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  1. Naturally Green St. Patrick's Day Menu

    Naturally Green St. Patrick's Day Menu

    Green St. Patrick's Day Menu Among the sundry of associations inseparable from St. Patrick's Day are shamrocks, Guinness, leprechauns, and most certainly a plethora of green. But why has green become the go to color for this holiday? Is it...

    Natural St. Patrick's Day Menu
    Green St. Patrick's Day Menu

    Among the sundry of associations inseparable from St. Patrick's Day are shamrocks, Guinness, leprechauns, and most certainly a plethora of green. But why has green become the go to color for this holiday? Is it a reference to the color of clovers, or perhaps to the rich gradient of green prevalent in the Irish countryside?

    From what history tells us, green has long been associated with Ireland; notably since the 1640's, as the color was adopted by the Irish Catholic Confederation. But whether you are of the Irish diaspora or simply a plastic paddy this one day out of the year, it is hard to deny the joyful affect the annual flood of vivid greens has on one's mood. Much like the intense reds of the Chinese New Year, green on St. Patrick's day infuses the spirit with celebratory glee.

    All Green Menus are a fun and festive way to incorporate this giddy spirit, and make a splendid addition to any St. Patrick's Day party. Best of all, the recipes for this St. Patrick's Day menu use naturally green ingredients like vegetables and lime, so no artificial coloring! This menu can also easily be made meatless by leaving out the bacon pieces to accommodate for any vegetarian guests.

    The best meals begin with an appetizer or two to cleanse the palate and stimulate one's hunger.

    Thus, we start our green themed feast with a simmering pot of Split Pea Soup.

    Split Pea Soup

    Split Pea Soup
    Split Pea Soup

    Ingredients:

    • 3 cups Green Peas
    • 1-1/2 cups Vegetable Stock
    • 1/2 cup Heavy Cream or milk
    • 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
    • Salt and Pepper to taste
    • Bacon Bits, real or faux

    Directions:

    1. In a blender, blend all ingredients (aside from the bacon bits) until smooth.
    2. You can chill the soup in the fridge and serve cold, or warm it to just below boiling over the stove if you wish to serve it hot.
    3. Sprinkle with bacon bits before serving.

    Alternatively, you could also try this other Split Pea Soup recipe with yogurt, parmesan and red wine reduction

    Avocado and Spinach Pesto Pasta

    Avocado Spinach Pesto Pasta
    Avocado Spinach Pesto Pasta

    Ingredients:

    • 2 large ripe Avocados, peeled and cored
    • 3-4 cups of Spinach
    • 2 Garlic Cloves
    • fresh Basil, to taste
    • 1/2 cup Lemon Juice
    • 1/2 cup Lime Juice
    • Salt and Pepper to taste
    • Your choice of pasta

    Directions:

    1. In a food processor or blender, add all ingredients sans the pasta.
    2. Pulse until well blended and smooth.
    3. Serve over a warm plate of pasta. Rotini pasta works quite well for this dish.

    Garlic Green Beans

    Green Beans Side
    Green Beans Side

    Garlic green beans are savory on their own, almost like a plate of sauteed asparagus, and can make for an unexpected but nonetheless delightful addition to most meals.

    For Garlic Green Beans, you'll need the following ingredients.

    Ingredients:

    • 1 pound of fresh long green beans, rinsed and snipped
    • 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
    • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt

    Directions:

    1. In a large skillet or wok, heat the olive oil.
    2. Add the green beans, coating slightly with the oil.
    3. Add the garlic powder and sea salt, and allow to cook, stirring occasionally, until tender.

    Optionally: Add some sesame seeds or bacon pieces to the garlic green beans side dish for that extra finishing touch.

    Mint Limeade

    Mint Limeade
    Mint Limeade

    For refreshment, a tall glass of fresh limeade adds a sense of lightness, which balances the denseness of these celebratory dishes.

    Ingredients for Limeade with Mint:

    • 1 cup of Lime Juice
    • 4 cups of Water
    • 1 cup of Sugar
    • Mint Sprigs

    Directions:

    1. Mix the lime juice, water, and sugar in a large pitcher.
    2. Stir well, allowing the sugar to dissolve.
    3. Add several mint sprigs and stir again.
    4. Pour in festive glasses over ice.

    Mock Key Lime Pie

    Mock Key Lime Pie
    Mock Key Lime Pie

    For a delectable dessert, why not finish with a light and fluffy pudding pie? This one happens to harbor much of the same tart and sweet goodness of Key Lime Pie, without all the work.

