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happy father day in wood type

Clear your schedule for June 18! The third Sunday of June every year is reserved for celebrating dads and all they do. Originally celebrated on March 19 in honor of St. Joseph, this Catholic European tradition migrated to the Americas via Spanish explorers and experienced a change of date in North America. Now a civic holiday in the US, it’s a day to honor fatherhood and let Dad put up his feet! Whether you have a huge celebration or a quiet day planned, these recipes for the whole day are sure to please.

 

Breakfast

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Restaurants are nice, but nothing compares to food cooked with love! Start the day off right with our Spinach Scrambled Eggs with Home Fries. Easy to make, this hearty breakfast is full of sautéed onions and mushrooms. Does Dad have a sweet tooth? Our Stuffed French Toast recipe is sure to be a crowd pleaser with cream cheese, jam, and powdered sugar goodness! Served with his favorite coffee, Dad’s day will be off to a great start.

 

Lunch

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Looking for something lighter lunch? Serve up a several small plates for a tapas-style meal that is full of flavor and variety. Try some of our Gouda Mushroom Quesadillas for an easy crowd pleaser. Pair it with our Homemade Garden Salsa for a kick of spice to start off lunchtime. A classic appetizer, our recipe for Roast Beef and Brie Sliders is perfect for carnivorous dads. Thin sliced brie and roast beef are paired with sautéed onions and savory brown butter glaze. Have a vegetarian in the family or simply trying to eat lighter? Our filling Zucchini Corn Salsa isn’t just a side dish. With diced zucchini, onion, and plenty of corn, this fresh salad alternative has the flavor (and colors!) of summer.

 

Dinner

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It’s officially grilling season! When you break out the propane or charcoal grill, the possibilities are endless. These 7 Simple Grilling Recipes will please even the pickiest of dads. If you’re looking for even more variety, try our Grilled Honey Chicken. Sweet, tangy, and savory, this easy recipe goes great with broccoli or corn on the cob. For a splash of color and summer flavors, try our Black Bean Salad as a side. Another option is a classic- Potato Salad! Our twist on the usual recipe calls for French onion dip and a healthy handful of bacon. Yum!

 

Kid Friendly Desserts

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We know the kids always mean well, but sometimes their ‘help’ in the kitchen does more harm than good. But given a simple recipe, you might be surprised! Our Gia Russa Wild Berry Icebox Cake with Chocolate is a great way to involve the kids. They can help by layering ingredients in the springform pan and put the finishing touches on top with fresh berries and chocolate sauce. You’ll be feeling peachy after this dessert! Our recipe for Little Peach Pies is so simple, the kids might be able to do this one all on their own. After fresh peaches are halved, drizzle honey on each side, place back together then wrap pre-made pie crust dough around each peach and bake. Easy as pie!

 

Enjoy this special time with friends, family, and especially Dad! Make your Father’s Day a success by stocking up on your favorite fresh ingredients at your local Sparkle Market.

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Warm weather, longer days, and plenty of sunshine- it’s festival season! Check out our list of the best Ohio food festivals for the month of June. Not able to make it to your favorite festival below? Not to worry! Now you can try out some of our festival-inspired recipes to bring a taste of the event right into your kitchen.

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But, if your weekend schedule is looking for some filling, grab your road map and hop in the car to visit any of these awesome foodie fests. Oh, and make sure you go with an empty stomach!

 

June 2-4, 2017Newark Strawberry Festival – Newark, Ohio

Featuring food and craft vendors, Miss Strawberry Pageant, and “world famous” Kiwanis Strawberry Shortcake, this weekend festival is sure to please!

Recipe: Mix up dessert time with our Strawberry Frozen Yogurt recipe. A cool substitute for shortbread, this treat can be made up to a month in advance.

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June 3, 2017Bacon & Cheese Festival – Fairfield, Ohio

Go whole hog at this celebration of all things bacon and cheese! With unlimited food samples, this is a bacon lover’s dream.

