St. Patrick’s Day
Yesterday I had friends over for my annual St. Patrick’s Day feast. I served corned beef with the usual suspects of potatoes, carrots, onions and cabbage and friends brought bought over Hot Reuben Dip, Soft Guinness Pretzels, grasshopper brownies, and even homemade BBQ! Of course I also served my Hidden Pot o’ Gold Cupcakes.
Every year I try out a new glaze for my corned beef and this year since I had two slow cookers full of corned beef I decided to try two different glazes. One was Guinness glazed and the other (which I am sharing with you) was Hoisin glazed and they were both fabulously delicious. Everyone had their own favorite or couldn’t decide between the two, but my favorite was the hoisin glazed.
I also tried something new with the potatoes from one of the crock pots, something called Colcannon which is Irish mashed potatoes. The original recipe had the potatoes and cabbage cooked separately, but I went ahead and used the ones that had slow cooked right along with the corned beef in order to get that extra flavor.
I have shared quite a few stuffed cupcakes on this blog of mine. Today you get to see what happens when Wilton and I team up because their latest creation is a Two-Tone Cupcake Pan Set, allowing you to create a perfect center of colored batter inside of a cupcake of another color. Imagine all the festive possibilities! With that thought in mind I decided to go all out for a St. Patrick’s Day cupcake, but before I get too excited about those awesome cupcakes let’s talk about this two-tone cupcake pan set (you can also purchase the insert alone in case you already have a fully stocked baking arsenal).
Normally, you would mix up a batch of your favorite cupcake batter. But before coloring, reserve about a cup of the batter in a separate bowl for the cupcake centers. Then color the outside or inside batter however you please. The insert fits right into three cavities of a regular cupcake pan (I even checked with a non-Wilton pan to make sure), and then you either spoon (if you batter is more runny) or pipe (for thicker batter) into the appropriate sections (2/3 full) for how you would like your cupcakes to appear. Once all three are filled, you simply lift it straight up, hold it just slightly off the top of the batter to let it drip and then transfer it to the next row and repeat!
However, I decided to make things more difficult on myself by using a chocolate batter for the outside and yellow on the inside. As you can imagine, it’s a little difficult to dye a brown batter to yellow. As a result I ended up with slightly more batter than needed and filled up my cupcakes 3/4 full (as you can see) instead of the recommended 2/3. They baked perfectly fine but came out with slightly higher domes than normal. Also, the two batters were slightly different in consistency – The yellow was slightly thicker but again this didn’t cause any problems with the end product. That being said, one thing I recommend doing before filling in your cupcakes is to spray the insert with nonstick spray, especially if your batter is thick! Otherwise it will stick and you won’t get your perfectly shaped centers.
Now, can we please talk about how freaking adorable these cupcakes are!? When they existed in my brain they weren’t nearly as cute as they turned out to be in real life. And before I even made them, I had a difficult time deciding on a name for them: “Follow the Rainbow Cupcakes” or “Hidden Pot o’ Gold Cupcakes”? Obviously you can see which one won, and I chose it because I felt it fit the theme of using the two-tone insert. These cupcakes have a chocolate stout outside batter, and a yellow-dyed vanilla inside (hence “hidden” pot of gold). For the clouds, I dotted on a Bailey’s frosting and then dusted with powdered sugar to make it look more puffy and cloud-like. Top it off with a rainbow striped candy and viola! You have a full rainbow cascading over some pretty, delicious clouds.
Thank you Wilton for yet another awesome baking tool! I’m absolutely in love with the cupcakes I made (they’re so cute it hurts) and I definitely see more two-tone cupcakes in my future. But what I am most thankful for is that the insert it is top-rack dishwasher safe because hand washing after getting nonstick spray and batter all over it would be a challenge in order to get it out of all the crevices.
One year ago: Split-Pea Soup
This recipe doesn’t vary too greatly compared to the roasted cabbage I shared last year, but slight differences still count as new recipes! Instead of lemon juice, these are sprinkled with smoked paprika which creates a great color.
Two years in a row I have had roasted cabbage instead of cooking it along with the corned beef in the slow cooker, and I prefer it. It retains much more crunch this way and honestly, I had a hard time fitting everything into the slow cooker when the cabbage was also in there. Problem solved!
But do not be mistaken, I am still not any closer to liking stuffed cabbage (in case you are reading this, dad).
In other news, I finally started to read The Hunger Games Monday night. And I finished it last night. Peeta’s character is what got me sucked into it. Now I am ready to see it on the silver-screen!
One year ago: Potica Nut Roll
ROASTED CABBAGE WEDGES WITH SMOKED PAPRIKA
1 head green cabbage
2 Tbsp olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly-ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil.
