Category Archives: st. patrick’s day

Hello Spring. 

So how do you survive your first winter back in the Midwest after living in Florida?christmas in florida, holidays, florida,
Don’t blog about it and it’s like it didn’t even happen.

Not sure whether there is a joke or an excuse in there, but I needed a transition so take it for what it is.

Truth is our first winter back has been pretty mild. And only in terms of temperature.

But if you’re gauging it on social engagements and work schedules, it’s been red hot. Most likely from a combination of living closer to friends and family, low housing inventory and increased demand for local athletic training services.

I’ll save you the apologies for my absence in this particular corner of the internet and instead bring you up to speed with photo montages and random things our dog has eaten (and had surgically removed) since we last talked (spoiler alert: it’s my favorite cashmere scarf).

superbowl cookies, football cookies, superbowl, dessert, sugar cookies, royal icing

Super Bowl Sunday

valentine's day dessert, yogurt covered strawberries, ombre strawberries, dessert,

Galentine’s Day Brunch

St. Louis Blues Hockey, Blues,

First St. Louis Blues Game

spring, tulips, whole foods, st. louis, flowers

Visiting Flowers at Whole Foods

gender neutral tassel garland, gender reveal, tissue banner, tassel garland

Saeger Gender Reveal Tassel Garland

valentine's day cookies, m&m cookies, baking, cookies, holiday

A Valentine’s M&M cookie recipe not worth sharing

Finn, greater swiss mountain dog, finnegan, swissy, gsmd

Watching my favorite show on T.V.

Finn, greater swiss mountain dog, finnegan, swissy, gsmd

Showing off my new belly scar

And since I’ve had this draft for several weeks now, it seems like as good a time as any to do a St. Patrick’s Day recap of recipes I used to make when I was fun.

springing into summer

Hey guys. Sarah here.

I figured since I’m paying to rent space here on the interwebs, I should make a concerted effort to chat with you guys a little more often. So here I am. Let’s chat.

Matt and I attended our last marriage prep workshop yesterday. Thanks be to God. Because what are sunny 80 degree Saturdays made for if not to spend the whole day in a church hall talking about conflict resolution and love styles with 16 other couples and facilitators who have never facilitated a class before. Don’t get me wrong. We learned a lot in both of our workshops, but being together for 5.5 years before you get married gives you a head start on the whole conflict resolution thing. As for love styles, a simple survey reminded us of another thing we’ve learned over the years. One of us will continue to give gifts and write out thoughtful birthday/valentine/just because cards for the partner who would rather spend quiet time together and the other one will meticulously clean the house and complete projects for the partner who would like it even more if they wrote a post-it with a simple smiley face on it.

You get the gist.

Truth is this whole marriage prep work has actually made us realize that we might actually have a good thing going here. Of course we’re in for the long run of hardships and rough patches like any marriage, but we’ve been pleasantly surprised how common our core values and goals are. And I suppose that’s better than the alternative sitting 60 days out from your wedding.

Moving on.

So I actually baked something this year for St. Patrick’s Day. I know it’s hard to believe but last weekend I started thinking about the responsibility that comes with having Murphy as your last name. You know like getting caught not wearing green on the 17th of March (never happens btw), not knowing how to properly cook corned beef or having a distaste for whiskey. Ok so that last one I really tried to get on board with post-college and I liked whiskey but it didn’t like me. The good news is the Polish are more fans of Vodka and that’s something I’m already on board with.

In all honesty I should probably start building up my tolerance for upcoming wedding festivities. I couldn’t tell you the last time I had hard liquor.

shamrock cookies, iced sugar cookies, st. patrick's day cookies, sugar cookies, st. patrick's day sugar cookies, clover,

Same old sugar cookies and royal icing that I’ve made in the past. You can find my sugar cookie recipe here.

shamrock cookies, iced sugar cookies, st. patrick's day cookies, sugar cookies, st. patrick's day sugar cookies, clover, shamrock cookies, iced sugar cookies, st. patrick's day cookies, sugar cookies, st. patrick's day sugar cookies, clover,

I forgot to mention that Matt finally returned from three weeks in Honduras so I let him open a few of our shower gifts.

