Wednesday, March 16, 2016

St. Patrick's Day Irish Soda Bread

I love celebrating St. Patrick's day.  As a kid, I would always look forward to wearing my green to school (in hopes to not get pinched!).  I loved the special meal my mom would make for us that included corned beef, cabbage and potatoes.  I still look forward to this meal all year long!  But I also LOVE the Irish Soda Bread that my mom made growing up that goes along with the meal.  This is a very simple bread that takes just under an hour total to make.  

First, put all the dry ingredients in the bowl and whisk together.  Add the butter in chunks and use a pastry cutter or two knives to cut the butter into little pea sizes.

Mix together the egg and buttermilk and and add along with the currents, to the dry ingredients.  Then take it to a floured surface to knead for 3 minutes.  Once the dough is no longer sticky, cut the dough in half.

Form them into two round loaves.  Cut a cross in the center.  If you want your bread to have a nice browned top, paint buttermilk over the top with a pastry brush.  Place in a preheated oven set to 375 and bake for 35-40 minutes.

Let me know how you liked it!  Enjoy!

Irish Soda Bread Recipe

4 cups flour
1 t. salt
1 T. baking powder
1 t. soda
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter
2 cups currents (or raisins)
1 egg
1 3/4 cup buttermilk

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Valentine's Day LOVE Notes

I usually dread this holiday as another year that has passed where I am alone... wishing I would have flowers waiting for me at home or a special night out to look forward to.  This year, for some reason, I'm not feeling those same feelings. 
I'm not sure why exactly. I do know that God is definitely working on me to be content with where my life is at in the present.  And to be thankful for how He has blessed me.  I'm realizing more and more that life is short. That I am called to live a purposeful life; using the gifts He has given me. And to love those who He has brought into my life.
For years, my family has been creating and exchanging Valentine cards with one another and I haven't really thought much about it.  As I've grown older, I see how special that really is.  It's not that there is something particularly special about this day but, that it serves as a good reminder to us that we are called to LOVE one another. This has become a small way that we can share how much each other means.  A handwritten message says so much more that a cutesy card just can't.
I would encourage you to take the time this week to tell someone you love them... in handwritten words, gifts, or actions.

Valentine's Day can be so much more than the commercialized romantic holiday that it is portrayed as.

"Love is patient and kind. Love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
LOVE never fails."  
1 Corinthians 13: 4-8

Happy Valentine's Day!