Monday, March 12, 2007

Put A Little Irish On It


So, with St. Patrick's Day coming up this weekend, you'll be wantin' some ideas, I'm thinking. And you'll need time to get it all together. So I have been wracking my brain and scouring the web just for you, dear readers (really, 'tweren't no trouble 'tall).

I'm a big fan of the traditional, "Wear green or you will be pinched" way of celebrating St. Patrick's Day. Although some ideas make me shudder--green beer?! Ugh!--in general, I am all for a little more green in my life! :)

And I know you Moms out there want your kids to eat healthy, and you are always looking for new and creative ways to accomplish that goal. If you can find a naturally healthy Innovative Recipe My Kid Will Actually Try, it's a win-win situation. So, rather than skipping right down to the delicious desserts I have for you, I'm giving you an entire meal's worth of ideas for St. Pat's.

Appetizers

First off, consider the simple bell pepper. It's practically perfect for the day, already a naturally beautiful green. You can cut the bell pepper in half across the widest part (NOT from stem to stern), and the shapes resemble three-leaf clovers. Stick a toothpick through them (preferably a green sparkly one) and serve with Ranch dressing for a healthy starter. Cool green cucumber slices are another good accompaniment to the dressing.

Salads

You can also create a truly green "green salad" with your clover bell pepper shapes and any (or all) of the following:

Romaine lettuce, iceberg lettuce, spinach, endive, green olives, cucumber slices, sugar snap peas, raw broccoli florets.

Or go for a sweet fruity green salad, mixing up green apple slices, kiwi slices and cubes of honeydew melon.

Main Course

Of course, you didn't use any cabbage in your green salad! No, you saved it for the delicious traditional Irish cabbage and corned beef dinner, right? Each of us has our own special way of serving this, whether it simmers in the stove or in the slow-cooker crockpot.

Desserts

Sweet Shamrocks


Here's a tasty new twist on the traditional St. Patrick's Day shamrock -- sweet green pretzels fashioned from canned refrigerated bread stick dough and coated with a sprinkling of colored sugar and cinnamon.



Canned refrigerated bread stick dough (we used Pillsbury Original Breadsticks)
Colored sugar
Cinnamon

Step 1
Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and lightly coat it with cooking spray.

Step 2
To create the clover shape, mold 3 sections of bread sticks into hearts and press them together as shown. Attach a small stem, decorate, bake according to the package directions, and serve them up to your lucky guests.

Clover Cupcakes

RECIPE INGREDIENTS:
Cupcake batter
Cupcake tins and liners
Aluminum foil
White frosting
Green food coloring
Toothpick
Green licorice (we used Twizzlers Rainbow Twists sold in a pack with other colors)

1. Place paper liners in 32 standard muffin cups, then fill each halfway with the batter. Step 2
2. For each cupcake, roll three balls of foil (ours were 2/3 inch in diameter) and insert them evenly around the perimeter between the liner and the tin, as shown.
3. Bake the cupcakes for a few minutes less than the package suggests (because there's less batter per cup than usual), or until a toothpick comes out clean.
4. Allow the cupcakes to cool, then remove them from the tin.
5. Cover each with green frosting (our ratio was 1 teaspoon of green food coloring to one 16-ounce can of white frosting).
6. Use a toothpick to draw leaf veins, and insert a 2-inch-long piece of green licorice for a stem. (see Finished project in the top image, above)

(Recipes, images from FamilyFun.com)




1 comment:

sinisterkid987 said...

That shamrock looks really good!!! Dang, I'd eat that up in a few seconds!

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