St. Paddy’s Day {Champ}

When Irish eyes are smiling,
‘Tis like a morn in spring.
With a lilt of Irish laughter
You can hear the angels sing.
~Author Unknown



Corned beef brisket is a much anticipated St Patrick’s Day tradition for us.  Each year I set a fun table filled with foods, all day long, that are traditionally served in Ireland.  My inspiration?

What better way to celebrate an Irish holiday than with authentic Irish food from one of the country’s best-known cooks?
Usually I serve our potatoes boiled in the pan with corned beef, but I have discovered they are fabulous prepared mashed in what the Irish call “Champ”.  Super easy, this will go wonderfully with any Irish fare you serve this weekend.
{Champ} & Crispy Onions
(adapted from Irish Traditional Cooking)
8 unpeeled, large “gold” potatoes
1 bunch green onions (the entire onion)
1 1/2 cups milk (use whole milk)
6-8 Tablespoons butter
2 or 3 large sweet onions, sliced into 1/4-inch wide rings
salt and freshly ground pepper
Scrub your potatoes and boil them with skins on.  Finely chop the green onions. Cover the green onions with cold milk and slowly bring to a boil.  Simmer three-four minutes, then turn off the heat and leave to infuse.  Peel and mash the freshly boiled potatoes and, while hot, mix with the boiling milk and green onions.  Beat in some of the butter.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  For the crispy onions, melt 3-4 tablespoons butter in a frying pan and cook the onions until nicely browned.  Place your onions around the edge of your potatoes in a large bowl with a knob of butter melting in the middle.  Dip a forkful of champ and onions into the butter and enjoy!

{I don’t recommend these if you are on a diet.}


If your not a fan of crispy onions, leave them off, and serve them with just the butter.



This delicious potato dish is good anytime of the year, so give them a try.  I hope your family loves them as well!
Wishing you a rainbow
For sunlight after showers—
Miles and miles of Irish smiles
For golden happy hours—
Shamrocks at your doorway
For luck and laughter too,
And a host of friends that never ends
Each day your whole life through!
~Irish Blessing


Linking up with Foodie Friday this week.  Check out all the other St. Patrick’s Day inspiration!




A Bit ‘O Tea

With my darling Audley out of town this week, I decided to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day a little differently this year.  We feasted on corned beef and champ before he left so he wouldn’t be left out, but I thought the kids and I would enjoy a little tea party for a fun night in.

I didn’t go all out decorating for St. Paddy’s Day which shocked everyone in the house as I have a tendency to “over-do” things …. just a little!  When I think of Ireland, I think of earthy and simple, so I just added a couple of simple touches to my table.  
A white tablecloth always adds a touch of elegance to a table; I topped mine with a beautiful Irish table runner that  I purchased in Gatlinburg a couple of weeks back.
My centerpiece is a live miniature rose bush whose roses have a greenish hue to them.  I added the sparkling shamrock, for luck of course.
I also added two candlesticks from Pottery Barn.  Their rustic appearance seemed to just fit my image of Ireland.  I added a little moss to cradle the candle. I like to appearance of the “old” with the elegant.
With my table set, we sat down to tea, and what a crazy evening it was!  Nothing like sitting with three of your children chatting in an “Irish” accent.  
Some good ole Irish whiskey would have been welcome for this crazy mom!
Our Tea time menu…
*cucumber sandwiches
*chicken salad sandwiches (not exactly Irish, but a family favorite)
*Scones with homemade blackberry/strawberry jam & double devon cream
*Irish Breakfast tea
*Mint Oreo truffles
Sharing tea doesn’t require a fancy menu, just a little time to prepare and a sense of adventure.  After all, it’s not a 5-course dinner you are serving!  I wanted a bit of tradition, but wanted the kids to enjoy their favorite (chicken salad) as well.

We were looking for something “green” to drink ….. the kiddos settled on Mountain Dew.  
The sandwiches were a hit, and the scones went over well.  The jam was a yummy topping, but mixing the jam and devon cream was their favorite!

I am sure the sugar high added to the Irish accents.

  
But, the real star of the evening were the Mint Oreo truffles.
Super easy to make, the kids are so excited to have the leftovers to carry to school with their lunch.
All you need is 1 package of mint Oreo cookies, 1 8-ounce package cream cheese (softened), and a 12-ounce package of white chocolate melts.
Crush your Oreos in the food processor, then blend in the cream cheese.
Roll the mixture into 1-inch balls and place on a lined baking sheet.  Put in the freezer for about thirty minutes.
Melt your chocolate and tint it if you desire.  Dip the Oreo balls in the mixture and let harden at room temperature.
I added green sugar sprinkles to some of mine while the chocolate was still soft for a finishing touch.  
Such a delightful treat for this entertaining evening of pretending to be Irish.
I’m linking up with Designs By Gollum today for Foodie Friday.  Check out the other great foodie links she has to share!
http://designsbygollum.blogspot.com/

Feelin’ Irish

Oh, the music in the air!
An’ the joy that’s ivrywhere –
Shure, the whole blue vault of heaven is wan grand triumphal arch,
An’ the earth below is gay
Wid its tender green th’-day,
Fur the whole world is Irish on the Seventeenth o’ March!
~Thomas Augustin Daly

 We have feasted on corned beef and champ, without forgetting our green; now a tea I am planning to enjoy this St. Paddy’s Day with my children.

What are your St. Patrick’s Day plans?

May your pockets be heavy and your heart be light,
May good luck pursue you each morning and night.
~Irish Blessing