St. Patrick’s Day Green Velvet Cake

Second to last recipe made this year for St. Patrick’s Day. This was actually one of the first ones I found and decided to make. Then things got out of hand, like they normally do around and me and recipes. You can read the recipe here

There are two unique things about his cake, the first being, obviously, the fact that it is green. Someone asked me if this was a red velvet cake but just with green food coloring. Honestly, I don’t know but it makes a lot of sense as the name has “velvet” in it. Word of caution, be careful when squirting the green food coloring out of the bottle. When you get to the last of it, it tends to spray everywhere. 

The second unique thing is the frosting. This recipe has “boiled frosting” which is essentially butter and granulated sugar mixed with a water/flour paste that you, well, boiled. It did whip up nice and fluffy but I have to say, it tasted a lot like butter. There are three sticks of butter in it so it makes sense but still. On the one hand, the frosting wasn’t bad but it wasn’t what I would consider a “traditional” frosting (buttercream) so it’s hard to say that it reminded me of childhood. 

Overall, this turned out well. I could have gotten a little more frosting in between the layers but I was cautious as to how much I had total. It was a very spreadable frosting to it wasn’t difficult to get it frosted. As I was frosting it, I reminded myself why I don’t frost cakes and how I will never win any cake decorating contests. But, the sprinkles made it look a lot better. I was pretty impressed with myself that it turned out as good as it did. 

In the end, I might trade the frosting for butter cream if I were to do it again. 

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Dublin Coddle

I am way behind on my posting about the different meals I’ve made recently.  It seems anymore that I either don’t have time to cook at all or when I do, I don’t have time to post about them. Case in point, this is the dinner from St. Patrick’s Day, which was over a week ago. Anywho, we ended up being by ourselves for St. Patrick’s Day which was fine as we had been pretty busy over the course of the week and had a full weekend. This recipe was saved as it came in an email about Irish recipes to make for St. Patrick’s Day. It is a Cook’s Country recipe so I don’t have a link. I’ll type it out below. 

Overall, this was pretty good. The only downside was that in the end, it looks, and tastes, a lot like bratwurst over German Potato Salad. Which seems less Irish and more, well, German. But, like I said, it was good. I didn’t make any changes and even made sure I had golden potatoes. I did use a package (5 pieces) of Johnsonville Beer ‘n Brats for the sausage. It was what was in the freezer. Which is also a reason I saved this to make. I had most everything on hand. 

So, take it for what you will. It seemed a tad bit less Irish to me when it was all said and done but it was still a good meal. 

  • 1 3/4 pounds golden potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/4″ thick
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 slices thick cut bacon, cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1 1/4 pounds bratwurst 
  • 2 onions, sliced into 1/2″ rings
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
  • 1 3/4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh minced parsley (I skipped this)

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Spray non-stick spray into a 13×9 baking dish and shingle the potatoes in the bottom. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Set aside. 

Cook bacon in a skillet over medium heat until crispy (12-14 minutes or your level of crispy). Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to a paper lined plate. 

Carefully add sausages to the now empty skillet and cook until lightly browned on tops and bottoms, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a paper lined plate. 

Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of fat from pan and return to medium heat. Add onions, thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Cover and cook until onions are softened, 7-9 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

Add broth and vinegar, scraping up any browned bit, and bring to a simmer. Carefully pour onion mixture over potatoes, spreading onions in an even layer. 

Place sausages, browned side up, on top of the onions. Transfer to oven and bake until a knife inserted into the potatoes meets little resistance, about 1 1/4 hours. 

Remove from oven and let cool,for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with reserved parsley and bacon. 

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Irish Cream Scones

Before deciding to (also) make green donughts on St. Patrick’s Day (my previous post) I had intended to make this for breakfast that day. I still did which worked out in two ways. One, I got to make another recipe and cross something else off the list. Two, it gave me extra food that I could take to work. You can read the recipe here

While we are not Irish we can pretend to be by attempting to eat Irish food or at least Irish inspired food. That was the main reason for wanting to make this in the first place. Had it not been St. Patrick’s Day, I may not have saved this to make. Plus, I may not have even seen it to consider making. But I digress. 

Overall, this went pretty well. I chose to form the dough into a disk and cut it apart into triangles rather than just dropping scoops on the pan. That worked, sort of. It was a little hard to cut and it wound up only being cut into four pieces. It baked pretty well and I cut each of those pieces in half so I ended up with eight total scones. 

From a taste perspective, they were good although I don’t see much that is “Irish” about them other than using the Bailey’s Irish Cream. But, that’s okay. I’d recommend this recipe, whether it is St. Patrick’s Day or not. 

