Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a Fun Family “Green Dinner”
Although St. Patrick’s Day meals such as corned beef and cabbage are certainly popular, it can be fun to put a green twist on your dinner preparations. Preparing a meal consisting of only green foods can be a great way for families to have a bit of fun together while celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. Whether you focus on foods that are naturally green or get a bit of assistance from a bottle of green food coloring, the results will be fun and perhaps even a bit shocking.
Set a Festive Table
Your green dinner will be even more fun if you take the time to set a festive table. Green paper napkins can add a pretty touch, or choose those which are decorated with a shamrock motif. Cover the table with a festive green tablecloth, or use green placemats. You can even create a beautiful green floral centerpiece, simply by placing white carnations in a vase of water tinted with green food coloring. Place the flowers in the tinted water for approximately twenty-four hours, after which time the white petals will become tinged with green. Then, simply discard the tinted water and arrange your festive green tinted carnations in a green glass vase tied with a shamrock-print ribbon bow.
Naturally Green Foods
If you prefer a natural approach to your green St. Patrick’s Day dinner, you’ll find that there are actually plenty of naturally green foods to choose from. Of course, green vegetables are the obvious choice, such as spinach, green beans or broccoli. A fresh green salad complete with cucumbers and green peppers is a great way to start your dinner. For the main course, chicken Alfredo served over green spinach fettuccine noodles can work well. Or, stuff pasta shells with a mixture of ricotta cheese and chopped spinach. Vegetable wrap sandwiches made with soft spinach tortillas and crispy green vegetable fillings can also be a good choice for your main course, especially if you are planning a more casual meal. For dessert, a fresh fruit parfait or salad made from green grapes and kiwi fruit can finish the meal off nicely. Of course, if you don’t mind a little bit of green food coloring, mint chocolate chip ice cream, green sherbet, pistachio pudding or a lime gelatin parfait could also be good dessert choices.
Fun with Green Food Coloring
If you don’t mind cooking with green food coloring, you can really have some fun with your St. Patrick’s Day dinner. Fortunately, it really doesn’t require a lot of food coloring to turn most foods a delightfully fun green color. There’s almost no limit to the kinds of food you can tint green by using a touch of food coloring. You can transform a simple white cream sauce into a something more festive by blending in just a couple drops of green coloring. Ranch salad dressing, mayonnaise, or other white dressings and sauces can be treated in the same way.
For dessert, try making a green cake with green frosting, simply by adding a few drops of food coloring to the cake batter and the frosting. If your children want to help with the dinner preparation, tint some regular sugar cookie dough and let them make green cookies. Use a shamrock cookie cutter to make the cookies even more festive and fun. You can also make green crispy rice treats by first tinting the melted marshmallow and butter mixture with a few drops of food coloring.
Bottled green fruit punch or green Kool-Aid can be the perfect beverage to accompany your St. Patrick’s Day green dinner. Or, if you really want to create a special beverage, make a frosty punch from lemon lime soda and green sherbet. Your family might enjoy your green dinner so much that it will become a yearly St. Patrick’s Day tradition.
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