Go Green

Thursday, March 06, 2008

St. Patrick’s-paloza is coming up in eight days! Now that my Vegas trip is over, I am in full planning mode. I will share with you a sneak preview of what I have up my sleeve and some great resources.

I searched the web looking for a place where I could design my own shirt. There are a TON of sites, but not all of them have green shirts available (no, I don’t want mint). I used the super cheesy
www.CustomizedGirl.com to make some surprise shirts for my guests. Check back to see the finished product!

Amazon.com has uber-cute Grow Your Own 4-Leaf Clover sets. I remember searching my grass as a kid for one
(photo from Amazon.com). http://www.amazon.com/Four-Leaf-Clover-Mega-Mini-Kits/dp/0762414731

For a house party, I love the idea of these etch-a-sketch cups. My grandma always warned me about drinking from other people’s cups! While you are on the site, check out all the trendy entertaining items they have. I love this site.

My obsession with cupcakes is stronger than ever. While my birthday treat came right back up, this recipe, topped with Andes Mintes, from howtoeatacupcake.blogspot.com sounds like it would take the cake. (photo from howtoeatacupcake.blogspot.com)

Chocolate Mint Chip Cupcakes (makes 18-20)

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup (2 ounces) unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped, melted

2 large eggs, at room temperature1 teaspoon peppermint extract

1/2 cup chocolate milk

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup (6 ounces) mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Insert liners into a medium cupcake pan.

2. In a large bowl cream together the butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes. Beat the melted chocolate into the butter mixture. Add the eggs, peppermint extract, and chocolate milk. Beat until creamy.

3. In a separate medium-sized bowl combine the flour and baking soda.

4. Add the dry ingredients to the chocolate mixture and beat until well blended (DO NOT OVER BEAT). With a rubber spatula, stir in the chocolate chips.

5. Fill the cupcake liners 2/3-3/4 full. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in pan.

Mint Swiss Meringue Buttercream (recipe adapted from marthastewart.com)

Makes about 3 cups

3 egg whites

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 teaspoon peppermint extract

1. Put egg whites and sugar in a double boiler over simmering water. Whisking constantly, cook until sugar has dissolved and mixture is warm (about 160 degrees).

2. Pour heated egg mixture into a clean bowl of a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat egg white mixture on high speed until it forms stiff (but not dry) peaks. Continue beating until fluffy and cooled, about 6 minutes (It's very important to beat it for the whole 6 minutes).

3. Switch to the paddle attachment. With mixer on medium-low, add butter several tablespoons at a time, beating well after each addition. (If frosting appears soupy or separated after all butter has been added, beat on medium-high speed until smooth again, 3 to 5 minutes more.)

4. Beat in peppermint extract. Reduce speed to low; beat 2 minutes to eliminate air bubbles. Stir with a rubber spatula until smooth.

While we are on the recipe subject, there is a good one on e-vite (of all places) for a make your own Shamrock Shake. This is right up my alley, so I don’t have to step foot in a McDonalds (yes, I am still bitter about the 2003 Root Beer Float episode). Here is the DIY recipe from e-vite:

Shamrock Shake
3 cups vanilla ice cream
1 cup whole milk
¼ teaspoon peppermint extract
10 drops green food coloring
Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

More St. Patty’s information to come : )