Connor Makes Irish Soda Bread

Irish Soda Bread

Irish Soda Bread

One of my favorite holidays, St. Patrick’s Day, is right around the corner, and I thought I’d let you in on a little family secret: Grandma Caley’s Famous Irish Soda Bread.  No St. Patrick’s Day is complete without several loaves of this Irish treasure as part of your spread.  The Caley recipe, of unknown provenance somewhere between the Celtic shores of Muir Èireann and the Isle of Man, has been in my family for generations; simple and customizable, it’s sure to delight your friends and family.

In addition to the traditional Irish Soda Bread, I’ll try out two interesting variations in hopes of finding a more “modernized” version of the recipe.  With these recipes, the ingredients (which can all be found at FreshDirect), and a little bit of luck, you’ll find the ISB that’s perfect for you, even if your baking skills are a little, shall we say, green…

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Holiday Cookie Tips from Everyday Food Magazine

Sugar Cookies from Everyday Food Magazine

Sugar Cookies. Recipe from Everyday Food Magazine

Sure, it takes a little more effort to make your own holiday cookies, but those who take the time to bake their own are rewarded with a warm kitchen, an assortment of irresistible scents, and batches of homemade treats that are perfect for giving as host gifts, swapping in cookie exchanges or offering as treats for holiday guests.

The baking pros at Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food magazine have assembled a group of holiday baking tips and tricks to help make sure your cookie creation is fast, foolproof and fuss-free.

Read on to learn more:… 

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Getting Ready for the Holiday Cookie Swap!

Holiday Cookies

Holiday Cookies

I love the holiday season.  After all, it’s the season for giving and I love baking sweet treats to give away!

The cookie swap is one of my favorite reasons to get-together. Whether it’s with friends, family, co-workers, or neighbors, it’s a great excuse to bake my favorite cookies and come home with so much more!

When we asked on our Facebook page for our fans’ favorite cookie recipes, one fan mentioned Jam Thumbprints (a classic). I always bake sugar cookies for my nieces and nephews because they love all the decorations (like sprinkles) I add to them.

Here are 5 more simple and delicious cookie ideas for your holiday cookie swap:… 

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Bake, Baby, Bake!

Of all my various food fears, there’s one that I thought I’d never conquer: baking.

Erica's Baking Triumph

Erica's Baking Triumph

In my entire life, I have baked one cake — and it was from a mix. All I’ve ever heard from baking friends is that it’s easy. Easy, that is, unless you mess up one tiny measurement. Then a cupcake explodes in your oven and you cry.

Another reason I stayed away was that I’m not a sweets person. Give me a handful of potato chips over a piece of cake any day.

But when I do find a dessert I like, I tend to love it passionately. Tiramisu. The custard at Shake Shack. And recently, it was the banana chocolate chip muffins at a cafe near my apartment. … 

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