I tried making Irish Soda Bread recently and was not disappointed! It was delicious, crusty on the outside and had a nice texture. This was a great recipe for my daughter to help with because it was simple.
Recipe (modified from The Kitchn)
2 cups whole milk
3 Tablespoons vinegar
4 cups wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
4 Tablespoons butter, cold
Mix together the milk and vinegar and let sit while mixing up the rest of the ingredients, for at least 5 minutes. The mixture should be thick before mixing it into the rest of the ingredients.
While the milk and vinegar is sitting, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Cut the butter into pea sized squares and work it into the flour mixture with your hands until the mixture is crumbly.
Once the milk and vinegar has thickened, remove 2 Tablespoons of the mixture and put into a separate bowl. Stir the remaining milk mixture (it should be about 2 cups) into the flour and butter mixture. Shape the dough into a round shape on a greased cookie sheet. Cut an X into the top of the dough. Using a pastry brush, brush the 2 Tablespoons of milk mixture onto the top of the bread dough.
Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes and then turn the oven down to 375 degrees and bake for another approximately 12 minutes. A toothpick inserted in the middle of the bread should come out clean.
Let the bread cool for a few minutes before cutting it.
To continue our celebration of foods from Ireland, I wanted to make Cottage Pie. The bottom is a meat-vegetable mixture with a generous portion of mashed potato topping. Sounds wonderful doesn't it?
1 pound of ground beef
3-4 Tblsp olive oil
1/2 cup sliced carrots
2 celery stalks, chopped
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves
2 Tblsp flour (use cornstarch to make it gluten-free)
2 Tblsp tomato puree
2 Tblsp Worcestershire Sauce
2 bay leaves
2 cups beef broth
3-4 thyme sprigs
Salt and pepper to taste
Fry ground beef in 2 Tblsp oil, break up while it is browning. When cooked remove from pan, add 2 Tblsp oil, carrots and celery, cook until soft. Add garlic, flour and tomato puree and cook for a few minutes, add beef, Worcestershire Sauce, bay leaves and thyme, bring to a simmer and cook until thick, add salt and pepper. Place in 9 x 9 casserole dish, set aside.
4-5 medium potatoes
1/2 stick butter
1/4-1/2 cup milk
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 1/2 cup cheese (I used mozzarella, cheddar could be used)
Peal potatoes, dice, place in saucepan, cover with water, a little salt and bring to a boil until, potatoes are tender. Drain, add back to pan, add butter and 1/4 cup of milk, using a hand mixer beat until fluffy, adding more milk if needed. Add salt, pepper and nutmeg, mix again. Add 1 1/4 cup cheese and mix by hand, spoon over meat mixture, spreading evenly, sprinkle remaining cheese on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.
We will be sharing this recipe to these Blog Parties.
I know today is St. Patrick's Day - and I'm sharing a Scotch titled recipe, but... this is a favorite appetizer from a local Irish restaurant, that I love to recreate for St. Patty's Day! If you need something quick and easy for today, try these Scotch Eggs!
We usually celebrate St. Patty's day with the same menu -- Bangers, mashed potatoes, this baked cabbage recipe, Scotch Eggs and bread pudding. My husband (who has Irish heritage) is a little under the weather this week, so our menu has been postponed a few days. Soon, though, we will enjoy our tradition and watch these favorite movies with the kids....
We at Casserole Gals are not experts, physicians or licensed in any way. All content on our site, is our opinions, knowledge and experience. Before starting any weight loss or exercise program you should get approval from your physician.
If it has been longer than a year since, your last check-up, pap smear, blood work or mammogram, Make an appointment! As women/moms we tend to take care of everyone else before ourselves but, this is very important to our health. It isn't fun afterward, treat yourself to an ice cream cone, manicure, a treat of some kind.
This is a regular lunch for me, to make it more attractive I serve it on a colorful plate, with a place-mat and cloth napkin.
I try to drink a lot of water and sometimes it is really hard to do. So, I will use a wine glass, add lemon or orange, it dresses it up and makes it more appealing.
