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Table of Contents
History…………………………………………………. 3
Invitations……………………………………………… 4
From the Experts: Event Planner Kathleen Sacchi
from ―The Fine Art of Events and Catering‖… 5
Decorations & Favors………………………………… 13
Beverages/Recipes…………………………………….. 15
Games & Activities…………………………………….. 21
Kid’s Party……………………………………………… 26
May the Irish hills caress you.
May her lakes and rivers bless you.
May the luck of the Irish enfold you.
May the blessings of St. Patrick behold you.
And to put you in the mood for a festive Irish celebration,
Click here!
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History of the Holiday
St. Patrick (c. 387 – 493) was a Romano-Briton (parts of the island of Great Britain
controlled by the Roman Empire) and Christian
missionary, and he is the most widely recognized patron
saint of Ireland. Not much is really known about him, but
we’ll do our best.
When St. Patrick was about 16 years old, he was captured
and carried off as a slave to Ireland. Not to burst anyone’s
bubble, but during the course of his life, St. Patrick is
believed to have murdered many innocent druids and
pagan Irish people, simply because they did not wish to
conform to his beliefs. Ironically, these murders led him to
his distinction for ―driving the snakes‖ out of Ireland and
eventual sainthood.
In religious lore the snake (or serpent) represented evil,
godlessness and the devil's will (e.g., offering the apple to
Adam.) St. Patrick has been acclaimed as devoting his life
to converting the pagans (or godless) to Christians, or
―driving away evil.‖ Symbolically, this is depicted as Patrick driving the "snakes" out of
Despite his questionable conversion methods, St. Patrick's Day is celebrated on March 17,
which is the saint’s religious feast day and the anniversary of his death in the fifth
century. The Irish have observed March 17 as a religious holiday for more than a
thousand years.
On St. Patrick's Day, which falls during the Christian season of Lent, Irish families would
traditionally attend church in the morning and celebrate in the afternoon. Lenten
prohibitions against meat consumption were suspended and people would dance, drink,
and feast on the traditional meal of Irish bacon (similar to Canadian bacon) and cabbage.
The First Parade
When we think of St. Patrick’s Day, lots of
things come to mind—Ireland, the color green,
shamrocks, serious partying and, of course,
parades. The first St. Patrick's Day parade took
place not in Ireland, but in the United States.
Before our country’s Revolutionary War, Irish
soldiers serving in the English military marched
through New York City on March 17, 1762.
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Along with their music, the parade helped the soldiers
reconnect with their Irish roots and with fellow Irishmen
serving in the English army.
Over the next thirty-five years, Irish patriotism among
American immigrants thrived, inspiring the rise of so-called
"Irish Aid" societies, like the Friendly Sons of Saint Patrick and
the Hibernian Society. Each group would hold annual
parades featuring bagpipes (popularized by the Scottish and
British armies) and drums.
In 1848, several New York Irish aid societies decided to unite
their parades to form one New York City St. Patrick's Day
Parade. Today, that parade is the world’s oldest civilian
parade and the largest in the United States, with more than 150,000 participants.
Over the centuries, St. Patrick’s Day has evolved into a spirited, secular
holiday, celebrated by people of all nationalities, all religions and all
walks of life. Bottom line, it’s another opportunity to party, and the Irish
lead the way!
As with any party, your invitations can be formal or informal, store-bought or
handmade, sent online or via snail mail. Party411 has a good selection of printed St. Pat’s
Day invitations, as well as dozens of decoration ideas.
Unless you’re naturally crafty or absolutely want to put an invitation in the mail,
consider calling your guest list to invite them, or use Evite to spread the word. If you
haven’t used Evite before, this is the perfect time for you to try it! With Evite, you can
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customize your invitations, keep track of the responses and send out reminders. Other
features of Evite include a drink calculator (an absolute must for a St. Pat’s party!) and
some super tips for celebrating St. Patrick’s Day.
Remember to remind everyone you invite to wear something green to the party!
Q & A with Event Planner Kathleen Sacchi
Kathleen Sacchi, owner of The Fine Art of Catering and
Events in California, designs ―distinguished events and
culinary adventures for a discriminating clientele.‖ She
grew up in Brooklyn, NY in a neighborhood filled with
―a gregarious mix of Italian, Irish, Norwegian, German
and Polish immigrants.‖ She was
immersed in a wonderful world
of diverse traditions and flavors. Kathleen, whose mother is
Irish, says it’s not surprising that she developed an early passion
for recreating the joy inspired by those memories…food, dining,
conversation and celebration. We asked Kathleen to help us
help you plan a memorable St. Patrick’s Day celebration:
1. Most people go to a pub to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.
How do I create a celebration at home that people will enjoy and remember?
