My third shake of the season…
I do believe I’m one of the first people to ever try a McDonald’s Shamrock Shake. I grew up in East Hartford Connecticut and my Dad loved mint everything mint. As a little girl going to McDonald’s was a treat, not an every day occurrence. Until we were ten we were not allowed to drink pop or soda so my parents ordered shakes for us at McDonald’s.
Normally I got strawberry, but I have vague memories of drinking from my Dad’s straw a tangy green shake, and later it was a yearly trip to get a green shake. There was a pony ride in Enfield during the 1970′s and we would stop at the local Mickey D’s for french fries and a shake.
Here are a few facts and trivia about the Shamrock Shake.
- Invented at an Enfield Connecticut McDonald’s in 1966 (although the McDonald’s website claims 1970)
- First called the St Patrick’s Day Green Milkshake
- Started selling nationally in 1970 in response to a Ronald McDonald House fundraiser
- Calorie Content: 420, Small, 740 Medium, 820 Large (but who really cares?)
- Large Shamrock shake provides up to 60% of your daily calcium requirement (oh yeah!)
- Available only for a limited time around St. Patrick’s Day
- A Shamrock sundae was proposed and tried in 1980, but was a failure (wonder why?)
- You can post Shamrock Shake sightings and reviews at Shamrock Shake Locator
This year the Shamrock Shake phenomenon and cult following has taken to Twitter with a photo contest on Twitter sponsored by the Branford Patch. Here are the rules according to their website
- Follow @McD_CTWMA on Twitter
- Make sure your account is set to public so we can follow you back
- Watch for weekly ‘Caption That Shamrock Shake’ photos
- Submit your caption, tag @McD_CTWMA, and include #CaptionThatShamrockShake hashtag
- At the end of each week in March we will choose a winner for a $25 Arch Card
- At the end of March we will choose a grand prize winner for a $50 Arch Card
If you can’t find a Shamrock shake at your local Mickey D’s, or it’s not St. Patricks season, here is a recipe to make your own minty shake. But, it’s not the same memory or experience. There is just something about those McDonalds straws and sharing with your Dad when you’re six you can’t duplicate.
Shamrock Shake recipe
* 2 cups vanilla ice cream
* 1 cup milk
* 1/4 cup half & half
* 1/2 teaspoon mint extract (spearmint, not peppermint)
* 8 drops green food coloring
Christmas Ribbon Candy
If Christmas was just one day I couldn’t eat Christmas ribbon candy today. So today, on New Years Eve, I not only celebrate the new year but the season of Christmas, which will last through Epiphany.
It’s not Five Golden Rings, but Golden Pretzels, all dipped in chocolate
Pretzels and almond bark
I just created a new favorite dessert with my favorite drink, introducing the RumChata Eggnog Sundae. It is the perfect Holiday drink and your Christmas party guests will be in heaven over this cup of creamy deliciousness.
RumChata Eggnog Sundae
I’ve been on a RumChata kick for the past six months of so, first making RumChata Cupcakes, then french toast and mixing it with rootbeer and plain eggnog.
However, I just outdid myself. This RumChata Eggnog Dessert is divine. The recipe came to me while I was at the grocery aisle picking up ice cream. I thought, hmmm I need to find some Egg Nogg ice cream, I wonder who makes it? Edy’s Limited Edition came to the rescue.
That got me thinking of the RumChata and how well it went with the egg nog at Thanksgiving (picture yet to come) and I put a few ingredients together in my head and headed for the pop aisle for Sprite or Sierra Mist.
Ingredients and Directions
- One scoop Edy’s Eggnogg ice cream
- 1 part RumChata
- 1 part Eggnogg (I like Southern Comfort)
- 1 part Sierra Mist (pour on slowly to create the foam)
- Sprinkle of Nutmeg
After you fix a glass, sit down in front of your Christmas tree, gaze at the twinkling lights, relax, and enjoy the moment. What a wonderful way to unwind at the end of the day.
Yum, they smell so good
More and more I turn to Pinterest for recipes. I think it’s a visual thing, I love pictures of food, just makes me hungry. I had limes (left over from Margaritas) and I had honey, so into the Pinterest search I went for honey lime chicken and this is what I found. Very easy and tasty. My only regret? I didn’t make more.
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- juice of one lime
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1-2 teaspoon Siracha (didn’t have any, left if out)
- red pepper flakes, to taste
- 2 tablespoon cilantro
- 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts
- In a small bowl, combine your ingredients, through the cilantro. Mix thoroughly.
- Pour marinade over chicken breasts and turn to coat. Cover and allow to marinate for at least 1 hour. (I marinated overnight)
- Grill on medium high heat for 6 to 8 minutes per side, until juices run clear.
It was only this spring I found the joy in Rumchata, a tasty creme based treat that taste like drinking Cinnamon Toast Crunch, yes really. Can you say yum yum. I’m not really a drinker, but I do enjoy margaritas and sweet drinks. You know the ones, they go down smooth and taste oh so good.
