Mint Shamrock Pound Cake

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With St. Patty’s day on Sunday, this week is one of the very few weeks of the year that dying your food green is an assumed and celebrated event so I took full advantage of the week to whip out my green food coloring and go to town. I’m kind of sick of the usual cupcake-celebration for these random holidays. Pound cakes are a nice, not-to-sweet variation of the usual too-much-cake-and-icing-I-feel-ill-dessert. Topped with fruit, cool whip, and some fresh mint and St. Patrick gets remembered in the perfect, light and tasty way.

mintshamrockingredients

I cheated and used a boxed mix for the pound cake. But under blueberries, cool whip, and mint garnish, really truly, can you even tell? If you’re being honest…you can’t. If you want, go ahead and make the cake from scratch but I’m just trying to sayyyy that I will be done faster and my guests will never know the difference from yours! I infused the milk needed for the pound cake mix with a very slight mint flavor by boiling 1/2 cup mint leaves in the milk. It’s a super subtle taste so I would definitely add the fresh, whole leaves for garnish if you want a minty flavor. Other than that, follow the directions on the box as usual, add 4 drops of green food coloring to the batter before baking, cut out a shamrock shape from a slice of the finished pound cake, add the toppings, garnish and done!

shamrock pound cake

st patricks day dessert

st patricks day dessert ideas

The morning I made this, when I got set to photograph, a little rainbow**see it??** made from a prism in my window landed just as I was snapping away and I couldn’t resist from posting it. It really was just too, too ironic. Happy St Patty’s, happy weekend, and happy wearing and eating anything green!

– <3 A. 

Other VMMV Recipes: 

 header    blackberry vanilla icebox cake   lemon cheesecake cocktail

Cucumber-avocado Salad     Blackberry-Vanilla Cake     Lemon Cheesecake Cocktail

Quinoa-Cucumber Cups with Lemon Vinaigrette

quinoa cucumber cups with lemon vinaigrette

I’m so ready for a new month, aren’t you? Even cooking is impossible in January. There’s only so many soups, pasta, and bread you can eat before longing for some summer fruit and something fresh for a change. While I was pondering my fresh fruit problem and my, I-want-something-different problem, I came up with these Quinoa-cucumber cups with a lemon vinaigrette. Lemons don’t shy away from the winter months like other fruits do, so it’s a perfect, fresh flavor to add to an otherwise seasonally-sad time for fruit. Quinoa is quite the wonder-grain. It’s a spanish seed actually but cooks, tastes, and has the nutritional equivalent to most grains. I discovered it last year and since then have been unabashedly obsessed with the stuff. I think these cups would make the perfect appetizer: they’re simple, tasty, and can be eaten in one bite without a fork.
Untitled-10quinoa recipe

pillsbury pie crust recipeThe crust turned out slightly thicker than I wanted so I would recommend rolling it out a bit more so its thinner. Another option would be to use phyllo dough if you want a super thin, crunchy crust. These mini-silicone cups are also my new fav. They don’t stick to anything, don’t need cooking spray, cook evenly, and are the perfect proportion for an appetizer. I got these at World Market for only a few dollars and they come in a set of 12.

lemon vinaigrette recipe via giada de laurentiis

lemon vinaigrette recipe via giada de laurentiisThis vinaigrette recipe is from Giada De Laurentiis and the only thing I altered was exchanging basil for the parsley. I didn’t have parsley and I think the basil adds a better flavor anyway.

quinoa cucumber cups with lemon vinaigretteI used red pepper and basil flavored Quinoa for this recipe, but you could pretty much use any flavor you like and there’s so many different flavors, you have plenty of choices. Another option, if you aren’t a cucumber fan, fresh zucchini, broccoli, or even bell peppers would taste great with it.

quinoa cucumber cups with lemon vinaigrette

easy appetizers

quinoa cucumber appetizer with lemon vinaigretteThe silicon cups are so cute you could even serve the appetizer in it–with or without though, I think they’re adorable. Hope this perks up your winter-recipe list, there’s nothing like lemons to cut through the winter-food-blues.

-<3 A. 

Posts Like This:

lemon cheesecake cocktail  mini-pies thanksgiving recipes Earl Grey Tea Cupcakes

   Cheesecake Cocktail           Two-ingredient mini pie          Earl Grey Tea Cupcakes

An Introduction

In case you were waiting with bated breath regarding news of my haircut from the this not that post last friday…it was a success! I feel much more human now.

In other news, I am super excited to introduce to you a new member of VMMV:

Nikon camera photographyI finally took the plunge and upgraded my camera. Hopefully with the help of this guy, I will be able to share more pictures with all of you to go along with my posts. I’ve been wanting/intending to do the upgrade for a few months now but this week, with Thanksgiving and the holidays on the horizon, it was finally the perfect time to do so.

So, stay tuned for the evolution of my photography! And, also stay tuned for more about these guys:

miniature pies for thanksgivingThanksgiving officially marks the beginning of the holiday season and with the numerous parties that I’m sure are marking your calendar, it can be a little overwhelming if you’re planning on making some homemade magic to mark the holidays. Pinterest is packed with updates on traditional recipes and quick, easy dessert options but it really doesn’t feel like Thanksgiving unless you have pie.

These mini-pies are so, so easy and fast that you won’t have an excuse not to make them. Plus, they’re the perfect size for an individual helping and, because they’re so easy, its fun to customize flavors that you know your guests will love. It doesn’t have to be pumpkin, apple, and pecan. Last year lemon was a top-favorite with blackberry a close second: yum, yum!

Recipe and top-secret tips to follow so stick around!

– <3 A. 

Sweet Memories

Before I bid adieu to October completely, and since I promised a view of my procrastination pumpkin-carving-product, here’s a last peek at some of my favorite things of October. Also, a quick homemade treat if you’re feeling domestic without feeling like you have the time to satisfy your kitchen cravings:

pumpkin carving ideas

Since this month was largely spent wishing for rain and getting sunshine instead, I celebrated the last day of the unusually warm month with a summer-treat: ice cream sandwiches. They were super easy to make and turned out stupendous.

Home-baked items are quickly becoming a thing of the past. Even when I make boxed cakes and brownies for a last-minute party gift, the three-ingredient, not quite from scratch, goodies are met with rave revues. With life going at a constant light-speed, it’s no wonder people wonder when you have time to turn on the oven.

You don’t have to be a June Cleaver to pull this off though.

ice cream sandwich recips

Chocolate chip cookies, made a little flatter and bigger when you plop them on the cookie sheet, and a scoop of slightly melted ice cream squooshed in between two cookies. Done. Delicious, yes?

homemade ice cream sandwich

I wrapped each of them in a little wax paper and tucked them into their own individual Ziploc bag just to ensure the ice cream didn’t make a mess, or the sandwiches end up tasting like freezer after a night in the dark dungeon of frozen-ness.

October was sublime. I still haven’t gotten my fill of Pumpkin-Spice yet, but there’s always November for that and hopefully, then, I’ll be wrapped three-layers deep in sweater goodness.

Hope your October left you with some sweet memories.

– <3 A.