Easy to make Irish Soda Bread with Raisins(Post 1 of 2)

My husband and I have been together almost 9 years now and pretty much every year on St. Patrick’s Day, we have been making Irish Soda Bread. We have tried different recipes and this year I made two loafs to take to St. Patrick’s Day lunch with us! One with raisins and one with out raisins. This post is about the Irish Soda Bread With Raisins and Caraway seeds. Please look for my next post for the bread with out raisins.

This bread is really easy to make but you will likely have to buy some ingredients, because if you are like me, you don’t keep buttermilk handy, or caraway seeds (not in the recipe but we added them because we always have.)

I am not a chef – so my breads don’t look perfect. But they are delicious! Here are the recipes I used this year! Try them out yourself at home this St. Patrick’s Day!

Grandma’s Irish Soda Bread

The full recipe and instructions can be found at: Sally’s Baking Addiction

Instructions (According to Sally)

Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C). There are options for the baking pan. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat, use a seasoned 10-12 inch cast iron skillet, or grease a 9-10 inch cake pan or pie dish. Set aside.

I decided to use my cast iron skillet this time around since I usually make this bread in a container to get it to brown better.

Whisk the buttermilk and egg together. Set aside.

Whisk an egg and the buttermilk together and set aside.

Whisk the flour, granulated sugar, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl. Cut in the butter using a pastry cutter, a fork, or your fingers. Work the dough until into coarse crumbs, then stir in the raisins.

I mixed all of the ingredients listed above and cut the butter into tiny cubes and used my hands to mix it in really well (you have to sort of mush it into the flour).

Pour in the buttermilk/egg mixture. Gently fold the dough together until dough it is too stiff to stir. With floured hands on a lightly floured surface, work the dough into a ball as best you can. Knead the dough for about 30 seconds or until all the flour is moistened. If the dough is too sticky, add a little more flour.

Do not knead the dough too much. You literally just want to make sure everything is mixed in and make it into a ball. I always have to add a little more flour when doing this since the dough is very sticky.

Transfer the dough to the prepared skillet/pan. Using a very sharp knife, score an X into the top. Bake until the bread is golden brown and center appears cooked through, about 45 minutes. Loosely cover the bread with aluminum foil if you notice heavy browning on top. I usually place foil on top halfway through bake time.

I made my cut too deep – don’t do what I did unless you like how mine looks at the end. 😉

Remove from the oven and allow bread to cool for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. Serve warm, at room temperature, or toasted with desired toppings/spreads.

Finished product – delicious!

If you follow her instructions, you will get PERFECT Irish Soda Bread! We did add Caraway seeds since we enjoy the flavor they add, so if you would like to add some yourself, add about 1 tbsp to the dough when you are mixing in the raisins.

The bread actually turned out looking pretty silly because I cut the x in it too deep but it did not ruin t he flavor, so it’s okay if you make the same mistake I did. I made two of these, 1 for my family and 1 for my friend. She says it tastes very good with the raisins.

Please go visit Sally’s Baking Addiction for this recipe and more! My husband found her recipe for us to use this year and I really liked how simple it was, it only took me about 15 minutes to prep – and it took about 45 minutes to bake.

*This post includes amazon affiliate links – which do help my blog out by providing me a small amount of money from sales made.

15 months old – My Irish Baby

We found out last night from ancestry.com that my husband is 63% Irish, and yesterday also happened to be the day I take my daughter’s monthly photos. So we are showing some Irish pride in them for her!


My daughter is growing up SO FAST.

Now that it is confirmed that my husband is over half Irish, he is extremely happy. We knew his mom was Irish but his dad was adopted. So we didn’t know if he was as well. He took an ancestry test as well 😉 I am going to take one this year and see what I am – I have an idea because my mother took a test a few years ago, but my father is “German” so I want to see how mixed mine will be since my mother is Hispanic and a bunch of other things.

If I do mine I will share it with you all. I just don’t feel like spending the month this month on one.

Making Shio Ramen – for the first time!

I made Shio Ramen, from a cook book! That cook book is “Simply Ramen” and you can buy it on amazon by clicking this link https://amzn.to/2VN4qeT.

The book Simply Ramen was written by Amy Kimoto-Kahn. I am loving this cook book and it really is helping me understand how to make delicious Japanese Ramen, in my own home!

So here we go! I will type out the basic’s in the recipe but if you would like the FULL recipe please go buy Amy’s cook book 🙂 And make sure to check out her website at http://EasyPeasyJapanesey.com

Cooking with my daughter! She did not like the food processor. I tried to make it fun by clapping and smiling at her while it was making noises and that seemed to help.

For this recipe we will need:

  • 1 medium-sized carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 onion, peeled and cut into large dice
  • 3 green onions, white part only, chopped
  • 1/2 apple, peeled, cored, and chopped
  • 1 celery stock, cut into large dice
  • 3 garlic cloves (I used 5, because I love garlic and this came out fine)
  • 5 fresh shiitake mushrooms (I used dry because I couldn’t find fresh, this turned out just fine)
  • 1/2 cup of bacon fat (recommended) OR Ghee, or coconut milk (I used Ghee and it turned out great)
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 3 tsp dashi granules (Japanese stock)
  • 2 tbsp fleur de sel or salt of your choice (I used pink Himalayan salt, because that is what I have)
This is the food processor I used and MOST of the ingredients.