I’ve learned that Rumchata is not available everyone in the country, but it’s spreading fast and the mix recipes are popping up everywhere from Rumchata French Toast to a yummy sounding RumChata Rootbeer float.
There is even an app for Rumchata recipes!
According to the official Rumchata page, this oh so yummy drink originates from a concoction the ancient Egyptians made for the Pharaohs from the tigernut. It’s been extremely popular in Spain, “Antonio Banderas popular”, so that says a lot.
Since the tigernut is hard to come by in the Americas, rice based horchata is now served extensively throughout Mexico and Central America, where the recipe is often passed down generation to generation. These authentic recipes include varied mixtures of rice, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and either water or dairy.
I’m not a proponent of encouraging people to drink, but ladies (yes it’s a ladies drink) this stuff is awesome!! I haven’t tried any of the mixed drinks yet because I love it the way it is, cold over the rocks. Lip smacking good.
So when I saw this recipe for Rumchata Cupcakes (where else, Pinterest) I just had to try them. I would say this was my inspiration for a Pinterest party as I can’t (ok won’t) eat 20 cupcakes all by myself.
- 1/2 cup butter (1 stick, at room temperature)
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 cups flour
- 4 egg whites
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 cup RumChata
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 350*
- Combine sugar & butter and beat until fluffy
- Mix together flour, baking powder, salt, & cinnamon, set aside
- Mix the RumChata & vanilla together, set aside
- Alternating, add in the flour mixture and RumChata mixture in to the butter and sugar. Start and end with the flour mixture.
- In a clean mixing bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form (this will be easiest in an electric mixer)
- Fold egg whites in to the batter – do not do this in an electric mixer, use a spatula
- Fill cupcake liners
- Bake for 20 minutes or until cake “bounces back” when touched.
This makes A LOT of frosting. I cut the recipe in half since I don’t smother my cupcakes in frosting.
- 12 ounces of cream cheese (1 1/2 packages, at room temperature)
- 1/2 cup of butter (1 stick, at room temperature)
- 1/2 tsp of vanilla
- 5 tbsp of RumChata
- 1 package of confectioners’ sugar (2 lb. bag)
- Combine butter and cream cheese until smooth
- Add vanilla
- Slowly add confectioners’ sugar
- Mix in RumChata (use more or less based on the thickness of the frosting. The more you use, the more flavor)
- Frost the cupcakes
Reviews were mixed, the cupcakes tasted like spice cake, a little heavy, but,…the frosting took the “cup”cake, so to speak. It’s a very sweet, vanilla flavor with a touch of cinnamon. Since the alcohol bakes out of the cake, and there is very little in the frosting these were not 21 and older restricted. My daughter loved them and could have eaten just the frosting.
What to do with the leftover Rumchata? Drink and be merry of course.
A little over a month ago we had a BBQ and party. Why? Just because we could. It was a combination Pinterest party, BBQ, and excuse to feed my oldest Marine son who was home on leave. We started at noon with hamburgers and hot dogs and progressed throughout the day, moving through the meat groups. Here is just a start of the various foods we served.
My friend Beth brought fixed this wonderful delight, recipe courtesy of Rachael Ray, who else, her favorite chef.
Ready to eat Italian Garlic bread with marinara sauce
My son came outside while it was cooling and said “What is that wonderful spectacle on top of the stove? I want to eat it!” In no time at all it was gone.
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 pound store-bought pizza dough, cut into 1-inch balls
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped rosemary
- Coarse ground sea salt
- Black pepper
- 1 cup shredded provolone
- 1 cup grated Parmesan
- Tomato sauce, homemade or store-bought, for dipping
- Pieces of cooked bacon (optional, but we added it, bacon is good with EVERYTHING)
Preheat oven to 400ºF.
Prepare a bundt pan with non-stick cooking spray.
In a small saucepot, melt butter with garlic. Pour into a large mixing bowl and toss together with pizza dough balls, rosemary, sea salt and black pepper. Place half of the dough balls into the bundt pan, top with half of the cheeses. Top with remaining dough and finish with remaining cheese. Bake 30 minutes.
Serve with tomato sauce alongside
*This reminds me of the dessert treat monkey bread with butter and cinnamon. I’m sure thawed dinner rolls could be used in replacement of pizza dough
A simple cucumber sandwich was one of my Dad’s favorite summer treats. This wasn’t a dainty sandwich typically served at tea parties as an appetizer, but a hearty manly sandwich with substance.
He would slowly peel the cucumbers, slice them lengthwise, spread mayonnaise (had to be Hellman’s) then liberally sprinkle with salt and pepper. Then he would share with me. The middle of the sandwich was my favorite. I didn’t like the crust.
My garden yielded in great abundance this year and when I didn’t make pickles I was eating cucumber sandwiches.
- Garden Fresh Cucumber Sandwiches (amomredefined.wordpress.com)
- Enjoying Summer Cucumbers (simplycooking.wordpress.com)