Photos by Aimee Broussard

Aimee’s pretty palate: Parade pleasers


I vividly remember my first experience with the Baton Rouge St. Patrick’s Day parade. I hadn’t lived here very long and completely underestimated the magnitude with which Baton Rouge celebrates this occasion. My friend Jen did her best to explain the day’s feasting itinerary: we would brunch at her home prior to the parade, and there would be a separate menu for after the parade. But even so, I still didn’t quite understand just how many people would be attending. I naively thought arriving 30 minutes prior to the parade was plenty of time to join the festivities. Boy, was I wrong! My mint chocolate brownies and I found that the street to her house had long been blocked off, and the pre-parade crowd had made their way toward the parade route without me … taking the Bloody Marys along with them.

Since then, I do a bit more preparation. Along with learning the importance of arriving early, I’ve also learned that bite-size fare and parade-goers go hand in hand. Corned beef sliders and stuffed potatoes you can eat with your hands? A winning combination! And because you’ll need dessert, the Mason Jar Grasshopper Pies are miniature versions of my beloved Grasshopper Pie recipe on my website. Made with a Girl Scout Thin Mint cookie crust, you’ll be hard pressed to find a green dessert that will top these cuties.

Aimee Broussard is a Southern food blogger and award-winning author. Her recent cookbook Picnics, Potlucks & Porch Parties debuted exclusively on QVC. Join Aimee for weekly recipes with a side of Southern hospitality on her blog,

Corned Beef Sliders with Homemade Thousand Island Dressing

These are similar to a traditional Reuben sandwich, minus the sauerkraut. Since no one I know likes it, I’ve omitted it, but feel free to add if you want to be truly authentic.
1⁄2 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. ketchup
1 Tbsp. white vinegar
2 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. sweet pickle relish
1⁄2 clove garlic, minced
1⁄4 tsp. salt
Pepper to taste
1 pkg. Hawaiian sweet rolls, sliced open
1⁄2 lb. corned beef, sliced thin
1⁄4 lb. Swiss cheese, sliced
2 Tbsp. butter, melted
For dressing, in a small bowl, whisk together first 8 ingredients. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with non-stick spray. Place bottoms of rolls into dish. Spread a bit of dressing onto each roll half. Add corned beef, followed by cheese. (If adding sauerkraut, do so after beef and before cheese.) Repeat layers. Add slider tops. Using a pastry brush, top with melted butter. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until cheese is melted. Remove from baking dish and serve warm. Makes 12 servings.

Loaded “Irish” Potato Bites

20 red potatoes, small
1⁄4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1⁄2 cup corned beef, chopped
2 Tbsp. butter, melted
Salt and pepper to taste
Sour cream (optional)
Chives, chopped (optional)
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and boil until fork tender. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Once potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut each one in half and cut a small slice off the rounded end so that the potato can sit upright.
Scoop out pulp from inside potato skins and place in a bowl. Add cheese, corned beef and butter to potato pulp. Add salt and pepper to taste. Scoop potato pulp mixture back into skins and place on a baking sheet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven, and add a dollop of sour cream and chives if desired. Makes 8-10 servings.

Mason Jar Grasshopper Pies

24 marshmallows
1⁄4 cup milk
1⁄4 cup crème de menthe (green colored)
2 Tbsp. crème de cacao
1 cup heavy cream
1 sleeve Thin Mint cookies, crumbed (about 16 cookies) (any thin mint chocolate cookie will work if you find yourself Girl Scout-less)
2 Tbsp. butter, melted
Melt marshmallows in milk over medium heat in a small saucepan and let cool. Watch carefully as to not scorch marshmallows. Add crème de menthe and crème de cacao.
In a chilled mixing bowl, whip cream until stiff peaks form; fold into marshmallow mixture and set aside.
For crust, in a separate bowl, add melted butter to cookie crumbs. Press about 2 Tbsp. cookie crumbs into bottom of 6 (4-oz.) Mason jars. Divide pie mixture evenly among jars. Place jars in freezer for about 2 hours. Allow to thaw on countertop for 10 minutes prior to serving. Garnish each with a swirl of whipped cream and an extra cookie, or crumble more cookies and add those. Best served chilled. Makes 6 servings.