18 March 2013

This post is full of Irish

St Patrick's day happens to be my FAVORITE holiday! I have the best memories of spending the whole day (which always comes around during spring break) with my friends, cooking Irish food, listening to Irish music, watching Irish movies, wearing the colors of the Irish flag, and of course drinking Irish drinks.

It was my first st. paddy's day as a 21 year old, but I'm avoiding alcohol (and all its empty calories) at the moment so I was a bit unsure of how I would celebrate this year. I was also scheduled to work from 4-CL, which was a good reason for me to not join the masses at the bar but also left me with very little time to do anything celebratory. And lord knows I can't just let a holiday (let alone my favorite holiday) go un-celebrated.

SO, I did what I could with the time and restrictions that I had... I donned the attire, I ate the food, and I even bought the booze... I just mixed it up with massive quantities of sugar and fat and flour and fed it to my coworkers :) I didn't get drunk, I didn't overeat, I didn't attempt a game on the Devil's Dancefloor, and I spent an insanely long and busy 7 hours asking progressively drunker people the same questions (what can I get for you? any toppings? anything else? what's your name? for here or to go? would you like a copy of your receipt?)... but I still feel like I sufficiently celebrated and enjoyed St Patrick's Day :)

In the morning, I put on my favorite new mint green lace dress. That wasn't quite Irish enough for me so I also tied green and orange ribbon around my wrist and my hair.

Colton and I went out to breakfast, which we do every Sunday. We went to Mother Hubbards, one of our very favorites that specializes in homemade Native American/Mexican influenced breakfast and lunch. So good. Yesterday I had to opt for the St Paddy's Special though... "Irish Rarebit". It was basically a cross between Welsh Rarebit and Eggs Benedict with a whole lot of Irish thrown in there. 4 triangles of 12 grain bread covered with dragoon stout cheddar cheese sauce, chopped corned beef, spinach, and two poached eggs. It was sooooo gooood.
I decided I wanted to do some Irish cooking of my own so we stopped at the store on the way home. I bought ingredients to make homemade Irish cream (to make it a little lighter calorie-wise, not as thick and sweet, and to avoid having multiple open bottles of liquor sitting around the house), Irish car bomb cupcakes, and Irish cream pudding shots.

I used this recipe for the Irish cream, and it turned out amazing. Tasted just like baileys!

I then mixed one cup of homemade Irish cream with one small package of instant vanilla pudding and one cup 1% milk. I poured this into 10 dixie cups to make pudding shots! There's hardly any alcohol in them but they were pretty tasty. I took them to work so everyone could have one after we closed.

The biggest cooking project I tackled was these Irish Car-Bomb Cupcakes! I've wanted to make this recipe for years... I talked about it within the first month that I had this blog 3 years ago when I did my first St Paddy's day countdown. Even though I only had about 3 hours until I had to go to work by the time I was done with errands and at home ready to cook, I decided to attempt to whip these up. I broke out my beloved kitchenaid mixer (which works like a dream but weighs a million tons and is a bitch to store/clean in my teensy little house), used every pot and bowl in the house, and in the end produced 24 pretty little filled and frosted cupcakes. Which tasted AMAZING, by the way.

I used the above linked Smitten Kitchen recipe exactly, except I used greek yogurt in place of sour cream in the batter (I never have sour cream in the house anymore and greek yogurt tastes/works the same but is way healthier) and used quite a bit more whiskey in the ganache filling and Irish cream in the buttercream. I wanted each part of the cupcake to taste distinctly like the Irish Car-Bomb role it was representing and I found that with the measly teaspoons and tablespoons Deb suggested the flavor was lost under the sugar, butter, and chocolate. I just drizzled, tasted, and repeated until I got the intensity I wanted.

Chocolate Guinness cake filled with Jameson chocolate ganache and topped with Irish Cream buttercream. Dusted with green and gold sugar!
I made 24 and brought 12 to work. I broke them out after the aforementioned loooong and busy shift while everyone was closing and I think they (hopefully!) raised everyone's spirits a bit.

After work I promptly went home, got into my pjs, got into bed, and fell asleep. I think the rest of the world partied hard enough without me, based on the debauchery I witnessed on fourth avenue last night.

I hope you all had a nice holiday and spring break! It's back to school at 3 for me today :)


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