Monday, March 17, 2014

When Irish Eyes Are Smiling

St. Patrick’s Day has always been a big deal in my family. When I was a little girl, my mom would wake me up singing her various renditions of  “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling”, “Danny Boy” and “Pretty Irish Girl” from Darby O’Gill and the Little People (a movie we religiously watched EVERY YEAR. Don’t get me started on the so-bad-it’s-good CGI from 1959).

She would put tiny green leprechaun footprints all over the house, which, I naturally bragged to my friends about. They were bitter, but it wasn’t my fault that the leprechauns loved me enough to leave chocolate coins and evidence of their mischief.

All during the school day, I looked forward to my mom coming in and telling folklore of the Coach de Bauer and banshees. My classmates probably went home terrified and cried to their parents, but it was all part of the holiday for me. Corned beef, cabbage and potatoes were de rigueur. Bonus points if soda bread was involved.

To me, St. Patrick’s Day is more than a chance to wear green and brag about my heritage. For me, it’s about family. Since I can’t be home with mine this year, I plan on carrying the tradition over to my second family- my friends.

Since I will never be able to replicate my mom’s corned beef and cabbage, I decided to think out of the box and making two treats- one sweet, one savory The common ingredient?


Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes:
1 box chocolate cake mix
3 eggs
1/3 c oil
½ bottle Guinness
Chocolate frosting (you can also use vanilla or cream cheese frosting dyed green)

Mix first 4 ingredients together in a bowl. Drop spoonfuls into a lined cupcake tin. Bake at 350 for 18-20 minutes. When cooled, pipe with chocolate frosting and top with sprinkles and Guinness bottle caps.

Guinness Cheddar Biscuits:

What you’ll need:
Instant soda bread mix. A friend brought mine from Ireland, but you can use any instant bread mix.
1 c water
1 bottle Guinness
2 c cheddar cheese
4 tbsp melted butter

Whisk all ingredients together. Pour into muffin liners and bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown.

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