A St. Patrick’s Day Doll and an Easy Dessert

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On this St. Patrick’s Day morning, my daughter had my doll table all ready for the celebration.  The doll was decked out in a hand crocheted shawl and tam o’shanter and there was a new embroidered cover for the table.  The picture of the cover doesn’t do it justice – it only measures 2-½ x 5 inches, so you can imagine how tiny the stitches are.

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We’re having our traditional Reuben sandwiches for lunch (corned beef and cabbage in a more palatable form for us) and a quick and easy dessert with a little green to honor the day.  This is a deliciously rich dessert.

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ST. PADDY PISTACHIO DESSERT

Crust:
* 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
* 1/4 cup butter, cut in small cubes
* 1/2 cup toasted pecans, chopped

Filling:
* 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
* 1/2 cup granulated sugar
* 8 oz. carton of Cool Whip whipped topping, thawed, divided
* One small package of instant white chocolate pudding (four ½ cup svgs)
* One small package of instant pistachio pudding (four 1/2-cup svgs.)
* 1-1/2 cups milk, divided
* Green sugar for sprinkling on top

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

To Make the Crust:

Mix the flour, butter and pecans well.  Press mixture in a 9×9 baking pan.  Bake @ 350 degrees F for 15 minutes until lightly brown.  Cool

To Make Filling and Assemble:

Layer 1: Beat cream cheese and sugar until fluffy.  Fold in 4 ounces (half of an 8-oz. carton) of whipped topping.  Spread over cooled crust.

Layer 2: Whisk one package of white chocolate pudding and 3/4 cup of milk until thickened.  Spread over Layer 1.

Layer 3: Whisk one package of pistachio pudding and 3/4 cup of milk until thickened.  Spread over Layer 2.

Layer 4: Spread remaining 4 oz. of whipped topping over Layer 3.

Sprinkle top with green sugar – maybe you’ll be more creative than I was in sprinkling the sugar.

Refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.

6 to 8 servings 

A Bit of the Irish in my March Kitchen

I have a lot of green in my kitchen any time because I collect Jadeite and Depression Green items.  Some things I bring out especially for St. Patrick’s Day.

Some pieces were bought on a trip to Ireland …

Many items were gifts….


Most of the pieces are handmade ….






I even have special potholders for the occasion…

I have a very thin line of Irish in my ancestry, but I raised four very Irish children, so St. Patrick’s Day is a major holiday in this house.

Irish Brown Soda Bread and Colcannon

I have a very slim Irish line in my ancestry, but I married a man who was was fiercely proud of his Irish lineage.  Frank used to take off work on St. Patrick’s Day so he could grab his green derby and head for the nearest pub to spend the day.  One St. Patrick’s Day, he showed up on the evening news coverage at Hap’s Irish Pub with his derby slightly askew,  surrounded by his cronies, waving a big mug of beer and bellowing out, “When Irish Eyes are Smiling”.  His mother said, “Jesus, Joseph and Mary, I’m mortified to death” that her friends saw him in such a state, but this is the woman who was doing the Irish jig for her grandchildren well into her 80s and who said her grandmother washed her clothes on the banks of the river Shannon.

So, I raised four mostly-Irish children and celebrate St. Pat each year with some Irish food.  My oldest daughter was in an Irish dance group and I loved going to the competitions and the annual Feis.  In 1990, they had a food competition and I entered the Scone, Soda Bread and Brown Soda Bread contests.  I won a first-place gold medal in each of the divisions.  I was particularly pleased because the judges were some visitors from Ireland.

IRISH BROWN SODA BREAD

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 Tblsp. dark brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3 Tblsp. softened butter
  • 3/4  cup raisins
  • 1 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F

Lightly grease a flat baking pan

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Cut in the softened butter until mixture looks like fine crumbs.  Add raisins.

Add buttermilk, mixing with a fork until dry ingredients are absorbed.  Turn out onto a lightly floured board and knead gently until smooth, adding flour as needed (about 1/2 cup).  Dough will still be slightly sticky.  Shape into a ball and place on the greased baking pan, forming  into a 7 x 1-1/2 inch circle.  Press a large floured knife into the center of the loaf almost through to the bottom.  Repeat at right angles to divide the loaf into quarters.

Bake @ 375 degrees F for 30-40 minutes until top is golden and loaf sounds hollow when tapped.  Remove to wire rack to cool.  Brush top with melted butter. 

Makes one loaf.  From a cookbook published by the Cincinnati Hoxworth Center called Adventures in a Culinary Vein.

The recipe for Colcannon comes from a cookbook my daughter brought back from Ireland, A Taste of Ireland by Theodora Fitzgibbon.  I adapted the recipe by using half of the butter and cream it called for.  Having tasted Ireland’s wonderful butter and cream, I can only imagine how rich the original dish is.  My family likes this version with a little less fat.

COLCANNON

  • Servings: 4-6 servings
  • Print

  • 4 cups shredded cabbage
  • 6 medium potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 2 green onions with tops
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1 tsp. salt, divided
  • Grindings of black pepper
  • Pinch of mace
  • 1/4 cup butter, divided

Cook cabbage until tender.  I like to steam it for approximately 20 minutes.

Cover potatoes with cold water and cook on medium high heat for 20-30 minutes until potatoes are done, then drain.

While potatoes are cooking, cut up the green onions in small pieces.

Place in a small saucepan and cover with cream (about 1/4 cup).   Simmer on low until onion is soft.

