HI Cookery is 12!

A dozen years later…we are still around cooking ethnic and eclectic recipes!

This past year has been especially difficult, though, as Islander developed a rare blood clot in her lung following a procedure in her leg last spring (Highlander himself had a pulmonary embolism back in 2016). Fortunately, there were a few hospital beds still available for her during the pandemic to get excellent but expensive medical treatment. It was a long road to recovery and getting healthy took priority over food blogging and other aspects of our lives. We are grateful for your patience as we slowly return to this little hobby of ours.

HI Cookery started out simply as an online cook “book” to share recipes and memories with family and friends. The encouragement and prayers we receive from 200+ followers have been enough appreciation and motivation throughout the 12 years we have been posting on this website.

So cheers to a dozen years…and, God willing, many more for HI Cookery!

Tapadh leat! Mahalo! Thanks!

Highlander and Islander

Bailey’s Chips Brownies

March 17: St. Patrick’s Day

What a fun find at the grocery store—Bailey’s baking chips! They add a subtle bittersweetness of Irish whiskey and cream to brownies without much of the booziness. There is also a quarter cup of Bailey’s in these brownies. But the alcohol bakes out so this food is family friendly as well as festive, especially on the Feast Day of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland.

Recipe
(Adapted from Clabber Girl)

For the brownies

  • 1 cup water, room temperature
  • ¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • ¼ cup Bailey’s baking chips
  • ¼ cup Bailey’s Irish cream
  • 1 ½ cups flour, all purpose
  • 1 1/3 cup sugar, granulated white
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons buttermilk

Directions

Line an 8×8-inch baking pan with foil, leaving an overhang on the edges as handles to pick up the brownies from the pan after baking. Mist with cooking spray. In a large mixing bowl, combine the butter and Bailey’s baking chips. Microwave for a minute then mix until smooth. Stir in Irish cream. In a separate bowl, combine the flour and white sugar.

Mix in the cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. In the melted Bailey’s bowl, beat in the vanilla, eggs and buttermilk.

Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Mix until smooth. Pour into the prepared pan. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 20-25 minutes. Remove from the oven. Pick up the brownies with the foil handles. Set on a wire rack to cool completely. Meanwhile, prepare the glaze/ganache.

For the glaze/ganache

  • 1 cup Bailey’s baking chips
  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/3 cup Bailey’s Irish cream
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Directions

In a microwave safe mixing bowl, combine Bailey’s baking chips, Irish cream, whipping cream and butter. Microwave in 20 second intervals for 3-4 times, stirring until smooth and melted.

Let the glaze/ganache cool slightly until thickened but still somewhat warm and runny. Spread evenly over the cooled brownies. Refrigerate to set the top. Slice into 9 large or 15 small squares, wiping the blade of the knife for each cut. Let the brownies come to room temperature before serving.

Notes

  • If Bailey’s baking chips are unavailable at local grocery stores, order them online. Or simply substitute with regular chocolate chips.
  • Search our blog for other Irish-inspired recipes for St. Patrick’s Day.

Posca

(Roman Beverage)

March 15: Ides of March

Highlander’s Mum is nearly 90 as of this blog post date. Her elixir for longevity is apple cider vinegar. She drinks that stuff to stay healthy and feel youthful. We tried to drink it daily like her but it is a strong taste that we just did not personally acquire. This ancient Roman beverage called posca is less harsh, with its simple yet healthy 3-ingredient mix—water, honey and red wine vinegar—which we made to mark the Ides of March.

Thanks to her vinegar drink (plus prayer, good genes and healthy habits), Highlander’s Mum is considered lucky with longevity. The Roman general and politician Julius Caesar was not so fortunate as his fate was being stabbed to death in 44 B.C. In high school literature class, we read about him in the classic Shakespeare tragedy (for those who forgot or do not know the story, do a simple search online for short summaries).

Try posca on the Ides of March. But beware of its briny-sweet mix taste.

Recipe
(Adapted from The Hamilton Spectator)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup water, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

Directions

In a measuring cup, pour water. Stir in honey until dissolved. Stir in the red wine vinegar. Pour into glasses. Serve. 

Notes

  • Honey is harder to dissolve in colder water (ancient Romans did not have refrigerators or ice so we guess that they drank posca at room temperature).
  • Try other Roman recipes in our blog, such as saltimbocca alla Romana (veal Roman-style) and in ovis opalis (Roman boiled eggs).