Irish Soda Bread

3 cups flour
½ tsp baking soda
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
¾ cups of sugar
½ stick butter, cut into small pieces (not softened)
1 ½ cups buttermilk
1 egg
1 cup raisins
1 Tbs raw sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and sugar together in large bowl.  Add butter pieces and cut in with pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Beat egg and add to mixture along with buttermilk and raisins; stir until just moistened.

Place dough on lightly floured surface and gently knead until well combined.

Roll dough into ball and place into greased, 9” round pan (cast iron works the best). Press down dough to reach sides of pan and sprinkle top with raw sugar (optional).

Bake for one hour. If using cast iron pan, carefully remove bread and transfer to cooling rack. If using other pan, let cool in pan placed on cooling rack.


Melissa’s Cauliflower Hash Browns (Vegan/Gluten Free)

For: 6 patties

1/2 head of cauliflower , break into florets

1 tablespoon coconut oil , or more for frying

1/2  onion , chopped

1/4 cup besan flour, or chickpea flour

1 tablespoon arrowroot starch, or cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons water, (optional)

With preparation and cook time, this dish takes 15 min and is delish!

Preheat oven 400 degrees F. Lightly spray a baking sheet with oil, set aside. Process cauliflower and onion in a food processor or grate with a box grater until crumbly.

Transfer riced cauliflower mixture into a large bowl.

Add besan flour/chickpea flour, arrowroot starch, garlic powder, salt, water and stir to combine.

Divide batter into 6 equal portions, shape into patties, about 3 x 2 inches.

Place patties on baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes, turning halfway or heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add about 2 or 3 patties and cook for 4-5 minutes on one side. Flip patties and cook for about another 4-5 minutes or until golden brown. Repeat with remaining batter until finished.

‘Grown-Up’ Hot Chocolate

Heat one cup of coconut milk in the microwave.
Boil ¼ cup of water and dissolve 2 TBS unsweetened cocoa powder.
Pour the cocoa into the coconut milk and mix well.
Flavor with a few TBSs of your favorite coffee creamer.

Double Chocolate Chip Peppermint Cookies

1 cup (2 sticks) softened butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup Cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups (12 oz) Chocolate Chips
Crushed candy canes for sprinkling

Heat oven to 375°F.
Beat butter, sugars, and vanilla in large bowl on medium speed until creamy. Add eggs; beat well. Stir together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.
Gradually add flour mixture, beating well.
Stir in chocolate chips.
Using medium ice-cream scoop, drop onto ungreased cookie sheet; flatten very slightly, then lightly sprinkle crushed candy canes.
Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until set.
Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack.
Makes about 58 cookies.


Baked French Toast

6 large eggs
2 cups milk
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp almond extract
1 tsp nutmeg
½ tsp coarse salt
1 TBS cinnamon
10 slices brioche bread
Pure Maple Syrup

Options: 1 cup blueberries, cranberries, chocolate chips, raisins & cinnamon, nuts, etc.

Preheat oven to 375°.
Beat eggs. Whisk in milk, heavy cream, sugar, almond extract, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt.
Dip bread slices into batter to coat; overlap brioche slices in a 9 x 13” ceramic or glass baking dish.
Pour remaining batter over top.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Sprinkle with 3 TBS raw sugar.
Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes.
Uncover and bake an additional 20 – 25 minutes until top is golden brown and crunchy.

Orange Cream Scones

Scone batter:                                                                                Icing:

4 cups all-purpose flour                                                         2 Tbs butter, softened
5 tsp. baking powder                                                               2 Tbs cream cheese, softened
1/2 tsp. salt                                                                               ½ cup milk
1 cup butter                                                                               4 cups confectioner’s sugar
3 oz cream cheese, softened                                                 Zest from one Naval orange
Zest from one Naval orange                                                   ½ cup shredded coconut
1 cup granulated sugar
4 eggs

Preheat oven to 350° and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Combine flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
Beat butter and cream cheese in medium bowl with electric mixer on medium until creamy.
Add granulated sugar and orange zest and beat 2 minutes.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Beat in flour mixture on low just until blended.
Drop large scoops of batter on to parchment paper about 2” apart. (I used a large ice cream scooper)
Bake 15 minutes or until light golden brown on bottom. Cool completely.

For icing:

Whisk together butter, cream cheese & milk.
Add confectioner’s sugar, orange zest & coconut and mix well; most of the zest and coconut will sink to the bottom.
Dip tops of scones in glaze, shaking off excess, and place on wire rack.
When all scones have been dipped, spoon the remaining zest and coconut on top of each scone.
Let stand on wire rack until glaze is set.


Maria’s Apple Crisp – Most requested recipe from guests!

6 medium Golden Delicious apples peeled, cored and cut into wedges
½ cup butter, softened (1 stick)
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup flour
¾ cup graham cracker crumbs (6 whole crackers, crushed)

Preheat oven to 350°.

Place cut apples in baking pan.  Combine butter, brown sugar, flour and graham cracker crumbs and mix well.
Spread mixture evenly on top of apples and sprinkle cinnamon on top.  Bake for 45 minutes.