From the food editor: 2011 Cook of the Week updates Irish soda bread

  • Bridget McGuinness, a native of Ireland, bakes several loaves of Irish soda bread to share with friends each St. Patrick's Day. Here she's divided a batch into scones.

      Bridget McGuinness, a native of Ireland, bakes several loaves of Irish soda bread to share with friends each St. Patrick's Day. Here she's divided a batch into scones. BRIAN HILL | Staff Photographer, 2011

  • Try Kerrygold Irish Cream in an adults-only version of a Shamrock Shake.

    Try Kerrygold Irish Cream in an adults-only version of a Shamrock Shake.

 
 
Posted3/11/2015 5:00 AM

Some people can't leave well enough alone. And thank goodness for that.

Bridget McGuinness reached out to me the other week to let me know that she'd improved upon the Irish soda bread she shared with readers when she was Cook of the Week in March 2011.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

This octogenarian came from Ireland when she was 17 and hasn't lost her love for the flavors of the Emerald Isle. She calls lamb stew "Irish penicillin" and has prepared corned beef and cabbage for priests at St. Thomas More in Elgin.

Her Irish soda bread leavens with buttermilk instead of yeast so it tastes sweeter; she has made it with either all-purpose flour or whole wheat flour. Sometimes she divides the dough into scones instead of loaves and one year she baked 350 scones for guests at a St. Patrick's Day celebration at church. This year, she's scaling back, but will still be baking several loaves to share with family and friends. And now you can too.

Shake it up: I've been a faithful Bailey's Irish Cream drinker since I first visited Ireland in 1987 and realized how deliciously it perked up a cup of hot tea. More recently I became a fan of Irish-made Kerrygold cheeses and butter so when Kerrygold jumped into the beverage market with its own Irish cream, I was curious, but hesitant. Now I'm smitten.

The liqueur has a deeper hue, a more chocolaty flavor and a smoother finish. The stronger chocolate taste means it doesn't pair as well with tea, but it's a natural for this adult Shamrock Shake: Add 3 pints vanilla ice cream, 4 ounces green mint liqueur, 3 ounces each vodka and Kerrygold Irish Cream and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract to a blender and mix completely. Divide between two tall glasses and top with whipped cream and a maraschino cherry.

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Recipes and remembrances: Suburban author Lynn Kirsche Shapiro, a daughter of Holocaust survivors, chronicles the story of one Hungarian-Czech Jewish family whose survivors emigrated to the U.S. where they created new family traditions and stories in her book "Food, Family and Tradition: Hungarian Kosher Family Recipes and Remembrances" (The Cherry Press, 2014). She will talk about the book and its recipes at 1 p.m. Sunday, March 15, at her family's shop, Hungarian Kosher Market, 4020 Oakton St., Skokie.

Cooking together became her family's time to talk and tell stories. Shapiro was very young when she started learning how to cook from her parents and has passed that love on to her children and now her grandchildren. Working in her parents' store -- the largest kosher market in the Midwest and a landmark in the Chicago Jewish community -- since she was a child, Shapiro has played an integral role in Hungarian Kosher Foods, developing recipes for many of the home-cooked foods sold there.

The program, presented by the Chicago Foodways Roundtable, costs $3. Lunch will be offered for an additional cost. To reserve a space, send an email to chicago.foodways.roundtable@gmail.com.

Contact Food Editor Deborah Pankey at dpankey@dailyherald.com or (847) 427-4524. Be her friend at Facebook.com/DebPankey.DailyHerald or follow her on Pinterest, Instagram or Twitter @PankeysPlate.

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