Leslie Sansone has many dvd's that get you moving and are low impact. If you can't or don't want to buy equipment, or need to exercise before your children get up or while napping, these are great. You can find several of her programs on YouTube that you can do for free.
Check out your local library, see what exercise dvd's they have. This is great if you want to try something new like Yoga or Zumba, do it before you purchase or just to change up your routine. If you subscribe to Amazon Prime, Netflix, Hulu etc. explore their options.
Popsugar Fitness is another site you can find on You-Tube for exercise routines, diet tips and recipes.
Linda Melone focus is on health and weight lose after 50 and or after menopause when our weight struggles are real and can be a lot harder! I heard a physician on TV say that weight lose is 80% changing our eating habits and 20% exercise. For me that may have been true in my 20's-30's but, now I feel like it is just the opposite!
This was me last fall, since then I have lost a few pounds. The key is to keep moving.
If you know me very well, you know I love these, a Cappuccino from Quik Trip. I still drink them just, not very often. You have to have rewards, I know if I make my diet too strict I am not going to stick with it.
Casserole Gals theme for 2017 is Less is More!
Clearing out and organizing your belongings is suppose to help in weight loss!
Read my posts Plastic Containers Unite and Getting Healthy and Losing Weight after Menopause and 50, for more about how I am attaining my goals for 2017.
We will be sharing this post to these wonderful Blog Parties
I wanted to serve Baked Beans with ribs, it needed to serve three people with hopefully leftovers. I reduced my normal recipe, the beans were just as good and we had some leftover for the next day.
28 oz Baked Beans
2 Tblsp olive oil
1/4 bell pepper chopped
1/4 chopped onions
1/2 cup cooked, drained and crumbled ground beef
1/4 cup BBQ Sauce
1 Tblsp mustard
1 Tblsp brown sugar
Drain almost all of liquid from baked beans, pour into 4 cup casserole dish.
Saute bell pepper and onion in olive oil, until onion is translucent. Add to Baked Beans, mix. Add in ground beef, bbq sauce, mustard and brown sugar, mix well. Bake 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes.
We will be sharing this recipe to Blog Parties.
We all three love chocolate: cakes, cookies drinks anything made with chocolate. We are sure you will find one of these recipes, irresistible to make and share at work, church or a special event.
Cut yourself a slice of Casserole Kristen's Triple Chocolate Coffee Cake, pour a cup of coffee, add some fruit and have a delectable breakfast
Chocolate and peanut butter are always a winning combination in Casserole Gal Rachel's house and her Peanut Butter Poke Brownies will win at your house too.
This recipe has been around for years, it uses simple ingredients but, doesn't taste like it. Casserole Gal Rhonda shares Depression Cake, if you haven't tried it you should.
Casserole Gal Kristen's Chocolate Flourless Cake is a decadent and elegant dessert, works with any gluten free diet and it's easy to bake!
Whole Wheat flour and applesauce in a chocolate cake? Casserole Gal Rachel did just that with this Chocolate Cake and Chocolate Frosting recipe.
Betty Crocker Vintage Brownies are a favorite of Casserole Gal Rhonda and a recipe she has made a lot over the years. Chocolate, fudgy and delicious, plain or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
S'More Cake combines chocolate, marshmallow cream and caramel topping, what else needs to be said. Casserole Gal Rhonda shared this dessert that is wonderful! It can also, be made with a Gluten Free cake mix.
Who says dessert can't be a little healthy? Try Casserole Gal Rachel's Black Bean Brownies for a surprisingly good brownie.
Four Layer Pie is a classic recipe for a reason, it is simple to make and quick to be devoured. Casserole Gal Rhonda has been making this for her family and is a favorite.
Casserole Gal Rachel and her daughter made this recipe to celebrate National Pi Day, it would be appreciated more than one day a year. Brownie Pudding Pie, oh my!
If your family is screaming for a dessert try Casserole Gal Kristen's Ice Cream Sandwich Cake. Get your children even your toddlers to help make this goodie!