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Baked Mint Chocolate Chip Doughnuts

One day at work we started talking about doughnuts. I don’t remember how the conversation started or how it ended up this way but I started thinking about a mint chocolate chip doughnut. Of course a quick Google search gave me a plethora of options. I settled on this recipe, mostly because it was one of the first ones to pop up and I had most of the ingredients. Actually, all I had to get was the mini chocolate chips although I could have used regular. You can read the recipe here

Now, a mint chocolate chip doughnut might seem a little odd but the flavor combination works (obviously) and putting it into doughnut form didn’t really change anything. Plus it was close to St. Patrick’s Day so making these that morning worked out. 

This recipe made 12 and I had a little extra batter left. I could have added it to the pan but I was trying to keep with the instructions of only doing the spot 2/3 full and I had already filled it more than that. 

There isn’t an amount listed for the green food coloring so use what you feel is needed to get the green color you want. I used some gel food coloring and tried to stay on the pale green side of things. 

For the mint flavor, it wasn’t overpowering so if you really want mint you should add more extract. The chocolate glaze worked well but I ran out as I was a little over zealous on the first few I did. But that was okay. 

Overall these were pretty good. Maybe not something I would make all the time but they fit well with theme for the day. 

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Weeknight Tagliatelle with Bolognese Sauce

While I like cooking, and am willing to spend a decent amount of time doing it, I do like it when things are pretty easy and simple to put together. Especially when we don’t have a lot of time. This recipe was intriguing because of just that – it was something that might normally take a long time to make, but in a quicker version. You can read the recipe here

Now, I will agree that this can be made on a “weeknight” (since I did that) but it still takes a decent amount of time. Which means either you have to start early or dinner gets pushed back. It probably took me an hour and a half to make this last Tuesday and that is after doing some prep in the morning. You see, I knew it was still going to take awhile and if there was anything I could do to not go crazy in the evening, I needed to try it. 

In the end, I made the prosciutto and vegetables mix in the morning. It threw the morning off a bit but I felt that it was worth it. The only change I made was to use a little less prosciutto that called for. I had bought a package that I thought had enough in it for two recipes but it was so I had to cut back on each one to make it work. 

I did my best to follow the directions and the timing on this recipe. I did have a little trouble where the sauce did a lot more than just “turn dark” or have some “brown bits” on the bottom. It flat out burnt and inspent a little time trying to scrape the bottom so we didn’t wind up with burnt chuncks in the sauce. That delayed the recipe but only by about 5 minutes. 

Overall, this turned out very well despite taking a bit longer than I had hoped for a “weeknight” recipe. However the alternative was spending several hours making the sauce so I think maybe it worked out okay. Plus it tasted good. 

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Pasta with Butter, Sage, and Parmesan 

I saved this recipe as it seemed like a nice, quick and easy meal to make on one of her nights when we didn’t have a lot of time. Which seems to be more and more common these days. Generally speaking, it was pretty quick and easy yet there was one issue which I felt almost ruined the whole thing. You can read the recipe here

Essentially, you brown some butter, toss in some fresh sage leaves, and then combine that with the pasta and some Parmesan. Pretty easy. Maybe. Overall, this turned out and was pretty good. However, the recipe said the sage leaves should “shrivel” which I took to mean that they would cook down a bit (shrink) and we would be good to go. Instead they seemed to almost burn in the pan and become very brittle. I ended up scooping them out and using them more as a garnish on top of the plates pasta than mixing it all in. It didn’t taste burnt but something was off. Maybe it was the cast iron skillet I was using. Regardless, the butter looked a bit more than just browned when I poured it into the pasta. 

And yes, I did it “backwards” in that I poured the butter into the pasta rather than the pasta into the skillet with the butter. Oh, and I cooked the pasta about a minute shorter than the recommended time as you then cooked it a bit more with some of the water. It still came out pretty form so I would recommend cooking the pasta like normal. 

In the end, this wasn’t bad. It was fairly easy for a weeknight when we didn’t have a lot of time and it tasted pretty good. 

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Blue Cheese and Bacon Lettuce Boats

So the picture is a little hard to make out, but essentially this is a homemade blue cheese dressing, inside of a piece of lettuce, with bacon sprinkled on top. Good, but not quite as good as you might think. You can read the recipe here

I made one change to this and that was using romaine hearts as the lettuce over what they suggested. That was done as it was easier to obtain the romaine hearts. Other than that, this was a pretty simple recipe to put together. It just didn’t turn out exactly the way I hoped. Which is hard to explain. Maybe it just wasn’t that good in my mind. Less about something with the recipe that didn’t work and more of just toe overall dish didn’t appeal to me (despite the bacon). 

I made these for a get together and a few people really liked them and a few people were iffy about them like me. So, I don’t know. It sounds like it would be a great dish, a nice little handheld salad with some bacon, but not so much. 

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