St. Patrick’s Day is the most splendid, colorful and fun celebration on my calendar.
What comes to my mind for a special St. Patty’s day is a room filled with good
friends, friends of friends and a sprinkling of family for good luck. It really doesn’t
take much to create Irish hospitality. All you need is
a big smile, a pocket full of stories filled with sparkle
in your eyes, an open heart and hand, delicious
food, Irish song and good Cheer!
Hire a bagpiper to serenade your guests as they
arrive. Call your bar a ―snug‖ and ask a good friend
to tend the bar. Fill a punch bowl with ice and chill
the wine, but keep the Guinness warm. Set up a buffet and keep it open the entire
night which allows you to circulate. Frame the menu and let the feast begin.
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Introduce everyone to each other by name and make sure everyone connects how
they know you. By the end of the evening your guests will go home believing
they’re all related to each other. Ring a bell every time someone wants to make a
toast. Break into an Irish tune right after. I can guarantee this will be an evening
everyone will remember.
2. Once I have a head count for my St. Pat’s Day party, what’s the best way to
determine how much food and alcohol I’ll require?
Trevor Zimmerman of Deuce Events suggests
planning 4- to 6-ounce servings of entrée for
each person. Side dishes figure 3 ounces per
person. On the appetizers, he recommends 2 to
3 pieces per person.
Steven Petrarca of Steven Petrarca Events said,
―When purchasing wine consider one bottle
serving four guests. That figures a glass and a
half per person.‖
3. Can you help me, as the host of a party that will last for several hours, create a
menu that won’t keep me in the kitchen and away from my guests for long
periods of time?
Planning a party menu is essential, especially when you want to make your life
less stressful. They say ―the devil is in the details.‖ Once the details and the
shopping lists and preplanning are done, there
is freedom to be a guest at your own party.
I always do an annotated menu that includes
specific platters, serving pieces, and garnish for
each dish. I do a sketch of the buffet the night
before. You may have some helpful
leprechaun’s who will appreciate jumping in.
The menu (below) I have suggested for a Saint Patrick’s Buffet can be done ahead
of time, and most of the items can be ―semi-homemade‖ or purchased.
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4. How about your favorite centerpiece, decorations and favor ideas?
Decorations for St. Patrick’s can be found online or in your local party store—
wonderful Irish Flags, Guinness wall art for the bar, wishing stones, beer mugs,
coasters, shot glasses, T-shirts, bar towels and posters from Ireland.
At The Import Irish Shop in Hollywood, owner Ann G. Colburn has created a
collection of Irish music CD’s, perfect for the special St. Patty’s revelry! I would get
the DVD of ―Over Ireland‖ to play on a big-screen TV throughout the evening.
Gorgeous pictures of all the counties in Ireland!
Centerpieces can be done very economically. Take a trip to your
local nursery or supermarket and purchase pots of Shamrocks. To
create a custom container for the shamrocks, terracotta pots can
be transformed with a little green, white and orange paint. You
can also purchase green carnations and arrange them in a crystal
bowl or a Belleek vase. Fill the house with votive candles to give
everything a special glow.
As a Hostess gift you can give Scatter Garden Kits. These special bags of seeds give
a welcoming of spring and require no wrapping. All you need to do is tie a note
with a special Irish blessing.
5. What do you recommend for late-night fare to quickly sober up guests who might
have overindulged before I send them out on the streets?
Planning the menu doesn’t stop at dessert. Just
as the party is taking on the fifth Irish Eyes Are
Smiling crescendo, serve Mini Irish Sliders (see
recipe below) and French fries in green
Chinese take-out containers.
I often serve hot cocoa and warm donuts as
guests are leaving.
On another note, being a responsible host or hostess, you should arrange with the
local cab company to transport any guest who may need a ride
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6. How about drinks? What St. Patrick’s Day-themed party drinks—alcoholic and
non-alcoholic—do you recommend?
I always call on my mixologist and special events director Steven Petrarca to
create the ultimate cocktail for each event. Here are Steven’s suggestions to give
the evening a perfect Irish lilt:
―With a tradition as old as St Patty's day, I like to dust off and spruce up the classics...‖
Jameson and Ginger (just like your grandparents drank)
a rocks glass full of ice
a shot of whiskey
a splash of old fashioned ginger ale
The Perfect Irish Coffee.
a shot of espresso
a shot of Irish whiskey
2 tablespoons brown sugar
whipped cream made from heavy cream
whipped with white sugar (custard-like, not fluffy)
Combine the brown sugar and the Irish whiskey in an
Irish coffee mug, steam under espresso steamer until the
sugar is dissolved.