A perfect brownie topped with a thick and creamy coconut frosting...drooling yet? Make Casserole Gal Kristen's Coconut Frosted Brownies for your special someone.
Don't these look scrumptious Oven Toasted Dark Chocolate Fluffernutter Sandwiches, Casserole Gal Rachel shares this recipe for a wonderful combination.
We hope you enjoy making one or all of our chocolate creations.
For even more desserts we have Seven Poke Cake Recipes.
We will be sharing these amazing recipes to these Blog Parties.
This drawer has been messy and a disaster for years. I couldn't find the right size lid, the bowls didn't stack, it was frustrating.
Studies have shown that clutter can make you gain weight and being organized and having less stuff can help you lose weight.
Less is More, our theme for 2017. I started with something small but, caused me a lot of frustrating moments.
I emptied the drawer and donated everything. I purchased new plastic containers, ones that the lids and bowls stack. I also, bought glass containers with lids and a couple of larger size containers. I prepped, primed and painted inside the cabinet, it is amazing how a little white paint helps!
You can see the difference, I spent $40, a little paint and time and made a major difference, On to the next project:
I am archiving all our family photos. It will take me all year to finish and I will post about it later. Better get to work!
We are sharing this post to these blog parties.
Hello followers - this is Casserole Gal Kristen! CG Rhonda (my mom) recently posted her healthy living for 2017 post here & now it's my turn to share!
To be honest, this has been an incredibly difficult post to write, as I am opening up (just a teeny bit) about health problems I've had since I was a teenager. These past couple of years, the issues aggressively attached my body & brought about major changes in my life. They're kinda private.
This is me - October 2015 - ecstatic about the purchase of vintage camper, destined to become my food truck. I'd been having serious monthly complications, but based off the past 20 years of my life I figured...this was just my life. Earlier that month, I had an ovarian cyst rupture. The weekend after this picture was taken, my husband & daughter witnessed a horrific tragedy that killed 4 people. I was struggling to work, struggling to take care of my family, just struggling. I made an appointment to see a specialist.
By December (after tests, ultrasounds, appointments....) I was scheduled for a laparoscopy exploratory surgery and a DNC, as well as tissue sample collection to test for cancer. Afterwards, my doctor confirmed that I had Dysfunctional Uterine Syndrome and Endometriosis (along with PCOS and a couple other already known problems) but I was cancer free!
We hoped I would heal, we hoped to have another kid...I hoped for a normal month. Within a few months, however, my conditions had become almost unbearable and I could feel another large cyst had developed.
The doctor told me that if untreated, uterine, ovarian or cervical cancer were inevitable, and that it was highly unlikely I could have another child. Even if I became pregnant, chances were very high that myself and our child wouldn't survive. It is a miracle I had one baby, let alone two beautiful, healthy kids! So I decided, at the age of 34, to have a complete hysterectomy. In the 6 months between my two surgeries, the endometriosis had grown around my uterus, engulfed a tube & attached to my body cavity wall, grown in my intestines attaching a section of them to a different area of my body cavity, and I did have another large cyst.
It has now been 7 months since my 'hyster' and I feel like a completely different person. There are still lingering issues and pain however, so a friend recommended I try the AIP or Autoimmune Protocol Diet. It can help those suffering with chronic illness, inflammation and autoimmune diseases.
With AIP, you eliminate all gluten, grains, dairy, beans, legumes, eggs, nuts, seeds and nightshades. Buh-bye coffee, chocolate and sugar! After a period of time, you slowly add certain foods back into your diet and see if there are reactions.
My body has endured a lot of trauma this past year and a half, so I'm hoping this diet helps heal my wounds, restores my gut health and helps as my body adjusts to surgically induced menopause. (Can I just say.... night sweats & hot flashes are serous business. Wowzer.)
Keeping with our 2017 theme - Less is More - I have a list of goals!
1) Obviously I'm eating less - haha - and while I am following the diet for my health, I would be thrilled if I WEIGHED LESS too!
