While Dorothy is probably the only one to go over the rainbow and only leprechauns are lucky enough to benefit from the pot of gold at the end of that rainbow, I think we all agree it brightens our day to see a beautiful rainbow off in the distance.

In observance of St. Patrick's Day, why not serve up some rainbow-hued food to celebrate as we anticipate that pot of gold? Take a little extra time to make a multicolored layer cake or simply swirl various colors into your cupcake batter. Vanilla frosting can be brightly tinted or a confetti cake and frosting would fit the bill. Use Fruity Pebbles to make rice cereal treats. There are rainbow Twizzlers you can use in different ways. You can "taste the rainbow" with a bowl of Skittles or enjoy a bowl of "magically delicious" Lucky Charms. For dessert, there's always rainbow sherbet. Layer yogurt with your choice of mandarin oranges, strawberries, blueberries, kiwi, grapes and pineapple for a bright start to the day. Bake a white cake and make a colorful poke cake with one or several flavors of Jell-O.

You don't have to go all out and host a party for St. Patrick's Day where everything fits the theme. The only thing you need to have in cabinet to celebrate is a bottle of green food coloring. For a wee bit of fun, color up a cake, cookies, whipped topping, cheesecake, pancakes, yogurt and even mashed potatoes and softened butter. Something as simple as a little bottle of green or multicolored confetti sprinkles will quickly turn something festive.

Dig those green shamrocks out of a box of Lucky Charms and use as cake or cookie decorations. St. Patrick's Day breakfast is the perfect time for green eggs and ham and you could wish everyone a happy day with a nontraditional Mexican meal featuring guacamole. Just about any naturally green food can make the statement of good wishes.

The cooler weather has made stew a popular meal. Your leftover stew can make a yummy St. Patrick's Day treat. Bake a potato, scoop out the inside and mash with butter and milk then put some warm stew in the shell and top with the potatoes. Bake until the potatoes are golden and enjoy your nontraditional shepherd's pie.

Whether you plan a full-blown St. Patty party or a simple family dinner, add some green or sparkles for a little luck of the Irish.

I'm excited to join Carol Parker on KSN at noon Tuesday for "Cooking With Carol." I'm sure there will be a slow cooker and some chocolate involved.

Today, we have Ina Garten's cabbage recipe. It is super easy and makes a great anytime side dish. If you are not up to making traditional Irish soda bread, try Alton Brown's scones. Again, easy and so edible. The addition of butter and shortening both makes the difference. Last but not least from foodnetwork.com is a great party finger food or just a nice way to use leftover corned beef. A little horseradish sauce instead of the mustard would be good in these.

Happy St. Patrick's Day, and happy eating.

Sauteed cabbage

1 small head cabbage, shredded

2 tablespoons butter

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

Melt butter in heavy saucepan or skillet; add remaining ingredients. Saute 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until cabbage is tender and beginning to brown. Yields 6 servings.


2 cups flour

4 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup sugar

4 tablespoons butter, room temperature

2 tablespoons shortening

3/4 cup cream

1 egg

Handful of dried cranberries

In a large mixing bowl, combine first four ingredients; cut in butter and shortening In separate bowl, beat egg and add cream; add to dry ingredients. Stir in fruit. Turn out onto floured surface, roll out and cut like biscuits. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes. Yields 12.

Corned beef and cabbage rolls

6 Savory cabbage leaves

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup chopped parsley and/or dill

2 slices rye bread

1/2 pound corned beef

Whole grain mustard

Boil cabbage leaves until crisp-tender; rinse under cold water and pat dry then slice in half. Mix mayo and herbs then spread on cabbage. Cut bread into strips. Slice corned beef and toss with mustard. Top cabbage with bread and corned beef; roll up and slice in half. Yields 24 servings.

Cheryle Finley is a food columnist for The Joplin Globe. Address correspondence to Cheryle Finley, c/o The Joplin Globe, P.O. Box 7, Joplin, MO 64802.