With a match, light the whiskey on fire for a few
seconds, then blow it out (or cover with a saucer until
flame extinguishes itself).
Add shot of espresso and top with whip cream.
And for those who want a non alcoholic cocktail…an Irish Minty Mist. Squeeze Fresh
lemons; add mint simple syrup and cold sparkling water over ice. Add a Green
Shamrock cocktail Stirrer with a sprig of mint to garnish.
7. What makes St. Patrick’s Day special for you?
My mother came from a New York Irish family. St. Patrick’s Day was a national
holiday in our house. Traditionally we went to the St. Patrick’s Day Parade on
Fifth Avenue and celebrated the joy and pride of being Irish with the rest of New
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York City. My fondest memories were joining the throngs of
spirited and joyful New Yorkers after the parade. How do you
describe the indescribable when you’re singing, dancing and
kissing strangers all in celebration of great St. Patrick?
8. What makes your approach to event planning/party hosting unique?
My approach to event planning is bringing in magical thinking and being of
service. There is so much creativity in working with talented and skilled vendors,
chefs and event specialists. Creating a wonderful group of shops, markets and
resources can help bring a simple party into a memorable event.
Here are some extraordinary St. Pat’s Day sample menus from Kathleen:
SEASONAL GREEN GRAPES, CORNICHONS (crisp, tart pickles made from tiny gherkin
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Here’s Kathleen’s recipe for St. Patrick’s Day Sliders:
For the Green Bun:
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
3 tablespoons warm water ( 110˚ to 115˚)
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1 teaspoon green food color
2 ½ all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon ground cumin
3 large eggs
8 tablespoons (1stick) unsalted butter softened
1. Sprinkle the yeast over the warm water and
let stand for 10 minutes, until the yeast
starts to foam.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook, combined the flour,
sugar, salt, cumin, the eggs, butter and the green food color. Mix on low speed
for about 2 minutes.
3. Then add the yeast and beat on medium speed for 5 more minutes. The dough
should be elastic and slightly sticky.
4. Remove the dough from the bowl and allow it to rest on a lightly floured surface,
covered with a damp towel.
5. Roll the dough out in all directions until it is ½ inch thick, and cut out 20 rounds
with a 1 inch cookie cutter.
6. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover the cut dough rounds
with a damp towel and let them rest for an additional 30 minutes.
7. Preheat the oven to 400˚ F and bake for 15 to 10 minutes.
For the Burger:
Olive oil
½ cup diced onions
8 oz. ground beef
4 oz. ground pork sausage
2 garlic cloves minced
Kosher salt
Black pepper
To Finish:
Kerrygold Irish cheddar cut into small squares
Winston Irish bacon cooked and cut into small squares
Dill pickle
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1. Cover the bottom of a sauté pan with the olive oil and heat over medium-high
heat. Add the diced onion and cook until translucent, about 4 minutes. Remove
and let cool.
2. Mix the cooled onion with the ground beef, ground sausage and garlic. Form into
1-inch patties. The patties can be frozen for up two weeks.
3. To cook, place enough olive oil in a sauté pan to cover the bottom and heat over
high heat. Place the burgers, a few at a time, in the pan and cook for about 30
seconds per side. Remove and place on a plate lined with a paper towel.
4. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
5. Place cooked burgers on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Place a small square of
cheddar on each burger and bake till cheese melts 2 to 3 minutes.
6. To assemble. Cut the bun in half, put some ketchup on the bottom of the bun,
place the cooked burger on top of the ketchup, then the bacon, pickle and a bit
more ketchup and the top of the bun. EAT!
And her recipe for Shamrock Peppermint Chocolate Sugar Cookies:
Shamrock Sugar Cookie Dough
1 lb. Unsalted butter (or 4 sticks)
1 cup Sugar
1 Whole egg
1 Egg yolk
1 tsp. Green food coloring
¼ tsp. Peppermint extract
6 cups All-purpose flour
8 oz. Dark chocolate (rough-chopped)
1. Place butter and sugar in bowl of an electric mixer; using the paddle
attachment cream together on medium/high speed for 3 minutes until light
in color.
2. Combine the whole egg, yolk, peppermint extract and green food color in
a bowl and mix together with a fork or whisk.
3. Lower the speed of the mixer and add the egg mixture a little at a time
until combined.
4. Scrape down the bowl and add all the flour and mix slowly till the dough
just comes together.
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5. Gather up the dough, pat into two flat squares and wrap in plastic. Let rest
for at least 1 hour or freeze up to a month.
6. To roll out, remove one or both pieces of dough from the refrigerator or
freezer and let soften enough to work with. Place the dough on a floured
surface and, using a rolling pin, roll out the dough to about 1/8 inch thick.
