Pots of Gold

My original hometown of Wisner, NE is a Irish community. That meant you had to wear green on St. Patrick’s Day or someone would pinch you. As a kid, I remember school letting out early on St. Patrick’s Day so you could go participate in the festivities. If it wasn’t raining, the city would paint a big Shamrock on Main Street. I believe the parade started at the City Auditorium and featured the high school marching band. We usually watched it from the curb at my dad’s service station. But my sister’s senior year, she was on the float as a candidate for Shamrock Princess. For dinner, we would sometimes get pizza with a green crust or a green twist ice cream cone. I’m pretty sure lots of people drank green beer but I wasn’t old enough to hang out at the bars to find that out for sure.

I was surprised at just how many recipes I have seen lately for St. Patrick’s Day. Sure, you expect to see recipes for Irish Soda Bread, Sheppard’s Pie, and Corned Beef and Cabbage. Today’s recipe is fun snack from the Betty Crocker website. But I think you could enjoy it anytime of year.

Pot o’ Gold Chex Mix

4 c. Lucky Charms cereal
2 c. Corn Chex cereal
1 & 1/2 c. pretzel rods
1 c. dry-roasted peanuts
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. butter
2 T. corn syrup
1/8 tsp. baking soda
1/4 c. green M&Ms

In a large microwavable bowl, mix cereals, pretzels, and peanuts. In a glass bowl, mix brown sugar, butter and corn syrup. Microwave for 2 minutes, stirring after each minute. Stir in baking soda until it is dissolved. Pour over cereal mixture and stir until evenly coated. Microwave on high for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds. Spread out on wax paper to cool. After 5 minutes, sprinkle with M&Ms. Break into bite-sized servings and place in gold foil muffin baking cups. Store leftovers  in an airtight container. Makes 20 servings (1/2 c. each).

Homemade Irish Cream

My aunt Kathy and her family are die hard Irish fanatics. Not only do they enjoy eating at Browne’s Irish Marketplace and watching The Elders, but they are also very involved in Irish events. A few of Kathy’s siblings have chaired Irish Fest and Kansas City’s St. Patty’s Day Parade. A few years ago, my aunt event started a St. Patrick’s Day parade in her hometown – Troy, KS. In this small town of 994 people, the parade takes about 15 minutes from start to finish. My aunt usually carries an Irish flag while my uncle Kermit drives their vehicle with Kermit the Frog riding shotgun. But my family’s philanthropic commitment comes through as they ask attendees to bring canned goods to the parade to support their local charity.

I found this Irish inspired recipe in a recent Taste of Home email. It gaves me a chance to use my Keurig so I thought I would give it a try. I liked and I hope you will enjoy it.

Homemade Irish Cream by Marcia Severson

1 can (12 oz.) evaporated milk
1 c. heavy whipping cream
1/2 c. milk
1/4 c. sugar
2 T. chocolate syrup
1 T. instant coffee
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. almond extract

In a blender, combine the ingredients and process. Store in refrigerator. When ready to serve, mix 1/3 c. Irish Cream mix with 1/2 c. brewed coffee. Heat mixture in microwave if desired. Entire recipe makes enough for 10 servings.

Nutrition facts (per serving): 165 calories, 11 g. of fat (7 g. saturated fat), 53 mg sodium, 12 g. carbs, and 3 g. protein.

Note:

  • The editor’s noted you can add Irish whiskey.
  • I used skim milk. I think you could also use a sugar substitute and it would still taste good.