Lil Luna. It was made of old magazine pages, green cardboard (cut into heart shapes that then formed the shamrocks) and wool.
I have seen the wonderful Billy Bragg singing Handy Man Blues on the telly tonight. Sadly there is no handy man in our house so I did a dodgy effort of stringing up the banner across the loungeroom. E has to duck every time he passes. (It isn't enough to make a handy man out of him but he can sing me Irish folk songs!)
Sylvia's birthday cake. It was a happy moment when I realised I had green icing in the fridge and St Patrick's Day almost upon us. Then it was only a matter of finding a chocolate cupcake recipe to display the icing.
I came across the idea for putting gold coins in the frosting when googling St Patrick's Day cupcakes. I understand it is connected with the myths of leprechauns storing gold coins in a pot at the end of the rainbow. It seems a bit far from St Patrick. However Sylvia had the coins and it seemed like a fun idea. Sylvia loved it!
I made changes because I didn't have all the 400ml yoghurt required. Yoghurt or soured milk or buttermilk would all work here. I liked the options to use any seeds. The nigella seeds I added gave a slightly spicy flavour but subtle enough to fly under Sylvia's sensitive kiddie radar. I also added a couple of good pinches of salt.
I am not used to warm dips. This one only went in the oven for 15 minutes. I thought it might change the texture and taste slightly. Make it meld more. It merely seemed to heat it through. So I just reheated it tonight. It does taste better heated. At least with minimal heating, it keeps its green colour.
I have also posted more ideas for St Patrick's Day green food. If you want some Irish music and lovely Dublin images, you should check out the video clips of Falling Slowly by Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová.
I am sending the spinach dip to Ricki Heller for Wellness Weekends. I am sending the cupcakes to Kat for Treat Petite (cohosted by Cakeyboi). This month's theme is Ireland.
Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
One year ago: Potato, cabbage and facon soup for St Patrick's Day
Two years ago: NCR Chang's crispy salad with green burgers
Three years ago: WHB St Pat's Day Cabbage and Quicklinks
Four years ago: Paddy’s day cabbage and smoked tofu
Five years ago: Broccoli Burgers are Winners
Six years ago: St Patrick, Soup and a Shamrock
Seeded Soda Bread
Adapted from Betty magazine, Winter 2013
300g wholemeal flour
200g white flour
2 tbsp seeds (I used sunflower, poppy, sesame and nigella)
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
generous pinch (or two) or salt
1 cup yoghurt*
1 tsp apple cider vinegar*
Preheat oven to 180 C or 350 F and dust a baking tray with flour. Mix dry ingredients. Pour in wet ingredients. Mix in bowl and tip out onto floured surface. Knead briefly until the dough is smooth. Flatten slightly and place on floured tray. Cut a deep cross with a sharp knife. Bake for 45 minutes or until the crust is deep brown and sounds hollow when tapped. Cool on wire tray. Cover with tea towel while cooling to soften crust.
*NOTE: The recipe called for 400ml of yoghurt. I think you could use 400ml of yoghurt or sour cream or buttermilk or soy milk soured with apple cider vinegar. Or just use any combination of these depending what you have on hand - which is what I did.
Vegan Spinach Dip
Adapted from Healthy. Happy. Life
Makes about 3 cups
1/2 cup raw cashews
225g baby spinach
1 large leaf silverbeet or chard (approx 1/2 cup), stalk removed
1/4 cup parsley
1 large clove of garlic, chopped
2 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp white miso
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 cups cooked white beans (or 1 x 400g tin)
1/2 cup vegan cheese (optional)
Preheat oven to 180 C. Soak cashews for about 20 minutes in salted hot water while you prepare other ingredients. Drain when ready to use.
Blend everything in processor except beans and cheese. You may need to scrape down a few times until blended. Blend in beans and then stir in cheese. Spoon into a small baking dish and bake 15 minutes to warm through. Serve warm with bread or crackers.
Chocolate brownie cupcakes
Adapted from Cupcakes Galore
Makes 12 cupcakes
120g brown sugar
150g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
100g walnuts or choc chips (optional)
buttercream frosting or ganache
Preheat oven to 180 C and put cupcake papers in a 12 whole cupcake or muffin tin.
Melt butter, chocolate and sugar. Stir in eggs one at a time to make it glossy and thick. Stir in flour, baking powder and salt until combined. Gently mix in walnuts or choc chips if desired.
Spoon mixture into cupcakes papers only about 2/3 full or less (I think mine was less). Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until a skewer inserted comes out cleanly. Cool on a wire rack and ice with buttercream frosting or ganache.
On the Stereo:
The Swell Season (self titled)