Congratulations to Rory McIlroy and Erica

Built in 1228

800 years of history

Shamrock and Peach would like to congratulate Northern Irish Golfer Rory McIlroy and Erica Stoll on their recent marriage and wedding at Ashford Castle, in Co. Mayo.  It’s just lovely to see a fellow countryman enjoy so much success and still maintain the Irish values of humility and generosity. I loved reading how the couple met in 2012 and did not date until 2015 and Rory appreciated the fact they were friends first before going out together.  The fairy tale wedding was this past weekend at the 800 year old Ashford Castle built by the Anglo-Norman de -Burgos.  The castle has had several owners since including the famous Guinness family.  The Castle is nestled in 350 acres of gardens and woodlands and the perfect setting for this grand affair.

Shamrock and Peach tours are gearing up to visiting the Castle staying at the Lodge at Ashford this June.  Here a few pictures from our stay last year!

Keep up the great work Rory and we will be raising a toast to you this June!

Joy in the Journey!

Judie the Irish foodie

Celtic Thunder Legacy ticket giveaway

celtic-thunder-press-1200x628

I am so excited to announce to my blog followers a chance to go and see the Legacy Celtic Thunder tour at the Fox theater next Thursday night!

This week I had the pleasure of interviewing one of the original members of Celtic Thunder; Ryan Kelly.  Although he studied accountancy at Queens University, Belfast and is a qualified Chartered Accountant by trade – music and theater has always been Ryan’s true passion and he longed for a break, as many of us do! Well, turns out the break came when his brother encouraged him to go and try his hand at the auditions in Dublin back in 2007, and it may have seemed far-fetched, but, he landed the role, and the rest is history. A real inspiration to all of us!

Ryan and I talked about the success of Celtic Thunder and why Irish Culture and music is so loved throughout the world. Ryan artistically described how the Irish have become a nation of travelers and story tellers and set our roots in other countries. We shared a common bond of family, friendship and the love that brings us back home to Ireland – and that’s the feeling many people here express to me all the time. A longing to return to Ireland to explore their roots, to see where their ancestors came from, and to enjoy the culture!

Ryan loves to run and has played Gaelic football and basketball at a national level.  We joked how he likes to run to burn calories after enjoying a full Irish breakfast; his favorite meal of the day.  Yes folks, we are talking about the famous Irish Fry, and for those of you who have been to Ireland, you know what I mean. A hearty combination of Irish bacon, sausages, black pudding, tomatoes, mushrooms and best of all the distinctive Irish breads namely, potato bread, soda bread and brown bread with lots of creamy Irish butter.

So, the question is…which of these Irish breads do you think would be Ryan’s favorite?

A. Irish Brown, also known as Wheaten Bread

B. Potato Bread, also known as potato farls, or

C. Irish Soda bread

To enter the drawing, simply follow the link below to my website and go to the ‘contact‘ drop down in the top right corner. Click on it, fill it out and send me your answer.

www.shamrockandpeach.com

I will announce the winner from among the entries promptly, and you could be on your way to see Celtic Thunder at the Fabulous Fox theater, courtesy of Shamrock and Peach!…good luck to everyone, and send me your entries!

 

Joy in the Journey!

Judith the Irish foodie

Shamrock and Peach Cobbler

Summer Peach Cobbler

Shamrock and Peach Cobbler

In celebration of my return to Georgia after spending 5 weeks in Ireland leading 3 very fun filled tours, it’s time to make dessert!  Summer has arrived here in Georgia with the harvest of fragrant juicy peaches, so, its time to make one of the South’s most beloved desserts, namely Peach Cobbler.  When fruits are in season, no frills desserts that accentuate the flavor and texture are the way to go!  Our ‘go to’ fruit dessert growing up in Ireland is always a crumble topping made with oats, and in this case, a transition to a cobbler from a crumble makes perfect sense and achieves the same delicious goal of warm luscious fruit textures with a perfect crumbly paring, and oh, don’t forget the ice cream.

I hope you enjoy this recipe and savor each summer day before it’s gone!

Peach Cobbler

(serves 6)

  • (for the peach filling)
  • 8-10 medium size peaches
  • 1 vanilla pod (scraped)
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted Kerrygold Irish butter
  • (for the topping)
  • 1 ½ cups of all purpose flour
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 4 ½ oz unsalted Kerrygold Irish butter (cold)
  • ¼ cup boiling water
  • 2 Tbsp milk

How to make it

  1. To make the peach filling toss the peaches with the sugar, cornstarch and vanilla seeds. Melt 1 Tbsp of unsalted butter in the pan and add the peach mixture and cook for 6-7 minutes until the peaches begin to break down but are still firm.  Add the lemon juice and honey and chill.
  2. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  3. To make the cobbler sift the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Using your finger tips or food processor blend in the chilled butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.  Stir in the boiling water and milk.
  4. To assemble the cobblers grease 6 small dishes or one 8’ pan with butter. Spoon in the peach filling and then add the topping by dropping spoonfuls of the batter on top of the peaches.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes until the topping is golden brown and serve with ice-cream.

