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St. Patrick’s Day cooking and Irish festivities

Posted: March 16, 2010 9:46 p.m.
Updated: March 17, 2010 12:50 p.m.
Chocolate Mint BrowniesThese delicious Chocolate Mint Brownies can be decorated with green gumdrops formed into shamrocks or other holiday candies. Use a shamrock-shaped cookie cutter to make these treats even more festive. Prep Time: 25 minutes Start to Finish: 3 hours 25 minutes Makes: 32 browniesBrownie Base  1 box Betty Crocker® Original Supreme  brownie  mix (with chocolate syrup pouch) Water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on brownie mix box Filling  3 1/2 cups powdered sugar 1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened 1/4 cup whipping cream 1 package (3 ounces) cream cheese, softened 1/4  teaspoon mint extract 4  drops green food color Topping  1/2 cup whipping cream 1 bag (12 ounces) semi sweet chocolate chips (2 cups)1/2 cup butter (do not use margarine)  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease only bottom of 13 x 9-inch pan with shortening or cooking spray. Make and bake brownie mix as directed on box for 13 x 9-inch pan, using water, oil and eggs. Cool completely, about 1 hour. 2. In large bowl, beat filling ingredients with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Spread over cooled brownies. Refrigerate about 1 hour or until set. 3. Meanwhile, in 2-quart nonstick saucepan, heat topping ingredients over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until melted and smooth. Cool about 10 minutes or until lukewarm. 4. Pour topping over filling; spread to cover. Refrigerate uncovered about 2 hours or until set. Before cutting into bars, let stand 10 minutes at room temperature. For bars, cut into 8 rows by 4 rows. For easier cutting, cut brownies with a wet knife. Store covered in refrigerator. For more delicious baking ideas, visit www.BettyCrocker.com. Chocolate Mint BrowniesThese delicious Chocolate Mint Brownies can be decorated with green gumdrops formed into shamrocks or other holiday candies. Use a shamrock-shaped cookie cutter to make these treats even more festive. Prep Time: 25 minutes Start to Finish: 3 hours 25 minutes Makes: 32 browniesBrownie Base  1 box Betty Crocker® Original Supreme  brownie  mix (with chocolate syrup pouch) Water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on brownie mix box Filling  3 1/2 cups powdered sugar 1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened 1/4 cup whipping cream 1 package (3 ounces) cream cheese, softened 1/4  teaspoon mint extract 4  drops green food color Topping  1/2 cup whipping cream 1 bag (12 ounces) semi sweet chocolate chips (2 cups)1/2 cup butter (do not use margarine)  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease only bottom of 13 x 9-inch pan with shortening or cooking spray. Make and bake brownie mix as directed on box for 13 x 9-inch pan, using water, oil and eggs. Cool completely, about 1 hour. 2. In large bowl, beat filling ingredients with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Spread over cooled brownies. Refrigerate about 1 hour or until set. 3. Meanwhile, in 2-quart nonstick saucepan, heat topping ingredients over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until melted and smooth. Cool about 10 minutes or until lukewarm. 4. Pour topping over filling; spread to cover. Refrigerate uncovered about 2 hours or until set. Before cutting into bars, let stand 10 minutes at room temperature. For bars, cut into 8 rows by 4 rows. For easier cutting, cut brownies with a wet knife. Store covered in refrigerator. For more delicious baking ideas, visit www.BettyCrocker.com.
Chocolate Mint BrowniesThese delicious Chocolate Mint Brownies can be decorated with green gumdrops formed into shamrocks or other holiday candies. Use a shamrock-shaped cookie cutter to make these treats even more festive. Prep Time: 25 minutes Start to Finish: 3 hours 25 minutes Makes: 32 browniesBrownie Base  1 box Betty Crocker® Original Supreme  brownie  mix (with chocolate syrup pouch) Water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on brownie mix box Filling  3 1/2 cups powdered sugar 1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened 1/4 cup whipping cream 1 package (3 ounces) cream cheese, softened 1/4  teaspoon mint extract 4  drops green food color Topping  1/2 cup whipping cream 1 bag (12 ounces) semi sweet chocolate chips (2 cups)1/2 cup butter (do not use margarine)  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease only bottom of 13 x 9-inch pan with shortening or cooking spray. Make and bake brownie mix as directed on box for 13 x 9-inch pan, using water, oil and eggs. Cool completely, about 1 hour. 2. In large bowl, beat filling ingredients with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Spread over cooled brownies. Refrigerate about 1 hour or until set. 3. Meanwhile, in 2-quart nonstick saucepan, heat topping ingredients over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until melted and smooth. Cool about 10 minutes or until lukewarm. 4. Pour topping over filling; spread to cover. Refrigerate uncovered about 2 hours or until set. Before cutting into bars, let stand 10 minutes at room temperature. For bars, cut into 8 rows by 4 rows. For easier cutting, cut brownies with a wet knife. Store covered in refrigerator. For more delicious baking ideas, visit www.BettyCrocker.com.
