If you don’t have a kitchen torch, time to treat yourself. They’re inexpensive and super fun to use.  If you don’t have the time or extra cash, use the broiler.   

8 servings (or 2 big servings it is that good)

¾ cup honey
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise (2 teaspoons extract
3 cups heavy cream (whipping cream substitutes)
1 cup whole milk
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
8 large egg yolks
2 ½ Tablespoons sugar plus 1 Tablespoon of Cinnamon

 Preheat oven to 300°.

Place honey in a medium saucepan and scrape in vanilla seeds; save pod for another use. Cook over medium-high, swirling pan occasionally, until honey darkens and smells almost burnt (don’t worry, this is what you’re going for!) and bubbling begins to slow, 5–8 minutes. Gradually add cream, then milk, to caramelized honey, stirring constantly until combined.

Whisk salt into egg yolks in a medium bowl, then stream in honey-caramel mixture, whisking constantly. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a large measuring cup. Divide among ramekins.

Place ramekins in a large baking dish lined with a dish towel (it will keep them from sliding around) and pour in boiling water around ramekins so it comes halfway up sides.

Bake until edges of custards are set but centers still jiggle slightly, 65–75 minutes. Remove ramekins from water bath and let custards cool, about 1 hour. Chill until firm, at least 2 hours.

Just before serving, sprinkle custards evenly with sugar and cinnamon and heat with torch, or broil, until sugar is melted and caramelized to a deep amber color. Your goal is to make a thin, smooth, brittle crust that shatters when broken.

DO AHEAD: Custards can be made 5 days ahead. Cover and keep chilled.

Nothing like frenched potatoes



2 pounds baking potato Russet or a Yukon Gold, peeled and thinly sliced
2 cups (50 cl) whole milk
3 cloves of garlic crushed and minced
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 bay leaves
Freshly ground nutmeg
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup creme fraiche or heavy cream
2 cups  freshly grated  Gruyere cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F

Place the sliced potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with the milk and 2 cups of water. Add the garlic, salt, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally so that the potatoes do not stick. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring from time to time, until the potatoes are tender but not falling apart, about 10 minutes.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer half of the potatoes to a large, 14- by 9- by 2-inch buttered baking dish. Sprinkle with the nutmeg, pepper, half the creme fraiche, and half the cheese. Cover with the remaining potatoes, and sprinkle again with nutmeg, pepper, and the remaining creme fraiche and cheese.

Bake, uncovered, until the gratin is crisp and golden on top, about 1 hour. Serve immediately.




The tasty kind of flaming steak/stake


STEAK MOUTARDE FLAMBÉ (Flamed Mustard Steak)

4 beef fillet steaks
1 tablespoon butter
salt and pepper
3 teaspoon rosemary
2 teaspoon sage — crumbled
3 cup cognac
4 teaspoons Dijon mustard-or a good brown mustard
2 Tablespoons sour cream
2 cup cream
3 teaspoons paprika

In skillet heat and melt the butter.

Add 4 fillets of beef, and sauté over high heat.
Turn and sprinkle with: salt, coarsely ground pepper, the rosemary, and crumbled sage leaves.

***Cook to desired degree of doneness (4 to 5 minutes per side for rare).

Pour off excess fat from pan and sprinkle fillets with: cognac. Ignite the cognac and when the flame burns out, transfer fillets to a warm serving platter and keep warm. Then pencil on new eyebrows.

To skillet add: mustard, and rose paprika.

Combine: sour cream and cream and stir into mustard mixture already in the skillet.

Cook, stirring, for approximately 1 minute. Pour the sauce over the fillets and serve.


Salad for Jeanne des Armoises



4 firm pears (any variety)

3 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons butter

6 cups salad greens

4 ounces blue cheese, crumbled

Honey-Roasted Almonds

Honey Vinaigrette

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Cut pears in half; core and peel  if desired. Sprinkle cut side with sugar.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Melt butter in a large skillet over moderate heat. Place pear halves in butter, cut side down. Cook 2 to 5 minutes until cut surface is golden. Remove pear halves and place, cut side up, in a lightly greased roasting pan.

