Caprese Salad

Not much of a recipe but a celebration! I love Caprese Salad. I could eat it daily.

Oh dear. Deliciousness.

Mozzarella di Bufala (or if you don’t have this, a soft cow mozzarella, though it wont be as amazing)

Extra virgin olive oil


Ripe tomato

Slice the cheese and tomato. Rip the basil leaves over everything. Drizzle with olive oil. Devour.

Spicy Cheddar Irish Soda Bread

St.Patrick’s Day had my head swirling with recipes for Irish Soda Bread, which made me uncomfortable. Bread… without yeast?!

Now, I am not crazy, I don’t think all breads must have yeast, or a sourdough starter, but I’ve been crazy for yeast since I picked up a fresh jar last month. But I just like the sweetness of yeasted bread; I love the smell as it rises and bakes. I love the chewy, stretchy goodness.

So, with all the talk of these soda breads floating around I scuffawed and tried to ignore it. But last night I was hungry. I hadn’t taken out anything for dinner and I didn’t feel like making anything involved. Remembering the tiny bit of shredded cheddar that had been sitting in my fridge for some time I decided that Irish soda bread was worth a try.

I started with Ina Garten’s recipe but made some changes to make it savory, cheesy, spicy, and delicious.

Spicy Cheddar Irish Soda Bread


  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 1/2 cups cold buttermilk (I used 1.5 cups milk with 1.5 Tbsp of white vinegar to make my buttermilk)
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and spices in a large bowl. Cut in the butter until well integrated (pea-sized chunks or smaller). Add the cheese (note that I think it would taste best with 1 cup of cheese but I actually only had 1/2 cup on hand). Mix the cheese in so that the pieces are coated in flour.

With a fork, lightly beat the buttermilk and egg in a small bowl. Slowly add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture. The dough will be sticky, at this point I just got in there with my hands and mixed it up until it felt right (helpful huh).

Dump the dough onto a well-floured board and knead it a few times into a round loaf. Place the loaf on the prepared sheet pan and lightly cut an X into the top of the bread with a serrated knife. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. When you tap the loaf, it will have a hollow sound.

When done, tear into it with a pat of butter. Taste particularly good with a glass of beer and 30 Rock on television. Yum.