Wednesday

St. Patrick's Day Dinner Menu




I had two questions.  The first question was:  Why do we celebrate St. Patrick's Day?

The second question was:  What can I make for dinner to make St. Patrick's Day fun for the kids (and us crotchety grown-ups too, I guess)?

Well, to answer the first question, St. Patrick's Day is actually a catholic holiday, originally celebrated in honor of St. Patrick, patron saint of Ireland, who died on March 17. This holiday was originally celebrated as a feast day by the Roman Catholic Church.  However, over time, the holiday morphed into a celebration of Irish pride, and began to include other festivities involving consuming large amounts of alcohol and other green mischief.

Though I am not much Irish, and am not a Catholic, I still will try to wear at least a little green, so I don't get pinched, and pretend to talk like a leprechaun in a horrible Irish accent.  And I will eat green food.

Which brings me to my second question.  What should I make for dinner on St. Patty's Day?

I finally decided on a green menu of Herbed-Mustard Pork Chops, St. Patty's Green Mashed Taters (no yucky food coloring in this recipe), Kiwi Shamrocks, and a special rainbow treat for desert.  On to the recipes!


Herbed-Mustard Pork Chops (based on a recipe from Southern Living)

Ingredients:

4 1/2" thick, bone-in pork chops
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon coarse grain mustard
1 tablespoon raw honey
1 teaspoon sage

1.  Preheat your oven's broiler.

2.  Sprinkle the pork chops on both sides with the salt and pepper.  Place chops on a broiling pan rack.

3.  In a small bowl, stir together the remaining ingredients.  Top each pork chop with a quarter of the butter mixture.

4.  Broil chops 5 inches from heat for 8-10 minutes or until chops reach an internal temperature of 155 degrees F.



St. Patty's Green Mashed Taters

Ingredients:

1 pound potatoes, peeled and quartered
4 cups broccoli crowns, chopped
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup warm milk or heavy cream
4 Tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Dash of pepper

1.  Place potatoes in a large pot.  Add cold water just to cover.  Bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat to medium and cover.  Cook potatoes for 10 minutes, then uncover and add the broccoli.  Cover again, and cook for another 5 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork-tender.

2.  Drain the potatoes and broccoli well.  Add back to the pot and mash with a potato masher until potatoes are smooth.

3.  Add remaining ingredients and stir well.



Kiwi Shamrocks



Basically, you are just cutting kiwi slices in to shamrock shapes using a cookie cutter. 
I do not actually own a shamrock cookie cutter, so I will be attempting this one free-hand with a knife.  Wish me luck.



St. Patrick's Day Rainbows

And finally, I found this adorable St. Patty's idea at Our Best Bites. 

She uses multi-colored Twizzlers to make the rainbows, cotton candy for clouds, and Rolos as the gold.  All of this is placed into little treat bags and tied shut with a ribbon.  Go check it out by clicking the link above, they are so cute!



And this concludes my St. Patty's Day dinner menu.  The only thing I am missing is the beverage.  Any ideas?

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