Posts Tagged ‘Irish Tray Bakes’

Dear Friends…I’m a little behind in my posting so please excuse the delay as I work towards present day. I have been writing regularly but because we have been on a family road trip {often without internet service}, I have been unable to get those musing uploaded. What follows for the next little while will be a series of delayed posts until I can bring you back up to speed with what’s been happening In {our} Irish Home.

Road Trip America: Destination…North Western States


June 8th – When you’re an American mom with Irish American children, there’s a certain niggling feeling of wanting your children to better understand their “other” home country. With that in mind, I have decided to take the kids and my dad on a road trip across north-west America. {note: the lovely husband has decided not to join us…could this be because he’s wiser than I am?}

We’ll be following no particular agenda, but rather blazing a path through Minnesota, North Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Utah, Wyoming and South Dakota. You may be wondering, “why this particular route?” In a nutshell, my children have been very fortunate to see the glitz and glamour of America. From surfing in Maui to ferrying past the Statue of Liberty, they have seen it all and now I think they need to see “the middle bits”…the not so chi chi miles in between.

Another reason for this particular trip is we are planning to immerse ourselves in a foreign language. By that, I don’t mean English! Following the Irish tradition of kids going off to Irish summer colleges, where students live the Irish language for a few weeks, we are heading off to immerse ourselves in a foreign language at Concordia Language camp in northern Minnesota. In reality, I know we should probably be sending the girls to the Gaeltacht to learn cúpla focal (a couple of words) in Irish but that wouldn’t suit my goal of getting them better acquainted with America, now would it.

And so, today we’re off. The car we keep at our home on the edge of the Rockies is packed to the brim. We have snacks (see the recipe for Irish Flapjacks below) and water and road side emergency at the call should anything go wrong. Our musical selections have been uploaded to our iPhones and iPods. My dad has even brought a big box of c.d.’s for our listening pleasure. New memory cards have been inserted into everyone’s camera. We have maps and movies. I only hope we haven’t forgotten anything.

The things I’m most looking forward to include: finding some great places to eat, having a DQ chocolate dipped ice cream, stopping at some of the “World’s Largest”…whatevers, seeing Mount Rushmore, driving through Yellowstone National Park, and, of course, being on the open road.

Road trips in America are epic. I’m ready to share the experience with my daughters and dad. Wish us luck…here we go!

Irish Flapjacks

Makes about 24


24 tablespoons/12oz butter

2 tablespoons golden syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla

½ cup/4oz brown sugar

½ cup/4 oz sugar

1/3 cup+1 tablespoon/3oz flour

4 cups/13oz jumbo rolled oats


1. Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C.

2. Melt butter in a large sauce pan.

3. Add golden syrup, vanilla, and butter. Bring to a simmer and stir.

4. Remove from heat and add flour and oats. Stir well and spread into a Swiss roll tin or deep baking tray approximately 10 x 15in (25 x 38cm).

5. Bake in the oven on a middle shelf for 20-25 minutes or until golden.

6. Cut into squares while still warm. Remove from the tin and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.

7. Store in a container with a tight fitting lid.

Related articles:

On online guide to offbeat American tourist attractions: http://www.roadsideamerica.com/blog/

Follow the Elliott family as they travel, slowly, across America: http://awayishome.com/

For thirteen months, this Florida family of six travelled all 50 states: http://www.hoamteam.com/Hoamteam/Welcome.html

Sticking with the family road trip theme, this family of four have made visiting America’s “World’s Largest” sites their driving goal: http://gobigorgohomeblog.com/912

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I know we’re in the season of Lent and treats are supposed to be off the table for the coming weeks but when a friend phoned the other day to say she was going to call in (stop by), I had to make something  quick to serve with the tea.

DSC_0310My saving grace was a yummy recipe for tray baked Irish Shortbread Biscuits found on the internet. It comes from Annaharvey Farm in Tullamore, County Offaly. I haven’t had the pleasure of staying at Annaharvey Farm or meeting proprietors Henry and Lynda Deverell yet but hopefully some day soon.

For those interested, Annaharvey Farm won the 2013 Georgina Campbell Award for Farmhouse of the Year. Henry and Lynda give the following five reasons why you should book a stay with them.

  • Cosy Farmhouse accommodation with great home cooked food.
  • Probably have the best riding school horses in the country available to clients.
  • Extensive cross country course over our 380 acre farm and woodland.
  • Enthusiastic and experienced instructors.
  • A warm welcome and a wonderful all round experience

If the welcome at Annaharvey Farm is as good as its shortbread, this is one guesthouse you ought not to miss!

Annaharvey Shortbread Biscuits

Makes 20-30


3 1/2 cups + 1 tablespoon/500g plain flour (if outside Ireland, use as All-Purpose flour)

2 1/3 cups/250g icing sugar (powdered sugar)

2 cups/250g corn flour (if outside Ireland, use Bob’s Red Mill Whole Grain Corn Flour)

2 cups + 2 tablespoons/500g melted butter


1. Preheat oven to 150°C/300°F/gas mark 2.

2. Sift all dry ingredients together.

3. Add melted butter and mix well.

4. Using your fingers, press the dough into a 9×13” or 10×15” baking tray or Swiss Roll tin.

5. Bake for 45-60 minutes. The biscuits should be a light golden colour on top.

6. Cut into squares while still hot and leave them to cool in the pan.

7. Sprinkle with a little sieved icing sugar before serving.

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