Thursday, March 5, 2009

Coming soon: Spring!!!!!

Just about 2 more weeks until Spring! It comes just a few days after St. Patrick's Day this year. Easter is later on April 12th. It should be pretty warm by then. It has been a long winter!!!

I've always liked St. Pattrick's Day. We have an awesome parade and I love to decorate my home for St. Patrick's Day. I set out green candles and a few leprechaun figures which I have collected. I have a St. Patrick's Day tablecloth and kitchen towels for my kitchen. There are a lot of things you can buy in the store to celebrate the holiday: decorations, candles, tablecloth, towels, coffee cups,etc. For a party or special dinner: you can decorate with green and white candles, baloons, confetti,tableware, baskets, flowers,etc. You can change your lightbulbs to green. You can prepare traditional Irish foods or add a little food coloring to beer, cake or bread batter, serve green jello or pudding or koolade. Make a special green punch.

Martha Stewart has some great recipes for traditional Irish dishes like corned beef and cabbage, Irish Stew, and Soda bread: She also show how to make decorations using a heart shaped ink stamp. You can stamp 3 hearts into a shamrock and draw on a stem to make a shamrock to decorate tablewear, shirts, bags - anything you want.

I make Shamrock Sugar Cookies using a donut hole cutter. For each cookie, you need to cut out 4 circles. Cut one circle in half for the stem and arrange the 3 whole circles on a cookie sheet with the half circle as the stem. These can be made very fast with Slice and Bake cookie dough from the gocery store. The dough can be tinted green and sprinkled with sugar or frosted and decorated after baking.
This is the sugar dough recipe I have used for years:

Sugar Cookies
1. Sift :
2 1/2 C flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2. Beat into a large bowl at high speed for 3 minutes or until fluffy:
3/4 C butter or margaine
1 egg
1 1/4 C sugar
3. Beat in: 2 teaspoons vanilla
4. Stir in flour mixture
5. Wrap in wax paper and chill for 3 hours
6. Roll dough to 1/4 inch thickness
7. Place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes
8. Cool and frost.

Here is an awesome green punch:

St. Paddy's Day Punch

2 (3 ounce) packages lime flavored gelatin mix
1 quart hot water
1 (46 fluid ounce) can pineapple juice
2 (12 fluid ounce) cans frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
2 cups white sugar
4-1/2 cups cold water
2 liters ginger ale
Cooking Instructions
In a large saucepan dissolve the gelatin in 1 quart of hot water. Allow to cool.
When gelatin is cool, pour into a large punch bowl, Stir in pineapple juice, orange juice concentrate, sugar and 4 1/2 cups cold water. Chill. Pour in ginger ale just before serving.

Everyone is Irish on St. Patrick's Day so celebrate!!! Have a green beer or some Irish Whiskey! Eat some Irish stew and soda bread or corned beef and cabbage! Write a limerick! Dance an Irish Jig!
Happy St. Patrick's Day!!!

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