Fifteens

October 19, 2013 by Katie

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A very good friend of mine from Northern Ireland gave me this recipe. I had never heard of fifteens but my friend tells me they are very popular traditional sweet in Northern Ireland. They are extremely easy to make, just fifteen of each ingredient mixed together with condensed milk. Now that is my kind of recipe. They are not the most visually attractive dessert but their taste makes up for their appearance even though I may put on 15lbs just by eating them!

 

Ingredients:

15 Large Marshmallows

15 Digestive Biscuits (Graham Crackers), crushed

15 Glacé Cherries, halved

Half a Can of  Sweetened Condensed Milk

1 Cup of Flaked Coconut,  Sweetened

Directions:

1. Place the biscuits in a Ziploc bag and pound them until they are all crushed . . .  great stress reliever .

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2. Cut the marshmallows in halves using scissors, and place in a large bowl. Mix in the digestive biscuits and glacé  cherries.

3. Gradually stir in the sweetened condensed milk until the mixture becomes a soft, moist dough. It should not be too dry, so you may need to add a bit more of the milk.

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4. Spread a generous layer of coconut out on a clean surface, and place the dough on top of it. Use your hands to form the dough into a long thick sausage, making sure it is well coated with coconut.

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5. Wrap in a double layer of plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours.

6. Remove from he refrigerator, slice and enjoy this gooey coconutty deliciousness!

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Irish Film Festival – NYC

October 4, 2013 by Katie

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It is that time of year again.  The annual three day Irish festival will showcase six critically acclaimed Irish films at NYU’s Cantor Film Center. This year’s festival will take place  from October 4th through 7th. The festival kicks off Friday October 4th with “Run and Jump” starring Saturday Night Live’s Will Forte and directed by the Oscar-nominated Steph Green (see photo above). The schedule for the festival is as follows:

Friday 5.30 PM Reception at Glucksman Ireland House

Friday 7.30: RUN & JUMP  (102 mins) + Director Q&A with Steph Green: Buy Tickets

Saturday 5pm: MADE IN BELFAST  (83 mins) US Premier Buy Tickets

Saturday 7.30pm: SILENCE  (84 mins) US Premier Director Q&A Pat Collins Buy Tickets

Sunday 4.30 pm: KING OF THE TRAVELLERS  (78 mins) New York Premier Buy Tickets

Sunday 6.00pm  WHEN ALI CAME TO IRELAND (50) New York Premier Director Attending Buy Tickets

Sunday 7.30 pm: THE HARDY BUCKS (89mins) New York Premier Buy Tickets

I am really looking forward to this festival. In celebration of this festival I have added new categories to this site – Irish Film. It is a work in progress and features only Irish/Irish themed movies and the categories so far are documentaries, biographical movies and Irish folklore. I will continue to add more categories.  I hope you will enjoy a great Irish film this weekend.

Bain sult as!

Absolutely Gorgeous Irish Soda Bread

September 29, 2013 by Katie

 

Soda Bread

 

I woke up this morning to a flat tire. I had a very busy day planned and cancelled all my plans. In a way the flat tire was a relief which forced me to spend a day at home and just relax.  It was a beautiful day and why not make the best of a beautiful day and do some Irish cooking at home. Now spending a day cooking in the kitchen may not seem relaxing to some but I believe it can be very therapeutic. It is very different to cook because you want to than the days you have to after a long day at work. I have been wanting to add recipes to this page for some time now but not just random recipes. I feel I should test the recipes out before posting them.

One of my favorite parts of dining in Ireland was the heavenly Irish bread that seemed to accompany almost every meal. The bread was simple but delicious and was the perfect accompaniment to stews, soups, chowders and a lovely Irish breakfast. Here is my recipe for Irish soda adapted from a recipe my cousin in Wexford gave to me. I love this recipe, a perfect first recipe post.

Absolutely Gorgeous Irish Soda Bread

Ingredients:

8 ounces self rising flour

8 ounces wheat flour

1 teaspoon of baking soda

1/2 teaspoon of baking powder

1 pinch of salt

1 generous tablespoon of honey

12 ounces of plain yogurt

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1 generous tablespoon of honey

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Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375°F/190°C.

