Posted by: marthabernie | August 31, 2015

NEW PROMENADE SANDYCOVE, Kingstown (Dun Laoghaire) Ireland

001I am told this image is a fake…that it was after Kingstown became Dun Laoghaire (it does look like it’s mid 1920’s or later), and also that the actual road never looked like this.  The road does look incredibly wide to me!  Anyway, it’s possible that this was some sort of mock up for a proposed plan, but the actual work ended up looking very different.  Will have to see if I can find a similar image of the real thing in that time period.

Posted by: marthabernie | August 31, 2015


scan0187bMy great aunt had a “shirt tail relation” or cousin by marriage named Maud Beattie.  She came to California to visit Aunt Annie some time after she married Uncle Walter in 1923.  There are photos of her in Aunt Annie’s garden.  I think this is Maud as a young woman, and here she is below in later life, taken in Springfield, Missouri, where we know she lived.  One of my great grandmother’s sisters married into the Beattie family; they lived in and around Phillipsburg, Missouri but also in Greene County near Springfield.


Posted by: marthabernie | August 31, 2015

Summer Sugar Crinkle Cookies

Another sugar cookie recipe worth saving, I think:

Source: Summer Sugar Crinkle Cookies

Posted by: marthabernie | August 31, 2015


I discovered this recipe a couple of years ago and really like it.  The trick is to not overcook the mixture once you pour in the pecans.


1/2 cup (packed) brown sugar

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cups pecan halves

Spread pecans on a cookie sheet lined with foil or parchment paper.  Toast for 12 minutes at 325 degrees F.  Remove from oven.

Combine sugar, vinegar and oil in a large pot or skillet and boil until frothy.  Then pour in the pecans and continue to cook and stir until coated.

Remove from heat and spread in one layer on the cookie sheet.  Let cool.  Break apart when cool and enjoy!

Posted by: marthabernie | August 30, 2015

Blueberry and Peach Coffee Cake

One of the best summer fruit combinations…

Source: Blueberry and Peach Coffee Cake

001I think the Pavilion was built in anticipation of a visit from Queen Victoria, but not 100% sure of that.  This is the interior circa 1906 where there was some sort of theatre.   The original structure was mostly wooden, I think, and it burned down.  There have been several reincarnations and the current “Pavilion” is mostly restaurants and shops and is not built of wood.

Posted by: marthabernie | August 30, 2015

Unknown Couple From Tintype – Moore Family?

scan0187abThis image is from a very small tintype which is still in remarkably good condition for its age.  This was probably a wedding photo taken of the couple before they married.  The tintype was given to me by my second cousin, Stormye Harrill Barnett, and she thought it was from the Moore side of the family, her grandmother being Margaret Moore McMenus of Phillipsburg, Missouri.  I have circulated among Stormye’s nieces and newphew, hoping someone will recognize the couple but so far, no one knows who the couple are….

Posted by: marthabernie | August 30, 2015


This is a French dish known as Croque Monsieur Casserole, but I like to call it Sandwich Inspired Casserole.  It’s easy to make, and you can substitute any sandwich makings for the ham and cheese.  It’s basically like a savory bread and butter pudding.


1 day old 12 oz. baguette cut into 20 slices, toast lightly if bread is fresh

2 tablespoons butter, melted

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

9 oz Gruyere cheese, shredded

8 oz thinly sliced Black Forest ham

4 eggs

1-1/4 cups whole  milk

salt and pepper

Chop half of the bread into 1/2 inch pieces.  In a bowl, toss with melted butter, set aside.  Spread mustard over remaining bread and arrange, overlapping slightly in a greased 2 quart baking dish.  Sprinkle 1/2 cup of cheese on top.  Fold ham slices in half and arrange in an even layer over bread.  Top with half of remaining cheese.  Sprinkle with chopped bread and remaining cheese.  In a bowl whisk the eggs and milk, season.  Pour over the casserole and let stand at room temp for 30 minutes.  Position a rack in the upper third of oven, preheat to 400 degrees F.  Bake until casserole puffs and top is golden brown, about 30 minutes.  Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.


