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St. Patrick’s Day

Lucky Shamrock Cookies. Photo from Family Features

By Heidi Sutton

St. Patrick’s Day may call to mind hearty meals and pots o’ gold, but that doesn’t mean sweets can’t be part of the equation, too. If you’re in a crunch for St. Patrick’s Day and need something glowing with green, these two desserts are sure to have everyone coming back for seconds. 

Served with a tall glass of milk, these Lucky Shamrock Cookies are as green as four-leaf clovers and have delicious chocolate chips mixed throughout for some extra sweet flavor and this green Minty Shake is a cold, refreshing way to honor the colorful tradition. 

Lucky Shamrock Cookies

Lucky Shamrock Cookies. Photo from Family Features

YIELD: Makes 24 cookies


2 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup butter, softened

1 1/4 cups sugar

2 eggs

30 drops green food coloring

1 teaspoon peppermint extract

1 package (12 ounces) chocolate chips


Heat oven to 375 F. In large bowl, mix flour, baking soda and salt until blended. Set aside. In medium bowl, beat butter and sugar until combined. Add eggs, food coloring and peppermint extract; beat until combined. 

Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients; beat until combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop spoonfuls of cookie dough onto baking sheet. Bake 11 to 14 minutes, or until edges are lightly browned. Cool on wire racks.

Minty Shake

Minty Shake. Photo from Family Features

YIELD: Serves 1


1 cup whipping cream

1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract

2 teaspoons powdered sugar

1/2 cup milk

1 3/4 ounces Baileys Irish Cream liqueur

3 scoops mint chocolate chip ice cream

chocolate syrup

chopped sugar cookies, for garnish           

pistachios, for garnish

mint chocolate candy, for garnish

green sanding sugar for garnish (optional)

green sprinkles for garnish (optional)

maraschino cherry for garnish (optional)


Using mixer, whisk whipping cream until soft peaks form. Add peppermint extract and powdered sugar; mix until well blended. Set aside. In blender, blend milk, liqueur and ice cream until smooth. Drizzle chocolate syrup inside soda glass. Pour ice cream mixture into glass. Top with whipped cream and garnish with cookies, pistachios and mint chocolate candy, if desired. Garnishes can also include green sanding sugar, green sprinkles and a cherry on top.

Corned Beef and Cabbage

By Heidi Sutton

The luck of the Irish and all things green are celebrated on St. Patrick’s Day, which is on March 17 every year. Initially a day to honor St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, over time the holiday has evolved into a rejoicing of Irish heritage and culture. Of course, no celebration would be complete without delicious food.

Corned Beef and Cabbage

Recipe courtesy of New York City Food cookbook by Arthur Schwartz

Corned Beef and Cabbage

YIELD: Serves 6 to 8


1 4- to 5-pound corned beef brisket

1 teaspoon pickling spices

1 head cabbage

2 pounds boiling potatoes

6 to 8 small carrots (optional)

Parsnips (optional)

Turnips (optional)


Place the corned beef in a pot that holds at least 5 quarts of water. Cover completely with cold water. Place over high heat and bring to a simmer. As soon as bubbles start to break on the surface of the water, adjust the heat so the water simmers very, very gently. With a slotted spoon, skim off the residue that accumulates on the surface. 

When the residue stops coming to the surface, add the pickling spices. Continue to cook, with bubbles just gently breaking on the surface, for 3 to 4 hours, until fork tender. The meat can be safely held in its water for about 2 hours; reheat gently. Cook the vegetables until fork tender in separate pots of boiling fresh water or, especially for the cabbage, use some of the water in which the corned beef was cooked.

Slice the corned beef and serve with  mustard and/or horseradish on a platter, surrounded with some of the vegetables or with vegetables in a separate bowl.

Grandma Freeley’s Irish Soda Bread

Recipe courtesy of Mark T. Freeley, Esq.

Irish Soda Bread

YIELD: Makes 1 bread


2 cups bread flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon caraway seeds

2 tablespoons butter

1 cup raisins

1 egg

1 cup buttermilk


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, sugar and salt in a bowl. Stir in the caraway seeds, cut in the butter with a knife until the mix looks like coarse ground grain and stir in the raisins. Beat the egg into the buttermilk, pour into center of bowl, mix in the dry ingredients and turn dough onto a lightly floured board. Knead lightly into a ball and place into a round casserole. Slash the ball with an X. Brush bread with an egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water. Bake for one hour. Test with a toothpick for doneness. Let set for 10 minutes and remove from casserole onto a wire rack to cool.

