Saturday, March 31, 2012

Holiday Catch-Up: St. Patrick's Day!

More holiday catch-up!

For St. Patrick's Day this year, I made two corned beef roasts. I used one roast to make my traditional yearly favorite...which was our blog's very first post. That recipe can be found here. For your convenience, I have also re-posted that recipe below.

I used the second roast to make a Reuben braid. Reuben sandwiches are one of my favorites. Those lovely (and super calorie-laden sandwiches) were my biggest craving during my first pregnancy. I usually prefer my Reubens made with pastrami, but since they are so often made with corned beef, I thought I would give it a go for my braid.

I used a Rhodes Dough recipe as my inspiration. That original recipe can be found here. I didn't follow the recipe exactly because it used turkey pastrami and I was planning to use corned beef and it also used Italian cheese salad dressing instead of Thousand Island. Anyway, my version of the recipe is below.

I also made an Irish inspired trifle for a dinner that we were invited to at my sister-in-law's house. We had it for one of our Irish feasts in year's past and I was really excited to make it again.

My Mom made some fantastic recipes for St. Patrick's Day. She made some old favorites in addition to some great new finds. I still need to pin her down for the soda bread recipe, but as soon as I get it, you will get it too! Irish soda bread can be dry at times, but this was the most moist Irish soda bread I've ever had. It was so good. It can be made with or without the currants and caraway seeds. I'll post that recipe very soon...but right now, the important thing is to get this blasted post actually and finally posted!

So, I realize that St. Patrick's Day is behind us, but you can always enjoy these recipes...or you can save them up to try next year. Either way, I hope you enjoy them!

Reuben Braid


1 Loaf Rhodes Bread Dough, or 12 Rhodes Dinner Rolls, thawed to room temperature (I used 12 dinner rolls)
1/3 cup Thousand Island salad dressing
1/2 pound shredded or thinly sliced corned beef
1 cup grated Swiss cheese
2 cups sauerkraut, drained
Cooking spray
2 tablespoons caraway seeds
, divided


Spray counter lightly with non-stick cooking spray. Roll loaf or combined dinner rolls into a 12x16-inch rectangle. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest 10-15 minutes. Remove wrap from dough and pour dressing lengthwise in a 4-inch strip down center of dough. Top with corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and 1 tablespoon caraway seeds. Make cuts 1 1/2-inches apart on long sides of dough to within 1/2-inch of filling. Begin braid by folding top and bottom strips toward filling. Then braid strips left over right, right over left. Finish by pulling last strip over and tucking under braid.

Lift braid with both hands and place on a large sprayed baking sheet. Spray with cooking spray and sprinkle with remaining caraway seeds. Bake at 350°F 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Cool slightly and slice to serve.

Source: Rhodes Dough was my inspiration. Besides the two changes noted in my commentary above, I followed the recipe pretty closely.

Notes: I'm still learning things about working with frozen dough. I made my braid after quickly glancing over the original recipe...and only after carefully reading the recipe did I realize that I should have done a few things differently.

My mistakes? Well...

I let the dough thaw and then rise completely. The Rhodes Dough recipe doesn't. What difference does that make? Well, my braid turned out a little puffier because it had risen more. It still tasted great, so...not the end of the world, but it would have been easier to work with and looked prettier if I had followed the Rhodes Dough instructions.

I also cut my braided strips on the diagonal instead of straight. The result? My braid turned out a little loose rather than tight and neat like the Rhodes Dough recipe. Also, I didn't tuck my strips in on the other side of the loaf...again, the result was that it was a little messier.

Yeah, I'm still learning. But as I said, it tasted great.

You can also serve this with additional Thousand Island dressing as a dipping sauce.

Irish Cream Chocolate Trifle


1 package devil's food cake mix
1 cup refrigerated Irish creme nondairy creamer
3 1/2 cups cold milk
2 packages (3.9 ounces each) instant chocolate pudding mix
3 cups whipped topping
12 spearmint candies, crushed (optional)


Prepare and bake cake according to package directions, using a greased 13x9 inch baking pan. Cool on a wire rack for 1 hour.

With a meat fork or wooden skewer, carefully poke holes in cake about 2 inches apart. Slowly pour creamer over cake; refrigerate for 1 hour.

In a large bowl, whisk the milk and pudding mixes for 2 minutes. Let stand for 2 minutes or until soft-set.

Cut cake into 1 1/2 inch cubes; place a third of the cubes in a 3 qt glass bowl or trifle dish. Top with a third of the pudding, whipped topping, and candies; repeat layers twice. Store trifle in the refrigerator.

Yield: 14-16 servings.

Source: Taste of Home, originally found here.

