Monday, March 14, 2011

Kathleen’s 3rd Annual St. Patrick’s Day Blog Crawl

Wouldn’t dare miss this annual blog crawl since I have Irish heritage from both my Dad & Mom.  More importantly my friend, Kathleen, is so gracious to host this every year.  Make sure you stop by Cuisine Kathleen and check out all the links.  


When I see this little saying I automatically think of my nieces..YES, that means Jill, Katie, Abby, Jessie, Shelly, Sarah, Amy & Gina.

My favorite St. Patty's drink.. A grasshopper


Now for the treats ...


Chocolate Mint Irish Cream Cheesecake

Adapted from BHG


1-1/2  cups  finely crushed chocolate wafers, chocolate graham crackers or chocolate Teddy Grahams*

6  tablespoons  butter, melted*

1/2  teaspoon  ground cinnamon

3  8-ounce packages  cream cheese, softened room temperature

1  8-ounce carton  dairy sour cream

1  cup  sugar

1  8-ounce package  semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled

3    eggs

1-2 tablespoons cornstarch

1/2  cup Baileys Irish cream Chocolate Mint liqueur

2  tablespoons  whipping cream or milk

2  teaspoons  vanilla


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. For crust: In a medium bowl, combine crushed chocolate wafers, melted butter, and cinnamon; toss gently to mix. Press mixture onto the bottom and up the side of a 9- or 10-inch springform pan. Set aside.

2. For filling: In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, and melted chocolate. Beat with an electric mixer on medium to high speed until smooth. Using a wooden spoon, stir in eggs just until combined. Stir in cornstarch, liqueur, whipping cream or milk, and vanilla.

3. Pour filling into the crust-lined pan. Place springform pan in shallow baking pan. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until center appears nearly set when gently shaken.

4. Cool in springform pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Using a small sharp knife, loosen from side of pan. Cool for 30 minutes more. Remove side of springform pan. Cool for 1 hour. Cover and chill for at least 6 hours or up to 24 hours. Makes 16 servings.

5. *Note: If using a 10-inch springform pan, use 1-3/4 cups crushed chocolate wafers (about 21 cookies) and 7 tablespoons butter, melted, for the crust.


Adding 1 to 2 tablespoons of cornstarch into the mix is also a great idea to help prevent cracking.  Cornstarch is also coagulant.  That is a substance that causes a liquid to change into a thickened mass.  This is why Junior's and many other high-end cheesecake makers use it in their cheesecake recipes.


This was so good and so rich!!  It really needs the whipped cream on top or a raspberry sauce would be great also on the side!  Have to tell you the truth... the reason I initially put the whipped cream on top was to camaflouge a large 'crack' on the top (I even had it in a water bath).  Sending most of this home with my DIL, Carrie, who celebrated her birthday yesterday.  The rest I will take to the office since my boss is a dedicated chocoholic.


A very simple and quick dessert


“Lucky You" Mint Pie

      Very Best Baking

  • 1 cup (6 oz.) Nestles Semi-Sweet Mini Morsels

  • 1 can (12 fl. oz.) Evaporated Milk

  • 1 tablespoon butter

  • 1 prepared 9-inch (6 oz.) chocolate crumb crust

  • 1 package (3.4 oz.) vanilla instant pudding and pie filling mix

  • 1/3 cup water

  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract

  • 3 to 4 drops green food coloring

  • 1 container (8 oz.) frozen whipped topping, thawed, divided

  • Additional Mini morsels, fresh mint sprigs (optional)

    MICROWAVE 1 cup morsels and 1/3 cup evaporated milk in medium, uncovered, microwave-safe bowl on HIGH (100%) power for 45 seconds; stir until smooth. Stir in butter; pour into crust. Refrigerate for 20 minutes or until cool to the touch.

    MEANWHILE, BEAT remaining evaporated milk, pudding mix, water, peppermint extract and 3 drops food coloring in medium bowl until combined. Gently stir in 2 cups whipped topping and additional drop of food coloring, if desired. Spoon over chocolate layer.

    REFRIGERATE for 2 hours or until set. Sprinkle with additional morsels. Spoon remaining whipped topping in center of pie. Garnish with fresh mint. 


Last but not least….

I HAD to try Kathleen’s soda bread.  Now keep in mind I never make bread of any kind, except maybe banana bread.  Had no idea if I was doing it right, what the consistency was supposed to be, NADA, NOTHING to go on!  I left out the raisins since they are not a favorite of mine.



Irish Soda Bread 

Kathleen’s Recipe

 4 C flour

1 t salt

4 t baking powder

1 t baking soda

3/4 C sugar

2 t caraway seed

1 C raisins

1 egg

1 t vanilla

2 C buttermilk

1/4 stick of soft butter

Sift dry ingredients. Mix in the seeds and raisins. Add buttermilk and vanilla and mix.

Add beaten eggs and soft butter, mix

Put into 2 greased loaf pans, or 1 10 in round. Slit the top with a knife.

Bake at 350 about 30 to 35 for loaf pans, 50 for round.

Brush with butter or milk 10 min before removing from oven.

Check center to see if done, do no over bake..

I made one round loaf on Silpat and one loaf…they may look a little crude but…I was really surprised at the taste.  I actually like the caraway flavor.  My friend Sue and her hubby just left taking the balance of the round loaf and three pieces of the cheesecake!  Sue made the comment her Mom always used to put caraway seeds on pork chops when she was growing up.

