Posts Tagged ‘Nollaig na mBan’

{Note: Today’s post reads better if you click on the link below, get past the ad, and let the video run while you read the rest of the post.}

You know the song Girl on Fire by Alicia Keys?

Well, not to brag or anything but…I’m pretty sure she’s singing about me!

Yep, that’s right. I said it!…“She’s just a girl and she’s on firrre”.

I am listening to the video above right now while typing {the song has been in my head since last night}…“Hotter than a fantasy…”

Yes! She’s DEFINITELY singing about me!

“She’s living in a world, and it’s on firrre, filled with catastrophe”After feeling so lackluster leading up to Christmas day, I have finally shaken off my cloak of dullness and found that, underneath, I’m wearing a pencil skirt, mini top, and four-inch-high-smokin’-hot heels! Ha! Who knew?!…“She’s got both feet on the ground and she’s burning it down…”

“O-o-o-oh, o-o-o-oh”… Despite the weather, the bills, the messy house, the late-to-arrive Christmas cards that are still sitting on the dining room table unsigned and unsent,…“She’s got her head in the clouds”…I am finding time {and energy} for watching tv with the family, cuddling with the kids before they go to bed, whipping up something new in the kitchen, meeting with friends, relaxing, and writing…lots of writing. …” And, she’s not backing down…”

“This girl is on firrre. This girl is on firrre. She’s walking on firrre. This girl is on firrre..”

Ideas for In an Irish Home are popping into my head nonstop, like fireworks on New Year’s Eve night. For those of you following this blog, I hope you don’t mind all the posts in your email inbox.

“Looks like a girl but she’s a flame.” Sometimes the ideas come in the middle of the night. “So bright she can burn your eyes, better look the other way.” So, I get up from my comfy bed and write a post in those few quiet hours when nothing else is going on…“She’s on top of the world…” The house is silent. I relish the time to myself.

Lately, I’ve even taken to hitting the “publish” button before going back to bed. And you know, the funny thing is I don’t feel exhausted the next morning for having had less sleep. “Got our head in the clouds and we’re not coming down.” I feel good…almost great for having done so. Maybe it comes from loving what I’m doing?

I don’t know where this abundant energy is coming from. “This girl is on firrre.” I am just completely and utterly thankful for it.

And so, before giving you today’s recipe for Guinness Gingerbread, which to all you male-readers is a most delicious treat for the lady in your life on Little Christmas day {also known in Ireland as the Women’s Christmas, Little Women’s Christmas, and Nollaig na mBan and, also, the Epiphany), I’m wondering…what song is currently playing in your head?

DSC_0043Guinness Gingerbread

Makes 16 Generous Slices


10 tablespoons/5oz butter, softened

1 cup/250ml golden syrup {half dark and half light corn syrup)

1 cup packed/5oz brown sugar

1 cup/250ml Guinness

2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground or freshly grated nutmeg

2 cups/10oz plain flour {self raising/all purpose)

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 cups/10oz/300ml sour cream

2 eggs


1. Preheat oven to 325°F/170°C. Line a 9×13×2-inch baking pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Butter or spray both a nonstick baking spray.

2. Put the butter, syrup, brown sugar, Guinness, ginger, cinnamon, ground cloves and nutmeg in a saucepan over low heat and stir until the butter is completely melted.

3. While the butter is melting, mix in a large bowl the flour, baking soda and salt.

4. When the butter has completely melted and the ingredients in the saucepan are well mixed, pour it into the large bowl with flour, baking soda and salt. Whisky well to get rid of any lumps.

5. Whisk together the sour cream and eggs. Mix into the gingerbread mixture, whisking again until smooth.

6. Pour the mixture into the baking pan and bake for about 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

7. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely. Once fully cool, lift from pan and cut into slices. May be served with cream and icing sugar {powdered sugar} for an extra special dessert.


Guinness Gingerbread recipe is adapted from Nigell’a Lawson’s recipe for same.

More about Nollaig na mBan at A Silver Voice from Ireland

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