My favorite things this month reflect St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, my love of St. Joseph, and my Pisces friends and family.
1. Corned beef and cabbage. Now what does a nice Italian girl like me know about this dish? That’s the beauty of growing up in a diverse city like New York. Corned beef doesn’t get its name from the grain corn, but instead from its being preserved in brine. There’s no recipe I follow here. I simply throw the corned beef, red bliss potatoes, carrots, and cabbage into the pot and boil away. If anyone has made their own corned beef from scratch without using sugar in the brine, I would love to learn how to do that…please share your secret with me! I’m using the Wellshire brand uncured corned beef that I buy at Whole Foods. Is it the best? Not sure, but it certainly is the best that I have found. Nitrite/Nitrate-free, hormone and antibiotic-free–and that is more important than the actual recipe.
2. Slow Cooker Beef and Guinness Stew. The recipe I like! I won’t make it for St Patrick’s Day, but will certainly make it in my wonderful slow-cooker one cold day this week. It is a warm welcome home during the entire gray and cold month of March. It only occurs to me to make this in March. How funny is that!? I eliminate the whole “flouring the beef” step. I use grass-fed beef and make sure the rest of the ingredients are organic.
3. Gluten-free Irish Soda Bread. This isn’t something that I would make but I did have the opportunity to taste someone else’s creation….and it was GOOD. Sharing this recipe from Elana’s pantry for all my gluten-intolerant and celiac followers. One recommendation that I would make would be to not use the agave nectar and DEFINITELY use pure raw honey instead. Enjoy!
4. Saint Joseph was Mary’s husband and the adoptive father of her child, Jesus. A poor carpenter, he did all he could to raise this child with love and caring. Every March 19th, Italians everywhere celebrate the role Joseph had in raising Jesus and caring for his family. St. Joseph Day breads are made and shared among friends and family members. They are also left at the altar before the statue of St. Joseph as an offering. I can’t post my mother’s recipe which is a yeast leavened bread that requires wheat , but I would suggest taking the gluten free Irish bread recipe above. Eliminate the apple cider vinegar and caraway seeds. Switch out the regular raisins for golden raisins and add 3 tbls of anise. Say the proper prayers, all is forgiven, and St Joseph won’t even know the difference.
5. Shout out to my Pisces peeps! One of my offspring is a pisces, and its been quite the experience for me in my home. They are incredibly intuitive and know to trust their gut feelings. They are extremely sensitive and loyal, and will go out of their way to help a friend. They have strength of character and will stand up for what they believe in. They have extremes of emotions and feel both good and bad very intensely. What an interesting bunch. What would the world be like without our intense, loving, complicated P friends!