Monday, March 10, 2014

Holiday How-to's: St. Patrick's Day

 St. Patrick's Day will be here in just one week, although most celebrations are probably happening over the weekend just before it.  Even if this isn't a big holiday for you and yours, there are plenty of simple things that you can do to make the day special and fun.  

What does St. Patrick's Day make pop into your mind?  For me, it's the color green, shamrocks, corned beef & cabbage, rainbows, and beer!!  All of these (with the exception of the beer, of course) can be geared toward a kid-friendly crowd or a bunch of rowdy adults.  

Green someplace on your body is an absolute necessity if you don't want to get pinched.  If everyone at your party already has on their green, you could add some variety to this game by picking a taboo word, (cheers, beer, leprechaun, etc...) to use instead.  Catch someone saying it in conversation and pinch away!!  It's always best to pick a word related to the festivities, but still very common in everyday speech so that it's more difficult to not say it.  

If you are lucky enough to find an actual four-leaf clover, hang onto it.  Mostly you will run across the much more common 3-leaf variety.  I spent plenty of time optimistically looking as a kid, and it's comparable to finding a needle in a haystack.  A much easier (and quicker) way to find one is to just make your own. 

You can find all of these on my Pinterst board.  Above are shamrocks cut
from a spinach leaf, below are green peppers, and to the right is an
adorable hair-do that I was not able to replicate myself, but if you have
any skill at all with hair, you should be able to manage it.

Next on my list is corned beef & cabbage.  I am more of a sauerkraut than cabbage kind of gal.  Even though I am not a huge fan, it has kind of become tradition since every restaurant on the parade route in my town has it ready to eat and usually (bonus!!) for free.  I wish I had a recipe to share with you, but unfortunately the only one I had that I actually loved the taste of has been lost.  (sad face)  As soon as I can find it, or a similarly good one, again I will put it in a safe place to share with everyone another year.  Until then, I will be leaving that cooking up to someone else!!  Do you have a favorite recipe for this dish?  Please feel free to share with all of us below or on my Facebook page.

  Now for my favorite...RAINBOWS!!  While I do like the color green, I prefer this excuse to use lots of colors to decorate and party with. 

 One of my successfully attempted pins from the past is simple to execute, but it does take a little extra time to separate, color, & layer the cake batter.  The actual recipe link is included, but the picture is the product my very own handiwork!!  

Rainbow cupcakes

Here is another pin that worked when I tried it.  Skittles Vodka!!  These turned out to be a LOT of work, but the shots were super yummy.  I wasn't able to find cheesecloth to strain with, so I did coffee filters.  I do NOT suggest this to you.  I believe the cheesecloth might have made things go a little quicker.  This year I believe I will try my hand at making colored ice cubes to be added to a clear beverage.  If it works, I will put pictures up on Instagram.  (and Facebook, and Twitter!!)  

"Taste the rainbow!!"  Skittles vodka shots

One more idea I would like to share in the rainbow section of this post is this adorable rainbow of fruit.  This pic is from my Pinterst board because I don't think there will be enough people at my home this year to eat all of the fruit I would need to buy to make this.  Personally, I would switch the mini-marshmallows for a yummy fruit dip.  My fave is simply 1 block of cream cheese & 1 small jar of marshmallow creme mixed together.  
Rainbow fruit and "gold coin" bananas
And finally, beer!!  I myself am not a big beer fan (unless hot wings are involved), but it's hard to not have just one green one on St. Patrick's Day.  Wanna know the big secret?  Drip a drop of green food coloring in the bottom of a mug, then pour in the beer.  Super-duper simple!! 

 Last year we stumbled across an alternative much more interesting to me.  We decided to watch the annual parade from a local winery which was offering their delicious wine blend in green for the day.  Yet another option, green mimosas.  While the same trick would work, this time I added a dash of Blue Curacao to the champagne and orange juice mix to give it this tint.  These are great for a pre-parade brunch.

Green "Casa Cooler"
Green Mimosa

  Well, there are a few ideas I want to try, and a few that have been successful for me in the past.  Please feel free to share your ideas, too.  I LOVE finding new things to try!!

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