METRO photo

In anticipation of the Miller Place-Rocky Point St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Sunday, March 12 at 1 p.m., the Friends of St. Patrick will be honoring this year’s Grand Marshal, Bob Evans, manager of the Rocky Point Stop & Shop, with a dinner/dance at East Wind, 5720 Route 25A, Wading River on Friday, March 3 from 7 to 10 p.m. Tickets are $70 and include dinner and dancing, a Bag Pipe appearance and cash bar.  For more information, call Brian Baisley at 631-790-9061 or Mike Tatilian at 631-484-6322.

Town of Huntington Supervisor Ed Smyth lit Huntington Town Hall in green lights on Friday, March 11, ahead of the Huntington Hibernians’ 88th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade; the green lights will remain in place today, St. Patrick’s Day, and through the weekend ending on March 20. 

 “Huntington is host to the greatest St. Patrick’s Day parade on Long Island and we have continued the celebration of Huntington’s Irish heritage by lighting Town Hall in green the entire week,” posted Supervisor Ed Smyth on social media. “Happy St. Patrick’s Day!” 

Stock photo

By Barbara Beltrami

Here it is St. Patrick’s Day, and if you’re not obsessive about having the usual corned beef and cabbage or haven’t gotten around to shopping and cooking for last week’s recipes, I’ve got some interesting other traditional Irish recipes that can be prepared easily and quickly and are just as delicious and satisfying. If you want to keep the corned beef and cabbage, but have no time to cook, how about using those two ingredients in a soup?  You can pick up some corned beef at the deli.  And then there’s boxty, Irish potato pancakes, great with just about anything else you cook. If you have time, or even if you don’t, be sure to whip up a batch of oh-so-easy shamrock cookies for a nice finale to your St. Patrick’s Day dinner.

Corned Beef and Cabbage Soup

YIELD: Makes 4 servings


1/4 cup vegetable oil 

1 medium onion, coarsely chopped

1 celery rib, sliced

3 carrots, peeled and diced

1 pound cherry tomatoes, chopped

3 cups beef broth

4 cups chopped green cabbage

3 to 4 potatoes, peeled and diced

1/3 pound cooked corned beef, diced

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat; add onion, celery and carrots and cook, stirring a couple of times, until they start to soften, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, broth, cabbage, potatoes and 3 cups water.; bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer until veggies are tender; add corned beef and salt and pepper and cook another minute. Serve with Irish soda bread and butter.


YIELD: Makes 10 to 12 pancakes


1 pound all-purpose potatoes, peeled, diced

1 pound all-purpose potatoes, peeled, grated

Salt and black pepper to taste

1 cup buttermilk

1 1/2 cups sifted flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

5 tablespoons unsalted butter


Place grated potatoes in cold water. Fill a pot with salted water and bring to a boil; add diced potatoes and cook till soft, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain grated potatoes, wrap in a kitchen towel and squeeze out all moisture; transfer potatoes to a large bowl, season with salt and pepper and toss. Mash cooked potatoes till creamy, then add the seasoned grated potatoes and thoroughly combine the two. Add buttermilk, stir lightly, then add flour and baking powder and stir again to thoroughly combine. In a large skillet heat two tablespoons of the butter over medium heat; drop batter by one-third cupfuls into butter and cook, turning once, until golden brown on both sides, about 4 minutes per side; repeat procedure with remaining butter and batter. Serve hot with smoked salmon and sour cream or eggs and bacon.

Shamrock Cookies

 YIELD: Makes about 3 dozen cookies


1 cup unsalted butter

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

1 large egg at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon coarse salt

Green decorative sugar


Preheat oven to 375 F. In a large bowl cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then beat in the egg and extract; gradually add flour and salt and thoroughly combine; refrigerate for one hour. On a lightly floured surface roll out dough to 1/4” thickness, then cut with a lightly floured shamrock-shaped cookie cutter; place one inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet, sprinkle with green sugar and bake until edges start to brown, about 10 to 12 minutes. Serve with Irish coffee or cocoa.

