Category Archives: Breads

Irish Soda Bread with Caraway Seeds & Raisins

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Hi everyone,

Well, I promised that I would find an easy Irish Soda Bread recipe and I have. I have combined a few recipes that I found on Pinterest and yesterday was my trial and error day.

I wasn’t pleased with the bread we bought from the local bakery this year for St. Patrick’s Day because it was very dry and crumbly and had no caraway seeds which I love. Plus, homemade is so much better.

This recipe was very easy but I have to say that next time I will use a slightly smaller cast iron pan so the bread has more of a dome look (personal choice) and I forgot to make the cross on top of the bread before baking. Two minor issues but worth noting.

Bob loved the bread and we had some after lunch, hot out of the oven with some Irish Kerrygold butter and it was delicious.

I would highly recommend trying this recipe and there is no need to “knead” this bread or use any type of mixer or food processor, just a bowl, a spoon, and some measuring tools. One hour to bake and you are in for a treat.

Irish Soda Bread with caraway seeds and raisins


  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 6 TBSP of cold unsalted butter, diced small
  • 1-3/4 cups of buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup of raisins
  • 2 tbsp of caraway seeds
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp BAKING SODA
  • (Additional flour for dusting the board and your hands)


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees

Generously grease a cast iron skillet (10 inches) or a 9-inch round pan with ½ tbsp butter

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda).

ADD the diced butter and use your fingers or two forks to work the butter into the flour.

STIR in the raisins and caraway seeds (break up any clumps of raisins).

Make a deep well in the center of the flour

In a large measuring cup, WHISK together the buttermilk and egg and add it to the well in the flour. Use a wooden spoon and gently mix until the batter is slightly moistened and the dough starts to come together

Transfer to a floured board and with floured hands gently shape the dough into a round loaf (too sticky, dust lightly with more flour)

DO NOT OVERMIX or bread will be tough

Transfer to a buttered pan and use a knife to score the top with a large deep X

Bake in the center of your oven at 375 degrees for 50-55 minutes.

Transfer bread to a wire rack and let it cool for 10 minutes.

I hope you try this recipe and enjoy the bread as much as we did… Another bread recipe coming next week.


Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,


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Springtime Holiday Breads


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Hi Everyone, 

This year Bob and I have plans to go out on St. Patrick’s Day so there will be no St. Patrick’s Day tablescape from DishingwithDiane- sorry.  I am too busy running around and quite honestly, I ran out of time.

Instead, I wanted to share with you my recipes for two traditional holiday breads this time of year.

For St. Patrick’s Day, celebrated on March 17th — I made Irish Soda bread with caraway seeds and lots of raisins. One of Bob’s favorites. I will be serving this with apples and Kerrygold (love that brand) aged cheddar.

Photo Mar 16, 8 08 58 PM - IRISH SODA BREAD

Here is the recipe I use for Irish Soda bread from Melissa Clark at the NY Times…


  • Butter for greasing pan plus 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 ½teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 ¾ cups buttermilk
  • 2 eggs, well beaten
  • 1 ½ cups raisins or currants
  • 1 tablespoon caraway seeds 
  • Good aged Cheddar cheese, for serving
  • Tart apples, cut into slices, for serving 


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 10-inch oven-proof skillet and line with parchment or waxed paper.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda. In a separate bowl, combine the buttermilk, eggs and 2 tablespoons melted butter. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir until just combined. Do not over-mix. Stir in the raisins or currants and caraway seeds.
  3. Pour batter into skillet. Brush top with remaining butter. Bake until golden and firm to touch, about 1 hour. Cool 10 minutes before slicing and serving with Cheddar and apples.


For St. Joseph’s Day, celebrated on March 19th — I made St. Joseph Day Bread with anise seeds (which gives the bread a mild licorice flavor). This is one of my favorites.

Photo Mar 16, 6 32 33 PM ST JOSEPH BREAD

This bread is usually part of the St. Joseph’s Day altar (or table ) to honor St. Joseph. Each year my grandmother served this bread along with other traditional foods for this day such as minestrone soup, fava beans and bucatini pasta in a garlic, oil, and anchovy sauce ( before you even think it, it is not fishy) topped with toasted bread crumbs.

