Contact Us

Visit us at one of our three store locations to find Irish Jewelry, Claddagh Rings, Irish Sweaters, Irish Foods, Guinness Products, Waterford and Belleek.

Call us at one of the numbers below or use the accompanying form to contact us.

The Irish Boutique - Long Grove, IL (847 634 3540)

Paddy's on the Square - Long Grove, IL (847 634 0339)

The Irish Boutique - Crystal Lake, IL (815 459 1800)

 

847 634 0339

The Irish Boutique is an Irish import store that has been located in the Chicago land area for over 40 years.  The shop stocks a variety of products ranging from Irish jewelry, crystal, china, food, sweaters, caps, t-shirts and a wide variety of Irish gifts. 

Cooking Blog

Visit our blog to read about Michelle Barry's adventures in cooking and eating Irish cuisine and to learn about new products and upcoming events. 

 

Filtering by Category: Irish Food

Chocolate and Deviled Eggs, an Irish-American Easter

john barry

deviled eggs

Confession.  My oldest is 6 and I have yet to put together a single Easter basket. There are a lot of reasons for this - other people, like my fabulous babysitter who always comes through, along with the kids’ Aunt, Uncle and Grandpa; my borderline compulsive need to eliminate all of the little plastic items in my house; and, most importantly, the simple fact that I’ve got enough mental load to carry without having to be the Easter bunny too. I call it prioritizing.

Semi-related: Just a little shout out to the parents of the kid at my son’s school who got $20 from the tooth fairy. NO. Just. NO.

I told my little guy that the kid meant 20 CENTS and should really be brushing up on his math more.

Whew. THAT felt good. Now back to Easter.

Giant Chocolate Eggs! On my wish list every single year. I know, I know, I should have posted this earlier, because there probably aren’t any left at the store. Not to worry though, you can get your fix of chocolates from across the pond at Paddy’s on the Square year round.

Giant Chocolate Eggs! On my wish list every single year. I know, I know, I should have posted this earlier, because there probably aren’t any left at the store. Not to worry though, you can get your fix of chocolates from across the pond at Paddy’s on the Square year round.

No Easter Baskets? Am I the worst Momma ever? If so, not for lack of Easter baskets. My kids have yet to complain - which is saying a lot - my son mastered the art of guilting me long, long ago.  I think that I probably have these giant chocolate Cadbury eggs to thank. It seems they are ubiquitous in Ireland and they are delicious, addictive really (I keep telling myself, “I’ll just have a teensy, tiny piece” but you know how that goes). John sells out of them at the store every year no matter how many he orders. It’s proof of his love for his nephew and nieces that he always sets aside a few for us.

Never too young to aggressively hoard candy. Especially when you are the fourth child.

Never too young to aggressively hoard candy. Especially when you are the fourth child.

Just because I don’t do Easter baskets, doesn’t mean I don’t do Easter with my little ones. I’d just rather spend the time and energy I have with them, instead of on gifts for them (and if you happen to do both, go you!).  So we made Cool Whip dyed eggs, twice, which only sort-of worked. We had a flashlight Easter egg hunt with the neighbors (shout out to my amazing neighbor-mom-friend who put in 100% of the mental and physical load on that one) and a lovely spring Easter dinner outside exactly one week before (and after!) it snowed here in Chicago.  

Flashlight egg hunt was SO much fun. Also, it’s important to accessorize appropriately.

Flashlight egg hunt was SO much fun. Also, it’s important to accessorize appropriately.

Our Easter was a small gathering this year but so enjoyable and laid back.  We had Irish bacon and potatoes (duh) plus a few other delicious things - kale salad, sweet potatoes, lemon pie.  Everything was so good that we were sad instead of relieved when the leftovers were finally gone later in the week. My little helpers made deviled eggs with me and were so proud of their contribution to our meal. I was proud too - I know that cooking, like other kinds of art, is naturally appealing to kids, but I just love that all of mine enjoy cooking.  I’m not biased or anything, but they’re good at it too.

These could not be easier, even though there are about a BILLION variations on deviled eggs, I wanted to make the simple, classic ones.  You know, the ones from the church buffet line. We garnished them with a little sprinkle of paprika and some resilient chives that braved the long, cold winter and are still growing like gangbusters in our small garden.  

Classic Deviled Eggs

  • 6 large eggs

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise

  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne

  • ½ teaspoon of lemon juice

I don’t think you really need directions but here goes. Hard boil the eggs, or use your Cool Whip dyed eggs from last week. Peel and cut each egg in half,  scoop out the yolks, mix with mayo, mustard, cayenne and a squeeze of lemon. Find an almost-three-year-old to mash the yolks and stir the mixture until smooth. Spoon mixture into egg white halves or, if you want to be fancy, spoon mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a star tip and fill the egg white halves that way (4-year-olds can definitely do this! 2-year-olds can too if your going for the “deconstructed” look). Garnish with chives and paprika, or whatever. Eat with gusto, especially in front of your little assistants. Enjoy the smiles.

