Nana’s Lemon Meringue Pie

Easter is here and Spring has Sprung! Please allow me to wish you all a very Happy Easter, and in spite of the difficult season we have had, it is my hope is that you are still finding joy in the little things.

Baking desserts is one of those simple pleasures that conjure up joy and memories for most of us and here is one dessert that I definitely associate with my grandmother – her wonderful Lemon Meringue Pie

Lemon Meringue is also my dad’s favorite dessert and I can remember his beaming wide smile when it was presented at the dinner table. It was one of those special desserts we made for special occasions as it really takes time to prepare, and it’s not something you simply whip up in a flash. Bright tangy lemon curd makes me think of the springtime when we are saying goodbye to the dreary weather and join with the daffodils to trumpet in the light and warmth once more.  But really, there is no bad time of the year to bake a Lemon Meringue because it is notoriously everyone’s secret favorite slice of delight.  May I suggest you serve it with lashings of whipped cream, just the way I remember it at my Nana’s house.

Here is my family recipe:

  • (for the crust) baked pie crust (homemade or store bought pie dough)
  • (for the Lemon Curd Filling)
  • 1 ½ cups (12oz) water
  • Zest of 3 lemons (2 tsp very finely grated)
  • 6 oz fine granulated sugar
  • 4 Tbsp cornstarch
  • ¾ cups of lemon juice
  • 2 oz butter (room temperature)
  • 5 egg yolks (beaten)
  • (for the Meringue)
  • 3 egg whites
  • ¾ cup (150 grams) fine granulated sugar
  • ¼ tsp cream of tartar

How to make it

  1. To make the lemon curd measure the water, and then use a few tablespoons to blend the cornstarch and set aside.  In a medium saucepan add the water, lemon zest, lemon juice and sugar in a medium size saucepan. Whisk in the blended cornstarch and water, and then stir for a few minutes until the mixture begins to thicken.
  2. Remove the lemon mixture from the heat and whisk in the butter, a little bit at a time.
  3. Wait a few minutes to let the lemon mixture cool, and then whisk in the beaten egg yolks slowly.  When the eggs are fully incorporated, return the lemon curd to a low heat, stirring constantly until it thickens to a pudding like consistency (thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, or the curd will not set correctly).
  4. Pour the curd directly on to the crust, and cover with plastic wrap pressed directly on the curd and place in the refrigerator for at least an hour to cool completely.
  5. To make the meringue preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar in a large bowl until stiff peaks appear.  Slowly add the sugar 1 tsp at a time until the meringue is very stiff (you should be able to turn the bowl upside down and the meringue will stay in place).
  6. The meringue can be piped on using a bag or spooned on directly to the lemon curd.
  7. Bake the pie in the lowest rack in the oven for 20-25 minutes until the meringue sets.
  8. Allow the baked lemon meringue to rest at room temperature for an hour, and then for another 4 hours in the refrigerator (or rest overnight) to chill before slicing and serving.

Happy Easter everyone… Enjoy!

Shamrock and Peach (Judith)

Lamb Ragu with Spinach Pasta (for a wee touch of green)

What happens when an Irish girl who loves good food becomes friends with a Boston born Italian? May I present to you Slowly cooked gigot lamb shoulder chops, with similar flavor components to Irish lamb stew, combined with an Italian flair and a ‘wee’ touch of green?

Over lockdown many of us have been playing in the kitchen, learning new skills, and maybe even experimenting with different international cuisines. Just this year I have been making our own fresh pasta and enjoying the simple pleasure of combing eggs and flour to make something so satisfying and comforting. Growing up Irish, Lamb Stew was a weekly dish that my mother cooked for our family, and I continued that tradition as an immigrant living in the USA with my own family. Modern Irish food celebrates the eclectic flavors from all over the world, and I hope you enjoy this delicious fusion dish.

Sharing family cooking traditions that have been passed on through generations with new friends is a gift of the heart, and I for one feel grateful for my new Boston Italian friend, for introducing me to the gorgeous world of pasta making!

