How to Host a Kid-Friendly St. Patrick's Day Party

Photo by: Marshall Troy ©2012,Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Marshall Troy, 2012,Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

When you think of St. Patrick's Day, what comes to mind? Beer, corned beef, cabbage, crowded bars and more beer. Kid-friendly favorites? Not so much.

This weekend, instead of forgoing a St. Paddy's day celebration simply because you have kids in tow, tweak your celebration to make it friendlier for young party guests. The key to planning a bash that both kids and grownups will enjoy is offering a menu centered not on the mature tastes of traditional Irish delicacies like colcannon and shepherd's pie, but rather on the signature color of the Emerald Isle: green. Let green be the theme of your dishes by getting creative with your meal choices and incorporating naturally vibrant ingredients — plus a bit of food dye — into crowd-pleasing eats and drinks. Check out a few of Food Network's favorite deliciously green recipes below, then tell us in the comments how you'll be spending St. Patrick's Day tomorrow.

Instead of saving the party until late in the day, start the celebration in the morning with a St. Paddy's Day brunch. A casual, relaxed get-together that's ideal to host with other families, this simple meal is a cinch to pull off, especially when you make it a potluck so you can split cooking duties with other parents. No matter what dishes your friends bring, Paula's Green Eggs and Ham (pictured above) will be the talk of the table: this easy scramble features fluffy eggs that are made wonderfully green with the help of a few drops of food coloring. Don't look to green bottle to do the trick, however. It's the blue dye that will mix with the yellow eggs and emit a green tint in seconds. Incorporate diced ham to add heft and texture to the eggs, and serve with a side of shaped buttery toast to transform this 25-minute plate into an all-in-one meal.

GreenBiteFive_01.tif

GreenBiteFive_01.tif

A fourth of a sandwich on a green napkin

©Food Stylist: Anne Disrude Props: Victoria Petro Conroy

Food Stylist: Anne Disrude Props: Victoria Petro Conroy

A timeless, kid-approved pick, the all-American grilled cheese is dressed up Irish style with a few herbs to become Food Network Magazine's top-rated Irish Grilled Cheese (pictured right). After making a parsley-scallion-chive butter, swipe the spread onto slices of white bread, fill the sandwiches with Irish cheddar and sweet pickles and then fry them until golden brown. A final topping of the soft butter on still-warm sandwiches will reinforce the green theme while adding an extra layer of decadence. Although these mini sandwiches are meant to be enjoyed as appetizers, they'll surely become easy-to-eat meals for little partygoers.

While adults are enjoying a pint or two of Guinness, treat the kids to a cup of  Lime Sherbet Punch, a five-minute recipe studded with fresh citrus slices and maraschino cherries. This big-batch punch takes on a bright-green hue, thanks to the 2 quarts of fruity sherbet that will slowly melt into a creamy pool when soaked in a mixture of ginger ale and pineapple juice. Kids will enjoy the fizzy bubbles from the ginger ale, and of course the novelty of drinking ice cream won't be lost on them.

Visit Food Network's St. Patrick's Day headquarters for more easy recipes and entertaining ideas.

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