Dancing leprechauns, pots of gold, corned beef and cabbage, green beer, parades, and the wearing of the green are all synonymous with St. Patrick’s Day. But perhaps the most iconic symbol of all is the shamrock, the ubiquitous three-leafed plant that makes an appearance in a myriad of ways – it’s said to bring good luck.

In honor of the day and to start a new tradition to be enjoyed after the corned beef and green beer, the Wilton Test Kitchen created a Lucky Giant Shamrock Cookie that’s easy to bake and decorate. It’s the perfect way to add fun, color and sweetness to a St. Paddy’s party; there’s plenty to serve a crowd. Plus, kids and adults alike will enjoy this colorful cookie.

The delicious butter cookie dough with a hint of almond is baked in a shamrock-shaped pan. To decorate, start with white ready-to-use decorator icing in a can (no special skills required). Use part of it to ice the background and sides of the shamrock. Tint a portion green and ice the shamrock shape on top of the cookie, then add green candy-coated chocolates to outline the edges. The message is written with the remaining white icing.

Visit www.wilton.com for additional ideas for St. Patrick’s Day, and for celebrations of all kinds.

Lucky Giant Shamrock Cookie

YIELD: Makes about 15 servings


  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 cans (16 ounces each) White Ready-To-Use Decorator Icing
  • Kelly Green Icing Color
  • Light corn syrup
  • Green candy-coated chocolates


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. In medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. In large bowl, beat butter and sugar with electric mixer until light and fluffy; beat in egg and extracts. Add flour mixture to butter mixture 1 cup at a time, mixing after each addition. Do not chill dough. Press into bottom of ungreased Shamrock Pan.
  3. Bake 20-25 minutes or until edges of cookie are lightly browned. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely. Place cooled cookie on foil-wrapped cake board or large serving platter.
  4. Tint 2 cups icing green; thin with corn syrup. Reserve 1/4 cup white icing; thin remaining white icing with corn syrup. Use spatula to ice sides and background areas with thinned white icing. Spatula ice shamrock on top of cookie with green icing. Position candy on edges of shamrock. Using Tip 4, print message with reserved 1/4 cup white icing.

Convenience Tip: Substitute 2 packages (18 ounces each) refrigerated cookie dough for cookie recipe above.

Source: Wilton Enterprises

File photo by Bob Savage

After a two year hiatus brought on by COVID 19 restrictions and mandates, The Friends of St. Patrick will resume a springtime tradition by hosting the 70th annual Miller Place-Rocky Point St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Sunday, March 13 starting at 1 p.m. sharp. This year the committee has named all former Grand Marshals to be Grand Marshals at this year’s parade. 

“North Shore residents have been cooped up and socially distanced for two long years now. It is time to break free and come out and celebrate with your community in this annual rite of spring. Pipe bands, fire trucks, dancers and marchers promise to lift all our spirits,” said a press release.

In lieu of naming a Queen and her Court, the Friends of St. Patrick have begun a scholarship fund for our local high schools. This year’s winner of a $1,000 scholarship is Alexa Zichinelli from Miller Place High School. Alexa wrote an essay on Irish history and lore inspired by her great-great Grandma, Mary Margaret McArdle from County Clare.

Alexa will be studying pre-med in college and is an active athlete, musician, tutor and volunteer. She aspires to become a surgeon and be a part of Doctor Without Borders.

For further information please visit their website at www.friendsofsaintpatrick.com or call 631-473-5100.

Michael Faughnan stands outside the AOH Div. 9 hall where he gives free bagpipe lessons. Photo by Jim Hastings

Come one, come all to the Ancient Order of Hibernians Div. 9 hall at 172 North Country Road in Mount Sinai. People from around the area are being treated each Sunday to free lessons in the centuries-old art of playing the bagpipes by prominent local piper Michael Faughnan.

It all began in the Fall of 2021 when the famed New York Metro pipe band founding member and instructor for the Nassau County Police Emerald Society Pipe Band contacted Div. 9’s Dan Sharkey and Brian Nealis to gauge their interest in an instructional program. 

