Thursday, March 17, 2011

Top o' the morning to ya!

Feeling greenGood for you!  It's that one day a year when people everywhere seek even the tiniest bit of Irish heritage in their family backgrounds so they can join the celebration, too.  Even if there's no O' or Mc in your last name, get your Irish fix in the kitchen and be festive anyway.

I started my day off with a very green smoothie.  Not one of the famed green monster smoothies (though I highly recommend it if you've never tried one), but a banana oat smoothie with a touch of green food coloring.  In the mix:
  • 1/4 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup non-fat vanilla yogurt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 banana, cut into thirds
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Three drops of green food coloring (optional)
In a blender, combine all ingredients and blend until smooth.  Add food coloring to blended drink and pulse until desired color is reached.  Serve immediately or cover tightly with plastic wrap, store in refrigerator overnight for consumption in the AM.

This was a champion's breakfast -- smooth and sweet and so filling and satisfying.  I know it'll get me through the 10:30am hunger pangs all the way to lunch.  And that touch of green was exactly what I wanted/needed to put a bounce in my step for the day ahead.  Not technically Irish, per se, but who says adults can't have silly (yet extremely nourishing) breakfasts, too? :)  If you're looking to make your day Irish through and through, here are two recipes to help you on your way.

Traditional Irish soda bread.  Plump chewy raisins in an aromatic loaf, perfectly delicious on its own but even better with butter (shocking, no?). At room temperature or toasted, this is always a hit with guests, friends, and coworkers.  If you love rye bread, this is going to knock your socks off.  However, if you're not so keen on the anise flavor, cut back on the amount of caraway seeds that you add and you'll still have a loaf of sweet and dense bread to enjoy.

And, the winner of your votes that I featured on Monday, Irish beef hand pies.  High five to my past self for freezing four of these little nuggets for later enjoyment.  I'll be warming up one tonight for a no hassle dinner.

Have a great jolly St. Patrick's Day!  How will you celebrate?  Perhaps with the first Shamrock Shake of the season? :)

One Year Ago: Irish soda bread

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