Just because you’re not Irish doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. It’s just around the corner and this year folks it falls on a Saturday. What started as a religious holiday honoring Ireland’s patron Saint Patrick annually on March 17 has become a celebration of Irish culture. The saying, “Everyone’s Irish on St. Patrick’s Day,” certainly applies in today’s culture. It’s one of those holidays that you can use as an excuse to have a party. And, there’s nothing like inviting your friends and Travisso neighbors over for Irish-inspired foods and scrumptious desserts in honor of the people of the Emerald Isle.
So, let the feast begin. In the U.S, a St. Patrick’s Day party isn’t complete unless the main entrée is corned beef, cabbage and potatoes— a “traditional” Irish dinner. But, is it? In Ireland, the traditional St. Patrick’s Day dinner is eaten with bacon or lamb. The using of beef in Irish dishes in the U.S. began in the 1820s when Irish immigrants started arriving in America. Pork was too expensive at the time, consequently beef was used as a cheaper substitute.
A St. Patrick’s Day feast of deliciousness
For me, I can’t imagine celebrating St. Patrick’s Day without a corned beef sandwich or plate of the meat piled up high with its “traditional” sides. And, your party shouldn’t go without it either. A corned beef dinner with all the sides is fairly easy to make. Boiling the beef or slow-cooking in a crock pot are the preferred methods. These days the packaged meat comes with a seasoning packet. Add water, place the meat in a pot, add the seasoning packet, and simmer slowly. Make sure you also have plenty of Irish Soda Bread on hand. You can easily purchase a loaf at most grocery chains during the holiday or make your own. There are plenty of easy and quick recipes for this Irish staple online.
But, there’s nothing that says St. Patrick’s Day like Irish cream, you know, the one with alcohol in it. It’s a must-have. This creamy alcoholic beverage with a smooth texture is a wee bit of heaven. The original version is a product of Ireland and is crafted with fresh Irish cream, spirits, and Irish whiskey. YUM! And, you can serve it in a variety of ways. In a glass over ice is a preferable favorite for many. But, get creative and serve it in a variety of other cocktails. Or, serve it in coffee, with vodka, in coke or with milk, the possibilities are endless. You can serve it hot or cold but my personal favorite is in desserts.
A St. Patrick’s Day dessert to make Irish eyes smile
After a hearty dinner of corned beef, cabbage, and potatoes this St. Patrick’s day take your desserts to an entirely different level of deliciousness. There’s an incredible amount of blogs dedicated to writing about all the ways you can use Irish cream in desserts. Do a search and check them out. It might take you a couple of hours to decide on your dessert of choice. From pies, to cakes, to ice creams, mousses, puddings, and more.
However, you’ll deserve a pot-o-gold from your guests when you serve this scrumptious Irish Cream Cheesecake Recipe. I bake and serve this recipe every year to my guests on St. Patrick’s Day. It’s delicious whipped cream topping complements perfectly.
Here’s a few tips to follow for a perfect cheesecake. One, make sure your cream cheese is at room temperature before you begin mixing. Two, for a smooth top without cracks, don’t over mix. Over mixing allows more air into the batter which causes cracks. And, three, make sure the batter is lump free. For a show stopping presentation, garnish with chocolate curls.
May the luck of the Irish be with you this St. Patrick’s Day and always. Enjoy!