Monday, March 17, 2014

St. Patty's Day with some Slap and Dash

I fight loving the magic of holidays and not wanting to stress over them. So basically, I have a pretty good lazy streak with which I occasionally wage battle to provide kid-loving details.
I’m really not that far from a store. About ten minutes in almost any direction, I can find a place. But remember, lazy streak! Ten minutes twice means twenty minutes. Means taking time to get my pretty on. Means SOO much less time to write.
So compensating for that, I am a Pinterest junky. I take a few minutes here and there to prep for the holiday. I find several plans, let’s say loose plans A-G, usually the easiest and cheapest alternatives that give the biggest illusion of magic for the kids. Then depending on what I’ve remembered to purchase, and what I have around the house, I usually end up with plan H.
BREAKFAST: Magically Delicious

This year I fortunately remembered, on a shopping trip, to grab the biggest box of Lucky Charms and hide them in my closet. The night before, I set out the box and had the table ready with an actual green shirt I had collected for each kid, with the reminder that this may not happen every year, since besides always watching the pocketbook, I may not want to take the time to find something for them to wear that they may or may not (more likely) like.

Most of my lunch stuff had some sort of green on the wrappers. Just dumb luck. The rest I used marker to make shamrocks out of hearts. Adding a green shamrock-ed napkin and bag.
For dinner, on one of my Pinterest binges, I had found a pin on with green pasta. Having seen something like it before, I knew to add the coloring to the water. From that, grew my pasta salad. Altering a basic Italian pasta salad I learned years ago from my friend Tammy. Okay, the only similar ingredients were the Italian dressing, noodles, and olives.

Leprechaun Bow-tie Pasta
Box of bow-tie pasta
Green food coloring (or just use noodles made with spinach)
Italian Dressing (regular sized bottle or made from mix, about 16 ounces, more if like a lot of dressing)
2 cans Olives, (about 9 ounces) drained and chunked how desire
2 cans Chicken, (about 12 ounces) drained and flaked
1 box Bacon (Oscar Mayer Fully Cooked Original Bacon, 11-13 slices) chunked up
Shredded or chunked cheese (to taste, about ½ cup)
Parmesan cheese (to taste)
(Adjust these ingredients to what you like or have on hand. If you have time to cook chicken, dice some up! If you have bacon bits, use those. Also add other ingredients as desire, eg. green peas for added color)

Cook box of bow-tie (farfalle) as recommended with the addition of green food coloring in the water. (Don’t be stingy with the coloring). When done, rinse pasta with cool water.
Meanwhile add Italian dressing in the bottom of bowl, mix in olives, (You can use sliced olives, or chunk up whole olives according to taste or what you have on hand), chicken, and bacon. (Letting them marinade in the Italian dressing makes things so tasty!)
When noodles are cooled and drained, dump into bowl and mix up. Stir in cheese. Sprinkle on Parmesan. Refrigerate.
As I threw dinner on the table, I realized I hadn’t thought of a drink. We usually just have water, but come on, holiday!!! We don’t often use drink mixes, but I have them on hand for emergency parties. I didn’t have any green Kool-aid, so grabbed the Lemonade and about three drops of green food coloring later, had punch! Not my proudest health moment, but again, I plead holiday.
To serve, I used my inherited Grandma pitcher. I’ve gathered matching dishes including punch and dessert cups from secondhand stores. I even found a punch bowl. In the dessert cup I put green jello. Don’t worry, we will catch up on healthy food, another day.
Lime Jello large (I used sugar-free, though I don’t usually. 8 ½ cup servings, 0.6 oz.)
Cool Whip (8 oz)
Making jello with speedy-set recipe, using ice cubes, I hurriedly poured halfway in the dessert cups throwing it into the fridge while I whipped up Cool Whip in the last half. Just then the bus came and I had to run my kiddo to track. I put the bowl in the fridge. When I came back, I scooped in about half a cup of the Cool Whip jello mixture in each soft-set jello cup, and carefully smoothed the top. If you wanted you could put a dollop of Cool Whip on the top, throw on mini marshmallows, green sugar, or other garnish on top. I was out of time.
The clean up wasn’t bad and, guess what, I got treadmill time while editing as well as housework to recover after hurricane weekend! So there was magic, without stress. No mommy-martyr. And best of all, HURRAY, I didn’t have to make an extra trip to the store!

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