Sunday, March 18, 2012

St. Patrick's Day Funsies

Ok. St. Patrick's Day. Arrived, spent, gone. All of my intentions of blogging about our fun disappeared as well when my son woke up relatively early with leg pains. Poor sugar.

Breakfast was not supposed to be noteworthy. My mom was the one with the big plans--green deviled eggs, green this, green that...and later green veggies and green dip for the folks at my grandma's nursing home. But it didn't work out for her, and she was sad, I could tell, so I made a breakfast with her in mind. I didn't do green, because I really wanted my kids to eat it. So I went with rainbow. We had rainbow eggs (minus blue, I couldn't think of anything blue that was savory enough to go in eggs) with red and yellow bell pepper, purple onion and green cilantro. We had sausage links, which are my gold at the end of the rainbow, because it's a guarantee for getting some protein into my kids. We ate the Irish Gold Soda Bread that we made earlier in the week, and for something blue, frozen blueberries. Aren't frozen blueberries delightful?

Oh! I can't forget the Irish coffee. I mean, it wasn't technically an Irish coffee...but it did have Irish Whiskey and Irish Cream, was close. When my brother and I went to England to visit relatives a little over a decade ago, a cousin told us how to make real Irish coffee. I still don't know if it's the real way to make it, I'm sure there are variations, but his was smokin' good, and this was his recipe.

Pack some brown sugar at the bottom of the coffee cup, about a tablespoon. Then pour in enough whiskey to get it wet. Then pour in a little more. Pour in your hot coffee, and then add cream. No stirring. The act of drinking it causes a bit of stirring to happen, and every sip ends up having a slightly different taste. It's amazing. I recommend it, and I don't think you need to wait until the next Irish-loving holiday. :D

Next Scotch (my partner and the father of my amazing children) and I cut the potato stamps you see for this craft. I did it last year, but just didn't have the right kind of paint (tried watercolor, tempera, markers.) So I researched and came to the conclusion I'd have to use acrylic paints this year. They worked FANTASTICALLY, and we'll be doing it again next year, I'm sure. Here we have Rainbow, in her pretty St. Patrick's Day shirt and a pillowcase smock, stamping shamrocks onto paper. I had that oval ceramic dish and put some dark green and some lighter green and some yellow into it, with the colors a little bit separated. Then I added water and swirled it about a bit. The swirls didn't show up, but there is some color variation. The kids really liked that, so I kept adding colors, using more yellow, ochre (dark yellow), burnt sienna, dark brown, white, and more green. I tried to keep all the colors on the green side. I'm so happy with this project! Each kid painted four sheets of paper.

Here's my potato stamp. I'm so proud.

By his second sheet of paper, Cloud was getting into smearing the paint around.

Then we had snack. This was also not an intentional St. Patrick's Day deal, but we had guacamole, and I'll be damned if it isn't green. Guacamole is one of my favorite things in the world. I used to be this purist snob until I got together with Scotch. He likes to experiment with flavors, and to date we have smashed up nothing short of mouth-watering creations every time. Sometimes we stick with the traditional pico de gallo sort of ingredients, but when he makes it, he often wanders into Tapatio territory, and we're not talking Guadalajara. He uses the sauce, adds cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, Valentina, lemon or lime juice...whatever he feels like at the moment. This particular one had some Tapatio, cumin, salt, garlic, onion, lemon juice, chili powder, paprika and cilantro. Cloud ate most of it.

Then we made our St. Patrick's Day treat. I wanted to make something fun and easy. I found a recipe for whiskey balls, but I didn't have the ingredients. So I started looking at other recipes for whiskey balls, and found that most of them called for crushed Nilla wafers (one of the ingredients I didn't have.) Here, I thought, "Hmmm...Nilla wafers? Maybe not so Irish, but my kids will like it." So I found one with chocolate, Scotch went to the store for me (got some more whiskey for himself, as well) and we made some salty, chocolate-y whiskey balls. I modified the recipe, found at (,1613,157164-250202,00.html), just a touch. Instead of adding the powdered sugar, corn syrup, and whiskey to the melted chocolate, I just threw them all in the double boiler and mixed them up as the chocolate melted. And I didn't make 55 balls... Also, I LOVE salt and dark chocolate together. After I made the first three rows, I decided to add some sea salt to the rolling mixture, and rolled the last two rows in that. I had to keep adding more salt to the cocoa and sugar because it stuck better to the balls. The recipe calls for leaving the balls in an airtight container overnight, and today I know why. Yesterday (we couldn't wait) we couldn't taste the whiskey. Today there's a very pleasant albeit very light aftertaste. We're DEFINITELY making these again next year, although I think an earlier-in-the-week project will be to make Nilla wafers from scratch. I'm an ingredient snob.

And then again, dinner...not intentionally noteworthy. I'm not an Atkins girl AT ALL. But when I heard that In 'N Out Burger had hamburgers with lettuce instead of buns, I decided to give it a try (I DO like lettuce) and I fell in love. I mean, I AM a burger girl, and I never really disliked the bun. But after eating one without the bun, and WITH extra, crunchy, fresh lettuce, I was won over. And now that's how I prefer my hamburgers...and cheeseburgers...and green chile cheese burgers with homemade mayo and homemade lacto-fermented ketchup. But I digress. If you like lettuce and if you've never tried it, go for it. It just might change your world. AND lettuce is green! AND we had POTATO chips. HA! So I just had to throw in dinner. This is getting ridiculous.
Here's a fun fact. REALLY fun. Potatoes come from Peru and the Andes, not from Ireland. I know more, but will not be sharing more here. I bet your good friend Google will share. :D

And here's the baby, and the baby decorated for St. Patrick's Day. I guess I'm about five and a half months along. I never got into tracking the weeks.

Hope your day was spectacular. Mine was.

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