Irish Soda Bread

I made an Irish Soda Bread to go with the Irish French Onion Soup I tried. All I have to say is I’ve finally realized that I DON’T like soda bread. It is sooo bland and so boring. Thank goodness this soup called for melted cheese on it because I just don’t think I could stomach anymore. This recipe is decent if making Irish soda bread interests you but after trying a few recipes I’m totally convinced soda bread is just not flavourful all around. If you have a stellar Irish Soda Bread recipe please let me know! But for now that’s my review of it. I’m sharing this recipe if you need one for the Irish French Onion Soup Recipe because it does the trick. Simple as that!

Time: 25 min prep + 1 hour baking

Yield: 1 loaf

Calories/Loaf: ~2,784

Ingredients:

  • 1 and 3/4 cups buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (plus more for your hands and counter)
  • 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cubed
  • optional: 1 cup raisins (I didn’t use raisins)

Link to recipe directions can be found HERE.

Note: It may be different for everyone but it took me longer than 45 minutes to cook. It took me about an hour.

Equipment Required:

  • Options: Baking sheet w/ parchment paper, seasoned 10-12 inch cast iron skillet, or greased a 9-10 inch cake pan or pie dish
  • Mixing bowl
  • Whisk
  • Knife
  • Tinfoil

Recipe Review:

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY – EASY

  • Steps: 5
    • Rating: Easy
  • Involvement
    • 25 minutes prep
    • Rating: Easy
  • Ingredients & availability
    • 7-8 ingredients
    • All ingredients are normal and you can easily find at your local grocery store
    • Rating: Easy

Mom’s Chicken Pot Pie

I tried HBH Brown Sage-Butter Chicken Pot Pie (which you can see in my pictures) from the HBH Super Simple book but it just didn’t compare to my mom’s recipe. It is too good not to share her recipe instead so you are in for a treat! The HBH recipe was just so runny/soupy, while my mom’s is nice and rich and creamy! So below you will get the recipe for my mom’s Chicken Pot Pie. It is 100% foolproof and my absolutely favourite meal to eat during fall/winter. It also freezes very well so you can add this recipe to your list of freezer meals πŸ™‚ I hope you guys enjoy!

Time: 30 min – 1 hour to prep + 15 – 20 min cook time

Yield: 6 servings

Calories/Serving: 304 – 354 (depends on your crust topping of choice)

potpie4

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 6 tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 cups chicken broth*
  • 3 cups cooked cubed chicken or turkey**
  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups frozen mixed vegetables (depends how much veg you like)
  • Bisquick biscuits or puff pastry or pie crust***

Directions:

  1. Cook onions in butter until tender (not brown).
  2. Blend in flour and salt. Stir in broth. Cook & stir until thickened and bubbling.
  3. Add cooked chicken or turkey and veggies. Heat until bubbling.
  4. Pour into a casserole dish and top with biscuits, puff pastry, or pie pastry.
  5. Bake at 450F for 15 – 20 min until topping is cooked/brown.

Notes:

*I usually use chicken Bovril to make broth which you can find here.

**I cannot emphasize how invaluable having cooked shredded turkey in your freezer is. We always buy turkeys, cook, shred them and then divide them into bags for the freezer to have later for meals exactly like this. It will help cut down on prep time. If you have to cook and cut up the chicken it will increase prep time.

*** This is entirely personal preference. I prefer puff pastry because it doesn’t take as long to cook and cuts down on prep time. Biscuits will take time to prepare and when I use pie pastry I find it hard to get it to fully cooked underneath because it’s touching the wet pie.

Freeze option: If you plan on freezing this meal put the pot pie in a casserole dish. If using puff pastry or pie pastry you can put the topping on the chicken mixture and cover and freeze it. If you are making biscuits I would wait until actually cooking the chicken pie. When ready to eat pull out chicken pie to thaw in the fridge overnight or on the counter. Cook at 450F for 20-30 min until bubbling. Then I would put on the biscuits and bake for another 15 min. until the biscuits look done. For the pie and puff pastry I would do a similar time of 35 – 45 min total but watching to see when the crust browns.

Equipment Required:

  • Deep frying pan
  • Mixing spoon
  • Knife
  • Cutting board
  • Casserole dish

Recipe Review:

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY – EASY

  • Steps: 5
    • Rating: Easy
  • Involvement
    • 30 min – 1 hour of prep (1 hour if you have to cook the chicken, only 30 minutes if you already have cooked turkey or chicken on hand)
    • Rating: Easy – Moderate
  • Ingredients & availability
    • 8 ingredients
    • All ingredients are normal and you can easily find at your local grocery store
    • Rating: Easy

Potluck Macaroni & Cheese

This recipe review is brought to you from Taste of Home. So far, this is the best macaroni and cheese recipe I have found. I have served it at potlucks and everyone loves it! It isn’t dry at all but soft and so cheesy! If anyone has another macaroni & cheese recipe they think is better please share in the comments below and I’d be happy to try it out!

Time: 30 min prep + 2.5 hours cooking time

Yield: 16 servings (about 3/4 cup)

Calories/Serving: 388

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 1 package (450 g) Velveeta, cubed
  • 2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • 2 cups shredded white cheddar cheese (I used Balderson)
  • 1 3/4 cups whole milk
  • 1 can (354 ml) evaporated milk
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten

Directions:

  1. Cook macaroni according to package directions for al dente; drain. Transfer to a greased 5-qt. slow cooker. Stir in remaining ingredients.
  2. Cook, covered, on low until heated/cooked through, 2 to 2.5 hours, stirring once.

Link to the recipe on Taste of Home can be found HERE.

