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This Irish Soda Bread recipe comes to me from friend Molly Sinnett, who answered my Facebook plea for an authentic loaf. Something passed down from an Irish Granny would have been ideal, and she totally delivered!

This is a complete departure from the soda bread I picked up last weekend in Carroll Gardens (Caputo’s Bake Shop, those are most definitely eggs in your dough…I’ll be back for your hot cross buns though!).

I was wary of using margarine in the recipe, with its hydrogenated oil; but, I didn’t exactly want to substitute butter when her recipe specifically says “don’t use butter!” So, I went with a stick of Smart Balance and crossed my fingers.

The secret to this loaf has to be the soured buttermilk–the crumb is perfectly tender and reminds me of a colossal scone. And I absolutely love scones. So very excited for a thick slice for breakfast tomorrow with my Irish Breakfast tea. Happy St. Pat’s everyone!

Granny’s Irish Soda Bread

(Thanks Molly!)

  •  5 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  •  1 rounded tsp baking soda
  •  1 rounded tsp baking powder
  •  1 cup sugar
  •  1 stick margarine, sliced into 8 Tbsps (I used Smart Balance)
  •  6-8 ounces raisins (or more if you desire)
  •  1 1/2 cups sour buttermilk (to sour add 1 tsp white vinegar and let sit at room temp 1/2 hour)
  1. Mix together first 4 ingredients. Using a pastry cutter, blend the margarine into the flour and sugar mix. Add raisins.
  2. Create a well, pour in the buttermilk and stir. Use hands to fully incorporate wet and dry ingredients.
  3. Divide dough into 2 round loaves. Set in center of cake pans that have been greased and floured.  Cut an X into the top of each loaf and bake at 375 degrees for 45-50 minutes.

Smoked Trout with Roasted Red Pepper "Caviar"

These smoked trout hors d’oeuvres were in actuality a quick lunch for Georgia & I, thrown together with just three ingredients: Trader Joe’s Smoked Trout fillets, mayo, and roasted red bell peppers. While sold canned, these trout fillets don’t have the tinny flavor of chunk tuna fish, and are a quick & easy nitrate-free source of protein and healthy fats.

My daughter will eat this salad by the spoonful; but, served on mini 12-grain crackers (also Trader Joe’s) with a garnish, it’s passable as cocktail party fare. Diced small enough, roasted red peppers resemble salmon roe and add sweetness and acidity to balance the smoky. Serve this with potassium-rich fruit (to offset sodium) such as melon, kiwi, mango or citrus. And maybe some bubbly for the grown ups.

Smoked Trout Salad

Drain the oil from two (3.9 oz) cans of Smoked Trout fillets. Place fillets in a small bowl and flake with a fork. Add 2 Tbsp of your favorite mayonnaise and mix with fork until smooth. Spoon onto crackers and garnish with a very-small diced roasted red pepper.