Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The St. Patrick’s Day post, a week late!

Update: Please click on the 'comments' section at the end of this post for the recipe for Irish Whiskey Pound Cake.

Due to technical difficulties (ok, it’s blogger incompetence!), I was unable to post during our ski trip in Crested Butte. So here it is, a week late! The Irish Whiskey Pound Cake I made to celebrate the occasion is at the very end.

Crested Butte1

Top of the morning to you on St. Patrick’s Day! We are enjoying the beautiful slopes of Mount Crested Butte, Colorado. Because our blood is sub-tropic thin, we are fair weather skiers and March is the perfect time of year for us Texans to invade the quaint mountain villages of this awesome state!

Since this trip was very last minute in planning, and by then the price of plane tickets was way out of our reach, we did the second best thing: we chose to drive the 1,100 miles from Houston to Crested Butte, with an overnight stop in Trinidad, CO. Ten people, 2 SUV’s – believe it or not, it was a breeze!

Taking a break along the Arkansas River in ColoradoCrested Butte March 09 004

Delicate aspens grace the snowCrested Butte3

We are very thankful and fortunate to be staying in the private home of Lois and Gerry Pate. The house is a short walk from the ski lifts and includes two large balconies with mountain views.

Teague and Mark enjoying a Linne Calodo 2006 Leona’sCrested Butte7

The spacious dining areaCrested Butte9

And cozy fireplaceCrested Butte13

The kitchen is very well equipped – it even has a pastry cutter! We are cooking most of our meals with pleasure and ease: spaghetti Bolognese, migas, chili, fresh apple crumble, buttermilk pancakes, fettuccine Alfredo with grilled chicken, banana pudding, and pork chops with applesauce and succotash.

Check out the breathtaking view towards the small historic town of Crested Butte from the windowCrested Butte8

The house if very tastefully decorated. I love the detail in the backsplash.Crested Butte12

It takes a lot of guts for a woman in her forties to take up snowboarding! It’s been a challenge, and a lot of fun for my sister, Vesna, to keep up with her family of snowboarders. There is more ksh, ksh, ksh and fewer bruises every year!

You have always been athletic and determined – stick with it sistuh!Crested Butte5

When Emilia was about 10 years old, she came home from her first snowboarding lesson, sat down and drew a pie graph to describe her day. It went something like this: 60% on bum, 20% trying to get up, 10% on lift, 6% waiting for lift, and 4% snowboarding!

You’re quite accomplished now, my little Longhorn!Crested Butte17

Alex’s ‘Mental’ cap makes it’s appearance every year! Crested Butte11

Even though I had just finished breakfast, I couldn’t refuse the offer of hot chocolate and home-made biscotti at the top of the Silver Queen Express. “You could have said ‘No Thank You’, “ piped Vesna, at the sight of me dunking!

Who am I to refuse these two charming CB hosts?Crested Butte10

Teague and Emilia watching the activity on the slopesCrested Butte6

Jovan ‘owns’ the snowboard – he’s swift and graceful and the sight of his goggles and helmet prompted me to call him

Astroboarder!Crested Butte 19

These four daring young men ventured where the rest of us dare not! Crested butte experts 1

Clear blue skies all weekCrested Butte4

Happy at the end of an excellent day on the mountainCrested Butte18

Oh yeah…the recipe! Before we left home, I made an Irish Whiskey Pound Cake. Dried cherries, blueberries, pineapple pieces, cranberries and apricots are soaked in Irish whiskey. The Irish meaning of whiskey is ‘water of life’. I guess it explains how the Irish earned their ‘spirited’ reputation!

irish whiskey pound cake2

The zest of a lemon and toasted chopped almonds round off the flavors. The icing includes a generous helping of Bailey’s Irish Cream!

irish whiskey pound cake3

A slice of this dense and hearty cake is the perfect accompaniment to a strong cup of coffee. And it’s tasting better every day!

irish whiskey pound cake4

Until next time, here’s an Irish blessing for you:

May God grant you always...
A sunbeam to warm you,
A moonbeam to charm you,
A sheltering angel, so nothing can harm you.