Bake 30 minutes, or until pears are tender. Place hot pears on a bed of salad greens. Sprinkle blue cheese and Honey-Roasted Almonds over salad. Drizzle with Honey Vinaigrette and sprinkle with additional pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

***If you are short on time, slice the pears thinly and caramelize them in a skillet, omitting the baking step completely, or simply slice the pears and serve raw.

Honey-Roasted Almonds (Guess the ingredients)

3/4 cup almonds

2 tablespoons honey

Stir together almonds and honey. Spread on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake 15 to 20 minutes at 325 degrees, stirring after 10 minutes. Spoon onto waxed paper to cool.

Honey Vinaigrette

1 shallot, minced

2 tablespoons honey

1/4 cup champagne or white wine vinegar

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3/4 cup olive oil

Combine all ingredients in a jar, cover tightly, and shake it like a virgin at a BBQ.







Born 1407-died 5/20/1431

    There were several Jeanne D’Arc (Joan of Arc the Maid) imposters.  Jeanne des Armoises was the most genuine. Was she an imposter or was she the real St. Joan?  These were challenging times for France.  The Maid battled for France and immortalized on May 30, 1431, when she was burned at the stake for being a heretic.

For two years Jeanne of Purcelle fought for France with distinction and commanded a battalion of troops.  She was the mother of two children, and at one time was reprimanded for impurity.  She responded, “My value is not dependent on virginity.” Who among us has not made that cry?   Five years after the execution she appeared in Orleans with her knighted husband.  The brothers of The Maid accepted this Jeanne and spent a lot of time, drink and money with her.  As of 1436, Orleans stopped celebrating the death of Jean and apparently, they accepted the new Jeanne.

Now this Jeanne was either inspired or maybe the Maid.  There was always hope that Joan had escaped the pyre, and there was a rumor there was a young imposter that had replaced Joan at the stake.  There are no drawings of the Maid and no photos in the Enquirer.  The town of Orleans should have known her and her brothers should recognize their sister.  It appears the Jeanne partied down and cranked out a bunch of letters all over the place.  She was receiving a pension from the government.  M. Anatole France offers a theory that the brothers were really after money, and they saw what they wanted to believe.  When they met Jeanne, she told them she was their sister, and that was good enough.

Ten years after the execution her death was still in question.  Jeanne visited the King, and as there was speculation the officials tried to present an imposter as the king.  Jeanne was not fooled.  The story continues that the King and Joan had a secret that they shared with no one else, and it involved a prayer.  When he asked for the secret, Jeanne knelt, confessed her sin and cried for mercy.

She was sent to prison for five years, and released in February 1457, provided she bear herself honestly in dress and other matters, as a woman should do.  There is a document from an inquisitor dated 1440 speaking regretfully about the one who got away. Was that Joan or the imposter Jeanne?

RECIPES TO FOLLOW THIS WEEK.  She can be cooked (again) this weekend.

Banshee – Harp Bread



3 cups self rising flour ***
2 C sugar
1 Bottle of Harp beer

 Preheat the oven to 350°.

Mix the dry ingredients, and then add the beer.  This will fuzz up while mixing.  Put into a buttered bread pan and bake for 1 hour.

 This will work for any kind of beer and the more expensive and darker the richer. 


***If you don’t have self rising flour you can:

For every cup of flour needed add 1/2 tsp baking powder and 2 tsp. Salt. 


Banshee -Meat in the Irish Mist



 4  Sirloin steaks

2 cup Thick cream (whipping cream)

2 Tablespoons of Irish Mist Liqueur

1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

2 Tablespoons Butter


1 large onion sliced thin

1 C sliced button mushrooms (don’t use the ones you find in the meadow unless a leprechaun gives you the thumbs up)

Freshly ground pepper 

Remove the sirloin steaks from the bone, and season with salt and pepper.  Heat a pan too very hot and add the olive oil and the butter, when it is hot and crackley add the steaks and cook for 4-5 minutes (or more if you want them cooked well) on each side. 

Remove and keep warm on a platter.  Turn down the heat and add the sliced onion and mushrooms, when the onions are soft add the cream to the juices in the pan, and whisk all of the goodies about, then add the Irish Mist, stir and pour over the steaks. 


Starting the Bansee Dinner -Colcannon



There are as many Colcannon recipes as there are homes in Ireland!!!

