{Foodee} Irish For A Day

This weekend is HUGE for my area. We're all happily blanketed in green because St. Patrick's Day celebrations are already in full effect over here. A 3-hour big parade spanning our entire downtown area took top bidding today and it was even broadcast on t.v. One of the yellow lines in the middle of the street has a green line painted right next to it today. Not sure how far it goes, but I think it stretches into the 'burbs!{See? Huge!}

I'm not Irish. Not a wee bit. But, I've always admired the excitement surrounding this holiday. My fam didn't really make a big deal out of it because, you see, in the forest of life, my Italian family tree is a BIG old giant sequoia, with one lone teeny tiny little Polish branch.

Where I grew up, it was normal though to talk to people about their nationality. After I'd meet someone, conversations sometimes went like this...

Me: Nice to meet you!

Person: Are you Italian?

Me: Yes! You too?

Person: Yes! What's your last name?

Me: {I'd tell them}

Their next reply, a few days later, was one of these several selections...

1. OhmyGod! You're my 5th cousin, twice removed and 3 times extended!

2. OhmyGod! My Grandfather grew up with your Grandfather. We're practically cuginos!

3. OhmyGod! As in {Insert my Grandpa's name here}? He's my cousin's Godfather!

4. OhmyGod! So your Grandpa...the mayor's bodyguard, right? Tell me more!

I loved trying to find out if my family was connected to another family somehow. LOVED it. Loved it so much it hurt! Still love it to this very day. {I love meeting new people/ seeing how small this world really is!} It was neat to grow up in an area with such a huge Italian population. I learned so much about my heritage because I was surrounded by it 24/7. {Looking forward to sharing some stories on St. Joseph's Day soon.}

The Grandfather I just mentioned a few lines back...{Papa M}... was so incredibly Italian and so incredibly proud of his ancestry. So much so, that he LIVED for March so he could lightheartedly razz his Irish friends during the week of St. Patty's Day...

- He'd give them packages of pasta throughout the week and display an Italian flag across the back seat of his station wagon.

- He wore red on the big day...and pranked people in a leprechaun accent. {Last year I did this for a dear friend's kiddos, and I was so ridiculously honored! Not sure if she knew exactly how much that meant to me to be able to do that!}

- He'd leave antipasto trays on friends' door steps the morning of the 17th. He'd then ring their doorbells, run back to the car and speed away. {They all knew it was him!}

- He'd bring proscuitto, salami, pepperoncini and mozz platters to work for lunch...for the whole week. He'd make up care packages for Irish friends to take home.

The list goes on and on. I laugh when I see Leprechaun Pranks on Pinterest these days. Lord, that gem would have had a FIELD DAY making a board! He was a scorch and a half! He thought he was so damn funny. Ohhhh, how I miss him terribly. {I am still so deeply heartbroken over his passing. So completely bummed. Sigh.}

Anyhoo, I always smile around St. Patty's Day because I remember all of the hijinx that Papa M used to partake in around this time of year. The hubs laughs as well, because he was immediately grilled when he first entered the scene. When my Gramps met him, one of the first things he asked him, naturally, was about his nationality. Now...the hubs grew up on a farm. Cornfields in his backyard. Midwest through and through. I had to pronounce his name several times to a few family members because they had never heard of it. {Papa re-named him Cosmo. Ya know...to be more "paisano." Good grief!}

I thought it was neat that "Cosmo" had a speck 'o Irish in his genes. It's even more neat that because of that...the Twinados are Irish! As the years have gone by, I've been able to partake in this holiday so much more. This morning, we went over to a bestie's house to have an Irish Breakfast. Her sweetheart is a nice Irish lad, so they were absolutely adorable hosts. They had all the fixins - hashbrown potato casserole, an egg bake, sausage, bacon, a rainbow fruit tray with dip and rolo pots of gold, Lucky Charms, cinnamon rolls, a mint trifle and more!

Note: Scroll back a few paragraphs...see the conversation section?...see response #2? That's her. Our Grandfathers go way back. Waaaaay back. And, right about now, if Heaven has Internet service, those 'brothers from other mothers' are reading this blog post and rolling their eyes at what I am about to show you! 

Here are some goodies we brought to add to the Breakfast Buffet. Hope you'll try these Pinterest finds sometime! They were pretty easy to make/ quick to fix in a no-green-wearing pinch!

Here's the scoop...

{Rainbow Cupcakes}

Use any cake mix, frost it in blue, arch an Airheads Xtremes rainbow/press it into the cupcake, add a Rolo on one side and some marshmallows on the other.

Soooooomewhere, overrrr the ....

{Leprechaun Nutter Butter Cookies}

Saw these and did a lil jig. Too fun! The only thing I changed from the original recipe is that I added orange sugar crystals to the beards just before they dried...for more zhoosh {see below}. I also used plain flower sprinkles for the hat, eyes and nose. I found it quicker to use tube frosting with a #2-tip from Wilton for the hat's black stripe. For all the fine deets, Click Here! T-1 and T-2 had fun making fun of these "men."

Careful! These Gingers...Snap!

{Fruit Loop Funnies}

Melt 1 stick of margarine, add in a bag and a half of mini marshmallows {about 14 oz.}, swirl it all together quickly. When JUUUUUUST mixed together, add in 12c of Fruit Loops. Spray a pyrex casserole dish with cooking spray, and roll out this bad boy mixture into it. Pat it down with a spatula to make it all even. When slightly cool, cut into bars and store on top of wax paper.

Welp, Irish you all a Happy early St. Patrick's Day. I think this is as far as I can cross over this year. Time to go take a shot of marinara to balance out all of today's shenanigans!

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