designed with Homestead
March 17, observed in honor of

St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland,
is one of Christianity's most widely known figures.
But for all his celebrity, his life remains somewhat
of a mystery. Many of the stories traditionally associated with
St. Patrick, including the famous account of his banishing all
the snakes from Ireland, are false, the products of hundreds of
years of exaggerated storytelling.

He is believed to have been born in the late fourth century, and is often confused with Palladius, a bishop who was sent by Pope Celestine in 431 to be the first bishop to the Irish believers in Christ.

Saint Patrick was the patron saint and national apostle of Ireland who is credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland. Most of what is known about him comes from his two works, the Confessio, a spiritual autobiography, and his Epistola, a denunciation of British mistreatment of Irish Christians. Saint Patrick described himself as a "most humble-minded man, pouring forth a continuous paean of thanks to his Maker for having chosen him as the instrument whereby multitudes who had worshipped idols and unclean things had become the people of God."

Saint Patrick is most known for driving the snakes from Ireland. It is true there are no snakes in Ireland, but there probably never have been - the island was separated from the rest of the continent at the end of the Ice Age. As in many old pagan religions, serpent symbols were common and often worshipped. Driving the snakes from Ireland was probably symbolic of putting an end to that pagan practice. While not the first to bring christianity to Ireland, it is Patrick who is said to have encountered the Druids at Tara and abolished their pagan rites. The story holds that he converted the warrior chiefs and princes, baptizing them and thousands of their subjects in the "Holy Wells" that still bear this name.

There are several accounts of Saint Patrick's death. One says that Patrick died at Saul, Downpatrick, Ireland, on March 17, 460 A.D. His jawbone was preserved in a silver shrine and was often requested in times of childbirth, epileptic fits, and as a preservative against the "evil eye." Another account says that St. Patrick ended his days at Glastonbury, England and was buried there. The Chapel of St. Patrick still exists as part of Glastonbury Abbey. Today, many Catholic places of worship all around the world are named after St. Patrick, including cathedrals in New York and Dublin city

Why Saint Patrick's Day?
Saint Patrick's Day has come to be associated with everything Irish: anything green and gold, shamrocks and luck. Most importantly, to those who celebrate its intended meaning, St. Patrick's Day is a traditional day for spiritual renewal and offering prayers for missionaries worldwide.

So, why is it celebrated on March 17th? One theory is that that is the day that St. Patrick died. Since the holiday began in Ireland, it is believed that as the Irish spread out around the world, they took with them their history and celebrations. The biggest observance of all is, of course, in Ireland. With the exception of restaurants and pubs, almost all businesses close on March 17th. Being a religious holiday as well, many Irish attend mass, where March 17th is the traditional day for offering prayers for missionaries worldwide before the serious celebrating begins.

In American cities with a large Irish population, St. Patrick's Day is a very big deal. Big cities and small towns alike celebrate with parades, "wearing of the green," music and songs, Irish food and drink, and activities for kids such as crafts, coloring and games. Some communities even go so far as to dye rivers or streams green!

Reuben Sandwiches

Originally submitted by Colette Gerow

These hearty grilled sandwiches
are made with corned beef, Swiss, sauerkraut and thousand island dressing on rye and
make a quick fix for lunches and light suppers.
Serve them with a steamy bowl of soup,
a zesty slaw or juicy pickles.

2 tablespoons butter
8 slices rye bread
8 slices deli sliced corned beef
8 slices Swiss cheese
1 cup sauerkraut, drained
1/2 cup thousand island dressing

1. Preheat a large skillet or griddle on medium heat.

2. Lightly butter one side of bread slices. Spread non-buttered sides with thousand island dressing.
On 4 bread slices, layer 1 slice Swiss cheese, 2 slices corned beef, 1/4 cup sauerkraut and second slice of Swiss cheese. Top with remaining bread slices, buttered sides out.

3. Grill sandwiches until both sides are golden brown, about 15 minutes per side. Serve hot.

Slaw with Blue Cheese Dressing

3 cups shredded white cabbage
3 cups shredded red cabbage
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup mayonnaise, recipe follows
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese, divided
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cooking Instructions
Combine white and red cabbage and green onions in a medium bowl.

In the bowl of a food processor or blender, combine the mayonnaise, buttermilk, garlic, 1/4 cup of the blue cheese, a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Process dressing until smooth. Pour dressing over cabbage mixture and sprinkle with remaining blue cheese, tossing to coat. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper, to taste.

Cover and chill for 3 to 4 hours.

Corned Beef and Sauerkraut Casserole


1  (11 ounce) can sauerkraut, drained
2 medium tomatoes, sliced
2 tbs. Thousand Island dressing
2 tbs. Butter
½ pound Deli-corned beef, shredded
2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
1 can Pillsbury flaky buttermilk biscuits


Preheat over to 425 degrees.

