Go Green for March

Irish Kale Salad Recipe

Kale Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing and Crispy Shallots

I don’t know about y’all but all the winter and holiday eating has caught up with me and it’s time for me to Go Green and eat some healthy and ‘in season’ Kale. I mean, the recipe does call for Apple Wood Smoked Bacon and Crispy Fried Shallots, but it sure beats the heck out of Fries and Butter Burgers?  It’s also the month of March where we celebrate our beautiful Emerald Isle and our patron Saint Patrick. So, here’s a healthy Salad with the goal of going green…

…and finally, in keeping with the theme, here’s a verse from one of my favorite artists and songs, written by Johnny Cash and Forty Shades of Green...

“I close my eyes and picture the emerald of the sea

From the fishing boats at Dingle to the shores of Dunardee

I miss the river Shannon and the folks at Skibbereen

The moorlands and the midlands with their forty shades of green”

Hers the recipe…

Kale Salad with a Warm Bacon Dressing and Crispy Fried Shallots


  • 2 ½ oz (5 cups) Kale (hard stalks removed and hand torn)
  • (for the dressing)
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 5 slices uncured apple smoked bacon (finely chop)
  • 8 Tbsp (1/2 cup) olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
  • ¼ cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • (for the fried shallots)
  • 2 shallots (finely sliced)
  • 1 Tbsp flour
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • Kosher salt and pepper

How to make it:

  1. Heat oil in skillet and crisp bacon. Remove bacon from the pan and set on plate lined with a paper towel.  Drain bacon fat from skillet leaving 1 Tbsp for a little flavor.
  2. Add chopped garlic and cook for 1 minute to soften but not brown. Remove from heat and add vinegar, (being careful as pan may splutter some).  Gently shake the saucepan to mix.   Use as whisk to mix the mustard, sugar.  Add ground black pepper.  Finally whisk in the olive oil and gently heat on low.
  3. To make the fried shallots toss in the flour. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan or fryer to 360 degrees F.  Add the shallots in small batches so they do not stick together cooking for 10-12 minutes until they are really crispy.  Remove with a slotted spoon and place on paper towels to drain.   Season the shallots with a little salt and pepper.
  4. To serve toss the kale in the warm vinaigrette with the bacon.
  5. Serve right away and top each salad plate with a small handful of friend shallots and enjoy!

Judie the Irish Foodie



Food Photography with the Shamrock and Peach

Just this past weekend I teamed up with Shamrock and Peach photography (my husband Gary) to teach a class on Food Photography at Whole foods Salud cooking school in Alpharetta.  Gary is an artist and designer for his day job and a skilled photographer with a passion for creating beautiful imagery that explores the world around us and the Irish landscape.  We got to work together combing food with photography when we wrote our first book together ‘the Shamrock and Peach”.  We are always learning and exploring and we love to share with others.  I heard a quote recently that said “we only own what we give away” so I wanted to share some of the images from our food styling class.  Valentine’s day is coming up soon so I am going to share the recipe for the Raspberry and Chocolate Panna Cotta next!

Oh, and here is Gary’s website if  you want to check out his work http://www.shamrockandpeachphoto.com/

Thanks for following us!

Judie the Irish foodie

Bacon and Crispy Cabbage with Mustard Sauce

Happy New Year 2018!  Wishing all my friends and followers good health and Prosperity with Irish Savoy Cabbage Greens and Bacon…a true Irish favorite!

In the South it’s a tradition to enjoy collard greens as part of a New Years tradition (cooked in a smoked ham hock bone and served with black eyed peas and cornbread). The greens are symbolic of paper money and bring good luck and wealth for the upcoming year, whilst the black eyed peas represent the coins… so now you know!

So we wanted to share a new year suggestion for you with some Irish style crispy cabbage and wishing you a year like no other!

