Recent Foodie Adventures

Although the food in Ireland can be a bit boring at times, it’s never a dull moment around our house.  One of the things I miss most about Irish grocery stores is finding US-specific items, such as macaroni and cheese.  You cannot find any box macaroni and cheese here, and especially not Annie’s (our favorite brand).  If you ask for macaroni and cheese, you will be directed to the ‘Tinned Food’ aisle, where you will find this:

Macaroni and Cheese in a can

That’s right…macaroni and cheese in a can!  Nasty!  Instead of trying the canned variety, I decided to make our own.  We used the Barefoot Contessa recipe from foodnetwork.com.  I scaled the recipe to make more than just 4 servings and adjusted the cheese quantities to what we had on hand.  It was wonderful, indulgent, and much tastier than the boxed variety that we miss.

Homemade macaroni and cheese!

 

Close-up!

 

Several days later, we picked up some fresh salmon from the local fishmonger.  We made broiled salmon with shiitake mushrooms, roasted broccoli, and quinoa salad for dinner.  This meal combined two of the kids’ favorite foods: fish and broccoli (random, yes).  Food prices are generally high in Dublin, but you can still get really fresh fish for very cheap, thanks to the proximity to the ocean.  The quinoa was a bit new, so it wasn’t as much of a hit, but both kids ate at least a few bites.  Isaac was very proud of his grown-up meal:

Isaac and his plate

Liesl refused to look at the camera:

"I'm considering my options..."

 

Finally, I have started playing around with Pinterest.  Originally, I thought I would use the site to gather ideas about the new baby’s room  However, most of my “inspiration” is from the recipe ideas that people “pin”.   As a result of one of my late night cravings, I made these “Slutty Brownies” from The Londoner.

mmmm... (#pregnancycravings)

Although I loved the author’s low key approach of box brownie mix + box cookie mix + Oreos = brownie heaven, I didn’t have any of those last Saturday night.  One drawback to not having a car, is that you can’t run to the store to get those last minute ingredients.  I looked around in our pantry, and discovered that I had everything on hand to make brownies and cookies from scratch.  Is it strange that I made everything from scratch because I was too lazy to walk to the store?

I used this recipe from Smitten Kitchen for the brownies because it used cocoa instead of baking chocolate.  (Again, I didn’t want to walk to the store…it was cold outside!)

I used this recipe for the cookies.  It made the perfect amount for a 9×9 pan.   Sadly, I had to leave the Oreos out of this one, but I do have a recipe for homemade Oreos that I need to try sometime. A project for another day.

Combining the butter, sugar, and cocoa in the double boiler for the brownies

Cookie dough in the bottom of the pan

Spreading the brownie batter on top of the cookie dough - nearly stopped here just to eat the dough

Finished product

These brownies were rich and wonderful.  A perfect late night snack, or mid-morning snack, for that matter.  They were great with milk, ice cream, or with afternoon tea!

The new baby’s room is still a disaster, but hey – I made brownies instead!

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