Spinach Fresh Egg Pasta

Lamb Ragu (serve with Spinach pasta for a wee touch of green)

(recipe serves 4-6 people)

  • 4 oz apple wood smoked bacon (finely diced)
  • 2-3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 lb. of gigot shoulder of lamb (with the bone in)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • 1 cup onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 cup of carrots (2 small carrots finely diced)
  • 3/4 cups (1 stalk of celery finely diced)
  • ¾ cups (1 small red pepper chopped)
  • 1 Tbsp finely chopped rosemary
  • 2 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • ¾ red wine
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 (28 oz can tomatoes coarsely chopped with juices)
  • ¾ cup of chicken stock
  • (to serve)
  • 1 lb. fresh spinach and basil pasta (cooked al dente)
  • Parmigiano-Reggiano (freshly grated)

How to make it:

  1. Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F.
  2. In a medium skillet heat 4 Tbsp of oil on medium high heat.  Add the smoked bacon to the pan and cook until it is crispy, and the fat has rendered.  Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon, leaving 2 Tbsp of fat in the skillet to cook the lamb.
  3. Season the lamb chops with salt and pepper and begin to cook in small batches to sear and brown, adding more olive oil, as necessary. (It is important to let the chops brown evenly and not steam).
  4. When all the chops are browned, combine all the seared meat together in the skillet, and then add the onion stirring until they are lightly browned.  Stir in the carrot’s celery, red pepper, garlic, and the rosemary and allow them to cook for 5 minutes.
  5. Add the red wine and allow it to reduce for 5 minutes or so.  Stir in the canned tomatoes, tomato puree, chicken stock, sugar. Taste to adjust seasoning adding a little more salt and freshly ground pepper.
  6. Place in the oven and cook for 2 ½-3 hours until the meat is almost falling off the bone.  Allow the lamb to cool to room temperature, and then remove the chops and cut all the meat away from the bones using a knife.  Discard all the bones and add the lamb meat back in to the ragu along with the reserved crispy bacon.
  7. To serve slowly heat up the ragu, stirring to heat through.  Place the freshly cooked al dente pasta in the center of each bowl, and spoon the ragu on top, with a little finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Happy Holy week… and Enjoy!

Shamrock and Peach (Judith)

Irish Style Beef Wellington

You may ask why this classic British dish has any claim to Ireland? Well, it turns out that the Duke of Wellington, Arthur Wellesley was born in Dublin Ireland in 1769, in to an upper -class Anglo-Irish family. The dish is said to have been created for the Duke of Wellington to celebrate his victory over Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo.

The dish is rich and delicious – very much worthy of a special occasion, such as a birthday or family reunion. It has a buttery texture, with the flakey pastry and tender beef. It’s also pretty easy to make, as long as you take time and care to remove the moisture when making the mushroom filling, and to to seal the pastry, avoiding a soggy beef wellington. Other than that, I would also recommend preparing the Beef Wellington the day before, (but leaving the final puff pastry wrapping close to when you plan to serve).
When the beef wellington has had time to rest overnight in the refrigerator in the plastic wrap, it will only improve, both the shape, and depth of flavor. We served it with a simple jus that I made from the trimmed tenderloin, gently searing them with a shallot, adding a little red wine and beef stock, reducing and then straining it.

Of course, being Irish we served roasted potatoes on the side and some asparagus spears too. Again, it’s not an every day dish, but one that is worth the time and effort, and I do hope you enjoy the recipe, as much as we loved preparing and of course… eating it!