    Ingredients:

    • 2 packages instant Vanilla Pudding
    • 1/4 cup Lime Juice
    • 2 teaspoons Lime Zest
    • 3/4 cup Milk
    • 1 tub of Cool Whip
    • 1 Graham Cracker Crust

    Directions:

    1. In a large bowl, combine the pudding mixes, milk, lime juice, and lime zest.
    2. Mix with whisk for 2-3 minutes, or until thick. 
    3. Let the 'pudding' sit in fridge for 5 minutes.
    4. Add one cup of the cool whip to the pudding and mix well.
    5. Next, spread the pudding mixture into the crust.
    6. Top this with the remaining cool whip and chill in fridge for an hour.

    Enjoy St. Patrick's Day with friends and family while sharing this festive green and healthy St. Patrick's Day menu! Instead of preparing all the dishes as a dinner menu, you could also pick one or two of the recipes and make a light St. Patrick's Lunch. And since this menu is so rich in healthy vegetables, you won't have to feel guilty about taking an extra beer or whiskey shot later on in the night.

    Feel free to contact us with any questions or comments. We'd love to hear from you.

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  2. Brunch Ideas: Plan a Post Wedding Brunch!

    Brunch Ideas: Plan a Post Wedding Brunch!

    Brunch Table A post wedding brunch is the ideal post celebration with regard to honoring the newly married couple. The organizer is wise to include the event after the completion of a successful wedding ceremony and reception. Persons who...

    Brunch Table
    Brunch Table

    A post wedding brunch is the ideal post celebration with regard to honoring the newly married couple. The organizer is wise to include the event after the completion of a successful wedding ceremony and reception.

    Persons who like to cook and bake or organize events never mind thinking up new ways to serve brunch. Brunch is ideal for relaxing, getting together with family and friends, and generally finding time to unwind from busy schedules. Since weddings are seriously stressful for many, especially the bride and the organizers: Does it not make sense to have a Post Wedding Brunch? The brunch is a great idea for the newly married bride: It provides her time to pause and get even better acquainted with her in-laws, their acquaintances and, perhaps, renew bonds with her own family and friends. The question remains: How does the new bride and her post brunch organizers go about planning for the event? The following article provides the reader with many practical tips and suggestions in order to host such a gathering.

    Brunch etiquette is very important:

    The primary underlying idea of hosting a post wedding brunch is for the new bride and groom to spend quality time with the guests who attended the wedding. The new bride is also advised to invite persons who could not make the wedding date due to prior commitments--that is if it makes sense to do it. The post wedding brunch is a good time to finally unwind after months of wedding planning. The environment of the post wedding brunch is laid-back.

    There are many questions that first come to mind in planning a post wedding brunch such as:

    1) Who is the individual who pays for the brunch? and 2) Who are the individuals that should definitely receive invitations?

    The questions are best addressed by referring to the general rules of etiquette. The hosts of a post wedding brunch are generally the parents of either the bride or groom. The rule though is not one that is formal. Trends have made it possible for the brunch organizer to be flexible with regard to the hosts of the post wedding brunch. This is to say the bride and groom can host the affair and pay for it if they wish. Naturally, holding a post wedding brunch is a terrific way for the bride and groom to say thank you to all their guests who attended the wedding. Persons who are close friends of the bride and groom can also host and pay for the post wedding brunch or a combination of the bride's friends and groom's friends. In way of the guest list, it is best fo r the organizer to invite close friends and family of the bride and groom and guests who are from out of town. After making the decision who hosts the brunch and its location, other details must be addressed.

    The details include:

    1. The time and day of the post wedding brunch;
    2. the food items on the post wedding brunch menu; and
    3. the arrangements with respect to producing and sending out invitations.

    The best way to address the post wedding brunch details is to look at each detail on an individual basis. Since location was mentioned first yet not listed in the number series above: the venue of the brunch or its location is discussed first.

    Illustration
    Illustration

    What is the best location for a post wedding brunch?

    The host or organizer is wise to consider that the location of a post wedding brunch is a matter which is very flexible. This is to say: the selection of a location is the preference of the host since it can be as elegant or casual as desired. A casual way to go with respect to the brunch is the backyard of the host--that is if the backyard is large enough to entertain guests. Another causal option is to make use of the hotel where the guests stayed during the wedding event. A popular park, an interesting eatery--even a town diner are all possible ideas. On the more elegant side: a chateau may be a worthwhile option. In fact, there are a good many options for the organizer to think about. However, when it comes down to hosting a successful brunch: it is best to choose a location that does not present a great deal of travel difficulty for guests. The latter consideration is extremely important, especially since many guests will start to feel tired from all of the recent eve nts. The venue of the post wedding brunch should not prove difficult either in way of finding it on a map. The post wedding brunch venue needs to be firmed up well in advance in order that it can be appropriately decorated in good time and in order for other important arrangements and details to be successfully carried out.

