Spinach Colcannon & the Kerrygold Holiday Contest

Back when I worked at Trader Joe’s, I was introduced to Kerrygold Butter.  At first, I didn’t understand why or how one butter could be different from another… but then I tasted it.  Wow.  Kerrygold uses milk from grass-fed cows to produce extra creamy, sweet, and rich butter.  You can absolutely taste the difference.  One of my co-workers from Trader Joe’s, Will, is obsessed with Kerrygold.  When I started my blogger partnership with them, I immediately thought of my friend Will and his love for this special butter.

Will- this recipe is for you!

This version of mashed potatoes isn’t just your normal Thanksgiving style smashed Yukons with some milk and butter.  This recipe was inspired by the Kerrygold butter itself- it is my version of the classic Irish dish Colcannon.  Typically, Colcannon is a mashed potato dish made with cabbage and loads of butter.  In this recipe, I used crumbled bacon, scallions, and in place of cabbage I used tons of fresh baby spinach.

Spinach Colcannon made with Kerrygold Butter

Ingredients:

3lbs Russet Potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks

2 Tablespoons Kosher Salt

8 Tablespoons Unsalted Kerrygold Butter, plus more for serving

3 slices Bacon, cooked and chopped or crumbled

1 6-oz bag of baby Spinach

3 Green Onions, chopped

1 cup Skim Milk

Sea Salt, Fresh Ground Black Pepper, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder to taste

Directions:

1.  Put the chopped potatoes in a pot and cover with cold water.  Add 2 tablespoons of salt and bring to a boil.  Boil the potatoes for about 15-20 minutes or until they’re fork tender.  Drain.  Put the potatoes back in the pot.

2.  In a glass measuring cup, heat the milk in the microwave about 30 seconds at a time until warm.  Meanwhile, start to smash the hot potatoes with a fork or a potato masher.  Add the butter, a tablespoon or two at a time, mashing into the potatoes.  Now, pour about half of the milk into the potatoes and stir.  Add the chopped bacon, spinach, and green onions.  Stir.

3.  Add more milk if the potatoes are too thick.  It’s all about how you like them to taste!  Add sea salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder starting with 1/2 teaspoon of each.  Add a sprinkle more until you like the way it tastes.  Serve hot with a pat of butter on top.  Enjoy!

Click here to check out Kerrygold Butter and Cheeses!

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And for your holiday season enjoyment… check out this ah-may-zing song about… you guessed it!!  Colcannon!  Hilarious.

BBQ Deviled Eggs

I’m so super excited to brag and announce that this delish recipe was chosen as a Host Favorite (TWICE!) for this week’s Daily Dish Foodie Friends Friday!  TWO big Thank You’s to Ericka & Cindy for choosing my recipe 🙂

Foodie Friends Friday

Read more at http://www.foodiefriendsfridaydailydish.com/recipes-that-caught-our-attention-6/#Yrzw1kWkeHqdfcel.99

 

Is anyone hosting an Oscars Party this weekend?  I am so excited to see who’s going to win this year.  Typically, I have very strong hopes for one movie or actor in each catagory… only having seen one or two a year.  This year is different.  I am SO excited!  I cannot figure out who to root for.

I really enjoyed Django, loved Zero Dark Thirty, and am nearly obsessed with Silver Linings.  AH!  Bradley Cooper AND Jennifer Lawrence?  LOVE THEM!

Anyway, I am sharing with you a recipe that would be perfect for a little appetizer for an Oscars Party… or any party really!  I made these for my superbowl party, and they were a huge hit.  I think I ate three of them myself too… whoops!

BBQ Deviled Eggs

Recipe adapted from:  The Neelys

Ingredients:

12 Hard Boiled Eggs

3 Tablespoons Olive Oil Mayo

4 Teaspoons Dijon Mustard

1 Tablespoon Hot Sauce

2 Tablespoons BBQ Sauce (I used Sweet Baby Ray’s… my fav)

Salt, Pepper, Chives, and Smoked Paprika

Directions:

1.  Carefully slice the hard boiled eggs in half, lengthwise.  Scoop out the yolks putting them in a mixing bowl and place the whites on a plate.  Mash the yolks with a fork and add the mayo, mustard, hot sauce, BBQ sauce, salt and pepper, mixing together.  Taste and season accordingly.

2.  Put the filling in a ziplock bag and seal.  Cut a small hole in the bottom corner.  Fill the holes in the egg whites with the mixture from the bag.  Top with Chives and Smoked Paprika (use regular if that’s all you have, but Smoked Paprika would be a GREAT addition to your spice cabinet if you don’t… and you can get it at TJ’s for $1.99)

I happen to think this is like, the best picture I've ever taken on here!

