Irish Soda Bread


Irish Soda Bread

Makes 1 loaf

1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons white sugar

1/4 cup butter, cut into pieces

1/2 cup raisins (craisins)

1/4 cup currants (optional)

1 teaspoon caraway seed (optional)

1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons milk

1 tablespoon and 1-1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

1/4 teaspoon almond extract


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease baking sheet.

Stir together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and sugar in a large bowl until evenly blended.

Cut in the butter using a pastry blender or your hands until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.

Stir in the raisins, craisins, currants, and caraway seeds

Make a well in the center and pour in the milk, vinegar and almond extract.

Stir with a spoon until the dry ingredients are moistened.

Turn the dough out onto a well floured work surface, and knead gently 8 to 10 times.

Place onto the prepared baking sheet.

Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees, and bake until the top of the bread is golden brown, about 15 minutes more.


Lemon Thyme Creamy Pork Chops


Creamy Lemon Thyme Pork Chops

Serves 4

6 pork chops, thin cut

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup lemon juice

1/2 cup dry white wine

4 Tablespoons butter, divided

1 1/2 lemon zest

1 teaspoon Creole seasoning

1 teaspoon thyme

1/2 teaspoon garlic and onion powder, salt and pepper


In a small bowl, whisk together flour, Creole seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper

Dredge pork chops thoroughly in dry mixture, pressing gently so it sticks to the chops

Heat 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat

Once hot, add pork chops and cook, without moving (other than to flip), until browned on both sides about 6-7 minutes per side

Remove pork from skillet onto a side plate

In same skillet used for pork, pour in wine, lemon juice and zest, minced garlic, and thyme, then season again with salt and pepper

Reduce heat to medium and stir everything together, making sure to scrape up the browned bits at the bottom of the pan

Return pork chops to pan, reduce heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until pork chops are cooked through

Remove pork chops to a warming plate (or to an oven preheated to 200º F), then add remaining butter to sauce in skillet

Whisk in heavy cream and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low again and simmer until thickened

Once desired thickness is reached, drizzle over pork chops and serve hot

Tomato Florentine Tortellini Soup


Normally when I make soup, I have a little extra to put in the freezer for later. Not this time! We ate it all!

Tomato Florentine Tortellini Soup

Serves 4-6

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, chopped

2 cups canned diced tomatoes, reserve water

3 1/3 cups vegetable broth

1 cup of reserved water

1 cup tomato sauce

2 cups chopped spinach

1 cup tortellini pasta or other pasta

3 tablespoons sugar (optional)

Salt and Pepper to taste

Parmesan cheese for garnish


Sauté onions in olive oil about 5 minutes in a stock pot

Add garlic and sauté 1 more minute

Slowly pour in broth, tomatoes, sauce and tomato water

Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 25 minutes

Stir in pasta, cook according to package time included in the 25 minute simmer time

Add sugar (optional)

Stir in spinach and simmer 2 minutes

Salt and pepper to taste

Serve with parmesan garnish