Friday, March 16, 2012

Crock Pot O' Gold Month (St. Patrick's Day Edition!)

Happy St. Patrick's Day loyal readers. You'll be happy to know that this issue of the blog has nothing to do with drinking, though it's certainly not discouraged. To me, St. Patrick's Day is one of those overrated faux holidays primarily observed by frat boys and their corresponding bimbos. (In Chicago, we call them Wrigleyvillians). Instead, we are celebrating our Irish heritage by eating potato soup and wearing green because it brings out my green eyes. In keeping with this month's theme of slow-cooker cooking, we'll be using that beautiful pot o' gold up there. Again, this theme was thought up before it got oddly warm. 

Potato Famine Soup

Okay fine, I'll admit it, I'm obsessed with rosemary. This soup was amazing, but the flour sort of got away from me so mine ended up more of a mush. I suggest when I say 1/4 c that you stick to it! Also I added a bump of celery salt, but that's just me.

3 Potatoes
4 carrots
1 white onion
2 cloves crushed garlic
1/2 stick butter
3 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
1 c cream or whole milk
1/4 c flour
salt & pepper
1 c water

Step 1: Peel and dice carrots and potatoes and place in crock with water. 

Step 2: In a skillet, saute onion with rosemary, add garlic in last 3 minutes. 

Step 3: Add onions and garlic to crock with more fresh rosemary. Pour cream over and toss in butter. Salt and pepper to taste. Set to HI and simmer all day. 

Girl Scout Cookie Mini Mousse Pies

In addition to being St. Patty's Day, it's also Girl Scout cookie season! I make a bitchin' pie crust out of Thin Mints that is often better than the filling, except for this recipe. If you're like me you go through handmixers like Kleenex and endless whisking gives you tennis elbow, rendering mousse-making a pain in the ass. Great news! You can use your blender!

For Crust
1 sleeve Thin Mints (crushed to powder)
1/8th stick melted butter
1 tsp flour

For Mousse
1 c chocolate chips
1 c whipping cream
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract

Step 1: Preheat oven to 350. Mix cookie crumbs with flour. Pour melted butter into center of mixture and work into a paste with hands. Press into mini pies and bake for 7 minutes. 

Step 2: Begin making mousse by heating cream in a saucepan without boiling. While cream heats, use your blender to chop your chocolate with egg and vanilla. Once cream is piping hot, pour into blender and blend for 1 minute. Pour mixture over pie crusts. Chill 4-5 hours. 

Pot 'o Gold Recipe Box!

A recipe box is almost as important as writing down recipes. It's the perfect kitchen accessory other than a dishwasher. I had such a boring little index card holder until I found this little baby at a craft store. I decorated to my liking and now it's practically perfect! All I did was paint it and line it with left over shelf-paper. Voila! In an effort to be more green, I made dividers out of old food boxes. 

I'll leave you with my dad's favorite St. Patrick's Day joke: What's Irish and sits on your back porch? Patio Furniture...

Happy St. Patrick's Day! 

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