I've often thought about the way that our virtual, online lives can be more ideal than our actual, real life. In the interest of "keeping it real," so that you all know that I am sometimes a person with great plans but not so much follow through, I thought I'd report on yesterday's festivities. Some of our plans happened, and some fell by the wayside. And that's ok. I just don't want to give a false picture of my real life--I think that is the kind of thing that sets women up to compare themselves and get discouraged about the things that they aren't accomplishing. Please feel encouraged at the messy house you see in the background of this photo!
I did make the "green smoothies" for breakfast. I used grape juice, a frozen banana, frozen blueberries, raspberries, and marionberries, and lots of spinach. My best guess is 4 cups or more of raw spinach. I kept adding more, hoping that it would be greener, and finally decided that my decision to use grape juice instead of soy milk had yielded a brown smoothie instead. Oops. Thankfully, my kids were happy to drink it when I explained that grape juice had turned it brown. When they asked how I had tried to make it green, I avoided the question with a non-answer, "Of course I tried to make it green. It's St. Patrick's Day!" The kids all drank full glasses of the stuff without complaining. I, on the other hand, left most of mine in the glass. Methinks there was a bit too much spinach. Next time I will have to follow Diane's instructions a bit more carefully! But I am happy to eat spinach in other ways, whereas Kimball is the only one of my kids who will eat very much of the stuff in its original form, so I was pleased with the outcome.
We took some suggestions from my readers and had green eggs with our breakfast. We read Green Eggs and Ham together and my two oldest picky eaters actually tasted their green eggs before giving them all to Ian, who was happy to eat everyone's eggs.
The Irish Soda Bread was perfect. Delicious. Unfortunately, it came out of the oven at 9:00 am, much later than my kids were interested in having much! I used this recipe, but omitted the caraway seeds and half of the butter (it called for using 2 T on the pan--I used canola spray instead; and for dotting the top with butter--I used 1 T. Next time, I'll just brush the top with butter after it has baked.) Since it made a big loaf, I took some to Jared's assistant to enjoy. The poor thing is constantly being fattened up by me. Not that she's fat. She's definitely not fat. She just has to eat my fattening food.
The green jello was never made. I barely got these frosted before we had to run out the door to pick up the babysitter. We had a great time at our girl's lunch, lingering for a long time, enjoying the sunny day (we sat outside at a favorite Mexican cafe), the chance to talk without interruptions, and loving the food. I'll put the recipe for these carrot pineapple cupcakes at the end of this post. It's a must have.
When I got home around 3:00, I piled kids into the car and we went to meet our cousins, who are here from Arizona, at the park. The weather was beautiful and we lingered there until 5:00, which meant that I did not much feel like making Fresh Green Pea Soup for dinner. Instead, we had a spinach salad and the kids had quesadillas with it. So much for a green dinner. I have to admit, what I really wanted was the Irish Lamb Stew that Nancy emailed me about, her St. Patty's Day fare. I should have gone over to her house!
Sonja mentioned in her comment that her kids would build a leprechaun trap, and after breakfast I discovered that Kimball was busy doing just that. He fashioned it out of an old Kleenex box and used paper shamrocks and Irish Soda Bread as bait. This morning he found a hole in his trap (the leprechaun got away!), only crumbs where the bread had been, and a handful of gold foil wrapped candy. He was very pleased that a leprechaun had been by.
So there you have it. It was a great day and I wouldn't have changed any of it, so I'm glad I adjusted some of our plans. Hope yours was great as well!
Here's the recipe. This is actually a recipe for a cake, so you can make cupcakes, a three layer cake, or a 9x13 pan cake. It would be great for Easter dinner. I used fresh pineapple because I had some that needed to be used--and I loved it that way--but you could use the canned stuff.
- 2 cups flour
- 2 tsp. soda
- 2 tsp. cinnamon
- ½ tsp. salt
- 3 beaten eggs
- ¾ cup oil
- ¾ cup buttermilk
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 tsp. vanilla (you know better than to use imitation)
- 2 cups grated carrots
- 1 small can crushed, drained pineapple (about 1 cup)
- 2 cups coconut
- 1 cup chopped pecans
Sift and set aside the flour, soda, cinnamon, and salt. In a separate bowl, mix the eggs, oil, buttermilk, sugar, and vanilla. To the egg mixture, add carrots, pineapple, coconut, and pecans and mix well. Stir in the flour mixture, just enough to blend. DO NOT OVERMIX!!!
Bake at 350 F. I usually make it in three 8 inch layers, which take about 35 minutes to bake, but you can also use a 9x13 pan. When it is done, it will be a rich brown; administer the toothpick test!
Ice with classic cream cheese icing. (8 oz. Cream cheese, 1/2 cup butter, 3-4 cups powdered sugar, 2 t. vanilla, 1 t. lemon or orange zest) If desired, sprinkle finely chopped pecans on the icing between layers and on top of the cake. Serves 12-16 as a cake, 24 as cupcakes.