Guest Blog: Paddy’s Day Cocktails from Bob Owens

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In honour of our national day of being as Irish* as we possibly can be, we present you with two alternative beverages to McD’s Green Milkshake! Created for your delectation by mixologist in the making, my little brother Robert, who is about two head’s taller than me.

(*read: drunk)

Irish Eyes Martini. 

R1. Irish Eyes Cocktail

This is a fun and entertaining drink, and will have you geared up for a great night out. 

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 shot Dry Vermouth (martini)
  • 3 Shots Gin (chilled)
  • 1/2 shot Simple Syrup (sugar syrup)
  • 1/2 Shot fresh Orange Juice.
  • 1 Drop green food colouring.

Method:

  1. Chill a martini glass.
  2. In a cocktail shaker with ice, shake gin and simple syrup and dry vermouth.
  3. Add orange juice.
  4. Using a straw. Take a drop of green food colouring and add to shaker.
  5. Shake again.
  6. Strain into martini glass using a hawthorn strainer.
  7. Garnish with an orange twist.

Irish Mudslide. 

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The next drink is made with Irish products. Mostly. If you use Bewley’s coffee and Cadbury’s chocolate. It is a delicious smooth desert of a cocktail. Silky, with a little kick of coffee and the enticing  aroma of cinnamon.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Shot Irish Whiskey. (Jameson)
  • 1 Shot Baileys Irish Cream
  • 1 Shot coffee (chilled)
  • 1 Shot Heavy Cream
  • Chocolate
  • Cinnamon

Method:

  1. Shake all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice.
  2. Strain into an old fashioned glass with a hawthorn strainer.
  3. Garnish with a grated chocolate on top and a light dusting of cinnamon.

Enjoy!

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Guest Blog: Jean Gibbons from Pretty Tasty Bakes

What’s this, you say, two posts in one day?

That’s right people, in honour of our patron saint its go large or go home, two for the price of one, double bubble entry day. Another stunning Saint Patricks day treat from the one, the only, Jean from Pretty Tasty Bakes… enjoy!

 Shamrock Biscuits

J1. Shamrock 

Simple biscuits to get into the St. Patrick’s Day spirit.

 

All you need:

Biscuits

  • Butter (125g)
  • Caster Sugar (125g)
  • Flour (250g)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Decoration

  • 1 egg white,
  • 2 heart shaped cutters (one larger than the other)
  • Green ready roll icing
  • Green decorating writing icing

Instructions:

Cooking:

  1. Beat the butter & sugar together until light and creamy.
  2. Add the egg and vanilla until incorporated
  3. Sift in half the flour and mix. Once incorporated, add the rest of the flour and mix again.
  4. Knead the mixture until smooth, ensuring no lumps.
  5. Wrap in cling film, and leave in the fridge for about half an hour.
  1. Heat your oven to gas Mark 4, /180 C/350F
  2. Roll out your mixtures on a lightly floured surface to about 1cm thick.
  3. Using a heart shaped cutter, cut out as many hearts as you can (in a multiple of 3) I got about 18 from this mixture.
  4.  Place on a lined baking sheet and bake for about 12-15 mins, until they are lightly golden.
  5.  Leave these to cool before decorating

 

Decorating:

  1. Roll out the icing, to about 5mm thick, and cut out 18 large hearts, and 18 smaller hearts using your cutters.
  2. Glaze each biscuit with egg white.
  3. Place the large heart on each biscuits, the egg white will act as glue for it to stick.
  4. Once you have each biscuit covered, dab some more egg white in the middle of each biscuit to act as glue for the smaller heart to be placed on top.
  5.  Once these have been covered with the smaller heart, leave to dry for a few moments.
  6.  To finish, use your green icing pen to draw an outline around the smaller heart. This just gives some depth to the decoration.
  7.  When complete, arrange the hearts in set of 3, and viola, biscuit shamrocks.

Guest Blog: Jean Gibbons from Pretty Tasty Bakes

We have a little treat for you all here at AHomeMadeByCommittee, we are fortunate enough to have convinced Jean from Pretty Tasty Bakes to let us in on a few trade secrets in time for Paddy’s day…. read and enjoy…

 

St Patrick’s Day Leprechaun Hats.

J2. Leprechaun Hats

 

As Lent has *just* begun and good intentions are at their highest level of commitment, many of us sweet toothed parishioners are faced with a dilemma; whether or not to break lent for St Patricks Day?

Is it not our right to enjoy the celebrations of our great nations Patron Saint? Can we indulge on Paddy’s day, and then just add an extra Lent day back in at the end? I’m sure I had a New Year’s resolution that I stuck to for longer than a day … can I add this to my Lenten quota? The jury is still out …

But if you have given up all sweets, chocolate and biscuits for these long 40 days and 40 nights, and intend to break it for Paddy’s Day, then I have found the *perfect* recipe to indulge on all fronts, with a little nod to our folklore.

What you need:

Tools:

  • Weighing scales, 2 bowls, whisk, spatula, baking tray, wire cooling trays, toothpicks, cutters

 

Ingredients:

For the biscuits:

  •  Butter (125g)
  • Caster Sugar (125g)
  •  Flour (250g)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract  (I would advise investing in a vanilla extract rather than using an essence.  Extract comes from the natural vanilla; essence is a manufactures chemical product. )

For the Top hats:

  • 1 pack large marshmallows.
  • 3 bars chocolate (the best you can afford, I would advise to use 70% cocoa content if possible, LIDL/ADLI have good prices for theses)

Decoration:

  • Jam (your favourite flavour)
  • Green pen icing

 

Get started

Biscuits are quite simple to make, just takes a little bit of prep time and cooling.

  1. Put the butter & sugar to a bowl and whisk until light and fluffy (this is good when there are no grains of sugar left, and the butter has turned a very pale colour)
  2. Add the egg and vanilla and continue to mix until combined.
  3. Fold in half the flour mix, once incorporated, fold in the rest.
  4. Once the mixture is combined, knead slightly to ensure no flour lumps.
  5. Wrap this is cling film and put in the fridge for about a half hour. This step is important to let the butter harden again. The biscuits will keep their shape better when baking.

When you are ready to remove the mixture from the fridge,

  1. Heat your oven to gas Mark 4, /180 C/350F
  2. You need a cutter that is about 1cm wider than your marshmallow. Household objects such as egg cups or shot glasses can be used for this.
  3. Roll your dough to about 2cm in height, and cut out your circles
  4. Line a baking tray with parchment, and bake your circles for approx. 10- 15 mins. You will know they are done when they are lightly golden on top, and not too soft to the touch. Remember the biscuits will continue to cook in the hot tray, so take out before they get too hard/dark.
  5. Melt the chocolate over hot water.
  6. Using a cocktail stick, dip the marshmallow into the chocolate, and leave to set on a wire rack. (the tricky part is getting it off the toothpick without losing some of the chocolate)
  7. Do the same with the biscuits once cooled off.
  8. Leave to harden for about 30-45 mins.

Now they are ready to assemble!

  1. Use the jam and glue. Dab a little bit on the base of the marshmallow, and stick to the centre of the biscuit. Remember these are hats, so try leaving an even space around the rim!
  2. For a finishing touch, give the leprechauns s shamrock for their cap.
  3. Using the green icing pen, give 3 dots in a triangle shape, and a little swish at the end for the stalk.

And you are ready or your “here’s one I made earlier” moment. Boil the kettle, get a hot cup of tea, and relax while munching on the smooth and crunchy goodness of Lenten indulgence.