Spread sauerkraut in bottom of greased 12 x 8 baking dish.  
Top with tomato slices.

Spread lightly with dressing and butter. 

Cover with shredded corned beef.  Sprinkle with cheese. 

Bake for 15 minutes in preheated over.  Remove casserole from over. 

Separate each biscuit into 3 layers; slightly overlap biscuit layers on casserole to form 3 rows.

Bake for 15 to 20 more minutes.

Green Velvet Cake
Especially made for St. Pat's Day

1 cup vegetable shortening
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
2 ounces green food coloring
2 1/2 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vinegar

Directions for Cake
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Grease and flour 2 9-inch cake pans

In the bowl of a mixer, cream together the shortening and sugar. Add eggs one at a time.  Beat until fluffy.

In a separate small bowl, mix together the cocoa and green food coloring. Add the paste to the shortening mixture.

Sift the flour and salt together over parchment. Add to the batter alternately with the buttermilk in 3 additions.

Add the vanilla extract. Fold in the baking soda and vinegar.

Pour the batter into cake pans. Bake for 30 minutes or until an inserted cake tester comes out clean.

Let cool on a cooling rack. Invert the cakes from the pans.

White Frosting:
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup toasted pecans

Directions for Frosting:
Over medium heat, cook the flour and milk until thickened. Let cool.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Beat in the flour mixture. Fold in pecans.

Frost the top of the first layer with frosting and set the second layer on top. Frost the entire cake with remaining frosting.

Sauteed Kale with Irish Bacon
6 rashers (thin slices) Irish bacon, chopped
2 small spring onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 1/2 pounds kale, tough stems removed, leaves rinsed well and left damp, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons Irish butter
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cooking Instructions
In a large saute pan, cook the bacon over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Drain off all but 2 tablespoons of fat from the pan.
Return the pan to medium-high heat. Add the butter and when melted, add the onions and garlic, and cook, stirring, until soft, 3 minutes. Add the damp kale and stir to combine. Add the stock and stir. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the kale is tender, about 5 minutes. Uncover, add the cream and lemon juice, and increase the heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has evaporated and the kale is very tender. Add the bacon and adjust the seasoning, to taste.

Serve hot.

Shepherds Pie
with Scallion-Cheese Crust

Ingredients for the filling:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 pound minced British lamb
1 pound minced beef
2 medium onions, peeled and chopped
3 carrots, peeled and chopped very small
1/2 pound cremini mushrooms
1 level tablespoon tomato puree
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 level tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 cup red wine
1 1/2 cups fresh beef stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the crust:
2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes
2 tablespoons butter
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup scallions, cleaned and chopped
1 cup mature Cheddar, coarsely grated

Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a Dutch oven or deep saute pan. Brown the lamb and beef. Remove the meat from the pan with a slotted spoon. Add the onions to the pan and saute until the onions are tinged brown at the edges - about 5 minutes. Add the chopped carrots and cook for 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms, tomato puree, thyme, parsley and cinnamon. Stir and saute for 2 minutes. Next, stir in the flour, which will soak up the juice, then stir in the wine and the beef stock. Taste and add salt and pepper, as needed. Return the meat to the pan and bring to a boil. Cover, turn down the heat to low and simmer for about 30 minutes until the lamb is fully cooked.
Peel the potatoes, cut them into large even-sized pieces and place into a pot of cold, salted water. Bring the water to a boil and cook potatoes until they are tender, about 10 minutes. (Potatoes are done when a knife can easily go through.)
When the potatoes are done, drain off the water, return them to the saucepan, cover with a clean tea cloth to absorb the steam and leave them for about 5 minutes. Next, add the butter and mash them to a puree. Season with salt and pepper. When the meat is ready, spoon it into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish and level it out with the back of the spoon. After that, spread the mashed potato evenly all over. Sprinkle the scallions on top of the potato, scatter the cheese over the scallions and bake the pie until the top is crusty and golden, about 25 minutes.

Potatoes GruyAre
Contributed by: Chris

1 garlic clove, cut in half lengthwise
3 pounds (12 medium) new or waxy potatoes, peeled, scrubbed and sliced about 1/4 inch thick
3 1/2 cups low-fat or skim milk
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon salt, preferably sea salt, or to taste
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
3 ounces GruyÅre cheese, grated (3/4 cup grated)
1 tablespoon butter

Preheat the oven to 400 F; rub the inside of a
3-quart baking dish or gratin dish with the cut clove of garlic.

Place the potatoes in the baking dish in an even layer. Beat together the milk, eggs, salt and pepper. Stir in half the cheese. Pour this mixture over the potatoes.

