I was born on Capitol Hill in Washington DC. My mom, Izetta, was born in Tennessee and raised in Waterford, Virginia. My dad, Charles Irving, was born in a small town outside of Leesburg, Virginia. Most of my aunts and uncles remained in Virginia. We would drive to the country every Sunday and had wonderful Sunday dinners with relatives. My mom would help cook in their big country kitchens. Nothing says comfort like southern food and. . .good ole' hospitality is truly a southern tradition.
My sister, Emilene, made the most delicious deviled eggs. The first known printed mention of 'deviled' as a culinary term appeared in the 18th century. A recipe for deviled eggs from Fanny Farmer's 1896 "Boston Cooking-School Cookbook" called for savory spices and mayonnaise as a binder. My family always had deviled eggs at Easter, along with ham, potatoes au gratin, spring peas, and a carrot cake.
6 large eggs
¼ cup mayonnaise
1 t Dijon mustard
½ t honey Dijon mustard
½ t cider vinegar
3 to 4 splashes of hot sauce (preferably Crystal or
Sea salt and finely ground black pepper
Paprika and fresh sprigs of dill, for garnish
Place eggs in a single layer in a saucepan and cover, just over the top, with cold
water. Add ½ teaspoon of baking soda.
Bring just to a boil, then turn off heat and cover with a lid. Let sit for 15 minutes.
Remove eggs from water with a slotted spoon.
Crack eggs slightly on one end and place in a bowl of ice cold water for 15 minutes.
Roll eggs on a hard surface to crack, then peel off shells.
Gently dry eggs with paper towels and then slice in half,
Remove yolks to a bowl. Place the egg whites on a plate.
Mash the yolks very well with a potato masher or use a ricer. Add the mayonnaise, mustards,
vinegar, and hot sauce.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Fill the egg whites by spoon or with a pastry bag fitted
with a large star tip.
Top with a little sprinkle of paprika and a small sprig of dill.
This Saint Patrick's Day cake is rich, dark, and oh so chocolaty! The Guinness keeps the cake moist and gives it a tangy, creaminess. Cut the cake into 9 squares and you will not feel so quilty about having this rich and delicious treat. You can also bake the cake in a 10-inch round springform or regular cake pan. Another version of a Blonde in a Black Dress!
1 cup unsalted
2 oz semi-sweet
1 cup Guinness (dark
1 cup unsweetened
cocoa powder, sifted
2 large eggs
2 cups granulated
1 T pure vanilla
¾ cup buttermilk
¼ t sea salt
2 t baking soda
1 t baking powder
Butter a 10-inch square cake pan and set aside.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
In a medium
saucepan, heat the butter and semi-sweet chocolate over medium heat until
melted, stirring a couple of times.
Remove from heat and
stir in the Guinness and then whisk in the sifted cocoa powder.
In a large bowl beat together the eggs, sugar, vanilla, buttermilk, and
salt using an electric mixer.
Slowly pour in the
Guinness mixture and continue to beat.
In another bowl,
sift together the flour, baking soda, and baking powder.
Slowly pour in the
flour mixture and beat until well combined.
Using a rubber spatula, transfer the batter
into the prepared cake pan.
Bake in oven for 40
Let cool before
frosting the cake.
Cream Cheese Frosting
6 T unsalted butter, room temperature
8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
2 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2 t vanilla extract
In a bowl using a hand held mixer, cream the butter and
cream cheese until combined.Add the sifted confectioners’ sugar and beat until smooth.
Add the vanilla and beat another few seconds.
Frost the cake and it can be lightly covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated until ready to cut into 9 slices and serve.
Serving corned beef & cabbage on Saint Patrick's Day in an Irish-North American creation. In Ireland, cows were only killed when they were too old to work or too old to produce milk. The immigrants transformed the religious day to an Irish celebratory feast. Serve this with horseradish mustard, dark bread, Guinness stout, and Chocolate Guinness Cake.
1 (3 lb) brisket of beef, flat
½ cup kosher
1 T black peppercorns,
1 T whole coriander
1 T whole mustard seeds, cracked
1 T whole allspice, cracked
2 sprigs fresh thyme
½ cup brown sugar
Combine all of the brine mixture in a large
bowl or large container fitted with a top.
Add the brisket and rub the mixture into the
Pour cold water over until meat is
Weight the brisket down with a small plate so
that it is completely submerged.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 2 to 6
The longer the brining, the more pickled the
2 T brown
2 t prepared
Pinch of dill weed
1 t dry mustard
Rinse the brisket with cold water and pat
Place in a large Dutch oven and cover water by
Bring to a boil and skim off any scum that
forms on top.
Add the cooking spices, cover with a lid and
place in a 300 degree F oven and bake for 2 hours.
1 small head of cabbage, cut into
2 onions, cut into chunks
2 parsnips, cut into
2 small rutabagas, cut into chunks
4 medium potatoes, cut into chunks
6 carrots, cut in half, lengthwise
Add the vegetables and place in oven for
Transfer meat to large platter and let cool 10
minutes before slicing across the grain.
Arrange vegetables around meat and spoon some
broth over all.
My last summer of camp was when I was 12 years
old. My mom packed a bag of Fig Newtons in my suitcase. I really didn't like
them but I loved the movie "The Parent Trap" with Haley Mills. She
shared her Fig Newtons with her fellow campers, so I wanted to be like her
character in the movie. This recipe does not taste like the old figs I remember
and is a delicious way to serve fresh figs. There are a lot of recipes out
there with the combination of figs, honey, and cheese. I infused the honey with
thyme leaves and lemon zest. I think you will enjoy this for a healthy light
lunch or breakfast.
4 slices whole grain bread
2 t unsalted butter
4 oz Gorgonzola or blue cheese, softened
¼ cup raw unfiltered honey
2 sprigs thyme, leaves removed
Zest of ½ lemon
3 Brown Turkey figs, stems removed and thinly
In a skillet or griddle, melt butter and toast
the bread until golden on both sides.
Spread the Gorgonzola cheese evenly on all 4
slices of toasted bread.
Pour honey into a small saucepan or bowl and