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St. Patrick's Day Themes for Parties

I graduated from the beautiful Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Many people think Miami in Florida is the Miami University in our country, but nope, the Redhawks, (previously the Redskins), of Oxford are a very proud bunch. Very proud of many things... Ben Roethlisberger played, (while my husband was also on Miami's football team!), for our school before going to the Pittsburgh Steelers... we are known for a lot besides Big Ben, but one tradition that comes to mind this time of year is Green Beer Day. Oh, the glorious Thursday before Spring Break when the bars open at 4am sharp to serve green beer and indulge partying students. (Many professors and coaches plan exams or important practices for this day).

If you're like me and enjoyed college but enjoy real life even more, here are some great ideas for an adult St. Patrick's Day party! Huge green four leaf clovers are always cute, but try decorating the tables and party area with green plants or integrate green candles. Instead of green food coloring in your beers, try cocktails with mint leaves.

Here are some fun appetizer and dessert options for keeping the green theme going that I found on thenest.com.

- toasted sesame asparagus in a balsamic glaze on asparagus
- spicy chicken lettuce wraps
- canapes colored with avocados and sweet green peas
- crostinis with avocado and green pea hummus
- grasshoper brownies

Crostini Ingredients:
-1 Ripe Avacado
-2 tablespoons lime juice
-1/2 clove garlic, minced
-2 4.9 oz. sweet green peas drained
-1 teaspoon kosher salt or 1/2 teaspoon table salt
-30 small pumpernickel rounds
-or 8 regular pumpernickel slices each cut into 4 little squares

-Spoon out the avacado flesh & put in a food processor, add lime juice and garlic
-add the drained peas and salt, then process until you have puree
-spread the pumpernickel rounds with avocado and pea mixture
-arrange on platter for serving

Green Grasshopper Brownies: Bottom Layer: 1/2 cup hard margarine (or butter), softened 1 cup brown sugar, packed 2 large eggs 1/2 teaspoon vanilla 1/2 cup all-purpose flour 1/4 cup cocoa, sifted if lumpy 1/4 teaspoon baking soda 1/8 teaspoon salt Middle Layer: 2/3 cup hard margarine (or butter), softened 2 cups icing (confectioner's) sugar 1 1/2 tablespoons milk 1 teaspoon peppermint flavouring 5-6 drops of green food colouring Top Layer: 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips 3 tablespoons hard margarine (or butter)

DIRECTIONS: Bottom Layer: Cream margarine and brown sugar together in medium bowl. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla. Mix. Add next 4 ingredients. Beat until moistened. Turn into greased 9 x 9 inch pan. Bake in 350°F oven for 15 minutes. Do not overcook. Cool thoroughly. Middle Layer: Beat all 5 ingredients together in separate medium bowl. Spread over bottom layer. Top Layer: Heat and stir chocolate chips and margarine in small heavy saucepan on low until melted and smooth. Spread over mint layer. Chill overnight until set. Cuts into 36 squares. Ingredients and Directions from Home for the Holidays © Company's Coming Publishing Limited. www.companyscoming.com

Now that the food is taken care of, check out these websites for the decor photos pictured above:

Candle lantern, $9, LunaBazaar.com

Hurricane vases, $3.50 and $4.50 (on clearance),Pier1.com

Kate Spade Sag Harbor Green Plates, $15- $60. At Macy’s, Colonie Center, Colonie, 459 – 1950

Green Everyware dinner plates $10

Green Platter: http://www.homedecorbylulu.com/home

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