Go green with treats, drinks

Emerald Mint Milkshake

Break out the green food coloring. It’s time to create a little St. Patrick’s Day fun in the kitchen.

“St. Patrick’s Day is a perfect occasion to get playful with bold colors and bright flavors,” says Mark Garcia, a chef at the McCormick & Company’s McCormick Kitchens.

“Our easy recipes take favorite treats, like cupcakes, shakes and brownies and add a bright green twist to make them a perfect fit for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.”

To bring bright hues to your entire St. Patrick’s Day spread, add a few drops o’ green to your favorite beverages and store-bought items. The experts in the McCormick Kitchen suggest adding five-six drops of green food coloring to 12 ounces of beer; six drops to an 8-ounce lemon-lime soda; 10-12 drops to a 1‚-2 cup of blue cheese dressing (for chicken wings); and 10-12 drops to a 1‚-2 cup of ranch or Franch onion dip (for chips, veggies and potato wedges).

Green with Envy Cheesecake Bars

Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Refrigerate: 2 hours
Makes 4 dozen cake pops

1 package (18’ªø1‚-4 ounces) yellow cake mix
2 teaspoons green food color
3‚-4 cup marshmallow creme
1 bag (14 ounces) white confectionery coating wafers
Lollipop sticks
Green sprinkles (optional)

1. Prepare cake mix as directed on package, adding food color. Bake as directed on package for 13- by 9-inch baking pan. Cool completely on wire rack.

2. Crumble cake into large bowl. Add marshmallow creme; mix until well blended. Shape into 1-inch balls. Refrigerate 2 hours.

3. Melt coating wafers as directed on package. For each Cake Pop, dip 1‚-2 inch of lollipop stick into melted coating. Insert dipped end of lollipop stick halfway into cake ball. Let stand until coating is set. Dip each cake pop into melted coating. Shake gently to remove excess coating. Sprinkle or roll cake pops in green sprinkles, if desired. Place cake pops in Styrofoam blocks. Let stand until coating is set.

Test kitchen tips: Substitute 1‚-2 cup canned vanilla frosting for the marshmallow creme. If Styrofoam blocks are not available, use upside-down foam egg cartons or a cardboard box to hold the cake pops.

Nutrition information per serving: 226 calories, fat 10g, carbohydrates 32g, cholesterol 23mg, sodium 176mg, fiber 0g, protein 2g.

Creamy Irish Coffee Martini

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Makes 1 serving
2 ounces Irish cream liqueur
2 ounces Irish whiskey
2 ounces chilled brewed strong coffee
1‚-4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Vanilla Whipped Cream (recipe follows)
Green sprinkles (optional)

1. Fill cocktail shaker half full with ice. Add first 4 ingredients; shake until well mixed and chilled. Strain into martini glass.

2. Top with a dollop of Vanilla Whipped Cream and green sprinkles, if desired.

Vanilla Whipped Cream: Beat 1 cup heavy cream, 1‚-4 cup confectioners’ sugar and 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract in medium bowl with electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form. Makes about 2 cups.

Test kitchen tip: Wet outside rim of martini glass with pure peppermint extract. Dip glass in coarse sugar to lightly coat.

Peppermint Paddy Martini

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Makes 4 servings
8 ounces Irish cream liqueur
2 ounces crème de cacao liqueur
2 ounces vanilla vodka
2 ounces heavy cream
1‚-4 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
Peppermint Whipped Cream, recipe follows (optional)

1. Fill cocktail shaker 1‚-3 full with ice. Add first 5 ingredients; shake until well mixed and chilled. Strain into martini glasses.

2. Top each with a dollop of Peppermint Whipped Cream, if desired.

Peppermint Whipped Cream: Beat 1 cup heavy cream, 1‚-4 cup confectioners’ sugar and 1‚-4 teaspoon pure peppermint extract in medium bowl with electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form. Makes about 2 cups.

Test kitchen tip: Wet outside rim of martini glass with pure peppermint extract. Dip glass in coarse sugar to lightly coat.

Emerald Mint Milkshake

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Makes 3 servings
1 pint (2 cups) vanilla ice cream
1 cup milk
1‚-2 teaspoon McCormick pure peppermint extract
1‚-4 teaspoon McCormick green food color
Whipped cream and green sprinkles (optional)

1. Place ice cream, milk, peppermint extract and green food color in blender; cover. Blend on high speed until smooth.

2. Pour into glasses. Top with whipped cream and sprinkles, if desired. Serve immediately.

Test kitchen tip: For easier measurement, 1‚-4 teaspoon food color is equal to 20-25 drops.

Nutrition information per serving: 247 calories, fat 15g, carbohydrates 23g, cholesterol 53mg, sodium 85mg, fiber 0g, protein 5g.

Irish Cream Swirl Brownies

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Makes 16 servings
1 package (18-20 ounces) fudge brownie mix
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1‚-4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1‚-4 cup Irish cream liqueur
1 egg
1‚-4 teaspoon green food color

1. Prepare brownie mix as directed on package, adding vanilla. Reserve 1 cup batter. Spread remaining batter in greased 9-inch square baking pan.

2. Beat cream cheese, flour and sugar in medium bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add Irish cream liqueur, egg and food color; beat until well blended. Pour over brownie layer in pan. Drop reserved 1 cup batter by spoonfuls over cream cheese layer. Cut through batter with knife several times for marble effect.

3. Bake as directed on package for 9-inch square baking pan. Cool in pan on wire rack. Cut into squares. Serve with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream, if desired.

Test kitchen tips: For easy clean-up, line pan with foil with ends of foil extending over sides of pan. Use foil handles to remove brownie from pan. Place on cutting board and cut into squares.

If desired, 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract may be used in place of the Irish cream liqueur. Omit flour.

Nutrition information per serving: 292 calories, fat 16g, carbohydrates 34g, cholesterol 53mg, sodium 179mg, fiber 1g, protein 3g.

Green with Envy Cheesecake Bars

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Refrigerate: 4 hours
Makes 24 servings
1’ªø1‚-2 cups chocolate wafer cookie crumbs (about 30 cookies)
1‚-3 cup butter, melted
3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1‚-2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
1‚-2 teaspoon green food color
3 eggs
2 ounces semi-sweet baking chocolate, melted

1. Preheat oven to 350∞F. Mix cookie crumbs and butter. Press firmly onto bottom of foil-lined 9-inch square baking pan. Refrigerate until ready to use.

2. Beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add sour cream and peppermint extract; mix well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating on low speed after each addition just until blended. Pour 1‚-2 of the batter over crust. Tint remaining batter green with food color. Pour over batter in pan.

3. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool completely on wire rack.

4. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. Lift out of pan onto cutting board. Cut into bars. Drizzle bars with melted chocolate. Store leftover bars in refrigerator.

Nutrition information per serving: 215 calories, fat 15g, carbohydrates 16g, cholesterol 69mg, sodium 184mg, fiber 0g, protein 4g.

Article excerpted from www.hometownlife.com

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About minesgreencircle

Founded in 2008, the Mines Green Circle is the special Green Environmental Unit of Palace of the Golden Horses and Mines Wellness Hotel for “Better Environment, Better Health”. It advocates green practices amongst the personnel of the Palace of the Golden Horses and Mines Wellness Hotels as well as its guests.

Posted on March 9, 2012, in Going Green, green and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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