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Archive for March 15, 2015

ST. PATRICK’S DAY: Apple Leprechaun Snack

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Have fun with your food. Photo courtesy Kitchen Fun With My 3 Sons.

 

Even adults can have fun with this apple leprechaun. It was created by Jill of Kitchen Fun With My 3 Sons. Yes, the kids help.

RECIPE: LEPRECHAUN FRUIT SNACK

Ingredients Per Serving

  • 1 green apple
  • 1 clementine or other mandarin
  • 1 strawberry
  • 2 edible candy eyes
  • 4 mini heart or shamrock sprinkles
  • Peanut butter or toothpicks
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    Preparation

    1. CUT the front off of the apple and cut out a hat from that slice. Attach it on the top using half of a toothpick. Save the apple scraps to cut out a nose.

     

    2. CUT a slice of strawberry to make the mouth. Press on the edible eyes; they will stick. (Everything should stick, but you can also use peanut butter to secure the pieces.)

    3. CUT the clementine slices in half to make the beard. Break toothpicks in half to secure them, if needed.

    4. PRESS the heart sprinkles on the hat to make a shamrock.

    Here’s the full article.
     
    WHAT’S A LEPRECHAUN?

    The leprechauns of Irish folklore are not sweet and loving pixies. These fairies are full of mischief!

    Leprechauns are usually depicted as a little old man wearing breeches, a coat and hat. When not up to practical jokes, they are solitary creatures who spend their time making and mending shoes.

    And of course, they have a hidden pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

    If he is captured by a human, a leprechaun has the magical power to grant three wishes in exchange for their freedom.

    As for female leprechauns: No one has ever seen one!

     
      

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    TIP OF THE DAY DAY: Cook With Beer For St. Patrick’s Day

    Beer lovers know the fun of cooking with beer.

    A quick look at TasteOfHome.com revealed 30 recipes with beer, including beer battered fish, bread, dip, braised ribs, cheese soup, chili, glazed steaks, green beans, fondue, mac and cheese, mustard, potato wedges, pot roast, roast chicken and beef stew. Whew!

    Our suggestion is for a breakfast treat, Irish soda muffins and jam, both made with Irish Red ale.

    Boston beer king Samuel Adams asked two local artisan food producers, both members of their Brewing the American Dream Program, to make St. Patrick’s Day recipes with its beer. The result is yummy. We could start every day with the Irish soda muffins!

    If today is a good baking day for you, whip up a batch of muffins. Enjoy some warm out of the oven, and stick the rest in the freezer for St. Patrick’s Day breakfast.

    The muffin recipe is by Sandy Russo of LuLu’s Sweet Shoppe in Boston’s North End. They taste just like Irish soda bread, but with the denser texture of muffins.

    RECIPE: IRISH SODA MUFFINS

    Ingredients

  • 2¼ cups sugar
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons barley malt* (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 6 eggs
  • 3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup Samuel Adams Irish Red†
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon caraway seeds
  • 1 cup raisins
  • Garnish: sanding sugar (substitute raw sugar or table sugar)
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    Bites of heaven: Irish soda muffins. Photo courtesy King Arthur Flour.

     

    *Look for barley malt powder, also called diastatic malt powder or barley flour, at health food or brewing supplies shops; or buy it online. It keeps well in the freezer in a tightly sealed container, and can be used to make bagels and other bread doughs.

    †If you can’t find Irish Red, substitute Boston Lager.
     
    Preparation

    1. POSITION the rack in the middle of oven and preheat to 350°F. Spray the top of a muffin pan with non-stick coating and line with paper liners.

    2. CREAM together in a large bowl the butter, sugar and barley malt until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Add the vanilla.

    3. MIX in the flour, salt and baking powder with the paddle attachment on low speed, just until incorporated. Add the beer until incorporated. Next add the sour cream, caraway seeds and raisins. Scrape down the sides of bowl and beat until smooth, about 25 seconds.

    4. SCOOP into the muffin cups. Sprinkle the tops lightly with sugar. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown and spring back when lightly tapped.

     

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    Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a bottle of Irish Red. Photo courtesy Samuel Adams.

     

    RECIPE: ST. PADDY’S DAY JAM

    This recipe is by Allen Chrisholm of Al’s Backwoods Berrie Co. in Plymouth, Massachusetts. For a festive touch, add four drops of green food coloring to create a green jam—perfect for spreading on Irish soda bread muffins on St. Patrick’s Day!

    Ingredients For 7 Eight-Ounce Jars

  • 2 bottles Samuel Adams Irish Red* or Boston Lager
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • Pinch of orange zest
  • 2/3 cup of dry, store bought pectin (2 full packages)
  • 5 cups sugar
  • Optional: 4 drops green food color
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    Preparation

    1. PLACE the beer in a saucepan along with the honey and orange zest. Bring the mixture to a boil and add the pectin very slowly. Once the pectin is added, return the mixture to a boil for 1 minute, constantly stirring the mixture so it does not burn.

    2. ADD the sugar very slowly and bring the mixture back to a boil.

    3. BOIL the jars and the lids in a separate pan so that when you fill them, they are as hot as the jam. Fill and seal the jars and turn them upside down for 3 to 5 minutes; then return them upright. Let cool.

     

    WHAT IS IRISH RED ALE?

    Originally brewed in Kilkenny, Ireland in 1710, Irish red ales are known for their rich and smooth flavor plus balance, making them ideal for warmer days yet pleasant during the chilly ones.

    Deep russet in color, Samuel Adams Irish Red is inspired by the red ales of Ireland (just about every brewer there makes it).

    Full of hearty, roasty character and a backbone of malty sweetness, Samuel Adams Irish Red is “brewed to suit the cool rainy days,” according to the brewer.

    Irish Reds are easy to drink: well-rounded, a bit sweet, with a lightly hopped tea-like flavor and a pleasant toasted malt character. If you have a source for imports, look for Killian’s, Murphy’s, Smithwick’s and other Irish brands. Perhaps you can celebrate the day with an Irish Red tasting!

      

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