Recipe: To make a bacon and cheese sampling of your own, try out some of our favorite savory recipes. Always a crowd pleaser, our Bacon Cheese Dip in a Bread Bowl combines the best of both worlds- cheesy and bacon-y! If you close your eyes and take a big bite of our Creamy Bacon Mac and Cheese you’ll feel like you’re actually at the festival.

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June 7-11, 2017Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish Festival – Austintown, Ohio

A fair food lover’s paradise, this annual church festival has something for everyone. Lemon shakes, cake booth, and chicken dinners- oh my!

Recipe: Not your typical fried chicken! Try our Homemade Chicken Tenders for a healthy taste of the Festival’s classic chicken dinner.

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June 9-10, 2017  23rd Annual Banana Split Festival – Wilmington, Ohio
A world-famous dessert first created practically in our backyard! Celebrate Wilmington’s claim as the birthplace of the Banana Split with two days of fun.

Recipe: Anyone can whip up a Banana Split, but our Banana Split Cupcakes will steal the show. Sweet cream cheese and fresh bananas are the stars of this dessert.

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June 11, 2017  7th Annual Jewish Cultural Festival – Dayton, Ohio

Sample Jewish foods from the Southwest US, Latin America, the Middle East, and the iconic New York deli scene. Vendors such as Graeters, Shmaltz, and The Temple bakery will sell traditional Jewish foods.

Recipe: If you’re craving something sweet, try making traditional Passover cookies- macaroons! Not to be confused with the fancy French sandwich cookie, this dense drop cookie is full of coconut goodness.

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June 16-17, 2017International Beer Festival – Fairfield, Ohio

Quench your thirst at the International Beer Festival! Featuring 400 beers from more than 100 different breweries, you’ll have the chance to try imported & craft beers. Beer foods and pub grub is also on hand to fill you up.

Recipe: Infuse the flavors of the festival into our Beef Bean and Beer Chili. Keep a can (or two!) of beer on hand to add to this flavorful dish.

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June 17, 2017  Wine, Jazz & Art Fest – Geneva-on-the-Lake, Ohio
Ohio’s largest Free Admission Wine Festival! Browse local artists, listen to live jazz, and taste wine from 7 local wineries.

Recipe: A twist on the classic drink, our Roasted Cherry Sangria is the perfect balance of tart and sweet. Serve over ice, top with rosé wine and garnish with mint.

 

 

 

June 17, 2017 Simply Slavic Heritage Festival – Downtown Youngstown, Ohio

A celebration of all things Slavic! Featuring an ethnic marketplace and plenty of Central and Eastern European food vendors, you’re sure to enjoy this festival whether you can claim Slavic heritage or not.

Recipe: Not your grandmother’s pierogis! Our Baked Pierogi Cheese Casserole is a one-dish meal that will give you the essence of Simply Slavic.

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June 24-25, 2017  Mulberry Creek Herbfair – Huron, Ohio

Oh la la! The food, wine, & culture of France will the focus of this year’s annual fair. Workshops, lectures, and over 50 vendors make this a great weekend destination.

Recipe: Our Apple French Onion Soup has all the flavors of the fair in one bowl. The thyme and apple give this classic soup a modern twist!

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For the complete list of many June food festivals in Ohio, check out this calendar. Happy traveling!

Happy Memorial Day card. National american holiday. Festive poster or banner with hand lettering. Vector illustration

Dig out your red, white and blue clothes, pull the grill out from the shed and get grocery shopping- Memorial Day is only days away! Amidst honoring those who have died in service and the annual parades, it’s also time to plan that family cookout. Take a look at some of these great recipes for delicious summer dishes.

 

 

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Simple Sides

To get your cookout started, check out some of these recipes that put a twist on classic summer side dishes! Try our recipe for Lemon Mustard Potato Salad. With seasoned red potatoes atop a bed of flavorful arugula, this recipe lightens up the typical potato salad. For another side, make our Chicken Ranch Pasta Salad, complete with fresh cilantro, corn chips and a creamy dressing. You can also take a look at this recipe for Boston Baked Beans, another cook out favorite with a mix of salty bacon, hearty beans and a sweet molasses sauce.