    The wording on the post wedding brunch invitations is of prime importance:

    The type of invitation is completely up to the organizer of the event. This is to say invitations can come by way of telephone communication; a note written by hand, or even email correspondence. The choice of communication, once again, is up to the host. The best choice is probably an elegant invitation with words which come across as lovely and sincere. The organizer scratching his or her head for ideas with regard to wording on the post wedding brunch invitations might appreciate and try using words similar in nature to the examples which follow:

    Example one:

    Summer has arrived, and we are prepared to enjoy the weather outside. . . Find a floppy sun hat if you wish, and join us for a delightful tea and hors d'oeuvres in our garden.

    The day and date of the Tea,

    Precise location of the garden venue;

    Hosted By: Name of the post wedding brunch/tea host

    Example two:

    Let us get together and shower the married couple with generosity: We are throwing the newly married couple a post wedding event in way of a post wedding brunch; and would greatly appreciate your attendance.

    Please join the celebration on:

    Date and time at specific venue;

    Name of post wedding brunch host

    Example three (a more formal announcement):

    We request your company in celebration and honor of the newly married couple. Please join us on date and day for a casual post wedding brunch at (selected venue).

    We look most forward to seeing you at the post wedding brunch.

    It is considerate too to mention the manner of dress. The preceding detail is exceedingly important since many guests are generally uncertain what to wear to different events unless a dress code is mentioned inside the invitation.

    Suggested menus for a post wedding brunch follow:

    The food items selected for the post wedding brunch are very significant, especially for the organizer who wants his or her party to come off as a success. Generally, the organizer for the post wedding brunch is the same person who hosted the wedding shower brunch. This is to say, the organizer may have come up with some food items for the wedding shower brunch and is all the more confident, then, in putting together a post wedding brunch menu. The brunch which is held closer to the earliest portion of the day will require some breakfast items. A post wedding brunch which is hosted closer to the noon hour can include menu items relative to a theme such as a Barbecue; or include spirits-- that is if the guests enjoy drinks such as cocktails with their meals. In other words, the wise organizer realizes what he or she places on the menu must be consistent to the time of day when the brunch is held. The menus, then, that follow consist of a 1) Menu for a breakfast post wedding brunch; 2) Menu for a cocktail-style brunch; and 3) Menu for a casual style Barbecue brunch.

    Breakfast menu:

    1) Coffee and tea; fruit smoothie, juice, and milk

    2) Crepes, waffles, muffins, and

    3) A breakfast casserole and omelets

    Cocktail menu:

    Waffles
    Waffles

    1) Cocktails of choice;

    2) French toast;

    3) Asparagus fritti;

    4) Creme fraiche blini;

    5) Miniature quiches;

    6) Angel food cake

    7) Apple pie with walnuts

    Barbecue menu:

    1) Beer, martinis, or bloody mary cocktails

    2) Steak,

    3) Hamburgers,

    4) Hot dogs

    5) Corn on the cob,

    6) Potato salad

    7) Coleslaw,

    8) Bread and rolls

    Naturally, the food items listed above are a small list of options for a post wedding brunch. The best way to put together the menu is for the organizer to select the food items he or she most prefers in combination. It is also possible for the organizer to use the recommended menu items and substitute certain food items for items which seem more appropriate. In example, if a good deal of the guests prefer chicken, then it may be a good plan to add grilled chicken to the Barbecue menu or even fish. It is important that the organizer consider the preferences of the guests, in addition to what is appealing to his or her own palate when putting together the menu.

    Decorations for the post wedding brunch:

    After purchasing all of the items necessary for the brunch, many organizers will wish to economize on the decorations. The organizer of the post wedding brunch is in a terrific position to do it. Decorations that were previously used at the wedding could be used for the post event. In example, wedding flowers, the centerpieces and other accessories which are still in a condition considered favorable can be recycled. The organizer must not be hesitant about making use of the decorations from the prior event. Some organizers may think that making use of the decorations from the other event may seem a bit too frugal: however, this is not true. Additionally, the post wedding brunch is made much more casual and inviting when the organizer makes arrangements for some light mood music to be played in the background. Again, the underlying idea of the post wedding brunch is for everyone to unwind and have a wonderful time.

    In conclusion, it is important, then, that the bride and groom and friends and family not only enjoy a terrific marriage ceremony and reception; but also fully enjoy the day after the newly married couple have happily "tied the knot." In order to assure the post wedding brunch is a grand success; the smart organizer knows he or she can contact us online, day or night. The store has all the right essentials in assuring the best dishes or menu items are cooked to absolute perfection.  Also look to us for future great Brunch Ideas posted right here on our blog.

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