Posted by: marthabernie | August 30, 2015

My Grandmothers Earthquake Cake…..

Lovely blog post about baking with grandmother….and an interesting cake recipe, too!

Source: My Grandmothers Earthquake Cake…..

Posted by: marthabernie | August 29, 2015

Blueberry crumble traybake

In the UK and Ireland, a cake that is baked in a flat, one sheet pan is referred to as a tray bake.  You also see the term used for baking things such as chicken with vegetables and potatoes all in one pan as a tray bake.  Here is a great recipe of the sweet variety using blueberries, which are still abundant out here in California:

Source: Blueberry crumble traybake

Posted by: marthabernie | August 29, 2015

Looking Toward Dun Loaghaire From Sandycove


Posted by: marthabernie | August 29, 2015

Unknown Young Lady – 1890’s?

scan0187aNo idea who this is.  The photo has started to fade and yellow.  She appears to be holding some artificial flowers.  The sleeves on her dress indicate 1890’s, I think.  And the hairstyle indicates 1890’s also.

Posted by: marthabernie | August 29, 2015

Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes

My mother made Boston Cream Pie when I was growing up.  The recipe came out of her old red cookbook which I still have but it’s in pieces. This is a take on the original:

Source: Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes

Posted by: marthabernie | August 29, 2015


I love Hoisin Sauce and use it whenever I get a chance.  Here is a casserole that blends it with pork in a quick and easy casserole.


1-1/4 pounds pork tenderloin, cut into 1 inch pieces

1-1/2 teaspoons Chinese five spice powder


4 tablespoons canola oil

12 shitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced

1/2 head savory cabbage (bout 12 oz) cored and sliced

1 piece fresh ginger (2 inches), peeled and finely chopped

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 cup long grain rice

1 carrot, peeled and thinly sliced

2 cups chicken broth

6 tablespoons Hoisin sauce plus more for serving

Thinly sliced scallion, for garnish

Chopped cilantro, for garnish

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Season the pork with the five spice powder and salt.  Heat a heavy 12 inch covered casserole pan over high heat.  Add 2 tablespoons oil and the pork.  Cook until the pork is golden brown on the outside but still rare in center, 3 to 5 minutes.  Transfer to baking sheet.

Reduce heat to medium, then add the mushrooms and the remaining oil to pan.  Cook until tender and softened, about 2 minutes.  Add the cabbage, garlic and ginger.  Season with salt and sauté until the cabbage begins to wilt, about 2 minutes.  Stir in rice and carrot, then broth and 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce; bring to a boil.  Cover and bake until the rice is tender and the liquid absorbed, about 20 minutes.

Remove pan from oven.  Preheat the broiler.  Toss the pork with remaining 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce; nestle the pork into the rice mixture and broil until the pork is glazed, 5 to 7 minutes.  Sprinkle with scallions and cilantro, serve with more hoisin.

Posted by: marthabernie | August 28, 2015

DUN LAOGHAIRE HARBOUR from the end of the Pier

001This is a 1960 photograph taken from the Dun Laoghaire Pier, looking back into the town and across the harbor.

Posted by: marthabernie | August 28, 2015


scan0186jjNo clue as to the identity of these ladies except that they were most likely contemporaries of Aunt Annie’s daughters, Ethyl and Ednah, and the photo (which is about one inch by 1-1/2 inches) has some identifying info on the reverse about the photographer.  Appears to be Waterbury, taken at the St. Louis World’s Fair, which was in 1904.  The lady on the right does look a lot like Etta Daniels, whose photos I posted yesterday, and she does seem to be wearing the little spectacles that she was wearing in some of the photos yesterday.  Look at the lace collar on her coat!

Posted by: marthabernie | August 28, 2015


I had friends over for dinner recently and tried this dip. It turned out really well and I served it with fresh vegetables. I think it would also work with low fat mayo and/or switching out half a cup of mayo for low fat sour cream or cream cheese. I was not having a crowd, so I halved the recipe below.