Notes: I don't really like those spearmint candies, so I skipped those. Also, I only used about 3/4 of the cake in the trifle. I couldn't fit in anymore than that! Finally, I used one 5.9 ounce package of pudding instead of two 3.9 ounce packages. It was a little less pudding than the recipe called for, but believe me, there was plenty of pudding. And I love pudding, so I didn't feel like I was scrimping because I was missing 2 ounces of pudding. :)

Roasted Mustard Potatoes (originally posted on our blog last year, here)

1/2 c. Lakeshore Strong Irish Mustard or other spicy mustard
1/2 c. olive oil
3 lbs. new pototoes or red skinned potatoes
2 medium onions, sliced for garnish (about 1 1/2 c.)
Chopped parsley for garnish

Preheat oven to 400F. Scrub the potatoes leaving skins on. Cut into 1 1/2 in. cubes. In a small bowl, combine mustard and oil. In a large bowl, comine potatoes, onion and mustard mixture, tossing to coat well. Spread evenly on baking sheet.

Bake at 400F for 45-50 minutes or until the potatoes are tender and crispy. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve. Yield: 6 servings

Notes: These were really tasty, but the first time I made them, I didn't cook them long enough. You might want to leave a little more time to make sure the potatoes get done. I might try adding another 10 to 15 minutes next time. It could be because I doubled it and the volume didn't cook as quickly.

Above: Our favorite Corned Beef with Red Currant-Mustard Sauce is shown above with an all-green salad, Irish Soda Bread, Roasted Mustard Potatoes, and Irish Cabbage.

Corned Beef with Red Currant-Mustard Sauce (originally posted here)

Note: Corned beef brisket needs a long, slow simmer to get it tender. Put it in the slow cooker first thing in the morning. But the cabbage, potatoes and carrots will turn mushy if they've been cooked all day. They can be microwaved in 15 or 20 minutes just before dinner is served.


2 1/2 to 3 pound boneless corned beef brisket
Corned beef seasoning packet (or 1 tsp whole black peppercorns and 1 bay leaf)
3 ribs celery, cut into 3 inch lengths
2 medium onions, cut lengthwise into quarters
3 1/2 cups water
1 pound green cabbage, cut into 3 inch wedges
1 pound red potatoes, cut into 2 inch pieces
6-8 small carrots, tops trimmed, or 4 medium carrots, cut crosswise into thirds
1/2 cup water
2 Tbsps. butter, melted
chopped parsley


Place celery and onions in 4 1/2-51/2 quart slow cooker; top with corned beef brisket. Add corned beef seasoning packet, if included, and 3 1/2 cups water. Cover and cook on high 7 hours, or on low 9-10 hours, or until brisket is fork-tender. Remove brisket; set aside. Discard cooking liquid, celery, and onions.

Place cabbage, potatoes and carrots in 2 1/2 quart microwave safe casserole dish; add 1/2 cup water. Cover and microwave on high 15 minutes, or until vegetables are tender, stirring once. Drain vegetables; add butter and salt and pepper as desired; toss to coat.

Carve brisket diagonally across the grain into thin slices. Serve with vegetables and red Currant-Mustard Sauce. Garnish with chopped parsley, if desired.

Red Currant-Mustard Sauce:


12 ounces Red Currant Jelly
3 Tbsp. Coarse grain Dijon-style mustard


Place 12 ounces of red currant jelly in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover and microwave on high 1-2 minutes or until smooth, stirring once. Whisk in 3 Tbsps. coarse-grain Dijon-style mustard. Cover and microwave on high 30 seconds.

Or, you can melt the jelly in a pan on the stove over medium heat. Once the jelly is melted, stir in the mustard.

Notes: You don't have to serve the sides listed with this recipe if you prefer to make other Irish sides. Simply omit the potatoes, cabbage, carrots, and butter.

Source: This recipe was found in the recipe section of the Deseret News years ago. The clipping that I have doesn't include the name of the person who created the recipe.

Irish Cabbage (originally posted here)

1 small cabbage, cored and thinly shredded
1 stick butter
6 T. water
1 pinch nutmeg
1 tsp. flour
freshly ground black pepper to taste

Melt half the butter in a heavy pot; then add the cabbage and toss until coverd with the butter. Add water, cover and cook gently for about 20 minutes. By this time, the liquid should be nearly absorbed, and the cabbage cooked. Add the nutmeg, the flor, and stir well; then add the rest of the butter and toss until melted into the cabbage. Add pepper if desired.

This was really good and a nice change from the normal steamed cabbage we serve with corned beef. It was quite good, but then a stick of butter makes everything better.

Irish Soda Bread


2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons McCormick Carawaay Seed (optional)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon McCormick Cinnamon, Ground (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup raisins or currants (optional)
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease 9-inch round cake pan.

