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The world can celebrate St. Patrick's Day with these easy recipe ideas

Mar. 13, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- Whether Australian, French, Canadian or American or other non-Irish descent, everyone can say they are "Irish for a day" on Sunday, March 17, as St. Patrick's Day is celebrated worldwide.

Celebrations generally feature attending parades, shamrocks, Blarney Stones, Emerald Isle, leprechauns, pots of gold, wearing of the green (or get pinched), eating Irish food and/or green foods and sipping Irish drinks.

Quite a few tables throughout the land have corned beef and cabbage as its centerpiece, while others have potatoes prepared in various ways and other dishes fit for the day.

This Irish recipe is from Kraft Foods:

IRISH COLCANNON WITH BACON

11/2 pounds potatoes, peeled, quartered

3 slices bacon, chopped

1 small onion, chopped

1/2 cup water

3/4 pound cabbage, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup milk, warmed

1/2 teaspoon salt

Place potatoes in Dutch oven or large saucepan. Add enough cold water to cover potatoes. Bring to boil on medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Meanwhile, cook bacon in large skillet on medium heat until crisp, stirring occasionally. Remove bacon from skillet with slotted spoon; drain on paper towels. Stir onions into reserved bacon drippings in skillet; cook and stir 2 minutes or until crisp-tender. Add 1/2 cup water; stir to release browned bits from bottom of skillet. Add cabbage; mix well. Cover; cook 7 minutes or until cabbage is tender and water has evaporated, stirring occasionally. Drain potatoes, return to saucepan. Add butter. Mash potatoes until creamy, gradually adding milk. Add cabbage mixture, bacon and salt; stir until well blended.

These Irish favorites are provided by "Paula Deen:"

EASY CORNED BEEF AND CABBAGE

4 slices bacon

4 tablespoons butter

1 head green cabbage, coarsely chopped

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

1 can corned beef

Cook bacon in large pot over medium heat until almost crisp. Remove bacon from pot; set aside. Melt butter in pot with bacon grease. Add cabbage, stirring well to coat cabbage in fat. Add about 1/3 cup water and salt and pepper, to taste. Cover pot with lid; cook over medium heat about 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile, chop bacon into small pieces. Remove lid from pot; scatter chunks of corned beef and chopped bacon over top of cabbage. Cover; cook until desired doneness.

IRISH SODA BREAD

4 cups all-purpose flour

1/3 cup sugar

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup unsalted butter

1 cup buttermilk

1 cup raisins

1 tablespoon caraway seeds

1 egg yolk

1 tablespoon heavy cream

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Arrange oven rack to middle row. Line sheet tray with parchment paper. Add first four ingredients to large bowl; whisk to combine. Add butter; cut in using pastry cutter until it looks like small peas. Add next three ingredients; stir until it looks like a shaggy biscuit dough. Turn out on cutting board; knead 20 seconds until it comes together. In small bowl, whisk together egg yolk and heavy cream. Divide dough into two pieces. Form each into round ball on prepared sheet tray, tucking in seams beneath dough. Brush each round with egg wash, then score an x on top of round using sharp knife. Bake 30 minutes, until golden brown, and when wooden skewer inserted into center of loaf comes out clean. Let cool on wire rack.

CRÈME DE MENTHE BROWNIES

4 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate

2 sticks butter

4 large eggs

2 cups granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup all-purpose flour

FILLING

1 stick butter, softened

2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar

4 tablespoons green crème de menthe

ICING

6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

3/4 stick butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 13- by 9-inch baking pan with vegetable oil cooking spray. In double boiler, melt chocolate and butter over simmering water. Cool slightly. In medium mixing bowl, beat eggs with whisk until blended, then add sugar and continue whisking until mixture is light and fluffy. Add cooled chocolate mixture, salt, vanilla and flour. Beat with whisk until all ingredients are thoroughly blended. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 25 minutes. Cool in pan.

Make filling: With electric mixer, beat together butter and sugar until well blended. Stir in crème de menthe. Blend well. Spread over cooled brownies. Refrigerate in original banking pan until filling is firm.

Make icing: Melt chocolate chips and butter in top of double boiler. Stir until smooth. Pour warm glaze over filling. Tilt pan to ice filling evenly. Refrigerate until chocolate hardens. To cut brownies, remove pan from refrigerator; allow brownies to come to room temperature so chocolate will not crack. Cut into 48 brownies. Remove brownies from pan; store in refrigerator in airtight container.

This drink is provided by "Taste of Home:"

PEPPERMINT HOT CHOCOLATE

31/2 cups 2 percent milk

8 ounces white baking chocolate, chopped

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

8 spearmint or peppermint candies, crushed

Additional crushed peppermint candies, optional

In large saucepan, heat milk over medium heat until steaming. Add chocolate; whisk until smooth. Stir in peppermint extract. In large bowl, beat cream until stiff peaks form. Fold in crushed candies. Ladle hot chocolate into mugs; dollop with whipped cream. Sprinkle with additional candies, if desired.

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