The Result: Last Minute St. Patrick’s Day Dinner Party

Well here is the result of my last minute St. Patrick’s Day Dinner Party, truly last minute, only gave myself 3 days to get it ready.  I had no more than 2 hours each day in advance and about 4 hours the day of the party.  So in total roughly 10 hours to get this dinner party ready.  

Welcome your guests with front door decorations 

Your front door is the first thing guest see when arriving, so add a little something to give them a taste of what they are about to walk in to.  It doesn’t have to be much, here I taped a few really inexpensive shiny shamrocks to the door.  I have had these paper shamrocks for years, although the are really inexpensive, I keep them and re-use them because they take almost no space to store.   It also works as another clue for your guests that they have reached the right place.  



Use what you have

There is no reason you have to go out and buy a brand new decorations for your St. Patrick’s day party, use what you have.  Now what you have at your house will be different from what I have but look around and see what you can use first before buying new.  I have these hurricanes with a flame-less candle on top of a black wooden pedestal sitting out in my house regularly so I picked up some fake greens, that reminded me of shamrocks, cut them up & stuck them into the hurricane.  If you have smaller vases you could tie them around the outside with some raffia.  You could also lay them on their side in a platter with a few candles in between.  








Allow time for the moss table runner to lay down flat  

The moss table runner I picked up, came folded in half and rolled up.  It only needed an hour with some heavy books on it and some containers of pet food to lay down flat.  

Corned Beef Shepherd’s Pie

I found the recipe on Pinterest from Real Housemoms, click here for the recipe.  It is delicious and it was a HUGE success, guests were going back for thirds!  I’m not posting the recipe here because I followed it almost to the tee from the Real Housemoms, so you can find it there.  The only addition I added, was I brushed a beaten egg on top of the mashed potatoes before placing in the oven.  It made the potatoes brown up just a little.   

Another tip, that I think made it incredible was I picked up the highest quality corned beef, round.  It is the most expensive but it has the least fat which makes your job much easier, almost no fat to remove.  It was wonderful,  lean and delicious.  The piece I got was a little over-salted so I compensated by using low sodium beef stock, low sodium Worcestershire sauce and under-salting the mashed potatoes.  

Irish Soda Bread in the OvenIrish Soda Bread at St. Patrick's Day dinner

Traditional Irish Soda Bread

Another incredible recipe , but this recipe for Soda Bread is from Let’s Dish, click here for the recipe.   I was a little worried about this recipe, just flour, baking soda, salt & buttermilk?  I just wasn’t sure what this combination of ingredients would taste like.  But it was so good!!!  

One thing  I never use is buttermilk, I always make my own substitution with milk and lemon juice ( 1 tbsp lemon juice : 1 cup milk) .  However I switched over to almond milk recently and don’t keep milk in the fridge because almond milk last so much longer.  So anyway I even used almond milk and lemon juice and it still came out yummy!



On the left is the incredible Irish Creme Brownies my aunt brought.  So decadent!!!  On the right is my mom’s classic jello, modified with lime green jello for St. Patrick’s day.  It just wouldn’t be a holiday without jello in my family and as my brother always says “there is always room for jello”.  

If you missed the three days of prep, you can check them out here:

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3



Only two days till my last minute St. Patrick’s day dinner party.  Today I received all but one RSVP, finalized the menu, did the grocery shopping and picked up a few things for the table decorations.  

Guest List

Today I have 5 yes, 2 nos and 1 unknown.  Not bad for a last minute party.  You can never expect everyone you invite to come but you especially can’t hold out for people when you invite them three days before.  

FINAL menu

A took a vote to determine what to make, the Corned Beef Shepard’s Pie won!  No surprise, who doesn’t like the corned beef or Shepard’s pie?  And together, it sounds like it will be heavenly!  Well my email didn’t work, my family didn’t listen and offered to bring something.  So I don’t have to worry about dessert or a side dish.  I totally appreciate the offer and help, and I know my mom and aunt will bring something great!  I have to say, it doesn’t apply in this instance, but sometimes have people bring something is more work than if you did it yourself, but that is whole other post for another day.

