Friday, March 18, 2011

St. Patrick's Day

My oldest son presented me with this fistful of flowers on St. Patrick's Day. When we are apart for the day, he almost always has something for me. I usually find at least one drawing in his backpack with "To Mom, From (his name)" written at the top. Love him.

I am currently in "make kids more capable around the house" mode. They do help around the house some, but I am guilty of preferring to just do it myself so it is done correctly and quickly. However, I know I need to put in the time to teach them to do it right, and I know our household will flow more smoothly once they are doing more of their share. (Call me optimistic, but my plan is for the three of them to completely take over the laundry.) They're definitely old enough and capable (or at least could be) enough.

I said all of that to say, my 5 year old sat the table for me!

Every year for St. Patrick's Day we have a smorgasbord of green food, like this one. I wanted to do something different this year so I picked two dishes I'd never made.

For the Pesto Pasta, I used this recipe (subbing half of the oil with almond milk and a mixture of parsley & spinach instead of basil) for pesto. I wouldn't say it was delicious. It was okay. I probably didn't love it as much because it wasn't salty, and I didn't salt it at the table (since I'm trying to cut that out).

I liked the Pesto-Olive Foccaccia a lot. I think I could have left it in the oven a little longer, but I was trying to hurry things up. And I could have probably kneaded it better, etc. to make it lighter, but my son was helping me...and again, I was in a hurry.

The roasted asparagus (which was lightly misted with olive oil, Braggs, Coconut Aminos, spices, and lemon juice) was delicious. It got 10 thumbs up.

And then, of course, there were kiwi slices on the side "just because" they're green, pretty, and yummy.

I was disappointed in our silicone shamrock cupcake pan. They didn't resemble shamrocks after they rose. But they did when I turned them over.

I used the Simple Vanilla & Agave Cupcakes recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. It uses agave nectar (which browns quicker) as the only sweetener. They had more of a muffin taste, and we liked them.

I decorated them upside-down. Which was kind of weird. But I'm only trying to impress the 10 and under crowd here, so it's all good.

I also tried making Shamrock Shakes. I looked online, and there appeared to be many recipes supporting the addition of avocado into a creamy, delicious shake. After making them, I'm still not convinced of this. I think it's just not for me. I should have stuck with a green smoothie, which would have been delicious. My line of thinking was that if a green smoothie is delicious, then a green milkshake has to be that much better.

I used Purely Decadent Coconut Milk ice cream and added avocado and kiwi. Maybe if I hadn't made these myself and didn't know that it contained avocado (which I LOVE in non-dessert foods), it would have tasted better to me. I have food mixing issues. I also added just a bit of frozen kale to make it greener.

The verdict: 10 year old and 4 year old drank theirs right up, and my husband said he liked it, too. My 5 year old didn't like it, though, so I used his to make popsicles which they ate right up this morning.

After-supper entertainment included making St. Patrick's Day frog masks, puppet shows behind the couch, and a little karaoke.

Lots of "luck" and blessings to you all this weekend!


  1. The flowers look beautiful in the purple vase — such a sweet gesture. Everything looks good even if it didn't taste good.

    I'm with you on the avocado in dessert thing — something about it just seems wrong. I've had delicious avocado ice cream, but when I tried to make it myself, I just couldn't enjoy it.

    My boys all learned to do laundry by the time they were 8, but they only did their own. Still, it was a big help.

  2. Could your life be more idyllic?! I don't think so! (Gimme that vase!)

  3. Oh wow, where do I begin?

    I LOVE the little Irish Froggies!

    All the green food looks great, and what a fun tradition. It's cool that all the greenery was completely natural, no food coloring involved.

    And the shamrock cupcakes are adorable even if they are upside down!

    Oh yes, and I love the sweet bouquet in that pretty vase...and your table setting is simply perfect: well done to your 5-year old!

  4. I love all your celebrations - you guys really go all out, so you deserve all the help you can get.
    The foccacia sounds really great.

  5. the focaccia sounds awesome! i love pesto.

    i've never roasted asparagus. this spring for sure, i've got to try it. looks so good.

    i'm with you about avocado in sweets. i'll just take some guacamole, thanks!

  6. Oh how fun. I love that! And the food looks great, super festive. I think it's great that you're making the kiddos more capable. I know my mom made sure we knew how to do the chores. Hope you all have a great weekend.

  7. Love the flowers! I am very impressed with all your green food. We just go around pinching everybody all day. This inspires me to do more next year. Don't worry about the shamrocks - that's how most of those kinds of pans work. I just flip my stuff over, too, and decorate on the underside. I am very impressed with little five-year-old's table setting ability! And, that's a great idea, too, to make a beautiful setting. We should do that all the time, shouldn't we? Gotta buy some tablecloths! By the way, my two oldest started doing their own laundry when they turned ten, and it makes life SO much easier!