- Cut the head of cabbage into 8 equally-sized wedges, cutting through the core and stem end. If desired, use a knife to carefully trim off the stem on each wedge. Arrange the wedges in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.
- Use a pastry brush or oil mister to brush/mist the top sides of each cabbage wedge with the olive oil, then season generously with salt, freshly-ground black pepper and smoke paprika. Turn cabbage wedges carefully, then repeat on second side.
- Roast cabbage for about 10 minutes, or until edges of the cabbage and the bottom of the wedges are nicely browned. Then turn each wedge carefully and roast 10-15 minutes more, until the cabbage is nicely browned and cooked through with a bit of chewiness remaining. Serve immediately, and garnish with lemon if desired.
Source: Gimme Some Oven
Last year I made a marmalade glaze for the corned beef and it rocked my world to the point where when planning the menu for this year’s St. Patrick’s Day feast I didn’t want to try a different version. Especially when contemplating a blackberry glaze. Berries on beef? But I took a chance and was glad I did!
Although I do have to admit that the marmalade glaze still is #1 for my corned beef, the blackberry glaze was still very delicious. Who knew I could like berries with my meat? This corned beef was served with carrots, roasted cabbage (recipe shared tomorrow) and herbed potatoes.
Maggie also brought over Guinness bread complete with glorious honey butter, and Sarah made a reuben dip for the appetizer while waited for the rest of the food to be ready. I nearly spoiled my appetite with that dip – amazing!
A quick mom update – she is still enjoying her cake pops (that woman has serious restraint which I did not inherit) and recovering from surgery. Says she still feels weak and bumps into things while walking but her headache pain has lessened. Hopefully things will look good at her next check-up!
CORNED BEEF WITH BLACKBERRY MUSTARD GLAZE
1 (4-5 lb.) corned beef
1 onion, peeled and quartered
8 whole cloves
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 sprigs fresh thyme
3 bay leaves
1 Tbsp whole black peppercorns
6 carrots, peeled, and chopped into 4-inch pieces
1/2 cup blackberry preserves, or favorite flavor of preserves
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp brown sugar, packed
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp freshly-ground black pepper
- Use a sharp knife to carefully trim off the excess fat on the corned beef.
- Place the onion and carrots in a 5-qt. slow cooker. Add cloves, garlic, thyme, bay leaves and peppercorns. Place corned beef on top and add water to cover.
- Cover and cook on low for 8-9 hours or until meat and vegetables are tender.
- In a small saucepan, whisk the glaze ingredients together until combined, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Continue to boil until the mixture has slightly reduced and thickened, about 7-10 minutes.
- Remove the beef and carrots, and set the carrots aside. Place the beef on an aluminum-foil covered baking sheet. Brush with glaze, then place under the broiler for 5-7 minutes, until the glaze begins to caramelize.
- Remove from oven, and let the corned beef sit for at least 10-15 minutes before carving. Brush with additional glaze if desired. Serve with roasted cabbage, herbed potatoes and carrots if desired.
Source: Adapted from Gimme Some Oven.
You might be thinking, Does Erin know that St. Padd’y day has already passed? And yes I do. But now I get to share some of the things I ate on Saturday! I figured the best way to start is with the dessert.
These mini cheesecakes start out with a chocolate Irish cream base, which gets topped with a whiskey-caramel sauce that demands to be heard. And finally a nice little dollop of whipped cream which has just a little bit of Guinness in it. The proportions of this treat are definitely not in line with the real beverage (Guinness being the main ingredient), but all the components are present.
Although whipped cream was a little over-whipped, I ended up thinking it was perfect considering the name of these little cheesecakes. The reason being that if you do not drink a car bomb fast enough it will start to curdle. Not that I want you to think of curdled milk while staring at these cheesecakesq. Hm, maybe telling you that was a bad idea then.
IRISH CAR BOMB MINI CHEESECAKE BITES
8 whole Oreos, ground in a food processor
1-1/2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
8 oz. reduced fat cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
4 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp plain Greek yogurt
4 tsp Irish cream liqueur
WHISKEY CARAMEL SAUCE
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 Tbsp Irish whiskey
GUINNESS WHIPPED CREAM
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tsp Guinness beer
2 Tbsp sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine ground Oreos and melted butter into a bowl until well combined. Spoon into 12 mini cheesecake cups that have been sprayed with cooking spray. Press into the bottom of each cup so the crust is flat. Partially bake for 10 minutes then remove from oven.
- In a stand or electric mixer beat the cream cheese, sugar, cocoa, and flour until smooth. Beat in egg then stir in yogurt, and liqueur until combined.