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Grilled Goods

Clean the grill, refill the propane tank and then check out some of these great recipes for grilling! Stray away from the usual hotdogs and instead, try our recipe for Honey Dijion Drumsticks– crispy grilled chicken basted in a sweet and tangy homemade mustard sauce. While the drumsticks will be a great addition to your cookout, it isn’t truly Memorial Day until you grill some burgers! Use our recipe for Jalapeño Cheese Stuffed Burgers to spice it up or try our recipe for Feta and Spinach Turkey Burgers for a healthier option that is light in calories, yet still full of flavor. Have vegetarian friends or family members? Grill them up some of our Chipotle Black Bean Burgers, packed with nutrients and lots of legumes! If you’re still looking for another main dish to complete your Memorial Day spread, try this recipe for Sirloin Kabobs. Marinate thick chunks of steak (or chicken) overnight, then thread the meat onto skewers with pieces of green pepper, onion, mushroom, tomatoes, etc. While the kabobs might take a little bit longer to prepare, they offer a variety of small bites to guests that aren’t up for a big burger.

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Patriotic Pastries

Whether you’re attending a cookout or hosting your own, show off your patriotic spirit with some of these yummy and creative dessert recipes! Try our recipe for Red, White & Blueberry Pie, full of fresh berries and topped with cut-out pie crust stars. Continue the fruit desserts with this recipe for All American Trifle. Layer cubes of pound cake, berries and homemade lemon whipped cream for an easy, yet heavenly dessert. But, if fruit just isn’t going to cut it when it comes to satisfying your sweet tooth, then check out this recipe for Ice Cream Sandwich Cake that combines ice cream sandwiches, whipped cream, hot fudge and caramel to make one very sweet and very satisfying summer dessert.

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Delicious Drinks

Although it’s only May, we all know that the weather can turn incredibly hot in no time. Try some of these drink recipes that will quench your thirst and keep you cool at the same time! Stay with the Memorial Day theme and make The Rocket, a red, white and blue icy drink that mimics the look and flavors of a classic bomb Popsicle. For a less patriotic, yet equally tasty alcoholic beverage, try this recipe for Vodka Raspberry Lemonade! And if you’re looking for a unique drink for the kiddos, try this Lemon Berry Slushy recipe.

 

Enjoy your Memorial Day, but first head to your local Sparkle Market to find all of the fresh ingredients that you need to make your cookout a success!

Cinco de Mayo lettering. Vector color vintage engraving illustration.Bienvenidos y feliz Cinco de Mayo! Celebrate Mexican history and culture with us on this beautiful fifth day of May with some delicious authentic recipes. For all of you last-minute shoppers, we have plenty of amazing Mexican-inspired dishes for your Cinco de Mayo festivities!

How It Began  

While it is true that Cinco de Mayo means the fifth of May and discounted margaritas, most people probably don’t know what they are actually celebrating on this important day. In 1861, France began to overtake Mexico and claim several territories as their own. However, when 6,ooo well-armed French troops stormed the city of Puebla on May 5, 1862, they were surprisingly defeated by less than 2,000 poorly supplied Mexicans. After this battle, the French were forced to retreat- something that had not happened to the French in over 50 years! Even though the Battle of Puebla didn’t mark the end of the war, May 5 still represents a great symbolic win that encouraged the Mexican people to persevere.

How It Is Celebrated Today  

With such a huge holiday, you’d think that the entire country of Mexico is buzzing with preparation for parties and traditional food right? Well, not exactly. In Mexico, Cinco de Mayo is mostly only celebrated in the city of Puebla, where the famous battle had taken place. Natives of Puebla organize large parades that include people dressed as Mexican and French soldiers with vendors selling food and clothing alongside the street. Sometimes, reenactments even take place of the Battle of Puebla! Back in the United States, Cinco de Mayo is widely celebrated- even more so than in Mexico. On Cinco de Mayo, parties are hosted, local Mexican restaurants celebrate and lots of delicious Mexican dishes are made. If you’re one of the many hosting, or attending, a Cinco de Mayo party this year, check out our suggestions below for some great Mexican dishes!