I happen to think this is like, the best picture I’ve ever taken on here!

I will probably never use my normal Deviled Eggs recipe ever again.  The flavors in this recipe are SO amazing and work so well with the eggs.  You can taste the BBQ sauce AND the mustard, and even the zing from the hot sauce.  The Smoked Paprika puts the final touch.  YUM!

So a side note about this recipe… it originally called for half the amount of eggs. I was expecting about 20 people for our superbowl party, so I decided to double it.  Thank god I did.  Despite following the strict perfect-hard-boiled eggs rules, my eggs were a NIGHTMARE!  They took me about a half hour to peel and were a huge pain in the ass.  I ended up ripping into the whites on a few of them.  UGH!  So, needless to say, I was happy to have made extra… and used the “rejects” for egg salad 🙂

This recipe can be found at this week’s Foodie Friends Friday!!

Foodie Friends Friday

Red Velvet Gooey Butter Cookies

Oh HI friends…. it’s been a while.

While I meant to post these babies just in time for Valentine’s Day… that just never happened… so you’re getting them now!  I mean really, who doesn’t love Red Velvet ANYDAY!?  There’s no rule saying you can only eat it for V-Day.  Am I right?

Beautiful flowers from my Valentine!

Beautiful flowers from my Valentine!

Dave and I went to the Circus for Valentine's Day!

Dave and I went to the Circus for Valentine’s Day!

It was so much fun... I loved the poodles and the elephants.

It was so much fun… I loved the poodles and the elephants.

 

I actually searched far and wide for the perfect cookies to make the boys for Valentine’s Day.  Everything I found was either too chocolately or just too complicated.  After stumbling across a semi-homemade Paula Deen recipe for which I only had to buy ONE thing at the grocery store… I knew I found a winner.

I do have to mention the color of my hands after rolling the dough… OMG!  It looked like I was experiencing some disgusting type of Stigmata.  So, make sure you keep your hands to yourself and wear your apron for this recipe!

Red Velvet Gooey Butter Cookies

Adapted from Paula Deen

Ingredients:

1 (8-ounce) brick Cream Cheese, room temperature
1 stick Butter, at room temperature
1 Egg
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 (18-ounce) box moist Red Velvet Cake Mix (unprepared!)
Powdered Sugar, for dusting

Directions:

1.  Preheat the oven to 350.  Prepare two cookie sheets with parchment or silpat.  

2.  With an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth.  Add the egg, and then the vanilla extract and beat.  Add in the cake mix and beat.  Cover the bowl and refrigerate for two hours (this makes it easier to roll the batter into cookie balls!).

3.  Put about 1/2-1 cup powdered sugar in a small bowl or plate.  Roll the chilled batter into Tablespoon sized balls.  Roll them into the powdered sugar, covering the ball.  Place on the cookie sheets.

4.  Bake for 12 minutes.  Cool completely as they will still be super soft and gooey.  Once they are cool sprinkle with the leftover powdered sugar.  

Rich red cookie batter

Rich red cookie batter

Into the sugar it goes

Into the sugar it goes

I love using Silpat, especially because mine is pretty purple :)

I love using Silpat, especially because mine is pretty purple 🙂

Cookies are done!  YUM!  Now if only we could ALL wait until they were cool to dig in (yeah right)

Cookies are done! YUM! Now if only we could ALL wait until they were cool to dig in (yeah right)

We really enjoyed these cookies!  Next time, I’d like to make them but top them with some cream cheese frosting or glaze and sprinkles.  How pretty would that be?

The cookies indeed, as Paula mentioned… SUPER gooey and melty and delicious.

photo 5 (4)

This recipe can be found at this week’s Foodie Friends Friday!!

Foodie Friends Friday

Happy Birthday, to me!

My birthday is a holiday.  It just always seems to turn out that way… and I’m okay with it.  We really have been celebrating my birthday here and there for the past month!

1.  Three Weeks ago, our friend “Patrice” came to visit from Cali!  I took a half day and we went to a Phillies Game.

2.  Coronas on the beach

3.  Birthday celebration in Atlantic City wouldn’t be complete without a White House Special from the best hoagie place in town… White House!

4.  Donny came to the celebration w/ a White Trash Creme Brulee Pie from Dangerously Delicious Pies in Baltimore.  WOW.  We cut it using a credit card.  Classy…

5.  Regan treated everyone to a fabulous dinner at Yama, filled with lots of sushi & sake bombs!

6.  Fast forward to this past Friday, Birthday Eve.  Got out of work at 2pm to have a few drinks with my work girls!  Love the BrewPub sampler!

