Archive for the ‘Irish Cooking’ Category

Leave a Guinness out for Santa this Christmas.  It’s Tradition!

From your Dedicated Authentic Ireland Writers:  Meredith and Win Blevins

True:  In Ireland, it is tradition to leave mince pies and a bottle of Guinness out as a snack for Santa.  After all, Santa has a long journey, not much time, and so fortification seems like an excellent idea.

And, children often put out Christmas sacks instead of stockings, in the less Americanized parts of Ireland.

Christmas in Ireland lasts from Christmas Eve to the feast of the Epiphany on January 6, which is referred to as Little Christmas. Ireland’s Christmas is more religious than a time of fun.  Lighted candles are placed in windows on Christmas Eve, as a guide that Joseph and Mary might be looking for shelter. The candles are usually red in color, and decorated with sprigs of holly.

Irish women bake a seed cake for each person in the house. They also make three puddings, one for each day of the Epiphany such as Christmas, New Year’s Day and the Twelfth Night.

After the Christmas evening meal, bread and milk are left out and the door unlatched as a symbol of hospitality.

St Stephen’s Day, the day after Christmas, is almost as important, with football matches and meetings going on. For children, the Wren Boys Procession is their big event. Boys go from door to door with a fake wren on a stick, singing, with violins, accordions, harmonicas and horns to accompany them. The reason for the ceremony is to ask for money ‘for the starving wren’, that is, for their own pockets.

This year, join the tradition, and leave a bit of Guinness out for Santa.  We are quite sure he’ll appreciate it.

Best!  Your Crew at Authentic Ireland Travel


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Ireland is the Perfect Place for a Family Reunion

“There are no strangers here; Only friends you haven’t yet met.” – William Butler Yeats

Do you dream of getting your entire family together?  Many of us live far from each other, the kids are growing or gone, and the grandchildren and cousins don’t see each other often enough.  Wouldn’t it be a wonderful legacy to arrange a family reunion in Ireland?

Ireland is all about families, friends and the ties that bind.  Because of this, there is no better place to strengthen your ties, relax together, laugh and reminisce.  You may even arrange to broaden your family circle, and see the Irish family you’ve never met.

Children are treasured in Ireland.  They are welcome most places, and there is a lot for them to do and enjoy.  They’ll even find shopping a small miracle as they wander through the maze of a medieval town, especially when they hear stories of witches and faeries who wandered the same streets.

And there’s so much more: festivals, circuses from Eastern Europe, wildlife parks, tidepooling, the Aquadome,  a Viking tour of Dublin, visiting an Irish farm, horseback riding, ecology for kids, cooking on a farm, visitor centers for kids at Neolithic sites, folk parks, houseboats on the Shannon River, exploring caves… That’s plenty to keep the whole crew wide-eyed and happy.  Rent an Irish house together and explore.

Make the time to enjoy and appreciate each other!

Your Dedicated Authentic Ireland writers:  Meredith and Win Blevins

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Daniel Day-Lewis, Irish Citizen and Actor Extraordinaire

Daniel Day-Lewis became an Irish citizen in 1993.  We are proud to count Daniel as one of us!

If you haven’t seen the movie, LINCOLN, go see it.  Now. You’ll experience one of the finest performances imaginable by, yes, one of our very own.  Simply brilliant.

Authentic Ireland’s dedicated writers: Meredith and Win Blevins

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Great recipes, restaurants, and cuisine in Ireland

Ireland has become a haven for foodies.

Kinsale  is a sweet seaport town, rippling with Irish tales and history, in County Cork.  In the 1980′s a seriously wonderful influx occured.  Talented and creative chefs from around Europe made thier way to romantic Kinsale.  The result?  An extraordinary number of culinary masterpiece restaurants opened their doors.

If you’re in Kinsale, check out hese restuarants for starters:  The Spinnaker, The Man Friday, Gino’s, The Vintage, The Bistro Bacchus, abd the Blue Haven.  These are terrific places using only fresh food, and they have exceptional wine lists.  They are also the folks that led to the establishment of the Kinsale Good Food Circle and the Kinsale Food Festival.  Visit for an experience that is out of this world!  

There’s a new breed of confident and daring Irish chefs and restauranteurs.   Over the last 15 years they’ve raised the bar of excellence that’s being copied by others, but there is no place quite like the Irish Foodie Haven — Kinsale.

Enjoy delicious travels!  The crew at www.authenticireland.com

Find Authentic Ireland’s featured writers at http://www.blevinswordworx.com

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Kinsale, Ireland Houses by the Bay

Kinsale, Ireland Houses by the Bay

When you think of Kinsale, imagine enchantment.  Narrow winding streets, cozy homes, amazing shop fronts, and windows filled with flowers tumbling toward the streets.  There is also the steady rhythm of the harbor.

This enchantment is perfectly offset by the infamously raucous good humor and zest for life of the Kinsale locals. And the new locals now include an amazing number of top-rated chefs from all over Europe.

Is anyone making plans to go to this foodie heaven, or have you been?  Give us the inside scoop!

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Ireland's own aprodisiac, the shamrockIreland’s own aphrodisiac, the shamrock

 Ireland’s Mystic Plant, the Shamrock

The shamrock and Ireland have been linked since ancient times, but not in the same way we think of now.  (Other than the party.)

Ireland has always had great cooks, and under the ancient clan-laws cooks were quite important.  In gigantic cauldrons, the cooks were inventive in cooking for the entire tribe.  This creative tradition continued from the High Kings of Ireland to  the resurgence of high culinary art.

But, one important ingredient has lately been forgotten — the shamrock. In ancient times the shamrock,  a watercress, was believed to have sacred and mystic powers. Those who ate it received the power to see fairies, and in the earliest times the plants were said to be aphrodisiacs, especially for women.

This New Year’s Eve, ask the bartender to make your martini or pour your glass of wine and add a sprig of watercress, hold the olives.

Happy Days!  The Crew at authenticireland.com

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All Eyes on the Irish Carrot!

Carrots, and other root vegetables, have been eaten and enjoyed in Ireland since prehistoric times.  As a matter of fact, St. Ciaran loved them as part of his evening dinner.  And, that was a very long time ago!

So, here is a recipe in celebration of the lovely carrot!

Carrots in Orange Sauce

  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 tbsp orange zest.  (You know…the peel.)
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 tsp. raw sugar or honey

1) Place the orange juice in a medium saucepan.  Bring to a boil.  Add orange zest and lemon juice. 

2) Dissolve cornstarch in a tbsp of cold water.  Add to orange juice mixture, stir until sauce thickens.

3) Gently boil carrots in water seasoned with salt and sugar until crisp-tender.  Shock in ice water.

4) Mix carrots into sauce.  Reheat.  Serve hot.


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