Gluten free raspberry oatmeal bars

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Back by popular demand another gluten-free recipe!.  One of my dearest friends is a genius with creating gluten-free recipes and this is one of my favorites from her yummy collection!  No guesses why and Irish girl loves these perfect time time treats so much… They are loaded with oats!!  After receiving rave reviews from my last gluten-free Irish oatmeal cookie (shared with thanks again by Sharon) I thought it was time to step it up with another delicious recipe to add to the gluten-free baking collection.

Here is the recipe folks!

Gluten free raspberry oatmeal squares

Ingredients

  • 2 cups gluten-free oats
  • 1 cup unrefined coconut oil (melted)
  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • ¾ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • ½ cup organic sucanat (wholesome sweeteners)
  • ¼ cup coconut flour
  • 2 Tbsp flaxseed meal
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 1 (10 oz) jar raspberry fruit spread or homemade jam (even better)

How to make it

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Spray a 9×13’ baking dish with canola oil.  Combine melted coconut oil and sucanat, and mix for 1 minute on medium high-speed.  Gradually add brown rice flour, flaxseed meal, vanilla extract, baking soda and salt and mix on medium high for one minute, scraping bowl occasionally.  Add oats and mix on high for 1-2 minute.
  3. Press the mixture onto bottom of dish.  Spread the fruit spread on top.  Sprinkle top with coconut.
  4. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
  5. Lets squares cool for 1 hour before slicing in to 18 squares or desired size.

Check out Sharon’s gluten-free kitchen and more face book page but for now the Shamrock and Peach is most thankful for permission to share this recipe with my gluten-free friends and followers! And, if you are not gluten-free (like me) this recipe still rocks the house!

Enjoy this gluten-free treat!

Judith the Irish foodie

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Turkey twice!

Thanksgiving 2013 (1 of 20)The great thing about living in America is that we get to enjoy turkey twice – what?  …yes, for Irish folks, we always always have turkey on Christmas day, complete with all the traditional British style trimmings, brussel sprouts, Christmas pud, sweet mince pies, etc. – and we can’t drop the habit!

I realize that in the US most folks here only have turkey at thanksgiving – gobble, gobble and all that, and something different for Christmas, but we can’t do that. We just can’t pass up the opportunity, we just love it too much!

So, for us, it’s turkey twice!

The photo above from our Thanksgiving dinner today with orange and cranberries, sweet potato casserole and pecans, braised kale with vidalia onions and of course pumpkin pie to celebrate our new adopted Georgia homeland….yum!

Wishing everyone a very happy Thanksgiving!

Judie the Irish Foodie!

pumpkin pie time y’all!

pumpkin pie

It’s time again for an annual American icon of the season, the humble, yet scrumptious pumpkin pie – no doubt the pilgrims ate bucket loads of this delicacy and washed it down with lashings of cider & ale, and here we are!

Like so many Americans all over the country I base my pie filling recipe on the “Libby’s famous Pumpkin Pie” recipe printed on the back of the pumpkin can.  I know the recipe works and tastes great but I was taken back at the amount of white sugar so I have substituted some of the sugar for natural local honey and added a little orange zest for flavor.  My pie cuts beautifully and in true Pilgrim style I am wondering how it will wash down with a pint of Guinness tomorrow?

(Pumpkin pie filling)

1 15 oz can of pumpkin

1 cup evaporated milk

2 large eggs

1/4 cup organic brown sugar

1/4 cup natural honey

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp ground cloves

zest of one orange

How to make it:

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.  Mix all ingredients together and pour in to prepared pie shell.  Bake for 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean.  Cool pie on wire rack before slicing.

Wishing you a blessed Thanksgiving!

Judith the Irish foodie

Kennedy- the most Irish of Presidents


President Kennedy in Dublin, 1963

What a sobering reflective week we have had as we remember the pointless and tragic death of President Kennedy. I’m not one for conspiracy theories – I just think Lee Harvey Oswald was a sad, angry person who wanted revenge for all the rejection he had in his life, and took it out on the man who most of all represented all that was hopeful about America in the early sixties – JFK and Jackie, the most glamorous couple of their time.

It also strikes a sad note with Irish people across the world as President Kennedy was undoubtedly the most prominent Irish American ever. A third generation Irish American with a 100% pedigree on both sides – his ancestor, Patrick Kennedy came to America to flee the potato famine years, and so with sadness we mark this milestone.

Peace to you,
Judith

Belfast Narnia Festival marks 50 years for C. S. Lewis

Many of you may not be aware of this, but the beloved author C.S. Lewis, of Narnia fame, was actually born in Belfast, and spent his childhood with his northern Irish family in County Down.  So, yet again we’re claiming another hero…and this week marks 50 years since his passing…

This weekend marks the 50th year since the passing of the death of C. S. Lewis and Belfast is celebrating with a food festival, with foods inspired by Narnia.  I can imagine treats including marmalade rolls, sardines and Turkish delight being served to mark the life and work of one of our most loved literary sons – CS Lewis.

Next year we are offering 4 tours to Ireland including 2 that include Belfast and a chance to be enchanted and delve in to mystery.  If you would like to check out my itineraries please e-mail me directly judith@theuslterkitchen.com

Be inspired to travel and cook some Narnia inspired treats!

Judith the Irish foodie

Irish boys and the ladies

-celtic-thunder-celtic-thunder-30746252-2560-1727The fabulous Fox theater in Atlanta was packed out last to experience the new Celtic Thunder Mythology Tour 2014.   Now come on, what lady can resist a man in a kilt with an Irish accent?…I ask you!