Mix flour, sugar, caraway seed, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in large bowl. Stir in raisins. Mix buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla in medium bowl; stir into dry ingredients. Spread in prepared pan.

Bake 45-50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack 10 minutes. Remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.

Nutrition information: Makes 16 servings. 129 calories, 1 g fat, 26 g carbohydrates, 28 mg cholesterol, 182 mg sodium, 1 g fiber, 4 g protein.

Source: McCormick & Company, Inc. recipe, copyright 2008. Found on

Notes: This was so, so good. A lot of Irish soda breads can be a little dry...but not this one. It was moist and slightly sweet. Delicious! Besides that, Irish soda bread is pretty much the easiest kind of bread to make...ever. So, if you want to make bread, but you're a beginning bread maker, this bread is for you!

By the way, we have two versions of this bread pictured on our blog. The one at the very top is without raisins/currants and caraway seeds. The one right above this recipe has raisins/currants and caraway seeds added in. You can make it either way...or both ways! Just do it according to your taste.

Green Velvet Cupcakes


2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 tbsp cocoa
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs
1 cup oil
1 cup buttermilk
1 tbsp vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 oz green food coloring
Favorite white frosting
Green sprinkles


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease your muffin tins or place muffin liners in each cup.

Lightly mix eggs in a medium bowl with a whisk. Add in remaining liquid ingredients (oil, buttermilk, vinegar, vanilla, and food coloring). Whisk until blended and set aside.

Place all dry ingredients into another mixing bowl and sift together well.

Pour your wet ingredients into your dry ingredients and mix on medium-high for about a minute or two until well combined and the green food coloring is well incorporated.

Divide batter into cupcake cups (about 3/4 full).

Bake for 16-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Allow cupcakes to cool completely. While cupcakes are cooling, prepare your favorite frosting (or you can use canned frosting--which is what we did this time around).

Frost cupcakes and top with green sprinkles.

Source: I found this recipe on Pinterest. It has a few sources. and (the actual recipe for the cake can be found here.)

Cool Mint Oreo Cookie Balls


6 oz (3/4 of 8 oz pkg) Philadelphia Cream Cheese, softened
1 pkg (15.25 oz) Oreo Cool Mint Creme Cookies, finely crushed (about 4 cups)
2 pkg (6 squares each) Baker's White Chocolate, melted
6 drops green food coloring
2 tbsp chocolate sprinkles.


Mix cream cheese and cookie crumbs until well blended.

Shape into 40 (1-inch) balls; place in single layer in shallow pan. Freeze 10 minutes. Mix melted chocolate and food coloring until well blended. Dip balls in chocolate; place in single layer in shallow waxed paper-lined pan. Top with sprinkles.

Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm. Keep refrigerated.

Store in tightly covered container in refrigerator.

40 servings, 1 cookie ball each

Nutrition information: 110 calories, 6 g fat, 5 mg cholesterol, 65 mg sodium, 13 g carbohydrate, 0 g fiber, 10 g sugar, 1 g protein


Notes: These are super tasty, but really rich. I, personally, thought they had more cream cheese than I would have liked. I would have preferred a greater Oreo cookie to cream cheese ratio. But that was just me...others disagreed and liked them just the way they were. So, I would suggest that you make them according to your taste. If they seem too creamy, add more crushed cookies. If you like them creamy, follow the recipe as is.

Holiday Catch-Up: Valentine's Day

Well, the catch-up game continues. Valentine's Day was pretty low-key this year. Besides getting small Valentine's treats for my little guys, the only other thing that marked the day was that I made a pink hued Valentine's cake.

I pretty much followed the same recipe that I used for the Candy Cane Cake I made in December, but I made a few modifications. Honestly, you could do so many color and flavor combinations to fit as many holidays as you would like. This would be a fun cake for St. Patrick's Day (in shades of green) or it would be cool for the Fourth of July (in red, white, and blue).

Candy Cane Cake aka Valentine's Cake

(my modified recipe is below; if you would like to view the original recipe found on our blog, you can find it here)



1 box Betty Crocker SuperMoist white cake mix
Water, vegetable oil, and egg whites called for on cake mix box
1 teaspoon red food color, divided
1/2 teaspoon almond extract (is what I would have used if my son wasn't allergic to tree nuts)

White Icing:

1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk or water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla, if desired
1 teaspoon red food color, divided


Though I didn't add any decorations, in hindsight, some red hot candies sprinkled on top would have been cute. Or, you could sprinkle some candy hearts on top.


Heat oven to 350 degrees (325 for dark or nonstick pan). Generously grease and flour 12-cup fluted tube cake pan. Make cake batter as directed on box, adding almond extract (if desired). Divide the batter into thirds. Pour the first third of batter into pan (white batter). Pour the other two portions of batter into two small bowls. In the first small bowl, stir in enough food color to achieve your desired shade of deep pink. In the second small bowl, stir in enough food color to achieve your desired shade of light pink. Carefully pour dark pink batter over white batter in pan. Carefully pour remaining light pink batter over the dark pink batter.

