With the Ocean County St. Patrick's Day Parade coming up this weekend and the actual holiday about a week away, you should probably start stocking up on green trinkets to decorate. What makes a party great though, is good food and drinks. Make sure you have these at the ready before you start shaking your shamrocks.

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    Irish Soda Bread

    This quick bread is usually made with buttermilk (though sometimes with Guinness stout) and can have raisins in it. It's called soda bread because it's make with baking soda instead of yeast. (It's often scored to separate into four sections, to look like a shamrock when it's finished.)

    Steven Perez, Flickr
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    Corned Beef and Cabbage

    Nothing says St. Patty's Day like corned beef and cabbage. (I know, they don't eat it in Ireland, but last I checked, we're not actually IN Ireland.) Yes, it smells like...well, you know...but it's delicious. Add some boiled potatoes and maybe some mustard and you're good to go.

    Flickr user Flamingo331
  • 3

    Guinness Brownies

    Okay, I know it sounds weird, but trust me on this one. The Guinness really brings out the flavor of the chocolate, and who doesn't love brownies?? Try this recipe.

    Grant Sewell, Flickr
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    "Irish Car Bomb"

    Strictly for the 21+ guests, I consider this drink the equivalent of Yoo-Hoo for grownups. You'll need Guinness stout, Jameson whiskey, and Bailey's Irish Cream. Fill a pint glass halfway with Guinness. Then fill a shot glass half with Jameson, and half with Baileys. Drop (or pour) the shot QUICKLY into the Guinness, and chug. Don't try to be classy and sip this. The Bailey's WILL curdle, and you WILL be sad. If done correctly, I promise you it tastes like chocolate milk. Just make sure you have a designated driver. ;)

    Flickr user A. Starkey
  • 1

    Shamrock Shake

    These bad boys come around for a limited time each year, and are somewhat of a cult favorite. Slightly minty and VERY green, it doesn't get much more festive than a green milkshake. And should you be so generous as to supply them for a whole party, well, then you're just the best host ever!