Bacon with Crispy Cabbage and Mustard Sauce

  • 3 lbs cured loin of bacon
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp peppercorns
  • 1 stick of celery (chopped)
  • 1 large onion (cut in quarters)
  • 1 carrot (chopped)
  • (for the cabbage)
  • 1 large green savoy cabbage (hard core removed and thinly sliced)
  • 3 Tbsp of butter
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • (for the mustard sauce)
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • ½ cup reserved cooking liquid
  • 1 Tbsp whole grain mustard


How to make it

  1. Put the bacon in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Add the bay leaves, peppercorns, celery, and carrot.   Bring to the boil and then cover with a lid and reduce the heat to a low simmer for 20 minutes per pound plus an additional 30 minutes.
  2. Remove the bacon from the pan and set aside. Reserve ½ cup of cooking liquid for the sauce.
  3. To make the mustard sauce melt the butter and add the flour cooking for a minute and then whisk in the reserved cooking liquid, heavy whipping cream, mustard and salt and pepper.
  4. To make the cabbage melt the butter in a large skillet and then add the cabbage tossing with tongs until it’s bright and fragrant. Sprinkle 2 Tbsp of water over the cabbage to wilt slightly but still remaining crispy and bright.
  5. To serve slice the bacon and drizzle with a little mustard sauce and top with crispy cabbage.

Enjoy, and have a peaceful and prosperous new year!

Judie the Irish foodie



Grass Fed Irish Butter Burgers (Friday feeling)

What could possibly make a flavor packed grass fed burger better?  Try adding some grass fed Irish butter? Kneading in some grated frozen grass fed Irish butter to your burger makes the juiciest flavor packed mouthful ever!

Get this...Cooking Light Magazine said that lean grass fed beef has a nutrition profile more similar to salmon than grain fed beef! – wow! Cooking light also mentions grass fed beef has half the saturated fat of dark meat chicken!  So, with all that said we could afford to add just a little grass fed butter?  I mean what could be wrong adding more good fat?   Please allow me to share the secret of one of the best burgers you will ever make (or taste)? A ‘wee bit ‘ of Irish goodness goes a very long way…

Grass Fed Butter Burger

(recipe makes 4 ¼ Lb patties)

  • (for the Pattie)
  • 1 lb lean grass fed ground sirloin
  • 3 Tbsp (grated frozen or very cold unsalted Kerrygold Irish butter)
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 Tbsp canola oil
  • (for the burger)
  • 4 slices of Kerrygold Dubliner cheese
  • 3 Tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 4 Brioche buns (toasted)
  • 4 slices of thickly sliced tomato (optional)
  • 4 slices of Bibb lettuce (optional)


How to make them

  1. Preheat the grill to medium high.
  2. Caramelize the onion in a little canola or grape seed oil for a few minutes to soften.  Set aside and cool.
  3. Break up  the sirloin and sprinkle with the salt and pepper, garlic powder and stir in the caramelized cooled onions..
  4. Use a box grater to grate the butter grate directly over the ground sirloin keeping everything very cold (try not to touch with hands to prevent the butter from melting).
  5. Gently knead the butter in to the burger and then divide in to 4 patties.
  6. Cook the patties for 3 minutes on one side and then turn top with cheese and then tun them over and grill for another 2-4 minutes.
  7. To serve toast the bun and top the patties with tomato ketchup, bib lettuce and freshly sliced tomato. Place filling inside of bun and enjoy!

Happy Grilling!  Summer is almost here!

Judie the Irish foodie



Rise Up Atlanta! – Hot Wings, Irish Style…


The last time the Atlanta Falcons were in the Superbowl, our eldest son was a babe in arms, and today he’s getting ready for college…so, it’s been a looong time y’all!

So, we are celebrating, whatever happens, but rooting for an Atlanta win with some really good food in the shape of hot wings marinated and glazed with my secret Irish beer and garlic hot sauce (well, secret, but recipe is below….just for you!)

So, Rise Up Atlanta, and enjoy!

