St. Patty's and College Hoops!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Mine started off in a manner that would make any Irishman proud, with booze before 10 a.m.

…inside Jessica’s double chocolate Irish coffee cookies, that is:

AKA lots and lots of Bailey’s inside. Don’t worry it cooked off, but I made a major mistake of licking all the spoons while making the dough. Yikes, that was strong haha.

They were a hit with my coworkers, who all seemed skeptical about eating Bailey’s-laden cookies in the workplace. It was also my first “holiday” at work, and wasn’t sure how wearing green would be perceived on St. Patty’s Day in the baseball world. Luckily, everyone else is just as dorky as the rest of the world and I got high fives and praises for wearing my green today. I’ll take it.

I guess this post is turning into a bit of a blogger round-up, because I continued my trek through vegetarian eating with Elizabeth’s cranberry and apple quinoa salad (via Angela) for lunch yesterday. I made a few tweaks myself, but enjoyed it immensely!

What really made this was cooking the apples in vanilla extract! I could smell it through my entire house. Then added to it, by toasting coconut in the same exact pan. Holy deliciousness. And oh yeah, I switched sweet potatoes (I’m obsessed, I realize) for carrots and threw in some spinach to make it more green and lunch-friendly.

And then finished off the day with a little Mexican. I haven’t really eaten much vegetarian Mexican food, but I found this neat recipe for a Mexican casserole and it seemed easy enough. So I ran with it. It was delicious, flavorful and super, super easy! It would also be pretty tasty if you opted to throw some meat in there ;) Margarita NOT optional, well, unless you’re underage.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 can corn
  • 1/2 can black beans
  • 1 c tomato salsa
  • 1 can seasoned Rotel tomatoes (and the juice)
  • 4 c shredded Mexican cheese blend, divided by 2 cups
  • 1/2 diced Bell pepper
  • 1 1/2 c cooked rice
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 c sliced olives
  • Taco sauce for seasoning
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning

Directions:

Like I said, this is super easy! Basically preheat the oven to 350° and chop all your veggies while cooking the rice. Then stir everything but two cups of cheese into a big bowl and mix well. Season according to how spicy you want it. Then fill a greased casserole dish with the mixed ingredients and top with the remaining two cups of cheese. Or in my case, omit olives and save for half of the dish, to accommodate to the tastes of those who don’t like olives… Finally, cook 30-35 minutes or until bubbly.

I devoured mine with chips and a margarita. And was too full for a second serving, much less than a second cookie.

This afternoon I scooped up some Mexican leftovers for lunch and now I’m preparing to watch my UC Santa Barbara Gauchos take on Florida in the NCAA March Madness college basketball tournament!!!!! It kind of broke my heart not to pick them to advance in the tournament for the bracket I filled out at work this morning. We’re having a little office rivalry going on, over who has the best picks. Funny, I worked in collegiate athletics in my last job so I wasn’t ever able to bet on sports. Now, I just don’t see the need to, since I’m so overwhelmed with sports in my professional life :) But I filled out my (first, shockingly) bracket this morning:

Yup, I have Kansas taking Duke in the final by a score of 78-72. You can see how I did with the up-to-the-minute results bracket here. As of 3:00 p.m. PST, I’m 5-for-6, missing only the No. 13 Morehead State/No. 4 Louisville game. Who in their right minds would have picked Morehead State to take that game?!?! I’m sure a lot of brackets are ruined because of that game. But it’s good to see a 13-seeded team topple a No. 4 seed. That means there’s hope after all for my Gauchos!!! Olé!!!!!!!!!! (I’ve got the channel on and I’m ready to support my alma mater, win or lose!)

If you filled out a bracket, who do you have winning the tournament?! :)

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16 Comments

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16 responses to “St. Patty's and College Hoops!

  1. You have UCLA out in the second round?? That’s it. I am never speaking to you again.

    (Just kidding… maybe you can tell I went there. I’m sure your prediction is accurate though.)

  2. ooohhhh… I sort of hate Kansas, so I DO NOT approve! :p

  3. You are the kitchen queen! So much created delicious. Bravo!

  4. I went 13 for 16 yesterday yay!! My bf forced me into his family pool. I wasnt too happy bc I assumed he just wanted me to donate money to the winner. Little did I know that sometimes knowing absolutely nothing about any team can help! If all goes well today I will stay in first place!

  5. I am so loving Mexican these days, and your casserole looks amazing!

  6. I’m not a sports person so I’ll avoid that part of the post as I know NOTHING! But, I do know cookies – and those are winners! :)

  7. Okay this is just weird. I just found your blog and was reading this post and saw that you referred to the gauchos as “yours.” Intrigued, I read your About and learned that you did undergrad there! I did two years there and just transferred to UC Davis this quarter! Crazy! Im excited to have found your blog; Ill be back!

  8. Cara Craves...

    Mmmm!
    All your food looks fabulous…I especially like the quinoa salad.

  9. Ahhhh, you have Kentucky beating my beloved Mountaineers, I hope you’re wrong :razz:

    That casserole looks awesome, now I want a margarita. I don’t even have any beer at home, sadness.

  10. Okay, two things here. First of all, those cookies look incredible. And second, your Mexican dinner has my mouth watering. I think it’s definitely time for my lunch, haha!

  11. OMG! That casserole looks awesome! I’m definitely bookmarking that!

    I have Kansas winning also…fingers crossed! :)

  12. I have Kansas winning, too! Most of my bracket has completely gone up in flames though, so sad.

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