Mrs. Clarks Irish Soda Bread

4 cups wheat flour (I used half all-purpose, half whole wheat)
1 tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
A handful of raisins, currants or grated cheese (optional)
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
Preheat the oven to 400˚F.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Add the butter and blend with a fork, pastry blender or your fingers until you have a coarse meal. Add the raisins (or grated cheese) and toss to combine, then add the buttermilk and stir until the dough comes together.

Gather the dough into a ball and if you like, roll in some quick or old-fashioned oats to partially coat. Place on a parchment-lined sheet and flatten the ball slightly. If you havent rolled it in the oats, brush with a little more buttermilk. Cut a deep X in the top (a small serrated knife works well) and bake for 45 minutes, or until deep golden and hollow-sounding. (If your loaf is browning too quickly, cover loosely with foil and/or turn the oven temperature down to about 350˚F, and cook a little longer.)

Serve warm, in wedges, with butter. Makes one loaf, serves about eight.

Marinated Chicken Breasts


1 - 2 Tbsp vinegar, like cider, balsamic or red wine

3 tsp dried herbs, like thyme, oregano, rosemary or crumbled bay leaf

2 Tbsp whole grain mustard

2 tsp garlic powder

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast, each about 6 oz


1. Put the vinegar, herbs, mustard, powders if using and oil in a large re-sealable plastic bag. Close the bag and shake to combine all the ingredients. Open the bag, drop in the chicken breast in the bag. Close and shake the bag to coat evenly. Freeze for up to 2 weeks.

2. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight, under cold, running water, or in the microwave at 30 percent power for 1 minute at a time.

3. Heat a grill or grill pan. When the grill is hot, place the chicken on the grill and cook for about 4 minutes per side, or until cooked through. You can also bake the thawed chicken in a 375ºF oven for 15 minutes, or until cooked through.

Skillet Rosemary Chicken


¾ lb(s) small red-skinned potatoes, halved, or quartered if large

Kosher salt

2 sprigs fresh rosemary, plus 1 Tbsp leaves

1 clove garlic, smashed

1 pinch red pepper flakes

Juice of 2 lemons (squeezed halves reserved)

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

4 skin-on, bone-in chicken breasts (6- to 8-oz each)

10 oz cremini mushrooms, halved


1. Preheat the oven to 450ºF. Cover the potatoes with cold water in a saucepan and salt the water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until tender, about 8 minutes; drain and set aside.

2. Pile the rosemary leaves, garlic, 2 teaspoons salt and the red pepper flakes on a cutting board, then mince and mash into a paste using a large knife. Transfer the paste to a bowl. Stir in the juice of 1 lemon and the olive oil. Add the chicken and turn to coat.

3. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, skin-side down, cover and cook until the skin browns, about 5 minutes. Turn the chicken; add the mushrooms and potatoes to the skillet and drizzle with the juice of the remaining lemon.

4. Add the rosemary sprigs and the squeezed lemon halves to the skillet; transfer to the oven and roast, uncovered, until the chicken is cooked through and the skin is crisp, 20 to 25 minutes.