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I think we can all agree that one of the most important parts of any holiday party is definitely the food. This Cinco de Mayo, try some of our great Mexican-inspired recipes!

Start your Cinco de Mayo off right with this recipe for Mexican Rice. With this recipe in your cooking arsenal you won’t ever need to go back to your local Mexican restaurant again! After your guests are almost filled the brim with flavorful rice, serve our Mexican-inspired, party-friendly Wonton Taco Cups. With all of the best Mexican flavors packed into bite sized cups, this recipe makes cooking and clean-up a breeze. You can even apply this concept to our recipes for Coconut Fish Tacos and Shrimp Tacos! Create the different taco fillings and make a variety of wonton cups, suited to everyone’s Cinco de Mayo pallets. For a heartier dish, try our recipe for One Pot Enchiladas. Complete with black beans, sweet corn and zucchini, this recipe eliminates the hassle of assembling enchiladas without sacrificing the flavor!

Put in charge of the dessert this year? Try this recipe for Coconut Cheese Flan– with a sweet tropical twist added to the classic flan, this dessert will not let your family and friends down! If you’re not much of a technical baker but still looking for a great Mexican dessert, then try this recipe for Fruit Salsa & Cinnamon Chips. With plenty of fresh juicy fruit and crispy homemade cinnamon tortillas, this simple dessert will make you the dessert person for all Cinco de Mayo parties to come!

As your Cinco de Mayo kicks off, use any or all of our recipes for inspiration and head to your local Sparkle Market to get all of the fresh ingredients that you need to make your fiesta a success!

Friends having picnic

With the weather warming up and fresh fruit about to hit the grocery shelves, it is time to start planning for picnic season! No matter the occasion or location, a picnic can be held- as long as you have the right food. Here are some great recipes and tips to planning the perfect picnic!

 

 

Romantic Picnic

Whether in history, movies or real life, picnics have been a go-to romantic date for centuries- so why not plan your own? Pick a secluded location, pack a comfortable blanket and fill a large picnic basket with delicious snacks that are sure to captivate your sweetheart. Try our recipe for Tuna Lettuce Wraps, with crunchy lettuce and a creamy yogurt dressing, these wraps are simple to assemble and full of flavor. To compliment your tuna wraps, check out our recipe for Quinoa Salad, with plenty of fresh veggies this dish will keep your meal light and tasty. For a truly romantic picnic, complete your date with our recipe for luscious Chocolate Truffle Stuffed Strawberries. Not interested in making food? Then pack fresh bread, cheese and wine- all found at your local Sparkle Market!

 

 

Family Picnic

This spring and summer, avoid the hassle and money spent when going to a restaurant and instead treat your kids to a fun picnic! Family picnics provide endless opportunities for food creativity. Check out these recipes for Mini Sandwiches, with fillings ranging from peanut butter & jelly to tuna and pickles, sandwiches are easy to pack and please even the pickiest of eaters. To make these sandwiches even more fun, use cookie cutters to cut them into different shapes and sizes! For a family picnic side dish, consider this recipe for ABC Pasta Salad– incorporate your kids’ favorite veggies and swap out regular pasta for alphabet shapes to make this meal as personable and enjoyable as possible. You could also make safe fruit kabobs, cutting up fresh fruit into bite size pieces and skewering them onto a straw rather than a pointy skewer.

