Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sketchbook Challenge - March

March's theme - "Spilling Over".
The Vernal Equinox will be here at 7:21 PM tonight. We've had a couple warm (72 degrees on Friday!!!) sunny days and signs of Spring are everywhere. I took a break from yard clean up yesterday to sketch the crocuses that are popping up all over my backyard and a branch of Magnolia buds. The tree is covered with gray fuzzy buds that will soon be a fantastic but short lived burst of pink flowers. 

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Irish Soda Bread

I've never made the boiled dinners of corned beef, cabbage and potatoes that my Mom did every St. Patrick's Day while I was growing up but when I found this recipe several years ago I started my own tradition. I look forward to making this every March.
White vinegar and milk is used in place of the buttermilk called for in most soda bread recipes. Perfect for me as I could never figure out what to do with rest of the quart before it would spoil. This bread is great served with soup and salad for dinner and is just as delicious toasted for breakfast the next morning. 

Irish Soda Bread

1 cup milk
½ cup white vinegar
3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking soda
1 ½ tsp salt
¼ cup butter
2/3 cup raisins

Mix milk and vinegar in small bowl and set aside.
Mix flour, sugar, baking soda and salt in a bowl.
Cut in butter with pastry blender until mixture resembles fine crumbs.
Add the liquid to the dry ingredients with the raisins and stir until just blended.
Turn dough onto a floured surface and lightly knead about 10 times.
Shape into a round loaf and place on prepared baking sheet.
Cut a ½ deep “X” into the top of loaf with a sharp knife.
Bake at 375 degrees for 40-45 minutes.

Recipe adapted from the Culninary Arts Institute's The American Family Home Cookbook