Sunday, March 18, 2012

I tried shamrocks and horseshoes but cheesecakes are luckier.

I am just curious exactly how much green food dye you all think is sold in the month of March?  Like is this something I should by stock in every February and sell back in April?  Its kind of amazing.  Thanks to Pinterest, the green food dye obsession was not limited to an alcoholic beverage, it was baked into things.  Many much things.  I chose to convert this cheesecake from a red velvet one to a green velvet one.  I usually pass up on eating my desserts and it is not because they are bad but mostly because I have the will power gnat.  (Just so you know: I started writing the phrase "I have the will power of a..." and then I had no idea of something that had little will power, so then I googled it and the first thing to pop up was will power of a mature dandelion.  Huh.)  This dessert, however, passed my lips.  I must admit it because the recipe called for 2 bottles of food coloring and you were left with a green tongue so I cannot deny its consumption.  It was delicious.  It would be glorious to make it every month and dye it a new color.  What color is April Fools? or could I do tri-colored for Cinco de Mayo?  Oh the possibilities! 

In all of my research for my St. Patties bake-a-thon, I was challenged by someones comment in my online recipe hunt who said that green food dye was a weak attempt at Irish creativity.  I am competitive.  You had better believe I scoured through recipes to do a "one up" on St. Patties Day treats.  So I met this fine young recipe for Irish Coffee Blondies.  Oh yes.  It happened.  Two monumental things occurred for the baking of this treat.  Monumental thing #1: I learned how to make brown sugar.  It may have been monumental enough that I was out of a baking ingredient, since my supply is usually great when it comes to these things.  But I was OUT OF BROWN SUGAR.  I was not out of Google however, so I googled a recipe for brown sugar and made it.  Turns out all it is is granulated sugar and molasses.  Win.  Life moved on.  Monumental thing #2: I had to buy whisky.  I needed 2 tbsp. for the icing.  I bought what I later, lacking the proper terminology, described to my roommate a baby bottle of whisky (apparently is called a shooter).  In case you are ever wondering: these said shooters have 4 tbsp. of whisky.  Now you know.  So I did not help the green food dye stocks in the making of this blondie, but I did help my competitive spirit.  Take that random person who I read online.  I win! 

I finished with a celebratory lunch.  Roasted red pepper and carrot soup was a glorious tribute to my protestant ways on this day.  I added some snap peas. Awwww look at those catholics and protestants being friends and sharing the bowl! 

Between these endeavors and the surprise leprechaun party I threw for my kiddos on Friday, yes friends, St. Patrick's Day was a celebration to be repeated.  I already have new recipes in mind to try for next year and research to do on the profit made from investing in food dye. 

The food was a success and I think the leprechauns put a little magic inside every bite I ate, because it has resulted in two consecutive days that were genuinely good from start to end.  Loving life is a beautiful thing.  As Elf would say, "Smiling is my favorite," and I would have to agree.  It's not always easy though.  Lately, I have been challenged with that.  When circumstances change, the smile does not always shine with ease.  Many times challenges and loss revert even the most dignified of people into why-me-ers, foot-stompers and fist-pounders.  It also often creates a wondering about God and His goodness if such a thing was able to happen.  I think one would be hard pressed to find someone who has not had this wondering at one time or another.  Today, in light of that wondering, I have been encouraged by this:

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.... Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him." James 1:2-6,12

Encouraged by His promise and feeling a little luck o the Irish,

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