what we’ve been up to lately…

Irish Ploughman’s Lunch for St. Patrick’s Day
St. Patrick’s Day Party
Pancake Sugar Cookies
Pancake Tuesday Party

Nutella Mini Donuts

Nutella Mini Donuts: This easy dough is made in the brad machine.  These are so, so good, the perfect treat.

If you’re a donut lover, and a Nutella lover, these Nutella Mini Donuts are a match made in heaven!  Sweet little bites of sugary, chocolatey, hazelnutty goodness.

Nutella Mini Donuts: This easy dough is made in the brad machine.  These are so, so good, the perfect treat.

I’ve used the same donut dough that I used for my mini jelly donuts -but this time they’re rolled in powdered sugar, and filled with Nutella.

Nutella Mini Donuts: This easy dough is made in the brad machine.  These are so, so good, the perfect treat.

My girls LOVE Nutella, so they thought this such a great treat.  This recipe is really quite easy too, since the dough is made in a BREAD MACHINE.

Nutella Mini Donuts: This easy dough is made in the brad machine.  These are so, so good, the perfect treat.

Nutella Mini Donuts -In the Bread Machine

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup lukewarm milk
  • 2 tablespoons warm water
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons (1 pkg.) active dry yeast
  • oil for frying
  • powdered sugar to roll the fried donuts in
  • Nutella for filling the donuts

Instructions

  1. When making dough in a bread maker, the order the ingredients are added in is important. Add ingredients layer by layer, and do not mix. For the first layer in the bread maker, add milk, water, and beaten egg. Next add the butter, sugar and salt. Finally add the flour, and the yeast as the last ingredient. Set bread maker to dough setting and start the machine.
  2. When the dough is finished, roll out on a floured surface to about a 1/2 inch thick. Use a small heart to cut out donuts. Lay donuts on a greased cookie sheet, cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise around 30 min.
  3. Fry donuts in oil that's 350 degrees, until golden brown, then flip over and cook over side. (If the outside is too brown and the middle isn’t cooked, your oil is too hot -you will have to watch the temp as you go, and adjust as needed, or use a deep fryer.)
  4. Roll the hot donuts in powdered sugar to coat them, when they're cool. To fill the donuts with Nutella, wait until they are cool, then use a piping bag with a #230 tip to pipe the Nutella into the middle. Best eaten the same day -which frankly isn’t really a problem.
https://www.lifeisaparty.ca/2017/nutella-mini-donuts/

Nutella Mini Donuts: This easy dough is made in the brad machine.  These are so, so good, the perfect treat.

This special donut filling tip is definitely worth seeking out, it makes filling these little guys so much easier.  (Tip #230)

Nutella Mini Donuts: This easy dough is made in the brad machine.  These are so, so good, the perfect treat.

You can make a half a batch of these, which is what’s pictured here, and still use the other half of the dough for jelly donuts.

Nutella Mini Donuts: This easy dough is made in the brad machine.  These are so, so good, the perfect treat.

These are best eaten the same day they’re made….in my experience, it’s not a problem. 😉

Nutella Mini Donuts: This easy dough is made in the brad machine.  These are so, so good, the perfect treat.

These would be a really sweet addition to your Easter baking too.

Nutella Mini Donuts: This easy dough is made in the brad machine.  These are so, so good, the perfect treat.

With homemade Nutella Mini Donuts, life really is a party!

Irish Ploughman’s Lunch for St. Patrick’s Day

Irish Ploughman's Lunch: The perfect easy and delicious way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, with a really simple Brown Irish Soda Bread recipe included.

Yesterday I shared by St. Patrick’s Day table and bar cart, and today I’m sharing the food.  We had a delicious Ploughman’s Lunch with an Irish twist.  It’s perfect for celebrating St. Patrick’s Day -easy, and so, so delicious.

Irish Ploughman's Lunch: The perfect easy and delicious way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, with a really simple Brown Irish Soda Bread recipe included.

A traditional ploughman’s lunch is served all over the UK.  It’s real pub grub and was made popular in the 1950’s when the cheese board popularized it to help with cheese sales.  It usually consists of some cheese, bread, and meat, sometimes hard boiled eggs, and condiments, sometimes a bit of fruit or salad.  We’ve put a fun Irish twist on ours with some special Irish ingredients, making it the perfect meal for celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with friends.

Irish Ploughman's Lunch: The perfect easy and delicious way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, with a really simple Brown Irish Soda Bread recipe included.

We started out with some homemade Brown Irish Soda Bread.  This was the first time I’ve ever made it and it was easy and delicious.  I used a tested and true recipe from my sister, who got it after eating it lots of times at her friend’s house.  Those are always the best kind of recipes.  This bread uses soda as the raising agent, not yeast, so it’s quick and easy to make.

Irish Ploughman's Lunch: The perfect easy and delicious way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, with a really simple Brown Irish Soda Bread recipe included.

