Posts Tagged ‘holidays’

soda bread with a twist

an orangey twist that is!

we had quite the Irish feast this weekend in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day
lamb stew, Dublin coddle, corned beef and veggies, traditional Irish soda bread AND an experiment i wanted to try out

Orange Scented Soda Bread

i found the recipe HERE and pretty much followed it. i used craisins instead of dried currants and couldn’t find millet flour so i just subbed in some potato flour… it turned out a little more dense than i was shooting for, but still tasted incredibly yummy and the leftovers toasted with a little bit of butter on top = delicioso!


Ingredients: (my choices in italics)
1 cup sorghum flour or brown rice flour (brown rice flour)
1 cup tapioca starch or potato starch (potato starch)
1/2 cup almond meal flour or GF millet flour (potato flour because millet flour wasn’t avail and to keep it nut free)
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 teaspoons xanthan gum
1/3 cup coconut oil or organic vegan shortening (coconut oil)
3/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
2 free-range organic eggs or Ener-G egg replacer (egg replacer)
1 tablespoon grated orange peel
1/2 cup dried currants (craisins)

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line the bottom of an 8-inch cake pan with a circle of parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flours, starches and dry ingredients.
Add in the coconut oil by pieces, and mix until it is sandy.
Add in the orange juice, eggs and orange peel. Mix the ingredients with a beater or a wooden spoon until a smooth and sticky dough forms.
Stir in the craisins.
Scape the dough into the prepared cake pan and using wet hands flatten and smooth the dough into a round loaf. Using a knife, make a criss-cross dent in the center of the loaf, as best you can.
Bake the loaf in the center of the oven for 30 to 35 minutes (mine took almost 50 minutes), till firm and slightly golden. Cool on a wire rack for five minutes or so until it is cool enough to handle. Remove from the pan and peel off the parchment. Continue to cool on the rack or serve it warm.


check out my recipes page for more tasty ideas

gratifying grains

perhaps you’re still trying to figure out that last minute side dish you need to bring to a lunch or dinner this weekend… or just don’t feel like thinking about what to cook for dinner tonight – check out these tasty recipes below, filled with grains and goodness to fill your belly with the ‘good’ stuff:

Fried Farro with Dark Greens

Black Bean and Heirloom Tomato Quinoa

Sweet and Crunchy Quinoa Salad

Cheesy Tex-Mex Rice

Quinoa Salad with Spring Radishes and Greens

To everyone out there – Hungry for Living wishes you a very:
Merry Christmas
Happy Hanukkah
Joyous Kwanza
Happy Holidays


bad santa pics

you know you have one of these pics stashed away in your photo album, or maybe your parents are holding on to it to embarrass you at that perfect moment

even though i knew he was the jolly guy that brought the gifts on Christmas eve, i was still so terrified of him… as are these kids –>

~* HO HO HO *~

holiday cupcakes

keeping up the holiday spirit i got started yesterday – check out these cupcakes, almost too cute to eat… almost

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oh christmas tree

Christmas trees from ’round the WORLD

The Capitol Christmas tree in Washington, D.C., is decorated with 3,000 ornaments that are the handiwork of U.S. Schoolchildren. Encircling evergreens in the ‘Pathway of Peace’ represent the 50 U.S. States.

The world’s largest Christmas tree display rises up the slopes of Monte Ingino outside of Gubbio, in Italy ‘s Umbria region. Composed of about 500 lights connected by 40,000 feet of wire, the ‘tree’ is a modern marvel for an ancient city.

A Christmas tree befitting Tokyo ‘s nighttime neon display is projected onto the exterior of the Grand Prince Hotel Akasaka.

Venice ‘s Murano Island renowned throughout the world for its quality glasswork is home to the tallest glass tree in the world. Sculpted by master glass blower Simone Cenedese, the artistic Christmas tree is a modern reflection of the holiday season.

Moscow celebrates Christmas according to the Russian Orthodox calendar on Jan. 7. For weeks beforehand, the city is alive with festivities in anticipation of Father Frost’s arrival on his magical troika with the Snow Maiden. He and his helper deliver gifts under the New Year tree, or yolka, which is traditionally a fir.

The largest Christmas tree in Europe (more than 230 feet tall) can be found in the Praça do Comércio in Lisbon, Portugal. Thousands of lights adorn the tree, adding to the special enchantment of the city during the holiday season.

