As you can see from the title of this post, we have a lot to cover today, so let’s just dive right in.
When it comes to holidays, I’ve never found one that I don’t enjoy. Halloween is a sweet-lovin’ bakers’ dream, Christmas is usually accompanied by the acceptance that it’s okay to gain 15 pounds of sweet treat weight and Valentine’s Day is synonymous with chocolate bingeing.
However, for the past 9 years, St. Patrick’s Day has always been high on my list of favorite holidays. I lived in two cities (NYC and Chicago) that celebrated St. Patty’s day in a big way. Surprisingly, Chicago’s festivities actually seemed bigger than NYC’s celebrations. Any town that dyes an entire river green for one holiday clearly takes it seriously…
It is entirely possible that St. Patrick’s day seemed liked a bigger deal when I lived in Chicago, because I was in my early 20′s, and nothing made me happier than drinking green beer at 9am, eating greasy foods and running around with my tipsy friends all day.
Oh yeah – look at that festive little girl dressed in green, sporting a green tongue and getting drunk off a spiked Big Gulp without a care in the world. Ahhh, the innocence of youth. When I lived in NYC, I still celebrated St. Patty’s day, but certainly not with the reckless abandonment of my Chicago days.
Alas, I digress. From my minimal research, it doesn’t appear that Omaha is quite as enthusiastic about this institutional holiday as my former cities. The good news is that I’m now older and more mature, so I don’t need to throw back a bunch of Guinness to celebrate St. Patrick’s day.
Nope, instead I’ll just bake up green pistachio cupcakes, smother them in homemade marshmallow frosting and top them off with Lucky Charms.
Because that is clearly a more grown-up thing to do.
- 1 Box Betty Crocker Rainbow Chip Cake Mix (any white or yellow cake mix will do)
- 3/4 cup egg substitute
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 package sugar free pistachio pudding
- green food coloring
- 1 15 oz tub lowfat whipped butter
- 1 13 oz tub marshmallow cream
- 1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- green food coloring
- Green sprinkles and Lucky Charms Marshmallows
- Heat oven to 350°F. Place paper baking cup in each of 24 regular-size muffin cups.
- Mix egg substitute and unsweetened applesauce into cake mix as directed. Once fully incorporated, add in pudding mix and green food coloring until mixture reaches desired color. Bake as directed.
- While cupcakes cool, make the frosting: In a large mixing bowl, beat butter until it is creamy. Beat in about 1/4 cup of the sugar until the mixture becomes fluffy and repeat with the remaining sugar. Beat in the vanilla and the marshmallow cream until well blended.
- Once cupcakes have cooled, top with festive decorations!
Brody helped me decorate my little baked delights, and I must say, he did a fabulous job. He was fascinated by Lucky Charms, because he had never seen them before. As I nervously watched him frost the cupcakes in Becca’s clean house, I started to understand what my mother must feel like when she watches me run a muck in the kitchen.
I anxiously stood by with a wet paper towel in my hand, while the frosting and sprinkles went everywhere. As he frosted away, blissfully unaware of the fact that it was going everywhere but the cupcake, Brody asked me, “Hey Jamie, why are you so messy?”
Dear Brody’s parents – I am sorry for introducing your child to sugary cereal and messiness.
Even if you’re not under the age of 5, serving up these cupcakes will certainly evoke the carefree days of your youthful years.
The pudding makes the cupcake a little more moist, and the frosting is creamy with a hint of marshmallow. And the best part? Both are healthified!
The frosting received the seal of approval from two very important critics: Brody and my mother. My mother is a frosting bandit and has been known to eat half of the frosting off a cake in one sitting. So, if she approves, that means it’s good.
The cupcakes would pair well with any green beer, Guinness, etc…whatever you’re planning for your St. Patty’s day festivities.
Or, you could serve ‘em up with a Skinny Shamrock Shake. But, that’s just crazy talk!
- 2 cup fat free vanilla frozen yogurt or ice cream
- 1 1/2 cup Vanilla Almond Milk
- 1 avocado
- 1 package Stevia or other sweetener
- 1/4 tsp peppermint extract (or mint extract)
- 1/2 cup green mint baking chips
- 1 cup crushed ice
- 5 drops green food coloring
- whipped cream (optional)
- Pour the frozen yogurt, milk, avocado, sweetener, extract, baking chips, ice and food coloring into blender.
- Blend on high speed until smooth.
- Pour into festive glass and top with generous amounts of whipped cream and mint chips!
I know there are quite a lot of Skinny Shamrock shakes out there these days, but here are two reasons my shake is special: 1) The avocado – it makes the shake even smoother and greener + adds a whole bunch of nutrients 2) the green mint baking chips – the blender chops them up, and you can taste one in every single sip!
The biggest fan of our shakes? Becca’s husband! And he had the green teeth to prove it
I’m not sure whether or not I’ll be “going big” this year for St. Patrick’s day, but times have changed, and I would be more than happy to celebrate with an ice cold Skinny Shamrock Shake and Pistachio Lucky Charm Cupcake!
However, whether you’re upping that calorie intake with booze or cupcakes, it’s always Sometimes Healthy to fit in a quality workout before any big holiday. I couldn’t help but picture a jumping leprechaun as I created this workout, so it contains a lots of fun cardio movements intermixed with strength circuits.
I’ve been feeling the pyramid circuits these days, because I think these circuits really fly by!
So, whether you are celebrating this Saturday or on Monday (the actual holiday) before you guzzle that beer or Skinny Shamrock Shake, be sure to bust out this fun full body workout!
Finally, I couldn’t write an entire post on St. Patrick’s Day without mentioning my friend Michelle, who is lucky enough to be married to an actual Irish man (you know, born/raised in Ireland). Check out her post on Irish breakfast traditions if you’re really looking to do it right on St. Patty’s day this year.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day (and National Pi Day) to all!
What’s your favorite holiday of all time? Christmas…even though I’m Jewish.
How do you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? With booze, sweets and greasy food…like most holidays.
Did you eat Lucky Charms when you were little? Nope, but I wish I had!
Feel free to share you favorite St. Patty’s day recipe in the comments section!