In the Chicagoland area, we use the term “ChIrish” to describe our unique Chicago Irish St. Patrick’s Day culture. Since my husband and I are both genuinely Irish, we love this time of year even more. Join us for an EASY St. Patrick’s Day Party that you can throw yourself with minimal effort!
I love to have little bowls of nibbles- something that will last all night at room temperature, but is interesting enough to consume the calories. I chose to make a peanut tasting! Target had these incredible flavors of peanuts on clearance, so I grabbed a can of each flavor. I then dumped them into china bowls, added a chalkboard clip with the flavor (thank you Target Dollar Spot) and was done with it.
White Cheddar Jalapeno
Finger food! My rule is that appetizers should be portable and be eaten in a bite or two. I am also a huge fan of assembling food as opposed to cooking it. You will hear me repeat this time and time again- save your time and energy for your guests! I also like to have something semi-healthy, and this quinoa salad is refreshing and light.
I assembled these “Lucky Quinoa Cups” by purchasing ready-made quinoa from Costco and placing it in baked wonton cups.
Baked Wonton Cups
Wonton wrappers (can usually find them in the refrigerated section of the grocery store, sometimes near the bagged salad for some odd reason)
Heat oven to 350F.
Place each wrapper in a standard size muffin tin.
Spray or brush lightly with olive oil.
Bake until golden brown and crispy, 8-12 minutes.
I usually place a small spinach leaf between the wonton cup and whatever I am serving in it; it helps the cups stay crispy!
Yep, I usually serve some type of main dish at our parties. It doesn’t have to be fancy, just filling. Why filling? We usually have a good amount of alcohol at our parties. When parents are heading out the door, they make sure their kids are fed but rarely do the same for themselves. No food + lack of sleep (we all have small children) + lots of booze = disaster. Make sure to have something to keep those guests who skipped dinner satisfied.
Mashed Potato Bar
There is NOTHING easier than a Mashed Potato Bar, especially if you buy the mashed potatoes pre-made. No, I am not talking the powdered kind that you reconstitute. Costco has this brand that is all natural, and tastes ten times better than I could ever make. All you have to do is dump it in a crock pot, hit low, stir occasionally and you have ‘taters. The fun is in the fixings! Chives, cheese and sour cream are staples, but pepper bacon, french fried onions, blue cheese and roasted broccoli all make for exotic toppings.
Corned Beef & Cabbage Sliders
The creativity in this dish comes in the presentation. Yes, corned beef & cabbage is a traditional Irish dish. Make it portable and slightly sweet by making it into sliders topped with sweet cole slaw? Easy to assemble, this dish takes ZERO cooking.
Cole Slaw Mix (shredded cabbage)
Marzetti Slaw Dressing
Sliced Corned Beef
Mix the cole slaw mix with dressing, set aside. Slice rolls in half, pile a few pieces of corned beef and top with cole slaw. Skewer and put on a decorated tray. DONE!
Desserts are always my favorite! Although they never go as fast as the other food, I am always thankful for a sweet treat at the end of the night.
Lucky Charms is my favorite cereal, and I love the chocolate version even better. I whip up a batch of Lucky Charms Treats (just like Rice Krispie treats), cut into small squares, and add to a dessert stand.
Another favorite of mine are Pot o’ Gold Truffles! SUPER simple to make, and these can be put together days ahead of the party.
Pot O’ Gold Truffles
1 box of Grasshopper cookies (or Thin Mints)
4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
Bag of chocolate chips (I used Andes Creme de Menthe Baking Chips, but Dark Chocolate, Bittersweet or ANY kind work well)
Pulse the cookies in a food processor. Mix in cream cheese and form balls. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, then dip in melted chocolate.
Want to make Irish Cream Cheesecake Shots? Grab an Irish Cream Cheesecake (yep, Costco had them last year!) and scoop it into individual disposable shot glasses (my Dollar Store has them). Top with either chocolate or peppermint whipped cream and add a mini spoon (Dollar Store!). DONE!
Now for my favorite part….the COCKTAILS!
If anyone else remembers Shamrock Shakes being a big part of March when they were little, you will LOVE the boozy version. I serve them in mini shot glasses with mini straws. So cute, right??
Shamrock Shake Shots
6 cups Vanilla Ice Cream
1/2 cup Creme de Menthe
1/2 cup Vodka
1/2 cup Irish Cream Liqueur
Mix ingredients in a blender and pour into mini shot glasses. Cut decorative paper straws in half and place in each as you serve.
Too many of these and you will end up like this little leprechaun…
And the main focus? ENJOY your party! I design all of my parties for minimum effort during the actual party- self-serve drinks (we get a keg of green beer), prepared appetizers on trays ready to go in the fridge, and lots of crock pots and warming trays for anything warm. Don’t stress, you aren’t here to impress…just have FUN!