Thursday, March 20, 2014

Happy Late Patrick's Day

I know I'm three days late and promised that there would be more than one Holidaze post dedicated to St. Patrick's Day but, once again, work got in my way and cut into the fun.  It happens, I accept it, but that doesn't mean we can't be a little bit tardy on the site, right?  I mean, it's always better late than never, especially when it comes to St. Patty's Day!  I don't know about you, but St. Patrick's Day has become one of my favorite days of the year.  Despite what my last name may incline, I'm actually about 95% Irish and come from a very traditional Irish family.  As a kid, I couldn't stand it.  I hated the Irish music, I hated the fact that everybody was drinking, and I would have much rathered spend my Sunday morning watching cartoons than up the block watching the Jersey City St. Patrick's Day parade.  I just wasn't feeling the culture or fun that came with it.  But once I turned 21??  Oh boy, everything changed.  St. Patrick's Day became St. Patrick's Month and I began to embrace and enjoy my time with family and friends.  I guess I can thank beer for the happy transition, but it went beyond that.  For whatever reason, I flipped the switch and welcomed it all and made it my own.  I started listening to The Dropkick Murphy's and Flogging Molly instead of the classics my Mom always played.  I went out to Hoboken for Leprecon and dressed like an idiot.  I dyed beer green and wore the same from head to toe.  It's an absolute blast, but it needs to be embraced.  It doesn't matter what nationality you are, we can all celebrate March 17th in a variety of ways.

Because of work, I didn't celebrate this year nearly as much or as hard as I have in the past.  I missed out on the Jersey City parade, Leprecon, and the weekends building up to the big day.  But, in an attempt to salvage something from it all, Eileen and I kept true to certain traditions throughout last week.  To kick things off, you have to bring home a few green bagels.  It's the perfect way to start the festivities and change your morning's theme.  It's amazing how a simple change in color can also change one's mindset, but I don't ask questions, I just butter it up and consider myself lucky.  This particular bagel was purchased at Wonder Bagels in NJ.  If you're ever in my area, make sure you find one and stop by.  They're delicious.

For me, Dunkin Donuts are synonymous with the holidays and I always appreciate when they release limited-edition flavors or change their icing to match the season.  I wasn't expecting much for St. Patrick's Day, but I stop in every morning for Iced Coffee and was happy to find this green beauty staring back at me.  As soon as I saw the icing, I had to have it.  I didn't care what flavor it was, it just needed to be eaten.  It turned out it's "Green Oreo Mint" and I was actually the first one to buy one at that specific store.  That didn't surprise me, but it's cool enough to brag about on a blog!  The taste?  Nothing amazing, but the look makes up for it's lackluster flavor.  It's certainly Oreo-y, and a bit mint, but overall it's pretty bland and boring.  I only tried it once, but once is all I need.  I just gotta say I tried it!

There's also a "Green Mint Oreo Creme" donut available (at least I think it still is), but I was never a fan of the Boston Creme variety so I stuck with the Strawberry Frosted.  That will always be my favorite Dunkin Donut and the inclusion of Shamrock shaped sprinkles was a nice addition.  If not for those green bits of sugar, there would have been nothing new with the Strawberry Frosted.  Although the flavor and icing color didn't change, a simple sprinkle is all it takes for me to drop a few bucks.  Big spender, right?

This year, for the first time ever, I tried a Shamrock Shake from McDonald's!  I know, I know, it's kinda hard to believe, right?  A guy who devotes his free time to a site that focuses on holidays and nostalgia has never tried a Shamrock Shake?  I'm with you.. I hear you.  This was long overdue!  I grew up looking at these, I vaguely remember Uncle O'Grimacey or at least Internet remnants of his appearance, and should have picked one of these up a long time ago.  It's basically Mint ice cream melted down into a refreshingly cool shake, whipped with a cherry on top.  It's delicious and the only thing I'm mad at is the fact that it took my this long to try one.  Again, the theme of today's post is better late than never and it once again applies to this shake.  One thing I can tell you for sure?  This will now be an annual tradition that I add to the March collection.

I had a box of St. Patrick's Day Lucky Charms last year and knew I'd talk about them if they were released again in 2014.  I didn't branch out as much in 2013, but The Holidaze is attempting to take on all holidays in one way or another.  So, I looked everywhere for the "50 Magical Years" edition.  Shop Rite, Pathmark, Stop & Shop, Wal-Mart, Target - I looked everywhere - but came up short each and every time.  I knew it was available thanks to social media, but I couldn't locate a box, so I gave up.  Then, as I stopped for gas and went into the Exxon for a drink, I looked behind me and saw Lucky jumping out at me as if HE found ME!  It was one of those awesome moments that you never expect, but are more than happy to accept.  Who woulda thought I'd find a box of overpriced cereal at a sketchy Exxon in Jersey City and not at the major retailers?