Deviled Eggs






Boutique Bake Brown Bread Mix

john barry

Brown Bread

Hello there! It’s been way too long. I know we’ve been cooking at our house because somehow food keeps appearing on the table at dinner time.  I’m just not quite sure what or how. Sound familiar? Because it is STILL winter here, and I’ve still got napping little ones, I’ve taken to making soup from the weeks leftovers on Sunday afternoons. I’m kind of loving this little ritual.  The relative quiet. Doing something with my hands. Letting my mind wander. Giving my sense of smell, taste and feel something to do other than sit on the sidelines as they do for most of the week. I enjoy it without any of the guilt I associate with sitting on the couch and watching netflix or shopping online or any of the other things (that I also enjoy!) that I could be doing with my Sunday afternoons.

Not that I should feel guilty for any of it, just that, honestly, I do. I blame my Dad (as wonderful and amazing as he is. Hi Dad!).  When I was a kid, my dad would walk in the room and immediately observe his surroundings.  If he saw that you weren’t engaged in something “productive” - reading, homework, cleaning etc. he would blurt out “What are you doing!?!” with urgency and more than a little distress. I would have instant regret at my foolishness for relaxing so openly.  It’s hard to tell whether it nature or nurture - and it’s surely both - but as I grew older, I internalized this sense of “What are you doing!?!” to the point where I say it to myself constantly. Having kids, and no free time has definitely toned down that voice in my head, but it is always there, somewhere. As much as it drives me crazy, I appreciate it too.  For the fact that it drives me. Even if it’s just to make soup.

My Sunday soup ritual does not involve any recipes.  Just throwing leftovers into a pot with stock really. But I have been supplementing the soup with some great  breads and bread mixes from Paddy’s on the Square. Like me, the kids love brown bread and using a mix makes it so easy.  I can make the soup and bake bread all at the same time. And if we don’t eat the soup and bread for dinner, I take the soup with me to work for weekday lunches and we enjoy the bread as toast in the mornings.

A couple of weeks ago, I made this Brown Bread mix from a Company called Boutique Bake.  It was beyond easy to throw together and came with this nice little packet of seed mix to throw on top of the loaf for even more texture and flavor.  We loved this bread. The only downside was how fast this loaf went at our house.

*Serves 12 should be taken with a grain of salt. It took 10 minutes for my clan of 6 to finish this off.

*Serves 12 should be taken with a grain of salt. It took 10 minutes for my clan of 6 to finish this off.

Just add milk…

Just add milk…

one egg…

one egg…

and the crunchy seed topping. Then your work is done. Put it in the oven.

and the crunchy seed topping. Then your work is done. Put it in the oven.

Your only remaining job is to slather it with Irish butter and eat. Now, RELAX. You can do it!

Dead Simple: Parsley Sauce for Your Saint Patrick's Day Meal

john barry

IMG_20180218_183459.jpg

Hi there. How are you? I'm having a hard time believing that March is around the corner. Where did the last few month go? I am totally looking forward to the days getting longer and longer and  it warming up around here.  Plus, we are all psyched that the next major Holiday (besides Emmett's birthday, as I am reminded EVERY.SINGLE.DAY) is Saint Patrick's Day!

Spring means mixing things up with evening trips to the park, more eating out (even though that has been scaled back by the arrival of this), and possible getting the grill out. But for the next few weeks it's business as usual around here.

My father-in-law, Paddy, and I take turns hosting Sunday dinner. It’s an informal affair, just Paul and I, the kids, Paddy and my brother-in-law, John.  Nothing fancy, more often than not, dinner is just what we would normally have.  But, it’s nice to sit down to a meal together, and it’s a part of the week that we all look forward to. Last week, Paddy and John did more than their fair share. They drove to our house so we wouldn’t have to get the kids bundled up AND they brought an Irish bacon. There really wasn’t much for me to do to make dinner happen.

We typically eat our Irish bacon (and corned beef for that matter) with Coleman’s mustard on the side.  But since I was only responsible for vegetables, I decided to make some parsley sauce to go with the bacon.  This sauce is a basic bechamel with chopped parsley and lemon juice mixed in. It goes great with bacon and would probably be nice with fish (fish Friday idea!) or to spruce up some simple steamed broccoli or spinach.

You can make this sauce in the time it takes to cook some carrots and cabbage on the stovetop. I will definitely be making it again with my corned beef on Saint Patrick’s Day. With some Coleman’s mustard on the side, of course.

Parsley Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cups whole milk
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • Salt to taste

Place butter and flour in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat.  I like to use a high quality salted Irish butter, such as Kerrygold, for this.  If you use salted butter, you won’t need to add much salt at the end.

Stir butter and flour together until if makes a homogenous paste and bubbles but does not brown, about 2 minutes.   

Pour milk in slowly and cook, whisking constantly, for 4 or 5 minutes, until sauce thickens.  I add milk a little at a time, keeping in mind that sauce will be slightly thicker when taken off the heat. You may or may not use all the milk.

Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice and parsley.

Season to taste.  

To say I love Irish bacon would be an understatement.  If you are looking for something to do with leftover Irish bacon, look no further. 

I've used it in all of these: 

Bacon and Pea Risotto

In soup with white beans

In split pea soup

Dublin Coddle

and, it makes a regular appearance at our house in fried rice, sandwiches, scrambled eggs, even biscuits, cornbread and scones. Bacon is my weeknight, breakfast, anytime hero.