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Green eggs and roll-ups

Getting festive for St. Patrick’s Day

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Here comes the parade, just in time for St. Patrick’s Day. Partiers will be looking for food and green beer.

I don’t know where the green beer is, but we have plenty of food for the celebration. Make some green eggs, along with reuben roll-ups, and a few other surprises that will delight the jolly Irishmen.

The reuben roll-ups got their name because they have everything the reuben has – all rolled up in crunchy pizza dough. They are a lot more fun than the sandwiches.

And who doesn’t love green eggs?

Reuben roll-ups

Yield: 6 to 8 roll-ups

Prep/total time: 30 minutes

1 tube refrigerated pizza crust

1 cup sauerkraut, (very!) well drained

1 tablespoon Thousand Island salad dressing

8 slices corned beef

8 slices Swiss cheese

Roll dough into a 12-by-9-inch rectangle. Cut into eight 3-by-4 1/2-inch rectangles. Combine sauerkraut and salad dressing. Place a slice of beef on each rectangle. You might have to fold the beef and the cheese. Top with about 2 tablespoons of the sauerkraut mixture and a slice of cheese. Roll up.

Place seam side down on a greased baking sheet. Bake at 425 degrees for 12 to 14 minutes or until golden. Provide bowls of Thousand Island dressing for dipping.

Nutritional Facts: 1 serving (1 each) equals 234 calories, 8 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 36 mg cholesterol, 959 mg sodium, 25 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 14 g protein.

–Originally published as Reuben Roll-ups in Taste of Home February/March 1998.

Green eggs

Prep: 15 minutes

Cook: 15 minutes

Ready in: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Yield: 24 halves

Place eggs in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, remove from heat, and let eggs stand, with the lid on, in the hot water, for 17 minutes. Remove from hot water and chill at least 30 minutes or until eggs are cold.

Prepare green egg dye according to package directions, in a large metal or glass bowl. Gently crack eggs, but do not remove shells at this point, because you don’t want the dye to reach the egg whites.

Place the cracked hard-cooked eggs into the dye, working in batches if necessary, until dye seeps through the cracks and colors the eggs slightly, about 5 minutes per batch.

Rinse eggs and peel to expose the green marbled color. Slice eggs in half lengthwise. Scoop egg yolks into a bowl, and mash with the mayonnaise, and green food coloring, using a fork. Add the following to the egg yolks mixture and mix gently. 

1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes

½ teaspoon dill weed

½ teaspoon minced (very fine) celery, optional

½ teaspoon ground mustard

¼ teaspoon paprika

Salt and pepper

Spoon the yolk mixture back into the egg halves; top each egg half with a parsley leaf.

Sprinkle with a little extra paprika, if desired. Refrigerate until serving.

1 stuffed egg-half equals 73 calories, 6 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 108 mg cholesterol, 81 mg sodium, trace carbohydrate, trace fiber, 3 g protein.

Green ombre cake

A colorful triple-layer cake for your St. Patrick’s Day celebrations – a layer cake in multiple hues of green.

Makes 12 servings.

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 35 minutes

1 package white cake mix

2 teaspoons McCormick pure vanilla extract

McCormick green food color

Frosting:

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

2 teaspoons McCormick pure vanilla extract

1 package (16 ounces) confectioners’ sugar

2 tablespoons milk

Prepare cake mix as directed on package, using whole eggs. Stir in vanilla. Divide batter evenly into 3 bowls. Stir 50 drops (about 1/2 teaspoon) food color into one of the bowls, tinting batter dark green. Stir 15 drops food color into another of the bowls, tinting batter medium green. Stir 2 drops food color into last of the bowls, tinting batter light green. 

Color guide for frosting

1/4 teaspoon food color = 20 to 25 drops 

Pour each bowl of batter into a greased and floured 8-inch round cake pan.

Bake as directed on package. Cool cakes on wire rack. 

For the frosting, beat butter and vanilla in large bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually add confectioners’ sugar, beating well after each addition and frequently scraping sides abottom of bowl. Add milk; beat until light and fluffy. Place dark-green cake layer on serving plate. Spread with 1/3 cup of frosting. Top with medium-green cake layer. Spread with 1/3 cup of frosting. Top with light-green cake layer. Frost top and sides of cake with remaining frosting.

BLT rollers

A quick snack or a light lunch: A tortilla version of the bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich. All the elements of the classic, all rolled into one, and cut into bite-size pieces. Eat on the run. Try this on a spinach tortilla.

4 ounces (1/2 package) cream cheese, softened to room temperature

1/4 cup real mayonnaise

8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

1/2 cup chopped tomatoes

2 flour tortillas (8-inch)

1/2 cup shredded lettuce

Mix cream cheese and mayo in medium-size bowl. Add bacon and tomatoes; mix well.

Spread onto tortillas; top with lettuce. Roll up tightly.

Cut each into 7 diagonal slices.

Bragging rights!

If you are in the mood to put something in the pot and leave it all day, and coming home to a delicious fully cooked dinner, you might want to try one of the new seasoning packets. I have tried a couple and they are very close to what you make at home. It takes about 10 minutes flat to get the pot ready with one of these packets and a slow cooker. If you are cooking your first family holiday dinner for St. Patrick’s Day and are a little unsure of yourself, no one will ever know the difference if you destroy the tell-tale bag. The packet will supply all the seasonings and provide directions.

I always prefer to make my own meals from scratch, especially on the holidays. 

There is just something about those bragging rights I love!

Tip of the week

Buy white and brown eggs alternately, and you will always know which eggs in the refrigerator are the oldest.

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