7. Using a shamrock cookie cutter, cut the cookies and place them on a
parchment-lined cookie sheet and bake at 325° F for about 10 minutes. Do
not let them brown. Remove from the oven and let cool completely. (The
cookies can be frozen at this point for two weeks.
8. While the cookies are cooling, place the roughchopped chocolate in a glass or plastic bowl and
melt in the microwave for 25 seconds, remove
and stir with a spoon. If the chocolate isn’t
completely melted, microwave for an additional
15-25 seconds. (Chocolate will burn easily in the
microwave, so it’s best to heat for less time, stir
and re-microwave.)
9. When the cookies are cool and the chocolate is
melted, dip the back of the cookie in the
chocolate. Lift from the chocolate and let the
excess run off. Place the cookie on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and let
harden. If the chocolate doesn’t harden on its own, place the tray in the
refrigerator for a few minutes
10. For variety, drizzle some chocolate in a criss-cross pattern over the top of a
few of the cookies.
Shamrocks, leprechauns, rainbows with pots of gold at the end,
Irish hats, shillelaghs ("shi-LAY-lee" or "shi-LAY-la", a wooden
walking stick, typically made from a stout knotty stick with a
large knob at the top, that is associated with Ireland and Irish
folklore) and, of course, the harp. The Emerald Isle, as a tribute
to the importance of music in Irish culture, is the only country in
the world with a musical instrument as a national symbol.
Otherwise known as the heraldic harp or Gaelic harp, Celtic
harps have been part of the Irish landscape for centuries.
Find St. Patrick’s Day decorations at Party City or another party supply store online or in
your neighborhood.
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Most of these decorations are also easy to make if you either
have time or have kids. Kaboose.com has several St. Pat’s
decorations perfect for crafts projects you can do with your
children or simply have them create for you. Here’s one of our
Kaboose favorites:
Rainbow mobiles are very colorful and are very easy to make
for St. Patrick's Day. They look so inviting you may end up
making more than just one!
What you'll need:
1 paper plate
Paper streamers or wide ribbon in rainbow colors (red, orange, yellow, green,
blue and purple)
Craft paint in rainbow colors (red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple)
White craft glue
Piece of ribbon for hanging
Shamrock garland OR cut your own shamrocks from green construction paper
How to make it:
Rainbow Mobile
1. Cut the paper plate in half.
2. Cut a 40-inch length of streamer in each color.
3. Cut each length up the middle to create two long
strips of each color.
4. Reserve one set of rainbow color strips for another
project or for a second Rainbow Mobile.
5. Use one strip of each color. Glue the red streamer
strip around the top curve of the paper plate. Make
sure to center the streamer so you have equal lengths
hanging off each side.
6. Repeat with each color, moving your way down
from red to orange, then yellow, green, blue and
lastly purple.
7. Add one more thin purple strip to the back of the
plate to fill the gap in the center.
8. Tie a piece of ribbon into a knot, then glue to the
back of the plate to use as a hanger.
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Shamrock Mobile
1. Cut the paper plate in half. Paint it with craft paint in this order: red, orange,
yellow, green, blue and purple. Use our photo as a guide. Let dry completely and
paint the other side as well.
2. Cut shamrock garland into 18" strips.
3. Glue each strip to the back of the paper plate.
4. If you like, instead of store-bought garland,
make your own shamrocks from construction
paper and glue to lengths of string or yarn.
5. Tie a piece of ribbon into a knot, then glue to
the back of the plate to use as a hanger.
Foam plates work well for this project. They
have smooth edges and paint sticks right to
Make a 3-D rainbow by painting two paper plate halves. Glue them together and
hang your shamrocks from the bottom.
Have something fun for the kids to do during drying time so they don't jump the
gun and grab their projects too soon.
Find more St. Patrick’s Day crafts for kids at About.com and FreeKidsCrafts.com.
Favors are readily available, too, online and at your
favorite neighborhood party supply store. Think green
beads, ―Kiss Me, I’m Irish!‖ buttons, Irish hats, beer
mugs, etc. If you’d like to give your guests memorable
favors a cut above the norm, choose something
beautifully presented, like a meaningful set of Irelandinspired coasters or a small canister filled with Jelly
Belly jelly beans or another green candy.