Beef Wellington

·       (for the beef)
·       3 Lbs. center cut beef tenderloin (trimmed)
·       2 Tbsp. butter
·       2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
·       10 slices of prosciutto/Parma ham
·       1 lb. of puff pastry (thawed to room temperature)
·       1 large egg (beaten with a little water)
·       Course sea salt
·       (for the mushroom filling)
·       1 ½ lbs. of mushrooms (white button or a mixed variety)
·       2 Tbsp of shallots (diced)
·       3 cloves of garlic (diced)
·       2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
·       Kosher salt and pepper
·       3 Tbsp olive oil

How to make it
1.       Tuck the thinner end of the tenderloin in and secure it with kitchen twine to create an even log shape, using more twine, as necessary.
2.       Season the tenderloin generously with kosher salt and ground black pepper.  Add the butter into a hot heavy based skillet and sear the tenderloin for just a minute on all sides.  Set aside to cool.
3.       To make the mushroom filling, pulse the mushrooms, shallots, garlic, thyme, salt, and pepper together in the food processor until they are finely chopped.  Add olive oil to the skillet and cook over medium high heat until most of the liquid has evaporated, (that will take 6-7 minutes).
4.       Layer the prosciutto out flat, overlapping over a sheet of plastic wrap to form a rectangle large enough to cover the beef.  Spread the mushroom filling evenly all over the prosciutto.
5.       Remove any twine from the beef and brush it all over with Dijon mustard.  Slowly roll the beef up tightly in the prepared prosciutto to keep its shape, using the plastic wrap to your advantage, to make an even size log. Seal the sides, and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
6.       Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
7.       Roll out the puff pastry on a lightly floured surface, wide enough to wrap the beef.  Take the beef from the refrigerator, removing the plastic wrap.  Place the beef in the center of the prepared puff pastry, and fold over the edges, sealing with the egg wash using a pastry brush.  Trim any excess pastry and brush the outside with the egg wash.  Season with coarse salt.
Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes medium rare (the ends of the beef will be less pink than the center).  Allow to rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

Shamrock and Peach (Judith)

Blood Orange Winter Salad

Blood Orange Winter Salad

In the Winter months, when less fresh seasonal fruits are available, I love to see blood oranges in grocery stores. The season is very short, and they are available now from January to March, so right now is the time to enjoy them.

Blood oranges are like their name a beautiful dark red color, they have smaller seeds than oranges and are much easier to peel. The other benefit of enjoying blood oranges during this season is the power house of nutrition as they contain anthocyanins that dye the oranges red and only further add to their antioxidant potential. These crimson beauties are a powerhouse of vitamin C, fiber and potassium which really benefit in this season when we need a nutritional boost most of all. Blood oranges are also full of plant based Beta-carotene, that the body needs and it’s transformed into vitamin A.  When you taste the sweet flesh of a blood orange, it is reminiscent of summer fruits, so I have paired it with a salty cheese, licorice flavored crunchy fennel, and there is just enough sweetness in the honey vinaigrette to bring the salad so perfectly together.

Here is the recipe, and I hope you enjoy! (the recipe will serve 4-6 people)

3 medium blood oranges (peeled and segmented)

1 small fennel bulb (cleaned, trimmed and thinly sliced)

½ small red onion (very thinly sliced)

4 cups Friese lettuce (hand torn)

1 ½ oz. Dubliner cheese or other hard to semi hard cheese (shaved)

(vinaigrette)

1 ½ Tbsp. shallots (very finely diced)

2 Tbsp. Sherry Vinegar

1 ½ tsp raw honey

1 Tbsp. orange juice plus 1tsp zest

6 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

Kosher salt and pepper

How to make it

  1. To prepare the oranges, cut off the top and the base of the oranges.  Stand each piece of fruit upright and cut off the peel and pith with a large serrated knife.  Using a sharp knife slice the orange horizontally in segments.
  2. To make the vinaigrette combine the shallots, vinegar, honey, orange juice and zest in a small bowl.    Slowly whisk in the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Refrigerate until ready to use (this can be prepared in advance).
  3. To assemble the salad in a large bowl, toss the fennel and Friese Lettuce in the prepared vinaigrette.
  4. Arrange the greens in the center of each plate, then add the orange segments and top with the shaved red onion and Dubliner cheese.

