Things that turn green on St. Patrick’s Day

(CNN)Every year on St. Patrick’s Day, the world around us suddenly looks a little … jealous.

It’s not just Kermit the Frog or the Incredible Hulk or that guy in your office with the green necktie. It’s green food, green parades, green fountains and famous sites around the world that take on a greenish glow.
There are numerous theories as to why green became the color of the holiday. It is one of the colors on the Irish flag. Green also is the color of a shamrock, a symbol of Ireland — known as the Emerald Isle because of its lush vegetation. And traditional Irish legend held that wearing green made you invisible to leprechauns.
Regardless of the reason, the world unites around the color green on St. Patrick’s Day. Here are some of the most notable green landmarks.

Rio’s Christ the Redeemer

The 98-foot-tall statue in Rio de Janeiro gets a green glow.

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The Colosseum

Rome’s 2,000-year-old stadium takes on a green look.

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The White House fountain

The fountain on the North Lawn of the White House in Washington is dyed green.

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The Chicago River

It takes 40 pounds of dye to turn the Chicago River green. The dye is a secret recipe.

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The Empire State Building

The iconic New York skyscraper is lit green, white and orange.

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St. Patrick’s Day parades

And of course, green is the dominant color in March 17 parades around the world. Here, members of the County Carlow Association ride horses past St. Patrick’s Cathedral on 5th Avenue in New York. The city’s St. Patrick’s Day parade, dating back to 1762, is often called the world’s largest.

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5 fab recipes for St. Patrick’s Day, from corned beef to Guinness cupcakes

From left, Tropical Mango Mayonnaise, Apricot-Bourbon Mustard and LB Steak Sauce, photographed in Walnut Creek, Calif., on Wednesday, April 11, 2012.      (Mark DuFrene/Staff)

Fresh thyme adds a delicate floral flavor to traditional Irish soda bread.
(Thinkstock)
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Guiness-laced gingerbread cupcakes get a final flourish of cream-cheese frosting for St. Patrick’s Day. (Milleflore Images)

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Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day deliciously with these tasty takes on classic dishes, from America’s Test Kitchen’s homemade corned beef to Guinness-spiked gingerbread cupcakes. Yum.

1 Miette’s Guinness Gingerbread Cupcakes

Life’s short. Let’s plan dessert first. This fantastic Guinness-laced cupcake recipe from San Francisco’s Miette patisserie gets its complexity — and deliciousness — from molasses, ginger, cardamom, cloves and other gingerbread spices. Add a pouf of cream cheese frosting and serve with a tall glass of Guinness. Yum. Find the recipe here.

2 America’s Test Kitchen’s Ultimate Home-Corned Beef

Sure, you could buy a strangely pink corned beef at the supermarket for St.Patrick's Day -- or for everyday sandwich-making. Or you could make your own, using tips from America's Test Kitchen. (Photo courtesy of America's Test Kitchen)
You can make your own corned beef at home. (Photo courtesy of America’s Test Kitchen) 

Sure, you could buy that strangely pink, supermarket-prepped corned beef for St. Patrick’s Day — or for everyday sandwich-making. Or you could make your own. Turns out, corned beef is simply brined brisket + six days. Who knew? Here are America’s Test Kitchen’s how-tos.

3 Sweet DIY Mustard

OK, technically this one’s called Sweet Bavarian Mustard and we’re supposed to be going all-Irish here. But this is such a wonderful, easy-to-make mustard and it goes so well with corned beef, we couldn’t resist. You shouldn’t either. You’ll find the recipe here.

4 Easy Thyme Herbed Soda Bread

Fresh thyme adds a delicate floral flavor to traditional Irish soda bread.(Thinkstock)
Fresh thyme adds a delicate floral flavor to traditional Irish soda bread. (Thinkstock) 

When modern Irish cooking expert and celebrity chef Clodagh McKenna — you may have seen her on the “Rachael Ray Show” — does a St. Patrick’s Day spread, it’s likelier to include gravlax with dill and juniper berries than corned beef and cabbage, but she always makes soda bread. Her easy recipe calls for just six ingredients, including fresh thyme. You’ll find the recipe here. Also, an explanation for the cross traditionally cut into the top of the loaf. (Psst, fairies are involved.)

5 Rose Levy Beranbaum’s Irish Soda Bread

At the risk of sounding blasphemous, Irish soda bread can be a bit bland.Not so in this version, though, that adds Irish whiskey butter and whiskey-soaked raisins to the mix. (Thinkstock)
This version of Irish soda bread adds whiskey-soaked raisins to the mix. (Thinkstock)

This version, created by baking maven Beranbaum, author of “The Bread Bible,” add butter, sugar and whiskey-soaked raisins to the classic recipe. The resulting sconelike loaf is even more delectable slathered in an Irish whiskey butter. (Irish whiskey butter!) Here’s the recipe.