Janet's Notebook
St. Patrick's Day Recipes That Are Easy to Make


Chocolate Irish Coffee


We can't all go to Ireland for St. Patrick's Day, but we can bring Ireland to our kitchen. These Irish-inspired recipes will make for a festive - and tasty - St. Patrick's Day.

Irish immigrants began the custom of eating corned beef, cabbage, and potatoes after emigrating to the United States in the 1800's. The ingredients were inexpensive and reminded them of their home country. Since then, in the U.S. we've adopted the custom to eat this on St. Patrick's Day.

Rose Mary Mogan's (Sauk Village, IL) Glazed Corned Beef & Cabbage N Irish Stout Beer would be a wonderful centerpiece to a meal. She adds a few unique ingredients that put a twist on this traditional dinner.

"Today my husband and I decided to add a new twist to our corned beef and cabbage dinner with carrots, bell peppers, garlic, and onions," reveals Rose Mary. "I cooked the corned beef with an Irish stout beer his suggestion and then glazed it after it was cooked, which was my suggestion."

Irish stout beer is very dark and has a big depth of roasted barley flavor that really infused into the corned beef. The sweet and sour glaze, though, is what makes this brisket so good. It would be great on other types of meat too.

Another delicious recipe that uses stout beer is Michelle Sebastian's (Washington, DC) Beef in Guinness.

Guinness originated in Ireland in the mid-1700's and has remained one of the most popular drinks in Ireland. In fact, some people used to think it has medicinal value because of the antioxidants found in Guinness and not other beers. Michelle adds a bottle to her beef stew which really brightens up the flavors of this dish.

"Easy to prepare on a weekend for reheating during the week," shares Michelle. "You can double or triple the recipe and make a huge pot that saves well and reheats wonderfully." The beef turns out so tender you can break it apart with a fork. Serve with creamy mashed potatoes and you have a hearty meal.

Whether serving corned beef and cabbage or a beef stew, what goes alongside both beautifully is a loaf of Irish soda bread. Soda bread is simple, rustic, and never pretentious. Elizabeth Chuan-Riley shared her Family Soda Bread recipe and it's just that.

From the firm crust to the moist center, this is a perfect soda bread. Spread with a little (ok, maybe a lot of) butter or use it to sop up broth from your favorite stew. With or without raisins, this bread is a great addition to any meal.

While there isn't a traditional St. Patrick's Day dessert (that I know of), I'm a huge fan of Racquel Sweeney's Irish Style Banoffee Pie.

When I was in Ireland, if this pie was on the menu, I ordered a slice. It has a graham cracker crust and is filled with caramel cream and sliced bananas. Then, the topped with a light and fluffy whipped cream. It's seriously heavenly.

Not in the mood for pie? Cheers St. Paddy's Day with Vickie Parks' Chocolate Irish Coffee. Traditionally, Irish coffee consists of hot coffee, Irish whiskey, and sugar with a layer of thick cream floated on top. They really are a dessert in themselves.

Vickie shared her delicious variation on this cocktail. "I tried making this using a dried premium cocoa powder and it was OK, but it's much better using melted dark chocolate because it had a depth and richness that was lacking with the dried cocoa powder," thinks Vickie.

This coffee is strong and not for the faint of heart! The addition of the chocolate gives the drink a slight sweetness but not overly sweet. The Creme de Menthe adds a hint of minty flavor. Make sure to use a good, smooth Irish whiskey when preparing this.

Even if you're not Irish, these hearty and easy to make recipes are a great way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. Happy Pinching!



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