Thursday, March 12, 2009


~ Mystical Shamrock

The shamrock became symbolic in other ways as time went on. In the 19th century it became a symbol of rebellion, and anyone wearing it risked death by hanging. It was this period that spawned the phrase "the wearin' o' the green". Today, the shamrock is the most recognized symbol of the Irish, especially on St. Patrick's Day, when all over the world, everyone is Irish for a day!The original Irish shamrock (traditionally spelled seamróg, which means "summer plant") is said by many authorities to be none other than white clover (Trifolium repens), a common lawn weed originally native to Ireland. It is a vigorous, rhizomatous, stem-rooting perennial with trifoliate leaves. Occasionally, a fourth leaflet will appear, making a "four-leaf clover," said to bring good luck to the person who discovers it.

~ Purple Shamrock (Oxalis triangularis)



~ Rich chocolate lover's dream clipped from 2007 Detroit Free Press



8 oz. softened cream cheese

1/3 cup sugar

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 room temperature egg


1 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 tsp. salt

6 Tbsp. softened butter

8 oz. chopped premium dark bittersweet chocolate

3/4 cup white chocolate chips

4 room temperature eggs

1 cup sugar

1 1/4 cups room temperature Guinness or other stout beer

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

  • Preheat oven to 375-degrees. Line a 9x13 inch baking pan with foil or parchment paper or grease and flour the pan.
  • For filling: In medium mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Gradually beat in sugar. Add vanilla and egg until just blended. Set aside.
  • For brownies: In a bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder and salt. Set aside.
  • In top of double boiler over simmering water, melt butter, bittersweet chocolate and white chocolate chips, stirring until melted. Remove from heat.
  • In large bowl, beat eggs and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add melted chocolate mixture, beating until combined. Beat in flour mixture and whisk in beer; the batter will seem thin. Stir in chocolate chips - they will sink to bottom. Pour entire mixture into prepared pan. Spoon cream cheese mixture on top and run a knife through it several times to create a marble effect.
  • Bake 30 minutes, or until visible cream cheese is lightly browned and wooden pick inserted in center comes out almost clean. Remove from oven and cool in pan before cutting into squares. ( 24 servings)


beckie said...

Joey, thanks for the info on shamrocks. I've always enjoyed St. Pat's Day where I can be Irish for the day as Micelle Gervais says. :}
I love the purple shamrock with the vereggated leaves. Such pretty colors.

Ohhhh do these brownies sound heavenly!

Gail said...

Yummy chocolate and the green of shamrocks...a perfect combination Joey! I have m issed a few of your posts since my computer died (this is the Mr's)...But this post is delightful...I have learned the secret of finding four leaf clovers...When it is for someone else's good fortune there they are! Love the recipe and photos. Is there more green in your garden? gail

Anonymous said...

Hi Joey, this was full of pertinent info as well as deliciousness. Who knew beer could make cheesecake? Well maybe you did. :-)

RURAL said...

These recipes, every you raise the bar..... chocolate cream cheese guinness brownie bar it gets better and better.

This sounds so good, it must definitely go into my "oh my" file.

Hopefully I will get a chance to make it soon.

Thanks for the calories....LOL


Anonymous said...

I hope you had a good time with Nancy. Will you two be wearing a bit of green on St.Patrick's Day? I hope to remember and wear it. Now those brownies sound pretty terrific.

bg_garden said...

Wonderful - as always!

Anonymous said...

I just bought a fun little "black shamrock" Love them. I just left you a message on twitter. Wouldn't it be fun to do a group blog post on how you celebrate the garden>

Cheryl said...

I love the history of the shamrock....I have plenty of white clover in my lawn and I love it. The grandchildren love to look for a four leaf clover. I personally have only found one.....I was ten years old at the time and in my grandmothers garden...

The brownies sound too delicious....I would eat too many and regret it......

Heather BT said...

It's also our Daughter Calliandra's Birthday, She sounded dismayed at the thought that she should wear Green or Orange (we're protestant). We finally got our approval, I'll probably be traveling in May (right in the middle of the busy season)
Take care
Heather BT

joey said...

Delighted to hear from you Beckie ... enjoyed your post, happy you're out and about on delightful adventures with Rose :) Though the only one in the family without a lick of Irish, I love St. Patrick's Day and, as you might image, cooking up a storm!

Hi Frances ... never bored in the kitchen (or garden), this recipe is a keeper. For Wed Garden Club meeting, I made an awesome Baileys Irish Cream Cheesecake (posted last year), Irish Soda Bread Muffins and ... Irish Whiskey Cake (also previously posted)!

So sorry about your computer, Gail. How frustrating! Perhaps too self-centered, I've never found a
4-leaf clover though have looked since a child :) With your luck, know when you hunt for your files, you'll find them all. (Hints of green in the garden but these shamrocks are all on my sunporch; one purple shamrock is 15 years old, a gift from a dear Netherlands Garden Club friend).

