St Patty’s Day Fun


I typically enjoy donning some green (and forcing encouraging my family to do the same) and serving an Irish fare on the 17th of March.  I thought I’d share some of our traditions with you today, as well as some new recipes I got from some friends on face book, in case you wanted to try some at your home on Wednesday.  I’m always eager to try new traditions and activities at the circus. 

Our traditional breakfast is always a bowl of Lucky Charms.  (you know b/c of the little leprechaun)  Here we are last year at breakfast.  You can tell the circus crew are real morning people, huh?   IMG_4938

Seriously, I know this has very little to do with St Patty’s day, but when I saw this picture in last years folder, I cracked up.  Clearly the thought of marshmallow candy has him down right ecstatic! 


In the past we’ve had either green bagels for lunch or these St Patty’s day pizza’s.  This year I plan to serve the pizza’s.  Simply take an English muffin, top with sauce and cheese and then slice a green pepper to make the shamrock.  A friend told me they make a similar lunch but instead of the sauce and cheese (which aren’t very Irish) they top with a slice of cheddar and then the pepper.  


Now for dinner, I try to go with an authentic Irish meal.  In the past I’ve made corned beef and cabbage.  But the kids really aren’t fans and truth be told, I don’t much care for it myself (sorry Megh) so this year I sent out a request on face book looking for an alternative authentic Irish cuisine to serve to the family. I was flooded with recipes and suggestions and have settled on Guinness  Irish Stew and Irish Soda Bread  (recipes below) They both sound yummy and I am eager to give them a try.  For dessert we’re going to have mint chocolate chip milkshakes!! 

How about you?  Do you do anything special to celebrate St Patty’s day at your house?

Guinness Irish Stew: This is from the Cook's Country website, part of America's Test Kitchen, uses the crock-pot, but is supposed to cook a long time on low, so plan accordingly :-) 

  • 4 lbs boneless beef chuck stew meat (the recipe says to buy large chunks, trim of fat and cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces)
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 TBS vegetable oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 4 c. low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 c. Guinness Draught
  • 1 TBS light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 5 carrots, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 1 lb. parsnips, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 1 1/2 lbs baby red potatoes, scrubbed clean
  • 1/4 c. flour (you can use all purpose, but Wondra flour works really well if you have it)
  • 2 TBS minced fresh parsley leaves (you could use 1 TBS dried parsley instead)

1. Pat beef dry with paper towels and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in large skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Cook half of beef until browned on all sides (give it time to brown, don't stir too much). Transfer to slow cooker and repeat with additional 2 tsp. oil and remaining beef.
2. Add remaining 2 tsp. oil, onions and 1/4 tsp salt to skillet and cook until onions are lightly browned (about 5 min.). Add broth, 1 1/4 c. of the stout, sugar, thyme, chocolate and bay leaves and bring to boil, using wooden spoon to scrape up browned bits from pan. Transfer to slow cooker.
3. Add carrots, parsnips, and potatoes to slow cooker. Cover and cook on low until meat is tender, 9-10 hours (or 6-7 hours on high). Turn cooker to high. Whisk together flour and remaining 1/4 c. beer until smooth then sit into slow cooker. Cook, covered until sauce thickens, about 15 minutes. Stir in parsley, season with salt and pepper to taste and discard bay leaves. Serve.
To prep ahead of time, brown meat and cook onion mixture from step 2 the night before. Refrigerate overnight in separate containers and put in slow cooker in the morning, then complete step 3 when ready.

Irish Soda Bread

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan.
  2. Combine flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and baking soda. Blend egg and buttermilk together, and add all at once to the flour mixture. Mix just until moistened. Stir in butter. Pour into prepared pan.
  3. Bake for 65 to 70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the bread comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Wrap in foil for several hours, or overnight, for best flavor.


  1. I don't really do a lot for St Patrick's day, because I'm grinchy like that. I do love April Fools though! I love those two recipes--I don't know why I never thought of making them for St. P day.

    You know, I've been noticing a remarkable dearth of belly shots on this blog :-)

  2. Omgosh! That picture is too funny of your boy. Cracked me up. Kids are hilarious, seriously! Love them.

  3. The picture of your son is soooo cute!!! LOL, love his expression!

  4. i'm usually pretty happy if i remember to wear green on St. Patty's Day. but if i were there, i'd definitely join you for dessert! :)

    LOVE the picture of your son. so hilarious.

  5. We made corned beef and cabbage with soda bread on Friday since Mike is never home for dinner on the real date--it's a "working" holiday for him as a piper : ) and the later he plays, the better the tips, oddly enough....

  6. i honestly only eat corned beef and cabbage to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, but i happily celebrate multiple Thanksgiving dinners all year long :) So, I'm not too crazy about it either :) I do like the cabbage, though!

    Let me know how the stew turns out b/c it looks great and i'd like to try it. Also, PS: I love the show Parenthood! Love it, love it :)

  7. Hmmm we are still figuring that one out though we will be wearing green and eating bangers and mash.... but for the rest of the day I am not sure.

  8. You really are one of the most creative moms I know. What a fun idea! Maybe I'll change our dinner plan for tomorrow...

  9. This year I made Irish Soda bread which was pretty good, but my kids weren't crazy for it. How did the stew turn out? Sounds yummy.


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