Egg Free Irish Soda Bread

The basic recipe for a simple Irish Soda Bread has lately been turned into a more decadent version with raisins and caraway seeds. Usually, eggs are also added to make this versatile tea bread richer. Here I have for you an egg-free version of the Spotted Dog (with raisins) Irish Soda Bread, just in time for Saint Patrick’s Day!

Egg Free Irish Soda Bread Spotted Dog

My first ever Google+ Hangout was hosted by Brooks Walker of CakeWalkr.com on Making Irish Soda Bread. It is his recipe that I have tweaked to make my own egg-free version. There are also a couple of minor changes in the quantity of ingredients that I felt were necessary as I examined my dough at various stages.

Soda breads do not require yeast and are fairly easy to make. The Irish Soda bread tastes like a Scone and beneath its thick, golden crust lies a beautifully moist interior – dotted with beautiful raisins in my case.

Irish Soda Bread

Click Here to see Brooks recipe. My recipe is almost exactly the same except for:

1. I used Egg Replacer Powder equivalent of 1 egg to replace the egg.

2. I used 7 tablespoons of butter as opposed to the 6 mentioned in the original recipe since my dough would not hold well. I test my dough by holding it tight in my palm after I have mixed in the butter. If the dough takes the shape of my palm, it is done. If it does not, it needs more shortening.

3. I was out of caraway seeds, so I skipped them.

4. My dough required more liquid, so I ended up using 1 and 1/2 cups of buttermilk.

Sliced Irish Soda Bread with Raisins

I baked two loaves from this recipe. Which means we had 2 hours of divine smells coming from the kitchen (you know – the kind when you bake something with cinnamon in it). The first one did not last long after it came out from the oven. The second, we served with softened butter and marmalade and it tasted equally heavenly! The gorgeously rustic loaf was cut into thick slices that we slathered with salted butter and orange marmalade.

You can serve it with your favorite tea for a perfect teatime snack on St. Patrick’s Day or any other day throughout the year! And check out Brooks Walker on Google Plus. He hosts regular hangouts that food lovers wouldn’t want to miss.

Adorable Valentine’s Day Cupcake Designs

Pinks, Reds, Roses, Chocolate & Hearts – these adorable cupcake decorating ideas are easy to follow and look so stunning, you will wish Valentine’s Day was here already!

Valentine's Day Cupcake Decorating Ideas

Valentine's Day Cupcake Decorating Ideas from Celebrating-ValentinesDay.com

Celebrating Valentine’s Day has these dainty cupcakes featured along with many more recipe ideas for Valentine’s Day Desserts, Valentine’s Day Breakfast Recipes, Valentine’s Day Dinner Recipes and many more Valentine’s Day Ideas. Don’t forget to enter their annual Love Message Contest while you are browsing!

New Year Wishes

New Year’s eve is like every other night; there is no pause in the march of the universe, no breathless moment of silence among created things that the passage of another twelve months may be noted; and yet no man has quite the same thoughts this evening that come with the coming of darkness on other nights.

- Hamilton Wright Mabie

Happy New Year 2011 - from Lata Tokhi

Happy New Year 2011

Here are some great ideas for New Year’s Eve:

Fortune Teller Theme New Year’s Party
Take advantage of the timing and host a fun and interesting fortune telling New Year’s party that your guests are sure to love!

Host a New Year’s Cocktail Party
Complete Party Planning Advice for hosting a stylish New Year’s Cocktail Party. Includes recipes for cocktails, Hors d’oeuvres and desserts

Plan a Fabulous New Year’s Eve Dinner Party
New Year’s Eve is the perfect time to invite your closest friends over to share good food and good company. An elegant dinner party lets you and your friends review, renew, and rejoice.

New Year’s Party Games
In addition to invitations, decorations and food, you’ll need fun party games to keep your guests entertained.

Ending with another wise quote:

Never tell your resolution beforehand, or it’s twice as onerous a duty.  ~John Selden (Very true, from past years’ experiences!)

Saint Patrick’s Day Decorations

Leprechaun Hats Decorative Accents

Leprechaun Hats Decorative Accents - DIY St. Patrick's Day Decorating Idea

Easy to make and quick to assemble, these cute decorations will perk up any surface or corner you choose to decorate them with. Click on the image for instructions.

Handmade Saint Patrick’s Day Cards

Shamrocks, shamrocks everywhere! These easy cards took me just about 15 minutes to make and did not require a hoard of crafting supplies to make. Click on the cards for instructions:

 

Little Shamrocks Card - Handmade St. Patrick's Day Card

Your Valentine’s Day heart punch comes to use here. Punch out little green hearts and glue together 3 or 4 to make shamrocks. Easy!

Lucky Shamrock Card - Handmade St. Patrick's Day Card

Same way of making the shamrock, but the only difference is that 3 heart cutouts are used since this is a large shamrock. I usually have an assortment of basic shapes in different color but I ran out of green heart shapes and hence had to use poster color to make white heart die-cuts green. Again, when searching in my sewing box for matching floss or yarn to use, I could find none to match the exact color. So the poster colors came to my rescue again. I trimmed the yarn and then painted it with the same color.