Stay healthy and well in this season!

Shamrock and Peach (Judith)

An Irish Christmas Cocktail

A Whiskey Cocktail to celebrate this Christmas

At the end of a 2020 we reflect on a very difficult year and we look forward to the tide changing. The hope of a vaccine is on the horizon, and so the possibility of an end to the world wide pandemic.  On the Eve of the Winter Solstice we saw Saturn and Jupiter align, and to me, it felt like a sign of the light being let in. That times are changing.

The Irish are known for their blessings, toasts, jokes, and great stories so I wanted to share this Christmas prayer.

“The light of the Christmas Star to you 

The warmth of Home and Hearth to you

The Cheer and Good will of Friends to you

The Love of the Son and God’s Peace to you”

In Irish Style, we felt that a special Irish Whiskey Cocktail was fitting to share as we usher in this Christmas day.  This deep ruby red color is perfect for the season with a twist of lemon.   – Mulled wine has been a Christmas tradition for hundreds of years during this season, but this year we wanted to change our toast by creating a special cocktail.  The flavors are fruity, rich, and bold, and we love to serve it as an after-dinner cocktail, perfect for a cozy Christmas eve toast.  We do hope you enjoy…

Here is the special recipe!

Irish Whiskey Christmas Cocktails

  • 5 oz Irish Whiskey
  • .75 oz of cabernet syrup
  • .75 oz Lemon Juice
  • 1 egg white
  • (for the cabernet syrup)
  • Equal parts of wine to sugar
  • (for the garnish)
  • Orange peel

How to make it

  1. To make the cabernet simple syrup combine equal parts wine to sugar in a saucepan and simmer for 7-8 minutes, or until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and store in the refrigerator until you are ready to make the cocktail.
  2. To assemble the cocktail place ice in a shaker and then add the whiskey, cabernet syrup, lemon juice and the egg white. Shake vigorously.
  3. Pour into a martini style glass (the egg white separate to form a foamy head).
  4. Garnish the cocktail with lemon peel.

Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas!

Shamrock and Peach (Judith) x

Bakewell Tart with ‘a wee’ cup of tea please!

The colder weather in Atlanta takes me home to Ireland!  I am dreaming of cozy lit fires, endless cups of tea, and my mother’s Bakewell tart.  Frangipane is a delicious classic cake filling, that is so moist, and heaven for almond lovers.  The ground almonds on top of the tart are perfectly crunchy, and they are such a good texture with the added layer of raspberry jam,  and the super moist cake filling.  Although the dessert originated in England, it is hugely popular in Ireland, and considered one of our classic desserts.  When you visit Ireland, you can find some form of Bakewell tart in most bakeries, coffee houses, or you may see it on the menu as part of an elegant afternoon tea in a Castle or country home. Of course, there are many versions of this dessert, and most families have their own spin on it!  My mother used to make smaller individual tarts, and sometimes swap out the frangipane cake for a classic madeira sponge.  Another popular version is to skip the flaked almonds on top of the tart, and glaze with a thin white icing, topped with a glazed cherry.  If you have never tasted or made this cake before, it’s worth every bite, and before long you will be adding it to your own dessert favorite’s. It’s one of my favorite’s… for sure!

So, here is the recipe, and I hope you enjoy!  I suggest serving this tart with a nice cup of Irish tea, and invite a friend along to share the joy!

