By Jenny Stauffer
This month I was challenged to create a St. Patrick’s Day menu, and it was so much fun! Though I grew up with German and Irish and Catholic families, I was never much turned on to corned beef or beef and potato meals. But lo and behold, I managed to find a family-friendly meal that we all loved. If you find yourself in the kitchen this Patty’s Day, I encourage you to bring your kids along with you! My girls loved helping me along the way, and it was lots of fun!
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
Southern Living’s Shepherd’s Pie
(source: Southern Living Busy Mom’s Weeknight Favorites)
Trust me on this combination! It was so delicious, and every ingredient was perfect. If you have reservations on the beef, rest assured it tasted like it had been in the slow cooker all day. I’m sure if you did want to use a chuck roast on your own, this would still be a lovely meal! It has made our recipe rotation, for sure!
• 2 (17-oz.) packages fully cooked beef tips with gravy
• 1 cup frozen whole kernel corn, thawed
• 1 cup frozen sweet peas, thawed
• 1 (24-oz.) package refrigerated mashed potatoes
• 1/2 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened
• 1 tablespoon butter or margarine, softened
• 1 teaspoon garlic powder
• 1 cup (4 oz.) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Cook beef according to package directions. Spoon beef into a lightly greased 11- x 7-inch baking dish. Top with corn and peas; set aside.
2. Cook potatoes according to package directions; spoon potatoes into a bowl. Add cream cheese, butter, and garlic powder; beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Spread potato mixture over vegetables; sprinkle with cheese.
3. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 15 minutes or until thoroughly heated.
4. Get the Family Involved: Some youngsters are turned on to cooking if they can use an electric appliance like a mixer. For safety’s sake, teach children how to use it properly, and never leave them to use it unattended.
Irish Soda Bread
When I needed a good Irish bread to go with my menu, I knew to look to Kevin at www.closetcooking.com If you visit his site, you will see many, many delicious St. Pat’s recipes, among other yummy dishes. This bread was right up my alley…easy and no-knead. It is very rustic, and as it has no yeast, it is a dense bread. Both of my kids and husband ate it up, and I will keep it on hand for a quick-bread recipe. It was fun to make! The kids helped out, and as you can see from the ingredient list, it didn’t make for too much of a mess!
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup rolled oats
1 cup buttermilk
1. Mix the flour, baking soda, salt and rolled oats in a bowl.
2. Mix in the buttermilk and form a dough.
3. Shape the dough and place it on a baking sheet or in a loaf pan.
4. Bake in a preheated 375F oven for 40 minutes (the top should be golden brown).
Dianne’s Crème de Menthe Brownies
My dear friends’ mom, Dianne, shared this with my mom years ago. We devoured them growing up, and though a bit time consuming, they are worth it. An added memory I have is the crystal decanter my mom kept the crème de menthe in. It is green, green, green!
1 cup sugar
½ cup butter
4 eggs, beaten
1 c flour
½ tsp salt
16 oz can Hershey syrup
1 tsp vanilla
½ c chopped nuts
*Cream butter and sugar. Add additional ingredients. Spread on a jelly roll pan and bake at 350 for 20 min.
In the meantime:
2 c powdered sugar
3 T crème de Menthe
½ c butter
Spread onto cooled brownie
1 ½ c chocolate chips
6 T butter
Melt and spread on top of cooled brownies. (Mom takes the brownies and crème de menthe mixture out of the fridge right before the top is set.)