  8. It all looks so very good! I love avocado in desserts- go figure.
    The table setting was awesome!
    Blessings, Debra
    Raw Vegan Diet

  9. much fun! I made a smoothie the other day and put half of an avocado in it, which I did NOT like! I see smoothies all over with avocado in them and they sound so good, but they aren't for me either. :)
    I'm with the others...I love that vase!

  10. I have had an avocado milkshake before, and I am with you, I just wasn't impressed. I love it on Mexican food, but I guess it just isn't my thing mixed into a drink.

  11. I love all the green food! I'm a little wary of putting avocado in things, too - after all, it's so good on its own!

    I like the table setting. I don't have kids but I worry that when I do, I'll have trouble letting them do things, too. I'm already that way at work and with my husband. Working on it...

  12. im not even 1/4th of the way through this post and i had to start commenting!! first of all, im sorry i missed these posts, piggy was sick all of last week. the picture of teh tableware is the job your five year old did? OW its so prety! good job! a neighbor girl came over one day to help me spring clean(i was paying her) she was 16? and just didnt know how to clean,its something that just wasnt taught to her. they are super smart, they will get it. i agree with Jessica (and you) id have a hard time watching somebody do something that i want done my way(which means better,hahaha just kidding!)
    salt is a hard habit to break, but its good that you are subbing with lots of herbs, it will get easier:)and your asparagus dressing recipe sounds really good!

    "i have food mixing issues" hehehee FMI

    i love the after supper entertainment:)

  13. oh AND i totally forgot to mention HOW SWEET THAT IS THAT HE PICKED YOU FLOWERS!! what a sweet thing he is! a true gentleman

  14. It sounds like you really had a great St Pattys Day! It looks like you son did a good job setting the table! I know that I had to do all the laundry in the house by age 7, so you can definitely get your kids into that :) Sorry the pasta turned out to be a fail. Your plate looks delicious though! I love kiwi and asparagus! Let me know if you have a good shamrock shake recipe. I love avocado in shakes, but my husband on the other hand, does not (like you and your 5 year old :). He says he can still taste it. I guess I don't care because I love the taste of avocado. Happy late St Pattys Day!

  15. Aww, what a sweet boy! He must miss you so much when he doesn't get to see you all day! :)

    What a fabulous St. Patrick's Day spread! I love the upside-down shamrock cupcakes, and all the festive decorations are so cute!

  16. Loved going thru ur wonderful blog..

    - Smita
    (fun food ideas for lil ones )

  17. Andrea, thank you! I hate to say, the kid chore thing isn't going very was okay for a week or so, but it's so much work on my part staying on top of them.

    SV, thank you! I "guess" my life could be considered idyllic. Once you look past all the poo and pee and puke and snot and kids fighting and mounds of dirty laundry and dishes that need to be washed...

    Rose, thank you! Thank you for picking out details.

    foodfeud, thank you! It's hard to go wrong with bread for me. Especially bread with olives.

    sara, right - I like guac too much. I wouldn't be able to handle the extra calories with avocado in sweets, even if I liked it. Roasted asparagus is one of my favorite veggies. Thanks!

    Heather, thank you for compliments! And getting the kids "capable" is a really hard job! I feel like I'm failing!

    blessedmama, thanks! I don't know how St. Patrick's Day ended up as one of our favorite holidays. I ALWAYS think I should do a better job with place settings. Half of the time, I'm pushing stuff out of the way just to make enough room for plates. Yeesh.

    Debra, you probably do a better job preparing avocado in desserts where it tastes good! :)

    Michelle, thanks! I didn't know my vase would get so much attention. I love it, too!

    Vegan Georgia, thank you for commenting! I always have a hard time mixing food I'm not accustomed to.

    Jessica, it's sooo hard for me! I am not the best with "small talk" to begin with so I would rather do it, than continue leading them through it. And I couldn't even handle having a housekeeper for the different times we have had one. I never thought they did a good enough job.

    Michelle, that was nice you had someone come over and help you! Thank you! We love our karaoke around here. My son really is a sweetie. Thank you!

    Carissa, I can't remember exactly what I put in the shake - it was basically just icecream, kiwi, and avocado, I think? I know there were lots of recipes online. My kids aren't quite ready to do laundry all the way yet. I think I got a little ahead of myself. First of all, I'm going to have to buy a smaller container for detergent. They can't even lift the mega-huge one I have now. :)

    River, thank you so much for saying so!

    Smita, thanks for stopping by! I visited your blog and will be coming back by!

  18. Gauri Radha गौरी राधाJune 26, 2011 at 5:39 PM

    Cute Saint Patrick's Day cupcakes!!:-)