Beverages/Food Recipes
We’ll start with beverages, since beer and Irish alcoholic delights are a focal point for
most St. Pat’s celebrations (at least among the adult partiers.) If you want to be a purist
on this Irish holiday, head to the nearest gourmet beer store and look for these Irish
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Smithwick’s Ale
Harp Lager
If you’re going all out to celebrate, which means offering a full bar among other things,
here are a few recipes for holiday-inspired mixed drinks:
Emerald Isle
1 oz. gin
1 tsp. crème de menthe, green
2 dashes bitters
Pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker
filled with ice cubes
Shake well
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass
Green Goblin Cocktail
1 oz. vodka
1 oz. peach schnapps
1 oz. sour-apple schnapps
1 oz. coconut rum
1 oz. sweet-and-sour mix
Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker half-filled
with ice cubes
Shake well
Pour over ice cubes in an old-fashioned glass
Serve with a lime wedge
Green Mist
1 oz. crème de menthe
1 oz. Scotch whisky
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½ oz. lemon juice
Sprig of mint
Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker
Shake well
Strain into a cocktail glass
Garnish with a sprig of mint
Green Apple Martini
Cinnamon and sugar for rimming glass
5 tbsp. vodka
5 tbsp. sour-apple schnapps
5 tbsp. lemonade
5 tbsp. lemon-lime soda (like 7-Up or Sprite)
Combine vodka, schnapps. Lemonade and lemon-lime soda in an ice-filled
cocktail shaker
Cover and shake vigorously
Dip rim edge of martini glasses, first in a shallow dish with ¼‖ water, next
in a shallow dish with ¼ ― of equal parts sugar and cinnamon mixture
Strain shaken mixture into prepared glasses and serve
Everybody’s Irish
2 oz. Irish whisky
1 oz. crème de menthe, green
1 oz. Chartreuse, green
Cocktail olive for garnish
Pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice
Shake well
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass
Garnish with olive
Irish Cactus
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2 oz. Irish cream liqueur
1 oz. tequila
Pour the ingredients into an old-fashioned glass with ice
Irish Coffee (don’t expect this coffee to help sober you up!)
2 ½ oz. strong, hot coffee
1 ½ oz. Irish whisky
1 tsp. brown sugar
1 oz. whipped cream
Pour the coffee, Irish whisky and brown sugar into an Irish coffee glass or
Stir well
Float the whipped cream on top
As long as we’re talking about coffee, let’s take a look at what you’d be having for your
St. Patrick’s Day breakfast in Ireland…
The Irish don’t mess around when it comes to this
holiday breakfast, which is pretty substantial. You will
be offered farm fresh eggs with the sunniest of yolks,
along with sausage, eggs, bacon, grilled tomatoes, black
pudding, white pudding. On the side is Irish brown
bread served with sweet Irish butter and the famous Irish
preserves. Top off breakfast with a cup of Irish breakfast
tea, a medium rich tea, and put in lots of milk.
Whether you’re going to have a St. Patrick’s Day open house or wait until the end of the
day to celebrate, here are a number of sites filled with recipes for St. Patrick’s Day fare:
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Make your choices depending on your preferred style of party—buffet-style appetizers
for an open house or informal gathering, a full Irish meal for a seated dinner or a
combination of both. But…
What would a St. Pat’s Day menu be without an authentic Irish Corned Beef and
Cabbage recipe? While you’ll find several recipes on the sites listed above, we discovered
this one on the Irish Culture and Customs site, along with some surprising information
about the dish:
Corned Beef & Cabbage
If it wouldn't be St. Patrick's Day in your house without Corned
Beef & Cabbage, here's an authentic recipe from Darina Allen's the
Festive Food of Ireland. Even she points out that it's rarely eaten in
Ireland and was most likely made popular by immigrants who
missed the salted beef of their homeland. Cured beef was a
traditional Easter Sunday dinner; the beef killed and preserved before winter could then
be eaten after the long Lenten fast. In the truest sense of the word then, this really
doesn't qualify as a traditional recipe.(Surprise!) But, it has become so closely associated
with the Irish and St. Patrick's Day, we'd be remiss not to include it.
4-pound corned beef brisket - 'silverside' if you can get it; many butchers are familiar with
the term and can prepare your cut of brisket in this special way. But, do allow them
several days to prepare it properly.
3 large carrots, cut into large chunks
6 to 8 small onions, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon powdered English mustard
1 large spring of fresh thyme and several parsley stalks tied together
1 cabbage
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Put the corned beef into a large pot with the carrots, onions, mustard powder and
2. Cover with cold water; bring to a boil and then lower heat and simmer for 1 hour.
From time to time, skim fat from top as it rises.
3. Discard the outer leaves of the cabbage and cut into quarters, Add to the pot. * Cook
for another one to two hours or until the meat and vegetables are tender.
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4. Serve the corned beef cut into slices and surrounded by the vegetables. Serve with a
generous amount of potatoes, boiled in their jackets and freshly made mustard. In
addition to the English mustard we also like horseradish sauce.
From the ―quasi-traditional‖ (as we’ve just learned) Corned Beef and Cabbage to a St.
