Saint Patrick’s Day is one of my favorite days to celebrate! It usually coincides with the start of spring, warmer weather and the color green is everywhere (I love the color green). Now, I’m going to let you in on a little known fact about myself that also brings meaning to the holiday for me, which is…I’m part Irish.
Yes, it’s a shocking truth, even to my husband. How could someone with olive skin, black hair and brown eyes be part Irish? Well, my grandmother on my dad’s side holds the Irish decent. She happened to marry an Italian man that gave my father the more distinct Italian features and of course, the rest is history.
Anyway, flash forward to today, I’m proud of every heritage I hold and Irish is one of them. Let’s not forget the most important part of any holiday celebration and that’s the food.
This St. Paddy’s Day, your family (Irish or not) should try out one of these delicious family-friendly recipes from MilitaryShoppers.
My husband enjoys his meat and potatoes just like the best Irishmen. I blame the Bostonian in him. Our go-to beef recipe is a hearty Guinness Stew. Don’t let the beer ingredient chase you away. The alcohol cooks out when you’re preparing the dish (the longer a recipe with alcohol cooks, the more the alcohol cooks out). This stew simmers for hours. But, if you’re still concerned about the Guinness, substitute the beer for beef broth.
If your family is more adventurous, add Corned Beef and Cabbage to the menu. Make sure you purchase a corned beef brisket with a spice packet already included. That will provide more flavor to the meat while the brisket is cooking. Or you can have Easy Shepherd’s Pie instead, which is usually a hit for families. Feel free to include peas, carrots, or any other veggie to the meat mixture to make it a complete meal.
It’s not a full Irish meal without the Irish Soda Bread (bake this a day in advance, it tastes better). I would add a little bit of dried currants to make it more authentic. You can also bake Beer Bread (Guinness is my go-to beer to bake with, but any stout or ale or non-alcoholic equivalent would work too).
Every St. Paddy’s Day dinner should finish with something sweet! Here is a very festive dessert that is perfect for all ages:
Rainbow Jello “Cake”
- 2 packages Strawberry Jell-O
- 2 packages Lemon Jell-O
- 2 packages Lime Jell-O
- 2 packages Orange Jell-O
- 1 can evaporated milk (24 ounces)
- 9X13 baking dish or pan
Start by mixing one box per given directions and pour into a greased 9X13 baking dish or pan. Set the dish or pan inside the fridge to cool for awhile. Then use the same flavor, but mix it with the boiling water portion first and let it sit in the bowl for a moment and then add ¾ cup of evaporated milk and pour it on top of the first layer. Repeat these steps with every color and feel free to add any additional flavors until it makes a rainbow!
*Note: this recipe takes a lot (and I mean a lot) of patience, as do a lot of these Irish recipes, because of the time spent either waiting on the food to cook or in this case, the Jell-O to mold. Trust me though, it will be well worth it in the end!
Don’t have time (or the patience) to go through each rainbow layer? Whip up a delicious Chocolate Bread Pudding or bake mouth-watering Apple Cake instead.