2. Grease and flour a round 8′ tin or dish of your choice. This can also be made in a loaf pan.

3. Sift wheat flour, self rising flour,  baking soda,  baking powder and salt  into a large bowl.

4. In a large measuring glass mix the honey, olive oil and yogurt then pour into flour mixture.

5 stir with a spoon until well mixed and very sticky dough is formed.

6. Flour your surface and knead dough lightly about ten times just folding it gently.

7. Form the dough into a round shape and place in your dish. Cut a cross into the top of the dough. (Some believe a cross is added to bless the bread, while others will say it makes cutting the bread

      into sections easier. I prefer to believe both♥).

8. Bake for 45 minutes.

9. Cool bread to your liking. I enjoy the bread still warm with a big dollop of Irish butter but you can add anything you like. 

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The Cliffs of Moher

September 20, 2013 by Katie

Cliffs of Moher

 

 

On a recent trip to County Clare, I visited the Cliffs of Moher. I was extremely excited to see the cliffs after seeing so many beautiful pictures. Would they be as beautiful in person? Well folks let me tell you they were just as I had imagined. Upon arrival there is a welcome center set up like a museum with all the information on the cliffs along with some very lovely shops selling everything from Irish musical instruments to beautiful crafts.

 

Visitor Center and Shops

Leaving the visitor center I proceeded up to the cliffs. A few words of advice, dress appropriately it was extremely windy the day I was there. Once you make your way to the cliffs the jugged rocks come into view with the sounds of the crashing waves below. It is magical. The cliffs are grandiose and intimidating but so beautiful.

Cliffs of Moher

South of the visitor center as you follow the path and steps along the cliff edge you will come to O’Brien’s Tower.  There is a  fee of €2 for adults and €1 for children to visit the upper levels of the tower. This includes a small exhibition on the middle floor and the rooftop viewing platform outside.O’Brien’s Tower was built in 1835 by Cornelius O’ Brien, a descendant of Brian Boru, the High King Of Ireland. Cornelius O’Brien built this observation tower for the hundreds of tourists that frequented the cliffs. Even in 1835 the Cliffs of Moher were a tourist destination and legend has it that O’Brien believed tourism would benefit the economy. Quite a man ahead of his years I would say.

O'Brien's Tower

Unfortunately, I only had a short time at the cliffs because I was with a tour. It would have been nice to spend the afternoon there with  a picnic lunch, gazing at the cliffs and listening to the most beautiful sound on earth – waves crashing. I definitely recommend a visit to this beautiful destination along the Atlantic coast of County Clare.

100_4921 Habitants of the Cliffs of Moher

The Cliffs of Moher

 

 

Kilmainham Gaol – A Must See in Dublin.

February 5, 2013 by Katie

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On a recent trip to Ireland I visited Kilmainham Gaol. I had heard it was a must see while in Dublin and I was not disappointed.  Built in 1796, Kilmainham Gaol (or Kilmainham Jail) has an unique place in Irish History and was where for more than 100 years those who fought against the English occupation of Ireland were imprisoned and where many of them died. It is a somber, even chilling, place to visit, but absolutely fascinating and gives a profound insight into the history of Ireland.

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The last prisoner held in Kilmainham was  IRA leader Eamonn De Valera, who in later years served first as Toiseach (Prime Minister) and subsequently President of Ireland.After his release the prison was closed, locked and essentially left to rot by Ireland. Many wanted to erase the memory of the  injustices, torture and executions with which it was associated.

It wasn’t until the 1960s that efforts began to preserve it and open it again to the public. It opened in time for the 50th anniversary of the 1916 Rising and is now one of the most popular tourist destinations in Dublin.

100_5593One of the most poignant events that ever took place in Kilmainham was the marriage of Joseph Plunkett, one of the leaders of the 1916 Rising, and Grace Gifford. When Grace found out her fiancé  was to be executed she convinced the prison to let her marry him in the chapel  inside the prison.  On May 3rd 1916 the two were married in the small prison chapel and the next morning Joseph was shot by a firing squad.