Patrick’s Day fusion of two distinctly different cultures. ―Reporting for Doodie‖ author
Judy Pugh gives us her St. Pat’s Day celebrating style, including a recipe for
Corned Beef and Cabbage Tacos:
―I'm not Irish, but love celebrating St. Patrick's Day (or any holiday for that matter!)
(Editor’s Note: We’re with you on that, Judy! You’re our favorite kind of person!)
I usually have a group of my neighbors over for green beer/wine and corned beef with a
twist. I use it to make amazing tacos!
I cook the corned beef in the crock pot,
with a little bit of water, until it's tender
(usually about 5 hours on low.) Then I
shred it up and return it to the crock pot
to keep it warm.
I put out:
Flour and corn tortillas (warmed in foil in
the oven)
Shredded cheeses - usually hot pepper jack
and muenster
Creamed horseradish at varying levels of "hot" (Hickory Farms makes a great one!)
Finely shredded cabbage (you can buy it at the grocery store already shredded)
and let everyone make their own corned beef tacos...it's always a huge hit!”
Sounds simple, scrumptious and fun, doesn’t it? If you’re
into grilling for your St. Patrick’s Day celebration, here’s
something ―patio daddy-o’s will flip over,‖ and your guests
will give you the St. Pat’s Day prize for going the extra
mile. It’s an Irish grill topper in the shape of a shamrock.
Simply set the Grill Topper on your existing grill rack, and
place your chicken, pork, or beef directly on the shamrock, searing the image onto the
meat as it cooks to perfection!
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In her menus, Now that we’ve heard about all the wonderful foods that add fabulous
flavor to the day, it’s time for a word from someone who hopes you and your guests
will party within reason. Dr. Tom Potisk is the author of Whole Health Healing:
“It's ok to splurge a bit, especially at holiday parties. Have
some fun. You can do it without hurting yourself with a little
self-control and clever maneuvering. For example, St
Patrick's Day usually means corned beef, but it’s always
accompanied by cabbage and sometimes potatoes, so go
heavier on those veggies! At parties and celebrations like
this, there are lots of diet-busting temptations. We do need
to be cautious. If the fellow revelers get a bit pushy with all
the goodies, a good response is "It looks great, but no thank
you. I'm on a health program." What a great way to open up
a conversation and perhaps share your enlightenment about
healthier eating. And the green beer? In moderation.”
First up—a 10-question quiz from Kaboose.com that tests your St. Patrick’s
Day IQ:
True or False: People in the U.S. make a bigger
deal of celebrating St. Patrick's Day than those
in Ireland?
a) True
b) False
The correct answer is (A) True
True. People of Irish heritage (and even those
who aren’t) in the United States love to
celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. And while it is a
national holiday in Ireland, St. Patrick’s Day is
more of a religious holiday. In recent years
they have used it to boost the country’s tourism.
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According to Irish legend, what is St. Patrick—the patron saint of Ireland—famous for?
a) Looking quite a bit like Santa Claus
b) Performing magic
c) Driving the snakes from Ireland
The correct answer is (C) Driving the snakes from Ireland
Legend has it that St. Patrick drove all the snakes from Ireland while preaching to the
people of Ireland about Christianity. Modern science reveals that post-glacial Ireland was
never home to any snakes to begin with.
The Claddagh ring is made up of three parts—hands, a heart and a crown. What do
these represent?
a) The three together symbolize pride in one's
Irish heritage.
b) The hands stand for friendship, the heart for
love and the crown for loyalty
c) The hands stand for helping others, the heart
for loving others and the crown for leading
The correct answer is (B) The hands stand for friendship, the heart for love and the
crown for loyalty.
The Claddagh ring—often worn as a wedding ring—is made of three parts: the hands
stand for friendship, the heart stands for love and the crown stands for loyalty.
What is the traditional Irish meal served on St. Patrick's Day?
a) Corned beef and cabbage
b) Green eggs and ham
c) Potatoes
The correct answer is (A) Corned beef and cabbage
Corned beef and cabbage has become a traditional Irish meal served on St. Patrick’s Day.
It is sometimes also served on Easter.
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Every year in Chicago, what do they do to one of the
city's landmarks to help celebrate St. Patrick's Day?
a) The Sears Tower is illuminated in green.
b) Navy Pier is called ―Green Pier‖ for the day.
c) They dye the Chicago River green for several
The correct answer is (C) They dye the Chicago River green for several hours.
Since 1962 they have been dyeing the Chicago River green with to help celebrate St.
Patrick’s Day, and some 100,000 people come out to see it each year.
If you kiss the Blarney Stone in Ireland, what gift are you supposed to receive?
a) The gift of gab.
b) One year of good luck.
c) A lip exfoliation.
