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St. Patrick's Day Party Themes

Published February 29, 2012        by Sarah

Image by rachaelvoorhees on FlickrOn March 17, the world celebrates St. Patrick's Day.  While he is the patron saint of Ireland, the entire world has embraced this day.  For some, it is an important religious day and time of observance; for others, it is a secular celebration, complete with leprechauns and rainbows. This March, you can do more than wear green to honor St. Patrick.  With these party themes and your Irish pride, you are guaranteed to have a great time.

Celebrate Green

St. Patrick’s Day and green go together like… well, St. Patrick’s Day and green.  Pubs and bars around the country serve green beer and Chicagoans dump 40 pounds of green vegetable dye into the Chicago River.  A green-themed party can be tailored for adults or children with ease.  Everything from St. Patrick's Day cookies and cupcakes to mashed potatoes and beverages can be dyed green, and you can serve chips or green veggies with spinach or avocado dip.

Try this tasty recipe for green mashed potatoes from for a great side or a sneaky way to get your kids to eat peas:

  • 6 russet potatoes, scrubbed, peeled, and cut into chunks
  • 8 oz frozen green peas
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • Salt and pepper
  • Milk

To make:

  • Boil potatoes in a large pot until soft.
  • Add the peas in the last 4-5 minutes of cooking.  Check the peas to see if they’re tender. Then drain peas and potatoes.
  • Put the peas and potatoes back in the pot and add butter, salt, and pepper.
  • Mash.
  • Add milk to get to desired creaminess.

A “Real” Irish Feast

In Ireland, “traditional” corned beef and cabbage is served – but mostly to American tourists.  For the most part, the Irish tend to enjoy other foods on March 17.  Having a party which features real traditional Irish foods can be a fun way to salute St. Patrick.  Lamb stews are popular choices, as are boxty (potato pancakes), colcannon (a filling dish of cabbage and onions), coddle (a stew made of pork, sausage, potatoes, and onions), and crubeens (pigs’ feet with carrots, onions, and spices or prepared with seasoned breadcrumbs and fried).  This recipe for boxty from HomeCooking. About is easy, quick, and delicious.

  • 1 cup raw, grated potatoes
  • 1 cup leftover mashed potatoes
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • ¼ cup milk
  • Butter or oil (to fry with)
  • Sugar (optional)

To make:

  1. Remove excess moisture from raw potatoes by placing them in a clean cloth and twisting.
  2. Whisk flour, salt, and baking powder.
  3. Add the flour mixture to the raw potatoes, mashed potatoes, and eggs.  Make it the consistency of a pancake batter.
  4. Heat a heavy skillet on medium heat and add butter or oil.  Drop the potato batter by the tablespoon in the hot pan.  Cook for about 4 minutes per side, until brown.
  5. You can then butter the boxty and serve it hot. Sprinkle on some sugar if you like.

St. Patty’s Day Cocktails

Image by Tom Anderson on FlickrA cocktail party is a great way to cap off your Irish or Irish-American feast or entertain friends.  Again, there are more traditional Irish drinks, and then the drinks Americans think the Irish drink.  Either way, enjoy!  You can serve Irish whiskey and Guinness for those looking for a stout drink from Ireland or you can serve a bit more mild beverages, including this yummy Shamrock Shaker from Cocktails.About:

  • 1 ½ oz Kahlua
  • 2 ½ oz milk
  • ½ oz Amaretto
  • Edible green and gold powder for garnish (available at cake-decorating stores and online).

To make:

  • Pour all of the ingredients into cocktail shaker along with ice cubes.
  • Shake!
  • Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
  • Sprinkle green and gold powders on top.

The best part of St. Patrick’s Day is enjoying time with family and friends – and all the great treats! Don’t let your guests leave without offering dessert. 

Try this recipe for Irish Cream Truffle Fudge - a delicious way to cap off a fantastic St. Patrick’s Day.