- Pour the cream cheese mixture evenly into the 12 cups filling about 3/4 way full. Bake for 25-28 minutes or until cheesecake is cooked through. Let cool completely.
- Meanwhile, prepare the caramel topping. In a small pan over high heat, bring the sugar and water to a boil. Swirl around frequently but do not stir.
- Cook for approximately 15 minutes or until browned, but not burned. Remove from heat and whisk in heavy cream. Once smooth add the whiskey. Set aside and allow to cool.
- In a small bowl, whip the heavy cream until it starts to thicken. Add sugar and Guinness, then whip further until it forms stiff peaks – do not overbeat!
- Remove cheesecakes from pan and top each with a spoonful of whiskey caramel sauce. Top with Guinness whipped cream or refrigerate until ready to serve. (Whipped cream best when eaten the same day it’s made, so if you are preparing these ahead of time, make the whipped cream the day you plan to serve.)
Happy almost St. Patrick’s Day! I have compiled a list of Irish and green foods that can be found on my blog for you. While doing so it became apparent that I need to work on my Irish and green categories!
But you should really try the glaze for the corned beef I listed under entrees. It’s pretty incredible. And you can add it to the end of however you prefer to cook your corned beef. Just one extra little step for amazing results!
And for those of you wanting to know if I have any more updates on my mom’s status, I haven’t heard a single word since yesterday morning. Hopefully no news is good news and she will be going home today! (UPDATE: She’s home and has already eaten some cake pops! Her response, “They are perfect, just like you!” haha)
One year ago: Heart-Stuffed Shells in a Ricotta Sauce
- Blue Cheese Scalloped Potatoes
- Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, Dried Cherries and Israeli Couscous
- Guinness Bread with Honey Butter
- Roasted Cabbage with Lemon
- Beef with Barley Soup
- Cheddar Baked Potato Soup
- Corned Beef with Honey Marmalade Mustard Glaze
- Split Pea Soup
- Andes Creme de Menthe Chocolate Cookies
- Brownie Covered Oreo Pops (using yellow-creme filled Spring Oreos and festive sprinkles)
- Cream Cheese Spritz Cookies (with shamrock press)
- Gluten-Free Green Velvet Cake Balls
- Irish Car Bomb Brownies
- Red Velvet Cream Cheese Swirl Brownies (using green food coloring)
- Red Velvet Whoopie Pies (using green food coloring)
- Sweet Swirl Cookies (using green and maybe yellow/gold food coloring)
Before I dive into the St. Patrick’s Day themed Holiday Recipe Club post today, I suppose I should tell you how my mom’s surgery went after the dramatic story I told yesterday. Agreed? I feel like I am dangling something tantalizing in front of you.
The pre-op business took all of the morning and then the balloon test to make sure they could proceed with the real surgery took a little while longer. Surgery didn’t truly begin until mid-afternoon. Originally the plan was to cut off the carotid artery as she had enough blood flow without it due to a precious surgery, but the process was causing her to become sick (vagal response) despite all of their efforts. Being a life-threatening situation, they went ahead and tried something else which only had a 1% chance of being completed…
They got it to work! The doctor was ecstatic (myself and family included) and said the carotid artery was saved via stent and the aneurysm itself was now filled 95% with coils. He may have to go back in to fill the remaining 5%, but we shall see how things go. Of course I didn’t have a clue how these coils worked so after my aunt explaining to me what she was told by a nurse, and a little research on the web, it is a platinum coil that causes a clotting reaction to occur within the aneurysm itself and will hopefully eliminate it! I even found a little video if you care to watch on YouTube.
I didn’t get to speak with my mom but she is feeling well despite the nausea from the anesthetic. She will be held in the ICU overnight and will likely be in the hospital for another 2-3 days. I am very much relieved for it to be over. (Update: if the MRI results today look good she’s going home tomorrow!)
As for the bouquet of cake balls, being that the hospital is 2 hours from their home they have not made their presence known yet. Wish I had gotten them in the mail sooner so that they could have arrived on Tuesday instead. I wasn’t thinking it through and just wanted them to be there when she was done with surgery so I went for Wednesday. Hopefully their neighbor was able to scoop up the package so that it won’t be sitting outside the entire time they are gone.
But now I must redirect you into thinking about the upcoming holiday, St. Patrick’s Day. For today’s post we had to choose between pistachios, potatoes, and beer. My mind immediately went to soup. And a green one such as split-pea, with potatoes and beer. Little did I know that split-pea is an acceptable Irish food item with which to celebrate the holiday. Learning stuff is cool!