Place in the preheated oven and bake for 1 hour, stirring the gratin every 15 minutes. Sprinkle on the remaining cheese and dot with butter. Continue to bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until the gratin is crusty and brown on top. Remove from the oven and serve.

Serving Size: Serves 6 to 8

"The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands
hath he recompensed me" 
Psalm 18:20
Chocolate Mint Cheesecake

Source: Better Homes and Gardens
Altered by me for St. Pat's Day
Makes 12 servings

1/2 cup crushed chocolate wafers (about 7)
1 cup low-fat cottage cheese
1 8-ounce package reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchatel)
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tablespoons green creme de menthe liqueur
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup (4 ounces) refrigerated or frozen egg product, thawed
3 tablespoons miniature chocolate-mint pieces
Green maraschino cherries for garnishing
Cool Whipped Topping

1. Sprinkle wafer crumbs evenly in the bottom of a lightly greased 8-inch springform pan. Set aside.

2. In a food processor bowl, process cottage cheese until smooth. Add cream cheese, sugar, cocoa powder, liqueur, and vanilla. Process until combined. (Mixture will be thick; scrape the sides of the bowl as necessary.) Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Stir in egg product and chocolate-mint pieces. Pour into prepared pan.

3. Bake in a 300 degree F oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until cheesecake appears nearly set when shaken. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Loosen sides of pan. Cool 30 minutes more; remove sides of pan. Cool completely. Cover; chill several hours or overnight.

Garnish each slice with one dab of Cool Whipped Topping and top with green maraschino cherries, if desired.

Makes 12 servings.

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from TeeterKat's Kitchen
Irish Chicken Stew with Dumplings

Nothing could be more comforting than a hearty homemade stew of shredded chicken and a medley of root vegetables, except, perhaps, if you threw in some delicious dumplings, which is exactly what I did.

2 (10.75 ounce) cans condensed cream of chicken soup
3 cups water
1 cup chopped celery
2 onions, quartered
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
5 carrots, sliced
1 (10 ounce) package frozen green peas
4 potatoes, quartered
3 cups baking mix
1 1/3 cups milk

Cooking Instructions
1. In large, heavy pot, combine soup, water, chicken, celery, onion, salt, poultry seasoning, and pepper. Cover and cook over low heat about 1 1/2 hours.

2. Add potatoes and carrots; cover and cook another 30 minutes.

3. Remove chicken from pot, shred it, and return to pot. Add peas and cook only 5 minutes longer.

4. Add dumplings. To make dumplings: Mix baking mix and milk until a soft dough forms. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto boiling stew. Simmer covered for 10 minutes, then uncover and simmer an additional 10 minutes.

Corned Beef and Cabbage

The slow cooker is the perfect way to go for this traditional dish, since it must bubble away untended for hours, in any event. Be sure to serve with crusty bread, and Dijon mustard and horseradish on the side.

4 cups hot water
2 tbsp. cider vinegar
2 tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1 large or 2 medium onions,
cut into wedges
1 3-lb. corned beef round or brisket,
packaged with spices
8 small white or yellow potatoes,
scrubbed and cut into quarters
1 head of green cabbage (about 1 1/2 lbs.),
cored and cut into 10 wedges

1. In a 6-quart electric slow cooker, combine the water, vinegar, sugar, pepper and onions, mixing well. Place the corned beef in the mixture. Scatter the potatoes over the top and along the sides.

2. Cover and cook on the High heat setting 4 hours. Remove the lid and scatter the cabbage wedges over the top. Cover and continue cooking on High 3 to 4 hours longer, or until the beef is tender. To serve, carve the beef into slices and serve with the cabbage and potatoes, with some of the cooking liquid spooned on top of the beef to keep it moist. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Pistachio Pudding Cake

Makes 9 x 13 inch cake 


1 (18.25 ounce) package white cake mix
1 (3 ounce) package instant pistachio pudding mix

3 eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup lemon-lime flavored carbonated beverage
3/4 cup crushed pineapples, drained
3/4 cup flaked coconut
3/4 cup chopped pistachios
1 or 2 drops of green food coloring (optional)

  Mix cake mix, oil, eggs, soda drink, and 1 package pudding well, about 5 minutes.

Fold in coconut and nuts. Pour into greased and floured 9 x 13 inch pan. 

Bake at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes. Cool.

1 cup milk
1 (3 ounce) package instant pistachio pudding mix
1 - 8 ounce cream cheese
1 - 8 ounce carton whipped cream
3/4 cup chopped pistachios
3/4 cup flaked coconut

Mix milk and 1 package pudding. Beat well. Set aside.
Beat cream cheese until smooth.
Add whipped cream. Mix well.
Add the prepared pudding.
Add nuts and coconut. Stir just until mixed.
Spread over cake.

from TeeterKat's Kitchen