Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

If you set aside all the green fun and food, what is St. Patrick’s Day really about? It has little to do with green beer…and more to do with perseverance, standing up for what you believe, and making a difference in the world. Today when you’re out celebrating, try to take a quick second to celebrate the reality of people like St. Patrick in our world. If not for people who were and are courageous enough to fight for what is right and true, the world wouldn’t be filled with so many wonderful opportunities that a lot of us benefit from on a daily basis.

St. Patrick’s Day brings back a lot of memories from when I was younger. I always loved to wear something green and special to school on holidays like this. Then as I got older there were the buttons that said, “Kiss Me I’m Irish” and the parade downtown. The parade then turned into a good excuse to gather with friends and drink a lot of green beer. Then, my mom or grandma would always make a big corned beef dinner to finish off the day. My mother’s side is Irish and aside from inheriting the love of comfort food and a tad bit of a hot “Irish” temper, I never really stopped to think about the true meaning behind St. Patrick’s Day.

Here’s a little article courtesy of Kaboose.com below.

Who Was Saint Patrick?
Even though Saint Patrick the patron saint of Ireland and one of the most celebrated religious figures around the world, the factual information about his life and times is quite vague. Most information about St. Patrick has been twisted, embellished, or simply made up over centuries by storytellers, causing much ambiguity about the real life of St. Patrick. However, there are a some elements of his story about which most scholars accept to be true.

According to Coilin Owens, Irish literature expert and Professor Emeritus of English at George Mason University, Saint Patrick is traditionally thought to have lived “between 432-461 A.D., but more recent scholarship moves the dates up a bit.” At the age of sixteen he was kidnapped from his native land of the Roman British Isles by a band pirates, and sold into slavery in Ireland. Saint Patrick worked as a shepherd and turned to religion for solace. After six years of slavery he escaped to the Irish coast and fled home to Britain.

While back in his homeland, Patrick decided to become a priest and then decided to return to Ireland after dreaming that the voices of the Irish people were calling him to convert them to Christianity.

After studying and preparing for several years, Patrick traveled back to Ireland as a Christian missionary. Although there were already some Christians living in Ireland, St. Patrick was able to bring upon a massive religious shift to Christianity by converting people of power. Says Prof. Owens, “[St. Patrick] is credited with converting the nobles; who set an example which the people followed.”

But Patrick’s desire to spread of Christianity was not met without mighty opposition. Prof. Owens explains, “Patrick ran into trouble with the local pagan priesthood, the druids: and there are many stories about his arguments with them as well as his survival of plots against them.” He laid the groundwork for the establishment of hundreds of monasteries and churches that eventually popped up across the Irish country to promote Christianity.

Saint Patrick is also credited with bringing written word to Ireland through the promotion of the study of legal texts and the Bible, says Prof. Owens. Previous to Patrick, storytelling and history were reliant on memory and orally passing down stories.

Patrick’s mission in Ireland is said to have lasted for thirty years. It is believed he died in the 5th century on March 17, which is the day St. Patrick’s Day is commemorated each year.

The first year St. Patrick’s Day was celebrated in America in 1737 in Boston, Massachusetts. The first official St. Patrick’s Day parade was held in New York City in 1766. As the saying goes, on this day “everybody is Irish!” Over 100 U.S. cities now hold Saint Patrick’s Day parades.

Here’s To You, St. Patrick, For Trying Your Hardest To Make The World A Better Place!

Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Cupcakes

Preheat oven to 325°, makes 12 cupcakes.

1 Box Betty Crocker Gluten Free Cake Mix, devil’s food

1 Cup Water, luke warm

1/2 Cup Dairy-Free Butter

3 Eggs

1/2 tsp. Instant Coffee Granules

1/2 Cup Dairy-Free Chocolate Chips

Decorative Cup Cake Papers

For The Frosting:

2 Cans Pillsbury Creamy Supreme Cream Cheese Frosting, it’s dairy-free & gluten-free

About 20 drops of green food coloring

Piping Bag & Wide Mouth Tip or Star Tip

Light Green & Dark Green Sugar Sprinkles

Place the cake mix, water, butter, eggs, chocolate chips, and instant coffee granules in a heavy-duty mixer. Mix on low until ingredients are combined, stop mixer and scrape down sides, mix on medium-high for 2 minutes.

Line a cupcake pan with 12 papers. Spray a quick, short spray of non-stick oil in each one. Fill cups to top with cake batter.

Bake in preheated oven for 23 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely. I like to line mine with another cupcake paper. The one you pour the batter into usually darkens while baking and you can’t see the decorative aspect.

Place two cans of frosting in a heavy-duty mixer, add food coloring and mix, scraping down sides, until fully incorporated.

Put tip on piping bag and fill 3/4 full.

Frost cooled cupcakes starting on outer edge and working in, ending with a point in the middle. Sprinkle with colored sugar.

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