Welcome! :-) Whatever brought you here today wasn't an accident, and I'm so glad you stopped by. I'm always glad to have folks drop in my kitchen for a visit and hope you'll feel right at home. We always have an ample supply of fresh lemonade, sweet tea, and a pot of coffee brewing along with a sideboard full of baked treats for you to enJOY while you're here. Relax and take your time as we visit and catch up on the latest news. Don't forget to email and let me know what's going on in your world, as well. And, come back soon!

Friday, March 14, 2014

A Pinch of Love, A Smidgen of Joy - St. Patrick's Day!

Momma had Irish roots and was very proud of this fact, but never was it more evident than on St. Patrick's Day. Her family, the Caseys (originally O'Casey), came to the U.S. from County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. Irish pride runs deep in our family, and we love celebrating the green, shamrock-loving holiday. Growing up, Momma would not only decorate the house for the holiday but also bring out her favorite Irish-inspired dishes, like Eire Pie for a green dessert and a freshly-baked reuben loaf for a hearty dinner.
One of my favorite St. Patrick's Day memories was in 2012 when Mom and Dad, along with my nephew, Jacob, visited me in Savannah, Georgia to celebrate Jacob's 10th birthday and St. Patrick's Day. My husband, Nathan, and I lived in Savannah for several years, and we loved watching the city's infamous parade through the historic streets and squares of downtown. The city turns into a veritable Irish explosion of color, sights, sounds and tastes. There are bagpipes playing, fountains flowing with green water, green beer and desserts aplenty, people dressed as leprechauns, and families and friends doing what the Irish do best - celebrating!

It seems fitting to honor Momma's memory and my own Irish roots by celebrating this JOYful holiday with an Irish-inspired dessert. I took a dessert, originally from my Mom's cookbook "A Pinch of This, A Smidgen of That," and tweaked an ingredient to make it especially Irish. :) For the "Decadent Chocolate Chip Cake" (see pg. 105 of the cookbook), in place of 1 cup vegetable oil, I brought it down to 1/2 cup of oil and added 1/2 cup of Bailey's Irish Cream. I also add 2 tablespoons of Irish Cream to the chocolate buttercream frosting (adapted from "The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook"), in place of regular milk. The cake comes out moist, oh so heavenly, and something any Irish folk would approve. In honor of Momma and St. Patrick's Day, I dub this cake the "Decadent Irish Cream Chocolate Chip Cake."

"Decadent Irish Cream Chocolate Chip Cake"
(original recipe for "Decadent Chocolate Chip Cake" in "A Pinch of This, A Smidgen of That" Cookbook, pg. 105)


1 package German chocolate cake mix (I used Duncan Hines)
1 (3.9 ou.) package instant chocolate pudding mix
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup Bailey's Irish Cream liquor
4 eggs
1/2 cup hot water
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup semi-sweet mini-chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a bundt pan or spray with non-stick coating. (*Note: Instead of using a bundt pan for the cake, I divided it into three 8 inch round non-stick cake pans that I greased with Crisco and floured. After baking, I iced the top of each layer and made it into a triple layer cake.)
Whisk lumps out of cake mix, and then combine it with pudding mix and sugar. Mix wet ingredients: oil, Irish Cream, eggs, water, sour cream and vanilla. Add wet ingredients to dry, and beat until smooth. Stir in mini chocolate chips. Pour batter into prepared pan(s). If baking into three 8-inch round pans, bake two on top rack and one on bottom rack for 20 minutes. Rotate racks and bake for another 25-30 minutes, or until knife inserted into cake comes out clean. If baking into bundt pan bake for 1 hour. Allow cake(s) to cool. To serve, sprinkle powdered sugar over the top of the cake, or ice it with your favorite frosting. (I used the chocolate buttercream recipe from "The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook" and added Irish Cream in place of the milk.) EnJOY!

The basic cake ingredients for Mom's original "Decadent Chocolate Chip Cake"

The secret "Irish" ingredient :)

Whisk the lumps out of the cake mix before adding other dry ingredients.
Whisk together the wet ingredients before adding to the dry ones.

Beat the wet ingredients gradually into the dry ingredients.

Fold in the mini-chocolate chips into the well-mixed batter.

This is what the final batter should look like before pouring it in pan(s) to bake.

I used three 9-inch round non-stick cake pans and greased them with Crisco and sprinkled all-purpose flour.

I evenly distributed the cake batter into the three round pans to be baked.

After allowing my cakes to cool for at least 2 hours, I individually frosted each layer with a homemade chocolate buttercream from "The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook"

Happy St. Patrick's Day! <3 td="">