Shamrock Shake | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Shamrock Shake

Shamrock Shake | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

When I first got a car at the age of 16, it didn’t take me long to fully appreciate the many advantages this new found freedom had bestowed. Among the best perk was the ability to be able to go through the drive-thru of my favorite fast food restaurants without having to beg my parents. It was pure magic. I probably drank Shamrock Shakes from McDonald’s until I turned green myself. 

Now I live in a place that doesn’t have drive-thrus, and even though we’re practically across the street from Ireland, they don’t pay any attention to St. Patrick’s day either. They definitely don’t know the thing about pinching people who don’t wear green, which is fortunate for me because my closet has a very limited color palette. 

Shamrock Shake | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Luckily, I can make own Shamrock Shake in less time than it takes to go through the drive-thru (and yes, I do actually know how to spell through). To no one’s astonishment, all we have to do is add a splash of peppermint extract to a vanilla milkshake, then turn it green with some food coloring. And we can actually go one step further than McDonald’s ever will by adding whipped cream and sprinkles. 

So stay home, get out your blender, and don’t forget to wear green this St. Patrick’s Day. Or just drink green. That counts, too, right?

Shamrock Shake
Serves 1
Avoid the drive-thru, and make yourself a minty Shamrock Shake at home this year.
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Prep Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups vanilla ice cream
  2. 1/2 to 1 cup milk
  3. 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
  4. 4 to 6 drops green food coloring
  5. Whipped cream and sprinkles, optional
Instructions
  1. Combine ice cream, milk, peppermint extract and green food coloring in a blender and mix until smooth. Pour into a glass and top with whipped cream and sprinkles.
Notes
  1. Please don't measure this, just add and blend until the milkshake is the consistency you love.
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Awesome in February

Awesome in February

Awesome in February

February went down in a vortex of overtime, non-stop Olympic viewing, illness, and a big fat pile of snow. My job ranged from ultra-glam (for work) video projects to muddy days outside in the snow with teenagers showing true resilience while I cowered in the car trying not to get pneumonia. I had been reading about all the American bloggers getting struck down with nasty colds and flu and was feeling so lucky to still be holding onto health until last Saturday when I was knocked over by a bad cold myself. Still waiting on recovery. 

I finally saw Coco, and it was absolutely darling. I’m on a slow slog through the Alexander Hamilton biography. It’s interesting, but it always takes me ages to finish non-fiction books. I’m also a little over halfway through season 1 of The Handmaid’s Tale which is completely amazing but differs from the book quite a bit. I haven’t yet decided how I feel about that. I guess I just feel this is one case where it’s super important to read the source material if you haven’t already. Margaret Atwood is such a genius, there’s no excuse not to.

Some of the most memorable moments from the Olympics were Shaun White winning a truly triumphant third gold medal, the Shib Sibs pouring their beautifully synchronized hearts out on the ice in the long dance, and the legendary BBC commentary in the freestyle snowboarding and skiing, capped off by a bronze medal win for Team GB’s Billy Morgan in the men’s big air competition . 

All that time in front of the TV gave me plenty of opportunities to catch up on my favorite food blogs. Somebody please throw a party so I can bring this gorgeous Lemon Sheet Cake from How Sweet It Is. 

I wish I had stockpiled the ingredients for this Cacio e Pepe Macaroni and Cheese. It looks like a perfect snow day feast. 

I sadly missed out on a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party with this stupid cold. How perfect would these Funfetti Chip Scones been for just such an occasion? 

Double Chocolate Muffins | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

Your favorite recipes this month were Double Chocolate Muffins, Passion Fruit Green Tea, and Chicken Parmesan. As always, your taste is impeccable. 

March is introducing itself with a red weather warning that’s already been deemed a second snow day. As happy as I am to have some extra time to recover from my illness, I’m holding out hopes for a hint of sunshine in the near future, even if I have to create it myself. Don’t forget to be awesome, kids.

BBQ Pulled Pork Stovetop Mac & Cheese | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

BBQ Pulled Pork Stovetop Mac & Cheese

BBQ Pulled Pork Stovetop Mac & Cheese | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

For the past week I’ve been living the Olympic dream. I’ve been carefully honing my time management technique and training hard on my fast forwarding skills to get through about 16 hours of BBC Olympic coverage every day. At the halfway point, I’m all caught up, and I’ve taken in all the Olympic glory. I’m ready to go for the gold in week two.

My favorite is always the figure skating, and I don’t care how many time he falls down, Patrick Chan of Canada is absolutely exquisite. His performance is masterful and draws me right in. I did also love the two Japanese men. They were the perfect contrast of earth and air. Hanyu was light and ethereal while Uno is supremely grounded and powerful.  Who was your favorite on the ice?

BBQ Pulled Pork Stovetop Mac & Cheese | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

While I watch athletes at peak physical form, I am perfecting my butt groove in my couch and eating food that almost certainly would not be allowed in the Olympic village. A prime example is this BBQ Pulled Pork Stovetop Mac & Cheese. Al dente pasta is loaded up with masses of cheese and complimented with salty, sweet, and spicy pulled pork. It’s a real winner.

This dish is a great way to use up leftover pulled pork if you’d made your own, but it’s certainly not necessary. I used store bought pulled pork, or you could pick up a takeaway portion from your favorite smokehouse. Being a stovetop mac, this dish won’t dry out and the cheese stays super silky. Stir in as much of your favorite BBQ sauce as you like. 

BBQ Pulled Pork Stovetop Mac & Cheese | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I will never be an Olympic champion, and I certainly don’t want to eat like an elite athlete, but I feel like a star when I serve something as awesome as BBQ Pulled Pork Stovetop Mac & Cheese. You’ve got to try it.

BBQ Pulled Pork Stovetop Mac & Cheese

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces short pasta
  • 1/2 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 tablespoon flour
  • 3/4 cup milk (I used skim and it was plenty rich)
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 4 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
  • 4 ounces shredded swiss cheese
  • 1 ounce grated parmesan cheese
  • 4 ounces pulled pork
  • 1/8 cup barbecue sauce

Instructions

  1. Boil pasta in plenty of salted water according to package instructions.
  2. In a medium sauce pan, melt butter, then sprinkle the flour over it. Whisk butter and flour together into a paste and allow to cook for a couple of minutes until it smells nutty.
  3. Slowly whisk in the milk. Try to prevent lumps. Add garlic powder and cayenne. Let it thicken until it just starts to bubble.
  4. Stir in the cheese and mix until smooth. Remove from heat.
  5. Stir pulled pork and barbecue sauce together in a small bowl.
  6. After you've drained your pasta, return it to the pot. Pour over the cheese sauce and stir to combine. Fold in pulled pork mixture. You can add pepper if you like, but taste it before adding any salt. You may not need it since the pork is so salty.
  7. Drizzle on some extra barbecue sauce at the end if you like.
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