When Daria was a little girl, she always wanted to BE Irish!
It was so hard to explain to her that this was not something that was going to ever happen…
We always celebrated St. Patrick’s Day and one year, two of my students (sisters) introduced her to Irish step dancing and a star was born! We quickly became involved in the world of competition and traveled to places that we had not seen. It was fun and certainly great exercise for her!
Even though I always loved my heritage (Croatian, Polish, Italian) there was just something always intriguing about being Irish! Not necessarily the beer or the food, but the green eyes, red hair, and intricate Celtic designs
I loved watching Lord of the Dance and was determined to try it out someday. Then I met the Brown sisters – Breighann and Mallory….next thing I know I am going to lessons every Sunday night and LOVING it!
We performed and competed and I LOVED every minute of it!
The little CroPoTalian jigged her way to the top and beat all of the little Irish girls….14 first places and one silver!
I still have my ghillies!
Monica and Daria say:
The one thing that we baked every St. Patrick’s Day was Irish Soda Bread. And yes, it was full of gluten and made us feel ill (like everything else did).
So here is a gluten-free version of a great soda bread…hope you try it and enjoy!
Gluten-free Irish Soda Bread
Preheat oven to 350˚ and spray a 9-inch springform pan with Pam (non-stick cooking spray).
Cut a piece of parchment into a round to cover bottom of pan. Spray parchment on it, too!
3 ½ cups of brown rice flour
¼ cup Arrowroot Starch
5 tsp baking powder
1 ½ tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp xanthan gum
2 sticks (1 cup) of softened butter
2 large organic eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
2 cups of buttermilk (you can use unsweetened Almond Vanilla Milk OR Silk Light Vanilla Soy Milk with 2 tsp lemon juice added to either; your choice!)
Splash of pure vanilla extract
1 ½ cups raisins
Whisk all dry ingredients and set aside.
Cream butter, eggs and sugar for a minute or so until fluffy (if using a stand mixer, on medium; if using a handheld mixer, on high).
Place one-half of the dry mixture into the mixer and combine on low speed.
Next, add the buttermilk mixture and vanilla and stir until well combined.
Now add the remaining dry mixture. Stir to combine.
Add raisins. Stir to combine.
Pour the batter into the pan and spread evenly.
Bake for 1 ½ hours or until a knife inserted into the center of the bread, comes out clean (ours took 1 hour and 20 minutes and started to get very brown on top so we placed aluminum foil on top at about 1 hour baking time).
When bread is done and ever so sweet-smelling, remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. Remove from the pan after about 5 minutes and let cool completely on rack.
Serve with butter or your favorite topping or jelly!