Guinness Cheese Fondue


Cheese is quite simply always a crowd pleaser.  Ooey, gooey, melty Guinness infused cheese is on a whole new level.  I encourage you to whip up a pot of this molten goodness, chop up some of your favourite dippers and invite some of your favourite people over to cheers to THE best day of the year, St. Patrick’s Day.  Wear something green and crack open a few cans or bottles of Irish Stout and you have a party worthy of even Murphy himself!

Here’s how you make it:

  • 1/2 can (ish) Guinness
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 heaping Tbsp dijon
  • 2 Tbsp flour (or cornstarch)
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 2 cups grated swiss
  • 1 cup grated sharp cheddar
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup processed cheddar like velveeta or cheese whiz (or even cream cheese)
  • Salt and pepper
  • a pinch of cayenne (optional)
  • In an electric fondue pot or a cast iron pot, melt the butter and saute the green onions.  Add the dijon and flour and cook slightly.  Add the Guinness and whisk until there are only ‘onion lumps’.
  • Whisk in the heavy cream and cheeses.  Stir until melted and combined and season with salt and pepper to your taste.  Add cayenne if desired

I served mine with some yummy crisp green vegetables (broccoli, snap peas, celery chunks), sliced sausage and pretzels.  Fresh bread or soft pretzels, ham and corned beef would be delicious as well.  Enjoy with cold beer or sparkling wine and be sure to toast to St. Patrick and the good of Ireland.  Once again I say “Slainte”!!!



Irish Hasselback Potatoes


I’m pretty proud of this recipe revamp.  I came up with it one night while trying to get to sleep (it’s what I do when my mind goes into overdrive…I create menus and recipes in my head!)…It came together even better than I thought and although a bit time-consuming, it’s rather simple to make and doesn’t take many ingredients.  I paired ours with fried cabbage (cooked in butter and olive oil with 1 tsp of caraway and a few dashes of W-sauce).  It was a delicious and satisfyingly festive meal!

Here’s how you make it:

  • Using 2 wooden spoons as a brace, thinly slice a scrubbed potato (this recipe makes four), the spoons will help you to not cut the entire way through the potato.
  • Melt 1/3 cup butter with 2 chopped green onions, 2 Tbsp dried or fresh dill, salt and pepper.  Drizzle over the par sliced potatoes and bake at 350 for 1 hr.
  • Cut strips of deli-style corned beef into squares and push into some of the slices in the potato. (I used a butter knife to help me with this.  Be gentle so you don’t wreck the part-way slices!)
  • Bake for another 20-30 mins.  I ‘basted’ the potatoes with some of the butter that drizzled into the bottom of the baking dish a couple times.
  • Top each potato with grated cheese (I used a combination of sharp cheddar and Swiss). Bake another 15-20mins or until the cheese is bubbly and golden.  Serve with fried cabbage or a tossed salad and a frothing mug of Guinness! Slainte! (Cheers!)

Fun-Filled St. Patrick’s Day Cupcakes


What’s a holiday without a little chocolate?! And what’s even better than chocolate is Guinness and chocolate with caramel!  These cupcake treats are moist, festive and literally FULL of fun!  They’re relatively easy to make and as far as scratch-made cakes, this is one of my favourite recipes.  I love how they are sweet and chocolatey but that the flavour of the Guinness is still prevalent!  They are a perfect addition to this St. Patrick’s Day week!


Using my previously posted recipe for Guinness Chocolate Cake I scooped the batter into paper lined muffin tins (recipe makes 24 cupcakes…just search for “Guinness chocolate cake” and bake for 15-20 mins at 350) and then using a paring knife I cut into each cooled cupcake to create a little pocket to fill with rainbow sprinkles.  I sliced the cutout so that it was a thin lid, placed it on the sprinkle filled cupcakes and frosted them with my tried and true delicious (and up until now, secret) icing.  Decorate as you like and then watch the pure joy as someone you love bites into one!


THE best icing you’ll make:

  • 3 cups whipping cream
  • 1 pkg instant vanilla pudding mix (or any other flavour as desired)
  • optional flavourings: I used caramel extract with these cupcakes but you can also use vanilla, cinnamon, almond extract etc.
  • Combine all ingredients and whip with an electric mixer until thick.  Whip until it is thicker than whipped cream, to the point where it resembles buttercream.  Best served within 24 hours of frosting (store in fridge until consumed).


On a side note, Tupperware’s large spice containers work extremely well for storing your sprinkles…especially if you have a bit of an addiction like me and have ALOT of varieties of sprinkles floating around in your cupboards!!



Irish Onion Soup


By now you know that I am in love with all things Irish…ok maybe not ALL things, I haven’t acquired a love for black pudding yet…but I do love cheese and am learning to love Guinness and I definitely love St. Patrick’s Day.  So here’s my rendition of Irish Onion Soup, a spin on the classic French Onion Soup.  It’s an easy and hearty bowl of deliciousness and it’s a great way to kickstart my favourite time of the year!

Here’s the recipe:

  • 4 medium onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup guinness
  • 2 tsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp dijon
  • 1 cube or 1 heaping tsp of your favourite beef base or boullion
  • 1.5 Litres of water
  • 2-4 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • For the garnish: thinly sliced baguette brushed with olive oil or butter and dijon and toasted, 1 cup grated sharp white cheddar
  • In a large pot caramelize the onions in the butter and olive oil.  Low and slow, steady wins the race.  It takes awhile but by cooking them slow you are bringing out all the natural sugars and the onions get really silky and luxurious and dang do they smell good!
  • Add the Guinness, tomato paste and mustard and cook out for awhile.  Add the beef base and water, fresh thyme and season with salt and pepper and let simmer for at least 2 hours. Remove sprigs of thyme before serving.
  • Ladel into oven safe crocks or French onion soup bowls.  Top with toasted baguette slices and cheese and broil until cheese is bubbly.  Serve with a crisp fresh salad (check out some of my earlier posts for some great dressing recipes)!




Sweet Treats for your Sweeties…


I love making home-made treats to give to people during the holidays and valentines is no exception! Cookies, brownies and small cakes are easy ways to say I love you and with a few heart-shaped cookie cutters or small baking tins you can easily give a gift that comes straight from the heart!


My go-to, absolutely hands-down favourite sugar cookie recipe is so easy to make.  It is fail-proof and the cookies are always so yummy.  I love the dough as it’s easy to roll out and my little guy likes to help me use cookie cutters of many styles to form the cookies.  I generally use royal icing with a hint of almond extract to ice my cookies and then enlist the help of small hands to help me decorate.  This year we went with a traditional conversation heart theme for our Valentine’s Day treats and I love how they turned out!

Here’s the recipe I use (which I typically half):

  • 1 lb butter, softened to room temp.
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla (I usually add more)
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 5 cups flour
  • Mix butter, sugar and eggs until light and fluffy (5 mins).  Add vanilla and salt and then add the flour in two batches.  Mix until just incorporated. Chill 2 hours (this step I often eliminate due to my impatient nature), cut or roll into desired shapes and bake at 325* until golden on the edges.  Cool then ice if desired.

Mix up a quick batch of your own and share them with your loves this holiday!  I’m telling you, nothing says I love you like something made with your own two hands (and especially with the help of two more little hands!)