Friday, March 14, 2014

Kiss Me I'm Irish! (Corned Beef & Cabbage, Irish Soda Bread & Pistachio Cake)

Aren't we all a little bit Irish when it comes to St. Patty's Day? My Granny Gillette's maiden name was McCormick which has Irish/Scottish origins and also my Grandma Fair's maiden name was Duncan so I guess I am a little bit anyway!  Whether you claim to be Irish or not, St. Patty's Day is always a fun day to celebrate with a little green!
When my kids were young, it was extra fun to have some St. Patrick's Day fun with them.  I used to leave little notes from the Leprechaun and let them hunt for his pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.  I have even been known to make green scrambled eggs or serve Lucky Charms with green milk (there magically delicious!)  

No matter how old or how Irish you are, St. Patty's day is a great day to serve corned beef and cabbage. It is an easy hardy meal to make that everyone loves! Of course one of my favorite desserts to make on St. Patrick's Day is Pistachio Cake.  It is not necessarily Irish, but it tastes great it's super simple and is a wonderful shade of green.  And if your really feeling in the spirit, a frosty mug of green beer might be just the thing!
Here are a few recipes and pictures from our St. Patty's Day dinner last year that we hosted... maybe it will inspire you to "get your green on!" 

 A few shamrocks and some green and it is pretty simple to get everyone in the mood for a little Irish jig!

Green is plentiful around March 17th... green M and M's, green cookies, 
and of course my favorite green pistachio cake... 
but also a fun dessert was Irish Cream Mousse!

Irish Soda Bread

 You can't forget the spuds, an Irish staple... I loved red skins!

 Whether you do it in a crock pot...

Or on the stove top... it is a super simple one pot feast!


Crock Pot Corned Beef and Cabbage
6 carrots, cut into chunks
2 onions, chopped
2-3 lb. corned beef brisket with seasoning packet
12 oz. can beer
2 Tbs. Yellow mustard
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup water
8 wedges of cabbage (1 cabbage cut into wedges)

Directions:  Rinse corned beef under running water and pat dry with paper towels.  Place in sprayed crock pot.   Pour beer over brisket, then spread with mustard and sprinkle with contents of seasoning mix.  Add onions and carrots to the crock pot.  In a small bowl mix the brown sugar with water and pour over everything in pot.  Cover crock pot and cook on low setting for 8-9 hours. Remove corned beef from crock pot and wrap with foil (you can place it into the oven on lowest temp to keep warm.)  Add cabbage wedges to vegetables and liquid in crock pot.  Cook on high for an additional 30-40 minutes or until cabbage is tender.  To serve cut corned beef across grain into thin slices. Remove vegetables from slow cooker with slotted spoon and serve with corned beef.  Serve cooking juices over the food if desired.

Cooks Notes - I was having a group for dinner and had 2 crock pots going, I did not think everything was going to get done on time so I moved everything to a pot on my stove and finished cooking.  One of the more traditional ways to cook corned beef is to boil on the stove top, although I had never made it that way.  It turned out wonderfully tender and delicious.  I think this recipe could be made either way... I just needed more time to cook everything! 

On the side I served roasted red skin potatoes, if you would like to see how I make these, just click here!

Irish Soda Bread
4 cups flour
4 Tbs. white sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 Tbs. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup buttermilk 
1 egg
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup buttermilk

Directions:  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Lightly grease a large baking sheet.  In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and butter.  Stir in 1 cup of buttermilk and egg.  Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and kneed slightly.  Form dough into a round and place on a prepared baking sheet.  In a small bowl, combine melted butter with 1/4 cup buttermilk, brush loaf with this mixture. Use a sharp knife to cut an 'X' into the top of the loaf.  Bake in preheated oven until a toothpick inserted of the loaf comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes.  Check for doneness after 30 minutes.  You may continue to brush the loaf with the butter mixture while it bakes.

Pistachio Cake 
1 box yellow cake mix (Duncan Hines butter cake is a good choice) (white would work too)
1 pkg. instant pistachio pudding mix
3 eggs
1 cup club soda or water
1 cup oil 
1 cup chopped walnuts

Directions:  Mix all cake ingredients well and bake in a sprayed 9 x 13 inch pan sprayed with non stick cooking spray in a 350 degree oven for 45 to 50 minutes until done (tooth pic test).  Let cool before frosting.

1 package instant pistachio pudding mix
1 1/4 cups milk
1 9 oz. tub of cool whip
green food coloring (optional)

Directions:  Combine pudding and milk.  Fold into cool whip.  Add green food coloring if desired to make it a brighter green for St. Paddy's Day!  Store leftovers in fridge... that is if there are any!

Whatever your plans are for St. Patrick's Day... I wish you the luck of the Irish!


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