Irish Whiskey Sour

A classic cocktail with an Irish twist!

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Sunday is St. Patrick’s Day, so I’m sharing a little last minute cocktail inspiration. A Whiskey Sour is a fantastic classic cocktail that I think everyone should learn how to make! It’s a delicious balance of sweet and sour. And that is the key! Balance!

Now you may be looking at this cocktail and going wheres the foam!? I get it! But hear me out, the foam you typically find topping a whiskey sour is made with egg whites and that’s just not for me. It’s one extra step and I never trust that my eggs are fresh enough.

If your a die hard foam in your whiskey sour fan I’ll teach you how down below.

Another note about this recipe stick to these exact proportions, taste, and then adjust the sweetness. It’s easy to start tweaking things before you taste, but then you’re likely to end up with a weak cocktail. And I know none of you want that! I made the portions in this cocktail work with Jameson Irish Whiskey, since this is a St. Patrick’s Day recipe, but you could defiantly use the traditional bourbon or Canadian Whiskey. If you use a different variety of whiskey you need to adjust your proportions of sweet and sour to suit your palette and whiskey. It’s not an exact science.

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Irish Whiskey Sour

Yields: 1 cocktail

Ingredients:

  • 2 ounces Jameson Irish Whiskey
  • 1 ounce Lemon Juice, fresh
  • 1 ounce Simple Syrup (buy at the liquor store or make it – so easy!)
  • Optional: Fresh Egg White
  • Garnish: Maraschino Cherry and Lemon Peel

Directions:

If using egg whites add whites to an empty cocktail shaker. Dry shake the egg white for about 30 seconds to break them up and create froth.

Add ice, whiskey, lemon juice and simple syrup to the cocktail shaker. Shake well, about 30 seconds. Strain into a glass filled with ice. If using egg whites I recommend a double strain.

Adapted from 31 Dover.

Irish Whiskey Sour - A twist on a Classic for St. Patrick's Day!,/div>


Guinness Shepherd’s Pie

Seriously delicious and very comforting!

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St. Partick’s day is just over a week away. On Wednesday I shared my St. Patty’s party fav’s and now I’m sharing the perfect meal to serve at your party! It also has Guinness in it which adds a nice festive twist! Not only is this recipe great if your hosting people for St. Patrick’s day, but it’s also amazing for dinner year round. It’s delicious, filling and comforting.

When I was a kid my mom used to make shepherd’s pie out of leftover roast beef. It’s so good that way but today I’m using ground beef since it’s easy and readily available. Did you know that technically when you use beef you’re making cottage pie. Seriously lamb is traditionally used in shepherd’s pie. It gets it’s name from the shepherd’s who tend to the sheep. But since I know it as shepherd’s pie that’s what we’re going with.

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The first time I made Shepherd’s pie it was a failure. It was dry and tasteless. Since then I’ve discovered a few very important secrets to making a delicious Shepherd’s pie. First things first you need to make a thick flavourful gravy. Nothing is worse than dry filling. Cook down onions, garlic and carrots to create a flavourful base. brown off your ground beef add flour to thicken and then deglaze with Guinness. Seriously this creates an insane amount of deep flavour. Then add beef broth to create a thick luscious gravy.

The other tip I have is to make a super flavourful spreadable mashed potato. You need pretty loose mashed potatoes. You want them to still be soft and smooth when you eat them. Since they have to go in the oven if you dont add enough butter and milk they will really dry out. Also adding parmesan or another cheese can’t hurt either!

This recipe is seriously delicious and a must make for St. Patrick’s day, or any day!

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Guinness Shepherd’s Pie

Yields: 6 servings

Ingredients:

Filling:

  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 1 Onion, diced
  • 2 Carrots, diced
  • 1 tsp Dried Thyme
  • 1 tsp Dried Rosemary
  • 1.5 lbs Extra Lean Ground Beef
  • 1/4 cup All Purpose Flour
  • 1/4 cup Tomato Paste
  • 1/2 cup Guinness
  • 2 cups Beef Broth
  • 1 Beef Bouillon cube
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup Frozen Peas
  • 1 cup Frozen Corn

Mashed Potato

  • 2 lbs Russet Potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 3/4 cup Milk (I used 2%)
  • 1/4 cup Butter, melted

Topping

  • 3 tbsp Parmesan Cheese, grated
  • 2 tbsp Butter, melted

Directions:

In a large skillet over medium heat warm oil. Add onion, cook for 1 minute. Add carrots, cook for 1 minute until starting to soften and brightening in colour. Season with salt and pepper. Add garlic and cook for an additional 3 minutes until vegetables are soft.