Hot Wings (Rise Up Atlanta Wings)

(for the marinade)

  • 3 Lbs of chicken drumsticks and wings
  • 1 bottle of Harp Irish Beer (12 oz)
  • 3 cloves of Garlic
  • 1 Tbsp freshly grated stem ginger
  • 1/3 cup hot sriracha chile sauce
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • (for the glaze)
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ cup spring onions (thinly sliced)
  • 1 Tbsp fresh chili (finely chopped for garnish)

How to make them

  1. Marinade the wings in the beer, garlic, ginger, sriracha, lemon juice, olive oil and soy sauce for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.
  3. Remove the chicken from the marinade (and reserve).
  4. For a crispier skin sear the chicken meat side down for a few minutes first in a skillet to help render the fat and then transfer with tongs to a large roasting pan for about 12 minutes.
  5. While the wings are in the oven transfer the marinade to a small saucepan and reduce it by at least 50 per cent. Whisk in the honey and half of the spring onions.
  6. Remove the wings from the roasting pan and transfer to a warm platter. Toss the wings in the glaze and sprinkle over the reserved spring onions and fresh chili.

Judie, the Irish Foodie


Christmas Scones are Gingerbread Heaven

Ginger Scone Recipe

Gingerbread Scones for Christmas Brunch

Certain smells and flavors conjure up the essence of Christmas!  Just like the aromas of the spices baking in the oven of my favorite Gingerbread Scones.  Gingerbread is an Old World recipe that has somehow become synonymous with the Christmas Season around the world including both Ireland and America.  These Gingerbread Scones are perfect for holiday brunch are always a hit especially when served with Lemon Curd and Fresh Whipped Cream.  Enjoy the season and the spices of Christmas..  It’s the time!

Gingerbread Scones with Clotted Lemon Cream

Gingerbread scone ingredients (makes ½ dozen):

  • 1 lb. (4 cups) self-rising flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 oz. (¼ cup) dark brown sugar
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground powdered ginger
  • ½ tsp. nutmeg
  • ¾ tsp. cinnamon
  • 6 oz. (¾ cup) butter (cold and cut into small pieces)
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • 4 fl. oz. (½ cup) buttermilk
  • 2 fl. oz. (¼ cup) molasses
  • egg wash (1 egg beaten with a little water or milk)


How to make them:

  1. Preheat your oven to 425° F.
  2. Sift the flour with the baking powder then combine the remaining dry ingredients together in a food processor or a large mixing bowl.
  3. Cut the cold butter into the mixed dry ingredients then rub the mixture together with your fingertips or add them slowly to a food processor to form a breadcrumb-like texture.
  4. Beat the buttermilk, egg, and molasses together in a small bowl and combine with the dry ingredients, mixing well.
  5. Turn the resulting dough out onto a lightly floured surface.
  6. Knead the dough a few times and then roll it out with a lightly floured rolling pin until it’s about ¾” thick.
  7. Cut the scones out of the flattened dough using a 1” biscuit cutter.
  8. Brush dough scones with egg wash and place onto a lightly greased baking sheet.
  9. Bake 12–15 minutes until well risen and golden brown on top, turning the baking tray halfway through baking time to ensure even baking.
  10. Best served warm. Serve sliced in half and slathered with clotted cream.

Happy Holiday Baking!

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



Spring Tea in the Garden

This Spring I was so honored to be the guest speaker at the annual garden tea hosted by Patty Blanton and her wonderful family.  The tea benefits the Sacred Heart Cultural Center in Augusta, Georgia and is a most elegant affair.  It was the most perfect afternoon with Scots Irish fiddling, delicious food, Sipping Thompson’s Irish tea  and story telling.  Just as mentioned in my cookbook the Shamrock and Peach “one of the many particularities and joys of living in the South is found in the discovery that many of the old traditions of a more refined, bygone age have survived the modern era”.  I was truly blessed beyond measure to be part of this momentous occasion tea in the garden and will treasure in my heart for years to come!

