St. Patrick’s Day

Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Frosting

guinness-chocolate-cupcakes3

Since I’ve seen so many recipes for Chocolate Stout cupcakes lately, I decided that I must make them for St. Patrick’s Day!  The stout makes them extra soft and fluffy.  I found this recipe on the Betty Crocker website and loved it because they only need a few ingredients and are so simple to make.  I chose to do a vanilla icing, but you can also do an Irish Cream frosting, which is perfect for an all adults potluck.

Ingredients:

1 box deviled foods cake mix

1 1/4 cups Guinness stout beer

1/2 cup vegetable oil

3 eggs

1 stick butter, softened

4 cups powdered sugar, sifted

2 tsp. vanilla

1/4 tsp. salt

4 T. milk

Using a mixer, combine together the cake mix, Guinness, oil, and eggs in a large bowl on low speed for 30 seconds.  Then, mix on medium high speed for another two minutes.

Line a regular-sized muffin tin with baking cups.  Scoop 1/4 cup batter into each tin.  If using a dark or nonstick pan, bake at 325 degrees (or 350 degrees if using a regular pan) for 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Transfer to a rack and let cool.

In a separate bowl, mix the butter and powdered sugar until combined.  Add the vanilla, salt, and milk. Mix on medium speed until smooth and thoroughly combined.

Once the cupcakes are completely cooled, frost them, and store them in an airtight container until potluck time!  (I made them the day before and they were still wonderful, but I wouldn’t make them any earlier than that.)

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Corned Beef and Cabbage Pasta

Corned Beef and Cabbage Pasta

Corned Beef and Cabbage Pasta is a perfect St. Patrick’s Day potluck dish!  The traditional corned beef and cabbage are combined with onions, butter, and egg noodles to make a hearty, flavorful dish.

You can also make this dish especially easy by buying already cooked corned beef and pre-shredded bags of cabbage.  Double the amount of beef, if you want and, if your budget allows.  The inspiration for this recipe came from The Chew, with variations on the amount of ingredients.

Ingredients:

1 lb. cooked corned beef

24 ozs. egg noodles, cooked

Reserved pasta water

2 medium white onions, sliced

4 cups shredded cabbage

1 stick butter

2 T. olive oil

Coarse dijon mustard, to taste

Salt, to taste

Pepper, to taste

Cook the egg noodles according to the package instructions and save three to four cups of the pasta liquid.  Set noodles aside.

Melt 1/2 stick butter and olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Add the white onion and cook until soft.  Add the cabbage and cook until soft.  Shred the corned beef and add to the onion cabbage mixture until heated through.

Add the egg noodles and remaining butter.  Cook until the butter is melted.  Add some of the reserved pasta water, as needed.  Keep in mind that the noodles will dry out some, so it’s better to add a little too much pasta water, as opposed to not enough.  (You especially want to add extra water if you’re going to make this dish ahead of time and then reheat before serving.)

Then, add mustard, salt, and pepper to taste.  Cooking until heated through.  Put into a serving bowl and you’re ready for potluck time!

 

Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Cake

Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Cake

This is a twist on our classic Ice Cream Cake recipe using Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Sandwiches and Andes mints. This version is a fun dessert for a St. Patrick’s Day potluck, but you can serve it anytime of the year. It’s super yummy and it literally takes five minutes to make!

Ingredients:

2 boxes (12 each) of mint chocolate chip ice cream sandwiches

2 small containers of plain Cool Whip (or 1 large container; you may not need it all but it’s better to have too much than not enough)

2 – 4.67 oz. packages of Andes Creme De Menthe Thins, unwrapped from individual wrappers and then crushed (this is the most difficult part of making this cake)

Unwrap the ice cream sandwiches.  Assemble one layer of sandwiches in the bottom of an ungreased 9 x 13″ glass pan.  Assemble a second layer of sandwiches on top of the first.  Spread Cool Whip on top of the sandwiches.  Sprinkle the crushed Andes Mints on top of the Cool Whip. Cover the cake with foil and gently press the mints into the Cool Whip.

Put the cake in the freezer until potluck time.  It can be made a few hours before, but also keeps in the freezer for several days (and so do the leftovers if you’re lucky enough to have any!).

Pea Slaw

Pea Slaw

The bacon bits, honey roasted peanuts, and peas in this salad provide the perfect combination of sweet, salty, and crunchy.  This Pea Slaw is one of my favorite summertime salad recipes.  Joyce shared this recipe and she got it from Spike.

Ingredients:

2 small or 1 large bag frozen peas, thawed

Bacon bits

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1 cup Best Foods mayonnaise

2 t. mustard

1 T. wine vinegar

1 cup honey roasted peanuts (or more if you like!)

Mix all of the ingredients, except the peanuts, together in a bowl and refrigerate until well chilled.  Add the peanuts right before serving, so they stay crunchy.

Cabbage Casserole

Cabbage Casserole

You don’t have to be a cabbage lover to enjoy this casserole!  It’s delicious and easy to make.  Joyce shared this recipe and it is one of her personal favorites.  It’s especially good served with sausages or as a side for a St. Patrick’s Day potluck.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter

1 medium sized head of green cabbage (about 2 1/2 lbs.) cored and thinly sliced

1 large onion, finely chopped

1 1/2 cups milk

4 eggs, lightly beaten

15 salted crackers, finely crushed (about 3/4 cup)

1 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. black pepper

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Butter a 10 cup casserole dish.

Melt 1/2 cup butter in large pot.  Add cabbage and onion.  Cook over medium heat until softened, about 20 minutes.  Stir in milk.  Bring to a boil.  Lower heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes.  Remove pot from heat.  Let cool slightly.

