Traditional Irish Brown Bread Recipe – How to Make Irish Brown Bread

Traditional Irish Brown Bread Recipe – How to Make Irish Brown Bread

We’ve been traveling to Ireland since 1999. In that time I’ve eaten a lot of Irish brown bread and Irish soda bread. Eric’s uncle in Limerick was once a bread man, so over the years, we’ve eaten great Irish bread. When visiting the Dingle Cookery School we finally learned how to make Irish brown bread. Here, we share our traditional brown bread recipe. It’s not as difficult as one might think. If I can do it, so can you! What is Traditional Irish Brown Bread? There are two primary types of Irish bread that people are familiar with: Irish soda bread and Irish brown bread. Traditional Irish brown bread is the darker, more dense sister of the of soda bread. They are both what are considered “quick breads.” One of the benefits of Irish brown bread is that it doesn’t require yeast. That means there is no need to wait for it to rise. You can mix the Irish brown bread dough, and put it in the oven. Irish brown bread is heavy and dense, more so than Irish soda bread. Irish soda bread is a white bread. Both taste great with warm Irish butter. They are both staples of the Irish diet, even today. To me, the best Irish brown bread is served as a thick slice, still slightly warm, with Irish butter on the side. Even better? It is served alongside a perfect cup of Irish seafood chowder, which allows me to dunk the crust into the chowder. How to Make Irish Brown Bread The reason why I chose to share the Irish brown bread recipe is, in part, because...
An Osaka Cooking Class – Japanese Home Cooking

An Osaka Cooking Class – Japanese Home Cooking

There have been a handful of times when we are traveling where we have felt truly special and lucky. Often times it involves meeting fascinating people with inside knowledge of their city or culture. A few times, this special treatment is the result of being invited into someone’s home. When we booked our Osaka Cooking Class we had no idea that we would be invited into the home of two lovely sisters, who offered us an inside look at food in Osaka, Japan. And they opened up the secrets to Japanese cooking. Top Osaka Restaurant Reviews – 2018 Update There is just something amazing about seeing the inside of a home in a foreign country. To be able to see how people live, and what homes and apartments are like. Yeah, we can get this experience by renting apartments overseas, and attempting to live like a local when traveling. But, being hosted by a local is an entirely different story. Yayo met us at her local train station, only a few stops from central Osaka. She escorted us to the apartment she shares with her sister, Hiroko, and their adorable little terrier, Akane. We had no idea where the Osaka cooking class was going to take place, until we walked up to Yayo’s apartment building. Many of the cooking classes we’ve taken have been in a fancy cooking studio at a fancy Japanese culinary school. Sometimes that’s fine. But learning to cook Osaka food, in a private home, from two sisters. That was special. There was an attention to detail because I felt like we were cooking in Japanese. Read what other travelers have...
A French Cooking Class – Baking Pastry in Lyon

A French Cooking Class – Baking Pastry in Lyon

I’m the farthest thing from a connoisseur of French food. I know the basics, enough to get me through a few weeks of traveling in France. But, when I walked into a French cooking class, with a group of bloggers, and learned I would be helping to make pâte à choux, my first reaction was “what the heck is that?” What is Pâte à Choux It was a bit chaotic when our group walked into the small demo kitchen just off of Place Bellecour in the heart of Lyon. We were traveling together on our Viking River Cruise. This was the last full day of our trip, and we had gotten to know each other pretty well. Perhaps too well. As we put on our aprons, and all wondered where to put the dozen or so cameras that joined us in our class, our instructor started speaking, very fast. It was all a bit confusing as to what was going to happen. Our instructor handed us a sheet up paper with the ingredients and steps to make pâte à choux. I slunk off to a corner to Google pâte à choux, not wanting to admit that, as the food blogger of the group, I had no idea what we were about to make. The choux part of the name is merely the light and fluffy pastry dough that is used to make loads of different French pastries, like eclairs and profiteroles. Okay, now I started to feel more in my comfort zone. In this case, we learned to make the pastry, the crumbly part on the top, and Chantilly cream for the inside,...
How to Find Italian Cooking Classes in Italy

