St. Patrick’s Day Inspiration

St. Patrick’s Day isn’t just for the Irish!  While my celebration of St. Patrick’s Day has changed over the years, especially this year with a 6 month old, I still enjoy a reason to get together with family and friends.  You can get creative, especially with March Madness going on at the same time this year, with  a beer tasting and Irish food items such as corn beef.  Below are some other creative and fun recipes, party ideas, and treats that are sure to please your guests.

1. No Bake Thin Mint Cookie Truffles/Six Sisters’ Stuff  http://www.sixsistersstuff.com/2012/01/no-bake-thin-mint-cookie-truffles.html

2. Rainbow Oreo Pops/The Sweet Swiper        http://thesweetswiper.blogspot.com/2012/03/rainbow-oreo-pops.html

3. Shamrock Cookies http://thirtyhandmadedays.com/2012/03/shamrock/

4. Leprechaun Cookies/Sweet Sugar Belle http://www.sweetsugarbelle.com/blog/2012/02/leprechaun-cookies/

St. Patrick's Day Inspiration from Half Baked - The Cake Blog

For details click on image and check out Half Baked – Cake Blog.

For details click on image and check out Tidy Mom

1.  Lucky Leprechaun Cookie Bark/Your Home Based Mom                  http://www.yourhomebasedmom.com/lucky-leprechaun-cookie-bark/

2. St. Patrick’s Day Free Party Printables/Living Locurto   http://www.livinglocurto.com/2012/03/st-patricks-free-printables/

3. Rainbow Cookie Party Favors/Hostess With The Mostess    http://blog.hwtm.com/2012/03/rainbow-oreo-st-patricks-day-party-favors/

4. Shamrock Pops with Printable Flags/Oopsey Daisy    http://www.oopseydaisyblog.com/2012/03/shamrock-pops-with-printable-flags.html

Valentine’s Day Treats!

Here are some delicious treats for your Valentine’s Day.  If you’re like me and you’re watching your weight, but want a little something sweet, try making mini red velvet cupcakes or cutting small hearts out of Weight Watcher brownies or cakes.

For parents looking for a last-minute treat for your kid’s class party buy OREO Cakesters and a heart cookie cutter and make small heart-shaped treats in minutes.  Place heart-shaped cakes in cellophane and tie with red ribbon.  You can find cellophane and ribbon at any craft store.


Strawberry Heart Cut Out Cupcakes

I used Duncan Hines Strawberry Cake box mix, but here is a great recipe featured on Apron of Grace.

http://apronofgrace.com/2011/rose-bouquet-strawberry-birthday-cake/

I baked a minute less than the box directions for cupcakes to make them moister.  I placed the cookie cutter on top of the cupcake and removed the cut out heart.  Add cream cheese frosting, I used Duncan Hines Whipped Cream Cheese, to the hollowed cupcake and placed the heart cut out upright onto the cupcake.   Glorious Treats demonstrates another way by cutting the entire top off first.

http://glorioustreats.blogspot.com/2012/01/sweet-heart-cupcakes.html

I also made flower shaped cupcakes using a baking mold and topped them off with cream cheese frosting, fresh strawberries, and red sprinkles.

Red Velvet Mini Cupcakes

I used Duncan Hines Red Velvet Cake box mix and followed directions for cupcakes.  Bake 5 minutes less than directed to get desired moist mini cupcakes.  Frost cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, I used Duncan Hines Whipped Cream Cheese.  If you want to bake them from scratch here is a great recipe from Recipe Girl that you can also use for pancakes.

http://www.recipegirl.com/2012/02/06/red-velvet-pancakes-with-sweet-cream-cheese-topping/

Light Summer Desserts

Summer is the perfect time to be creative with your food and make delicious but healthy choices.  Two of my favorite desserts that we had this past week while enjoying some R&R on Lake Norman are peach and blueberry cobbler (shown above) and grilled peaches.

Peach-Blueberry Cobbler

Ingredients: Serves 20

  • 5 peaches, peeled, pitted and sliced (make sure they are not too ripe)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 cup of splenda, divided
  • 3/8 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • Pam cooking spray
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup light butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries or 1 container
  • 2 tablespoons of splenda for top

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Place peaches in a large bowl.  Drizzle lemon juice and add 3/4 cup of splenda, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 2 tablespoons flour to mixture and toss.  Spray Pam on 13 x 9 inch backing dish and pour mixture evenly.  Combine 1 1/2 cups of flour, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and baking powder in a bowl, stirring with a whisk.  In another bowl, place the remaining 1/4 cup splenda and butter and beat with a mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes).  Add eggs one at a time to mixture; stir in vanilla, then add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to butter mixture.  Stir in blueberries.  Spread mixture evenly over peach mixture; sprinkle top with 2 tablespoons of splenda.  Bake for an hour or until topping is golden.  Less than 200 calories if cut for 20 servings.  Serve with low/reduced calorie vanilla ice cream.  Note, you can use sugar instead of splenda.

Grilled Peaches

Ingredients: Serves 8

  • 8 peaches, peeled, pitted and halved (make sure they are not too ripe)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon light butter
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons splenda brown sugar blend
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Preheat grill to high then reduce to medium/low depending on grill.  Combine lemon juice and butter in a bowl and add peaches.  Toss to coat.  Place peaches on a large piece of tin-foil.  Stir together splenda brown sugar blend, water, vanilla, cinnamon,and salt.  Brush over peaches.  Fold foil to form a packet, crimping edges to seal.  Grill covered for 10-15 minutes.  Slice peaches and divide among 8 bowls.  Top with low/reduced calorie vanilla ice cream.  Note, you can use brown sugar instead of the splenda substitute.