Brown Irish Soda Bread

Yield: Makes 2 loaves.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 tsp baking soda
  • 4 cups buttermilk

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl combine all the dry ingredients: both flours, brown sugar, salt, and baking soda.
  2. Add in the buttermilk and gently mix to combine. Do not knead or over mix.
  3. Grease two 9x5 loaf pans, and divide the batter evenly between them. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour. (I made mine round in two cake pans, and reduced the cooking time slightly because they were more shallow. Bake until the tip of a knife comes out clean.)
https://www.lifeisaparty.ca/2017/irish-ploughmans-lunch-for-st-patricks-day/

Brown Irish soda bread recipe 14

Along with our amazing Irish Soda Bread, we knew we needed some Irish cheese.  I found some good varieties at the local grocery store -Kerrygold Dubliner Irish Cheddar and Blarney Castle Gouda, along with Bradbury’s Mature Irish cheddar.

Irish Ploughman's Lunch: The perfect easy and delicious way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, with a really simple Brown Irish Soda Bread recipe included.

I feel like I have a special connection to Ireland, although I’m not Irish and I’ve never been there.  My best friend, Heather, is from Dublin.  She’s passed onto me a certain appreciation for all things Irish.

Irish Ploughman's Lunch: The perfect easy and delicious way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, with a really simple Brown Irish Soda Bread recipe included.

We were discussing Irish butter in preparation for the ploughman’s lunch.  Unfortunately you can’t buy Irish butter in Canada, something to do with the milk pasteurization laws here (but for my American readers, you should be able to find Kerrygold).  As we discussed Irish butter and what made it better we came up with the milk fat content being higher, and the cow’s being grazed on grass -which is a certain problem here in Canada where the grass is under the snow for half the year.  I was able to find a few substitutes though -one grass fed cows butter, and one with a European style butter with a higher milk fat content.  They were a splurge, but so, so yummy.

DSC 0266

I also served some lovely carved ham, crisp apples, and hard boiled eggs.

Irish Ploughman's Lunch: The perfect easy and delicious way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, with a really simple Brown Irish Soda Bread recipe included.

We also needed some condiments, a good mustard, picked onions and traditional Branston pickle -any good chutney would be great.

Irish Ploughman's Lunch: The perfect easy and delicious way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, with a really simple Brown Irish Soda Bread recipe included.

The traditional  compliment to the ploughman’s lunch is a pint -we went with Irish Guinness, and Irish hard apple cider, both are favourites around here.

Irish Ploughman's Lunch: The perfect easy and delicious way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, with a really simple Brown Irish Soda Bread recipe included.

This is the perfect easy meal for a party.  You can sit a long time, savour good simple food, and then have another pint and another story in the Irish way.

Irish Ploughman's Lunch: The perfect easy and delicious way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, with a really simple Brown Irish Soda Bread recipe included.

If you need some inspiration to set the perfect table for St. Patrick’s Day, check out this beautiful St. Patrick’s Day table we set.

Irish Ploughman's Lunch: The perfect easy and delicious way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, with a really simple Brown Irish Soda Bread recipe included.

With an Irish Ploughman’s Lunch to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, life really is a party!

St. Patrick’s Day Party

St. Patrick's Day Party -modern and simple St. Patrick's Day decor and a festive St. Patrick's Day Bar Cart for entertaining.

It’s almost St. Patrick’s Day, and today I’m bringing you some inspiration for celebrating.  This beautiful tablescape is the perfect modern, and simple St. Patrick’s Day decor.

St. Patrick's Day Party -modern and simple St. Patrick's Day decor and a festive St. Patrick's Day Bar Cart for entertaining.

I started out with this amazing moss table runner.  I went hunting for moss in the forest and found some great pieces.

They were really wet, since it’s spring, so I dried them out to create this beautiful runner for the table.

You could also pick some up at the craft store.

St. Patrick's Day Party -modern and simple St. Patrick's Day decor and a festive St. Patrick's Day Bar Cart for entertaining.

I wanted to make sure that my newly refinished dining table didn’t get damaged at all, so I started out with a strip of clear cello wrap to protect the table, and then laid out the moss pieces on top.

St. Patrick's Day Party -modern and simple St. Patrick's Day decor and a festive St. Patrick's Day Bar Cart for entertaining.

I picked up some simple white candles at the dollar store and cut a few holes in the moss where I placed them to make sure they weren’t too tippy.

St. Patrick's Day Party -modern and simple St. Patrick's Day decor and a festive St. Patrick's Day Bar Cart for entertaining.

Along with the candles, I sprinkled some leprechaun gold -aka chocolate coins left over from Christmas stockings.  Yum.

St. Patrick's Day Party -modern and simple St. Patrick's Day decor and a festive St. Patrick's Day Bar Cart for entertaining.

On the buffet, I added some simple honeycomb balls and paper lanterns for a modern festive feel, along with a little light box message.

St. Patrick's Day Party -modern and simple St. Patrick's Day decor and a festive St. Patrick's Day Bar Cart for entertaining.

I also thought it would be fun to set up a St. Patrick’s Day bar cart.