Chocolate Shamrock Bread Pudding    Servings: 1210 slices bread, cubed (6 cups)2 cans (12 fluid ounces each) Nestlé Carnation Evaporated Lowfat 2% Milk2 cups (12-ounce package) Nestlé Toll House Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels, divided8 large egg yolks, beaten3/4 cup granulated sugar1/2 cup Irish cream liqueur (optional)1/4 teaspoon saltWhipped cream (optional)Nestlé Toll House Baking Cocoa (optional)PREHEAT oven to 350º F. Grease 13 x 9-inch baking dish. Place bread cubes in prepared baking dish.HEAT evaporated milk in medium saucepan over MEDIUM-HIGH heat; bring just to a boil. Remove from heat. Add 1 1/2 cups morsels; whisk until smooth.COMBINE egg yolks, sugar, liqueur and salt in large bowl. Slowly add milk mixture; whisk until smooth.  Pour over bread; pressing bread into milk mixture.BAKE for 35 to 40 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Top with remaining 1/2 cup morsels. Serve warm with a dollop of whipped cream and dusting of cocoa, if desired.TIP: This recipe can also be made with Nestle Carnation Evaporated Fat-Free Milk. Nutrition information per serving: 420 calories; 140 calories from fat; 15g total fat; 9g saturated fat; 145mg cholesterol; 270mg sodium; 59g carbohydrate; 3g fiber; 46g sugars; 10g protein; 20% Calcium Chocolate Shamrock Bread Pudding    Servings: 1210 slices bread, cubed (6 cups)2 cans (12 fluid ounces each) Nestlé Carnation Evaporated Lowfat 2% Milk2 cups (12-ounce package) Nestlé Toll House Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels, divided8 large egg yolks, beaten3/4 cup granulated sugar1/2 cup Irish cream liqueur (optional)1/4 teaspoon saltWhipped cream (optional)Nestlé Toll House Baking Cocoa (optional)PREHEAT oven to 350º F. Grease 13 x 9-inch baking dish. Place bread cubes in prepared baking dish.HEAT evaporated milk in medium saucepan over MEDIUM-HIGH heat; bring just to a boil. Remove from heat. Add 1 1/2 cups morsels; whisk until smooth.COMBINE egg yolks, sugar, liqueur and salt in large bowl. Slowly add milk mixture; whisk until smooth.  Pour over bread; pressing bread into milk mixture.BAKE for 35 to 40 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Top with remaining 1/2 cup morsels. Serve warm with a dollop of whipped cream and dusting of cocoa, if desired.TIP: This recipe can also be made with Nestle Carnation Evaporated Fat-Free Milk. Nutrition information per serving: 420 calories; 140 calories from fat; 15g total fat; 9g saturated fat; 145mg cholesterol; 270mg sodium; 59g carbohydrate; 3g fiber; 46g sugars; 10g protein; 20% Calcium
Chocolate Shamrock Bread Pudding    Servings: 1210 slices bread, cubed (6 cups)2 cans (12 fluid ounces each) Nestlé Carnation Evaporated Lowfat 2% Milk2 cups (12-ounce package) Nestlé Toll House Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels, divided8 large egg yolks, beaten3/4 cup granulated sugar1/2 cup Irish cream liqueur (optional)1/4 teaspoon saltWhipped cream (optional)Nestlé Toll House Baking Cocoa (optional)PREHEAT oven to 350º F. Grease 13 x 9-inch baking dish. Place bread cubes in prepared baking dish.HEAT evaporated milk in medium saucepan over MEDIUM-HIGH heat; bring just to a boil. Remove from heat. Add 1 1/2 cups morsels; whisk until smooth.COMBINE egg yolks, sugar, liqueur and salt in large bowl. Slowly add milk mixture; whisk until smooth.  Pour over bread; pressing bread into milk mixture.BAKE for 35 to 40 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Top with remaining 1/2 cup morsels. Serve warm with a dollop of whipped cream and dusting of cocoa, if desired.TIP: This recipe can also be made with Nestle Carnation Evaporated Fat-Free Milk. Nutrition information per serving: 420 calories; 140 calories from fat; 15g total fat; 9g saturated fat; 145mg cholesterol; 270mg sodium; 59g carbohydrate; 3g fiber; 46g sugars; 10g protein; 20% Calcium
