Saturday, March 16, 2013

Fun St. Patrick's Day Meal Ideas

Sure, you might be eating the classic corned beef and cabbage for St. Patrick's Day every year, but here are some new, fun side dishes to add to the table that your kids will love!

What Irish dinner is complete without POTATOES!? This potato dish is shaped like shamrocks and is so easy to do! Start by washing and peeling your potatoes - you'll probably need at least 4 or 5 medium white baking potatoes, depending on your family's size and appetite. Now cut two long ditches down the length of each potato.  This will create three leaves to your shamrocks.

Next, cut two triangles along the length of the bottom of each potato. This will form the stem. Now slice the potatoes like normal, each slice about 1/4" thick.

Fry your potatoes in a large pan in about 3 or more tablespoons of oil. Be sure to heat the oil first; turn the potatoes half way through cooking; and fry until golden brown. They should be crisp on the outside and soft on the inside - YUM! You can also add in slices of onion to cook with the potatoes- YUM! YUM! To avoid hot oil popping on your stove top, cover the pan while cooking - you can buy a special metal mesh cover just for this purpose but since I don't have one I used a round pizza pan with holes in it. Final tip: I used vegetable oil and blotted the potatoes afterwards with a paper towel to remove access oil before eating. ;O)

(this photo keeps uploading SIDEWAYS! Can't figure out why... )

Another great side dish for kids? Creamy GREEN macaroni and cheese! Here's what you do: start cooking the macaroni as directed on the box (yes - you get to use a box mix!). Meanwhile, peel one medium avocado and mash it up using either a plain ol' fork (like me) or a fancy food processor. Mix in the ingredients you're supposed to mix into the macaroni and cheese, per the directions on the box. It's probably something like 1/4 cup of milk and 1/4 cup of butter. Also mix in the cheese. If desired, add a dash of onion powder. It probably won't quite be bright enough, so stir in a few (5-6) drops of green food coloring. Here's a picture of what it should look like so far:

When the macaroni is finished cooking, drain it like normal and stir in your green cheesy mixture. My daughter (6) loved this creamy (secretly healthy) version of macaroni and cheese!

P.S. A fun addition to any Irish meal is brussel sprouts because they look like mini cabbages! My daughter eats them so well and loves to pretend they are baby cabbages.  I simply toss mine in a tablespoon of olive oil and sea salt and cook in the microwave (in a covered microwave safe dish, of course) on high for about 5 minutes. 

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