One of the most-colorful symbols of St. Patrick’s Day is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. I set out to make a cake that incorporated a little of both: the bright, bold colors of the rainbow as well as the mysterious gold at the end! This cake has a simple buttercream rainbow design complemented with gold sprinkles around the upper edge. But that is not where the fun ends — once you cut into the cake you will see three beautiful golden ombre layers!
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St. Patrick’s Day is a fun holiday to celebrate, but it’s become more socially acceptable to get drunk off of green beer and do a bar crawl than to actually sit down and enjoy some nice bar fare and a good beer. So, to break with that tradition, we asked chefs around the country to share their favorite Irish pub — no green bagels allowed.
You know those seasonal mint milkshakes that are sold at a certain fast-food joint around St. Patrick’s Day? Those can be expensive and packed with ingredients you may or may not be able to pronounce. Not ideal, right? Enter your new favorite frosty March treat.
Good news for all you V-Day procrastinators: The holiday that celebrates chocolate, floral arrangements and, you know, love is on a Sunday this year. So even if you’ve waited until now to plan a date night, you still have plenty of time to get it right. And might we suggest making your Valentine’s Day dinner extra special this year?
Here are some of our favorite dishes that take a wee bit more time and effort to complete than, say, your typical taco night. Resist the urge to scramble for a restaurant reservation, and give one of these a try instead. After all, nothing says “I love you” like a home-cooked meal.
Coq au Vin (above)
Ina Garten convincingly (and unsurprisingly) proves that this classic French dish is easy to make, but it’s not really a one-pot meal. Still, the construction is rustic and uncomplicated, simple ingredients give way to deep savory flavors, and the dish feels special as soon its name leaves your lips.
Listen, we can’t all be the best kind of significant other on Valentine’s Day. You know, the kind who plans for days, greets his or her love with roses and slaves over an open flame to cook a homemade meal. But you can do almost that (and get a whole lot of credit for it). This year, roll up your sleeves for one of these made-with-love treats for the chocoholic in your life. They’re way better than anything you’d pick up at the store.
If slicing into Ina Garten’s Brownie Tart with your love by your side isn’t the best way to spend Valentine’s Day, we don’t know what is. Dense and gooey, it’s made with only a half-cup of flour, so nothing gets in the way of the chocolate.
Whether you’re planning a romantic evening or you’ll celebrate Gal-entine’s Day (or, hey, even Guy-entine’s Day) this Feb. 14, you’ve likely got dessert on the brain. Valentine’s Day is a close second to Halloween as the patron holiday of candy, after all, and boxes of surprise-inside chocolates are everywhere by now. But if you’re not a fan of chocolate, don’t dismay. These red and pink desserts are just as appropriate (and delicious).
Heart-Shaped Cereal Treats (above)
Even if you and your significant other weren’t high-school sweethearts, re-create the joy of those simpler times with a pink spin on the dessert you might have shared at the cafeteria table.
Chocolate gets all the love on Valentine’s Day, but it’s even better as part of a couple — when it’s the right match. Here are our top picks for chocolate’s most-compatible food partners. (If we were you, chocolate, we’d swipe right for all of them.)
Chocolate + Peanut Butter
These two rich and creamy delicacies were truly meant for each other. When enrobed in milk chocolate, Food Network Kitchen’s peanut butter cookie dough (eggless and safe to eat raw!) takes on a whole new dimension. Ina Garten’s chocolate cupcakes are a perfect vehicle for fluffy peanut butter frosting, and Ree Drummond’s Chocolate-Peanut Butter Pie (pictured above) with a crunchy Oreo crust makes the case that these two should never, ever break up. Read more
Ready or not, Valentine’s Day is coming up fast — it’s this Sunday. Though your typical mode of operation might not entail much more than a dinner reservation and a trip to the florist (or, hey, even the drugstore for a last-minute box of waxy truffles), this is the year that everything is going to be different. No, we’re not charging you with the task of making a handcrafted molten chocolate lava cake, or even suggesting you make a multicourse meal. Instead, we’ve got thoughtful, unexpected and unconventional ways to show your love you care.
Skip the Sugar Rush
Stop right there! Before you reach for sugar-shock-inducing treats for the one you love, go for something less expected. We’ve got easy ideas for Non-Candy Valentine’s Day Treats that upgrade unassuming foods to giftworthy status. Plus, they work as quirky valentines for your kids as well.
The hearts, the roses, the chocolate candy … It’s tough to escape the culture of Valentine’s Day once February 1 rolls around. If, for whatever reason, you’re not embracing all things red and pink these days — and instead running away from them — this Valentine’s Day dinner is for you.
It takes just 15 minutes and five everyday ingredients to make Geoffrey Zakarian’s Spaghetti Aglio e Olio, aka spaghetti with garlic and olive oil. This fan-favorite recipe gets a boost of welcome heat from a generous pinch of red pepper flakes, while the sauce comes together in a quick saute; just use a few splashes of pasta water to create a silky sauce out of the garlic slices and oil. Go ahead and slurp up each and every noodle and revel in that garlicky flavor.
A handful of holidays require pulling out all the stops — elaborate menus, fabulous tablescapes, special gifts and wearing your good suit. And though I normally encourage playing with your food and exploring new culinary adventures, sometimes during these special times, like Valentine’s Day, a few practical tips and help from outside sources can calm the nerves, relieve the pressure, and allow you to stop and smell the roses.
I’m not trying to keep you from busting out the souffle pan, roasting rack and Chateau Lafite. If you are an ambitious domestic diva who enjoys the thrill of a party-hosting challenge, by all means, go for broke. But if not, it’s totally OK. Working within your technical and financial means with a few subtle personal touches will do the trick, especially on this heart-filled day. Here are a few creative and approachable Valentine’s Day ideas that are sure to spark a romantic “love bug” moment.
Private Party of Two