You will need to use a food processor on the top 7 items above that are in BOLD – and process it until finely chopped, to look like paste.

This is what my paste looked like cooking in the ghee.

Once you do that, take a medium pot and place your ‘bacon fat or ghee or coconut milk’ AND sesame oil in the pot to warm it Add the chopped vegetables and cook until onion is translucent. (Okay since everything was very pasty, I couldn’t tell when it was translucent, so I cooked it for about 10 minutes and it smelled delicious!) Add salt and mix.

In the meantime, while I was making the broth, I was also boiling my ramen noodles, which did come from a bag. I did not get my noodle maker in time to make them myself. I also heated up my chashu in a pan like her other recipe said to (see my previous post about chashu for that). And then I sliced up my chashu.

The ABOVE ingredients actually makes up to 12 bowls – because you will only be using 3 tbsp of it PER SERVING. So I froze my extra stuff, below is how to make 1 serving. With the broth included.

  • Unsalted Butter (2 tbsp per serving0
  • Low sodium Chick or Vegetable stock (2 cups per serving)
  • Mirin (1 tbsp per serving) (This is Sweet Rice Wine)
  • 1 large rectangular piece of kombu (cut into squares) (I actually bought this and forgot to use it)
  • Dried Shiitake mushrooms, crumbled
After everything is mixed together – my broth looked like this.

To make the broth you will add butter to a large sauce pan, on medium heat. Add stock (I used chicken bullion and added it to water) Add mirin, kombu and mushrooms – bring to a boil and reduce heat. Let simmer for 15 minutes. (The recipe says to remove solids with sieve but I missed that step and everything tasted fine)

Add the Shio Base (the puree you made) to the broth – 3 tbsp per serving. Lower the heat and let simmer until you are ready to serve it.

I did find out I over cooked my eggs I marinated a little bit, but they still tasted AMAZING.

Add already cooked ramen noodles to a bowl and add your desired toppings. I added the Chashu and egg that I made earlier that day!

Over all, this recipe was amazing and pretty easy to make. It is listed at a level 1 in the book. I think if you can make regular cheap store bought ramen, you can do this. If you have a food processor, it makes the job pretty easy and the outcome is very delicious. I love this cook book and I would recommend it to anyone who would like to learn to make their own ramen from home! Let me know if you would be interested in seeing me make more recipes from this book or if you would like to see me try something else??

Would you prefer videos included in the post or just photos? I am going to try to make this as interesting as I can for you- so you can understand how to make this recipe.

Again, to buy “Simply Ramen” you can click on this link http://https://amzn.to/2VN4qeT

Thank you for checking out my blog. I do write about normal day to day stuff, products, and food. I just started out recently so if you see something you like, please let me know so I will try to post more content like that! Have a lovely day!

***I sometimes use amazon affiliated links in my posts, you do not have to purchase items off of those links but doing so may help my blog as I may get some money from referring you to the product, this is NOT a sponsored post, I simply love to cook!***

Happy Birthday to ME!

That’s right! Today I turn 34 years old! I started feeling older recently, when I noticed fine lines around my eyes. I have always looked a little younger than I really am, but age is finally catching up to me. And I am sort of fine with it. Everyone else is aging around me and I know I am not the only one looking and feeling older. Go me!

So for my birthday, I am asking anyone who wants to make a donation to my Grandma’s Go Fund Me page to donate 🙂 I am giving TWO options on how to donate; either through the go fund me link OR via my paypal. I am going to mail all money over to my aunt who is in charge of my grandma’s funds this week. I already got one donation from a friend – who chose to use PayPal due to issues with GoFundMe – so here are the options below if you would like to help my grandma out – also the gofundme message so you know why she needs help.

To make a go fund me donation go to https://www.gofundme.com/donna-siegwart-fund

So the link to the go fund me is at https://www.gofundme.com/donna-siegwart-fund

If for any reason you would like to donate directly to me, you can use my pay pal link instead. https://www.paypal.me/donnahamlet

I recently spoke to my aunt about my grandma. My poor grandma has facial cancer and alzheimer’s. So we won’t be posting any new photos of her online, per my aunt, she wouldn’t want to be shown that way on the internet. I understand. I love my grandma, I was actually named after her. My name is her name, until I got married. And now I have a new last name.

You don’t have to donate but if you would like to send any birthday wishes please comment on this post or email me @ MyOnlySecretBlog@Gmail.com

Thank you to anyone who can help my grandma out during her last years around.

Making Chashu

I am learning how to make Ramen – so of course step one is to learn how to make all of the toppings! This blog includes a short video of how I made Chashu. I know my editing sucks for now – but I am going to try harder next time around 🙂 I have a few cameras and I thought my smaller camera might be easier to use with this project, I was wrong. But here it is!


I will not be posting the ENTIRE book on my blog – since it would not be fair to steal the entire recipe from the author. You should buy her book “Simply Ramen” if you are interested in getting the full recipe and directions.

This post will just be the video and photos – the Ramen post will be a written post with photos, so keep an eye out for that one. Chashu is just a topping I used on my Ramen.

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