Thursday, March 17, 2011

"Cead Mile Failte"- 100,000 Welcomes, Recipes & A Rainbow Treasure Hunt

Happy St. Patricks Day to you all!!

   I love to celebrate and this day my friend Barbara wishes St. Patrick would come to her house and get rid of all of the snakes. She hates snakes. But on to better subjects like the great things to eat and to do.. besides drink green beer!!

   Don't you love this little March Angel? She has the prettiest face and spagetti gilding around her dress.
This and my Belleek creamer with shamrocks, gold chocolate coins and green "ice" on a silver tray make a lovely, simple St. Patricks Day centerpiece for the kitchen table.

Rainbow Treasure Hunt

In the spirit of having a fun celebration that doesn't involve gaudy bowler hats and green beer, I came up with a Rainbow Treasure Hunt for the girls.
You can adapt this to any age outdoors or inside. You just need items in your home that correspond to the colors of the rainbow. I don't have very much color inside and we have had lovely weather outdoors so mine is starting at our driveway with my "red" van. 1st clue. When they get there the 2nd clue and red Lifesaver jelly beans are waiting. The next clues are in the colors of the rainbow without indigo. I have included blue jump ropes (must jump 3 times in a row) with the blue clue, and purple bubbles with the purple clue (must blow 7 bubbles). The "Pot of Gold" is gold wrapped chocolate coins in a jar that I buried in the garden (2 steps and count 3 rocks, then dig for treasure!). They have little green bags with St. Patricks Day stickers on them to gather all of the goodies. Who doesn't love a great hunt??  You could do this indoors finding the clue in the "red" wagon or the "oranges" in the kitchen. Have fun!!!

Next (and I apologize that my pictures aren't done for these) are 3 yummy recipes for St. Patricks Day.

This is a absoloutely delicious spin on the huge Corned Beef and Cabbage everyone feels required to make today. Sooo much easier and so yummy!!!

Irish Cabbage Rolls

3C thinly sliced red potatoes
16 large green cabbage leaves approx. same size
8 pieces of Canadian Bacon cut into 1/8" pieces or very meaty thick sliced bacon chopped and cooked.
2 large Granny Smith apples cored, peeled and thinly sliced
1 Red Onion thinly sliced
3 tsp coarse black pepper
3 tsp sea salt
2 TBS fresh parsley chopped
2 cups white cheese shredded
non stick cooking spray
Bowl of ice water
8 slices beer or soda bread

To a large pot of boiling salted water, add potato slices. Cook 3 min. Remove and blanch by plunging in a bowl of ice water. Remove, drain, and set aside. Cook cabbage in remaining boiling water for 2 min. Plunge in ice water to blanch. Remove, drain and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Spray 3 qt. casserole dish with non stick cooking spray.

Place 2 leaves overlapping a little. Place chopped bacon in center of leaves. Add onion, apple and potatoes into a large bowl. Toss with pepper, salt and fresh parsley. Top bacon with mixture (about 3 TBS). Fold in sides and roll up like an egg roll. Place into baking dish seam side down. Cover with foil and bake for 25 min. Remove foil and bake 10 more min.

To serve, remove one or two rolls to plate. Drizzle with juices and top with shredded cheese. Serve with fresh beer bread or soda bread and butter.

Beer Bread

3 cups self rising all purpose flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 can beer (the kind you pick will affect the flavor)
1/4 cup melted butter

1. Pre heat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly greas a 9" X 5" baking pan
2. In bowl mix all dry ingredients
3. Pour beer into well in the middle of dry ingredients. Mix just until moistened.
4. Transfer to prepared baking pan. Split middle of bread with a knife  to crease top.
5. Pour melted butter over top of bread.
6. Bake 45-55 min. in pre-heated oven until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
7. Cool on rack.

Baileys Irish Cream Fudge

3 cups semi sweet choc. chips
1 cup white choc. chips
1/4 cup butter
3 cups confectioners sugar
1 cup Bailey's Irish Cream Liquer
1 1/2 cup chopped nuts

1 1/2 cup white choc chips
4 TBS Baileys Irish Cream Liquer
2 TBS butter
green food coloring
8X8" pan (or 3 aluminum pie pans to split it up)
Plastic wrap

1. Butter 8x8" pan
2. In the top of a double boiler melt the choc. chips, the white choc. chips and the butter from the first set of ingredients until soft. Stir to make sure all is smooth. Transfer to mixing bowl while hot and .....
3. Add confectioners sugar 1/2 cup at a time and Baileys Irish cream until smooth. Stir in chopped nuts.
4. Pour mix into prepared pan and lay a sheet of plastic wrap on top. Press and smooth down. Place in refrigerator.
Clean double boiler (OR just have 2 double boilers going)
1. In double boiler melt white choc chips until soft. Add Bailey's Irish Cream and butter with a whisk until smooth. Add green food coloring until desired tint is achieved. * I added 3 drops to the Baileys before adding them to the chocolate*
2. Remove plastic wrap from pan of fudge. Spread over first layer with knife. Place plastic wrap over top.
Press to smooth.
3. Refrigerate 1-2 hours. Cut and enjoy.
Can be frozen.

I split this recipe and put it into 3 aluminum pie pans that I buttered so that I could "share" more easily. A little goes a long way as it is just chocolate, butter, sugar and Baileys. I put it in gallon freezer bags and smoothed it down before refrigerating it .

I hope you enjoy today and celebrate wisely. Remember most importantly, that you don't have or can never get "LUCK", with or without being Irish or drinking green beer. We all are instead, Blessed and Blessed beyong measure.


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