Turn heat up to medium high and add ground beef. Break into small pieces and cook until browned.

Add flour, stir and cook for one minute to remove the raw four taste. Add tomato paste, bouillon cube, Worcestershire sauce, thyme and rosemary. Mix seasoning into meat until well distributed. Deglaze the pan with Guinness. Scrape brown its off the bottom of the pan until the beer cooks don and the pan becomes mostly dry again.

Add beef broth to the pan. Continue to scrape the pan to release the brown bits. Bring the mixture to a simmer, turn down the heat to low. Cook for 20 minutes, string occasionally. A thick gravy will develop. Taste gravy, add additional salt and pepper if desired. Stir in peas and corn. Cook for an additional 3-5 minutes to defrost the vegetables.

Cool the mixture and place in the fridge until ready to use.

Place potatoes in a large pot, cover with water, season with salt and bring to a boil. Cook for 15 minutes until the potatoes are fork tender.

Drain potatoes. Leave in the colander to dry for 5-10 minutes. In the mean time melt the butter in the microwave and measure out the milk. Return the potatoes to the pot. Using a potato masher or a hand mixer mash the plain potatoes. Add half the butter and milk to the potatoes, mash together. Check the consistency. The potatoes should be looser then regular mashed potatoes. They should be spreadable but not runny. Continue to add milk and butter until the mashed potatoes reach the desired consistency.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Pour filling into a 9×11 inch baking pan, spread evenly. Spread mashed potatoes out evenly to cover the filling. Sprinkle parmesan cheese over the potatoes evenly. Spoon melted butter evenly over potatoes. Bake for 45 minutes or until the filling is bubbling and the top is golden brown.

Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes to make serving easier. Serve with peas or a side salad.

Adapted from RecipeTin Eats.

Guinness Shepherd's Pie - St. Patrick's Day Favourite, so delicious!.jpg

St. Patrick’s Day: Party Must Haves!

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St. Patrick’s Day is less than two weeks away. If your planning to celebrate, or throw a party I’ve got your party must haves covered. If you know me you know I love a celebration. I put up some sort of decorations for every holiday. Dress up whenever required and love a festive meal or drink! So let’s break down my St. Patrick’s Day must haves!

The Goods:

Balloons: Festive balloons are a must at every party. You could even make a balloon arch. Or go the easy route (that’s normally my jam!) and buy a set. Like this one. So festive and perfect to go over your dessert table, or bar cart.

Banners: Now let’s infuse your house with GREEN! This three pack of clover banners is perfect to infuse the house with St. Patrick’s day spirit. Hang them above your windows, on your mantle, from the ceiling, and maybe in doorways. Anywhere festive!

Bar: I love a self serve bar! They are perfect for a crowd. I love gold and green for St. Patrick’s Day so naturally a gold bar cart is a must. It looks like gold is here to stay, but if your hesitant (or have a husband who says it’s too girly!) this one is a killed deal!

Drinks: Now on your bar cart, Irish whiskey and Guinness are must haves. Personally I love a whiskey decanter. It’s perfect for displaying on your bar cart year round, but at St. Patrick’s day whiskey is the only thing to fill it with. This is my favourite traditional decanter with a modern twist. The other must have is Guinness. Fill an ice bucket with bottles of Guinness a place it on the bottom level of your bar cart. It’s a perfect self serve bar set up.

Decor: Gold coins add a fun touch of whimsy. Scatter them around the house. Maybe even find a decorative pot and make your own pot of gold (who needs a Leprechaun). Bonus points if the coins are actually chocolate!

Favours: These rainbow lollipops are such a fun favour and fit perfect with a St. Patrick’s day theme. They also infuse extra colour into your decor. They are also delicious!

