Festive Fun for St. Patrick's Day
(Family Features) Turn your St. Patrick's Day celebration into a chance to enjoy Irish heritage with hearty foods and a lively atmosphere. When it's the one day each year it's acceptable to pinch non-conforming friends and family, it'd be a shame not to go all out.
These few simple tips can help you put together the perfect party to revel in all things green - and tasty.
* Decorate with purpose. Everyone knows that green is the color of the day, but go one step further by incorporating it into different items. Banners and streamers work fine, but setting out green candles or even adorning your light fixtures with green bulbs can help you take an extra step forward.
* Create active fun. Instead of limiting your guests to dining and conversation, plan some simple activities to help the fun flow. Games like a "treasure hunt" for gold coins, limerick-writing competitions or even just turning up Irish-themed music can help get the party started.
* Eat festively. Turn your party's food and drinks into true Irish dining with some delicious recipes like this American Irish Stew, which includes beef, onion, carrots and potatoes for a tasty cultural meal to fill all of your hungry guests.
For more hosting tips and the perfect themed recipes for any occasion, visit culinary.net.
American Irish Stew
Reprinted with permission from the American Institute for Cancer Research
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/4 pounds beef, top round, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
3 cloves garlic, minced
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
2 medium parsnips, cut into large chunks (optional)
3 cups low-fat, reduced-sodium beef broth
4 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 leek, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
In large pot over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add beef and garlic. Cook, gently stirring until meat is evenly browned. Season with salt and pepper.
Add onion, carrots and parsnips. Cook 3-4 minutes. Stir in broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer about 75 minutes, or until meat is tender.
Stir in potatoes and simmer another 30 minutes. Add rosemary and leeks. Continue to simmer, uncovered, until potatoes are tender. To avoid potatoes falling apart, do not overcook.
Serve hot and garnish with parsley, if desired.
Nutritional information per serving: 370 calories, 8 g total fat (2 g saturated fat), 43 g carbohydrate, 32 g protein, 6 g dietary fiber, 427 mg sodium.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images
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