Sunday brunch is a meal I enjoy very much and yesterday’s brunch was especially enjoyable with Kevin’s brother joining us from Ireland. He was passing through Baltimore for less than 24 hours. Very short visit! Wish he could’ve stayed longer! We planned to go out for Korean BBQ as soon as he got in Saturday night, but we could tell he was pretty wrecked from all the traveling. So instead, we had a quiet night in with Five Guys bacon cheeseburgers and fries and a nice bottle of red wine. It was a lovely night catching up on everything that’s been going on back home since our last visit. It’s funny listening to Kevin and his brother talk and joke around. It was like we were back in Ireland! Maybe I’m just used to Kevin’s accent or (oh, Kevin’s not going to like me saying this…) maybe Kevin is sounding more American 😉 , but I find their accents to be very different from each other. It took me a good 15 minutes to adjust my ears to understand what my brother-in-law was saying HAHA. (more…)
Every few months, I place a rather large order on Tommy Moloney’s online shop for Irish speciality meats and products. I order corned beef, cocktail sausages, breakfast sausages, rashers (Irish bacon), black pudding and white pudding. Before I knew about the site, whenever we’d have a taste for something Irish, I’d either have to make it from scratch (so basically just shepherd’s pie) or go out to James Joyce Irish pub in Harbor East. They do a delicious Irish potato soup and I really like their bangers and mash with onion gravy. By the way, bangers are Irish style sausages. Funny name, I know 😉 (more…)
Do people still have house warming parties? I remember going to so many house warmings and open houses as a kid. There would be elaborate buffets of food and a pastor would come and bless the house. I was taught to formally greet adults when we’d go out. I would greet any and every adult I saw at these open houses. It was funny to hear them tell me how much I had grown, especially because I’m sure they didn’t have a clue who I was. Like seriously, I don’t know you! HAHA. Last summer, my friend and I went for a hike in Patapsco Park and we ran into a woman who looked like my other friend’s mom. We went over to say hello and she was like ‘oh you’re here, it’s great to see you, have a good hike.’ As soon as we walked away from her, my friend and I turned to each other ‘Uh, that wasn’t her mom! HAHA. Who was that?’ Anyway, as an adult, I feel like I’ve only been to one or two house warming parties. Maybe it’s not as big a deal anymore. When we moved into our current house, we didn’t have a formal house warming. Our first guest was my mom. We prepared a lovely meal and had her over for lunch. This is a photo from that day. (more…)
I’ve been feeling a little homesick for Ireland these past few days. Am I allowed to use the word ‘homesick’ if I’ve never actually lived there? I’ve visited there so many times, it’s like I’ve lived there. Seriously, nearly every page of my passport has green ink on it! I should really just get an Irish passport already, I hate waiting in the Non-EU line at customs! I tried going through with Kevin before, but nope, they accepted him and I was told to go back into the Non-EU line. So I waited and waited and when I finally reached the Customs official, he asked me where my husband was. Next time Kevin, you’re waiting with me! I don’t know where this sudden longing to be back in Ireland is coming from. Maybe it’s because we’ve been drinking loads of Barry’s Tea and we don’t have proper biscuits and snacks to have with it. HAHA. Maybe it’s because we know we won’t be traveling much this year and that makes me miss my in-laws a bit more than usual. But anyways, this desire to be in Ireland has inspired me to cook Irish dishes all week. Sometimes, I feel bad for only making Korean or Italian dishes at home. Meat and potatoes have turned into kimchi and rice or pasta and salads in this house. So I dedicate this week to you my dear. I’ll cook all your favorite dishes, save for Steak and Kidney Pie. I still haven’t a clue how to make that. (more…)
I’m not one of those people you’d usually find at grand openings for things. But when I heard The Whole Foods Market in Columbia, MD was finally opening its doors, I couldn’t resist…I tried, but somehow around lunch time, I found myself there. I came up with a clever way to trick Kevin into going with me. We had a morning meeting in Baltimore City and on our way home I “suggested” we go for an early lunch somewhere. We haven’t been to Iron Bridge Wine Company in Ellicott City, MD for some time so we thought we’d head there towards Howard County.