 

 

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Beach Picnic

If you plan on going to the beach, don’t worry about rinsing sand off and packing everything up just to eat lunch- have a picnic instead! The secret to having a successful beach picnic is to pack food that can be eaten out of the bag so that the sand doesn’t have a chance to make its way into your food. Try our recipes for Spicy Italian Wraps and Cranberry Pecan Chicken Wraps. The Italian wraps can be easily assembled at home and packed into individual bags while the chicken salad can be made ahead of time and spooned onto the flatbread when you’re ready to eat! Need something cool and refreshing to go with your wraps? Try this recipe for a Lemon Berry Smoothie– blend the mixture and freeze it at home so that as you relax on the beach it can defrost and turn into the perfect smoothie texture.

 

 

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Winter Picnic

Who says you can’t have a picnic in the winter? Escape the indoors and plan a winter picnic complete with a waterproof blanket, warm coats, gloves and, of course, hot food. Try our recipes for Stuffed Pepper Soup and Tortellini Soup– with bold flavors and delicious ingredients, these soups can be easily kept warm in a thermos and taken to whichever winter destination you choose. If you want to make your picnic feel like a summer outing, try our recipes for Salmon Burgers and Bacon Whiskey Burgers. Use a camping stove to grill your burgers (and to stay warm) and pack all of the essentials- tomatoes, lettuce, cheese- separately! And don’t forget, it can’t be a winter picnic without hot chocolate! Check out these unique recipes for Mexican Hot Chocolate and Salted Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate that will definitely add a twist to your traditional hot cocoa mix.

Whether it’s with your significant other or family of four, picnics are a great, unique way to enjoy the outdoors and delicious food. Head to your local Sparkle Market to get all of the fresh ingredients that you need to make your next picnic a success!

EasterSM

Mmm ham, deviled eggs and scalloped potatoes: the building blocks for a successful Easter dinner. For the United States at least. Have you ever wondered what Easter is like in other countries? With nearly one third of the world population identifying as Christians, it is no surprise that Easter is celebrated in very different ways, across a variety of cultures. Check out some of these unique traditions practiced and recipes used during the Easter season!

 

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Bermuda

In Bermuda, the beginning of Easter celebrations is marked with the flying of homemade kites on Good Friday. The tradition is said to have started when a local teacher was having a difficult time explaining Christ’s ascension into Heaven to his Sunday school class. So, the teacher crafted a kite and flew it to symbolize the ascension. With colorful kites filling the sky, Bermudians feast on traditional delicacies like codfish cakes and hot cross buns. With flaky pieces of fish and smooth mashed potatoes, this recipe for codfish cakes is a great way to use up any leftover fish and potatoes you might have during the holiday. This year, replace your typical wheat rolls with this recipe for hot cross buns. With a hint of cinnamon and plenty of raisins, there’s a reason why this treat is so popular in Bermuda.

 

 

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Norway

When the Easter bunny turns into the Easter chicken and crime novels hit the shelves, you know you’re in Norway. Easter Crime, or Paaskekrim, is widely celebrated in Norway with natives reading mystery novels and watching crime detective shows broadcasted during the Easter season. With nearly all commerce and business closed from Holy Thursday through the Monday after Easter, most families get their grocery shopping done early and head to the mountains to enjoy their vacation. One Easter staple found in every Norwegian home is the juicy, ripe orange- over 20 million oranges are eaten in Norway during Easter. This Easter, consider our orange-inspired Whole Roasted Chicken recipe, bursting with bright orange flavors and savory spices.

 

 

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Europe

Europe lights up at the arrival of Easter, literally, as bon fires are lit across the country to celebrate spring finally overtaking winter. While bon fires originated as a way to chase away the winter darkness, they are now a popular reason for family and friends to get together and enjoy the Easter holiday. Try some of these recipes inspired by just a few of the diverse regions belonging to Europe:

Slow Cooker Chicken Stroganoff

Spring Veggie Gnocchi

Beer Simmered Bratwurst

 

 

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Haiti  

During the Easter season, Haiti erupts into colorful parades and traditional sounds of “rara” music as natives play bamboo trumpets, maracas, drums and coffee cans. With a combination of Catholic and Voodoo traditions, Easter in Haiti is full of drumming, chanting and animal sacrifices. Despite their complex cultural traditions, Haitian food is quite simple, including things like fish, rice, beans and root vegetables. Try our simple recipe for Sparkle Baked Fish, juicy and flaky fillets of fish filled with flavor. Not a fan of seafood? Try this recipe for rice and red beans, a Haitian staple.