“I wanted to give back, so I reached out to the Hibernians in Mount Sinai where I live and told them that with COVID and all the activities I’m involved in being on pause, if there’s any interest in learning to play, then to let me know,” Faughnan said. “Dan Sharkey and Brian Nealis have their finger on the pulse there and the organization wants to give back to the community. That’s why I wanted to help.” 

For many, a check off their bucket list

Whether they were first-timers, second-timers, or old-timers, attendees at this Sunday’s lesson all came for a common reason: To learn a bit about the instrument that’s been calling to them for years. As they gathered around the table with practice pipes known as chanters in hand, Faughnan began to teach them. He showed them how to properly hold the instrument, where to place their fingers and how to blow. First in unison, then solo, then in pairs. 

Long-time Hibernians, Mike Lane from Miller Place and Mike Drennan of Selden always had an interest in bagpipes. “We’d been involved in going to the parades for years,” said Lane, who had been taking the class since the beginning. “It was kind of a bucket list thing to try. And then Mike Faughnan got in touch with us.”

Drennan said this was his first time holding the chanter. He laughed when relaying what his daughter had said to him: “Dad, I love you, but I don’t think you can do it.” Drennan’s reply? “Challenge accepted.”

Teacher and jazz musician Charlie Buonasera takes up his chanter. Photo by Jim Hastings

Charlie Buonasera, a jazz musician from Coram who teaches in the Bronx, had been given a chanter years earlier while bartending at an Irish pub during college but never actually attempted to play it until he saw the flyer. “I have this chanter sitting here so why not?” he said. “It’s been fun so far. It’s just something I wanted to pick up, to show off maybe.”

“It takes over a year working on the practice chanter to learn the finger work needed to play music before actually starting to work on the bagpipes,” said Tom Lamb, a piper who started coming to the meetings to strengthen his fundamentals. “It’s very encouraging to see the progress being made with people who are just starting to learn. We have a few people already starting on the bagpipe, which is not a cheap instrument to buy.”

Lamb said that bagpipes are an expensive hobby. Each instrument costs between $1,000 and $3,000. The rest of the uniform, including a kilt, can run up to $1,500.

The goal for many in the group is to get to a level where they can perform during next year’s St. Patrick’s Day season, but for others it’s a chance to experience something they’d always thought about.

Larry Fischer from Miller Place started a few weeks ago after noticing the ad at his firehouse. “I always thought I’d like to learn to play the bagpipes,” he said. “Everybody kind of laughed at me, but I saw the ad and I came down.”

Librarian Kerry Crovello gets fingers-on instruction from Michael Faughnan. Photo by Jim Hastings

“I love the bagpipes and always watched the parades,” said Toni Kaste, a fiddle player from Eastport. “It was on my bucket list of things to do.”

“I always wanted to play,” said Kerry Crovello, a librarian from Port Jefferson. “I’d been to Ireland — and can’t wait to go back. I had a friend from years ago who built his own bagpipes and it always stuck in my mind. And then I saw the flyer.”

Dan Cavanaugh from East Setauket came because of his grandson. “I wanted to keep up,” he said. “He decided to try and learn the bagpipes — something I’d thought about for years. So, it spurred me to go try and learn.” 

Who are the AOH?

The Ancient Order of Hibernians is America’s oldest Irish Catholic fraternal organization. It was founded in 1836 to help Irish immigrants arriving in the U.S. It has divisions all over the country and continues to support and promote Irish culture through civic participation in charitable causes.

Div. 9’s Mike Lane, on right, shows his fellow Hibernian Mike Drennan where to place his fingers on the chanter. Photo by Jim Hastings

Ancient Order of Hibernians Division 9 Port Jefferson NY, its official name, is a smaller group than others by comparison, but according to Faughnan, their heart is just as big. He hopes that with programs like his and others, their outlet can grow and they can build on their mission to continue doing good while supporting Irish culture.

According to Faughnan, his Sunday sessions aren’t so much a class but more of a club. So, if you want to join the club, send an email to [email protected], or call Dan Sharkey at 631-922-0151.

Spotlight on Michael Faughnan

The 61-year-old father of 3 from Mount Sinai has spent his life playing the bagpipes — casually and competitively. He ran a program in Babylon at the Ancient Order of Hibernians for over 20 years with the Saffron Kilts Pipe Band, which had over 100 players in the organization and competed all over the world and performed at many high-profile events and venues, including at the White House. 

