Saturday, March 17, 2012

Saint Patrick's Day

Chive & Cheddar Guinness Bread

It is hard to keep classy on Saint Patrick's Day. I'm not referring to the line up I saw outside the local pub at 7:45 this morning, those people are dedicated if nothing else. I am thinking more along the lines of doing a little something special for my family. I wanted to do something thematic but preferably not  fluorescent green and not involving beer.

Well, one out of two ain't bad!

One of the best parts of having a kid is having an excuse to celebrate even the most minor of holidays (no offence Irish friends). So in honour of Saint Patrick's Day, and to celebrate a long overdue lunch with my cousin and his lovely family I whipped up a few thematic additions to our mac 'n cheese lunch.

{just a hint of green}

The first item I tried was Chive and Cheddar Guinness Bread (hence one out of two). The recipe sounded too good to be true: one bowl; no kneading; and bakes in 40 minutes, is that even possible? It turns out, it is. You know you have a winner when your guest asks for the recipe. The beer (we used Garrison's Martello Stout) gives the bread a moist richness, and the cheese makes it all the more decadent. The chives play two roles, they complement the cheese and add just a hint of green. We ate almost the whole loaf at lunch, another good sign.

{Chocolate cake with Bailey's Buttercream} 

The second treat we made was chocolate cake with Bailey's buttercream icing. I thought twice about adding the liqueur to the icing but then I thought, Ireland is in Europe - Europeans let their children drink in moderation - thus, on this, Saint Patrick's day my little North American daughter and her sweet cousins will be fine with a few mls of spirits! I bet the sugar contributed more to their energy level anyway.

The icing was really sweet. It was a nice treat on a special day but I'm not sure I'd recommend it any other time of year. Martha suggested making sugared four-leaf clovers to adorn the top of the cake but I had to wonder, where would even she be able to find four-leaf clovers for sale?

We had an awesome visit with our family, a nice walk at frog pond later in the afternoon and now Jeff and I are slipping out to celebrate six months of marriage! Forty-nine and a half more years until our golden anniversary. Time flies...

Check out the bread recipe here:

The cake was my go to chocolate cake:

The icing recipe isn't online but basically it is vanilla buttercream with 3 Tbsps of Bailey's.



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