When Irish Eyes are Smiling

A few years back, while our college-aged daughter was studying abroad in Dublin, Ireland, we had the opportunity to visit that pretty, pretty country. We toured cities and colorful villages, criss-crossing the countryside, enjoying the sights, the sounds and the amazing people. Yup, that’s me upside down kissing the Blarney Stone!

With only one major mishap (let’s just say that it is quite important to check what type of petrol to use BEFORE you pump it into your rental car), our visit to the Emerald Isle was not one to be soon forgotten.

The scenery appeared to be torn from the pages of a Fairy Tale Book, with soaring castles and crumbling forts, thatched-roofed cottages and miles of emerald green countryside playing a stark contrast to the brilliant blue ocean and the oft-gray skies.

Now I cannot blog about a trip to Ireland without commenting on the fabulous cuisine. Whether fine-dining, or helping ourselves to the carvery at the local pubs, the food we enjoyed was hearty, plentiful and so delicious! One item we didn’t find on menus? Corned Beef and Cabbage. What?! Well, after doing much research, I have it on great authority that this boiled dish we Americans all think of as so traditionally Irish is actually not consumed in Ireland much at all! Apparently, most Irish in Ireland do not identify corned beef as native cuisine- this is primarily an American dish with Irish roots.

Along with the great classic Irish music, one thing we did find in every pub? Guinness. If corned beef is more of a myth, then the story of Guinness is legend. It began with a signature in 1759. Arthur Guinness purchased a disused brewery at St. Jame’s Gate in Dublin, Ireland and began brewing porter and ale. Today, over 10 million glasses of Guinness are consumed DAILY, and it is shipped to over 150 countries world wide. Now since Guinness is the most popular beer in Ireland, it seems fitting, on this St. Patty’s Day, to share my favorite recipes that use the famous dark stout as a featured ingredient.

Guinness acts as a meat tenderizer and adds a deep, rich flavor to everything from stews to cupcakes. I have made this Guinness Beef Stew many times, and am always delighted at the depth of flavors. Click on the photo for the recipe:

To serve along with the stew, some lovely Irish scones- this is a basic recipe sent to me from across the pond, that allows you to add whatever flavors you wish. Savory or sweet, scones are most definitely a traditional Irish favorite. And finally, an amazing cupcake recipe featuring Guinness, Bailey’s Irish Cream and Jameson’s Irish Whiskey- three of my favorites! I hope you enjoy these recipes, and enjoy your St. Patrick’s Day-Slainte!


  1. maenamor says:

    what a great post… looks absolutely stunning 🙂


  2. Just lovely!


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