Family Festivities for St. Patrick’s Day
(Family Features) This St. Patrick’s Day, entertain your little leprechauns with delicious treats and fun activities that will lead them to their pot of gold.
Every year in March, families celebrate the annual Irish tradition of St. Patrick’s Day with a variety of celebrations. Whether it’s attending a parade or preparing and enjoying an elaborate Irish meal, everyone has their own favorite ways to celebrate the holiday. Set your own unique traditions and rituals with some ideas below.
Pass Along the Luck
Have kids put together lucky treat bags to pass along to neighbors. These treat bags could include cut-out, decorated and customized four-leaf clovers, chocolate coins and other goodies. Then, on St. Patrick’s Day, walk around as a family and surprise neighbors with these bags.
Set up a treasure hunt for family and friends by placing chocolate gold coins around the house. Give them a series of clues and riddles to help them figure out where to look for the coins. Equip each “hunter” with their own pot or basket for collecting the gold coins. At the end of the hunt, reward them for their hard work with some festive brownies. These delicious Chocolate Mint Brownies can be decorated with green gumdrops formed into shamrocks or other holiday candies. Use a shamrock-shaped cookie cutter to make these treats even more festive.
Chocolate Mint Brownies
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Start to Finish: 3 hours 25 minutes
Makes: 32 brownies
- 1 box Betty Crocker® Original Supreme brownie mix (with chocolate syrup pouch) water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on brownie mix box
- 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
- 1/4 cup whipping cream
- 1 package (3 ounces) cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 teaspoon mint extract
- 4 drops green food color
- 1/2 cup whipping cream
- 1 bag (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips (2 cups)
- 1/2 cup butter (do not use margarine)
- Heat oven to 350°F. Grease only bottom of 13 x 9-inch pan with shortening or cooking spray. Make and bake brownie mix as directed on box for 13 x 9-inch pan, using water, oil and eggs. Cool completely, about 1 hour.
- In large bowl, beat filling ingredients with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Spread over cooled brownies. Refrigerate about 1 hour or until set.
- Meanwhile, in 2-quart nonstick saucepan, heat topping ingredients over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until melted and smooth. Cool about 10 minutes or until lukewarm.
- Pour topping over filling; spread to cover. Refrigerate uncovered about 2 hours or until set. Before cutting into bars, let stand 10 minutes at room temperature. For bars, cut into 8 rows by 4 rows. For easier cutting, cut brownies with a wet knife. Store covered in refrigerator.
For more delicious baking ideas, visit www.BettyCrocker.com.
Betty Crocker® is a registered trademark of General Mills.
Source: Betty Crocker
(Family Features) Chocolates? Roses? Been there, done that. Everyone wants to make sure the special someone in their lives knows how much they care. Here are some easy and fun ways to prove that he or she is number one in your book.
Make a Playlist of “Your Songs”
Whether it was playing when you first met or is the soundtrack to your favorite movie, every couple has songs that mean something special to them. In the car, leave a CD or MP3 player stocked with your most memorable tunes as a special surprise and a suddenly-better commute.
Do the house chores. Seriously.
Fix that item you’ve been saying you would fix forever. Empty the dishwasher and clean the bathroom. When they get home, have all the chores done, that way the only thing left to do is enjoy each other’s company.
Put Pen to Paper
Hide little notes with heartfelt sentiments on the refrigerator, on the nightstand, taped to the computer screen – any place they might stumble upon it throughout a typical day. Your note might be found after a long meeting or last-minute deadline, providing a moment of reprieve and happiness during a hectic day.
Raise a Glass and Indulge – Together
Toast each other with some tasty treats. Pop some bubbly, then enjoy mixing these recipes together.
For more romantic wines and recipes, visit www.barefootwines.com.
Sweetheart Dark Chocolate Brownies
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Makes: 10+ servings
For the brownies:
- 1/2 cup butter, cut into pieces
- 4 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
For the glaze:
- 2 ounces semisweet chocolate
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- In small pot over low heat, melt 1/2 cup of butter and 4 ounces of dark chocolate together until smooth.
- Add eggs one at a time, and whisk to combine after each addition.
- Add sugar and vanilla and stir to combine.
- Add flour, cocoa powder and salt and stir until smooth.
- Transfer batter into a 9 x 9 aluminum foil lined baking pan and place it into the oven for 25 minutes and bake until done.
- While brownies are baking, melt together semisweet chocolate and 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter for the glaze. Once melted, set aside.
- When brownies are done, let them cool.
- Once cooled, drizzle glaze over brownies, and spread it on top using an offset spatula.
Barefoot Bubbly Ruby Red Bliss
Makes: 2 servings
- 3 ounces cranberry juice
- 1/2 ounce lime juice
- 6 ounces Barefoot Red Moscato Champagne
- 2 skewer cranberries for garnish
- Place chilled juices in flutes. Top with Barefoot Bubbly Red Moscato. Garnish with cranberries.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images (brownie image)
Source: Barefoot Wines