Bake and cool cake as directed on box.

In small bowl, mix icing ingredients. If necessary, stir in additional milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, until smooth and spreadable. Divide into thirds. Using food color, dye icing to desired shades so that you have one third white icing, one third dark pink icing, and one third light pink icing. Spread over cake (starting with dark pink layer first, followed by the light pink layer, and finally, the white layer). Sprinkle crushed or whole candy on top, if desired. Store loosely covered.

Makes 12 servings

Source: Betty Crocker website.

Nutrition information: 240 calories, 8 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 280 mg sodium, 41 g carbohydrate, 0 g fiber, 2 g protein.

Notes: I kind of screwed up on the glaze this time...I added too much milk and it ended up too runny. I always have a problem with that. I had hoped that it would be thicker like the frosting I made for my cake in December. Oh well!

The Cake Batter Trend

Long time no see! I can't believe it has been 2 1/2 months since our last post. Our blog has about 3 regular contributors and an additional 3 occasional contributors, but we have really dropped the ball lately!

As for myself, my husband and I bought a house in January (Whoohoo! Finally!), moved in at the end of February, and in addition to all of the work that goes into getting a house organized and put together, we had a terrible time getting our internet up and running. So, that's my excuse! As for the other contributors, I know they have all been busy too and well, life is just crazy sometimes!

But just because we haven't been posting recipes, it doesn't mean that we haven't been making, trying, and photographing them!

So, now it is time to play catch up.

My youngest sister loves the flavor of cake batter in her goodies. In fact, we've already posted a recipe for cake batter ice cream which you can find here. But since then, we have tried a few more cake batter recipes (and have others planned for the future).

So tonight, I am going to share recipes for cake batter rice crispies and cake batter pancakes.

The cake batter gives the rice crispies an added level of flavor. They are pretty tasty.

As for the cake batter pancakes, they are to-die-for. I was seriously craving them the next day. They are so rich and decadent. So, so, so good.

So, buy a box of yellow cake mix and throw it into your next batch of rice crispies or pancakes and enjoy the cake batter trend yourself!

Cake Batter Rice Crispies


3 tablespoons butter
1 (10 ounce) bag mini marshmallows
1/4 cup yellow cake mix
6 cups Rice Krispies cereal
1 (1.75 ounce) container multi-colored sprinkles


Melt butter in a large saucepan over low heat and add marshmallows. Stir until marshmallows begin to melt, adding in cake mix one spoonful at a time so that the cake mix is fully incorporated. Stir in cereal until it is completely coated with marshmallow mixture. Sprinkle in half of the sprinkles and mix. Press into a 9x13 baking dish and top with remaining sprinkles. Let stand for about 30 minutes before cutting.

Notes: If you like more of a cake mix flavor, feel free to add 1/2 cup yellow cake mix...or even a little more!

Source: I found this recipe on Pinterest. I found an identical recipe from two separate blogs. and

Cake Batter Pancakes



1 cup Original Bisquick Mix
1 cup Betty Crocker Supermoist Yellow Cake Mix
3 tablespoons candy sprinkles
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs

Glaze and Garnish:

1 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Additional candy sprinkles


Heat griddle or skillet over medium-high heat or electric griddle to 375 degrees; grease with cooking spray, vegetable oil, or shortening. (Surface is ready when a few drops of water spirnkled on it dance and disappear.)

In medium bowl, stir together pancake ingredients until blended. Pour by slightly less than 1/4 cupfuls onto hot griddle. Cook until edges are dry. Turn; cook until pancakes are golden brown. Stack on serving plates.

In small bowl, beat powdered sugar, milk, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla with whisk until smooth.

To serve, top each serving with glaze and additional candy sprinkles.

Notes: This was a hit with everyone. My mom thought they were a little too rich or sweet for dinner though (we paired it with a savory breakfast casserole which I felt evened things out nicely, so I didn't agree with my Mom...breakfast or dinner, this recipe is a winner).

I ate my pancakes with the glaze and a little whipped cream on top...with sprinkles, of course. My Mom tried hers with some berry syrup and really liked it. I also think it would be great with your classic maple syrup too.

The Betty Crocker website mentions that this would be a great pancake to serve at a breakfast birthday party! What a great idea. One of my friends had a pancake birthday party for her girls and everyone showed up in their pajamas and had pancakes for breakfast. A great change of pace for a birthday party.

Source: I found this on the Betty Crocker website (you can find it here). The recipe is credited to blogger Jessica Walker. You can check out her blog here.