Corned Beef Sheppard’s Pie

Corned Beef Sheppard's Pie Photo Credit: Real Housemoms

Traditional Irish Soda Bread

Irish Soda BreadPhoto Credit: Let’s Dish

Green Jello (my mom is making)

Dessert (my Aunt is bringing)

Green Cocktail

Guinness Beer  


Grocery list

St-Patrick-day-dinner-party-groceries.jpg March 16, 2016 2 MB 3264 × 2448 Edit Image Delete Permanently URL

  • 3 cups diced carrots
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 tbls olive oil
  • 4 cups cooked and chopped corned beef
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 1 tbls corn starch
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp Dijon
  • 5 -6 cups prepared mashed potatoes
  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/4 cups buttermilk
  • 1 Box of Hawaiian Punch Sugar Free Lemon Lime Splash Drink Mix Singles to Go
  • Vodka
  • Triple Sec
  • 6 pack of Guinness Beer

Table Decor supplies


St Patrick's Day table props

I picked up a few items from Michael’s, some greenery and a moss table runner.  All for less than $20.  I have some ideas of how I might put the table decor together for this dinner party but I never really know how I am going to do it until I start putting it together.  


I will keep you up to date on the progress of my St. Patrick’s Day dinner party.

Read about how I started planning for this party on Day 1 

Day 1: Last Minute St. Patrick’s Day Dinner Party

St. Patrick’s is a only a few days away and I was thinking about throwing together a simple dinner to celebrate.  My family’s not Irish but any holiday is always a good reason to get together, so why not?  March 17th would also be my Grandpa’s 93th birthday, but we just lost him last month, another good reason for my family to be together. 

My challenge ….  

3 days to plan a St. Patrick’s day meal for about 6 – 8 people.  With just a short time to plan, I will show you how to make a fabulous  uncomplicated St. Patrick’s day dinner party, beautiful and delicious.  

Okay to be totally honest, I’ve had a few more than 3 days to plan.  I’ve been contemplating doing a St. Patrick’s day party for last 3 or 4 days but I just decided today that I’m going to do it!

The inspiration …..

St. Patrick's Day Table Inspiration

Photo Credit: Apres Fete

I always start with an inspiration and it usually comes from photos from Pinterest.  I almost never start with just my own ideas, for me that is like staring at blank page.  Seeing other’s work inspires me and really helps my brain to start running.  I pick and pull from other’s work and  I make it my own creation.  For most of my events I love to have dozens of photos to look at and pull ideas from but in this case this one photo is perfect.    I love the rustic Irish mixed with shiny Leprechaun’s gold is the perfect St. Patrick’s day tablescape.   


The menu ….

I  few ideas , but haven’t settled on the recipes  I will make yet:

Corned Beef Sheppard’s Pie

Corned Beef & Cabbage Chowder

Traditional Irish Soda Bread

My mom’s corned beef & cabbage

Traditional Irish Shepherd’s Pie

Leprechaun Floats

Green Cocktail (this is my own concoction, not sure on the flavor yet)

Guinness Beer  


The invite ….

Just an quick email.  Yep, that is it.  I will send it out tonight.   No time to mail something (which I rarely do anyway),  not everyone is text savvy, and phone calls take too much time.  Email works the best for my family and I don’t think there is anything wrong with it. Here is my quick email:

SUBJECT: St. Patty’s Day Dinner

MESSAGE: St. Patrick’s Day dinner at our house 5pm Thursday March 17th!  Be forewarned, I’m trying new recipes!  No need to bring anything but yourselves.  Don’t forget your green attire!


Stay Tuned

I will keep you up to date on the progress of my St. Patrick’s Day dinner party.

See the comes next on Day 2