The correct answer is (A) one year of good luck.
If you’re brave enough to kiss the Blarney Stone, located in Blarney Castle just outside of
Cork, you (and visitors that travel from all over the world to do so) are said to receive
the gift of gab.
What are some of the dances called in traditional Irish
Step Dancing?
a) The Boot Scootin’ Boogie.
b) Riverdance.
c) Jig, reel and hornpipe.
The correct answer is (C) Jig, reel, and hornpipe
Irish Step Dancing, recently popularized by
Riverdance, consists of two types of dancing—soft
shoe, which includes steps such as the jig and the reel,
and hard shoe with such steps as the hornpipe.
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What is the national symbol of Ireland?
a) Shamrock.
b) Harp.
c) A leprechaun.
The correct answer is (B) A harp
While you might think it would be the shamrock or a leprechaun, the harp has been
considered the ―official‖ symbol of Ireland since medieval times.
Why is Ireland called the ―Emerald Isle‖?
a) Because lots of rain annually creates emerald
green fields and meadows across the
b) Because so many emeralds were discovered
c) Because the waters off the coast of Ireland
appear to be green.
The correct answer is (A) Because lots of rain
annually creates emerald green fields and meadows
across the countryside.
Ireland can thank all the rain for its ―Emerald Isle‖ nickname. Ireland has an average of
225 wet days on its west coast and 150 wet days on the east coast, which makes the
grass in the fields and meadows grow very green.
What does the Gaelic phrase ―Cead Mille Failte‖ mean?
a) I love you.
b) Happy St. Patrick’s Day.
c) A hundred thousand welcomes.
In Gaelic, the national and first official language of Ireland, ―Cead Mille Failte‖ means ―a
hundred thousand welcomes.‖
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How did you do?
Besides a good game of darts, Party411 has more relevant party games adults might
enjoy. We like this scavenger hunt, because your guests will have to do a bit of thinking
to win. (Editor’s Note: Choose the time to begin the hunt carefully. You might want to
do it earlier in the evening, while your guests still have most of their wits about them,
although starting the hunt well after the ale has been absorbed may provide an
unexpected form of fun!)
St. Patrick’s Day Scavenger Hunt
You’ll Need
Irish Gifts
Green Paper
To Play
Start by thinking of some Irish gifts to hide
that relate to your scavenger hunt clues.
Write the clues on cut-out green shamrocks.
Each clue should bring about thoughts of
Ireland, leprechauns, fairies, St. Patrick’s Day,
Irish authors, musicians, or being raised Irish.
For example, you could ask, ―Who is a
famous Irish poet who wrote about the Irish
country side and the politics of Ireland
especially Bloody Sunday as well as When
You Are Old?‖ The answer is W.B. Yeats.
The hunt could lead guests to a bookshelf
with a copy of his collected poems. Another
question you can ask is, ―What is the name of a well known Irish rock band,
whose singer is originally named Paul David Hewson?‖ The answer, you guessed
it, U2.
The person who is able to get all of the items wins the scavenger hunt.
Grand-prize ideas for this or any game include a case of Guinness, Jameson’s
Whiskey, a book on Irish history, Irish pub-crawl coupons, traditional Irish
candy, live potted shamrocks, a Riverdance DVD and other Irish gifts.
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St. Patty’s Day for Kids
As always, children may be part of your celebration or you might want to give them one
of their own. Here’s how Allison Rebenack, editor and publisher of MacaroniKid.com
enjoys the day with her family:
―My days of green beer are long gone since the
kids came into my life. We do have a special
way of celebrating my husband’s Irish heritage
though. The kids start the morning with green
milk in their cereal or green eggs. After school
I drive them to their grandmother’s to make
Irish Soda Bread using a recipe that belonged
to their great-great grandmother. The family
grew up next to Martha Stewart’s family in
Nutley, NJ. I was told the recipe is one that
her grandmother and my father-in- law’s
grandmother both used. I believe it was a
common recipe that most of the Irish
neighborhood used. We all eat the bread
warm from the oven with a ton of butter. It is the only time of year this is made. I do
usually end the day with a Guinness.‖
And here’s Allison’s delicious family recipe for Rebenack Irish Soda Bread:
4 Cups Hecker’s Unbleached Flour
1 Tsp. Baking Powder
1 Tsp. Baking Soda
2 Tsp. Salt
2 Tsp. Sugar
2 Cups (approx.) Buttermilk
¼ of 15 oz. Box of Raisins
Caraway Seeds (optional-or between 1-2 Tbsp.)