Joy in the Journey, and enjoy the summer!

Judith the Irish foodie

 

Irish tours begin – sun and fun for all!

Summer is here at last, and my tours of Ireland have begun! After months of careful preparation, phone calls, emails, events and more the time has finally arrived, and I could not be more excited to share the beauty of Ireland with another group of my wonderful guests.

My first tour this year was particularly blessed with majestic weather, which made the beauty of the land shine all the more and I really believe some of my guests were deeply impacted by the landscape and history. Few places are so beautiful when the sun shines, believe me! -I just love to see the smiles on the faces of people when we turn a corner and a mountain vista opens up, or a castle comes into view. This is why I do what i do…

more to come…hope everyone is enjoying their summer!

Judith…somewhere of Paddy’s green Irish shore!

A strong Dollar stretches further

Strong Dollar Benefits

Dream of Ireland and Go

This year is a great time to go to Ireland because of the benefits of the strong dollar.  The slogan for my tour business is “Dream of Ireland and Go” because for many of us there is always something stopping us from hitting the “Go” button.  The changes in the global economy means the US dollar is strong – not so good for some things, but a great time for Americans to travel this summer.  All good things come to an end so we know that the historic strength of the dollar will not last.

The great news is that your money will go further! So, you can have a cup of coffee a dollar cheaper on Grafton street in Dublin than you could in your local Starbucks!

An Irish coffee

Enjoying a cup of coffee in Grafton Street

 

If you plan to take advantage of a great time to visit Ireland or Scotland, please consider coming with Shamrock and Peach tours.  We have some wonderful new tours and would love to welcome you to Ireland or Scotland to enjoy a trip of a lifetime

My dates are May 29th to June 4th Legendary Ireland, June 12th to June 18th Elegant Ireland, June 27th to July 3rd Castles tour of Ireland and  July 24th to 30th Historic Scotland tour!  Prices starting at $2195, our highly competitive costs include luxury hospitality, transportation, food, entertainment, fees and more…

Check out for more information

http://www.shamrockandpeach.com

 

Judith the Irish foodie

 

The joy of the Irish dance

Irish Dancing

Irish Craic with music and dance

The Shamrock and Peach ventured West to Dallas last weekend to attend the 2015 Southern Region Irish dancing Championship.   Even after all these years I am still in awe of the Irish dance and believe there is no other dance quite like it in the world.  The winners will be heading to the World Championship that will be held next year in Glasgow, Scotland.  So, loads of excitement and adventures ahead and wishing success to all the dancers to keep on preserving our wonderful Irish culture.

My drive West from Atlanta to Dallas included driving through four states Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas and I am amazed by the vastness of this great country.  Next summer I will be leading four fun filled tours including three to Ireland and one to Scotland!  I do hope some of you will be joining me on next years adventures?  My talented husband has been been producing framed artwork using old barn wood of images from Ireland and Scotland that I have been selling at my events.  Hope you enjoy a couple of my personal favorite images from places we visit on my tours next summer.  Dream of Ireland and go!

Wishing you the Joy of the Irish dance in the busy holiday season!

Judith the Irish foodie

Irish traffic jam with Shamrock and Peach tours

 

With all the buzz of the new Season 5 Game of Thrones it reminded me of a funny encounter we had last summer on Shamrock and Peach tours. We were on our way from the Giants Causeway to the Dark Hedges when a herd of dairy cows took over the road.  Our driver Mark was laughing so hard as all our tour guests started to frantically snap their cameras.  For the Irish locals a dairy cow traffic jam is a normal occurrence in the countryside.  Our coach driver worked on all the Game of Thrones cast providing transport to and from all filming locations for Season 4 so he was able to supply us with a few good stories.    Fans of Game of Thrones were blown away to see Ballycastle, home of the real Lady Catelyn Stark and Varys, Cushendun Caves, Ballinty (Pyke) Harbor and of course the Dark Hedges Aka The Kings Road.

“Of Ulster and Ireland, land of mystery and Mirth, full of the Joy and Living”  – quote by Gary McLoughlin Shamrock and Peach cook book

Joy in the Journey!

Judith