Faughnan took a step back from performing after having his children. In 2010, his students started a band in New York City called New York Metro Pipe Band. He soon joined in as a founding member without the pressure of being the pipe major. They were joined by top tier bagpipers from all around the area and eventually traveled to Scotland where they won the world championship. They’ve been consistent winners at contests in the U.S., Canada and Scotland. 

Michael Faughnan demonstrates the proper finger and blowing techniques on his bagpipe practice chanter. Photo by Jim Hastings

At 8 years old, Faughnan and his siblings were introduced to the bagpipes by world champion Scottish bagpiper Stewart Robertson, whom his parents knew, and their lives were changed forever.

“We were kids. We didn’t know any better,” he said in reference to playing the pipes during his childhood. “We went with the flow and enjoyed the journey and thought it was normal until you looked back and realized there weren’t a lot of other kids doing that. We traveled, competed, experienced success and got in front of people to entertain, building confidence at every step — all traits that help out in every aspect of life.” 

“It’s gotten me everywhere — playing the bagpipe and being good at it,” said Faughnan. “It got me a scholarship to Iona College where I was pipe major from 1978-1982. I got my career as an investment banker through playing the bagpipes.”

It also gave him the chance to record music in the studio, both with his band on their own albums, and as a studio musician for such famed artists as Van Morrison, Sting, Clannad and The Chieftains. To challenge himself, Faughnan joined a high-end band in Ireland. Working remotely in investment banking allows him to travel back and forth regularly. “I’ve been practicing with the band 2 or 3 times a week every other month for the last year just to compete this summer in the tournaments in Ireland and Scotland.”

Faughnan is involved with many bands in the New York tri state area. “They’ll hire me as a coach to come in and work on different things to help them sound better, to play in unison and to grow as musicians,” he said. “While not every band has the same musical expertise, it’s great to see them out there. They’re doing it because of their passion.”

He’s also busy playing and rehearsing with New York Metro Pipe Band in preparation for competing in Montreal at the North American Championships; the World Championships in Glasgow, Scotland; and the All-Irelands in Dublin. They will be performing on the Fox & Friends morning program on Saint Patrick’s Day. Faughnan himself can be found playing solo on March 19 at Peconic County Brewing in Riverhead at 3 p.m. and Port Bistro & Pub in Port Jefferson at 5 p.m.

St. Patrick's Day sandwiches

Make Your St. Patrick’s Day Spread Green with Envy

 (Culinary.net) Freshen up your St. Patrick’s Day menu with easy, light sandwiches inspired by the traditional color of the festivities. These open-faced noshes can be perfect for lunch, snack time or even as an appetizer for get-togethers with friends and family.

Layered with a smooth cream cheese and mozzarella mixture then topped with crisp cucumber and a stem of green bell pepper, these St. Patrick’s Day Sandwiches are easy and cute, which makes them a fan favorite at nearly any green gathering. They’re also sprinkled with lemon juice to add a little acidity and create a nice, light bite.

Plus, this recipe is quick to make. When you’re in a rush to get everything on the table for the party, it’s easy to throw together and get on the platter in next to no time.

The sandwiches pop off the plate with their bright, seasonal garnishes. While sure to attract attention and have your loved ones asking “Where did you get this idea?” they’re also an easy way to sneak a few vegetables into your kids’ diets.

For more festive recipes and ideas at Culinary.net.

 St. Patrick’s Day Sandwiches

Yield: 8 sandwiches


8 ounces plain cream cheese spread, softened

1 cup finely shredded mozzarella cheese


4  English muffins

24 slices cucumber

8 thin slices green pepper

fresh cilantro leaves

lemon juice

lemon slices, for garnish (optional)


In bowl, mix cream cheese spread, mozzarella cheese and salt well.

Split English muffins in half. Cut each muffin half into shamrock shape.

Spread cheese mixture over each muffin half.

Place three cucumbers on each “shamrock,” one on each “leaf.” Use green pepper slice as stem. Place cilantro leaf on top of each sandwich.

Sprinkle sandwiches with lemon juice and add lemon slices, for garnish, if desired.

See video here.