Irish Pub Cooking ~ Review

I’ve kept my eyes open for a long time for a cookbook that features Irish recipes. My library has one, but it’s older and doesn’t have so many of the features I really like. (pictures, simple instructions, easy to read format) I finally found a cookbook that meets all this criteria!

Irish Pub Cooking from Paragon books is it. It’s got wonderful pictures of the recipes and of the Irish countryside. I guess that’s partially a credit to the fact that Paragon books is based in the United Kingdom!

We celebrate St Patrick’s Day with a traditional Irish meal – or as close as I can manage. The kids have a strong Irish influence on their dad’s side; his paternal grandmother arrived in Maryland from the old country. That means my kids are only the third generation in that line. They think that’s a pretty neat fact. Especially considering most of their friends can’t claim that sort of recent immigration.

The main course that I’ve fixed for dinner in the past has been either shepherd’s pie or bangers and mash. I’m sure most of you have an idea what shepherd’s pie is. Bangers are a type of sausage and mash is simply mashed potatoes. Some people insist that proper mash includes some cabbage in the mix. I’ve had to make due with north central Ohio ingredients … which usually puts us with some sort of breakfast sausage and mashed potatoes.

The best part of the Irish Pub Cooking book is the variety of recipes and the range from beverages, side dishes, main dishes and deserts. The 80 pages are eye catching and attractive. Several of the recipes might not have caught my attention, but the photo that accompanies the recipe has convinced me to test the recipe!

Irish Soda Bread is one item I’ve been lucky enough to find. My local bakery has carried fresh baked loaves around St Patrick’s Day in the past. Talk about a treat with your hot cuppa tea! The Soda Bread recipe in Irish Pub Cooking requires only a few ingredients and seems to encourage bakers to test it out!

This year’s St Pat’s menu at my house might well include Colcannon. Although this is a traditional dish served at Halloween in Ireland, I think it would fit in on St Pat’s easily. Simply stated, colcannon is mashed potatoes, scallions and cabbage. Plenty of Irish folk have enjoyed that dish over the years!

Fish cakes is one of the most commonly offered items on pub menus. Easy to fix, serve and eat they also use one of Ireland’s easily accessible food: fish. And they go great with a cold glass of stout.

If you’re looking for an Irish cookbook, Irish Pub Cooking is definitely worth checking out.



















Home Cooking with Trisha Yearwood – Review

Cookbook Review

Home Cooking with Trisha Yearwood: Stories and Recipes to Share with Family and Friends

A good choice! This book reads almost like a chat with your sister. The introduction sets the stage for the entire book. It’s light, easy to read and entertaining.  Trisha Yearwood may be a country music star and married to one of the most successful entertainers, but her book is down to earth.

The recipes selected for her second cookbook are from her own files and those of friends and family members. It’s interesting and fun to read the story about Trisha’s second grade teacher and grandmother. The brief anecdotes fall alongside recipes that are simple to follow and generally uncomplicated.

An especially important feature, (to me at least!) is a photo of the majority of recipes. I’m one of those folks who is more likely to be inspired to try a new recipe if I can see what it is supposed to look like. I’ve had my share of recipe failures when I try to follow a text only recipe. Thank goodness we live in the modern age and photography is so wide spread!

Trisha has included a few photos from the family album. Wow, a walk down memory lane to see the fashions and styles from the 70s and 80s! There’s a picture on page 184 of children and a dog sitting on back porch steps from SEP 67 that could easily be a group of my cousins!

The recipes themselves are easy to follow. The format includes a list of ingredients on the left margin of the page with the directions to the right.  A couple caught my and will be on the list to try during upcoming weeks. Chicken Pizza from page 102 is so attractive in the photo that I wanted to reach into the page and help myself to a slice. The secret I think is sliced bell peppers and bacon along with the chicken. Crockpot Macaroni and Cheese, page123, seems to be a perfect way to warm up a cold winter evening without a lot of trouble. The notes along the bottom of the page suggest a way to cook this creamy meal even if you don’t have a crock pot… simply use a 9x13x2 inch pan. That makes this recipe versatile.

If you’re looking for something to take to your next potluck, I’d suggest either Lizzie’s Strawberry Cake on page 158 or the Potato Casserole on page 132. Both recipes use standard and easy to find ingredients. The best things about them though, is they are one dish to bake and serve!

To read more reviews, click: Home Cooking with Trisha Yearwood: Stories and Recipes to Share with Family and Friends