Sunday, November 6, 2011

Swedish Ginger Cookies...and a pint in Dublin!

I've been nominated for Babble's Top 50 Food Blogs. I've moved from 197 to spot 31, but I sure would love make it into the top 30!   Could you take a minute and add your vote?   Click here or on the side link to the right.

 Thank You!

If you are still following along with me on our Kenney adventure in Ireland, I thought we should pause for a cookie break.  

These are called "Swedish Ginger Cookies".  We make them every year and bring some to teachers and friends to share and celebrate the change of seasons.

This year,  the family M. babysits had a baby girl so we brought them a plate of these fall cookies on our visit.

As leaves start to fall all over the country in the U.S. as well as in Ireland, I have been having fun playing around with some camera techniques.  

This is a technique called "bokeh".  I've been trying to see what fun things I can do playing around with light.

Little did we know what gorgeous landscapes we would have ahead of us after leaving the city of Dublin.  I am most excited to show photos from the Irish countryside.

But, first!!  I'm getting ahead of myself.  Our day in Dublin, Ireland.

You just can't go to Dublin without laying your eyes on the "HaPenny Bridge".  The bridge is right in the heart of Dublin where everyone is hustling and bustling.

One of my favorite authors, Maeve Binchy is Irish.  I enjoyed remembering scenes from her novels as we walked around this historic city.

I wish we had more time to spend in Dublin but, honestly, we raced through the day.  Our true intent on this trip was to get to the countryside, relax, and just soak in some fall scenery.

The city was busy!  Much busier than we imagined and we jostled and shuffled our way up and down narrow little lanes until we made our way to the Guinness Factory.

Guinness!  Just as one must see the Ha'Penny Bridge in Dublin.  One must understand the importance of Guinness Beer to this country of pubs.

Patrick was thrilled.  This tour spoke to his love of all systems mechanical and to all!

The tour was very well put together and easy to follow along with the automated screens guiding people through the process of roasting barley, collecting hops, and blending it altogether just perfectly.

We made our way to the very top of the factory floors.  In a huge room, crowded with beer enthusiasts everywhere, is where the crowning glass of Guinness beer is poured for each guest.

After we collected our glasses of beer, we found an out of the way table where it was quiet.  We had a wonderful view of the city of Dublin.

We were tired.  We relaxed in our little nook for a good long while, enjoying a cold drink and some "crisps" while looking out at all of Dublin.

It was time to return back to Clontarf Castle.  That night was to be Riley's birthday dinner at the Castle restaurant "Fahrenheit Grill".

The salmon was delicious.  We were recommended to try the various seafood dishes in Ireland.  The smoked salmon salad was also very fresh and flavorful with its vodka soured cream julienne of beetroot, and salmon caviar over a fresh herb salad.

However, this lamb dish captured the night for me.  I really enjoyed the tenderness of the lamb with a rich cognac cream and peppercorn sauce.

We were all excited about getting into the Irish countryside.  And, it does not disappoint!  

Everything we ever read and heard about the countryside of Ireland is true.  It is enchanting and alluring around every narrow curvy country road.

Our plan was to head south to a small fishing port town called Kinsale.  Along the way, we thought we might stop and see the ruins of  The Rock of Cashel.  

Last night in the castle.  A wonderful dinner enjoyed.  Our itinerary was carefree at this point with two days to amble along the coastline of Ireland.  Eventually, we would check into our home away from home, The Pax House, on the Dingle Peninsula.

Swedish Ginger Cookies:

2 sticks of butter (16 Tbsp)
1 1/2 cups of sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 Tbsp orange zest
2 Tbsp. dark corn syrup
1 Tbsp. water
3 1/4 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cloves

Cream 1 cup of butter and 1 1/2 cup of sugar together.  Add 1 egg and beat until fluffy.  Add  orange zest,  dark corn syrup, and water.  Mix altogether.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves.  Stir these ingredients into the cream mixture.  Chill for two hours.

Preheat oven to 375˚ F.  Take dough out of refrigerator and bring to room temperature. Roll out dough on a floured surface and cut with fall leaf and acorn cookie cutters.  

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes until edges have begun to brown.


  1. We have a traditional ginger cookie that we make for the holidays in our house, but these are very different, We'll give them a try. It looks like your trip has been will you ever come home?

  2. You are not only playing around with your camera ,but you are master of it,.Fantastic pics;))

  3. Oh this post is full of so many things I love!! Lamb is my favorite meal - either a rack like this or a bbq butterflied leg - I love it all - and nice and rare like you ordered yours - delicious!! And I love Dublin too - even though I haven't been in years, your marvelous photos bring back so many memories. And I think I will have to try your cookies - I adore anything with ginger!! Looking forward to your next posting as I travel vicariously with you!

  4. Sarah, I love your stories about your holidays, especially the visual part of it :-). Great flavours to match each episode as well, thanks for sharing this lovely experience with us.

  5. Lovely, lovely, lovely. Like you, I so enjoy posts about travel. Ireland is so enchanting.

  6. In spite of the short time you spent there - you really managed to capture the city..transporting me there right along with you. Can't wait to hear about the next leg of your travels!

  7. Just stumbled across your lovely site from tastespotting, thanks to the gorgeous photo of the ginger-leaf cookies! I think I will indeed make them for hostess gift-giving this Thanksgiving, thank you :)


  8. Fantastic pics! What a great place!
    I voted for you on bubbles, I wish you good luck!
    No matter what your blog and pictures are awesome!
    Have a nice day!

  9. I had to read this post in two parts it was so rich! Ireland looks stunning as does the food.

  10. It all looks delicious! The salmon is mouth watering and the cookies too!

  11. My husband goes on and on about how beautiful the flavor of Irish lamb is, so it's neat to see you enjoyed it too. I can't wait to see the pictures from the countryside!

  12. Dublin was so enjoyable, but we were there for only a short while and never got to visit the Guinness brewery. We spent most of our time, like you, seeing the beautiful Irish countryside. Loving your photos! And your cookies look yummy, too!

  13. Fantastic photos Sarah and what looks to be a very promising cookie recipe. We were in Dublin a few days after Christmas last year. We walked the same path and your photos are far more inspiring than was rainy and very dreary. Loved that pint of Guinness at the top..delicious! You captured the essence of Dublin....beautifully.

    Jeanne xx

  14. Happy Birthday to Riley!!! What a very special one this is, and the fact that it is being spent in such a very special place is fantastic, lucky young man!
    Your trip so far is absolutely wonderful...the food, the images...everything, just perfect!
    You make me wish I was a morning person by the way...
    xo J~

    (thanks for the cookie recipe...beautiful and delish)

  15. First off, congrats on your nomination! My husband and I took a trip to Ireland earlier this year and your post just completely brought me back. Dublin is such a gorgeous city (with some really fantastic food, despite its previous reputation). And, the Guinness tour - loved every minute of it!

  16. Congrats on the nomination! Those cookies look fabulous too!

  17. delicious photos! Especially that blue door, reminds me of my visit to Germany, I couldnt stop taking photos of them wherever I went, such strong colours - thank you for sharing!

  18. delicious photos! Especially that blue door, reminds me of my visit to Germany, I couldnt stop taking photos of them wherever I went, such strong colours - thank you for sharing!


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