Anything to have an excuse to have some fun with the fam! Last year we were on a plane heading to Puerto Rico on St. Pat's Day and so we missed this tradition. I have to say this year I was feeling a little sad that we only had the two youngest boys at the table. In two years, there will only be one. I think it should be mandatory that college kids return home for each and every holiday! Even if it is just one to celebrate a bunch of Leprechauns. Okay, I know that was NOT politically correct and I will probably get hate mail, BUT...
...never mind. ☺
The green rice is always the highlight for me. I think it is just so pretty! I think it should always be green. And yes, those pesky little Leprechauns STILL turn all the milk green. They will probably still be doing that even when there is just the two of us.
POP TART POPS!
These scrumptious little pops aren't green, but they are definitely MAGICALLY DELISH!
These are called POP TART POPS. At least that is what I call them. Aren't they just the cutest? And so easy to make too.
The basic recipe is to roll out your store bought crust (YES store bought!- they wouldn't be as fun if you had to make your own crust!) and then using a pizza cutter, slice them into 1 1/2″x 2″ rectangles (I used a ruler to measure mine into equal sizes. Just use a butter knife to score your pie crust before cutting).
Place a wooden popsicle stick (I only had sucker sticks and they weren't supportive enough, so use popsicle sticks) on top of one of the cut rectangles, then spoon a small amount (about 1 1/2 tsp.) of cherry pie filling (or any other flavor!) into the center of the pie square, taking care not to get it near the edges. Gently lay a second rectangle over the top of the cherry filling. Press the edges of the rectangles together with a fork. Transfer to a baking sheet. Bake pop tart pops in an oven preheated to 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes, or just until the edges begin to brown.
FOR THE GLAZE
1 c. powdered sugar
1-2 T. milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla
food coloring and sprinkles
In a small bowl, combine powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla to make glaze. Tint with food coloring, if desired. Spoon over cooled pop tart pops, sprinkle with colored sugar, and allow to the glaze to harden slightly before serving.
Definitely magical AND delicious!
WHERE'S THE BEEF?
I wanted to share this little magical gem with you because it has made my life so much easier as a busy mother. If there is one tip I would give a new mom, this one is it. For the past at least 20 years, I have been doing this and it has been something that I will never stop doing...short of being put in a nursing home and having someone else prepare all my meals for me. Then I would gladly give it up.
Where did that come from?
Sorry, the big one is just around the corner and I have been kind of consumed with thoughts of my OLD age fast approaching. But, back to the beef...
Anyway, I buy ground beef in bulk when it goes on sale and then come home and brown it with an onion until it is thoroughly cooked. I then let it cool and divide it out into 1 to 1 1/2 lb. measurements and put it in a Ziploc Freezer bags (quart size) and store it in the freezer. I can't even tell you how convenient it is to be able to (at the last minute if necessary) pull out a bag of pre-cooked hamburger ready to go for Tacos, Spaghetti, Stroganoff, Hamburger Soup, Tator Tot Casserole, Lasagna, Taco Salad, and on and on and on... No more worrying about having to remember first thing in the morning to get out that frozen solid beef so it will be thawed out in time to make dinner in the afternoon. No more last minute dashes to the store and paying top dollar for it. No more stress about wishing there was something to throw together fast on those busy nights. The best part of all is I can throw dinner in the crockpot in the morning in almost no time at all because I already have the beef browned and ready to go.
When it goes on sale, I usually buy at least 20-25 pounds and cook it up in a 9 x 13 pans with about a half an onion (chopped up) per pound. If you're gonna do it, you might as well do it! I cook it at 350° and stir it frequently until evenly browned.
Adding sausage to it is also another way to make it. One part sausage to two parts ground beef. That really adds to the flavor and is great in everything I use it for.
THERE'S the beef!
Yeah, I know most of you are too young to remember that commercial, but let me just say, it was a good one!
This works great for chicken as well. The easiest way to do that is in the pressure cooker. I don't do that as much because frozen chicken tenders are super easy to use in the crockpot.
Now that having been said., we all know the REAL question is:
WHERE'S THE CHOCOLATE???