Ok guys those are my St. Patrick’s Day party must have. This Friday we will be talking my favourite festive food!


Mango Coconut Overnight Oats

A healthy, but decadent make ahead breakfast.

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Ok guys this recipe is a real winner. It is decadent, sweet, filling and healthy. Whole grains, unsweetened coconut milk, high protein greek yogurt, a touch of honey and fresh mango make this breakfast fast filling and delicious. I was shocked how good this tasted. How had I never though to add coconut before? I love overnight oats for the ease and convenience. You can even prep a few days worth and have breakfast to go all week.

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while now you know I love a fast recipe, especially for breakfast. it brings me so much joy to experiment and make delicious recipes that take a little extra effort. But that isn’t always realistic. Life is just busy. And I just cant bring myself to make some elaborate breakfast during the week. Honestly I rarely do it on a regular weekend. These kind of delicious make ahead breakfasts are perfect. They feel special but are really simple. And just freakin delicious!

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Mango Coconut Overnight Oats

Yields: 2-3 servings

Ingredients:

  •  1 cup Rolled Oats
  •  1 cup Canned Coconut Milk
  •  1 cup Coconut Greek Yogurt (I used 2%)
  •  1 tbsp Honey
  •  1 tsp Vanilla
  •  4 tbsp Unsweetened Coconut Chips, toasted preferred
  •  1/2 Mango, chopped

Directions:

In a bowl combine rolled oats, coconut milk, greek yogurt, honey and vanilla in a medium bowl. Transfer to an air tight storage container and place in the fridge overnight.

If you can’t find pre toasted coconut chips (or flakes) you can make your own by baking then on a sheet pan for 5-10 minutes at 325°F. Once bake cool and store in an air tight container for up to a week.

When ready to eat, place oats in a serving bowl. Top with toasted coconut and chopped mango. Enjoy!

Adapted from Eat Drink Love.

Healthy Mango Coconut Overnight Oats - Yum!

Healthier Chicken Salad

Seriously the best lightened-up chicken salad.

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I really hate lunch. I hate making it, I hate eating it. I find it a complete inconvenience. So it’s always been tough for me to come up with lunch ideas that I will actually want to make and eat. I’ve got work day lunches down. Leftovers, homemade soups and salads keep me fed Monday through Fridays, but on the weekends I’m always at a loss. It results in either picking up some sort of unhealthy high calories fast food, or just skipping lunch all together. Neither are good options in my book. In an effort to eat whole healthy food (80% or the time) I knew I had to try to find some new ideas for weekend lunches. This chicken salad recipe has ben added to the weekend rotation.

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I like lots of crunch in my chicken salad, so I load it with crunchy celery, crisp apples and a sweet pop from red grapes. I love the freshness it gives. I also like using pulled chicken breast instead of chopped. I prefer the texture of pulled chicken it really makes the chicken, fruit and celery stay together and prevents the filling of the sandwich from falling out. The dressing of this chicken salad is made with greek yogurt, mayonnaise, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper. Not only is it delicious but it isn’t your typical high fat, high calorie chicken salad.

Greek yogurt has tons of protein, combine that with chicken breast a delicious dressing and yummy add ins and you have a great high protein lunch. Skip the croissant and your lunch is even healthy…. but I highly recommend the croissant!

This recipe is a must try for lunch, or to put on a lunch buffet.

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Healthier Chicken Salad

Yields: 4 large servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 Chicken Breasts
  • 1 Stalk of Celery, diced
  • 1/2 An Apple, diced
  • 1/2 cup Red Grapes, halved
  • 1/2 cup Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1/4 cup Half the Fat Mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425°F. Roast chicken for 25 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F. Cool slightly. Shred the chicken using two forks, or the mixer method. Place chicken in the fridge to cool completely.

Whisk together greek yogurt, mayonnaise, lemon juice, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Slice grapes, dice celery and apple.

Combine cold chicken, celery, apple, grapes and dressing and mix throughly.

Serve salad on bread, croissants or salad greens. If desired add lettuce or tomatoes to your sandwiches. Serve immediately or store in your fridge for 2 days.