So have tea y’all, don those heals, find your most fabulous hat and wear those pearls (and in the garden if at all possible)!

Judith the Irish foodie


Irish Winter Kale Salad with Goats Cheese and Toasted Hazelnuts

Sasonal Winter Salad

Winter Vegetables and Kale salad

Kale is not just kept for our native Irish potato dish (Colcannon) it’s also delicious as a winter salad green. when the temps drop, there’s no need to skimp on hearty and healthy salads as the earthy, chewy flavor of the dark leafy greens here are packed with nutrition and considered a super food.  In winter, our seasonal selections are more limited, but now is the perfect time to load up on root vegetables including the beets and sweet potatoes featured in the salad and look out for young organic baby kale.

This week I am teaching at Atlanta’s Oli and Ve stores using their quality olive oil and vinegars from all around the world and I’m finding great oils and vinegars make the perfect drizzle for instant salads without any fuss!  Enjoy some winter simplicity as we wait for the flavors of Spring to arrive.

Winter Roasted Vegetables and Kale Salad with Feta and Hazelnuts

(Recipe serves 4-6)

  • (for the Roasted Vegetables)
  • 2 golden beats (peeled and cut in to ½ inch size pieces
  • 2 red beats (peeled and cut in to ½ inch size pieces
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes (peeled and cut in to ½ inch pieces
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Splash of balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • For the salad
  • 1 ½ bunches (18oz) Organic Kale (stems removed and cut in to strips)
  • 3-4 Tbsp of quality olive oil and balsamic vinegar
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 4 oz crumbled goats cheese
  • 1/3 cup hazelnuts (1 ½ oz) toasted and chopped

How to make it:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Toss the prepared roasted vegetables in olive oil, sea salt and pepper and transfer on to a rimmed baking dish for roasting. Roast for about 25 to 30 minutes stirring half way and stirring occasionally to ensure all the vegetables are tender and a little caramelized on the outside. Set them aside and allow cool.
  3. To serve arrange the kale on plates. Top with the roasted beets and sweet potato. Sprinkle over the goat’s cheese and toasted hazelnuts.
  4. Drizzle with olive oil and vinegar and season with salt and pepper just before serving.

Stay warm and cozy!

Judith the Irish Foodie



Super Bowl Blue Cheese and Bacon dipper!

Blue cheese and bacon dip-5-Edit
The Super Bowl is here! Families are scrambling in the store for chips and dips, beer of all stripes, and party food to please the masses…and so I thought I would offer up my very own Shamrock & Peach homage to this most American of feasts with a ‘Super Bowl Blue Cheese and Bacon Dip Special’.

Blue cheese and bacon are just made for each other, and compliment beers and brews of all sorts exceptionally well. Just add some crunchy toasts, celery sticks, cucumber, radishes, carrots or snow peas and the folks at your Super Bowl party will thank you with gusto!

After 18 years living this amazing country, we have finally adjusted to the Super Bowl Pageant, y’know, with the guys watching the game and the girls watching ads…

Have fun everyone!

Judie, the Irish Foodie.

  • 8 slices of bacon (apple wood smoked bacon)
  • 8 oz cream cheese (room temp)
  • 7 oz blue Irish cheese (I use Kerrygold Irish Cashel Blue)
  • 3 Tbsp buttermilk
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • Fine kosher salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • Dash of chili sauce

How to make it:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. lace the bacon on a foil lined baking sheet and bake for 7-8 minutes or until the bacon is crispy.   Remove from the oven to cool.
  3. Using a blender beat the cream cheese, buttermilk, chill sauce, mayonnaise and garlic together to a smooth consistency.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  5. Chop the bacon and add to the dip (reserving 2 Tbsp to garnish). Crumble the blue cheese and stir in to dip.
  6. Transfer the dip mixture to a 2 cup size medium dish.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes or until the dip is bubbling.
  8. Garnish with reserved bacon and serve warm.