Stir 1-1/2 cups mayonnaise, 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, 1 teaspoon each Dijon mustard and Worcestershire sauce, 1 clove garlic mashed into a paste, the zest of one lemon, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Makes 2 cups.


Posted by: marthabernie | August 28, 2015

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

I love garlic mashed potatoes but don’t usually go to the trouble of making them at home…this recipe is worth trying, however.

Source: Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Posted by: marthabernie | August 27, 2015

Brilliant Banana Bread – Gluten Free

For those of you who are gluten free, here is a banana bread recipe to try:

Source: Brilliant Banana Bread

001This is a print from a magazine called GENTLEMAN’s MAGAZINE, a 1771 edition.  It pulled out of the magazine I think since it is blank on the reverse side.       I also have some of the text which is a little hard to read since the “s” characters all look like an “f” and the languages is very stilted.  It talks about various landmarks and other things in Dalkey and also refers to the harbour, which unbelievably, was a major harbour for Dublin since the waters up near the Liffey were not deep enough for many types of ships. There were seven castles in Dalkey.  Two of them stills stand today:  the one in the village (which is sometimes referred to as Goat Castle) and the one neat Bulloch Harbour (Bulloch Castle).  Even more interesting is the text that refers to the remains of two piratesMcKinley and Zekerman being hung near Coliemore Harbour and Dalkey Island after they were executed in Dublin.  Apparently the pirates and some cohorts had taken over a ship, killed everyone off, including three youngsters and the wife of one Captain  Glass, then escaped with gold, finally landing in Wexford.  They were eventually apprehended and hung.  I have put the text below in a blown up version.  If you are interested in the Dalkey area, you might find the text interesting.


Posted by: marthabernie | August 27, 2015

Etta Daniels and Family? – 1902

scan0186ggThis photo has “Etta Daniels” written on the reverse side with “To Ednah Forkner, April 23, 1902.”  I believe this was a school friend, local contemporary or cousin by marriage of Aunt Annie’s daughter, Ednah.  I think that their father’s family, the Forkners, may have married into the Daniels family.  When my mother inherited the contents of Aunt Annie’s house after Ednah’s death, she received the photographs that had belonged to both Ednah and her mother.  There are other photos which I would not necessarily have guessed were part of the Daniels family members (or friends of Etta), but since they all have the same dog in them (looks like a pug), and Etta appears in the first photos below, they must be related somehow.   She wrote on the reverse, “This is my red dress and hat on our pet day.  Tweedles and a friend.”  I hope the dog’s name was Tweedles!

scan0186eHere is the dog again….

scan0186eeAnd a strip of three small photos with a little boy and the dog dressed as a baby!


Posted by: marthabernie | August 27, 2015


I had not had these potatoes for years, maybe even decades, until in Ireland last year. They were served with a nice cut of beef, and I made a mental note to look for a recipe when I got home.  These potatoes are brushed with an egg wash just before baking for color and texture.


2-1/2 pounds russet potatoes (about 4)

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

2 egg yolks, plus 1 egg mixed with 1 teaspoon heavy cream, lightly beaten

1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Using a fork, prick potatoes all over, place on baking sheet.  Bake until tender, about 1-1/2 hours; let cool, then peel and pass through a food mill or ricer.

Mix potatoes, butter, yolks, nutmeg, salt and pepper in a bowl; transfer to a piping bag fitted with a 3/4 inch star tip. On a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, and working in a tight circular motion, pipe 12 – 2-1/2 inch cones about 2 inches high.  Brush with egg mixtures, bake until golden brown, about 40 to 45 minutes.


Posted by: marthabernie | August 27, 2015

Peach Crumble Bars

We get local peaches here in L.A. well into August and right now they are the large variety that come out of the Antelope Valley:

Peach Crumble Bars.

Posted by: marthabernie | August 26, 2015

Giant Chocolate Coffee Cookies

I”ve had coffee flavored cake and cupcakes, but I don’t recall ever eating a coffee flavored cookie….these are definitely worth giving a try!

