Thursday, March 13, 2014

Preparing for St. Patrick's Day

In our family we do two big celebrations each year.  With our family size I don't think I could put together more than that.  Over the years it has worked out that we gather once around Christmas and again for St. Patrick's Day.  Being Irish was always a big deal on my dad's side of the family.  It's the only heritage I was raised to know anything about.

When I was younger I always invited my dad over for the typical Irish-American meal of corned beef and cabbage.  Most of my kids didn't care for corned beef.  Once my dad passed I figured we'd just carry on the tradition within our home.  I never planned to make a big family celebration out of it, but my kids had a different idea.  Imagine my surprise the first year after he was gone when I started getting phone calls from our children that had already flown the coop asking when we were going to celebrate St. Patrick's Day.  Thus, a Smith Family Tradition was born.

Over the years I have learned to make a few more traditional Irish dishes that I just love.  One of my favorites is Champ.  This year, however, we are changing things up a bit, and I am making Irish Stew for our celebration with Soda Bread, of course.  Corned Beef is just too expensive to feed to nearly 30 people.  We're reigning it in a bit, and I have locally sourced beef on hand, so I can think of nothing better.  I do get tempted, though, to make Champ to serve the stew over, but the point is simple, right?  We will still be having the "traditional for us" meal on the actual holiday, so we'll get our fill of all our favorite foods this year.

So far the kids and I have made Soda Bread and Scones.  We even made them gluten free this year, and we're having a hard time leaving the scones alone.  They are SO good!

Large Carob Chip Scones

Here's how we made them:

1 1/2 cups   Rice Flour
   1/2 cup    Sorgum Flour
   1/4 cup    Natural Sugar
   1/4 tsb.    Salt
   1/2 tsp.    Baking Soda
   3/4 cup    Plain Greek Yogurt  (I use Fage)
      1          Whole Egg
   1/2 cup     Rice Milk
      2 Tbs.   Butter
      1 cup    Carob Chips or Cinnamon Chips
                 Raw Sugar for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  

Mix together flours, sugar, salt and baking soda.  Set aside.

In mixing bowl, mix yogurt, egg, milk, and butter.  Add the dry mixture a little at a time until combined.

Gently stir in your favorite chips.

I lined my baking sheets with parchment and made both varieties.  We made 12 larger chocolate chip scones  using an ice cream scoop and baked them for 18 minutes.  We made 24 smaller scones using a baking scoop and baked them for 13 minutes.  We sprinkled them with a little raw sugar before placing them in the oven.  The trick is to remove them just as they start to brown.

These are not as dense as traditional scones, and they spread out like cookies.  In the future I plan to try adding a bit more flour.

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