(CBS) — Debi Lilly, party planner of deblillly.com and A Perfect Event has some tips for planning your St. Patrick’s Day party.


Beer Floats: So fun and easy to make grocery to gorgeous cocktail desserts using Guiness, Frozen Yogurt and a glass from your pantry.

You can even go gluten free with my favorite local hard cider Virtue floats, and even Green River Soda floats for the kids, also made right here in Chicago since prohibition began!

Kiwi Cocktails: Another favorite local Chicago spirit – Real Russian Vodka. Mix it up with fresh, organic green juice in the produce aisle, like Naked Juice or Odwalla filled with vitamins and minerals for a “healthy” cocktail this holiday. Garnish with slice of lime and kiwi for the mixologist craft cocktail touch.

Tastes of Ireland

The hot trend this year is miniature comfort food favorites – so guests can grab and taste and walk, talk and hold a cocktail t the same time. This makes prep easier, there’s no need for a large dining table for seating, it’s a more casual, fun, high energy mix and mingle style party.

Mini Corned Beef Bites

On mini Rye Breads (Pepperidge Farm makes great one, mini size, in Deli aisle) layer sliced Corned Beef, Swiss Cheese, Sliced Pickles, Slaw, Spicy Mustard. Top with Bread. Warm in oven, 350, for 5-10 minutes. Skewer with toothpick, adding our free St Patricks Paper Flag from debililly.com DIY. Serve immediately.

Beef Wellington Pot Pies

Spray muffin tin with non stick spray. Place Biscuit dough from grocery in bottom, push to form “bowl” shape in bottom of tin. In separate bowl combine 1 pkg chopped deli Roast Beef, 1 jar of marinated mushrooms, 1/2 Boursin cheese (bring cheese to room temp for easy mixing). Place scoop ontop each biscuit in muffin tin, bake 350 for 10-15 minutes.

Garlic Clovers

Cover cookie sheet with parchment paper. Shape bread dough from grocery into clover shape (mimic 3 loops and a stem), brush with melted butter, garlic powder, fresh thyme, black pepper. Bake per bread dough directions, generally 350, for 8-10 minutes. Serve with Black Pepper Jelly, from cheese counter at grocery.

Sweets for St. Paddy

You don’t have to bake everything from scratch – which makes party planning a relief. Lean on your local neighborhood bakery for fun, over the top favorites – like from Toni Patisserie.

Mocha Irish Dreams. Layers of Mocha Irish Cream mousse, Creme de Menthe Mousse, Praline

Mini Irish Soda Bread Scones with Mint Gelato

Jameson Macaron

Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes

Rainbow Cupcakes

Or – take a basic bakery cupcake and DIY it with the kids – making colorful Lucky Charm Cakes from vanilla cupcakes and a box of everyone’s favorite cereal.

Festive Favors

Send guests home with handmade gifts, combining grocery canning jars with foil wrapped coin candies, and our free download tag at debililly.com. Fast and fun for the kids to make with you gathered around the table – and we all need more of that together time.

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