Saturday, March 17, 2012

Why You Love Ireland (Bacon)

There are so many reasons to love my gene pool, really. Today, all of you have to admit that we Irish types are really the cat's pajamas in every conceivable way. Even if you only admit it after two green beers.

But there's one reason in particular that you should all love all the red or dark haired, feisty, funny, poetic, sarcastic party-hardy potato farmers in your life even more than you THOUGHT you did.



Here's the deal. St. Patrick, God rest his soul, is our saint for today's Saint's Day. For more than 1,000 years, my people have celebrated this day like good Catholics (or in my case, Lutherans), under the vegetarian restrictions of Lent. BUT, because St. Patrick was SO important, what with the snake issue and all, the Lenten rules were lifted for this day, and Irish people ate cabbage and blessed, blessed bacon.

I'm not gonna lie, I do have a suspicion that one of the reasons that St. Patrick was so revered by my homies is because it was a day of BACON in the midst of Lenten deprivation. Try to find fault with that logic.

I apologize to Ireland for breaking this story, but since I just read this book, I now know that lying, and believing lies, kills people, so I'm obligated to tell the smoky, crispy, delicious truth about ba- er, St. Patrick.

Maybe because I unearthed this truth, I had some bad luck with my St. Patrick's Day card. Or wait - I had some GOOD luck. I made a card that I was sort of happy with and I took a picture of it. But I wasn't REALLY happy of it, and it certainly wasn't bacon-worthy.

But then - like magic - it happened. I saw this card and that led me to this blog where I saw a technique I loved! I ripped my clover off my first attempt and used it with this fun sponging and masking technique for a nice, festive monochromatic card.

Stamps: Happy St. Patrick's Day Ink: Basic Black, Lucky Limeade Paper: Whisper White, Silver Glimmer Paper Accessories: Star Punch, Hearts Framelits, Stampin' Sponge

And yes, it's a four leaf clover, not a shamrock. And that's not because I'm not feeling St. Patricksy - it's because I didn't feel like making a stem, honestly.

First I cut four hearts with my Framelits die, and then I embossed the next smaller heart framelit into each of those. I LOVE embossing with the Framelits!

To make the green gradient, I just masked off a stripe with my big Post-It notes, using my grid paper as a guide to keep them straight. For the first stripe, I sponged a lot of Lucky Limeade. Then I masked a second stripe - hint - overlap them a bit so you don't get white space between  - and sponged a bit less ink. Repeat with a third and less ink. So fun. So easy.

Now, tonight I will be making my traditional, delicious Irish stew. I'd love to share the recipe with you, but I've never written it down, because it just comes out of my soul and into the bread bowls :).

But I do have a recipe for you today. I tried this last night and it's AMAZING. If you have a gluten allergy, this recipe is gluten free. It's Quinoa Mac & Cheese, and yes, of course I found it on Pinterest.

The original recipe is here, but of course I made a lot of mods.

Here's my recipe:

1.5 C. Quinoa, rinsed thoroughly
3C. chicken broth
2 green onions, diced finely, without the whitest parts
1.5 tsp salt (I like Real Salt - it really tastes amazing - try it on a baked potato)
2 C. grated extra sharp cheddar cheese (this is what I used)
Black pepper to taste
Olive Oil (This is my current fave - met the owner at Central Market)
1 C. half and half
2 large eggs
Panko breadcrumbs

Put a bit of olive oil in your saucepan, add quinoa and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, reduce to low heat and cover. Cook for 20 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed and quinoa is fluffy and tender, like rice.Whisk eggs and cream together in a large bowl. Add cheddar, salt, pepper and onions and mix well. Add quinoa and stir until blended. Butter a 13 x 9 dish and pour mixture into dish. Top with panko. Bake at 350 for 35 minutes or until heated through. 

It was so completely amazing it almost brought a tear to my eye. 

You know what would have made it better? Bacon. 

God bless my people. And speaking of blessing, here's an Irish one for you..

“May God grant you always...
A sunbeam to warm you, 
A moonbeam to charm you, 
A sheltering Angel so nothing can harm you. 
Laughter to cheer you. 
Faithful friends near you. 
And whenever you pray,
 Heaven to hear you.”



  1. Well, well, well. First, I have that stripey technique in my DO THIS RIGHT NOW file, and I have that Mac & Cheeze recipe already bookmarked. I've even already bought the Panko. :D WIN!

    I love that embossing thang you did. Are you gonna show us how to do that? :)

  2. Oh my heavens to Betsy! I am loving this card and technique. The story was great as well. I can't wait to pull out some seam binding tape and do this gradient technique!

  3. Thanks for letting us share a wee bit o' your heritage today, lass! The ca rd is lovely, and I'm thrilled to know my scrutinizing Mac and cheese friend approves heartily of this recipe!!

  4. Well, you really made my St. Pat's hangover so much better this morning. First with the chuckles at your post and then to uncover the surprise link to my work and Heather's. Thanks for being Irish and a blessing!

  5. Faith and Begorrah!!!! And what an Irish-y day this Irish family had! NOT! LOL Hard to do while traveling! However I DID wear my PINK and green Irish shirt!!! ;)

    And oh my I LUV that card with that fabulous stripey technique!! Gotta try that!!!

    Now I'll leave you with an Irish Toast....from the Murphy's.....

    "May the hinges of our friendship never grow rusty!"

  6. Absolutely twins! I saw the same card and went to the same blog yesterday. Love 'em both, and your card too!

  7. Curiouser and curiouser...for some reason, I'm craving a BLT sandwich. Lovely card...... *smile*


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