In the Midlands, colcannon is called “thump”. In the north and western parts of Ireland it is called champ. To tell fortunes on Halloween, a ring and a silver coin were mixed into the colcannon…whoever got the ring was soon to marry and whoever got the coin would be wealthy.  Who ever choked on the ring would meet the banshee. 


1 – 1/2 lb Irish potatoes (well duh)

Some of the best potatoes are bakers or Yukon golds.

Salt& pepper

2 cups of shredded or chopped cooked ham

1 head of steamed cabbage coarsely chopped

1 cup (plus or minus) of chopped carrots

1 cup of milk or light cream

2 cup leek chopped green onions will substitute

1 tsp mace

1 big ole glop of butter

 Cut the potatoes into 2 inch cubes and boil in generously salted water until fork tender.  While they are cooking steam the cabbage and the chopped leeks.  When the potatoes are done drain, but leave some of the liquid in to begin mashing. As you mash the potatoes blend in the milk, mace and salt and freshly ground pepper until the potatoes are creamy as you want them.  Stir in the vegetables and the ham. 

This is the ultimate comfort food.  It can be served as a side dish, a guilty little pleasure or potato pancakes can be made with the leftovers.  It is also lovely to make patties of the colcannon and top with an egg and bake. 

 You can not go wrong. You can add most anything that keeps your banshee happy. 


Let’s cook with the Banshee


I will post recipes through this week.  🙂


OOoooeeeOOOOooooooo, the Banshee wails on from an ancient time.  She brings her warning and scaring the bejesus out of non- believers, not only in myth, but in modern times.  Irish folklore describes the Banshee as a woman of the fairy spirit, a female prophet a guardian angel.  She can be seen in three guises as the young woman, matron and hag, the female trinity also known as the virgin, mother and mother’s slightly older sister.   The Banshee protects her family if they will listen to her.  She is a foremother of the “Guardian Angel” in Christian traditions.  Her name in Irish is Bean-sidhe (wailing woman), AKA Bean-nighe (washer woman) and in Tipperary she is known as Bean Chaointe (Keening Woman).  Bean reference female, and si spirit or ghost.

Ancient Irish mythology connects the Banshee tradition with the fierce Morrighan, an aspect of the Goddess who features as the “Washer at the Ford,”  The Morrighan appeared as a young woman who prepared for an upcoming battle by washing the clothing or shrouds of those who would fall in battle.  There is a Banshee who serves each of the Milesian Irish families; these are the families whose names start with O’ or Mac.  Even if a member marries outside of the clan and moves away, the Banshee continues to protect all of the branches, and never abandons her kin.

Traditionally, the Banshee often appears shortly before death or major change in the family. The Banshee is almost always female and appears filmy in a white, hooded gown with a few exceptions.  In Donegal, Ireland, she may wear a green robe, or in County Mayo she usually wears black. There have been some sightings of a Banshee stylishly turned out in a simple bloody shroud. She is often found near water as it makes it easier to wash the bloody clothing that is often symbols of the warning; a woman’s work is never done even on the other side.

It is rare that a Banshee is seen, but her mourning keen is heard at night foreseeing a tragedy.  The girls don’t believe in the seen and not heard role for women when it comes to warning her family.  The wail varies from low and pleasant singing to a piercing scream that can shatter glass.  There are records of multiple Banshees joining, predicting the death of an important person, or a momentous tragedy.  As recently as 1938a large grave was opened in County Limerick to move the bones of the inhabitants, there was a mighty howl heard throughout Ireland.

Scotland also has a Banshee tradition.  In 1437, a seer with her eyes to the east predicted the murder of King James I of Scotland. Our girls are often the spirits of women who have died in childbirth.  They are obliged to perform the public service announcements due to their untimely death.  This type of Banshee can be released from her duty when the reach the time they should have died, but it appears that the guardians don’t have a great concept of time.  She is still more of a fairy with a ghost connection; she represents our connection with the physical and the spiritual worlds of magic and death.

Despite the Banshee’s bad reputation she is not always negative.  If you see her washing a shroud, she may be signaling an important event in your life.  There is some belief by historians that she is a very kind woman who is trying to protect her family from death or tragedy.  Highland Legends say that any man bold enough to creep up behind the Banshee and grab her breast would granted a wish.  The wish may be I wish I had not done that, but a wish none the less.