Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day and Spring

While investigating recipes for the March issue, I realized that March contains two different special days this year. There is St. Patrick’s Day (everyone is Irish on that day), and Easter.

Easter might not be everyone’s holiday, but to me Easter means springtime. So, I’ll be adding a Spring inspired Easter recipe.

First up is St. Patrick’s Day.

Everyone thinks of corned beef as the traditional Irish meal, but it’s actually ham or lamb. Corned beef is an American Irish tradition. When the Irish immigrated to the America, pork was the more affordable meat.

But let’s not quibble about the traditional meat. This recipe would be a great side dish for either meat.


Irish mashed potatoes.

3 ½ pounds potatoes, peeled and cubed (starchy potatoes make a fluffier mash)

½ cup butter

½ cup half-and-half, more if needed

1/2 small Savoy cabbage, finely shredded

1 tsp. salt

¼ tsp. ground black pepper

¼ tsp. garlic powder, optional

5 strips bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces (optional)


Place the potatoes in a large pot over high heat. Pour salted water into the pot until the potatoes are completely submerged. Bring the potatoes to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork-tender. Drain and transfer the potatoes into a large bowl.

While the potatoes cook, fry the cabbage in a skillet over medium heat with s tablespoons of butter. Add the bacon, if using, and stir for 5 minutes until the cabbage is soft and the bacon is cooked. Set aside.

Mash the potatoes with a masher, fork, or electric mixer until the desired consistency is achieved.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, cook the remaining butter and the half-and-half until melted and combined, about 3 to 5 minutes.

Pour the butter mixture into the bowl of potatoes. Add the salt, black pepper, and garlic, and beat until light and fluffy. Add more half-and-half, one tablespoon at a time, if needed, until the desired creaminess is achieved.

Finally, add the cabbage and bacon, and stir.



2 1/2 c. self-rising flour

1/4 c. raisins

1/4 c. dried cranberries

1 c. milk

2 eggs

1/2 c. butter (cold)

1/2 c. sugar

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, add flour and butter. Using a pastry cutter, cut butter into flour until fully crumbed. Stir in raisins and sugar.

In a small mixing bowl, whisk eggs, milk, and vanilla until thoroughly combined. Pour mix into flour mix and stir until soft, wet dough is formed. (If the dough is a bit thin, add more flour by the 1/2 cup, mixing in thoroughly until dough has a firmer texture. Be careful not to add too much flour. The dough should be soft and wet with just enough firmness to shape.)

Transfer dough to a pre-floured pastry sheet or any flat, clean, dry, and floured surface. Use a lightly floured rolling pin to gently flatten dough. (Dough should be 2-inch thickness.)

Cut scones with a round cookie cutter. Place cut scones onto cast iron pan, pizza pan, or baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Bake for 12-15 minutes. Cool on wire rack.

Serve warm or fully cooled with butter, jelly, jam, or fresh cream.



1/4 c. balsamic vinegar

1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil, divided

1 tbsp. honey

1 tbsp. Dijon mustard

2 cloves garlic, minced

pinch of crushed red pepper flakes

2 lb. chicken breast tenders

kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 lb. asparagus, woody ends trimmed

1 pt. cherry tomatoes, halved

Make vinaigrette: In a small bowl, whisk together balsamic, 2 tablespoons oil, honey, mustard, garlic, and red pepper flakes until combined. Set aside.

In a large skillet over medium heat, heat remaining oil. Add chicken, season with salt and pepper, and sear until golden, about 3 minutes per side. Remove from pan and set aside.

To pan, add asparagus and tomatoes, season with more salt and pepper, and cook until asparagus is bright green and tomatoes are slightly wilted, 5 minutes or so.

Move veggies to one side, add chicken back in and pour in vinaigrette. Toss veggies and chicken slightly until chicken is cooked through and vinaigrette is thickened, 5 minutes more.


I am the self-proclaimed queen of cupcakes. If you have a flavor, I have a recipe. I usually make everything from scratch, but in a time crunch a cake mix will have to do. Here is a recipe using a cake mix that is absolutely delicious.


For the cupcake

1 box (15oz.) white cake mix

1 c. shredded sweetened coconut

3 large egg whites

¾ c. coconut milk, mixed

½ c. vegetable oil

½ c. light sour cream

1 tsp. coconut extract

1 tsp. baking powder

For the filling

1 pkg. (3.4 oz) instant vanilla pudding

¾ c. milk, any type

1 tsp. coconut extract

1 c. heavy whipping cream

¼ c. powdered sugar

For the frosting

8 oz. cream cheese, cold

1 3/4 c. heavy whipping cream

1 c. powdered sugar

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Shredded coconut for garnish

For the cupcake

Pre-heat oven to 350° F. Mix coconut milk well before adding to the batter.

In a large mixing bowl, combine cake mix with all remaining ingredients. Beat on medium speed until all ingredients are well mixed. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and stir from the bottom.

Using a large cookie scoop, divide the batter evenly, filling each liner 2/3 full. Bake at 350° for 15-18 minutes. Check for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cupcake. If the toothpick comes out clean, your cupcake is done. Cool completely.

For the Filling

Combine the pudding with milk and coconut extract. Whisk until pudding is dissolved. Refrigerate until firm.

Prepare the whipped cream. Place the mixing bowl and whisk attachment in the freezer for 5 to 10 minutes to chill.

Pour the heavy whipping cream into the chilled bowl and use an electric mixer to beat the heavy cream at medium-high speed until soft peaks start to form. Add the powdered sugar and continue beating at high speed until stiff peaks form.

Remove pudding from the refrigerator (after it has set) and gently fold in whipping cream. Place filling in a Ziploc bag and refrigerate until ready to use.

For the Frosting

Chill the bowl for 5-10 minutes again. Beat the cream cheese on medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes until cream cheese is smooth and free of lumps. Scrape down the sides of the bowl occasionally.

Add 3 tablespoons of heavy whipping cream. Beat into the cream cheese until cream cheese resembles a liquid mixture.

Slowly drizzle in the heavy whipping cream and continue beating until the cream cheese resembles a liquid mixture. Continue to add the remaining heavy whipping cream and beat on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract and beat until stiff peaks form. Use immediately or keep refrigerated.

To assemble the cupcakes, remove the middle of the cupcake using a spoon, knife, or cupcake corer. Cut off the tip of the Ziplock bag and fill the center with the coconut mousse filling. Top with cream cheese whipped cream. Sprinkle with shredded coconut. These cupcakes must be refrigerated.


Karen Viereck, Editor/Publisher

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