  • (for the pastry)
  • 1 ½ cups (170g) of flour (I use equal parts cake flour to all purpose)
  • ¼ cup (28g) of confectioners’ sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 4 oz cold unsalted butter
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 Tbsp ice water
  • (for the filling)
  • 6 Tbsp of raspberry jam
  • (for the frangipane cake)
  • 4 oz unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • ½ cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 ¼ cups (120 g) almond flour
  • ¼ cup (28g) of cake flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 egg (and 1 egg yolk)
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • (for the topping)
  • ½ cup of flaked almonds

How to make it

  1. Grease a standard 9’ fluted tin pan.
  2. To make the pastry sieve the flour and sugar together. Rub in the butter until it resembles breadcrumbs.  Using a knife stir in the egg yolk and water to form a dough.  Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface large enough to slightly hang over the edges of the greased fluted tin.  Use a knife to trim the edges and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line the tin with parchment and baking beans, and blind bake the crust for the first 15 minutes.  Remove the parchment and beans and bake for 5 more minutes to bake center of the pastry.  Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
  4. To make the cake filling beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, and then beat in the egg and egg yolk and almond and vanilla essence. Fold in the ground almonds and the flour.
  5. Spread the jam over the base of the tart with the back of a spoon.  Spoon over the frangipane cake filling and then top with the flaked almonds.  Bake for 35=40 minutes until golden brown and firm to the tourch.

I hope you Enjoy!

Judith (Shamrock and Peach) x

Happy Plant Based Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving, and I am so grateful for all of my family, friends and followers.  Over these many years I have had the privilege’s of cooking for the Chapman Piedmont Wellness Center, and this is the delicious plant based Vegetarian Nut Roast I made for the holiday season.  The holiday’s are a special time to be together, to feast and give thanks.  There are certain flavors we associate with the holidays, and this ingredients in this roast makes it perfect for the season, for those of us following a plant based diet.  The base of the roast takes time to make, and it is a labor of love, but when it comes to feasting for the holiday’s we want to go that extra mile.    The roast can be made the day before, and then baked before serving, so you can relax and enjoy your  company.

Let me take this opportunity once again to wish  you all  a Happy, Healthy Thanksgiving!  I hope you enjoy this recipe!

Holiday Pistachio and Cranberry Roast

1 oz. (Small handful of dried porcini mushrooms)

  • 2 sticks of celery
  • 2 cups of red onions (1 ½ onions)
  • 2 cloves of garlic (finely chop)
  • 2 Tbsp. Olive oil
  • ¾ cups of pearl barley
  • ½ cup of white wine
  • 2 cups hot organic vegetable stock
  • 8 oz. of portabella mushroom’s (chopped)
  • 2/3 cups of pistachios
  • 2/3 cups of almonds
  • ¾ cups of vegetarian cheddar cheese
  • 1 small orange
  • 2 sprigs of fresh sage
  • 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 2 free range eggs
  • 1 handful of spelt breadcrumbs
  • (for the topping)
  • 1 Tbsp. succulent honey granules
  • 2 cups of fresh cranberries

How to make it:

  1. Make the risotto base first.  Soak the dried porcini in a little boiling water.  Trim and finely chop the celery and onion, and garlic.
  2. Heat a drizzle of oil in a large pan over a low heat.  Add the celery and onion and cook for 10 minutes, until soft and sweet.  Add the garlic and cook for another minute or two.
  3. Turn up the heat and add the barley.  Cook for a minute or so until you hear it snap, crackle and pop, and then add the wine and stir until absorbed.
  4. Drain the porcini, sieve, and finely chop.  Discard any grit from the liquid and add to the risotto pan, stirring until it has been absorbed.  Stir in the porcini to the pan.
  5. Add the stock, a ladleful at a time, stirring each one in until it has been completely absorbed, (this will take around 20 minutes or so).  Stir as much as you can – this is what will make it creamy.  Once the barley is al dente (when you break into a grain), transfer to a bowl to cool.
  6. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F/gas mark 5.
  7. Sauté the mushrooms in a little oil over a medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes, until they are just starting to crisp.
  8. Toast, then bash the nuts into coarse pieces, or quickly pulse in a food processor.
  9. Grate the cheddar, and finely grate the orange zest.  Pick and roughly chop all the herb leaves. In a small bowl, beat the eggs.
  10. Once the risotto has cooled, add the breadcrumbs, cheese, orange zest, eggs and chopped herbs, season and mix well.
  11. Grease a loaf tin and line the bottom with greaseproof paper.  Cook the cranberries in the brown sugar in a pan over a medium heat for 1 or 2 minutes, then tip into the tin and spread evenly.  Pile on the nut roast mixture and pack it down with the back of a spoon.
  12. Cover the whole thing with foil and bake for 45 minutes, then remove the foil and cook for a further 15 minutes.  Once it’s golden brown on top, remove the nut roast from the oven and leave to settle for 10 minutes.
  13. Use a knife to loosen the tin and place your serving platter or board on top.   Cover your hand with a tea towel and flip the whole lot over, then carefully lift the tin off.  Serve with all the trimmings.