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We’ve skipped right into summer weather down in these parts and I’m completely ok with it.

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Nearly forgot we ordered a new couch back in January.

IMG_9677 And Finn isn’t too thrilled that he’s not allowed on it just yet.

greater swiss mountain dog, finnegan, swissy, greater swiss, dog, puppy

greater swiss mountain dog, finnegan, swissy, greater swiss, dog, puppy

We made up for all the time spent inside on Saturday by spending the day at Ed Smith Stadium watching the Cardinals play the Orioles. Beautiful stadium. Great game. Decent company.

 cardinals, spring training, ed smith stadium, orioles, baseball, st. louis cardinals, sarasota cardinals, spring training, ed smith stadium, orioles, baseball, st. louis cardinals, sarasota cardinals, spring training, ed smith stadium, orioles, baseball, st. louis cardinals, sarasota If only every Sunday could be spent watching the Cardinals in the sunshine.

Have a great week!

Mint Chocolate Trifle

So my oven broke last week just in time for St. Patrick’s Day. I know what you’re thinking perfect timing. But after over analyzing my failed ombre cake this weekend I decided not to let it get to me. I decided to follow the advice of two of the wisest guys I know and just let it go.

Frozen by Jake and Owen from Sarah Murphy on Vimeo.

And then I decided to make a trifle.

st. patrick's day mint chocolate trifle, dessert, brownie and oreo trifle

The best part about this trifle is you don’t have to use your oven to make it. Ideally I would have baked the brownies included in it but when I’m layering one million decadent desserts in a dish to serve as one mega decadent dessert, my need for homemade ingredients goes out the window.

st. patrick's day mint chocolate trifle, dessert, brownie and oreo trifle

Mint Chocolate Trifle

  • 2 C Oreos, crushed
  • 1 C Andes mints, chopped
  • 1 package instant vanilla pudding
  • brownies
  • cool whip
  • milk

In a large bowl, whip milk into vanilla pudding mix until combined. Add a few drops of green food coloring. Place in fridge to set up.

Once you are ready to build the trifle, begin with a layer of brownies on the bottom of the dish.

Combine half of cool whip into pudding mixture. Add half of pudding on top of brownies. Add a layer of cool whip. Top with half of Oreo and Andes mint mixture. Repeat.

st. patrick's day mint chocolate trifle, dessert, brownie and oreo trifle

Try to avoid eating within two hours of running.

A leprechaun was here

Remember that time I tried to make an ombré layer cake for my mom’s birthday and messed up the simplest part of the process, resulting in a randomly striped cake?

st. patricks day layer cake, ombre layer cake, white birthday cake, buttercream icing, colored layer cake, st. patrick's day, holiday, baking,

I do.

By now I’ve heard the following reassurances:

It still tastes great. 

Hunny I think it’s perfect!

This is the best cake I’ve ever had. 

I think I actually prefer the colors this way.

I’d like to take a moment to thank my mother for saying each and every one of them. 

Thanks mom!

I’m sure you prefer the #3 layer in place of the #2 layer. You’re right. It looks better that way.

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Leave it to mothers to justify completely unjustifiable things to their daughters in an attempt to make them feel better.

st. patricks day layer cake, ombre layer cake, white birthday cake, buttercream icing, colored layer cake, st. patrick's day, holiday, baking,

In reality we should blame Dad. He’s the one who invited me to join him for a pedicure in the middle of my cake-making process. I’m sure if I had not been distracted by the relaxation and soaking, I might have remembered the setting the layers on the cooling racks in the wrong order so I could be unpleasantly surprised when I cut into the cake after dinner.

Thanks Dad!

Seriously though. That was a great pedicure.