Corned Beef with Red Currant-Mustard Sauce Corned Beef with Red Currant-Mustard SauceTotal recipe time: 6 to 10 hoursServings: 6 to 81 boneless corned beef brisket with seasoning packet (2-1/2-3 pounds)3 ribs celery, cut into 3-inch pieces2 medium onions, cut into   quarters2-1/2 cups water, divided1  bottle (12 ounces) beer1 pound green cabbage, cut into thin wedges1 pound red-skinned pota toes, cut into 2-inch pieces6 to 8 baby carrots, trimmed, or 4 medium carrots, cut crosswise into thirds2 tablespoons melted butterChopped fresh parsley (optional)Red Currant-Mustard Sauce1 jar (12 ounces) red currant jelly3 tablespoons country Dijon-style mustard1. Place celery and onions in 4-1/2- to 5-1/2-quart slow cooker; top with corned beef brisket. Sprinkle contents of seasoning packet over brisket. Add 2 cups water and one bottle of beer. Cover; cook on HIGH 6 to 7 hours, or on LOW 9 to 10 hours, or until brisket is fork-tender. (No stirring is necessary during cooking.)2. Meanwhile, place cabbage, potatoes and carrots in 2-1/2-quart microwave-safe dish; add remaining 1/2 cup water. Cover; microwave on HIGH 15 to 18 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring or rearranging once. Drain; remove and discard cores from cabbage wedges. Add butter; season with salt and pepper, as desired. Toss to coat; keep warm.3. Prepare Red Currant-Mustard Sauce. Place jelly in medium microwave-safe bowl. Cover; microwave on HIGH 1-1/2 to 2 minutes or until melted, stirring once. Whisk in mustard. Cover; microwave on HIGH 30 seconds. Stir; keep warm.4. Remove brisket and carve diagonally across the grain into thin slices. Serve with vegetables and sauce. Garnish with parsley, if desired.Courtesy of The Beef Checkoff, www.BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com. Corned Beef with Red Currant-Mustard Sauce Corned Beef with Red Currant-Mustard SauceTotal recipe time: 6 to 10 hoursServings: 6 to 81 boneless corned beef brisket with seasoning packet (2-1/2-3 pounds)3 ribs celery, cut into 3-inch pieces2 medium onions, cut into   quarters2-1/2 cups water, divided1  bottle (12 ounces) beer1 pound green cabbage, cut into thin wedges1 pound red-skinned pota toes, cut into 2-inch pieces6 to 8 baby carrots, trimmed, or 4 medium carrots, cut crosswise into thirds2 tablespoons melted butterChopped fresh parsley (optional)Red Currant-Mustard Sauce1 jar (12 ounces) red currant jelly3 tablespoons country Dijon-style mustard1. Place celery and onions in 4-1/2- to 5-1/2-quart slow cooker; top with corned beef brisket. Sprinkle contents of seasoning packet over brisket. Add 2 cups water and one bottle of beer. Cover; cook on HIGH 6 to 7 hours, or on LOW 9 to 10 hours, or until brisket is fork-tender. (No stirring is necessary during cooking.)2. Meanwhile, place cabbage, potatoes and carrots in 2-1/2-quart microwave-safe dish; add remaining 1/2 cup water. Cover; microwave on HIGH 15 to 18 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring or rearranging once. Drain; remove and discard cores from cabbage wedges. Add butter; season with salt and pepper, as desired. Toss to coat; keep warm.3. Prepare Red Currant-Mustard Sauce. Place jelly in medium microwave-safe bowl. Cover; microwave on HIGH 1-1/2 to 2 minutes or until melted, stirring once. Whisk in mustard. Cover; microwave on HIGH 30 seconds. Stir; keep warm.4. Remove brisket and carve diagonally across the grain into thin slices. Serve with vegetables and sauce. Garnish with parsley, if desired.Courtesy of The Beef Checkoff, www.BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com.
Corned Beef with Red Currant-Mustard Sauce Corned Beef with Red Currant-Mustard SauceTotal recipe time: 6 to 10 hoursServings: 6 to 81 boneless corned beef brisket with seasoning packet (2-1/2-3 pounds)3 ribs celery, cut into 3-inch pieces2 medium onions, cut into   quarters2-1/2 cups water, divided1  bottle (12 ounces) beer1 pound green cabbage, cut into thin wedges1 pound red-skinned pota toes, cut into 2-inch pieces6 to 8 baby carrots, trimmed, or 4 medium carrots, cut crosswise into thirds2 tablespoons melted butterChopped fresh parsley (optional)Red Currant-Mustard Sauce1 jar (12 ounces) red currant jelly3 tablespoons country Dijon-style mustard1. Place celery and onions in 4-1/2- to 5-1/2-quart slow cooker; top with corned beef brisket. Sprinkle contents of seasoning packet over brisket. Add 2 cups water and one bottle of beer. Cover; cook on HIGH 6 to 7 hours, or on LOW 9 to 10 hours, or until brisket is fork-tender. (No stirring is necessary during cooking.)2. Meanwhile, place cabbage, potatoes and carrots in 2-1/2-quart microwave-safe dish; add remaining 1/2 cup water. Cover; microwave on HIGH 15 to 18 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring or rearranging once. Drain; remove and discard cores from cabbage wedges. Add butter; season with salt and pepper, as desired. Toss to coat; keep warm.3. Prepare Red Currant-Mustard Sauce. Place jelly in medium microwave-safe bowl. Cover; microwave on HIGH 1-1/2 to 2 minutes or until melted, stirring once. Whisk in mustard. Cover; microwave on HIGH 30 seconds. Stir; keep warm.4. Remove brisket and carve diagonally across the grain into thin slices. Serve with vegetables and sauce. Garnish with parsley, if desired.Courtesy of The Beef Checkoff, www.BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com.
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St. Patrick’s Day celebrations are filled with dancing, green decorations, and Irish food and beer. This year, try something new and save a pint for the kitchen.

