Competitions and Colcannon

St. Patrick’s Day can be a wild holiday. Especially with pride on the line.

Back in college, I made the *wise* decision of coming to Chicago with my on-again, off-again boyfriend (we were off-again at the time). It was St. Patrick’s Day weekend, and we went out to a large Irish bar for the evening.

It was there that the competition started.

Since we were “off again,” somehow we decided to see who could pick up the hotter girl first. (A number of lemon drops-Β part of the reason why I haven’t done shots since- did influence this decision.)

Next thing I know, I’m chatting up a Brazilian girl (whom I had decided was the hottest girl in the bar). We started dancing (some other things might have happened, too…), and then that’s where some deleted scenes occur (I know that I was found dancing upstairs with her, but the rest of that is a little bit hazy, especially after I saw some of the pictures that I really don’t remember taking all that well).

The next morning, I had this text in my phone.

“I had a great time last night. Call me sometime. -Camille.”

Let’s just say I won.

Competition WorthyΒ Irish Colcannon


perfect for your St. Patrick’s Day throw-down (or when you’re recovering the next day)


  • 5 large russet potatoes (about 3-4 lbs worth)
  • 2 leeks
  • 1 + 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 bunch green onions
  • 1 small head cabbage
  • 1 c fat-free greek yogurt
  • 1/2 c fat-free sour cream
  • 1 c fat-free half-and-half
  • Salt
  • Pepper


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  2. Wash and peel potatoes (or you can skip the peeling part if you have a food mill). Cut into large cubes. Boiled in salted water until easily pierced with a fork.
  3. Cut off the ends of the leeks. Slice in half (nearly down to the root) and rinse in cold water. Slice thinly.
  4. Saute leeks in 1 tbsp butter and olive oil until soft. Set aside.
  5. Remove outer leaves from cabbage. Cut into quarters, then slice thinly. Boil in the plain water until tender (this took about 8-10 minutes). Drain.
  6. Slice the green onions thinly.
  7. Drain the potatoes. Mash until very smooth (or use that food mill). Add the butter, half-and-half, greek yogurt, and sour cream.
  8. Add the leeks, cabbage, and half the green onions.
  9. Salt and pepper to taste.
  10. Serve with reserved green onions on top.

This makes a LOT of potatoes (so perfect for your get-together), but if making for a smaller crowd, it can easily be halved. Though it does warm up perfectly in the microwave if you’d rather just have leftovers.

52 thoughts on “Competitions and Colcannon

  1. Love the story! It was cracking me up.

  2. triathlonobsession March 18, 2013 — 10:30 am

    Let’s just say, what happens on St. Patrick’s Day stays with St. Patrick’s Day—now that’s the luck of the Irish! πŸ™‚

    1. I was the only Irish person in the competition πŸ˜‰

  3. I’ve never thought of yogurt in mashed potatoes . . I’ll have to try this. Can you tell that I woke up hungry? And yes, you did win!

    1. I almost always use greek yogurt in mashed potatoes (regular or sweet)- it adds a nice tang and a bit of protein!

  4. Haha, nice!

  5. Sounds like Mardi Gras to me.

    1. Haven’t had the pleasure of attending Mardi Gras yet.

  6. Your story is sassy and to the point–I love it! Also those potatoes look sooo…oh my god. Awesome!

  7. Colcannon – love it …. great story … and St Paddy’s day should be wild … *smile

    1. I kept it a little less wild this year (but only since I could have been called into work).

      1. I personal think that Paddy’s day is a day when everything goes. *smile .. if you are on call .. I suppose it has to be more calm. *smile

  8. Oh you’ve shamed me! I’m Irish and have never made colcannon, I’ll have to give it a go.

    1. It’s one of my favorite ways to eat cabbage

  9. It was a unique story, and I am sure you were smiling as you typed it. Instead of Lemon Drops for your next night of St. Patrick’s Day fun, you should try “Black Velvet” which is simply putting a large tankard on the table and having a bottle of Guinness in one hand and a bottle of Champagne in the other hand. Pour each at the same time into the tankard, and the trick is to finish the drink before the Champagne stops bubbling up. Of course that can be for another story, and by the way, you forgot to include the photographs from that evening. LOL