Enjoy the Holiday Season!

With all of my love from Judith

Apple Pie in a Martini Glass

Apple Martini
Flavor’s of Fall Cocktail

The cooler days are here again, and with the passing of Halloween we look forward to the upcoming holiday season.

I am always creating for new ways of entertaining using seasonal ingredients and flavors, and what better way to get a party started than by serving a welcome Fall Apple Pie Martini?  I mean who doesn’t love the idea of eating a Spiked Apple Pie? Apple cider, honey, cinnamon and vanilla make this cocktail a must try!

These days of Covid-19 have been difficult for us all, but many of us are hosting smaller, more intimate gatherings in our own homes with families and close friends, and looking for inventive ways to offer up cheer and community. Yes, we all need a little more cheer this year for sure and perhaps this will help!

It’s so funny to me that so many folks are obsessed with pumpkin flavors, but for a County Armagh girl like me, it’s all about the flavor’s of apple in the fall and winter season. Growing up in  Irelands orchard county, I am flooded with happy memories of climbing apples trees, eating fallen apples, and picking them straight off the tree. So, my draw the the apple is a source of comfort, but I can am imagine many of your share the same emotions and memories!  I hope this lovely cocktail and make new. delicious and joyful tastes of fall. Enjoy!

Apple Pie Martini

  • 2 oz vodka
  • 1 oz apple pie honey syrup
  • 2 oz freshly pressed apple juice
  • Apple (red or green, cored and sliced to garnish)
  • (Apple Pie Simple syrup)
  • 2 cups water (filtered)
  • 4 Granny Smith green apples (cut up with skin and seeds)
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1 real vanilla pod(split with seeds)
  • 2 sticks of cinnamon
  • 1 cup honey

How to make it

  1. To make the apple pie honey syrup, place all the ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes.  Remove from the heat and allow to sit for at least 30 minutes (or overnight).  Cool in the refrigerator.
  2. To make the martini, fill a shaker three quarters full of crushed ice.
  3. Add the vodka, apple pie honey syrup, and freshly pressed apple juice.
  4. Cover and shake vigorously for 10-15 seconds.
  5. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
  6. Garnish with a slice of apple and serve.

Slainte and Enjoy!

Shamrock and Peach (Judith)

October Glory Pumpkin and Lentil Soup

Nutritious and Delicious Pumpkin and Lentil Soup

This past weekend I had the huge privilege of cooking for Never Alone Widows, with thanks to the support of the Gary Sinise Foundation.  We laughed, we cried and enjoyed some really great food!  On our first morning together I got to teach a cooking demonstration, making October Glory Pumpkin Soup.  For those of you who have my cookbook, I made a few tweaks, including substituting the green lentils for red, cutting down the brown sugar by half, and adding toasted pumpkin seeds for the garnish.  The beauty about cooking is making each recipe your own, but I happened to really love these tweaks, so I am updating it with my faithful blog followers.

The cooler drop in temperature, vibrant fall colors, and abundance of gourds, pumpkins and root vegetables draw us to create cozy, heart warming soups. The other good news is that Lentils are very nutritious!  Lentils are low in calories, rich in iron, rich in folic acid and potassium, high in fiber and an excellent source of protein. Don’t you just love it when food not only tastes great, but it’s good for you too?