Happy you're tucking this away, Jen. Recipe files are as sacred as photo files:)

Always a dear, Anna, thanks for asking about Nancy, who (as I write) is doing well with her wonderful caretakers. We had a delightful time at the local tavern, dining on fresh walleye and catching up on lake gossip. Sat we had brunch for her weekend caretaker. I know she gets a bit lonesome but is thriving back in the home that she loves and is familiar with .. sure beats hospitals, nursing homes, and my nagging :)

Thanks Bren ... you're as sweet as this dessert :)

Sounds like an interesting topic, Helen. Do you think we'd be shocked :) Wish I was a better 'tweeter' ... just learning and I'm a bit baffled.

Josh said...

Sounds yummy, Aunt Joey! What is the "8oz Chopped" above the "8oz Chopped premium dark bittersweet chocolate"? I'm thinking of making these for my girls this weekend!

joey said...

You're luckier than I've ever been, Cheryl! We fight clover in the lawn here but at the 'Au Natural' lake cottage, treasure it! Perhaps, someday I'll find one ...

Oh dear Heather ... what a delightful note! Bless you and your beautiful family. You must be thrilled! M & I attended a luncheon today sponsored by Catholic Social Services ... one staunch woman delivered a heartwrenching story (lawyer, single mom, bi-racial child) about how she fostered, came to love, and adoped 5 more 'needy' children of various ages ... note ... she has taken her name off the list :)
Though we wrap our arms around many, stories like yours and hers make me feel small. (BIG HUGS)

joey said...

You're a dear, Josh! Thanks for keeping an eye on your old aunt's (now corrected) typo error! I'm looking for an editor for my book ... interested? (Hugs)

marmee said...

love the purple shammies. lovely.

joey said...

Top of the evenin' to ya', Marmee :)

Dave said...

I love cooking with Guinness, but never imagined chocolate brownies! This sounds delightful. This evening at Le Chat Gourmet in Eaton Rapids, MI, Chef Denene is teaching a menu where all the dishes are made with Guinness. That's one I was certainly hoping to get to. Drat!

Chuck Dilmore said...

Hi, Joey!
I have to compliment you on your photography and mosaic effects - very nice!

Hava great weekend!

Marysol said...

Wow. I never knew the history behind shamrocks; I can't imagine the poor souls who faced death by simply wearing it.
I bet they wished they would've been wearing a four-leaf clover at the time.
I know. Not funny. My apologies.

Joey, I've had brownies with cream cheese before, but brownies with cream cheese and "beer," is a new one to me.

This is bound to satisfy the sweet tooth of big and small kids alike. Yeh!

Have a great weekend pal!

joey said...

Hi Dave ~ not much for sipping Guinness but love the distinct roasted-barley flavor for cooking. Kudos on Herb Companion post ... have not heard the name The Grit mentioned in eons ~ my brother delivered (often with the help of his sisters) the paper for years)!

Thanks Chuck ... and may I return the compliment regarding your fine photos and unique blog. Expecting glorious sunny weather for Michigan ~ no snow, sleet, or rain :) Do hope you enjoy your weekend also!

Who knew the history, dear Marysol ... a bit of trivia is good! Guinness goes very well with chocolate ... I have several tasty recipes that satisfy the sweet tooth of both big & small. Enjoy the heavenly weekend ~ grab your bikini ... near 60 on Tues :)

Catherine said...

Joey~those have my mouth watering!! Lovely pictuers & collages!!
When I was a girl I was very good at finding 4~leaf clovers in our back yard, My brother & I would press them in the encyclopedia.:)
To busy pullin weeds in the garden now to look hard & long enough to find one!:) My spring fever is so bad at the moment though~I'm actually looking forward to weeding! :)
Love all of your posts ~Was fun catching up! I do hope you are enjoying your weekend!
And that all is well with you & yours!

joey said...

Thanks dear Cat ... have been baking up a storm this past week (lots happening) and these are indeed tasty! You're a lucky gal ... I've never found a 4-leaf clover but there still is time! The weekend has been wonderful both family and weather-wise (both little grandboys are playing basketball ... good stuff). I'm catchin' up BIG TIME tonight after a busy week. If our weather continues, we might catch up with you! (Weekend hugs)

spookydragonfly said...

Hi Joey...I made it here without too much trouble. Your brownies sound heavenly! I also enjoyed some background on shamrocks! A good part of me is Irish, my father was Irish, with a very Irish name and was born on St. Patrick's day, too! Enjoyed your photos, too.

joey said...

Oh dear Kim ... in between posting myself, my heart lies with yours and your many frustrating issues. Please know I'm hoping you get all resolved. In the meantime, sweet lass, Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Pup said...


I was looking over your blog and I wanted to point out that some of your information is incorrect to some extent.

Your Shamrocks' in the pictures are actually false Shamrocks. Part of the Oxalidaceae family, this genus of Oxalis is actually Oxalis Regnellii. AKA "Sourgrass" or "Love Plant". YET, this misconception isn't uncommon.

True Irish Shamrocks are as written under "Wearin' o' the green", called the Trifolium Repens. Which again, is stated as White Clover. Hence why I said, to some extent is this information invalid. It doesn't match the pictures.

Anyways, also you might find it neat that some lore is of course anyone that finds a 4-leaf Clover will bring you luck, but a 5-Leaf Clover will bring you luck for life. Shockingly enough the world record Clover find is up to 21, I believe.

Anyways. Chow.

joey said...

Thanks for your insiteful input, Pup. I will check things out.