For this year’s St. Patrick’s Day on March 17th, 2013, I had the honor of hosting a small ‘soiree’ that brought together new friends, great assortment of foods, and even shots of Jameson Irish Whiskey
Known as an Irish religious feast day, we couldn’t help but serve various types of good eats; so we made it a potluck! From stout beer cupcakes (with a whiskey chocolate ganache center and Irish cream frosting) to homemade pizza, I think everyone went home with a happy belly. Throw in some green and it’s St. Paddy’s Day, right?! (Check out paddynotpatty.com, thanks Kari!)
A special guest who attended was local artist and sculptor, James Kelsey. A peak into our conversations include topics like local music and art gatherings, or lack thereof. A lot of inspiration and admiration was tossed around. Check out James’s work on jameskelseystudios.com.
With everyone smiling, munching, drinking, and even sitting around a fire, I’d say the night was a success. This concludes that in order to throw a successful St. Paddy’s Day, you need: 1.) Food 2.) Drinks and 3.) Green. Also, here’s a list of Irish slangs, so what are ye waiting for? Don’t be a gobshite and up the yard!
These are the most fun cupcakes! The biggest hit at Julius’s 4th birthday party. Small and cute, kids and adults love them. My favorite part is that instead of battling with frosting on top, the frosting is in the center!
1 package Banana Nut muffin mix
1 package or box Chocolate cake mix (and milk, eggs, or oil according to the back instructions)
1 can or jar of white frosting, butter milk or vanilla
food coloring, liquid or gel, doesn’t matter (red, green, yellow)
Non-stick cooking spray or cupcake paper liners
Bake the chocolate cake package according to directions in a cupcake or muffin pan, lined or not (I’ve tried both, just do what you think is best for your muffin pan.
Separate the frosting into three even amounts. Mix in the food coloring a little at a time to get the desired color. I chose red to look like ketchup, green to look like lettuce, and yellow to either look like mustard or cheese.
The photo above features the yellow looking like mustard. Below is a photo that shows the yellow in a square outline to look like cheese corners. For best results, pipe the frosting out of a plastic bag corner with the tip finely cut off. All you need is a little frosting around the outside edges to be visible. You don’t need to fill the center.
Cut the cooled chocolate muffin-tops off. This will be the “patty”. I discarded the bottom.
Cut the cooled banana nut muffin-tops in half and these will be the top and bottom “buns”.
Pipe on the frosting in whatever order you like, I put “ketchup” on top of the bottom bun, then the chocolate patty next. Then “lettuce, and cheese or mustard” on top of the patty. Make these ahead of time too, and save them in the refrigerator.
As she calls it, “The best job I’ve ever had,” Liberty Duncan (pictured far right) takes full pride in working in a restaurant. Sous Chef in-training, Liberty falls under the wing of Darin, the owner of Boccata Deli & Market in Centralia, WA (a Mediterranean restaurant with a warm, European-style feel). Darin has taught Liberty enough about cooking to have her ecstatic to be a part of our dinner party. She made Beef & Barley Stew with Root Veggies; and for dessert, a Chocolate Avocado Pie. To complement her meal, Chef Jimi brought homemade rolls and homemade croutons to top our salad. I brought drinks and made an Oreo pie crust for Liberty’s pie. With her experience in the restaurant, combined with some experience cooking for her family, and inspiration from her grandpa, it’s needless to say that her dinner turned out delicious.
“It’s great to see people enjoy it, come together, and everyone’s happy.” -Chef Liberty
A specialty of hers is, “Lemon Salmon with Rice and Green Vegetables. And stews. And pretty much any pasta.” So in conclusion, I think I speak for everyone at the dinner party that we’ll be having Liberty cook for us again.
Photography Credit: Chris Newhall and Aaron Deager. All rights reserved.