Beat drained potatoes with 1/2 tsp. salt, grating of black pepper, mace, 2 Tblsp. butter and green onions with cream.  Add additional cream to get desired consistency (about 1/4 cup).

Place cooked cabbage in a large pot, add 1/2 tsp salt, grating of black pepper.   Add the mashed, seasoned potatoes.

Mix well and turn into a large serving bowl.  Make a well in the center and place 2 Tblsp. butter in the cavity. 

Serve piping hot.

I started making this dish in 1993.  The cookbook suggests frying leftovers like potato pancakes in bacon fat or butter.  I haven’t tried this because we never seem to have leftovers.

HAPPY ST PATRICK’S DAY.

P.S.  I came out to the kitchen this morning to find two handmade gifts from my daughter.

Bailey’s Marbled Cheesecake

irishkitchenHappy St. Patrick’s Day with a view of an old-fashioned Irish kitchen.  This picture was snapped on a visit to a Folk Farm cottage in Ireland.

I was looking for a recipe for something extra-special for St. Patrick’s Day and found it on Razzledazzle Recipes.

I love Bailey’s Irish Cream and when I saw a cheesecake that included 3/4 cup of this lucious drink, I knew I had a good choice for a St. Paddy’s Day dessert.  The cake is large, thick, rich and can feed a big group, depending on the size of the slices.  The only change I made from the original was to use unsweetened chocolate squares because I didn’t have any semi-sweet on hand.  The cake turned out wonderful.

BAILEY'S MARBLED CHEESECAKE


Preparation time:  About 30 minutes

Total baking time for cheesecake:  1 hour, 5 minutes

Cooling time:  2 hours, 45 minutes

Butter bottom of 9″ springform pan.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Chocolate Graham Base

  • 4 Tblsp. butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 9 full graham crackers, crushed

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Combine butter, sugar and cocoa powder in a small bowl.  Stir in graham cracker crumbs.  Press evenly over bottom of buttered 9″ springform pan and bake @ 350 degrees F for 10 minutes.  Remove pan to rack to cool for a few minutes, then butter the sides of the pan.

Turn oven heat up to 450 degrees F

Filling:

  • 24 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup Bailey’s Irish Cream
  • 2 one-oz. squares of unsweetened chocolate, melted

Beat cream cheese until smooth.  Gradually beat in sugar.  Beat in eggs one at a time.  Blend in Bailey’s Irish Cream.

mixingPour one cup of the filling into a small bowl and stir in the melted chocolate.

chocPour half of the plain filling mixture into the prepared pan on top of the baked crust.  Dot with half of the chocolate mixture.  Repeat with the remaining half of filling and half of chocolate mixture.  Make a marbled design by gently swirling the batter with a knife.

Bake @ 450 degrees F for 10 minutes.  Lower heat to 250 degrees F and continue baking for 55 minutes.

Remove pan to rack and allow to cool in pan for 15 minutes.  Run a knife around the edge of the cake and loosen the sides of the pan.  Allow to cool an additional 30 minutes in pan with sides loosened.  Remove from pan and cool about 2 more hours before serving.

onrackDelicious at room temperature or chilled.  Refrigerate leftovers.

servingMy oldest daughter brought me three gifts for St. Patrick’s Day – one of her hand-crocheted doilies, a tiny needle felting Irish cottage and a vintage Scottie planter in my favorite shade of green.  What a nice St. Patrick’s Day!

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St. Patrick’s Day Decorations

With the help of my daughter, I have a good display of St. Patrick’s Day/Irish items.  She is good at so many things like decorative painting……

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She painted a wooden plate with a scene inspired by a photograph taken when we were in Ireland and she added our favorite border collie.

I smile to myself every time I see the plate and remember the farmhouse and those wonderful dogs herding the sheep.

She is also skilled at collages and made this one up using some unusual items.  There is some very nice fine hand quilting on this piece.

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I have a quilted wall hanging that I made, also remembering our trip to Ireland.  At a country farmhouse, women were making a huge apple tart.  In this case, I scanned a photograph and printed it on fabric.  The block is Wonderful World from Judy Martin’s Stars & Sets CD.

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Many years ago, when my daughter and I had a booth at a craft mall, I designed a scene with an Irish piper, dancers and a small brown dog.  I used the design many times on decorative painting items and tried my hand at using the design in a fusible applique picture. 

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day

Small Lone Star Wall Hanging

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The first time I tried a Lone Star type quilt, I wasn’t happy with the results.  The points weren’t sharp, the center didn’t lay flat and the entire quilt was difficult to square up.  This was my post about the first quilt.

I wanted to try another Lone Star but not a huge quilt and heard about Kaye Wood’s Small Lone Star, one of many projects in her book, Quilt Like a Pro, using her Starmaker 8 ruler.  I’m happy to say that the ruler and her instructions made the difference between a quilt with problems and a wall hanging which I consider to be very nice and with just a few places that are not perfect – my fault since I have difficulty with  precision measuring, cutting and sewing.  

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The “small” wall hanging is 23×23 inches with only binding, no border.  I machine quilted the piece with in-the-ditch stitching around the diamonds and decorative stitching in the squares and triangles.

For the backing, I took quite a few more hours to piece together a lot of scraps of various sizes, and I like the patchwork look of this.

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Some day I might undertake another bed-sized Lone Star quilt, but for now I’m happy with the smaller version – and it even has some green in it, just in time for St. Patrick’s Day.