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So today, in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, I present you with a chance to wow everyone with your very own St. Patrick’s Day layer cake. 

After being inspired by a much prettier version from Cupcakes and Cashmere late last week, I had a feeling this one was going to be a Pinterest fail. Perhaps I willed it to be. Regardless of my layer issues, the cake and icing were delicious.

Here are some tips for not messing up your ombre cake experience:

1. Fill the cake pans more than halfway. I wanted to keep my layers thin since I was making four different colored ones. In the process I overcooked them a little. The cakes have a nice crunch to them but I found that my best layer was the one without the food coloring in it which also happened to be the thickest. Unless you are doing ombre, bake two colors and cut the cakes in half.

2. Use this cake recipe but consider doubling it (see above)

3. 10, 5, 3, 0. Those are the amounts of green food coloring I used for each layer of my cake. Divide the batter into bowls and add coloring separately. Do your dark layers first so you can adjust for the lighter one. Remember what order they are in because they look the same from the outside.

4. Use this icing recipe. Consider doubling it.

5. Don’t stress about the outcome. In the end, I was the only one who cared that my layers were out of order. My mom loved that her cake was homemade and let’s face it, the boys only care about blowing out the candles and eating the ice cream that goes with the cake anyway.

I’ll be back later this week to talk about this little St. Patrick’s Day gem.

st. patrick's day mint chocolate trifle, dessert, brownie and oreo trifle

And the gigantic biceps I built carrying it during my commute this morning.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Murphy’s Law

homemade oreosSt Patrick’s Day has always been highly regarded in my family. How could it not be? With Murphy as your surname you learned at a young age:

  • The lyrics to MacNamara’s Band
  • Everything can be dyed green with the proper amount of food coloring-even chicken salad.
  • Wearing green underwear will not win you the tiebreaker in the grade school green outfit competition if the unwritten ‘visible clothing only’ rule is applied. 

Since St. Patrick’s Day fell on a Sunday this year, I spent the better part of the week trying to decide which day(s) to celebrate. Should I make treats for work in the days leading up? Should I wait for the weekend and share them with friends? Maybe something salty for the Monday after to soothe the effect of green beer? I’d love to be able to attribute this obsession only to the annual celebration of my Irish heritage, my German half begs me to be honest with myself. Who are you kidding, Sarah, you love any excuse for a holiday.

It’s true. I do love a good holiday. Any holiday really. Better yet, any excuse to get people together to eat something and celebrate. So you can imagine my excitement when Owen reminded me that were just a few short weeks away from one of my all time faves: April Fools’ Day. Don’t get me wrong, Easter is great and all, but an April Fools’ celebration is nearly as Murphy as being Irish is.

But back to that surname. The adage known as Murphy’s Law says that anything that can go wrong will. And while I’ve heard the reference my entire life a few times, I’ve been fortunate that my Murphy has come with a good amount of luck. If a front-row parking spot is already taken when we arrive for a family dinner or at a crowded sporting event, you better believe my dad already snagged it. Murphy spot. Cardinals baseball ticket raffles Friday nights at Barrel Head? And the winner is Number 980679. Murphy win. A long wait at a local restaurant? Reservation for Murphy, please. (Ok so I’ve never actually taken another Murphy’s reservation, but if you’re in a hurry and hungry, there’s a good chance there’s one on the list!)

As I drove home this weekend for an unplanned visit, I thought I might be entering into my first Murphy’s Law experience. It seemed that our family luck was dwindling the closer we got to Sunday. I could feel the excitement for the holiday wane as we focused on surgeries and next steps, far more important than the shamrocks and sprinkles that filled my thoughts earlier in the week.

Fortunately in my family, we have an A-team of copers to adapt to nearly any situation. And I’d imagine there are a lot more families out there just like us.