Prijatno!

9 comments:

  1. Your pictures almost make me want to brave the snow one day for an adventure, almost. The pictures are great! Emilia is so pretty. I love the view you had, breathtaking. I love Alex's cap. It is a great tradition to keep. Your family is lovely. I know y'all had a great time together. That is what life is all about.

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  2. cao dragana:)
    dodijelila sam vam nagrade za blog. ukoliko zelite mozete ih preuzeti sa mog bloga:)
    puno pozdrava

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  3. All that snow looks awesome, what a fabulous time you had. The cake looks amazing too, full of drunken fruits.

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  4. Great pics. Cannot wait to get back to the mountains. Cake looks wonderful

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  5. What gorgeous pictures! Love the cap ;-)The cake looks yummy too.

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  6. Dragana, I can feel the crisp, mountain air through your photos! Such a beautiful pictorial of your vacation. (I particularly love the view from the kitchen window - who could ever top that??!) The cake looks amazing - the perfect way to top off a day of snowboarding, yes?! :D

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  7. Happy New Year!

    Could you please post the recipe for this beautiful Irish Whiskey Cake?

    Thanks

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  8. Here's the recipe. I'm having trouble posting it with the body above because I'm using a different program.

    Irish whiskey pound cake

    2 cups (8 oz, 230g) dried berries and fruit: you can use a combination of your choice such as cherries, blueberries, cranberries, sultanas, currants, apricots (chopped), pineapple (chopped)
    ¼ cup (60 – 70 ml) Irish whiskey
    2 sticks (8 oz, 225g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
    1 cup (7 1/8 oz, 200g) sugar
    4 large eggs, at room temperature
    2 cups (scant 9 oz, 250g) all-purpose flour
    ½ teaspoon (3g) baking powder
    ½ teaspoon (3g) salt
    grated rind of half of an orange or 1 small lemon
    1/3 cup (2 oz, 55g) slivered almonds, lightly toasted

    Place dried fruit and Irish whiskey in a bowl. Let it sit for about an hour, but stir it occasionally, so that the fruit can absorb the whiskey. You can also bring the butter and eggs to room temperature at this time, if you have not already done so.
    Preheat oven to 350ºF. Prepare a loaf pan (I used a 10” x 4”) by coating it with a little bit of butter and then dusting it with flour. You can also use Baker’s Joy!
    Beat butter and sugar together in a mixer with the paddle attachment until it is light and creamy. Add eggs, one by one, mixing well after each addition and scraping the sides of the mixing bowl every so often so that the mixture is well blended.
    Combine flour, baking powder and salt. On low speed, add flour mixture to the creamed butter until it is almost combined. Now add the dried fruits and any whiskey left in the bowl, the orange or lemon rind and toasted almonds. Mix slowly just until combined.

    Transfer the mixture into the prepared baking pan and bake for about 50 – 60 minutes, checking after 40 minutes because you may have to cover the top of the cake with foil if you feel it is browning too quickly. Test with a cake tester or long skewer (the bread is tall) and place on a rack when it is done. Cool for about 15 minutes and then turn the cake out and cool completely. Pour icing over cake and slice.

    Bailey’s Irish Cream icing
    2 cups (8½ oz, 240g) confectioner’s (icing) sugar
    1 tablespoon (15 ml) milk
    2 tablespoons (30 ml) Bailey’s Irish Cream or Irish whiskey

    With a whisk, combine the above ingredients until smooth. Add more milk or Bailey’s if necessary to make it pourable.. Pour over cooled cake and enjoy!

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  9. thanks for sharing with us so great pics ... I really glad to see how much they enjoyed the holidays ... I hope you can repeat soon ... Greetings

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