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)
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
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.
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?