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1. Mix flour, salt, sugar, powder and soda together. Add seeds and raisins and mix
well. Add buttermilk a little at a time (should not be sticky, should feel like
2. Form into one ball (bowl should be clean.)
3. Knead on floured board 30 turns.
4. Lay into 9‖ greased and floured cast iron fry pan. Press into shape of pan. Cut
cross on top with sharp knife and sprinkle flour on top.
5. Bake 350 for 10 minutes, then at 325 for a total of 45 minutes (adjust according
to your oven). It is done when it sounds hollow when you knock on the bottom
of it.
6. Best served toasted with lots of butter!
Kids’ Crafts and Decorations
If your St. Patty’s celebration includes the kids or is just for
kids, just click on FamilyFun.Go.com and
FamilyCrafts.About.com and find your fill of fantastic kids’
crafts for having fun and the decorating the holiday. We also
provided a few cool decorating projects for kids in the
Decorations/ Favors section.
Kid’s Games
Put some fun games on the agenda, too! Of course, you’ll want to choose ageappropriate games, but there are plenty to be found—click here. We
also found a couple on the Suite101.com site:
For a twist on a traditional party game, hang an Irish-themed piñata.
Children party guests might use a "shillelagh" stick to swat at a piñata
that looks like a pot of gold or a leprechaun. Fill the piñata with
gold foil-wrapped chocolate coins or toy doubloons.
Another party game kids can play is "Find the Pot at the End of the
Rainbow." Pick a child to be the seeker and have him or her leave the room. The other
children are leprechauns who hide a small pot full of "gold" somewhere in the room.
When the seeker returns, the leprechauns shout "hot," "cold," "hotter," "colder," "warmer,"
and "cooler" to give clues to the location of the pot of gold.
Here’s a cute one from Party411:
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Pot of Gold Toss
You’ll Need
Cardboard Box
Gold Spray Paint
Plastic Tub
Paint Brush
Gold Coins-Chocolate or Regular
To Play
Using a cardboard box and gold spray paint, make a pot of gold or you can buy a
plastic tub found at any home supply store and spray paint it gold.
Then, place the pot of gold in front of a field of clovers.
For the toss, purchase some gold coins or chocolate gold coins.
Hand out 3 to each of your guests. Each person gets 3 chances to get it in the pot
of gold. The guest that gets all 3 in wins a prize at the end. As a lucky prize, you
can give the winner $1.00 for every coin that landed in the pot of gold.
Kids’ Recipes
It wouldn’t be a party without food, and we found these yummy-sounding recipes for
kids on AmazingMoms.com:
Lucky Lime Drinks
Put one or two small scoops of lime sherbet in a clear glass icecream cup or beer mug. Pour 7Up over the sherbet. Add a dollop
of whipped cream, green sugar sprinkles and a green maraschino
Irish Mint Floats
Drop two scoops of mint chocolate chip ice cream into a glass
beer mug. Pour milk over the top, add a drop or two of green
food coloring and stir. Top with whipped cream and green sugar
Peppermint Candy Shake
You'll Need:
2 ½ cups vanilla ice cream
¼ cup milk
½ cup Peppermint Pattie bars, or Junior Mints cut into pieces
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Place candy pieces into the freezer for 15 minutes.
Tthen combine all ingredients in the blender and blend on
medium speed for 30 seconds. Stir with a spoon and blend
for 30 more seconds. Repeat until desired consistency is
For a thicker shake, place blended milkshake into freezer
for a few minutes.
Top with whipped cream and more mint candy pieces on
Shamrock Cupcakes
These cupcakes are so easy, the kids can decorate the entire batch with minimal
assistance. Your party guests might enjoy making these treats themselves as an activity.
The Shamrock cupcakes are so easy to decorate, even your littlest leprechaun can help!
You'll Need:
Cake mix or a cake from scratch
White frosting
Green gum drops (the "Dots" candy type work best)
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1. Make the cupcakes according to recipe.
2. Use clean scissors to cut the gum drops horizontally, into four circles.
3. Make the stem by cutting the smallest circle in half. Or you can cut 3 thicker circles
from one gum drop and the stems from another gumdrop, which may be easier for little
4. Top the cupcakes with the three circles and stem to make your shamrock -- it's that
We thought we’d wrap up this collection of St. Patrick’s Day party ideas with a list of
movies—fun for kids and grown-ups—which celebrate the all things Irish:
Finian's Rainbow
Luck of the Irish (2001)
The Last Leprechaun
The Magical Legend of the Leprechauns
The Secret of Roan Inish
Leapin’ Leprechauns
Darby O'Gill and the Little People
Our wish for you on St. Patrick’s Day…
May your heart be warm and happy
With the lilt of Irish laughter,
Every day in every way,
Forever and ever after!
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