Happy St. Patrick’s Day! {2015}

Between lots of work and pregnancy exhaustion, my blogging has really fallen down lately. Sorry about that!

I had grand plans of doing several blog posts leading up to today’s holiday, but then, I didn’t. I had plans of making all sorts of treats for my office buddies. Then, I didn’t.

Instead, I present my “Luck ‘o the Irish” Pinterest board full of great ideas for today’s holiday.

I also would like to present a new favorite side dish of ours that pairs REALLY well with corned beef. (We jumped the gun on our corned beef consumption and created this perfect dish a few weeks ago…)

Without further ado… our feast:

St. Patrick's Day feast

St. Patrick’s Day feast

I buy my corned beef at Costco, throw it in the crock pot, sprinkle on the packet of spices, pour in a couple of glasses of water and let it go for 8-10 hours on low.

The potatoes are cut, boiled, and seasoned. I leave the skins on.

The garlic-roasted cauliflower is from Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa: How easy is that? cookbook. (From week seven of our cookbook challenge… I’ll post them soon! I promise!)

Garlic-roasted cauliflower

  • 1 head of garlic, cloves separated but not peeled (We used pre-minced garlic… turned out great!)
  • 1 large head of cauliflower, trimmed, cut into large florets
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons good olive oil, divided use
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed (or bottled) lemon juice

Procedure:

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

2. Bring a small pot of water to a boil and add the garlic cloves. Boil for 15 seconds. Drain, peel and cut off any brown parts. Cut the largest cloves in half lengthwise.

3. On a sheet pan, toss the cauliflower with garlic, 3 tablespoons olive oil, 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Spread mixture out in a single layer and roast for 20 to 25 minutes, tossing twice, until the cauliflower is tender and garlic is lightly browned.

4. Scrape the cauliflower into a large bowl with garlic and pan juices. Add remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, parsley, pine nuts and lemon juice. Sprinkle with another 1/2 teaspoon salt, toss and serve hot or warm.

We’re off to enjoy MORE corned beef tonight with some friends. I hope you have a wonderful St. Patrick’s Day and you don’t forget to wear green!

{Interesting fun fact–or fiction: According to the legends, leprechauns delighted in causing mischief, which included tripping, kicking or otherwise harming humans. Wearing green supposedly rendered the wearer invisible to leprechauns, and thus spared the wearer their attentions.)

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Week 9: Potatoes

With a quick trip to Idaho planned for the end of the week — including a really delicious meal at Snyder’s Winery — we knew that this week had to be potato as our theme of the week. Let me tell you… we didn’t slack off with this week’s special ingredient. We enjoyed potatoes at least once every day that week.

First, we started with sweet potatoes. We used our mandolin to cut some salt and pepper crinkle chips, cooking them per my friend Krissie’s recipe. They turned out pretty well. There were some mushy ones but then there were also some delicious crispy ones. And those delicious crispy chips? We paired them with homemade turkey burgers and my favorite kale salad. Man, were they good!

Sweet potato chips

Sweet potato chips

Turkey burgers, sweet potato chips and kale salad. YUM

Turkey burgers, sweet potato chips and kale salad. YUM

Next, we sauteed some red potato slices with rosemary, salt and pepper that we had with grilled salmon and asparagus. We were going to make the Pioneer Woman’s ‘crash hot potatoes,’ but were too hungry to wait that long to make them. We’ll make those some other time.

Salmon, red potatoes and asparagus

Salmon, red potatoes and asparagus

Did you know that gnocchi is often made out of potatoes? We did! And we made our gnocchi, turkey sausage, kale, and butternut squash dish. Delicious.

The best way to enjoy potato gnocchi

The best way to enjoy potato gnocchi

And then? We went to Idaho, land of potatoes…and we went potato crazy! We had hash browns at the hotel, a pizza with shredded potatoes (it was called “Idaho Ranch”) and this monster baked potato at Snyder’s Winery. This was the second time we’ve had this potato and steak feast, so we knew what we were up for. Not pictured: the coconut shrimp appetizer and house salad. Oy. So much food!

Snyder's Winery's baked potato and steak

Snyder’s Winery’s baked potato and steak (And I don’t have small hands)

Next up? Asparagus week. (Yes, I’m as far behind as ever on posting these, but I’ll get there!)