I hope you enjoy this recipe, and a few pictures too from our unforgettable weekend of love, hope and October Glory!

October Glory Pumpkin and Lentil Soup (with Pumpkin Seeds and Crème Fraiche)

Pumpkin & lentil soup ingredients (serves 6):

  • 1 medium onion (finely chopped)
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 tsp. fresh root ginger (peeled and grated)
  • 7 oz. (1 cup) red lentils (rinsed and soaked)
  • 2 ½ pints (5 cups) vegetable stock
  • 1 lb. peeled pumpkin or a 16-oz. can of pumpkin purée
  • 2 oz. (1/4 cup) soft brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. fine sea salt
  • dash of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. freshly grated
  • ¼ cup heavy whipping cream

Cinnamon Toasted Pumpkin Seeds ingredients:

  • ¼ cup of pumpkin seeds
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • Dash of salt and cinnamon

Garnish ingredients:

  • 3–4 Tbsp. crème fraiche (to garnish)
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • squeeze of lemon juice

How to make it:

  1. Soak the lentils for a few hours beforehand to remove any foreign materials.
  2. Melt the butter in a large saucepan on medium heat and sauté the onions until fragrant and translucent.
  3. Add the fresh root ginger and sauté for a few more minutes with the onions.
  4. Add the stock, lentils, pumpkin, brown sugar, salt, pepper, cinnamon, and nutmeg, stirring well.
  5. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally until the lentils are soft.
  6. Purée the soup with a food mill or liquidize in a blender.
  7. Transfer the soup to a saucepan and slowly heat through. Stir in the cream and taste to adjust seasoning.
  8. To toast the pumpkin seeds, combine them in a small skillet with the olive oil, cinnamon and salt and stir for 2 minutes until they are golden and fragrant.
  9. Prepare the garnish by blending a little kosher salt with lemon juice, mixing them into the crème fraiche.
  10. Serve the soup in warmed bowls with a dollop of the crème fraiche mixture and a small handful of pumpkin seeds.

Enjoy as always,  with all of my love from the Shamrock and Peach (Judith) xx

Pear Sparkle (with Vanilla and Ginger)

Fall Pear Sparkle
Fall inspired White Wine Spritzer

As we enjoy the wonders of Autumn, I always love to celebrate the change of the season through the bounty of fruits and vegetables that are ripe and bursting with flavor at the moment. Both Pears and Apples are the quintessential fruity flavors of fall, and I look for new ways of enjoying them each year. For fall holiday entertaining how about serving a Sparkling Pear Spritzer?   And who doesn’t like a sparkly chilled drink to kick start any fun event?  A Spritzer is normally made from a white wine base, and then topped with carbonated water.

Spritzers are lower in calories and alcohol, that means you can drink at least a couple…. right???   I decided to use local pear juice, as a base for our featured Sparkling Pear Spritzer!  Pears have a unique sweet and citrus like flavor, that tastes wonderful with ginger and vanilla! So happy Fall Y’all and Slainte!

Here is the recipe:

Pear Sparkling Spritzer with Vanilla and Ginger

  • 4 oz of sauvignon blanc (chilled)
  • 2 oz pear juice
  • 1 oz ginger simple syrup
  • 1 oz sparkling water (enough to top off the glass)
  • Ice
  • (for the ginger syrup)
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • ¼ cup or 1 inch of sliced Ginger root stem (roughly chopped in pieces)
  • 2 vanilla beans (split and scraped)
  • (for the garnish)
  • Small sprig of Rosemary

How to make it

  1. To make the Ginger Vanilla syrup place the sugar, water, vanilla, ginger root, and boil together for 5 minutes. Cover and allow it to sit for an hour or overnight and strain before using.
  2. To serve place ice in glass. fill the glass with the chilled white wine, simple syrup and stir.  Top the glass with a little sparkling water.
  3. Garnish with a spring of Rosemary!

Enjoy as always!

Shamrock and Peach