A few of us have been meeting for over 7 years now for our International Food Nights. We usually pick a country/region and make food from there. Our group has grown over the years and the most recent night was themed The British Isles Food Night.

I have compiled a few of the recipes here for those of us who would like to try them:

Fennel and golden raisin scones (Baked by Lindsey Seidel)

(Note from Shareen: There were absolutely delicious and definitely rank up there with the best scones I have had).

3 Tbsp. fennel seeds, plus more for garnish on top

4 c. of all-purpose flour

2 Tbsp. baking powder

1 Tbsp. sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

1 stick unsalted butter (cold and cubed)

1-1/2 cups golden raisins, coursely chopped

½ cup, plus 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1-1/2 cups heavy cream (plus a little more)

1 large egg, slightly beaten

  • Line baking sheet w/ parchment and set aside.
  • Put fennel seeds in spice grinder (chop fine)
  • In a large bowl, whisk together half the fennel seeds, flour, baking powder, sugar, baking soda and salt
  • Use pastry blender to cut in butter until course crumbs
  • Add raisins and reserved fennel seeds, add ½ c. olive oil and 1-1/2 c. cream, stir until dough comes together. If too dry, add a little more cream 1 Tbsp. at a time.
  • Turn onto lightly floured work surface, with floured hands, pat dough into round about 1-1/2” thick.
  • Use 2-3/4” wide cutter and dip in flour and cut rounds
  • Put on baking sheet, 2” apart
  • Cover with plastic wrap and freeze until dough is firm (2 hours or overnight)
  • Preheat oven to 350
  • Whisk egg and remaining olive oil and brush onto cold/frozen rounds and sprinkle with whole fennel seeds.
  • Bake until flecked w/ brown (20-25 minutes) rotating half way through
  • Transfer to wire rack and cool

These are delicious with some honey drizzled on top when you eat them.

St. Patrick’s Day Irish Soda Bread (Baked by Veronica Johnson)


3 c. all-purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

12 T cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1 – 1 ½ c. raisins

1 egg

½ c. honey

1 c. buttermilk

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Butter a heavy skillet or casserole, 10 to 11-inches.  Combine the flour, baking powder, soda, and salt together.
  • Add in the butter until the mixture resembles peas.  Add the raisins and toss to distribute evenly.
  • In another bowl, bat the egg until very frothy.  Beat in the honey and buttermilk.  Gradually stir into the flour mixture.  Pour into prepared pan.
  • Bake about 1 hour or until the middle is set.

Fish Pie (by Shareen)

Shopping List/Ingredients

11/2 lb. cod, haddock or any white fish

1 lb of prawn

¾ pint of heavy cream

2oz. butter

1/4 cup finely chopped parsley

Juice of half a small lemon

Salt and pepper to season

3 shallots (thinly sliced)

¼ cup sliced mushrooms


3 lbs cooked potatoes mashed with plenty of butter and a little milk until smooth.

Get Cooking

  • In a bowl, combine the fish (chopped in small bite-sized pieces), prawns (also in small pieces), lemon juice and parsley. Season well with salt and pepper. Toss all the ingredients well in a bowl and place in a casserole dish.
  • In a saucepan, sauté the thinly sliced shallots. Add the mushrooms until it is nice and soft. Slowly add the cream to the mixture until it is bubbly. Turn off the heat. Pour into the baking dish.
  • Top the casserole dish with the already mashed potatoes. Evenly spread it all over the pan. Bake on 375 degree for 30 mins (the top should be bubbly)

Let it set for a few minutes before serving. This is delicious the day after.


1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 ribs celery (sliced)

1 leek (sliced)

2 carrots (chopped)

4 springs flat-leaf parsley (chopped)

2 lbs potatoes (peeled and chopped)

3 cans vegetable broth

1 cup light cream

Sea salt and pepper to taste (recipe called for cayenne pepper — I used white pepper)

2 tbsp chives (snipped)

Sourdough toast

  • Heat olive oil in soup pot over medium heat and add celery, leek, carrots and parsley. Reduce heat and cook on low for about 5 minutes until vegetables are softened.
  • Add potatoes and broth and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer about 20-30 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
  • Blend in batches (or use an immersion blender) until smooth. Return to pan (if using a blender) and add cream. Season with salt and pepper to taste and stir until heated through.
  • Add chives and serve with slices of sourdough toast.

COTTAGE PIE (original recipe from Sarah Hauer, made by Melanie Smith)

for an 8×8 pan:


mashed potatoes

10 oz bag of frozen peas & carrots

1lb lean ground beef

1/4 cup worstershire sauce

1 packet brown gravy mix (I usually get McCormick’s low-sodium kind)

2 tsps of olive oil

1 tbsp & 1 tsp of flour

1 cup of water


  • In advance, make the mashed potatoes (and if you are using any other fresh veggies)
  • Preheat oven to 375 
  •  Heat oil in pan, add worst. sauce to unbrowned meat, cook until well browned.
  • Once browned, pour off excess fat, then stir in flour and cook for 1 minute. return to stove. 
  • Add 1 cup water and brown gravy mix, bring to a boil. reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes 
  • Spread ground beef in even layer in dish, next spread frozen peas & carrots (note do not need to precook if you are using frozen something). top with mashed potatoes. if you are topping with cheese (gasp) do it now. 
  • Bake in oven at 375 for 20 minutes
  • Done.

 Note from Sarah:

 I usually use this as a base recipe and mix it up. Mashed potatoes can be made however, I usually put sauteed onions and garlic in mine. Can use fresh veggies instead of frozen.