If you want to read more about this holiday and want additional recipes,

here is my link to a previous St. Joseph Day post


Photo Mar 16, 6 34 23 PM ST JOSEPH STATUE

Here is the recipe I use for St. Joseph’s Day Bread from the website, Mangia Bene Pasta

(Makes 1 loaf – approx. 18-inches in length)


2/3 cup warm milk, 105 – 115 degrees F.
1 (1/4-ounce) package dry active yeast
3 cups bread flour, divided
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon anise seed or 1 teaspoon anise extract       

Egg wash: 1 egg mixed with 1 tablespoon water
Sesame seeds


Stir the yeast into the warm milk and allow to rest for 10 minutes.

Pour the yeast mixture into the bowl of an electric mixer. Add 1 cup of flour, sugar, salt, and melted butter. Beat the mixture with the paddle attachment for 2 minutes. Add the eggs, anise seed or extract, and another cup of flour.
Beat for 2 more minutes.

Change from the paddle attachment to a dough hook. Add the remaining flour, 1/4 cup at a time, until the dough starts to come together. You may not need to add all of the flour. Then allow the dough hook to knead the dough on medium for 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the dough to a greased bowl. Cover and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.

Punch the dough down and divide it into 2 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a 20 – 22-inch rope. Place the 2 ropes on a parchment lined baking sheet.
Loosely twist the ropes together, tucking the ends under. Cover and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 30 – 40 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Brush the loaf with the eggwash and sprinkle liberally with sesame seeds.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.


I hope you enjoy both the recipes and the holidays with your family and friends. Until my next post, make everyday a celebration!

Stay well, 


Thank you for visiting my blog.

If you enjoy the posts, please spread the word and ask your family and friends to subscribe to DishingwithDiane.

Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post.

Also, continue to send me your comments, I LOVE to hear from you.


Turkey & Three Bean “Halloween” Chili and Sour Cream Cornbread

Photo Oct 31, 7 21 44 PM (1) HALLOWEEN CHILI

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Hi everyone,

I wanted to post the recipe for my traditional Halloween meal.

Turkey and Three Bean Chili with Sour Cream Cornbread

 I use ground turkey for my chili but you can easily substitute ground beef. 

Remember to taste your food for seasonings as you go along and build your flavors…

Enjoy and Happy Halloween!


Turkey and Three Bean Chili


1- 2 tbsp. olive olive

1 large onion- diced (1 cup)

4 garlic cloves – minced

2 bell peppers- diced (I use one green and one red just for color)

3 carrots- diced in coins

2 (1 lb.) pkgs. of ground turkey OR ground beef

2 tsp. ground cumin

2 tsp. chili powder

2 tsp. cayenne

2 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 tsp. oregano

salt & fresh ground pepper to taste

1 capful of hot sauce (Frank’s red hot or Revenge)

4 tsp. of green chiles (fire roasted in a can found in the Mexican food aisle- I use the entire 4 oz. can of MILD because I find if I don’t use them all at once, I just end up throwing them out.

2 cups of water

1 ( 28 oz.) can of crushed tomatoes

1 (15.5 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 (15.5 oz) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 (15.5 oz) can pink beans (or pinto beans), drained and rinsed

½ cup green scallions plus additional for garnish

1 bag of shredded cheese (cheddar, jalapeno or Mexican blend) for garnish

Sour cream for garnish

Optional–Chipolte peppers in adobo sauce (also in a can in the Mexican food aisle). These are very spicy so be careful…I usually use 1 or 2 chopped up because I like heat in my chili. You can freeze the rest for another meal.

Optional – for some added spice, I use a squirt of sriracha sauce ( You can tell I like spicy)


Heat the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over moderate heat.

Add the onion, garlic, bell pepper and carrots, cover and cook, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes.

In the meantime, combine your spices, cumin, cayenne, chili powder, garlic powder, oregano, salt and pepper.