“…actually, Kevin…we haven’t had Petit Louis Bistro in a while either…mmm I could go for a Quiche Lorraine. A nice brunchy lunch. Doesn’t that sound good today? …And maybe if we have time we can quickly drive by Whole Foods and see if it’s really busy, I mean it’s just right by there…and if it’s not too busy maybe we could go in…OMG You know what? We’re out of Raisin Bran…” INCEPTION! I’m such a genius! 😉 (more…)
One thing I look forward to every week is making lunch for my mom at our house. I think she loves it too! 😉 She’s a pretty busy lady, so in the short time we have together I make sure to prepare a lovely 3 course meal – starter, main and dessert. This way, I know she’ll leave with a full and happy belly. Oh and I always send her off with a hot cappuccino to-go. I literally buy those disposable coffee cups with lids from Costco, just for her cappuccinos.
Two weeks ago, I made my mom a fresh zucchini salad, pasta all norma (eggplant spaghetti) and fruit salad of peaches, nectarines and plums. (All made from seasonal produce from the farmers market.) She liked the zucchini salad so much I made it again when the whole family was over for lunch. Although the eggplant spaghetti was tasty and looked pretty, I wasn’t completely satisfied with it. I was short on time and skipped 2 important steps in the recipe and well, while the eggplant should’ve broken apart and become creamy in texture, it remained intact and was quite watery. She didn’t seem to mind, but I told myself I’d have to make it properly for her the next time. (more…)
Now that you’ve made the ciabatta from yesterday, all you need are juicy sweet tomatoes. These are the tomatoes I picked up after lunch at the Love Dove Farm stall at the Howard County Farmers Market. Aren’t they just gorgeous? I grabbed a pint of Sun Gold tomatoes and a pint of Black Cherry tomatoes. I could snack on them all day.
Farm stalls are overflowing with all different tomato heirlooms and varieties during the summer. Once you’ve tried fresh picked tomatoes off the vine, the ones you find year round in the supermarkets won’t do. It’s hard for me not to pick up a pint or two when I’m out at the farmers market. When using such delicious produce like farm fresh tomatoes, it’s best to keep whatever dish you’re making as simple as possible. You want the natural sweetness and bright flavors to shine. A great dish to show off summer tomatoes is Bruschetta. Here are a few different ways I dress my tomatoes. (more…)
Why is bread making so daunting? It really shouldn’t be. I’ve made plenty of quick breads at home like scones, biscuits and Irish brown bread without a problem. But you see, they don’t require yeast. There’s something about using yeast and letting things proof for a long time that puts me off of making those types of breads. (more…)
People usually go to Federal Hill at night for the bars, but I like to go there in the day for lunch or a hot cup of coffee and a big plate full of beignets. What? Coffee and beignets in Fed Hill? Oh you didn’t know?!?! To be fair, neither did I until a few weeks ago 😛
We happened to be in Fed Hill one morning and we were looking for a coffee shop. Spoons Cafe was just the place. It’s a charming breakfast/lunch spot on 24 E. Cross St., between Pub Dog and The Stalking Horse. I’ve passed by Spoons many times, but its usually after they are closed for the day. So I was happy to be in the neighborhood while they were still open.
We weren’t particularly hungry that morning, but after a quick look down the menu, one item caught our attention. “O-NUTS baltimore-style cinnamon beignets topped with powdered sugar.” Let’s see – I love Baltimore. I love beignets. I love powdered sugar. One order of O-NUTS please! 😀
A dish that I make quite often in our house is Spaghetti alla Carbonara (aka breakfast spaghetti). It doesn’t require much cooking and uses very simple ingredients. This is all I need to make lunch for two. By the way, when you get to the rind of your parmiggiano cheese, don’t chuck it! I’ll show you how to use it in soups like Pasta Fagioli or Pasta Ceci.