I know its a week away, but I thought I'd get some ideas and recipes going for St. Patricks day. The family we are staying with has a 4 year old son, a 3 year old daughter and another son who is Briggy's age (actually his birthday is March 12th--Briggy's original due date!) So I wanted to find some fun crafts to make with the kids, since they are at the fun age of enjoying that sort of thing. Here are some of my favorite finds:
Luck of the Irish Leprachaun Hats:
Go to: http://jas.familyfun.go.com/arts-and-crafts?page=CraftDisplay&craftid=10040 for detailed instructions!
1. To make one, slice a green pepper crosswise near the pointed end to get a small, three-lobed shamrock shape. (If your pepper has four lobes, you've got a lucky clover instead.) Cut a small slice for a stem.
2. Toast half an English muffin, then top it with a slice of Cheddar and the pepper shamrock. Place the muffin on a tray, then broil it in a toaster oven until the cheese is melted.
Homeade Irish Soda Bread:
2 cups white flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
4 tbsp. butter, chilled
1 cup raisins
1 1/2 cups buttermilk or plain yogurt
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, combine the dry ingredients.
Cut in the butter until it is pea-sized. Stir in the raisins and buttermilk or yogurt. Turn the dough onto a floured surface, knead 1 minute, and shape into a disk.
Cut an "X" in the top and bake on a greased baking sheet for 45 to 50 minutes.
Makes one 8-inch-wide loaf.
Slow cooker cornedbeef and cabbage:
The slow cooker is the perfect way to go for this traditional dish, since it must bubble away untended for hours, in any event. Be sure to serve with crusty bread, and Dijon mustard and horseradish on the side.
4 cups hot water
2 tbsp. cider vinegar
2 tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1 large or 2 medium onions, cut into wedges
1 3-lb. corned beef round or brisket, packaged with spices
8 small white or yellow potatoes, scrubbed and cut into quarters
1 head of green cabbage (about 1 1/2 lbs.), cored and cut into 10 wedges
1. In a 6-quart electric slow cooker, combine the water, vinegar, sugar, pepper and onions, mixing well. Place the corned beef in the mixture. Scatter the potatoes over the top and along the sides.
2. Cover and cook on the High heat setting 4 hours. Remove the lid and scatter the cabbage wedges over the top. Cover and continue cooking on High 3 to 4 hours longer, or until the beef is tender. To serve, carve the beef into slices and serve with the cabbage and potatoes, with some of the cooking liquid spooned on top of the beef to keep it moist. Makes 6 to 8 servings.