Happy last official week of winter dear blog friends! Let’s all do an Irish jig!!
In addition to this much anticipated end of season, tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day. Do you do anything special for it?
You may already know that my parents are from Ireland and we spent many summers there growing up. On St. Patrick’s Day my mother would make Irish bread (which was a staple in our house anyway), have us all wear something green (not olive green, not dark green – a kelly green that says, I’M IRISH AND PROUD OF IT!). If we weren’t old enough to be in school yet we would go to morning mass with mom too.
I’m always bewildered by what has happened with St. Patrick’s Day in the US. When did it all become so cheesy? The decor, the apparel, what????? All of that does not equate in any way with my parents, my family and my Irish heritage which is rooted in a deep faith in God and is rich with literature, art, hardworking people and a beautiful country. I’m not one to be oversensitive to political correctness but honestly I find it all a bit degrading of the Irish culture. Crazy commercialism!
To make our home fun for St. Paddy’s Day I mostly just pull out things that I already have that are green (representing the “Emerald Isle”), which is the perfect fresh color for the start of spring too.
I’ve had this little shamrock runner for years and I think it might be the only official St. Patrick’s Day decor I own!
So – what to serve on St. Patrick’s Day. I’m not a fan of corned beef and cabbage, how about you?
The following is in no way a traditional Irish meal, but it’s a crowd pleaser that is easily customized for a holiday.
Chicken Puff Pastry. Do you know it? It’s basically a chicken breast topped with herbed spreadable cheese, then wrapped with sheets of puff pastry and baked. Make it festive for any holiday by using leftover scraps of puff pastry and cookie cutters to adorn the top. It’s a wee bit time consuming (prep to table takes about 1 hour 15 minutes), but my kids thing of this as special occasion food and so it elevates the ordinary Tuesday night dinner into An Event.
You can change up the topping by trying cream cheese with chives or various jams (Major Grey’s chutney is a fave, as is straight up fig jam). Take the recipe and make it your own!
After the dough is rolled out, cut it into 4 even squares. I do this with a butter knife because my gorgeous baloney colored countertops are IMPOSSIBLE to kill, scratch, or bang up in any way. Which is so awesome. Because I love them so much. 🙂 Alternatively you could do the rolling and cutting on a silicone mat, or roll on your counter and then cut with a plastic knife if you are concerned about scratching your counters.
Place the pastry envelopes on a baking sheet with the seams UP. If desired, use cookie cutters and the leftover pastry to cut out a design for the top. After it’s baked, the design is kind of subtle but it’s just a fun little detail.
Beat an egg and then use the pastry brush to apply to the top of the envelopes.