Equipment Required:

  • Stove pot
  • Mixing spoon
  • Slow cooker
  • Cheese grater
  • Knife
  • Can opener
  • Measuring cups
  • Microwave or stovetop
  • Bowl
  • Cooking spray

Recipe Review:

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY – EASY

  • Steps: 2
    • Rating: Easy
  • Involvement
    • 30 minutes (you can prep everything else while your pasta is boiling)
    • Rating: Easy
  • Ingredients & availability
    • 8 ingredients
    • All ingredients are normal and you can easily find at your local grocery store
    • Rating: Easy

Chocolate & Peanut Butter Crispy Bars

Ok seriously, who doesn’t love chocolate and peanut butter! These bars are so simple to make and have only 5 ingredients! The only thing that takes time is letting it set in the fridge. I am writing this as Valentines Day is coming up and this could be the perfect indulgent treat for that special someone ❀ You could even cut the squares out with a heart shaped cookie cutter!

Warning…you won’t be able to eat just one bite πŸ˜‰

Time: 35 min prep work, 25 min baking, 2.5 hours chilling = 3.5 hours total

Yield: 2 dozen

Calories/Bar: 390

Ingredients:

  • 1 package fudge brownie mix (13×9-inch pan size)*
  • 1-1/2 cups chunky peanut butter
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 3 cups Rice Krispies

*I just bought Great Value Fudge Brownie Mix from Walmart. You can find it here.

Link to recipe directions can be found here: https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/chocolate-peanut-butter-crispy-bars

Equipment Required:

  • Mixing bowl
  • Mixing spoon
  • Measuring cups
  • 9 x 13 pan
  • Microwave or stovetop

 

Recipe Review:

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY – EASY

  • Steps: 3
    • Rating: Easy
  • Involvement
    • 35 min prep work
    • Rating: Moderate
  • Ingredients & availability
    • 5-8 ingredients (depends on what extra ingredients your brownie mix calls for)
    • All ingredients are normal and you can easily find at your local grocery store
    • Rating: Easy

Cinnamon Sweet Potato Muffins

These muffins are surprisingly unexpected. At first you may think a sweet potato muffin sounds strange, and believe me so did I, but they are so moist and delicious! The cinnamon and sweet potato make for a delicious muffin and the glaze bumps it up another notch! This recipe is relatively simple to make and I have had lots of people ask for it. Once you make it you’ll know why!

Time: 20 min. – 1 hour + 15-18 min baking

Yield: 2 dozen

Calories/Muffin: 225

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups self-rising flour*
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups mashed sweet potatoes (no added milk or butter)
  • 1 cup canola oil

Glaze

  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1.5 teaspoons milk (sometimes I use cream if I don’t have milk)
  • 1.5 teaspoons butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 0.5 teaspoon ground cinnamon

*Can be substituted by placing 1.5 tsp baking powder and 0.5 tsp salt in a measuring cup and filling the rest with all-purpose flour to measure to 1 cup.

Notes: I have made this recipe with cold and hot mashed potatoes and the recipe worked out fine both times.

Link to recipe directions can be found here: https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/cinnamon-sweet-potato-muffins/

Equipment Required:

  • Mixing bowls
  • Mixing spoon
  • Whisk
  • Muffin tin
  • Cooking spray

Recipe Review:

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY – EASY

  • Steps: 3
    • Rating: Easy
  • Involvement
    • 20 minutes – 1 hour (an hour if you haven’t made the mashed sweet potatoes)
    • Rating: Easy – Moderate
  • Ingredients & availability
    • 10 ingredients
    • All ingredients are normal and you can easily find at your local grocery store
    • Rating: Easy

Cranberry Brie Pull Apart Bread

Ya’ll this bread is absolutely amazing! My pictures won’t do it justice compared to HBH but you need this recipe in your life. It is divine! My family devoured this recipe at Christmas!

Time: 15 min. + baking 15 min.

Yield: 6 servings

Calories/serving: 431

Ingredients:

  • 2 baguettes*
  • 4 tbsp. butter
  • 2/3 cup pecans chopped
  • 3 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 0.5 wheel of brie, cubed
  • 0.5 cup dried cranberries

*I used 2 baguettes from Costco because that was all I had on hand. You can get a box of 20 in the freezer section. However, HBH recommends sourdough which I can imagine only brings this recipe up another notch!

Link to recipe directions can be found here: https://www.halfbakedharvest.com/cranberry-brie-pull-apart-bread/

Equipment Required:

  • Knife
  • Bowl
  • Spoon
  • Baking Sheet

Recipe Review:

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY – EASY

  • Steps: 3
    • Rating: Easy
  • Involvement
    • 15 min.
    • Rating: Easy
  • Ingredients & availability
    • 6 ingredients
    • All ingredients are normal and you can easily find at your local grocery store
    • Rating: Easy

Roast Beef & Gravy

This is the easiest roast beef recipe you will ever make! It does not sacrifice on flavour and it turns out terrific every time. Roast beef doesn’t have to be difficult with this recipe. You could make it any day of the week!

Time: 15 min + 8 hours cooking

Servings: 10

Calories/Serving: 267

Ingredients:

  • 1 (3 lb) boneless beef chuck roast (I have used blade and inside round cuts)
  • 2 cans (284 ml each) condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
  • 1/3 cup beef broth
  • 1 envelope onion soup mix

Link to recipe directions can be found here: https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/roast-beef-and-gravy/

Equipment Required:

  • Slow cooker
  • Can opener
  • Bowl
  • Mixing spoon
  • Knife

Recipe Review:

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY – EASY

  • Steps: 2
    • Rating: Easy
  • Involvement
    • 15 minutes of prep
    • Rating: Easy
  • Ingredients & availability
    • 4 ingredients
    • All ingredients are normal and you can easily find at your local grocery store
    • Rating: Easy