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. 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

  1. 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. 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™‚

  2. 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™‚

  3. 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™‚

  4. 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…)

  5. 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˜‰

  6. 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!

  7. 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!

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