7.  Jerry Sandusky was found guilty of 45/48 charges brought against him in the Child Sexual Abuse case.  The pups were watching intently with the whole family as we watched the announcement on CNN.  No winners in this story but at least justice is starting to be served!

8.  I received some really awesome birthday gifts!  My favorite being the homemade giant card Dave gave me 🙂  He also bought me my first cast iron skillet & dutch oven… think of all the recipes I can make with them!!!

9.  We spent my actual birthday, June 23rd at Dave’s college roommates wedding, Brian & Danielle.  They had gorgeous weather.  Danielle looked stunning and the wedding was such a great time.

With a few other little things in between… it was a great birthday!  Thanks to everyone who made this birth-month so special.  I love you all!

“Down the Shore” Week 1

So it’s Friday of Memorial Day Weekend and I’m stuck in traffic on the way “down the shore” (what all good Philadelphian’s call the Jersey Shore).  Every year I forget that I promise never to drive down this Friday!

Despite being stuck in traffic for over an hour, Dave and I finally made it down for our first official weekend at the shore this Summer.

Some “shore” geography:

Point A:  Seaside Heights.  Jersey Shore crew.  NOT my Jersey Shore.  Definitely Not.

Point B:  Ventnor City, NJ… my beach.  We are the beach sandwiched in between Atlantic City to the North, and Margate to the South.

We are about a half hour North of Ocean City, famous for their “family-fun” boardwalk of rides, hermit crabs, mini-golf, and fried food.

My grandparents have owned their Ventnor beach house 3 blocks away from the beach since before I was born.  I grew up vacationing here in Ventnor, and remember even writing a short story or poem in middle school about how the porch swing at the house is my “happy place”… it still is!

This long Memorial Day Weekend at the house was the best!  We had the most beautiful weather I can remember for MDW.  We spent all 3 days- Sat, Sun, & Mon on the beach.

Beautiful beach day!

My cousin Aidan getting ready for the beach

Besides my family & my Aunt Lyn’s family, we spent our time with one of our closest family friends (“Aunt” Cindy, “Uncle” Sammy, Becky, and Josh).  We had such a great time.

Dani and I are silly 🙂

Friday night, Dave and I went to a small little dive bar in Ventnor.  This is about as close to a dive bar as you’ll get in this town, but I love it!  The restaurant is really small, the menu is really small, but the drinks are delish and we can walk home if we wanted!  We devoured a bowl of mussels in red and a fresh made bloody mary.  MMM…

fresh blood(ies) !

Saturday, Dave and I took a 5-mile run on the Boardwalk, reaching the first casino of Atlantic City.  Although I made us stop a few times to walk a block or two, we did really well!  It isn’t easy for me but I’m trying to teach myself how to run.

Later on, we watched the Phillies game and had some drinks at our friends’ house.  We ordered a BBQ feast from the Back Bay BBQ on the way to Somers Point (south of us… if you’re still paying attention to your Geography lesson).  Before I tell you about how delicious it all was, which it was of course… I have to tell you that all FIVE Chicken halves that we ordered were NOT COOKED.  EW!  I’m so glad we checked instead of just digging in.  We had to cook them in the oven for at least 20 minutes longer… they were really not finished!

Once they were cooked though, the chickens were my favorite part of our meal.  They were seasoned really well and the BBQ sauce on the side was so tasty.  We think there is cinnamon somewhere in the sauce, which added to the unique flavor.

Sunday night we made the trek to the end of the Atlantic City boardwalk to the new casino, Revel.  It’s really a must-see.  It’s beautiful.  We had Margarita’s at Distrito & ate an unbelievable dinner at Village Whiskey (both Jose Garces’ places!).  More on that later.  Trust me, you’ll want the juicy details.  

Mom & Mel sipping on Distrito Margaritas

Becky & Josh excited to be at Revel. Yes, there was a DJ in the lobby.

Fishy faces @ Village Whiskey

Mel (my sister), Becky, and I at Village Whiskey

Foggy night driving home from AC

Monday was a more relaxing day, with a long walk on the beach.  We tried a new hoagie place, took a nap, and drove home at 10pm to avoid traffic.  Great move.  

My little cousin Dani loves her Ice Cream Sandwich from John the Ice Cream Man!

Keep your eyes open for the Village Whiskey post – you won’t be sorry! (or if you’re like me, maybe you will because that will mean you’re going to have to go gain 5lbs next weekend and go yourself. )