Thursday, March 23, 2017

Roasted Cabbage Steaks

We're wrapping up our St. Patrick's Day main course today with these roasted cabbage steaks. I saw these on pinterest, and of course, they looked amazing. I decided to give them a try because they didn't require a lot of hands on time or last minute minding. 

I began by removing the top two or three leaves.

Then I placed it on it's side (core out at 9:00), and sliced it into steaks or rings about 1/2" thick.

Be careful as you cut. They want to unravel. Place on a sheet pan.

Brush with oil. I grabbed for my EVOO bottle, but picked up the canola. Either is fine.

Flip carefully and oil the other side.

Salt and pepper liberally. Cabbage can handle it. Put in a preheated 450 degree oven for about 20-30 minutes. Watch it and don't let it burn. You do want brown crunchy edges, though.

This really tastes just like stir fried cabbage that gets a little crispy. It was easy to do and let me focus on finishing my soup while this cooked in the oven!

I'm so glad you stopped by my neck of the woods!

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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Creamy Irish Potato Soup

Due to our busy schedule, we celebrated St. Patrick's Day a day early last week. Today I'm starting to roll out the recipes, and we start with what we started with - Creamy Irish Potato Soup. 

I worked with leeks a few weeks ago when I made my homemade chicken noodle soup. As I stated then, you have to wash these really good before you use them. This one was dirtier than usual. You will need TWO leeks for this soup. (They usually come in groups of three.) 

Begin by cutting off the dark green part of the leaves and then removing the outer layer.

Next, cut in half lengthwise.

Cut into half inch half moons and submerge in cold water. Swish around a lot and let them sit.

Meanwhile, melt a stick of butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat.

Here you can see all the sand and grit left from the leeks. Yuck! Don't want that in our soup.

Here are the leeks after I removed them from the water and patted them dry.

Add leeks and one chopped up medium onion to the butter. Stir to coat. Reduce heat to low, cover and allow to cook for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally so it doesn't get brown.

While this is cooking, peel and dice three large russet potatoes. These are the large baking-sized ones.

This is what the onion and leeks should look like after the 20 minutes - soft but not brown.

Add diced potatoes and three large cloves of garlic, minced. Stir well, cover and cook another 20 minutes on low.

Here's what it looks like. Potatoes are soft and letting off their starch. Still not any color on anything.

Add four cups of chicken broth.

Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer and cover.

After another 15 minutes, here's what you have.

Remove from heat and use a stick blender to puree soup. Once soup is smooth, add one cup of heavy cream and season to taste with salt and pepper. I did all of this that morning so all I had to do was reheat the soup for supper.

Later that night while I was cooking our cabbage and Irish cornbread, I took the last leek and using just the white part, I sliced it into thin sticks. 

Then I cleaned these in water and dried them COMPLETELY.

I added about a teaspoon or two of EVOO...

and a 1/4 cup of flour, salt, pepper and a teaspoon each of garlic powder and paprika. Mix these well by tossing.

I spread these out as much as possible and put them in a 400 degree oven for about 15 minutes. Watch them and don't let them burn. Allow them to cool on the pan. They will crisp up as they cool.

I shredded a little of our corned beef and used it as well as the leeks and some chopped chives to garnish the soup. Do this at the last minute. It will sink pretty quickly.

It was St. Patrick's Day, so to be cute, I added about 8 drops of green food coloring to the soup after I pureed it. It's subtle, but noticeable, and didn't affect the taste at all.

This was so creamy and rich. Everyone ate this soup - and asked for more!

I'm so glad you stopped by my neck of the woods!

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Thursday, March 16, 2017

St. Patrick's Day Tablescape 2017

We've got homeschool co-op tomorrow, Jewell's got plans tomorrow night, and Brack is having a couple of friends over to spend the night, so I decided we'd have our St. Patrick's Day meal tonight! Above is just a peek at my tablesetting. I took my cue from the Irish flag and went with green, white, and orange for my color scheme.

You can take it all in, including my St. Patrick's Day-decked out china cabinet, above.

Several of you have said you like to see how it all comes together, so I'll share the stages with you. Above you can see my old stand-by white linen tablecloth. It's the perfect base for just about every tablesetting I do!

Next I added the burlap table runner I made a couple of years ago. I used it this past Christmas for my Miss Manners Gingerbread Party, last Easter, as well as last Thanksgiving. Take a look and see how different it can look in each setting.

I added orange placemats.

Closeup - Aren't these pretty? Got them several years ago at Dollar Tree. They don't always have placemats, but it's worth looking! These are 100% cotton. Haven't had to wash them yet.

My gold chargers get used all the time. They're great for dressing up or down!

My everyday white plates - "White Satin" by Nikko.

I picked up these cabbage plates last year after my friend, Melissa Lester, featured them in one of her blog posts. I found them at Tuesday Morning. I think they were on sale for $4 a piece. That's actually a little more than I usually spend, but they were new, and I love them! The plates are called "San Raphael" by Bordallo Pinheiro. 

My sister-in-law, Clancy, gave me these stems several years ago. They have a cabbage pattern on them. She found them at Cracker Barrel, I think. I love these, and they are my go-to glasses in Spring. Perfect match for my cabbage plates!

I made the napkins from a scrap of green plaid fabric I found at Hobby Lobby a couple of weeks ago. There was just enough for four 20" dinner napkins, but the scrap was only $1.50! That's like .37 cents a napkin!

The napkins have a tiny orange stripe through the plaid which is picked up by the placemats below. The flatware is "Abigail" by Hampton Silversmiths. It came from Target over fifteen years ago. The gold tips coordinate nicely with the gold chargers.

I found these "hammered" gold votive holders at Dollar Tree before Thanksgiving last year. They look sooooooo expensive, don't you think? I love them!

I needed something to use for my centerpiece. This is an old copper jello mold. I inherited these from my greatgrandmother and another matching set from my grandmother. The copper mimics the orange placemats, but coordinates with the gold on the table. Don't be afraid to mix metals!

You can see how I usually have these displayed above.

I picked these plants up at Lowe's. They're called "Irish Moss", so I thought they'd be perfect for this table! $2.48 for each one, and they will be moved into the planters by my front door this weekend. I trimmed some off the bottom and sides to make the two plants fit in the mold.

I love the contrast between the shiny copper and the airy plant.

Here's a closer look at my stemware. You can also see that I scattered some gold coins down the table. These were featured on my St. Patrick's Day table last year.

Another view...

and one more. Simple and elegant, but festive!

Here's a peek at what we had for dinner. Recipes to come soon!

I'm sharing this post on Tablescape Thursdays over at Between Naps on The Porch!

I'm so glad you stopped by my neck of the woods!

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