In terms of flavor, there's nothing new in this box of Lucky Charms.  They taste just as great as they always have.  But the biggest and most important difference?  Those four-leaf clover marshmallows!!  They're perfect for St. Patrick's Day and make for a great limited-edition.  I always feel like Lucky Charms and cereals as a whole can do more to celebrate St. Patty's Day, but the ball is never even picked up let alone dropped.  For the last two years, Lucky Charms has hit a home run and I'm happy they brought these back for another run.  They're hard to find, but the search is complete and the hunt is over.

TruMoo has become one of my favorite brands because they go all out for the holidays.  Remember when they released orange milk for Halloween?  Well, now they're back with GREEN milk for St. Patrick's Day!!  Of course, it doesn't taste like real milk and that's the worst part.  I'd love to pour this into a bowl of cereal or cup of coffee to enhance yet another experience, but this "Lucky Green" milk is Vanilla flavored and is better off on its own.  But besides the colored milk, take a look at the sticker label!  The leprechaun hat, the rainbow, and pot of gold scream St. Patty's Day and stand out just as much as anything else I've seen on store shelves.  It's attractive and lures you in.  Once that happens, I'm pulling out my own green and dropping dollaz!

What's the best way to drink green milk?  Well, out of an oversized Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles beer mug, of course.  Yeah, you'd think I'd reserve that for green beer, but I've done that in the past and this was a welcomed change.  The milk is good, it's very tasty, but it's not something I'd drink on regular basis.  It's a shake in itself and heavy going down.  But when we're talking about appearance, I love the way the green pops off of the different shades of green against other shades of green.  It's a good thing that's my favorite color, otherwise I might have already had enough of this post. 

My girlfriend is one hell of a baker and I wanted to put her culinary skills to good use.  Much like what we did with the General Mills' Monster Cereals, I had the idea of doing the same with our limited-edition Lucky Charms.  I thought long and hard, about 15 seconds, and came up with rainbow cupcakes, topped with green icing and Lucky Charms.  I'm no genius, but I'm even less of a baker, so I went to Eileen with the idea and asked her to make the magic happen.  Before I knew it, she was in the kitchen baking.

Before decorating them, she showed me the rainbow cake and it blew me away.  If I was a kid and had rainbow cake like this, I might have passed out due to brightness.  I honestly never expected these to look so good on the inside.  I figured it would be a mix of rainbow that made some type of dirty brown.  Instead, we have a beautiful butterfly that was ready to be topped with green icing and shamrocks!

I couldn't be happier with how they and the photos came out!!  My girlfriend did one hell of a job and they came out amazing!  We topped a few with the limited Lucky Charms, but others with traditional Lucky Charms because, hey, they're Irish, too!  Especially those rainbows - they were a must!  So overall, I'm thrilled with these cupcakes and think they make for great images and even better snacks to satisfy our tastebuds!

Traditionally, I like to rock green from head to toe when I go out for St. Patrick's Day and I was excited to whip out my new sneakers and take my girl out to Hoboken.  Unfortunately, going out on Monday night is just as boring on St. Patrick's Day as it is on every other week of the year.  We were expecting a lot of people roaming the streets and bar crawling without any Tuesday care.  Work?  Screw that, It's St. Patrick's Day!  But nope.. like that #Selfie song says, "Who goes out on Mondays?"  Apparently we're the uncool ones!  But, still, we made the most of it and had a great time in each others' company.  That's all that matters!

It's a shame that I didn't take each of these topics and spread them out across March.  It would have made my post-count look like I actually have more than enough time to dedicate to The Holidaze, but work sucks, man.  I'd love to sit back and do nothing but talk about food, junk, candy, and toys all day, but the real world always has something to say about that!  Luckily, I found time today to share my St. Patty's week experience with all of you and, again, I hope it's better late than never.  As for those two pics above, they're from our personal Instagram and Twitter accounts that you're more than welcome to follow.  I'm @CKCash30 and Eileen is @Leeni219.  If you're already following @HolidazeBlog, you might like the differences on the others :)

Even though we're 3 days out, I'd like to wish each and every one of you a very Happy St. Patrick's Day and I hope you all enjoyed it as much as - or even more than - I did!  It's always a great time of year and if you haven't embraced March 17th yet, make sure you do in 2015!  You'll thank me later :)


  1. Wow, lots of great stuff here! I was so looking forward to trying the Shamrock Shake for the first time, myself, but the only McDonald's I tried had a broken milkshake machine. :( Maybe they still offer it at some locations?! I am glad you got to try it and like it. Love those cupcakes, especially! It is truly better late than never, and reading this post kinda revives the holiday for me, ha!

  2. You know I love the TruMoo in the TMNT glass...


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