Nothing says St Patrick’s Day like . . . Indian Food?

Since my dad’s birthday is tomorrow, March 18, my mom and I had decided the family ought to get together for a Sunday dinner.  Turns out my sisters had already been planning a dinner.  Not a birthday dinner, but a St. Patrick’s Day dinner.  They were thinking of maybe doing some green pancakes or something similar.  Mom called me back and asked if I could search out some other ideas.  So we created a Facebook Family event and started sharing recipes.  I searched out my favorite blogs and found these:

Smashed Chickpea & Avocado Sandwich (Two Peas and Their Pod)

Stovetop Avocado Mac and Cheese (Two Peas and Their Pod)

Broccoli-Cheese Soup (America’s Test Kitchen)

Shepherd’s Pie (America’s Test Kitchen)

My brother Nathan read through all of my suggestions and then added his own:

Picture of Saag Paneer: Spinach with Indian Cheese Recipe

Saag Paneer: Spinach with Indian Cheese

Guess whose suggestion won?  Yep, we had Saag Paneer for St Patrick’s Day dinner.  It’s not very Irish, but it’s green so it counts, right?  The ironic part is that my dad doesn’t like Indian food – at all!  And most of my picky-eater nieces and nephews don’t like it either.  The rest of us were not to be daunted in our quest for Saag Paneer, though.  So it turned out to be one of the most unusual spreads of food to ever grace my mom’s kitchen counter buffet.

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My sister-in-law Kris made the Saag Paneer and purchased the Naan at an Indian food store.  (Apparently every time she’s tried to make her own Naan, it has been a dismal failure – which is saying something because she’s an excellent cook and she can make a mean Saag Paneer.) My sister Cathy made the Vegetable Coconut Korma and also brought the rice.  I don’t know where her Vegetable Coconut Korma recipe came from, but I need to find out because it was divine.

And, since it was his birthday dinner, we couldn’t make my dad choke down the Indian food that he dislikes so much.  So my mom made corned beef and cabbage for him.

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And then my sister Jen made green Mac and Cheese for the kids.

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Saaag Paneer, Vegetable Coconut Korma, Corned Beef and Cabbage, and Green Mac & Cheese . . . St Patrick’s Day dinner doesn’t get much stranger than that, folks.

My favorite part of dinner was after all the kids had finished, my 18 month-old niece Kasia (pronounced Kasha) slowly made her way around the kid’s table and cleaned up the food left on her cousins’ and siblings’ plates.

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To finish off the evening, we all had one of the green cupcakes that I made.

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I love bringing cupcakes to family parties – mostly because I’m obsessed with my cupcake carrier.

Progressive International Collapsible Cupcake and Cake Carrier

I found it while on vacation a couple years ago and bought it as my ‘souvenir’.  It makes me so happy whenever I get to use it.

One more random side note about my dad.  Even though we sort of themed the food around St Patrick’s day, this party really was about my dad since it’s his birthday tomorrow.  Funny thing is, though, that because the party was today, he woke up this morning thinking that his birthday was today and not tomorrow.  And then he got all upset and hurt when my mom never wished him a Happy Birthday.  She could tell he was annoyed about something, so she avoided talking to him.  So they didn’t talk to each other for the better part of the morning because my dad wanted her to wish him a ‘Happy Birthday’ even though it wasn’t really his birthday.  Honestly, my parents crack me up.  They have some of the most unusual misunderstandings.  But they never hold grudges about it and they’re very good at laughing at themselves, which is what they did when they told the story to us all after dinner.  Happy Birthday, Dad (today and tomorrow).

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