03 March


Shamrock Shortbread

Shamrock Shortbread

March 17: Feast Day of St. Patrick

How lucky and blessed are those who can taste some homemade shamrock-shaped shortbread on the Feast Day of St. Patrick. He used a three-leaf clover, which grows abundantly in Ireland, to teach the pagans about the Holy Trinity—God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit—and convert them to Christianity in the fifth century. Inspired by the sweet symbolism, we baked shamrock-shaped shortbread sprinkled with green sugar crystals that sparkle like emeralds from the isle of the Irish patron saint. Honor St. Patrick and his evangelistic efforts and make Celtic-style clover cookies.

May your blessings outnumber


The shamrocks that grow,


And may trouble avoid you


Wherever you go.


~Irish Blessing

 

Recipe

(Adapted from Irish Culture and Customs)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened (we used Kerrygold brand Irish butter)
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3/4 – 1 cup sugar, granulated white
  • 2 cups flour
  • green food coloring (we used Wilton brand Leaf  Green icing color)
  • green sugar sprinkles (we used Wilton brand dark green colored sugar)

Directions

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter until fluffy. Mix in the cornstarch and sugar and blend well. Gradually mix in the flour until a cookie dough is formed.

Shamrock Shortbread

Tint with green food coloring to the desired shade. Roll the dough into a ball, place in a covered bowl and refrigerate till firm (about an hour). Divide the dough into two or three smaller pieces. Place between sheets of waxed paper. Roll each to ¼-inch thickness. Cut with shamrock-shaped cookie cutters. Place on greased baking sheet at least an inch apart. Refrigerate for 15 minutes. Re-roll the dough scraps, place between sheets of waxed paper, roll to ¼-inch thickness and refrigerate for another 15 minutes or until firm. Continue cutting out shapes and refrigerating.

Shamrock Shortbread

Sprinkle the tops of the cookies with green sugar sprinkles. Bake in a preheated oven at 275 degrees F for 30-35 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Shamrock Shortbread

Notes

  • While this shortbread recipe is tasty, we prefer other sugar cookie doughs that are easier to handle. This one requires lots of chilling time and patience in order for the cookies to hold their shape. They do spread out a little in the oven but the puffiness goes down toward the end of the baking cycle.
  • Irish butter is creamier and more yellow than the domestic one. This may have affected the dough being more moist than other recipes.
  • Add a little flour to the work surface or waxed paper so the dough does not stick too much.
  • Baking time is longer for this recipe because it has a lower heat (275 instead of 350 degrees).
  • Search our blog for other shortbread, cookies and other Irish-inspired recipes for St. Patrick’s Day. We also recommended browsing for more feast day food ideas from Catholic Cuisine.

Chicken Long Rice

Chicken Long Rice

March 13: National Chicken Noodle Soup Day

Whether found at the fanciest luau or in a humble Hawaiian home, chicken long rice is the islands’ comfort food equivalent of chicken noodle soup. Ironically, the “rice” in this dish is actually bean thread (also known as cellophane noodles for their transparency). The taste is similar to tinolang manok without the noodles. The hot gingery broth helps relieve congestion, the chicken provides protein and mushrooms are full of vitamins, making this textured noodle soup a healthy option.

For National Chicken Noodle Soup Day, try a dish with a tropical twist and make some chicken long rice. Aloha!

Recipe

Ingredients

  • 4-5 bunches of long rice
  • 5-6 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • water
  • 2 large chicken breasts
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 4-6 cups water
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 2-inch piece ginger, crushed
  • 2 cubes chicken bouillon
  • 1 stalk green onions, chopped (optional garnish)

Directions

In a large dish, pour boiling water to cover the long rice. Soak until soft, at least 30 minutes. Cut into shorter pieces. Drain before using. In a shallow dish, pour boiling water to cover the dried shiitake mushrooms. Soak until soft, at least 30 minutes. Remove from the water, squeeze out excess liquid and slice the mushrooms. Set aside.

Chicken Long Rice

While the noodles and mushrooms are being hydrated, chop the chicken and ginger. Heat the oil on medium high and sauté the garlic cloves. Add the chicken and cook until lightly browned. Pour the water to cover the chicken and bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper.

Chicken Long Rice

Lower the heat, add the bouillon cubes and ginger, cover and simmer for 30 minutes to let the flavors develop. Add the mushrooms. Gently stir in the noodles and cook on medium heat for another 10 minutes. Discard the ginger and garlic. Ladle into soup bowls. Garnish with chopped green onions. Serve hot with chopsticks and a soup spoon.

Chicken Long Rice

Notes

  • Season the broth with a tablespoon of soy sauce, oyster sauce or hot sauce (optional).
  • Search our blog for other soup recipes.

Cornflake-Macadamia Nut Cookies

Cornflake-Macadamia Nut Cookies

March 7: National Cereal Day

Whenever we are on the island of Kauai, it is mandatory to stop in at the Kauai Kookies factory store. Islander loves their cookies so much that she even considered retiring in Hanapepe! Once in a while, her family and friends back on Oahu mail care packages to us on the mainland and include a few boxes of Kauai Kookies.

When those precious cookies don’t come often enough, she resorts to baking something similar to the Kauai Kookie “Cornflake Krunch” flavor—cornflake-macadamia nut cookies. Crushed cornflake cereal is what makes them “krunchy” and the macadamia nuts add a touch of the tropics to these treats.

For a sweet snack, bake a batch of cookies made with macadamia nuts and cornflakes cereal, especially on National Cereal Day.

Recipe

(Adapted from “Flavors of Paradise Cookbook” by Pearl City Community Church)

 Ingredients

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • ¾ cup sugar, granulated white (we used C&H brand)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla (we used Hawaiian Vanilla Company brand)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoons baking soda
  • 1 cup cornflakes cereal, coarsely crushed
  • ¾ cup macadamia nut pieces (we used Mauna Loa brand)

Directions

In a large bowl, cream the butter with the sugar. Mix in the vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine the flour and baking soda. Gradually stir this mixture into the creamed butter and mix well until a cookie dough is formed.

Cornflake-Macadamia Nut Cookies

Crush the cornflakes cereal to measure one cup. Fold this into the cookie dough. Add the macadamia nut pieces. Roll out one-inch balls.

Cornflake-Macadamia Nut Cookies

Place them on a lightly greased baking sheet about two inches apart. Flatten into discs. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool completely. Yield: Approximately 3-4 dozen cookies.

Notes

  • When Islander still lived on Oahu, she would visit her godsister, Min V., in Kekaha, Kauai, on long weekends. What a wonderful coincidence that Kauai Kookie was on the way to Min’s house from the Lihue airport!!!
  • Kauai Kookie used to bake up different flavors of cookies and only offered them at the factory store or at special events (such as the Made in Hawaii Festival) where Islander would buy a bunch of bite-sized “banzai cookies” and macadamia nut tea cookies.
  • Islander once left a box of Kauai Kookies out on the dining room table and put a “kapu” on them. However, her brother could not resist and ate them all while she was taking a nap. As soon as she woke up, he immediately ran out to the store to buy replacements to avoid her wrath. To appease her, he bought more Kauai Kookies—and some especially for himself.
  • We also gift Kauai Kookies to our mainland friends after coming back from a visit to Hawaii. Share the aloha!
  • Mahalo to Mary Ann B. for sending the “Flavors of Paradise Cookbook” to Islander for her birthday. Mahalo to Lisa L. for giving us vanilla extract from the Big Island.
  • Try the recipe for macadamia nut-white chocolate chip cookies on September 4, which is National Macadamia Nut Day.
  • Search our blog for other recipes containing cereal as an ingredient.

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