Toast 2012 with Irish Cream and Resolve to Know Your Farmer

As the New Year approaches, it might be time rethink your resolutions.

by John D. Ivanko
Irish cream
Photo by Stephanie Staton
Toast the new year with a glass of farmsteadtarian-approved Irish cream.

As the New Year approaches, it might be time rethink your resolutions:

Resolve to make “local” the new “Made in the USA” label in 2012. Becoming a “farmsteadtarian” celebrates the great food you can enjoy by being on a first-name basis with your butcher, baker and beekeeper. Help reclaim our nation’s agrarian roots in your own kitchen. Celebrate homemade and homegrown, even if it means growing produce on the roof or in the windows of your home. Pick up a hoe, or join a CSA. Say no to GMOs and CAFOs, and turn off media or government messages tell you what you can—or cannot—eat.

This Irish Cream recipe showcases the key philosophies behind resolving to eat farmsteadtarian in 2012 by:

1. Forgoing the Processed
With this Irish Cream recipe (or last week’s homemade hot-cocoa mix), you can rebel against those hefty corporate food-advertising budgets attempting to convince us that shrink-wrapped and processed is best. You can make your own equivalents of items many of us just grab from a supermarket aisle. Save money and increase the quality of the ingredients by using things like local or fair-trade products for items you can’t grow or make on your farmstead.

2. Indulging in Moderation
Real cream and sugar? You bet, but in small doses sipped slowly. Use real ingredients and enjoy in moderation when it comes to things rich and indulgent. Think of the way farmers ate just a few generations ago: Basic, unprocessed, whole foods for day-to-day eating (with garden bounty preserved for the winter months) and a serving of something special for a holiday. No guilt, no fat-free fillers.

3. Connecting with Others
This Irish Cream recipe begs to be shared. It makes a hearty batch that causes lingering conversations with neighbors around the woodstove. Resolve to embrace every opportunity in 2012 to bring people together around food.

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Recipe: Irish Cream

Yield: 4 cups


  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1 to 1½ cup whiskey, to taste
  • 1 tsp. instant-coffee powder (We use Mount Hagen, the only instant organic coffee we’ve found.)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. almond extract
  • 1 T. cocoa powder
  • 2 T. sugar
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk

In a blender, combine all ingredients and mix for about 30 seconds. Pour into a large glass jar (we use a canning jar), seal and keep refrigerated.

Before serving, give the sealed jar a good shake to re-mix the ingredients before pouring over ice or adding a splash to coffee.

Share Your New Year’s Eve Favorites
What will you be toasting with—or nibbling on this New Year’s Eve? Share your favorite cocktail or appetizer recipes in the John & Lisa’s New Years Party recipe contest, and let’s celebrate together in spirit. From savory to sweet, bubbly to homebrewed, enter what you’ll be serving at your New Year’s Eve festivities as you make your farmsteadtarian resolutions. The winning recipes by popular vote receive a copy of our book, Farmstead Chef for themselves or a friend.

Savoring the good life,

John and Lisa's Signatures

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