Book Review + Giveaway! — Favorite Flavors of Ireland

17 Mar

617eNDCsS+L._SX390_BO1,204,203,200_Favorite Flavors of Ireland invites readers, cooks, and armchair travelers alike on a nostalgic tour of one of Europe’s most beloved destinations. From her first visit in 1984, Margaret Johnson has forged an indelible bond with Ireland and Irish food, and she shares this unique relationship with you in her eleventh cookbook. You’ll find recipes that have become her favorites along with a few recent discoveries that are sure to please. The book brings home all the classics — Shepherd’s Pie, Bacon and Cabbage, Seafood Chowder, Bread and Butter Pudding — and provides an insightful look into the seasonal ingredients that shape the country’s cooking. With over 100 recipes and evocative photos that transport you to the Irish countryside, this colorful collection will awaken your senses to the delicious food of this warm and welcoming land and keep those Irish eyes smilin’ all through the year.

71HFW7Zm2mL._UX250_Margaret M. Johnson has been writing professionally since 1992 when Mustang (Memphis, TN) published her first book, Festival Europe: Fairs and Celebrations Throughout Europe. She later devoted her travel and writing efforts exclusively to her ancestral home, Ireland, and followed with two cookbooks published in Dublin — Ireland: Grand Places, Glorious Food (1992) and Cooking With Irish Spirits (1995; 1998) — and five published by Chronicle Books, San Francisco — The Irish Heritage Cookbook (1998), The New Irish Table (2003), Irish Puddings, Tarts, Crumbles and Fools (2004), The Irish Pub Cookbook (2006), and The Irish Spirit (2006), named as one of 20 noteworthy cookbooks for the holidays by (December 3, 2006). Tea & Crumpets, an afternoon tea cookbook, was published in May 2009, and Flavors of Ireland was released in February 2012, by Ambassador International.

Although her passion for Ireland remains unfailing, she continues to travel to Europe and has written countless articles for Tribune Media Services (Chicago), where she has been a regular contributor and for HOUSE Magazine (New York) on destinations including London, Edinburgh, Paris, Amsterdam, Budapest, Bologna, Milan, Venice, the south of France, Monaco, Switzerland, and Greece, to name a few. She currently writes about food and travel for and contributes to Food & Wine Magazine (Dublin), CARA, the in-flight magazine of Aer Lingus, and wrote a feature on Irish food for Cooking Light Magazine‘s March 2010 issue.

Margaret has appeared at many food events and book signings, was a featured presenter on a Crystal Cruise to Great Britain and Ireland (July 2005), has appeared on television both in the U.S. and in Ireland, and twice on Martha Stewart Living on Sirius Radio. She represented the Irish Dairy Board on a satellite media tour prior to St. Patrick’s Day 2006 and was the featured speaker at an Irish-American dinner at Zingerman’s, Ann Arbor, in 2008. She is a regular participant in Philadelphia’s “The Book and the Cook” and at Massachusetts Irish Tourism’s “Gaelic Gourmet” event. In 2007, she completed a series of cooking demonstrations for broadcast by Comcast Digital Cable.

She lives in Westhampton Beach, NY, with her husband. Her websites include and

My Impressions:

What better way to celebrate the week leading up to St. Patrick’s Day than with cooking the foods of Ireland. With the help of Favorite Flavors of Ireland, I was able to whip up some traditional foods. Easy to follow recipes with readily available ingredients allowed for some fun 971614_1024641694248899_1833583788115194321_ntime in the kitchen as well as appreciative nods from my family. I made two traditional soda breads — Spotted Dog with the delicious flavors of caraway seed and raisins and Kinsale Brown Soda Bread, a dense whole wheat bread made extra special with the addition of some local honey. Monday night’s dinner was accompanied by Spinach with Walnuts, a family favorite dish made a bit more special and Dauphinoise Potatoes, a diet-busting concoction of heavy cream and cheese that was worth every last 10402398_1023305297715872_4678465383129094139_ncalorie. Later today I am making Croissant Blueberry Bread Pudding for my book club. I’ll give an update tomorrow.

While the recipes take center stage in most cookbooks, Favorite Flavors of Ireland also has beautiful photographs and interesting information on Irish culture, food and festivals. Divided by seasons, this cookbook is perfect for the adventurous cook — no special skills required! I loved browsing its pages and creating satisfying food. So if you want to find out more about Ireland and enjoy cooking up tasty treats for friends and family, I recommend you get this book. And if you have a Kindle, it is currently available for only $2.99!

Highly recommended.

To purchase this book, click HERE.

(Thanks to Ambassador International for a review copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)


If you have the luck of the Irish, then enter my Lucky Leprechaun Giveaway Hop. I am giving away a copy of Favorite Flavors of Ireland!


2 Responses to “Book Review + Giveaway! — Favorite Flavors of Ireland”

  1. darla March 28, 2016 at 10:16 pm #

    Was the winner emailed privately or announced on the blog? (because if the latter, I missed it…)


    • rbclibrary March 29, 2016 at 5:32 am #

      I emailed the winner first. I just heard back from her. Sorry you did not win.


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