Grace never remarried and died in 1955. She was ironically imprisoned there herself in 1923 and while she was there she spent her time painting on the walls of her cell. Her painting of Madonna and Child is still on the wall to this day as you can see below.

100_5597If you are in Dublin, do not miss taking a visit to this fascinating place. The guides there are wonderful and bring the gaol to life with the wealth of information they possess. I left the museum with new knowledge and understanding of the struggles Ireland faced in gaining their independence. A must see. . .

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Ireland is Calling…The Gathering 2013

January 10, 2013 by Katie
New Year's Eve in Dublin

New Year’s Eve in Dublin

Never been to Ireland? Well maybe this is the year for you to be there. . . Throughout 2013, Ireland will be welcoming people from all over the world in an event called The Gathering. Over 70 million people worldwide are said to be of Irish ancestry so Ireland thought why not invite them all home? The Gathering kicked off on New Year’s Eve in Dublin, a city that sure knows how to throw a party. If you were not in Dublin on New Year’s Eve do not worry this event will continue all year and all over Ireland villages will be having all sorts of parties. If the village has a pub you can be sure there will be a party.100_5453 - Copy

There will be all types of gatherings planned in 2013, festivals, concerts sporting events, last name gatherings and even a red head gathering.  There is even a  gathering from County Clare calling for all of those with the name Clare! There is something for everyone and I can assure you will fall in love with this emerald paradise.

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The Irish Pub in Atlantic City

September 2, 2012 by Katie

 

I recently went down to Atlantic City for one night and wanted to try something different than boardwalk food or pricey casino restaurants. My family and I decided we would go to The Irish Pub, located just off the boardwalk at 164 St. James Place. The Irish Pub also has an inn which has rooms starting at $25 for single occupancy. I cannot comment on the inn because we did not stay there but from the pictures on the website the rooms look very quaint, a real trip back in time to the Atlantic City boardwalk of the past. The inn also has a very nice outdoor balcony for guests, an Irish gift shop and is within walking distance of all casinos and attractions. The Irish Pub’s history dates back to the 19th century and was once a speakeasy, during the times of prohibition. 

We arrived at around 8pm on a Monday night and the bar was very lively and looked like something out of a movie. We were greeted and asked if we wanted to stay inside or outside, we choose outside. We were led through a small maze of twists and turns and ended up in a big outdoor patio at the back of the restaurant. It was a beautiful night and we ordered pints of Guinness straightaway.  The menu is pretty straightforward not too many choices and mostly pub grub. We ordered the fish & chips and the corned beef special. The fish was very good, golden and crispy on the outside and served with steak fries and cole slaw. The corned beef special was also good and the sandwich was stuffed generously with corned beef and topped with cole slaw and Russian dressing a side of steak fries. The price could not be beat either for the four of us with food and drinks we spent $44 which left us extra money to do a little gambling!

 

Irish Calendar of Events

August 21, 2012 by Katie

This blog is coming together slowly but surely. I have begun to list Irish events in the tri-state area which you can access by clicking on the calendar tab at  the top. Please let me know of any other Irish events and I will gladly post them. I can’t tell you how much I enjoy attending  Irish happenings, I always have a great time and walk away looking forward to the next. I hope you will go out and attend some of these events, you will be pleased.

Céad Mile Fáilte. . . One Thousand Welcomes

July 31, 2012 by Katie

 

Couminole Strand, Dingle Peninsula 

I have been wanting to do a blog for some time now. I knew I wanted to do something that focused on Ireland but also wanted to bring Ireland here to all of you. I love to travel but I must say my favorite place in the world is Ireland. I fell in love with this country the first time I was there and the beauty of the country and the warmth of the people have kept me coming back. I am never ready to leave Ireland and this is how I decided I needed to bring some Irish culture to my life here in the states. My goal with this blog is to bring a bit of Ireland to all of you. I am hoping to keep you updated with events happening throughout New Jersey and New York so you too can also fall in love with Ireland even if it is from afar. I also hope to include recipes, stories, customs and my favorite places in Ireland. Hope you enjoy!