Ooh la la Galeries Lafayette! In Paris , even the Christmas trees are chic. With its monumental, baroque dome, plus 10 stories of lights and high fashion, it’s no surprise this show-stopping department store draws more visitors than the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower.

The Christmas tree that greets revelers at the Puerta del Sol is dressed for a party. Madrid ‘s two-week celebration makes millionaires along with merrymakers. On Dec. 22, a lucky citizen will win El Gordo (the fat one), the world’s biggest lottery.

Drink a glass of gluhwein from the holiday market at the Romer Frankfurt’s city hall since 1405 and enjoy a taste of Christmas past.

leg’a lamb

i may be disowned by my grandmother for tooting my horn about what came out of my kitchen last night (she’s the local expert in all lamb – and many other food – related matters), but seriously, when the lamb meat melted in my mouth like butter, words couldn’t and still can’t be put together to describe the awesomeness of how this new cooking method i experimented with ended up turning out… so Gram, you up for a THROWDOWN or what?!

in our fam, roast leg of lamb is usually reserved for special occasions, primarily dePa’s bday… so when i gave him a coupon for his bday a couple of months ago to ‘dinner in Mel’s Kitchen’, i knew i’d have to do some digging around to get this lamb thing just right. he’d already had my shanks, so i knew it was time to step up my game and take on the leg… im very happy i decided to dive into this one, it was SO easy to pull together and tasted incredible!

i found a recipe posted over at Simply Recipes – i followed it to a ‘T’, except we had a 3lb leg, versus her 6 pounder, but internal temp is internal temp no matter what size you’re cooking… the ‘new method’ created a natural convection oven way of roasting the meat, versus putting it right into a roasting pan


Ingredients for the marinade:
1/2 c. orange juice
1 c. white wine
3 cloves garlic, minced (I used shallots instead)
2 t. fresh thyme or 1 t. dried thyme
2 T. fresh chopped rosemary or 1 T. dried rosemary
1/4 t. fresh ground pepper
2 T. olive oil

Directions for the marinade:
Blend all of these in a blender or food processor until well mixed.

Ingredients for lamb:
3-6 pound leg of lamb, bone-in or boneless (tied)
marinade (recipe above)
salt and pepper

Directions for lamb:
Place the lamb and marinade in a plastic bag, marinade for several hours (overnight is much better) in the refrigerator.
Remove the lamb, still in its marinating bag at least an hour before putting it in the oven.
Preheat oven to 425* – arrange two racks in the oven, a middle rack to hold the lamb and a lower rack to hold a roasting pan to catch the drippings.
Remove the lamb from its bag, pat dry and generously salt and pepper all sides.
Place lamb in the oven directly on the rack with the fattiest side up, insert a meat thermometer in the thickest past of the roast.
Place a roasting pan (or another oven safe pan) on lower rack with 1 cup of water to catch the drippings (this will be used for gravy making later).
Roast at 425* for 20 minutes then reduce heat to 300* and roast 10-12 minutes per pound, until the internal temp hits about 130*-135*.
When the lamb hits the internal temp you’d like, move to a platter or cutting board to rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing.
In the meantime, veggies/sides can be prepared or heated up and the gravy can be made with the pan drippings.


sweet n’ spicy wings

this past weekend we hit up a potluck holiday fiesta… it took me all of 3 seconds to decide what i’d be bringing along

seriously – WHO doesn’t like wings?! and if you don’t let me know, i’ll eat your portion for you :0)

i whipped up a batch of these babies and boy were they tasty! just the right amount of hotness mixed with the right amount of sweet… def going to be making these for many more parties to come!

makes about 48 pieces

6 lbs. chicken wings, separated at joints, tips discarded
1 1/2 c. hot sauce
3/4 c. butter
1 c. honey
1 t. onion powder
1/2 t. ground black pepper
1 t. cayenne pepper

Directions (for grilled wings):
Preheat outdoor grill to high heat.
Lightly oil grill grate. Grill each piece of chicken for 8-12 minutes per side.
Place chicken in a serving dish/platter.

Directions (for baked wings):
Preheat over to 400 degrees.
Place chicken wings on a non-greased cookie sheet.
Bake for 45 mins. to an hour, turning once.
Place chicken in a serving dish/platter.

Directions (the sauce):
In a saucepan over medium heat, mix the hot sauce, butter, honey, onion powder, black pepper and cayenne pepper.
Simmer for about 10 minutes then pour sauce over the cooked wings, toss lightly to coat.