My Southern girlfriends asked me if I was ready to “hoot and holler” when the Irish boys took the stage and it did not take me long to jump right in. We even got to meet some of the boys at the end of the concert and I loved talking to Ryan Kelly who is from the The Moy in Northern Ireland, just up the road from my home town in Co. Armagh.

These dashing Irish boys are hitting 62 cities in North America and I can only wish them all the best and continued success. I do not think I will make the Celtic Thunder Cruise this summer but I did overhear a few ladies mention that they would be available to apply sun tan lotion to the boys if needed – ooh yeah!  My plans are to be in Ireland next summer leading my own Shamrock and Peach tours but hey, I may not need just as much sun tan lotion…besides, I have my own Irish boy all to myself!!

Judith the Irish foodie

Southern crustless coconut custard pie

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(makes 1 large pie 9.5” pie)

14 oz (1 ¾ cups) sugar

2 oz unsalted kerrygold butter

4 eggs (beaten)

2 oz (1/2 cup) self rising flour

2 cups evaporated milk

1 tsp vanilla

7 oz bakers coconut

How to make it

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and grease pie plate.
  2. Begin by creaming the butter and sugar in an electric mixer.
  3. Add the eggs to the mixture one at a time betting after each addition.
  4. Mix in the remaining ingredients.
  5. Pour the resulting batter in to prepared pie plate.
  6. Bake for 1 hour until top of the pie is golden brown.

This summer the UPS delivered a package to my doorstep just weeks before my first culinary tour to Ireland from one of my Southern tour guests.   I opened up the package to find a pie plate, a tin of evaporated milk, a packet of coconut and a hand written recipe card.  This treasured recipe was from two sisters Mary Alice from Madison GA and Ginny Huff from Florida who wanted to share their food heritage with me.  The pie is fabulous with fresh berries and fresh whipped cream but for the holidays I am thinking warm brandy peaches.

Sharing the love!

Judith the Irish foodie

 

What’s your pie?

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Thanksgiving is just around the corner and folks are already thinking about what kind of pie is going to grace the Southern table.  We are drawn to tradition around the holidays and long for a connection to our food heritage.  Last night I taught a cooking class a Whole foods supermarket Salud cooking school sponsored by Kerrygold butter and cheese. Our ending dessert to the three course Celtic holiday traditions menu was banoffee pie; a celebratory sweet in both the UK and Ireland.  This scrumptious pie was first invented in an English restaurant in 1972.

Southerners love their pies as we all know!  You can only imagine how thrilled I was to hear one of the students announce that she was going to add Banoffee to her Thanksgiving dessert menu.  My Shamrock and Peach cook book recipe is an Irish-Southern hybrid by adding crunchy Southern pecans to the crust.  Our cooking class began with special guests from the Drake school of Irish dance with our guests clapping and stomping their feet and I am sure my students were already guessing this was a class like no other.  Paul Bradley from Kerrygold presented an Irish cheese board and helped me out with a few good jokes and stories throughout the class.   The grand finale was the Banoffee pie and I am pleased to say it did not disappoint!

If you are like me you are already deciding what luscious pie is going to make grace your thanksgiving pie?  My hope and recommendation is that banoffee makes the list and remember to bake with Irish Kerrygold unsalted butter for the simply best results!

Judith the Irish foodie

Poultry capital of the world

gainesville ga

 

This weekend the Shamrock and Peach traveled to Gainesville Georgia.  Nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge mountains Gainesville Georgia is called the Poultry capital of the world due to the large amount of processing plants.  But, I discovered the town has more to offer than great chicken!

The impact that the early Scots Irish settlers had on setting the rich hospitality of the South are evident in these strong Georgia towns.  Although subtle and unrecognised my most I never feel more connected to my Irish roots by the genuine welcome and sincerity of Southern folks.

The Shamrock and Peach was one of over 70 other vendor booths participating in the annual holiday marketplace event with other small local businesses in Georgia. The buttermilk pie company caught my eye immediately with coconut, pumpkin, pecan, apple and their signature buttermilk pie.  Our love of buttermilk is poured in to our brown and white soda breads in Ireland but in Georgia it’s all about the pie!  Got to love a slice of that kind of love!  Why eat bread when you can have pie?

So many people expressed excitement of coming on an intimate Shamrock and Peach tours of Ireland and naturally our Irish food is a huge draw to Southern foodies.  The last thing I ate on my way home was a chicken salad with a perfect hint of smoke from a local deli who cooks their meat on a green egg.   It’s not called the poultry capital of the world for nothing and one thing is for sure Scots Irish hospitality is alive and well in Gainesville Georgia and I will be back!

Judith the Irish foodie

 

 

 

Sunday supper musings

 

Sunday Lamb-1 (1 of 1)What does Sunday supper mean to you?  In the South the traditional Sunday meat and three is referred to as Sunday supper.  While in Ireland and the UK we talk about having our Sunday roast where a celebratory joint of roast beef or lamb is consumed.

My boys love to walk in through the door after church on a Sunday morning and smell roast lamb wafting from the oven. At time of our lives where we are running to football games, basketball practices, business events and so it continues…our Sunday roast dinner is the one time we connect as a family.  Sunday dinners are change of perspective from the every day meal where we eat for nourishment and practicality. Gathering your family around the table is a commitment these days!  It seems strange that we draw need to draw from the old traditions to create new family perspectives.

Good meat makes good gravy and that can be said of good conversations, spending time together and those Sunday dinners that keep us close.

Judith the Irish foodie!