What does St. Patrick’s Day Mean?
Saint Patrick’s Day was made an official Christian feast day in the early 17th century and is observed by the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, and the Lutheran Church. The day commemorates Saint Patrick and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland as well as celebrating the heritage and culture of the Irish in general. Christians also attend church services and the Lenten restrictions on eating and drinking alcohol are lifted for the day.
In my family, a St. Patrick’s Day celebration typically includes things like corn beef and cabbage, leprechauns, shamrocks, parades, and Irish jigs.
Along with the typical traditions, this year, the kids and I decided to make St. Patty’s Day sugar cookies using green and white icing and lots of festive sprinkles!
5 Little Monkeys Sugar Cookie Recipe
What does St. Patrick’s Day mean to you?
“People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.”
-Elizabeth Kubler Ross
What is Pi Day?
Pi Day is the unofficial holiday that celebrates the mathematical constant pi (π) on March 14 in the month/day date format because the digits in this date correspond with the first five digits of π (3.1415).
What did you do to celebrate Pi Day?
We ordered a whole bunch of pizza and ate apple “pi” for dessert.
Our youngest was invited to an awesome birthday party where he was picked up in a gigantic stretch limo and taken to the best pizza place in town, Portland Pie Company. Lucky duck!
Happy Pi Day!
Chocolate Cupcake Recipe
- 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups white sugar
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup milk
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a muffin pan with paper or foil liners. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa and salt. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well with each addition, then stir in the vanilla. Add the flour mixture alternately with the milk; beat well. Fill the muffin cups 3/4 full.
3. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Frost with your favorite frosting when cool.
Butter Cream Frosting Recipe
- 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
- 1 pound (3 2/3 cups) confectioners’ sugar
- 1 to 2 tablespoons milk (optional)
- In a mixing bowl, cream butter until smooth.
- Gradually add confectioners’ sugar; beat until smooth. If too thick to spread, beat in 1 to 2 tablespoons milk.
3. Then frost and decorate with green sprinkles and green shamrocks!
Want to learn how to frost a cupcake like a pro? Check out this great online tutorial on “how to frost the perfect cupcake.”
It’s Girl Scout Cookie time, so with that in mind, my kids and I decided to make our own version of everyone’s favorite, “The Samoas.”
Here’s how you can make your own:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Mix in flour, baking powder and salt at a low speed, followed by the vanilla and milk, adding in the milk as needed to make the dough come together without being sticky (it’s possible you might not need to add milk at all). The dough should come together into a soft, not-too-sticky ball. Add in a bit of extra flour if your dough is very sticky.
- Roll the dough (working in two or three batches) out between pieces of wax paper to about 1/4-inch thickness (or slightly less) and use a 1 1/2-inch cookie cutter to make rounds.
- Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and use a knife, or the end of a wide straw, to cut a smaller center hole. Repeat with remaining dough. Alternatively, use scant tablespoons of dough and press into an even layer in a mini donut pan to form the rounds.
- Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes, until bottoms are lightly browned and cookies are set. If using a mini donut pan, bake for only about 10 minutes, until edges are light gold.
- Cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Spread coconut evenly on a parchment-lined baking sheet (preferably one with sides) and toast 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, until coconut is golden. Cool on baking sheet, stirring occasionally. Set aside.
- Unwrap the caramels and place in a large microwave-safe bowl with milk and salt. Cook on high for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- melt. When smooth, fold in toasted coconut with a spatula.
- Using the spatula or a small offset spatula, spread topping on cooled cookies, using about 2-3 tsp per cookie. Reheat caramel for a few seconds in the microwave if it gets too firm to work with.
- While topping sets up, melt chocolate in a small bowl. Heat on high in the microwave in 45 second intervals,
- Dip the base of each cookie into the chocolate and place on a clean piece of parchment paper.
- Transfer all remaining chocolate (or melt a bit of additional chocolate, if necessary) into a piping bag or with the corner snipped off and drizzle top with chocolate.
- Let chocolate set completely before storing in an air tight container.
Long car rides with kids require planning and lots of patience. I have taken 10 hour car rides with my kids several times, and these are some things I have learned for surviving the trip (mostly the hard way). By the way, this is the continuation of my first post “The Joys of Travel.”
This weekend was my sister-in-law’s baby shower and I wanted to do something special for her because both she and her husband (my stepbrother) are always doing generous thoughtful things for my children – besides she is having her first baby! Continue reading