Posts Tagged ‘Irish Blog’


It’s been ages since I last posted and a lot has happened in that time. My eldest child, who left for the west coast of America last year to go to university, changed her mind and transferred colleges. My youngest has hit her teen-years like a lioness on the hunt: I’ve been hanging onto her by the tail ever since. My sweet husband continues to do his thing. And I, for my sins, have gotten involved in a side hustle {that’s American speak for side business} that has me up to my eyeballs.

But it’s all good. The new school year has started. Everyone and everything is humming along nicely and I still have my home life in sight…though not always like it used to be. On days like today, when I’ve been working, I’m thankful for the many family-tested-and-approved {the latter being the most important!} recipes I have to hand. These are the ones, like tonight’s supper of lazy roast chicken and pan seared mushrooms, that are super easy to make and absolutely delicious.

Pan seared mushrooms remind me of my mother-in-law. She loved them. Like boiled potatoes, pan seared Brussels Sprouts in soy-sauce glaze, and boiled ham, they were a regular feature at her dining table. Now, they are at mine. I wonder, someday, will they be at my daughters’ table?

Food memories are strong. They’re not just about the dish…they’re about the food and the people and the place and the occasions around them. They can whisk us back to our childhood…or to take us back to a few lovely moments gathered round the table of a woman you whole heartedly admired.

But I digress…these lovely pan seared mushrooms smell amazing. They are good enough to serve at a dinner party. You might even make them as an appetizer for a cocktail get together, with a side of crusty bread to sop up the buttery juices. They would also be perfect on top of a perfectly seared steak, served along a juicy chicken breast, nestled into an omelet or popped into a sandwich bap.


Pan Seared Mushrooms

Serves 4


3 tablespoons butter

12 ounces button mushrooms

fresh ground pepper/sea salt to taste


1. Rinse, dry, and chop mushrooms.

2. Heat butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat until butter begins to bubble.

3. Add mushrooms to the skillet in a single layer and cook, undisturbed, until bottom side is golden brown, about 3 minutes. Toss mushrooms, and continue to cook, reducing heat as needed to avoid scorching, until golden brown all over, about 3-5 minutes more.

4. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and give the mushrooms a good stir.

5. Remove the mushrooms from the skillet with a slotted spoon and serve immediately.

Additional Notes, Related Articles & Credit:

* Storing mushrooms in the fridge is easy…do nothing to them. I repeat…do nothing to them. Simply remove them from your carry bag and pop them into the fridge. If they come in a shrink wrap package, do not open the plastic…I know…strange for me to say so given how much I detest plastic. But, truly, leave them alone and they will last a week.

** Wash or brush clean? I’ve always rinsed and quickly dried any mushrooms I’ve ever used and done so without problem. To be honest, I couldn’t be bothered brushing each one or peeling each one either. Yes, some people peel their mushrooms!

*** To stem or not to stem? If the mushrooms you purchased have woody stems, discard them just prior to use. Otherwise, keep them and use completely.

**** According to Ireland’s Bord Bia, mushrooms are grown in Ireland in the following counties: Monaghan, Meath, Wexford, Mayo, Kildare, Cavan and Tipperary. Bord Bia’s website also says that mushrooms are a good source of fibre, low in fat, they contain more vegetable protein per 100g than almost any vegetable, and they are richer than most vegetable in some vitamins such as B1 and niacin. Mushrooms also contain certain important minerals such as potassium, phosphorus, iron and copper, and are low in salt.

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Day five of a road trip is a good time to stop and take a break. So today we are resting in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota {which has absolutely nothing to do with Detroit, as my eldest daughter keeps pointing out}.

Image from Detroit Lakes Chamber of Commerce Magazine

Image from Detroit Lakes Chamber of Commerce Magazine

At first glance this little town of 8,600 is another American tragedy, with strip malls and fast food restaurants to greet you as you exit the highway. Head down to the lake shore area, however, and a  wonderful little village of shops and restaurants opens up. Located just 40 minutes east of Fargo-Moorhead, Detroit Lakes is in the heart of Minnesota’s famous “lake country”. There are some 400 lakes within 25 miles. Today, I care only about this one.

Driving with my dad and two daughters across the country has been more difficult than I thought it would be. The moment my father disciplined my youngest with a stern, “Because your mother said so!” and she replied with an equally stern, “I wasn’t speaking to you!”, I wanted to find the eject button in my car and fly myself someplace less stressful. You see, my youngest child and my dad are birds of a feather who definitely can’t flock together for too long. Both are strong willed and short tempered. I have been the little piggy in the middle more than once and I am not sure how much longer I can go on without a burst of tears to clear the air. Family road trips…don’t you just love them?


Sun Setting Over Detroit Lakes

As I sit here at the lake, watching the sun set, I’m trying to figure out if this family drive was a good idea or a bad one. Are we really only half-way through it? In this exact moment, this trip feels like a bad idea but, maybe {just maybe}, when time has sanded the edges off the harsh reality that is four people, three generations, two kids all in one SUV, I will be glad we had this time together. Thank goodness the car isn’t smaller.

I’m being called for S’mores on the beach. Gotta run. Thanks for hanging in there with me. Just one last question for the night…do you think there’s any chance those S’mores will come with a side of wine?

Related Articles:

Pairing Wine with S’Mores at Sunset.com, Wine and Good Food, and Real.Good.Wine.com

Semifreddo S’Mores Recipe at Food & Wine

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