How to Find Italian Cooking Classes in Italy

I’ve always dreamed of learning how to cook Italian food in Italy. There’s just something romantic about traveling through Italy, immersing myself in the local language and taking a series of Italian cooking classes. It would be like my own version of living Under the Tuscan Sun. Of course, our version of this romantic dream occurred in Emilia Romagna, where we were fortunate to experience four different types of Italian cooking classes. In each of them, we learned how to make pasta from scratch. We also learned the differences between all of the famous pasta dishes in Emilia Romagna. Most important, we met some amazing people who really make traveling in Emilia Romagna so special. Italian Cooking Classes – Learning in the Home of Italian Cooking How could you not want to learn how to cook homemade pasta from these two women? At Casa Artusi, we did just that. Casa Artusi is a museum, library and cooking school in Forlimpopoli, named for the Italian gastronome Pellegrino Artusi. He is often credited as being the father of Italian food. Prior to Italian unification, each region or state within Italy had its own unique cooking style. In the late 1800’s, Artusi traveled the entire country and created the first national cookbook. Artusi wasn’t even a chef or a cook, just a passionate foodie. His book, Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well, has been in circulation since that time. It’s often given to Italian brides as a wedding gift. They say if the book comes from the bride’s new mother-in-law, it’s not a good omen. You can order a...
Gelato University – Learning How to Make Gelato

Gelato University – Learning How to Make Gelato

I love ice cream. I love ice cream cones. I love the balance between the coolness of the ice cream and the crunchiness of the cone. When traveling in Italy, I love gelato even more. There’s something about grabbing a schmear of gelato and walking gingerly on a passeggiata around an Italian town. So, imagine how excited I was to learn that I could attend Gelato University! Now, a full course at Gelato University, run by Carpigiani in Emilia Romagna, is a pretty intense affair. It can run up to four weeks and cost thousands of dollars. It is the type of program perfect for someone who is looking to open their own gelato shop somewhere in the world. Our version of Gelato University took about an hour. That’s okay – it fit better into my schedule. Visiting Carpigiani and Gelato University Carpigiani is one of the main manufacturers of ice cream machines. It’s also one of the oldest. Their headquarters is located on Via Emilia, the food and wine route running through Emilia Romagna. I was excited just walking in. They had ice cream cone art all over the walls, and even on the doors to the bathrooms. Carpigiani also operates a gelato museum in this building. The museum includes information on the history of ice cream and shows off some historic gelato related memorabilia. I am not a big fan of museums, but tend to make an exception when they are food or wine themed museums. I also make exceptions for museums where there is a tasting at the end, like the Salumi Museum we visited on our Discover Ferrari tour....
Thai Cooking Class in Phuket – How to Make Tom Yum

Thai Cooking Class in Phuket – How to Make Tom Yum

In all of our trips to Thailand over the years, the one thing we never did was take a Thai cooking class. We’ve been on a few food tours in Bangkok, and enjoy touring the local markets. We’ve even learned the ins and outs of Royal Thai cuisine. But actually stepping foot inside a kitchen to learn how to cook Thai food, well it had simply eluded us. During a recent trip to Phuket, though, our hotel offered a Thai cooking class, which involved a tour to the local Patong fresh food market. Considering we were visiting Phuket during the somewhat rainy off season, a cooking class seemed like a good way to spend some time in Phuket. Learning How to Cook Thai Food We quickly learned that the hardest thing about Thai cooking is cutting up the ingredients. Because we are far from Master Chef quality choppers, it’s one of the hardest thing about cooking for us in general. When we arrived at our Thai cooking class, though, all of the ingredients were set out for us, all nicely chopped and organized. It made everything else about the class so much easier. And, just looking over the ingredients involved in Thai cooking, it reminded me of what I love about food in Asia. The chili peppers, the garlic, shallots, ginger, and lemongrass. It’s like a smorgasbord of my favorite ingredients! After enjoying a welcome drink, we quickly got to work. The highlight of our Thai cooking class was certainly learning how to make tom yum goong, or spicy prawn soup. The tom yum recipe is included below. But, we also...