Traditional St. Paddy’s Day favorites, like Irish stout and corned beef and cabbage, can be combined to make a delicious dish even better. Because beer pairs so well with beef, it’s only natural to cook with beer.  

“Beer adds great flavor to the corned beef brisket, and can be used in other slow-cooked or braised dishes also,” says Dave Zino, executive chef for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.  

Braising and stewing are excellent cooking methods when preparing beef such as pot roast, brisket and beef for stew.

Typically, you’ll want to start by browning the meat in a bit of oil to caramelize and bring out rich beef flavors. However, corned beef brisket does not require browning.

Braising is used with large cuts of beef that are cooked whole, like corned beef brisket. When braising, the meat is simmered slowly in 1/2 to 2 cups of liquid such as beer or water to ensure moist and fork-tender results, for about 3 to 3 1/2 hours, depending on the size of the roast.

Stewing works best with cubes of beef.

When stewing, the cubed meat is simmered for about 1 3/4 hours to 2 1/4 hours in enough liquid to cover the meat and other ingredients such as vegetables, resulting in fork-tender meat and a delicious broth.

Chef Dave also notes beer can serve as a substitute in many recipes.

“Beer can also be used in place of wine in recipes and is especially good in beef stews and chilies,” he says.

To make St. Patrick’s Day fun for the whole family, there are several ways to entertain your little leprechauns with delicious treats and fun activities that will lead them to their pot of gold.

Every year in March, families celebrate the annual Irish tradition of St. Patrick’s Day with a variety of celebrations.

Whether it’s attending a parade or preparing and enjoying an elaborate Irish meal, everyone has their own favorite ways to celebrate the holiday. Set your own unique traditions and rituals with the following ideas.

Pass Along the Luck
Have kids put together lucky treat bags to pass along to neighbors.

These treat bags could include cut-out, decorated and customized four-leaf clovers, chocolate coins and other goodies. Then, on St. Patrick’s Day, walk around as a family and surprise neighbors with these bags.

Treasure Hunt
Set up a treasure hunt for family and friends by placing chocolate gold coins around the house.

Give them a series of clues and riddles to help them figure out where to look for the coins. Equip “hunters” with their own pot or basket for collecting the gold coins. At the end of the hunt, reward them for their hard work with a delicious dinner of corned beef and cabbage, followed by some festive brownies.

Going green the Irish Way
It’s true — the kitchen is the heart of the home. Ever notice how people always gather there? Whether baking treats, making dinner or spending time with family and friends, the kitchen is my favorite place to be.

Since my day job is Consumer Test Kitchen Project Manager  for the Nestlé Test Kitchens, you can bet I love to stir things up. This column lets me pass along to you some of my best recipes, tips and baking secrets.

I don’t know about you, but after a long winter, I’m ready to celebrate spring!

So St. Patrick’s Day comes at just the right time – plenty of good cheer, good food and bright green to perk things up.

If you want to add some green to your table, try dying cut flowers.

* Take white flowers, such as daisies or carnations, and trim a little bit off their stems.

* Add a few drops of green food coloring to a vase filled with water. (The water should be medium to dark green.)

* Put your flowers in the vase and let them sit in direct sunlight for a day or two. The flowers will absorb the colored water through the stems, giving you a St. Patrick’s Day bouquet to be proud of.

If you’re looking for a sweet way to finish off your St. Patrick’s Day, try an Irish twist on bread pudding.

This Chocolate Shamrock Bread Pudding has a touch of Irish cream liqueur for a fun, yet sophisticated, flavor.

You can always leave out the liqueur – it’s still delicious!

No St. Patrick’s Day is complete without an Irish toast or blessing. So here’s one just for you:

May your day be touched by a bit of Irish luck, brightened by a song in your heart, and warmed by the smiles of the people you love.

For more ways to enjoy St. Patrick’s Day, visit www.VeryBestBaking.com.

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