Kitchen Wit & Wisdom: Keep the holiday spirit alive

Homemade Irish cream is a tasty and economical way of extending the holiday season all year long

So, how many New Year’s resolutions are already broken out there? Not even started? I gave up that practice years ago, I mean, why set myself up for failure. I prefer to take a little time this month to look at the past year and see what has served me well and what hasn’t; what I might hang onto, and what I will let go of, be it activities or people.

I wish everyone a happy, healthy and productive 2015. Since the new year I’ve had several requests for a recipe for homemade Bailey’s Irish Cream. My guess is many of us spiked our morning coffees with the stuff throughout the holiday season and now woul Morning Star Staff

If you’ve been curious about tai chi, Howard Ketola is offering the perfect opportunity.

Sifu (Master) Ketola is the owner of Chung Yan Man’s Yang Style Tai Chi Chuan School and this Saturday he invites the community to the grand opening of his new studio.

Yang Style Tai Chi Chuan allows people of all ages to experience great benefits, with each class focusing on proper breathing techniques to cultivate the chi.

Ketola also offers classes in the full Martial Arts System of Traditional Yang Style Tai Chi Chuan, including traditional weapons.

The demonstrations and opening take place Saturday from 1 to 3 p.m. at his new school at 3005-32nd St. Everyone is welcome to come by, enjoy a snack and watch the demonstrations.

For more information, call 250-308-2200 or see www.VernonTaiChi.com d like an economical way to continue the practice. And so today I offer a recipe for Irish cream  and a hearty winter soup. Nothing beats the soulful goodness that a bowl of homemade soup can bring and this potato soup has all the flavour of a stuffed baked potato.

Homemade Baileys Irish Cream

1 cup light cream (I used heavy whipping cream, which made it even richer)

14 ounces sweetened condensed milk

1-2/3 cup Irish whiskey (I used Jameson’s)

1 teaspoon instant coffee

2 tablespoons chocolate syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon almond extract (I skipped this entirely)

Combine all ingredients in a blender and set on high speed for 30 seconds.

Bottle in a tightly sealed container and refrigerate. Shake before using.

Will keep for up to 2 months.

Potato, Cheddar and Chive Soup

5 russet potatoes, (2 lb/900 g total), peeled and chopped

1 sweet onion, chopped

4 slices bacon, (4 oz. total), chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

3/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1/4 tsp dried rosemary

4 cups chicken stock

Garnish:

1 cup shredded old Cheddar cheese

1/4 cup crumbled cooked bacon, (about 5 slices)

1/4 cup chopped fresh chives

1/4 cup sour cream

In slow cooker, combine potatoes, onion, bacon, garlic, salt, pepper and rosemary. Pour in stock. Cover and cook on low for 5 to 8 hours. Skim off fat. Using immersion blender, purée soup until smooth.

Garnish: Ladle soup into bowls. Garnish with cheese, bacon, chives and sour cream. Delicious!

Cathi Litzenberger is The Morning Star’s longtime food columnist, appearing every other Wednesday and one Sunday per month.