My dad is a great runner. And I don’t mean the marathon-type. I mean the guy with the car who can run things back-and-forth and make sure everyone is transported to their assigned locations. My sister is a logistical guru. She’ll coordinate everyone’s schedule and make decisions faster than you can say ‘We need to deci..’ Mom is the peacemaker. She has an introspective calmness in stressful situations. Like a deer. Easily startled, but calming just to be in the presence of. The little ones in the group prove that life goes on no matter what stress you’re under. They exude happiness and joy at the points when you need them most. And me? Well I guess I try to bring optimism and light conversation. Light referring to the topic of course. Not the amount. And if that doesn’t work? Homemade Oreos. Because who doesn’t love a homemade Oreo?

homemade oreos Lucky Homemade Oreos

  • 1 1/4 C flour
  • 3/4 C cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 C sugar
  • 10 TBL unsalted butter
  • 1 large egg

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  In a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add egg. cookie dough In a large bowl whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

cocoa flour

Add dry ingredients into wet until combined. Using a cookie scoop or tablespoon, scoop 1-2 inch sections of dough. Roll into balls and place on non-stick baking mat on cool pan.

homemade oreos

Use a small glass to flatten cookies to approximately 1/4 inch thick. Note: these cookies spread. If you don’t want giganto oreos like I made use teaspoon scoop instead.

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Bake cookies for 10 minutes or until firm. They may be soft when they come out but they tend to harden when they cool. But don’t fret, thick buttercream icing will soften them up once you make sandwiches out of them. Remove from oven and place on cooling rack. homemade oreos If you are going to cut into the cookie now is the time. I used a knife but recommend a small cookie cutter. Don’t try this at home kids. And don’t wait until they are cool because they will crumble into an oreo powder you can only salvage to make a cookies n’ cream shake or blizzard. Not that that sounds tasty or anything. Butter cream Frosting

  • 1/2 C unsalted butter
  • 1/2 C Crisco
  • 3 1/2 C powdered sugar
  • 1 TBL vanilla extract
  • Green and Yellow food coloring paste

In your stand mixer, cream butter and shortening together on medium speed. Turn speed down to low, add powdered sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add vanilla. Add green and yellow food coloring until you reach the desired green color you are looking for. I used gel, but liquid will be fine as well.

green buttercream icing

Add icing to piping bag and ice flat side of cookie. Don’t worry about the edge as that will fill once you place the other cookie on top. IMG_2913 Assemble sandwiches and pass the luck on! homemade oreos Prefer the original? Recipe adapted from the Whipped Baking Blog. homemade oreos And while the cookies may have been the only indication of St. Patrick that day, we did a pretty good number disputing Murphy’s Law over the next several. It’s still early but I’d say we have the luck of the Irish, lots of prayers and a very qualified medical team to thank for it. lucky homemade oreos Luck can get you a lot of things, but I’ve come to believe a chance to simply celebrate life is enough to make every day a holiday.

St. Patty’s Sweets…

I was a little early on the St. Patrick’s Day goodies this year as my mom’s birthday fell the weekend before and I wanted to have a small treat to surprise her when she came to visit. Enter the mom-loved cake ball bite!
I’ve been practicing with my piping to create shapes to top my cake bites/cookies and with a small batch of green candy melts leftover shamrocks seemed logical. Fortunately, I think my mother is one of the few who doesn’t mind having holiday-themed treats around her birthday so it worked out well. And with a luncheon at work the day before St. Patrick’s Day, I needed little encouragement to try my hand at more piping with some shamrock cookies.
I’ve been busy this week so all I have is iPhone photos for now. Watch for another post (hopefully) with detail shots of the process. In the meantime, I bring you St. Patty’s Day sweets, made early, posted late 🙂

>An Irish Treat

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I’m always looking for excuses to bake. Lucky for me these winter-to-spring months have provided a few holidays to fulfill my quota. I usually save my oreo truffles for Christmastime, but one of my favorite blogs, bakerella, inspired me to create a St. Patrick’s Day version. I’ll add my finished product photos later. Happy St. Patty’s!
no-bake oreo balls from bakerella