2) Less stuff - areas of my home are clutter mine fields! Plus, I saved all the baby stuff I could in case we had a 3rd kid - I need to take the time to emotionally and physically sort thru the boxes and keep only the truly special items. We plan to donate as much as possible to local shelters.
3) Less stress - I'm having fun & starting back old hobbies like crochet, embroidery and sewing. Working on my stress and emotional health is very important to me this year - I need to achieve balance and peace with myself.
4) Exercise - 2 babies, 10 years in an office job, 2 major surgeries and a LOT of bed rest & lack of movement, plus menopause has seriously changed my body. As I regain strength and endurance, I plan to take exercise and weights classes, walk, run, row and be active again!
Thank you for letting me share! If you know anyone with PCOS, Endo, cysts, fibroids, etc.... and they would like to talk with someone, please send me a private message thru our facebook page. I will gladly share my experiences & provide encouragement!
Sharing this post to these blog parties.
Pictures of roasted whole heads of cauliflower keep floating around the internet, popping up in my instagram and pinterest feeds --- I finally decided to try it myself!
There are so many variations, but I had these ingredients on hand - so why not?
Lemon Caper Roasted Cauliflower
1 head cauliflower
1 Tb minced garlic
2 Tb capers
Salt & Pepper
1. First prep the cauliflower by trimming any greens still attached, and carefully cutting out a bit of the core.
2. Rub olive oil over the entire head - get dirty! Sprinkle top and bottom with salt and pepper.
3. Place cauliflower in a cast iron skillet and cover tightly with foil. Bake at 350 F for 30 minutes.
4. Remove foil & increase oven temperature to 425 F. Continue baking cauliflower till it is slightly browned on top and it is fork tender on the bottom.
5. Carefully remove the head from your skillet and set aside. Move skillet to stove top and medium heat. Saute garlic in a couple teaspoons of olive oil, till soft & fragrant. Add capers & lemon juice. Add cauliflower back to the skillet and spoon the pan sauce over the whole head.
6. Serve hot! You can remove it from the pan to slice and serve - or bring the skillet to the table!
Review?? My husband and I LOVED this! We almost ate the entire head in one setting -- and it was a side dish. This is now in regular menu rotation and I'm playing with different flavors. Also, it could easily be the main part of the meal- not just the side dish!
We will be sharing this delicious dish to these blog parties, check them out!
I remember the days I could eat pretty much what ever I wanted and not gain weight, well those days are long gone. I am now over 50 and have gone thru menopause, which means that extra weight hangs on me like a toddler that is afraid of Santa Claus.
Part of it is my fault for 2016, I didn't eat that well and slacked off on exercising. Plus, we ate out often and every time we went by a Quick Trip I got a Cappuccino. Not only was this not healthy it isn't being money wise.
My husband and myself challenged ourselves to eat a healthy diet, lose some weight and save money during 2017. We are going from January 1st to February 14th, without eating out, eating ice cream, chips, candy and my favorite, a Cappuccino from Quick Trip. After, Valentine's Day we will eat out and buy a Cappuccino and then set another goal, probably April Fool's Day. This isn't easy when we both have a sweet tooth and I love to bake!
To help us with our goals purchased a used Elliptical, it takes up a lot of room but, I am determined to get on it at least 4-5 times a week. The good thing about this machine is, I can do it no matter the weather. I love to walk outside but, so many days the weather doesn't cooperate.
Keep moving is key when you are over 50 and the elliptical is easy on your joints, not my lungs or my thighs, both of those burn like fire!
I have been slowly learning more about Linda Melone and researching her site http://lindamelone.com/ I follow her on Facebook and have listened to a couple of her Web Cam posts. Any motivation helps.
Another goal is to unclutter and organize our home, we plan on moving in 3 years and I want to have Less to Move.
All of this goes with our theme of Less is More. I will share more on what and how I am accomplishing my goals.
What are your goals for 2017?
Cooking everything in casserole dishes!
With busy lives & sometimes quick meals, we mom & daughters team are always looking for healthy, tasty & convenient dishes to serve our family. So, please join us as we share everything from appetizers to main dishes & desserts!