This was my first time ever making split-pea soup. In fact the last time I witnessed it being homemade by anyone was decades ago by my grandmother. I don’t recall how she makes it (and I doubt she does either because she’s from the generation that doesn’t need recipes), but I kind of like my split-pea soup a bit thicker. With the chunks of potato and carrot it ended up stew-y, and it was awesome. Especially when served with asiago biscuit twists. If you like a thinner split-pea, then simply stop cooking it when it reaches your preferred consistency.
Want to get in on the HRC fun? Sign up and get more information HERE. Also, don’t forget to check out all the other bloggers’ recipes at the bottom of this post.
One year ago: Creamy Baked Chicken Taquitos
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups dried split peas, rinsed
9 medium carrots, peeled and sliced 1/2″ thick
4 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2″ cubes
1-1/2 tsp dried thyme
3 quarts reduced sodium chicken broth
1-12 oz. bottle of ale
Salt and pepper
- In a large stock pot or French oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Combine the remaining ingredients, except salt and pepper, in the pot and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to a simmer and cover slightly with the lid. Allow to cook for 1-1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. Add salt and pepper to taste and continue to cook until it reaches a desired consistency (I cooked mine a little on the thicker side). If it cooks down too much, simply add more chicken broth or water.
Source: Adapted from Teenie Cakes
This bread was perfect alongside corned beef and cabbage for St. Patty’s Day. You can really taste the Guinness in the bread. And served warm, it was crusty on the outside and soft on the inside. And the honey butter was little like icing on the cake. Pretty sure one person even said the bread was more of a vehicle to get the butter into his mouth, haha!
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup honey
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup regular rolled oats, plus additional
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup melted butter
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle Guinness beer
- Blend the butter ingredients together then place in a small bowl. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease an 8×8 inch baking pan.
- Mix together the oats, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. In a separate large bowl, stir together the butter, vanilla, buttermilk, and Guinness beer. Pour the flour mixture into the beer mixture, and gently stir until well blended. Pour batter into the prepared baking pan, and sprinkle with additional oats if desired.
- Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, then turn the temperature down to 400 degrees, and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes. Allow to cool for 30 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack.
I cooked this in the crock pot like I do every year, but added a glaze to the final product. It was awesome!! Loved how the edges got all crispy. I highly recommend this for you St. Patrick’s Day menu, or for anytime of the year!
Usually I also cook the cabbage in the crock pot, but I tried something different with that as well…Roasted Cabbage with Lemon.
1 medium onion, cut into wedges
6 medium red potatoes, quartered
1 pound carrots, cut into 1/2-inch wide sticks
3-4 cups water
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 bay leaf
2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp cider vinegar
1/2 tsp pepper
1-3 lb corned beef brisket with spice packet, cut in half
1/3 cup marmalade
2 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp grainy mustard
- Place the onion, potatoes and carrots in a 5-qt. slow cooker. Combine water, garlic, bay leaf, sugar, vinegar, pepper and contents of spice packet; pour over vegetables. Add more water if necessary to cover vegetables. Top with brisket.
- Cover and cook on low for 8-9 hours or until meat and vegetables are tender. Remove bay leaf and meat.
- Combine the marmalade, honey, brown sugar, Dijion, and grainy mustard. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a broiler pan with foil, then place the corned beef on top. Spread it with the glaze (reserving excess for serving) and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing. Serve topped with extra glaze.
This was a great change from the my traditional way of cooking the cabbage in the crock pot along with corned beef and other vegetables. Crispy and lemony fresh, it adds great texture to any meal. Plus it made my life a little easier, because I typically have a had time fitting everything into my crock pot!
1 medium-sized head of green cabbage
2 T olive oil
3 T fresh squeezed lemon juice
Generous amount of sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
Lemon slices, for serving cabbage (optional)
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spray a roasting pan with non-stick spray or olive oil.
- Cut the head of cabbage into 8 same-size wedges, cutting through the core and stem end. Then carefully trim the core strip and stem from each wedge and arrange wedges in a single layer on the roasting pan (leave some space around them as much as you can).
- Whisk together the olive oil and lemon juice. Then use a pastry brush to brush the top sides of each cabbage wedge with the mixture and season generously with salt and fresh ground black pepper. Turn cabbage wedges carefully, then brush the second side with the olive oil/lemon juice mixture and season with salt and pepper.
- Roast cabbage for about 15 minutes, or until the side touching the pan is nicely browned. Then turn each wedge carefully and roast 10-15 minutes more, until the cabbage is nicely browned and cooked through with a bit of chewiness remaining. Serve hot, with additional lemon slices to squeeze lemon juice on at the table if desired.
Source: Kalyn’s Kitchen