Celebrating With St. Patrick’s Day Recipes

Thank you for dropping by Thistle Key Lane for my 100th post. Wow, it’s been a little over a year  since the folly fun began with the launch of my blog.




This calls for a toast with some fantastic cocktails. St. Patrick’s Day is almost here, which is perfect timing to celebrate and share a few recipes. It’s never too early to start planning a St. Patty’s bash, or preparing your taste buds for a special treat, before strolling into your favorite pub.


Chalkboard Sign Thistle Key Lane Pub


Pick your poison from the board, and don’t worry, this is mixology at a beginner level.

Lucky Lady,  Ginger Martini,  Irish Mule or Nutty Irish Pirate


Bar Ingredients


Today’s specials were created with Jameson Irish Whiskey, Captain Morgan Rum, Frangelico Liqueur and Baileys Irish Cream.


Lucky Lady with green sugar


Lucky Lady

  • 1 oz. Baileys Irish Cream
  • 1/2 oz. Irish Whiskey
  • Green  sugar to rim the glass

The Lucky Lady should be served in a shot glass, as displayed on the Baileys Irish Cream site, but I think my tall stem glasses do nicely in-a-pinch.


Lucky Lady


Ginger Martini

  • 3 oz. Irish Whiskey
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 oz. Simple Syrup
  • Crystalized Ginger

Combine whiskey, lemon juice and simple syrup in a shaker with ice.

Shake for 10 seconds and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a slice of crystalized ginger. I suggest Meyer lemons, if you can find them. They really are the best.


Ginger Martini with smoked salmon


Ginger Martini with crystalized ginger garnish




Irish Mule

  • 1 ½ oz. Irish Whiskey
  • 3 oz. Ginger Beer
  • 3-4 Dashes of Orange Bitters

Serve over ice with a stir. Garnish with an orange slice or a shamrock cut from a cucumber. Just use your imagination, and work with me…alright 😉


Irish Mule


Irish Mule with a shamrock cucumber


Irish Mule with appetizers


Nutty Irish Pirate

  • 1 oz. Frangelico Liquor
  • 1 oz. Baileys Irish Cream
  • 1 oz. Spiced Rum
  • Splash of Half-n-Half
  • Sprinkle of Nutmeg

Combine Frangelico, Baileys Irish Cream and spiced rum in a shaker with ice.

Shake for 10 seconds and strain over ice. Top with a splash of half-n-half and a sprinkle of nutmeg.


Nutty Irish Pirate


Nutty Irish Pirate with nutmeg


The first time I ordered a Nutty Irish Pirate, was at Brennen’s in New Orleans.  It’s very similar to a Nutty Irishman, but has rum instead of whiskey.


Come as you are


Don’t forget the appetizers or you’ll be seeing things…






Be My Valentine

A simple old-fashioned wish, “Be my Valentine” and a Valentine wreath with a twist.


Be My Valentine Chalkboard


On the front door is a heart wreath with an argyle look. With the fun seafaring colors, it can stay up long past Valentine’s Day.


Front Door




I love argyle patterns almost as must as I love plaid, and that’s saying something. The last few years, I’ve made several different versions of this wreath with fall leaves, hearts and diamond shapes. The color combinations and holiday themes could be endless.

Supplies for this project:

  • Styrofoam wreath
  • Indigo blue yarn
  • Natural cotton string
  • Baby pink and royal blue felt
  • Scissors
  • Glue dots or low-temp glue gun

This project comes together so quick.  First wrap the wreath with yarn making sure the strands are tight and close together.


Wrapping yarn around the wreath


Next make a pattern for the hearts and trace around the pattern with a marker on the felt.


Heart shapes


After cutting out the heart shapes, arrange them on the wreath. Once the desired pattern is set, secure the felt hearts with a few glue dots, which hold instantly.  I’m very  impressed with glue dots and didn’t even know they existed until recently. Obviously, I need to get out more.


Argyle pattern


Lastly, wrap the cotton string across the hearts to form the argyle pattern.


Hearts and white cotton string


Valentine Wreath on Shelf


I took a few photos with the wreath propped on a shelf for a side view of the hearts.


Valentine Wreath Side View


Wreath with a bow


The bow is optional.  I prefer the masculine look but you may fancy a wide delicate bow. Either way just have fun with it.


Pretty bow and wreath


Happy Valentine’s Day!



St. Valentine’s Day

I have been saving these vintage Valentine stickers and Valentine card for a while.  I found them while cleaning out my dad’s things a few years ago.  It was a daunting task going through boxes of papers, letters and photos. Some of the memorabilia dated back three generations, which was a remarkable adventure. I really thought I would  find some hidden secret or a rare postage stamp worth a million dollars. No such luck. As it turned out, the treasures I found were all sentimental.


Envelope Stickers

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Say Cheese

Cheese trays are such a delight to create.  Deciding on the cheese to serve is only half the fun.   I love exploring new varieties but always leave room for one or two of my revered favorites. I almost consider cheese to be its very own food group. What could be better than a great bottle of wine, a baguette and cheese!

Party Ready

When surveying the cheese counter, I think about varying the flavors and textures.  Then I imagine how each cheese will pair and mingle with other accompaniments, such as fruit, nuts, bread or crackers.

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Pumpkin Bread Pudding

This year we had a not-so-traditional Thanksgiving feast, but at least we did have something made from pumpkin.  At the top of my list to make again was Pumpkin Bread Pudding, adapted from a Southern Living recipe, Caramel-Pecan-Pumpkin Bread Pudding.

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Sand Tarts

Old fashion cookie cutters and a flour sifter take me back to age of six, standing on a chair, helping my mom make cookies.  My favorite part of making cookies was measuring the ingredients, then I lost interest until they were coming out of the oven.

Vintage flour sifter and cookie cutters

Vintage flour sifter and cookie cutters

Getting out my mom’s old cook book, it practically opened by itself on the page with the Sand Tart recipe. Moving the cookie cutters aside, I just had to see if the Sand Tarts were as good as I remembered. They were one of my favorite cookies to make during the holidays, not too sweet and melt-in-your-mouth good.

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