After the vegetables are soft, ADD the spice mixture and stir well to incorporate the spices and vegetables. Cook for 1 minute.

Add the ground turkey or beef, raise the heat to high and cook, breaking up the meat with a spoon into bite size pieces, until the meat is no longer pink.

Reduce the heat to medium-high and stir in the tomatoes, water, green chiles, hot sauce and scallions.

Add the chopped chipolte chiles in adobo sauce and sriracha, if using.

Cook partially covered, stirring from time to time for 30 minutes.

Remember, taste for seasonings!

Stir in the beans and continue cooking , partially covered, 20 minutes longer, stirring occasionally.

Season to taste with salt and fresh ground pepper before serving.

Garnish with shredded Hot Jalapeno, cheddar or Mexican cheese, dollop of sour cream and additional scallions.

Serve with Sour Cream Cornbread (recipe to follow)


Photo Oct 31, 8 20 09 PM SOUR CREAM CORN BREAD

Sour Cream Cornbread

(To get the top crusty -I used a lot of butter on top of the cornbread before baking but that is not really part of the recipe- just a personal preference- Follow the recipe as written and your corn bread will be lighter in color.)

You will need an 8 X 8 square pan

(I prefer a glass pan, I think it cooks evenly in glass)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees


1 cup all purpose flour

3/4 cup yellow cornmeal

1/4 cup sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt 

1 cup full fat sour cream

1/4 cup whole milk

1 egg (beaten)

2 TBSP. melted butter

Additional butter and raw honey for garnish


In a bowl mix all your dry ingredients – flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir to combine.

In a separate bowl mix all your wet ingredients – sour cream, milk, beaten egg and melted butter. Whisk until well combined

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix well. (Batter will be very sticky)

Pour the batter into a greased, 8 X 8 square pan. Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes or until a pick inserted in the center comes out clean

Cut into squares. Best served warm with extra butter or raw honey.



Have a very Happy and Safe Halloween!

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,



Thank you for visiting my blog.

If you enjoy the posts, please spread the word and ask your family and friends to subscribe to 

Once you subscribe, you’ll never miss a post…

Also, continue to send me your comments, I love hearing from you.

Italian Street Food

Photo Aug 04, 8 07 06 PM.jpg MORTADELLA SANDWICH

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Hi everyone, 

This post is dedicated to my grandmother. You all know by now how much I adored her and she would have turned 113 years old this month. So “Happy Birthday” in Heaven grandma. I will always miss you and love you. 

 I was recently sharing a memory of my grandmother with a friend. I have so many wonderful memories of her. Grandma is always on my mind but today I was telling a friend what a wonderful cook she was and how much fun we had when she would visit for the weekend.

When grandma visited, “everything” involved food.

On Friday nights she would make zeppoles and calzones for a snack.

The zeppoles are fried balls of dough covered in powdered sugar. I am sure you have seen them if you have ever been to an Italian Feast, (probably near the sausage and peppers). At the feast, the vendors put them in a paper bag with powdered sugar, shake them up and you are on your way with this greasy bag of goodness. Of course you always need extra powdered sugar.

IMG_4883.JPG ZEPPOLES.jpg for blog

The calzone are oven baked folded pizza dough that is filled with Italian ham, mozzarella, grated cheese and rich creamy ricotta. Absolutely delicious. There are other variations with tomatoes, anchovies and olives but grandma stuck to the original recipe from Naples, Italy.

1033249144001_4388224590001_video-still-for-video-4377529155001.jpg CALZONE 2.jpg- for BLOG

But on Saturday, I would ask my grandmother to make her mortadella sandwiches in focaccia bread for lunch.

Before we go any further, ALWAYS buy imported mortadella—enough said.

Mortadella is compared to bologna, but it really isn’t the same. I copied a definition from one of the Italian websites ( to give you a clearer understanding.