As any GOOD Irish family, we have our own Kathleen’s …My Dad’s little sister Kathleen I never met, she died at the age of 14 from a ruptured appendix.  This is a school photo taken in 1932…


She’ll probably kill me for this – but our other Kathleen is my niece who goes by ‘Katie’,  isn’t she a cutie and a beauty!!  She is actually the namesake for the Kathleen above.


Thank you Kathleen for hosting this ‘crawl’, and anxious to check out everyone’s links!  I'm also joining in on JanMary's St Patricks Day Carnival - check out all the great links here also!

Thanks For Stopping By….. 


Suzy said...

You always make the best looking desserts! I think you should go into the pie business. They both look and sound amazing. That chocolate cheese cake looks really decadent. The picture of your Aunt Kathleen is so cute. So sad to have lost her at such a young ago. Your niece is a beauty!

Carol said...

Somehow I think that saying applies to you as well, Barb! The pies look so good, save me a slice, will you?!
Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Queenie said...

Yummy! Thanks for the recipes :)
Happy St. Patrick's Day to you...
Big hugs,

Karen said...

Oh, the cheesecake and pie look absolutely lovely! I've never had soda bread - going to have to make some!

Alycia Nichols said...

Hi there! Thanks for stopping by my blog earlier today! Much appreciated! Like you, I am not a big breadmaker with the exception of banana nut bread. You've given me hope, though, that I, too, might be able to make Irish soda bread. I've loved it when I ate it at other people's homes, but I was just too chicken to try it on my own. Yours looks beautiful. The round is so smooth and pretty! Thanks for the inspiration...I just may give it a whirl! Have a wonderful and safe celebration!

Marigene said...

Barb, your cheesecake looks delicious. Anything with chocolate is a favorite with me.

Babs said...

Oh, the cheesecake and pie look heavenly and the soda bread looks especially delicious. Thanks for all the recipes. I'm going to try one of these for St. Pat's... maybe two.

Barbara said...

You went all out for Kathleen's blog crawl! I only did one measly recipe! I am in love with your pie, btw!

ellen b. said...

Oh my you really shared a lot of goodies with us. Love that saying, too! I'm making some corned beef and cabbage on Thursday...

Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

Your desserts look amazing! I'd love to try to make the cheesecake:@)

Kathleen said...

Wow, those are great recipes! I would like some of each!
Thanks for trying the Soda bread. I killed many a bird trying to get it the way we liked it. Some make it like dry crumbles!
Thanks for taking time to do so much. And thanks for the card!
Happy SPD my Irish friend!

Sue (Someone's Mom) said...

Oh my...I haven't eaten yet and now I just want to skip to dessert! Everything looks so good! I do think my Annalee and yours could be friends. I only have 1 for St. Pat's...but I have quite a few Christmas Annalee's. I only get them out every few years, but I still love them!

Stephanie ~ Angelic Accents said...

What a lovely blog you have! And no telling how much weight I gained just looking at your yummy food!

Thanks so much for visiting my blog and for your kind comment! Please visit again often!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Big TX Hugs,
Angelic Accents

laurie @ bargain hunting said...

Your blog looks so pretty in all of its Irish decor ~ love your header. That "Irish eyes are smiling" quote is soo fun! The desserts have made my mouth water, and I think I gained weight looking at them! if I'm going to gain weight, I at least want to eat those yummy treats, so I'm copying your recipes. Thank you for sharing. Your niece, Kathleen, is beautiful! laurie

Debbie said...

Barb, your Aunt Kathleen must be smiling that you included her in your post. And niece Kathleen is beautiful. Love the "Irish eyes are smiling" quote! Please pass the cheesecake...I can only imagine how decadent it is!

Diann said...

Oh, that cheesecake looks and sounds so good! And your photo is tempting! I hope you have a wonderul St. Patrick's Day!

Maggie said...

Wow, what a scrumptious looking cheesecake, I'm sure I gained just looking at the wonderful pix!
Charlie & Scout are so good looking, did you meet our new German Shepherd puppy, Fleur when you visited Normandy Life earlier today?
She's a sweetie.

JanMary @ said...

Happy St Patrick's Day from Ireland!

Those recipes look delicious, thanks for joining in the Janmary St Patrick's Day Blogging Carnival :)

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

Gorgeous looking desserts, Barb! Oh my gosh, the chocolate mint cheesecake sounds wonderful! I remember that cute grasshopper photo :) I still haven't tried making Kathleen's soda bread - congratulations to you for trying it.

How sad about your Aunt Kathleen to die so young.

Yes, your niece, Kathleen is a cutie ;) Beautiful hair!

Carol at Serendipity said...

Thank you for stopping by! Your desserts are wonderful. I made the soda bread with raisins and no caraway seeds. We do like raisins but I think I will add caraway seeds next time too.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!


Rettabug said...

Oh had me at the "Chocolate Mint Irish Cream Cheesecake"....totally awesome looking & sounding, too. Yummo!

Your little herb garden has reminded me that I have seeds to get started. I feel like I'm so behind on everything. This vacation really set me back.

Thanks for popping by & Happy St. Patrick's Day to ya'

Kammy said...

Yummo recipes and neat family history ! Make sure to wear green
today - so you don't get pinched !
Hugs from Colorado,

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

WOW! Your cheesecake and "Lucky You" mint pie look so professional as if thye came from a bakery...what a wonderful job you did in making them!

Everyone's recipe for Irish Soda bread is just a little but different but I'm sure all atse good. I made two loaves and they were gone in one day as my Mom and daughter took home all the leftovers.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Willow said...

So many recipes that sounds good. I am going to copy them down and give them a try soon. Thank you.