St. Patrick's Day Party -modern and simple St. Patrick's Day decor and a festive St. Patrick's Day Bar Cart for entertaining.

I love setting up little drink stations like this for a party so guests can help themselves.

St. Patrick's Day Party -modern and simple St. Patrick's Day decor and a festive St. Patrick's Day Bar Cart for entertaining.

On the bar cart, we served some of our Irish favourites -Guinness and Magners Irish Cider.

St. Patrick's Day Party -modern and simple St. Patrick's Day decor and a festive St. Patrick's Day Bar Cart for entertaining.

It’s fun to add a few St. Patrick’s Day details, like shamrocks, my “I feel lucky” artwork, and some fun paper straws.

St. Patrick's Day Party -modern and simple St. Patrick's Day decor and a festive St. Patrick's Day Bar Cart for entertaining.

And for some after dinner coffee, we were sure to include some Baileys Irish Cream.

St. Patrick's Day Party -modern and simple St. Patrick's Day decor and a festive St. Patrick's Day Bar Cart for entertaining.

I had so much fun setting up our festive table, and preparing for friends to visit.  Thursday I’ll be sharing all the yummy food with you.

St. Patrick's Day Party -modern and simple St. Patrick's Day decor and a festive St. Patrick's Day Bar Cart for entertaining.

It looked so pretty with all the candles lit!

With a modern festive St. Patrick’s Day table and decor, life really is a party!

Pancake Sugar Cookies

Pancake Sugar Cookies: these are perfect for a Pancake Tuesday celebration, or a Pancakes and Pyjamas party, they look just like real mini pancakes.

These Pancake Sugar Cookies are the perfect way to celebrate Pancake Tuesday!  I’m sharing my Grandma’s sugar cookie recipe, so you can make a batch yourself this weekend.

Pancake Sugar Cookies: these are perfect for a Pancake Tuesday celebration, or a Pancakes and Pyjamas party, they look just like real mini pancakes.

This is a great versatile sugar cookie recipe, the one my Grandmas always used- for every occassion.

Pancake Sugar Cookies: these are perfect for a Pancake Tuesday celebration, or a Pancakes and Pyjamas party, they look just like real mini pancakes.

To make the pancakes cookie base, I cut out simple round circles from the sugar cookie dough.

Pancake Sugar Cookies: these are perfect for a Pancake Tuesday celebration, or a Pancakes and Pyjamas party, they look just like real mini pancakes.

After the cookies were baked and cooled, it was time to make them really look like pancakes.  I started out with the “butter”.  To make it, I made a mixture of icing sugar and milk and mixed it to a paste consistency.  Then I added in yellow food colouring so it looked a little like butter.

Pancake Sugar Cookies: these are perfect for a Pancake Tuesday celebration, or a Pancakes and Pyjamas party, they look just like real mini pancakes.

To make the pats of butter for the top of the pancake stack, I rolled out the frosting between two pieces of plastic wrap, and then cut it into little squares with a knife.  I set the whole piece in the fridge for a little while to firm up, and went on to the icing that we would use for the syrup.

Pancake Sugar Cookies: these are perfect for a Pancake Tuesday celebration, or a Pancakes and Pyjamas party, they look just like real mini pancakes.

For the syrup frosting, I made a really runny icing, thinned out with milk, and maple syrup. To make it darker I added a few teaspoons of cocoa powder, and a little bit of yellow food colouring.   I wanted it to be runny enough to pour off of a spoon easily.

Pancake party ideas 6

To assemble the pancake sugar cookies, I stacked two cookies together, spooned on some of the syrup icing so that it drizzled off the edge like a real pancake stack, and added a pat of butter to each one.

Pancake Sugar Cookies: these are perfect for a Pancake Tuesday celebration, or a Pancakes and Pyjamas party, they look just like real mini pancakes.

Sugar Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup softened butter
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Instructions

  1. Cream the butter and sugars together in your stand mixer.
  2. Add the eggs, and vanilla and mix until well combined.
  3. In another bowl combine the dry ingredients -the flour, baking powder, and salt and whisk together or sift.
  4. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir until well blended. Be careful not to overwork your dough.
  5. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let chill slightly in the fridge.
  6. Once chilled, roll out the dough on a floured surface to about 1/4 inch thick and cut into circles.
  7. Bake on a cookie sheet in 350 degree oven for 8 - 10 mins.
  8. Let cool completely before icing.
https://www.lifeisaparty.ca/2017/pancake-sugar-cookies/

Pancake Sugar Cookies: these are perfect for a Pancake Tuesday celebration, or a Pancakes and Pyjamas party, they look just like real mini pancakes.

They turned out really authentic looking, and they were so delicious.  These were the perfect addition to our Pancake Tuesday Party -which you can read all about here.

Pancake Sugar Cookies: these are perfect for a Pancake Tuesday celebration, or a Pancakes and Pyjamas party, they look just like real mini pancakes.

With Pancake Sugar Cookies for Pancake Tuesday, life really is a party!

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