“While bologna is made with pork scraps, or even chicken, turkey and beef, mortadella is only made from very finely minced high quality pork and cubes of fat “sprinkled” inside. Shelled pistachios and black pepper grains are then added to the mixture which is stuffed into a casing and cooked in brick ovens. In substance, mortadella is a giant sausage- up to 200 pounds!- slowly cooked and then sliced to serve”

Here is a photo of mortadella with the pistachios and black pepper.

564a034bd6306a1e4c30e373daa4d616.jpg mortadella.jpg III for BLOG

Mortadella-lavorazione-4.jpg - MORTADELLA PROCESS.jpg - for BLOG

 In Rome there is a famous sandwich called “Pizza co’ la mortazza”,  it is a classic Roman street food snack. Pizza bianca, a local flatbread, is cut open and filled with a few thin slices of mortadella, no mayo, just mortadella. The sandwich is best when the pizza is straight out of the oven and the mortadella melts into the steaming bread.

focacciamortadella1.jpg foccacia with mortadella.jpg FOR BLOG

My grandmother went one step further and made her own foccacia bread with rosemary and olives instead of pizza bianca, sliced and filled with a few slices of mortadella. 

As a rule, Italians do not over-stuff their sandwiches with cold cuts and cured meat. My grandmother would have been shocked if she could see the overflowing cold cut sandwiches that come out of deli’s today.

This mortadella sandwich was one of my favorites growing up, so today I am going to pay tribute to grandma and make my version of “Pizza co’ la mortazza”.

My grandmother is from Bari, in the Puglia region of Italy.  In the Barese version of focaccia there is always a mashed potato in the dough.

I didn’t have grandma’s recipe for her focaccia, so I had to look up various foccacia recipes until I found a Barese version on a great website, “Italian Food Forever”. 

The recipe below is for the basic Foccacia Barese. I did not use all the toppings in the recipe, I made the foccacia with the toppings my grandmother used, olives, rosemary and sea salt.


Adapted from website Italian Food Forever by Deborah Mele


fococciabarese5.jpg BARESE FOCCACIA II.jpg FOR BLOG



  • 3 Cups All-purpose Flour
  • 1 Medium Potato, Peeled, Boiled & Mashed
  • 1 Tablespoon Rapid Rise Yeast
  • 1 Teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • Luke Warm Water


  • 1 Cup Halved Cherry Tomatoes
  • 1/3 Cup Pitted Olives (Optional)
  • 1 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
  • 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • Coarse Sea Salt


  1. In a large bowl mix together the flour, yeast, potatoes, oil, and salt, then add just enough warm water to create a dough.
  2. Dump the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 to 7 minutes, or until smooth and shiny.
  3. Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
  4. Place the bowl in a warm spot in the kitchen, and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  5. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  6. Lightly oil a 14 inch round baking pan and press the dough in to fit.
  7. Press your fingertips over the top of the dough to create dimples.
  8. Place the olives and tomatoes over the dough, then sprinkle with the oregano and coarse salt.
  9. Drizzle with olive oil, let rest for 30 minutes, then bake until golden brown, about 20 to 25 minutes.
  10. Cool to room temperature before slicing.


Here is my version of grandma’s Barese Foccacia with mortadella.

A Roman recipe with a Barese touch.

 I know she would be proud of me for recreating one of her special dishes.

Memories of grandma!

Thee foccacia is ready for the oven…

Photo Aug 04, 6 41 46 PM.jpg - READY FOR THE OVEN

Not bad for the first try…

Photo Aug 04, 7 54 10 PM.jpg FOCCACIA OUT OF THE OVEN

I can’t wait to try a slice; brings back memories…

Photo Aug 04, 7 57 49 PM.jpg SLICE

I know that Grandma would be proud…

Photo Aug 04, 8 07 06 PM.jpg MORTADELLA SANDWICH

Photo Aug 04, 8 06 56 PM.jpg FOCCACIA END


Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,


Thank you for visiting my blog.

If you enjoy the posts, please spread the word and ask your family and friends to subscribe to 

Once you subscribe, you’ll never miss a post…

Also, continue to send me your comments, I love hearing from you.