Sunday, March 20, 2011

Gaelic Breeze

Celebrating St.Patrick Day

DSC_0022My part Irish husband likes (most) everything Irish. Especially Irish music. Like Gaelic Storm, an Irish music band. We went to their gig once and he has all of their CDs. The Corrs, which we also have gone to their concert.

Irish folk singer Jean Redpath and Enya her highness, he likes them all. At 6 o’clock on Saturdays he listens to “The Thistle and Shamrock”, a radio show . He sometimes imitates the host Fiona Ritchie’s Irish accent and laughs at himself. We have an Irish named son who was due in the early part of April but came two weeks early in March. For all of the above reasons, we won’t miss celebrating  St. Patrick’s Day.

DSC_0035My low maintenance, easy to please husband requests corned beef for dinner. We went to get nitrate free corned beef from employee owned Season’s Market. They have many locally grown fresh produce which I am pleased with. This corned beef does not come in a package but rather the store cures it themselves and they gave us brine juice too. I simply pressure cooked the corned beef and skinny potatoes in the brine. I made roasted kale salad with sundried tomato and almonds. For dessert he made creamy orange ricotta tart. It does not go well with Irish theme and he wished to make the OTHER cheese cake but I need to get rid of leftover ricotta cheese fast so I overrode him. I told him to put a couple of drops of green food coloring to make it like an Irish dessert but he intentionally forgot to do so. But what is Irish dessert anyway?

Roasted kale with sundried tomato and almond saladDSC_0055

  • Olive oil about 1/4 cup
  • A bunch of kale washed and pat dry with paper towel well. Remove tough stems and tear in pieces. Kale will shrink when roasted so buy plenty.
  • Soft sundried tomato - came in little pouch - if it’s hard and dry, soak in warm water to soften it.
  • Sliver almonds about 1/2 cup
  • Salt 1-2 teaspoons
  1. Heat oven to 375 F
  2. Put kale on a rimmed baking sheet lined with aluminum foil, rub kale with olive oil and coat well and sprinkle salt.
  3. Roast kale for 3-4 minutes.
  4. Add slivered almonds and sundried tomatoes continue roasting for additional 3-4 minutes. *Keep eye out to not burn the kale or almonds.
  5. Sprinkle freshly grind pepper over it if you like.

* Roasting time will vary depending on your preference. I like crispy texture so I keep it in the oven longer but it is hard to eat crispy kale with fork so I use with my fingers. Roasting tomato is optional. You could just add after kale is roasted.

Creamy orange ricotta tartDSC_0075

For crust

  • 1 cup cookies (ground in a food processor) – 35 vanilla wafers, 25 chocolate wafers or 9 whole graham crackers
  • 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter, melted.


  1. Heat oven to 350 F
  2. Put your choice of cookies in a food processor and finely ground them.
  3. Add butter.
  4. Using pulse button, mix all together until the crumbs are evenly moistened.
  5. Press the crumb into the 9 inch spring form pan starting at the bottom then up the sides firmly.
  6. Bake in oven for 10 minutes.
  7. Cool on a rack.

Orange Ricotta Tart

  • 15 oz. container whole-milk ricotta cheese
  • 3 oz. cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice
  • 1 cookie crust
  1. Heat oven to 350F
  2. In a electric mixer, combine ricotta and cream cheese at medium speed for about 3 minutes.
  3. Add sugar,flour and salt continue beating until well blended.
  4. Add the egg yolks,orange zest and orange juice and beat at low speed until incorporated.DSC_0065
  5. Use rubber spatula  to scrape the filling into the crust and spread the filling evenly.DSC_0066
  6. Bake it in the oven for 30 to 35 minutes. The filling may jiggle but will firm up when cooled.DSC_0068
  7. Chill the cooled tart in refrigerator for 3 hours.DSC_0074

DSC_0060We dressed in green and had this simplified version of Irish meal. We welcomed this little silly tradition to have a fun time. I know people in Japan are still suffering and my thoughts are going back there all the time. My friend in Utah participated with bunch of people to have a huge garage/bake sale last weekend to fund raising effort to Japan’s earthquake victims.They made over $14,000. That is so neat! An another one planned for this weekend in Sandy Utah. I’m also thinking of ways to help out besides just donating money.

I received many phone calls and emails from American friends who inquired about my family in Japan. One friend delivered a bouquet of flowers to me. A neighbor brought a plate of cookies to show their empathy. We were also invited to dinner. My family was not at all affected by earthquake or tsunami but I‘m so touched by people’s kindness. I feel very lucky. 



  1. your such a good wife. my half irish hubby got 2 glasses of green beer.

    your friends are so kind! we spent a few days at a resort and i wanted to give my condolences to every Japanese person i seen...i wasn't sure how they'd receive it though...i just feel i want to tell them sorry.

  2. Wow, what a great spread. The tart and the kale both look gorgeous (is it a little wrong that I'm now craving kale - hmmm)...

  3. i love eating roasted kale plain, but i'll have to try it with almonds and sun dried tomatoes. it looks very festive.

  4. Dear FootPrints, I think you're funny and you are very compassionate person. I appreciate your kindness.

    Dear Indie.Tea, Thank you for your comment. I like roasted kale so I over eat but I feel healthy~!

    Sienna, It's good hear from you. How is your boy doing? Thank you so much for your comment.

  5. The tablescape looks so chic.. and I love the rococo plates.. nice motif.