Giant Chocolate Coffee Cookies.

Posted by: marthabernie | August 26, 2015


scan0177aI’ve posted photos of my friends’ farm yard before, but here is another shot of one of their very old outbuildings.  The farm is located in County Carlow.

Posted by: marthabernie | August 26, 2015


scan0252These are the children of Lawrence Ferrier, my grandmother’s brother, along with a cousin or friend.  That’s Kenny in the front left, with sister Eva Lee on the right.  In back is brother Charles Ferrier and the girl on the left in back with glasses is unknown.  These Ferriers were my father’s first cousins, and I am sure this photo was taken in Missouri.

Posted by: marthabernie | August 26, 2015

Sunday Rewind: Lemon Layer Cake

Sunday Rewind: Lemon Layer Cake.

Posted by: marthabernie | August 25, 2015

Donna Hay lemon syrup and coconut cake

Donna Hay lemon syrup and coconut cake.

Posted by: marthabernie | August 25, 2015



Posted by: marthabernie | August 25, 2015

LONG BEACH, CALIFORNIA – September 27, 1925

004This photo was taken when my great aunt Anna’s brother and sister-in-law, John and Margaret McMenus, came to visit after she remarried in 1923 and moved to what is now Highland Park, California.  Uncle Johnny and Aunt Mag had never seen the ocean, having lived their entire lives in Phillipsburg, Missouri, and this photo was taken on an excursion to Long Beach.  On the left is Uncle Walter Tweddell (Aunt Annie’s husband) with Aunt Mag in the middle and Uncle Johnny on the right.  They were certainly overdressed for the bach, even back then!  Note the young lady lying left of the umbrella at the bottom right.  And the architecture certainly is interesting!

Posted by: marthabernie | August 25, 2015

Frozen Lemonade Pie

A wonderful summer dessert!

Frozen Lemonade Pie.

Posted by: marthabernie | August 25, 2015


Now that the hot weather is upon us, I like using the slow cooker instead of turning on the stove and oven.  Here is an easy recipe for chicken fajitas.  I also like to use the Reynolds Slow Cooker Liners so there is less mess to clean up with the crockpot.  This is a recipe for a crowd so you may want to halve it the first time you try it.


2 pounds chicken tenders

1 onion, sliced

1 red bell pepper, cut in strips

1 green bell pepper, cut in strips

3/4 cup salsa

2 packages (1.4 oz each) fajita seasoning mix

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

16 – 10 inch flour tortillas

shredded cheese, chopped tomatoes, guacamole, sour cream

Line a 5 to 6 quart slow cooker with slow cooker liner according to package directions.

Place the first four ingredients in the slow cooker.  Combine salsa, seasoning mix and cayenne pepper, then add to cooker.  Cover and cook 6 to 7 hours on LOW or 3 to 4 hours on HIGH until chicken is done.  Carefully remove lid and stir with plastic or wooden slotted spoon.  Spoon 1/2 cup chicken mixture onto each tortilla and top with preferred toppings, then fold tortilla over filling.


Posted by: marthabernie | August 24, 2015

American Chocolate Chip Pancakes

I make more pancakes (both sweet and savory) in the summer because I don’t have the turn the oven on!

American Chocolate Chip Pancakes.

Posted by: marthabernie | August 24, 2015

Irish Young Lady About 1880

002These two photos were taken at the same studio in Kingstown (now Dun Laoghaire), County Dublin, Ireland sometime in the 1880’s, I am guessing.  I think it’s the same woman, or if not, they are sisters (possibly even twins) 003

Posted by: marthabernie | August 24, 2015

Billy McMenus – Phillipsburg, Missouri

002fMy great Aunt Annie was a great correspondent and it’s only because she wrote so many letters, sending photographs, that we have so many family photos.  One of her correspondents was her sister-in-law, Sade Bilderback McMenus.  Here is a photo of Sade’s youngest child, WIlliam McMenus, taken shortly before his father died in 1920.

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