Sunday, April 14, 2013

A Pinterest St Patricks Day - Recipes and Fun

I know I may be a little late with this post. St Patricks Day is sort of the reason that I ended up pretty much addicted to Pinterest. I basically google imaged St Patricks day food and everything that I liked linked back to Pinterest. And that was it. Hooked. So here is my random collection of recipes I made for our St Patricks day party.

It was also my man friends housewarming aka my housewarming do over, since he moved in here! It was by far a better experience than my first one. No broken bones and we had a keg and way more people. It was great. The best themed party I've had, ok, except for maybe our Mad Men/NYC party. That was pretty spectacular. I don't know how many of my friends read this, but really, thanks for always going out of your way to dress up and be a part of my theme parties. They are pretty awesome.

Key Lime Jello Shots

So because this was 2 very awesome occasions mixed into one, jello shots were called for. They were the fastest thing to go on our counter for sure.

2 packs Lime Jello
2 Cups Pinnacle Whipped Cream Vodka
2 Cups Boiling water

Mix the boiling water and the lime jello mix until dissolved, add the vodka.
Pour into 1 oz (ish) cups and let sit in the fridge for 4 hours or up to overnight

I got little 1oz plastic cups at the wholesale store. For less than $5 for 200. Because you'll never know when you'll want to whip some up!

Green Velvet Cupcakes

Red velvet is most of my friends favourite cupcake. So I figured I'd do that... except green. These are your every day red velvet, chocolate cupcake with cream cheese icing. I just used green dye! Pretty much epic. Just saying.

Recipe adapted slightly from here

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 Tablespoon cocoa
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs
1cup canola oil
1 cup buttermilk*
1 Tablespoon vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 oz. green food colouring (Yes, that is a whole little bottle)
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Prepare 2 muffin tins with cupcake liners, makes about 24 cupcakes. And yes! I did get little white, black, gold and green shamrock liners at Michael's!
  • Lightly stir eggs in a medium bowl with a wire whisk. Add remaining liquid ingredients and stir together with whisk until blended. Set aside. (You can also use your stand mixer for this, I did)
  • Place all the dry ingredients in your stand mixing bowl and stir together until well mixed.
  • Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix on medium-high for about a minute or until completely combined.
  • Pour into prepared cupcake liners/tins, let settle to avoid bubbles.
  • Cupcakes take about 18 minutes in my oven. Instead of 30 for a cake. Just in case, start checking (for a toothpick to come out clean) at about 12 Minutes for a convection oven and 14 for a regular oven.
  • Let cool before frosting, otherwise frosting will melt.
*If you don't have buttermilk, you can make one cup of "soured milk" with 1 Tbsp vinegar or lemon juice and 1 cup (less 1 Tbsp) Milk. Let it sit for 5 - 10 minutes and you'll get pretty much the same flavour. I never have buttermilk so this is what I do, unless I know I need a lot.
Cream Cheese Frosting

Everyones favourite part of a red velvet cupcake...

This is my favourite recipe I've found for cream cheese frosting. Its actually less sweet than many others I've tried, but definitely still has the sugar. With "icing sugar" adding more of it will NOT thicken the icing. Only more cream cheese with thicken the icing, and sometimes not even then. Its a bit of a different texture to deal with. A few tries though and you'll figure it out in no time.

Recipe from Here

2 (8 ounce) packages of cream cheese, softened (I used light)

In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter until creamy. I like to use a hand mixer or stand mixer for this, depending on the amount. 
Mix in the vanilla, then gradually stir in the confectioners' sugar.

I piped the frosting using a large, round, tip. You can do whatever you like! I like to pipe.

Store in the refrigerator if you aren't ready to use it right away, or have some left over.

Margarita Lime Cupcakes

I've made these cupcakes before, last year for St Patricks day actually! Since we were expecting close to 30 people (or more) I figured I'd be safe and have 2 kinds of cupcakes. These are lighter and less sweet than a standard cupcake I found. The lime helps balance them out and swiss meringue buttercream is pretty much amazing.

I DID have some major issues with it this time. Which is the first time that has ever happened to me. I think I was just trying to do too many things at once. Here is a link on how to fix it if something goes wrong.

Here is the link back to these cupcakes. I would write it out myself, but I think she does a really good job of it and I didn't change anything!

Margarita Cupcakes

Spinach Dip with Shamrock Chips

I don't think you can go wrong with Spinach dip, pretty much ever. I like to think of it as the sort of healthy dip on the counter. I mean, look at all that green right? Ok, probably not the best thing. But that's ok, its a party.

First things first, buy an awesome loaf of bread. We used sour dough, shaped into a big circular loaf. Cut into the top of the loaf at about a 45ยบ angle to make an inverted cone in the loaf that you can take out. Here is your bread bowl lid. I cut most of the bread off the cone so that it really is just a lid. You can scoop out more of the loaves insides if you need to make room for the spinach dip. Hopefully you can tell by the photo what I mean.

I pretty much always use this Spinach Dip Recipe, with a few changes. Here's mine below.

1 cup miracle whip
1 (16 ounce) container non fat greek yogurt
1 package dry leek soup mix, I used Knorr
1 (4 ounce) can water chestnuts, drained and chopped
1 Full, 10 ounce package fresh chopped spinach
1 (1 pound) loaf round sourdough bread

In a bowl, mix together miracle whip, greek yogurt, dry leek soup mix, water chestnuts and chopped spinach. Chill in the refrigerator 6 hours, or overnight.If you don't have time for this, its not a big deal. But a few hours is ideal.
Remove top and interior of sourdough bread as I mentioned above. Fill with spinach mixture. Tear removed bread chunks into pieces for dipping. Unless you make the awesome Shamrock chips below!

Shamrock Chips
Adapted from here
These were super easy, and like a craft inside cooking. Which is kind of my favourite thing ever.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. I used a pack of spinach tortilla wraps (10) and a pack of whole wheat wraps (10. Each wrap yielded 5 shamrocks with my cookies cutter.
Push a shaped cookie cutter firmly through the wrap and wiggle while pressing until a clean cut is made. Place the cut-outs on a cooling rack placed in a cookie sheet and sprinkle salt and pepper across the chips. I also added some garlic powder for extra flavour.
Cook the chips for approx 10 minutes. Keep an eye on them though, as ovens are different and they could burn easily. Burnt spinach wraps don't taste as good.
Vegetable Rainbow
I saw a few pictures of this on Pinterest and knew it had to be done. Most of the ones I saw were fruit though and being a night party I figured vegetables were a better choice. I bought some chocolate gold coins at the dollar store and put them in a little dish at the end of the rainbow. All in all it was just a fun way to arrange the veggies.
I used, in order from top to bottom: Red Peppers, Carrots, Yellow Peppers, Celery, Green Peppers and some Blueberries at the bottom.

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