    1. Thankfully those pictures were deleted shortly after the event (my ex was too ashamed of his loss). πŸ˜‰

  10. I’m reading this on a ground stopped flight in Dallas and chuckling out loud. I love this story.

    I hope I get to Atlanta soon πŸ™‚

    1. My good friend first read this story via email in a congressional hearing. He had to excuse himself to laugh. πŸ™‚

      1. I once did something embarrassing in a senate hearing back in Canberra. I’m glad the senators didn’t hear the embarrassing ring tone on my mobile telephone. πŸ™‚

  11. Hahahahahaha good or you girl!!!

  12. Loved your story!! As well as the recipe!!

  13. A deserved win, I’d say…remembering the details is a moot point. πŸ™‚ I don’t know why I’ve never heard of colcannon until the last few years but this is seriously the best-sounding recipe I’ve come across. When I do finally make it, I will raise a silent toast to your victory. πŸ™‚

    1. I first heard of it as a kid but didn’t try it until 10 years ago (which I still guess puts me ahead of the game). πŸ˜‰

      Enjoy when you make it!

  14. Women are so much better with other women than men are.

  15. Yum, colcannon! Let’s just say we stayed in this year for the holiday – much less disaster potential drinking Jamesons at home. I was hoping there would be enough cabbage leftover to make a version of this myself, but alas no luck (guess that speaks well for the cabbage in the main meal). Next time! Thanks for visiting my blog – as a professional scientist and a housewife wanna be, I have a feeling we have a bit in common! I’m looking forward to exploring your blog more πŸ™‚

    1. I think that we should have stayed in- would have made for a more enjoyable Sunday. πŸ˜‰

      My grocery store is currently running specials on cabbage since they still have so much in stock- maybe yours is doing the same?

      My old college roommate is a PhD student and I have plenty of friends who are MD/PhDs- I can relate! πŸ™‚

  16. I love the way you write! I look forward to reading your posts always. Think you should consider a book compiled of all these in the future. . .

    1. Haha maybe eventually- a girl can dream!

  17. I LOVE Colcannon! I was introduced to it about a year and a half ago and can’t get enough!

      1. I’ll definitely give it a go soon!

  18. Of all the St. Patrick’s Day dinner parties I’ve hosted, I have never made Colcannon. This looks awesome! And a great story to boot.

    1. It’s a fairly authentic Irish dish (though mine is just a healthier twist on the idea)

  19. I will definitely try the colcannon, but these days I tend to give the kiss-based competitions the miss. Ah, the heady days of ‘how many cops can you kiss in 15 minutes’ on St Paddy’s day! (It was a competition open to much arguement and therefore repetition…)

    1. Haha yeah I’m also past that stage in my life (though I will admit, I never did the cop one).

  20. Hee hee….fun read…. adds new meaning to the good ole Rovers version of “Woo hoo, UP she rises…!” Wink! Thanks for following my chocolate blog!

  21. I love your adventurous spirit and the recipes of course. πŸ™‚ I love potatoes any kind of way. Thanks for the great stories. πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks! And you’re welcome. πŸ™‚

  22. Ooo, greek yogurt sounds much better than heaps of mayo. Also, potatoes are just the thing to settle anyone’s stomach after a competitive night lik you had πŸ˜‰

  23. Daaam, great story. You can definitely teach me a thing or two about picking up Brazilians.

    The recipe looks great. Maybe I’l try it next year!

    1. Haha, my method was “So I’m trying to win a bet with my ex…wanna help?” Worked like a charm. πŸ˜‰

  24. This was hilarious. Was cracking up as I read. I had a very similar experience – and on St. Patrick’s Day too lol. Must be something about that holiday. Anyway great story, great writing, great recipes – keep it up!

    1. I think St. Patrick’s Day brings out the wild side of people. πŸ˜‰

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