Gently stir in eggs.  Add 1/2 cup crushed crackers, salt, and pepper.  Pour into prepared casserole dish.  Dust top evenly with remaining crushed crackers.

Bake for 30 minutes or until heated through and the top is golden brown.

Spinach Cranberry Salad

Spinach Cranberry Salad

This is a very basic salad and almost everyone has had some variation of it, but it’s always a hit at potlucks!

Ingredients:

Bag of spinach

Dried cranberries

Walnuts, pecans, or pepitas, regular or sweetened, chopped or broken into pieces

Crumbled, feta, blue, or goat cheese

Balsamic vinegar

Put all the ingredients in a bowl.  Just before serving, add dressing and toss.  Done!

Irish Soda Bread

Irish Soda Bread2

I look forward to Irish Soda Bread around St Patrick’s Day every year!  This version is fluffy and moist on the inside with a crisp, buttery crust.   Very simple to make and it’s especially good when served with Irish butter and slices of sharp white cheddar.

Found this wonderful recipe in the New York Times:

Ingredients:

1/4 cup butter, melted plus some extra for greasing the pan

3 cups flour

2/3 cup sugar

1 T baking powder

1 1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

1 3/4 cups buttermilk

2 eggs, well beaten

1 1/2 cups raisins or currants

1 T. caraway seeds

Grease a cast iron skillet with butter and then line it with parchment paper.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and soda.

In a separate bowl, mix together 2 tablespoons of the butter, buttermilk, and eggs.  Add to the dry mixture and stir just until combined.  Add in the raisins or currants and caraway seeds and stir gently.

Pour batter into the skillet.  Brush with melted butter.  Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 1 hour or until golden and firm to the touch.

Cool for 10 minutes.  Slice and serve with Irish butter and slices of sharp, white cheddar.  You’re ready for St. Patrick’s Day Potluck Time!

 

 

Irish Oatmeal Cake

This recipe comes from one of my favorite dessert cookbooks, Moosewood Restaurant Book of Desserts.  While this is a perfect St. Patrick’s Day potluck dessert, it’s really good at anytime for any occasion.

Cake Ingredients:

2 cups unbleached white flour

1/4 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking powder

1 1/4 tsp. baking soda

1 cup rolled oats

3/4 cup butter, softened

1 cup packed brown sugar

2 large eggs

2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups buttermilk

Frosting Ingredients:

6 T. unsalted butter

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 cup confectioner’s sugar

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

2 T. milk

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Butter and flour two 9 inch cake pans.

Sift together the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.  In a blender, whirl the oats to the consistency of cornmeal.  Stir them into the flour mixture and set aside.

With an electric mixer, cream the butter and brown sugar until light.  Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Combine the vanilla and buttermilk and add alternately with the flour mixture.  Mix until well blended.

Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for about 30 minutes, until a knife tests clean and the cake begins to pull away from the sides of the pan.  Cool in the pans for about 5 minutes and then turn onto racks to cool completely.

For the frosting, melt the butter in the saucepan.  Add the brown sugar and simmer on very low heat for at least 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  (Cooking the brown sugar creates a smoother frosting, so don’t cheat on time.)

Transfer the butter-brown sugar mixture to a bowl.  With an electric mixer, beat in the confectioner’s sugar and vanilla.  Add the milk a little at a time until the frosting is smooth and creamy.  While the frosting is still warm, fill and frost the cake.

Key Lime Pie

Key Lime Pie3

Key Lime Pie is one of my favorite pies and this recipe does not disappoint!  The filling is perfectly creamy, smooth and not too heavy with a buttery, nutty, graham cracker crust.  And it’s very quick and easy to make.

Thank you to Jamie G. for sharing this recipe!

Ingredients:

2/3 cups slivered almonds, sliced

1 cup graham cracker crumbs

1/4 cup white sugar

1 pinch of salt

1/4 cup butter, melted

4 egg yolks

14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk

1/2 cup key lime or regular lime juice

3/4 cup heavy cream

1/2 tsp. grated lime zest

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Pulse almonds in a food processor until finely ground.  Combine the almonds with the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and salt.  Pour in the melted butter and mix until evenly moistened.  Press into a 9 inch pie plate.

Bake crust in oven until golden brown, approximately 10 to 13 minutes.

While the crust is baking, beat the egg yolks in a bowl with the condensed milk, cream, and lime zest.  Whisk in the lime juice a little at a time to thicken the custard.  When the crust is finished baking, pour the custard into the pie crust and return to the oven.  Bake for 15 minutes to help the custard begin to set.

Cool to room temperature on a wire rack before covering loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Broccoli Salad

Broccoli Salad

This is a classic potluck salad recipe!   There are variations that use cashews instead of sunflower seeds, red onion instead of white onion, but bacon, crisp broccoli, and a slaw dressing are always the base of this delicious salad.  This version came from my Aunt Vicki!

Ingredients:

1 head broccoli (I use a little more.  Sometimes, I’ll buy the bag of already cut broccoli.)

1 lb. bacon

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

1 cup raisins

1/4 cup white onion, chopped

Cut the broccoli into bite-sized pieces and rinse well.  Microwave until it’s crisp.  Fry and chop the bacon.  Combine the broccoli, bacon, sunflower seeds, raisins, and onion in a serving bowl.

Dressing:

1 cup mayo

2 T white vinegar

1/4 cup sugar

Mix all of the dressing ingredients together and add to the salad.  Mix well.  Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.