Tag 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.

on missing birthdays

I don’t hate much. In fact, I’m one of those optimists that manages to see the teeny tiny glimmers of hope in generally pretty awful people even when I’m trying not to. Current exceptions being Donald Trump and fire ants but let’s get into that once both pests are no longer affecting us, shall we?

But if I had to place ‘hate’ on one thing in my life, it would be missing birthdays. A learned behavior I’m sure, I have a really tough time not physically being there for loved one’s birthdays. OK, anyone’s birthday really. I was looking at the calendar and realized that Finn may spend his 4th birthday with a dog sitter this coming July and actually felt a pang of guilt 4 months ahead of the date for goodness sake.

Birthdays are big in my family. We’ve chatted about this in previous posts (examples here and here), specifically referring to my physiological need to be present at any and all family birthdays, something I’m trying to adapt to living a few states away now. But as each day approaches, I can’t help but feel a little FOMO (fear of missing out non-millennial readers) for “missing” another birthday.

So on this sunny March 12th spring (ok, high of 82 spring) morning, my body may be out avoiding the fire ants in the garden and possibly hitting the pool this afternoon, but my heart is back in Illinois celebrating my mom’s 65th birthday.

And yes, despite the fact that stranger’s assume she’s also my dad’s daughter sometimes, she’s 65 today!

IMG_4617 wedding shower, bridal shower, babies, wedding season, spring bridal shower, champagne bar, wedding cake, save the date cookie, familywedding shower, bridal shower, babies, wedding season, spring bridal shower, champagne bar, wedding cake, save the date cookie, familyzalewski_bk_0039zalewski_bk_0148zalewski_bk_0150zalewski_bk_0268zalewski_bk_0643zalewski_bk_0236

And based on that last photo, I’m starting to think she may care that Matt’s not there a little more than me. Geesh!

So while I can’t be there to enjoy the delicious looking birthday/St. Patrick’s day themed cake that Jake picked out for mom last night, thanks to technology I was able to sing along and watch her blow out the candles from afar.

I’m blessed to have a mom that squeals with as much excitement for scone and a cup of coffee as she does for a new sweater and cookbook, the former being what you can look forward to the next time you visit.

Happy Birthday, Mom! Here’s a photo of a cake from three years ago. We love you!

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


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.

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

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.

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

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.


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 🙂