No matter the location, Easter has a way of bringing people together through culture, traditions and, most importantly, food. This Easter season, head to your local Sparkle Market to get all of the fresh ingredients that you need to make your meal a success!

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As store shelves turn green and Shamrock Shake commercials echo on all radios, people across the United States begin to prepare for the greatest day of March-
St. Patrick’s Day! With long parades and huge celebrations, don’t wait too long to plan your day! From morning to the next day, we have you covered with plenty of Irish recipes that will help make your St. Patrick’s Day a success.

 

 

Pre-Parade Snacks

Before spending all day at a parade, make sure that you grab something to eat! Try some of our easy recipes for delicious snacks that you can either eat at home, or take with you. Check out our recipe for Roast Beef and Brie Sliders- buttery, sweet and tangy mini sandwiches complete with Sparkle’s deli roast beef and brie cheese. For a lighter snack that will satisfy kids and adults alike, try our Bacon Turkey Wraps. These wraps, cut into snack-size pinwheels are easy to pack and filled with plenty of flavor. If you’re looking for something sweet that will give you energy to last the entire parade, try our recipe for Apple and Peanut Butter Snack Bites. With peanut butter, dried cranberries and apples, these snack bites will fuel your body for a long day of celebrations.

 

 

Drinks

When it comes to St. Patrick’s Day, most people will agree that there’s no celebration without the festive drinks. This year whether you’re attending the parade or hosting your own party, try some of these great drink recipes that look and taste like St. Patrick’s Day. For a bright green cocktail, try this recipe for Shamrock Juice- a combination of orange juice and colorful alcohol that mix to create a bright emerald drink. Another St. Patrick’s Day inspired recipe is the Irish Flag– a layered shooter drink that mimics the colors of the Irish flag, featuring Irish cream, green crème de menthe and Licor 43. Do you have kids or are underage guests attending your party? Then try this recipe for St. Patrick’s Day Punch, a fun green drink with pineapple juice, ginger ale and lime sherbet.

 

For more creative drink recipes: https://mixthatdrink.com/st-patricks-day-cocktails/

 

 

The Main Course

After a busy day of celebration, end your St. Patrick’s Day with a hearty Irish dinner. Check out our recipe for Irish Beer Beef Stew, a perfect comfort meal with juicy bites of beef roast and russet potatoes. Want to make a meal that doesn’t require a lot of work? Try this recipe for Corned Beef and Cabbage, an Irish classic that can be prepped in the morning and cooked in a slow cooker during the day while you enjoy festivities elsewhere! Or if you have a little bit more time to prepare dinner, try this recipe for Shepherd’s Pie, with plenty of veggies masked by creamy mashed potatoes and a flavorful sauce, this meal will be a hit among everyone in the family.

 

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The Morning After  

While coming down from your St. Patrick’s Day celebratory high, don’t neglect all of the food opportunities that await the morning after the festivities. If you’re looking for something to do with your meat and potato leftovers, try making Corned Beef Hash. With crispy corned beef and buttery potatoes, this recipe will clean out your fridge while also providing a hearty breakfast. For another option, try our recipe for Kielbasa Pepper Hash and replace the kielbasa with corned beef. To cure that post-celebration headache pounding at your temples, use this recipe to make a pitcher of soothing Matcha Iced Tea. Containing lots of antioxidants, Matcha will flush out any St. Patrick’s Day toxins that are still lingering in your body while adding a tasty change to the average cup of tea.

 

Whether you’re traveling downtown for the parade or hosting a party, these recipes offer food that will be just as great as the festivities! Head to your local Sparkle Market to get all of the fresh ingredients that you need to make your St. Patrick’s Day celebration a successful one.