Sunday, March 16, 2008

Surprises for St. Paddy's

My daughter surprised me with a delivery on Friday of this pretty "Shamrocks for Good Luck" plant! I've never seen such large shamrocks with darling little white flowers. It made the perfect centerpiece for my table today, as we celebrated St. Patrick's Day with my family with a corned beef and cabbage dinner. Of course, we had to have a few samples of brews to go along with it!

I also made a soda bread and a brown bread to accompany the meal.

And, for dessert, we had a fruit and berry-topped pavlova (meringue) that my sister-in-law made, seen on the left below, and an orange cake that I made.
Yes, those are green PEEPS marshmallow chicks that I used to decorate the dish -- a little mix of the two holidays that have come so close this year!

Here is the delicious Pavlova Recipe:

4 egg whites that are at room temperature
I cup (8 oz) sugar
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring
1 teaspoon cornstarch
Whip cream and berries/sliced fruit of choice for topping
Preheat oven to 250 degrees

With an electric beater or hand whisk, whip room temperature egg whites in a cold glass or metal bowl until stiff and peaky, then quickly add sugar one tablespoon at a time while beating, then add the vinegar, vanilla flavoring, and cornstarch. ( Do not over beat or eggs will separate. if that happens to add another egg white or two.
Line the baking sheet with parchment paper. Draw a 10-inch circle on the parchment paper as a guide for the meringue, then turn the paper over.
Use a pastry bag with a large star tip and pipe out to make a meringue circle following the line you drew previously, then fill in the center with the eggs whites, and then make a bowl shape by building up the edges with a second layer egg white. If you don’t have a pastry bag, use a spoon to mound the meringue on the parchment paper and make a well in the middle, creating a bowl-shaped shell.

Put the meringue in the oven at 250 degrees. After 45 minutes, turn the heat off. Leave the meringue in for another hour, or until it is completely cool. You can even leave it overnight.
While the meringue is in the oven, cut up your fruit and prepare about 2 cups of whip cream
Remove the meringue bowl from the oven. Make sure it’s nice and cool—if it’s still warm, wait and try again in a little while.
Fill the meringue bowl with whipped cream and put the fruit on top and serve promptly, so the meringue does not get soggy from the fruit and cream.
It's really an easy dessert to make, it looks very impressive, and tastes delicious!
Another surprise I received this weekend was the beautiful quilt patch seen below from Edie, at The Sporadic Pack Rat blog! I won this for leaving a comment on her blog during the One World - One Heart event.

It's hard to see from the picture, but the outside of the square is a dark forest green, and the inside pattern is made of patches of material that are shades of greens, beige, browns, and burgundies. There are also beautiful delicate beads and embroidery intermingled with the stitching -- just lovely -- thank you so much, Edie! I love it!

Edie has another blog called The Irish Traveler, and she is presently in Ireland blogging about all her experiences -- go take a peek and say hello!

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Rosie's Whimsy said...

What a beautiful feline! :-) Rosie

Anonymous said...

What a great Irish spread.... I don't thank I have ever seen a real Saint Patrick day meal... with traditional dessert and all... green is such a captivating color...

CatHerder said...

Oh everything looks so wonderful!!! I have to make irish soda bread today as well...foregoing the corned beef and cabbage this year...i forgot and defrosted a turkey that must be cooked today...your kitty reminds me so much of my hefty greek god Athenos except your kitty has longer fur. Have a happy st paddys!

PAT said...

Your meal looks delicious, Pat!

Happy Saint Paddy's Day!

Pat (the other)

lisa said...

i'm glad you liked the clovers! :-D

happy st. paddy's day!

Junie Moon said...

What a beautiful way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. I just posted my own little celebration, too. And my centerpiece (although I forgot to photograph it) is also a flowering Oxalis plant. How great that you won the quilt square, it's beautiful. Thank you for the links; I'll explore them.

Happy St. Patrick's Day to you and your family!

Edie Marie's Attic said...

Hi Pat! What a grand celebration! The shamrock plant is fabulous, what a sweet gift! I'm coming to your house next year!! The food looks sooo good!
Lots of Irish hugs, Sherry

Mrs. B said...

What a pretty plant. Your dinner looks delish! We had corned beef and cabbage too, but I don't have any cute green platters to serve it on like you do. Happy Saint Patrick's Day (a day late)!

Anonymous said...

Everything looks yummy! I love Irish Soda Bread and I haven't had it since we moved from NYC!


Unknown said...

Happy St Patrick's Day from N Ireland.

Wow - what a feast. I have never eaten corned beef and cabbage! I have a St Patricks Day post on my blog.

Anonymous said...

I am such a meringue junkie! When we were little, our Sunday after Mass treat was to go buy buns at the baker. We were allowed to buy a meringue each. Still love them tho I can't eat them anymore!

Just A Girl said...

Hi Pat,
That looks like a delicious meal! One of my co-workers was heading home Monday night to make Corned Beef. It never would have occured to me to make an Irish meal for St. Patty's, but then I'm not Irish. Happy belated St. Patty's Day anyway.


Anonymous said...

Love that patriotic cat! I so enjoyed your blog escepially the piece about the twin towers. Have you any idea how strongly that aweful atrocity touched and changed us abroad? I am fiercely supportive of America since then.

My husband and sister work in airport security at Dublin airport. Be assured they, and thier colleagues are painstakingly thorough in making sure nothing goes on to a plane that shouldn't. God bless America....Pam in Ireland

Anonymous said...

I didn't realize you'd posted a photo-thanks! I'm so glad you liked the little quilt. It was hard to decide on one to send!