Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Irish for a Day

It’s time to go green! We’re talking leprechauns, shamrocks, parades, and of course, beer.
This St. Patrick’s Day, celebrate with style using these fun recipes and décor ideas.

Sadly, the color green usually only makes it into a bouquet through a stem or a leaf. But green flowers are both beautiful and festive! Combine green tulips, chartreuse gladioli, bells of Ireland, mums, hydrangea, or hypericum together in a green vase to create the quintessential St. Patrick's Day centerpiece.

The more green, the merrier! String green Christmas tree lights around the party room, display shamrock plants (actually called Oxalis plants) in jars or bowls, serve your pretzels and chips out of green plastic leprechaun hats, or use fabric paint and a stencil to create an elegantly simple Celtic tablecloth.
Wrap napkins up with green Mardi Gras beads for a festive display. Or for a more rustic look, tie rough twine or raffia around the napkins and top with a shamrock.

If you forget to wear green this St. Patty’s Day, don’t be surprised if you get pinched. The legend, which started in America over 300 years ago, says that leprechauns would pinch anyone they could see. Wearing green made a person invisible to leprechauns, so people began pinching those who didn’t wear green as a reminder of the leprechaun’s sneaky little pinch.
Some people view the world through rose-colored glasses. Perhaps you prefer an amber beer tint? These totally kitsch sunglasses are guaranteed to set you apart in the St. Patrick's Day crowd.
If you want to go all out this year, use the Lucky Charms leprechaun as your guide. He sports a green blazer, a green scarf, and a green bowler hat with a shamrock sticking out of it. Don’t forget your "magically delicious" pink hearts, yellow moons, and purple horseshoes.

DIY Shamrock Shake

McDonald’s infamous Shamrock Shake has inspired a cultish following due to its minty goodness and limited availability. Now you can make your very own shamrock shake any day of the year.

Sham-Rocking Shake Ingredients
2 cups vanilla ice cream
1 ¼ cups 2% lowfat milk
¼ teaspoon mint extract
8 drops green food coloring
Pinch of sea salt

Combine all ingredients in blender and blend on high until smooth. If necessary, stop blender and stir with a spoon to help blend in ice cream. Split between two glasses, serve with a straw, and enjoy!