170 and bake another 30 minutes or until tests dry with a skewer.


50g sugar

50g butter

85g corn syrup

120mL whipping cream

Boil sugar, butter and syrup until deep caramel colored. Add cream. Serve warm (can be reheated) over pudding with (unsweetened) whipped cream or ice cream.

sesame chicken

chicken breasts or pieces


1 cup crushed corn flakes, Special K, Just Right…

2 Tbsp sesame seeds

salt and pepper

Mix cereal with sesame seeds and seasonings. Coat chicken with mayonnaise and coat well with cereal mix. Bake at 350F for 40 – 50 minutes depending on the size of pieces. Works well for chicken fingers (reduce baking time)

molasses and rum marinade for pork

From chef Michael Smith.

1 1/2 – 2 pounds pork tenderloin or chops

1/2 cup molasses

1/4 cup rum

2 Tbsp grainy mustard

1 Tbsp soy sauce

1 tsp allspice

1 tsp hot sauce


kale and strawberry salad

This vinaigrette works well with any green salad, especially with fruit added. Opt for spinach or lettuce with nectarine, cucumber, mint, and onion


1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1 tsp Dijon mustard

2 Tbsp maple syrup

2 Tbsp olive oil

1/2 tsp salt


Shake or whisk together and toss with kale, strawberries, red onion, soft cheese chunks, walnuts or pecans.