By Gabrielle. Photos by Liz Berget for Design Mom
Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Wishing you endless good luck today, and hoping you don’t get pinched. : )
But really, I’m curious — do you do anything special to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? Historically, I’m all over the place when it comes to marking this day. Some years I’ve gotten up early to dye the milk green and surprise the kids, or made a big feast of corned beef and cabbage. Other years, I’ve sent the kids off to school in a green t-shirt and called it good! It tends to depend on how much we’ve got going on at the time. This week, we’ve got the elementary school Variety Show, plus Ralph’s Eagle Court of Honor, so St. Patrick’s Day isn’t going to get much attention from me at all.
Though happily, I did remember to reach out to Liz Berget and ask her to create an all-green menu. Something kid-friendly and fun, that could be served for lunch or dinner. Since you’ve got to feed yourself and your family anyway, why not get in a celebratory mood and go all green?
I feel lucky! Let’s get to eating.
Here’s what Liz says:
I think one of my favorite parts of having kids is how surprised they are at such normal things, the things we come to expect out of life as adults. I remember my son excitedly pulling me over to a corner of our muddy backyard last year to point in wonder at a dandelion. To me, dandelions are a sure and weedy sign of spring, but he was spellbound after a long winter. The backseat of our car was filled with shouts of “ights! ights!” from my two-year-old at the beginning of the Christmas season this year. She pointed out even the most uninspired light displays with glee throughout all of December.
It is so fun to introduce them to the joys of licking cookie dough off beaters, to watch them dance through dust particles swimming in the sunlight streaming in our living room windows — these everyday things that seem so unimportant or even unnoticeable.
And kids make holidays all the more exciting. My kids are young enough that every single year, each holiday comes as a surprise for them. And St. Patrick’s day is no exception. I’ll admit that trying to explain to my three-year-old why we celebrate this day in March was a challenge, but the idea of dressing in all green for a day is hilarious to him.
So it was even more fun to create this kid-friendly St. Patty’s day dinner for my kids. When I plopped the shamrock pinwheel plate down in front of them, they both looked at me with a mix of confusion and excitement. I got guesses that I’d created a tree-shaped dinner for them, which wasn’t too far off from the picture of a clover that I showed them as explanation.
Whether you have little people in your life or not, I hope you’ll have fun celebrating this springtime holiday, throwing a green accent into your outfit or trying out this green salad with shamrock sandwiches. Kid-friendly or not, these little pinwheels tasted pretty good with a Guiness. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
Shamrock Pinwheel Sandwiches & Irish Green Salad
(yields 4 tortilla’s worth – about 24 pinwheel pieces, or 6 shamrocks)
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 packet (1-oz) ranch dressing and seasoning mix
4 green tortillas (I used Mission brand 10-inch)
approximately 2 cups loose baby spinach (4 handfuls)
4-6 long slices of sliced deli turkey meat
1 large cucumber, peeled and sliced into thin long strips (enough for app. 12 strips)
(fun add-ins: caramelized onions, red bell pepper strips)
4 long strips cut from a green bell pepper
4 cups baby spinach
1 large cucumber, peeled and sliced into thin rounds
2 stalks celery, sliced thin
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
3 green onions, chopped
For the pinwheels, thoroughly combine the cream cheese with the ranch seasoning. Lay a tortilla on a large piece of plastic wrap. Spread cream cheese mixture over the entire surface of the tortilla. Next layer a handful of the spinach, a turkey slice (you might need another half slice to cover the length of the tortilla), and a few cucumber strips in down the center of the tortilla. Roll from right to left into a tight wrap. Tightly roll the plastic wrap around the wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least an hour and a half. (Best made and served the same day — these were adequate the next day, but a bit too moist).
When ready to serve, remove plastic wrap and cut into 1-inch pinwheel slices. Discard ends.
To make shamrocks, place four pinwheels next to each other in a shamrock shape, and use a bell pepper strip to create a stem on the plate.
For the salad, toss the spinach, cucumber, celery, pepper, and onions in a bowl. Serve with your favorite dressing.
Note: The “green milk” in the picture is just made of 8 ounces of milk + 2 drops green food coloring. : )
Oh my goodness. Those shamrock pinwheels are adorable! Thank you for the creativity, Liz.
Dear Readers, if you decide to surprise your kids with this meal, I’d love to hear about it! I’m also curious about other ways you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Fill me in!
P.S. — I’m feeling nostalgic about our trip to Ireland today. I loved it so much! Have you ever been?