All posts by Rae

Just sharing thoughts here. :) Writer, blogger, teacher, expat. Follow me at hellorae.com!

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

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As a “new” baker, I like to push the envelope a bit.  I’m also a little extravagant sometimes, but who doesn’t go a little overboard when it comes to Christmas?

This is my first time attending the Cahersiveen Christmas Market, hosted by Lisa O’Shea of Glow Health and Beauty Salon in The Kerry Coast Inn on December 6th.  It was a lovely, warm venue with many other artisans offering wares, food, and services aplenty.  I was honored to be a part of the market since my homemade baking has only been around since the summer, and many of the other participants have been doing pop-ups for much longer and more frequently than I.

At the market, I was selling Sugar Cookies prepackaged in half dozens with a choice of buttercream or royal icing, Ginger Cookies and Gingerbread Men (of different recipes), Apple Spice Cake, Red Velvet and Carrot Cake (and cupcakes) with Cream Cheese Frosting, New York Style Cheesecake, and lastly, Red Velvet and Apple Spice Cake Pops,.

All of these wintry treats are available until the 23rd of December, so please call and order yours today!

Ho ho ho and a Merry early Christmas to you!

Rustic Berry Tart

My first summer in Ireland is winding down to a close, but that doesn’t mean that nature stops providing.   Along the winding back roads of the countryside, there are countless vines of wild blackberries, ripening in the warm sun.   After enduring scratches and a few painful, thorny stabs, over 10kg of fruit was picked by my boyfriend and I to make our first ever Blackberry Wine (a separate post will come soon!).  Now it’s my turn to reap some rewards from the Blackberry Harvest.

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Rustic Berry Tart
Recipes inspired by Joy of Baking and Taste of Home
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Sourdough Sandwich Bread

Mix, rise, knead, rise… These words have haunted me.  As a teenager, I thought homemade bread came from a bread machine, because I couldn’t imagine how a person could stand punching and twisting dough for ten minutes straight.  Here I am, sharing these unbelievable photos of bread that I made, and I can hardly keep in my joy.

Yes, as a millennial (Gen-Y), I might be a little naive saying that bread is hard to make.  But it didn’t come from a bag!  It only has flour, water, oil, and yeast in it!  Look, ma!

Personally, I adore making things from scratch.  I enjoy the challenge of it.  Best of all is when I contemplate about how people did this all the time and didn’t blog about it.  Imagine that!

Another challenge is keeping your sourdough starter alive.  It’s easy to make but easier to forget about.  If tended to like a small child, you could have bread like this every day.  I give credit for this amazing bread to the blog The Kitchn, for holding my hand through raising my “baby” all the way through the baking process.  Astounding teachers, they are! (I like my bread to have a little wheat flour, so my version reflects those changes.  If you’d like a white-flour-only version, check out their original recipe linked below!)  Happy Kneading!

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Sourdough Sandwich Bread
recipe modified from The Kitchn
Continue reading Sourdough Sandwich Bread

Cahersiveen Festival of Music and The Arts

We had a wonderful Saturday at the Cahersiveen Festival. So many lovely people came over to chat. My favorite recipes of the day were “Kerry Cake,” a tie-dyed green and yellow cake to represent County Kerry, and Red Velvet, of course. Next time I’m invited to a market like this, I’ll make sure to bring LOTS more!

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Ballingskelligs Country Market

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Ballingskelligs is a beautiful place here in South Kerry, and Ballingskelligs Country Market is where I started Rae’s Homemades as a hobby. Located at Cafe Cois Tra by the beach, owner and operater Barbara O’Shea Cassidy organizes the summer-long event by word of mouth and via Facebook.

I had the absolute pleasure of attending four Sunday markets at the Cafe this summer, and have included some photos from them here. It was because of the Ballingskelligs Market that I developed a passion for creating baked goods that differed from the norm, and worked hard to make buns and breads that anyone could enjoy.

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Rae’s Homemades became something much bigger than I anticipated in no-time.  I began to stretch my baking abilities by offering a wider range of desserts that I hoped people would love. To this day, I strive to make the very best quality desserts available in Cahersiveen, and someday I hope to have a shop that I can call home.

I am available for personal requests, events, parties, and weddings. For inquiries, please see my “About Me” page. Thank you so much for supporting local businesses here in Ireland.  I hope you enjoy!