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Irish colcannon is creamy mashed potato mixed with cabbage, creamy Irish butter and Irish cheddar cheese that makes for a comforting side dish.

In honor of St Patrick’s coming up 17th March and I’m bringing you traditional Irish recipes this week. First up isIrish colcannon. A very tasty mashed potato with cabbage, real Irish butter, onions and cheddar cheese.

This week I’ll be bringing you 2 more traditional Irish dishes,Irish beef and Guinness stew ( click here for recipe ) and Irish chocolate cake ( click here for the recipe ). Along with the colcannon, it’s a complete meal that anyone would be happy to eat this St Patrick’s Day.

I’m excited that real Irish butter and cheese are now sold in the grocery store here in the U.S. and that I was able to make this colcannon as Irish as I could. The butter and cheese are really the best there is out there, the Irish are very proud of their dairy and so they should be. I’m not being paid to say this, this is just my opinion and if you try them, you’ll agree.

5 from 7 votes

Irish Colcannon

Irish colcannon is creamy mashed potato mixed with cabbage, creamy Irish butter and Irish cheddar cheese that makes for a comforting side dish.

Course Side Dish
Cuisine British
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings Skagen Womens Earrings SKJ0103040 J261cP
577 kcal
Half fill a large pan with water and add the potatoes.
Bring to a boil and cook for 20 minutes until tender.
Meanwhile melt butter in a large skillet, add onion and cook until softened for 10 minutes.
Stir in the cabbage and cook for 5 minutes until wilted.
Drain the potatoes and add to a large bowl and mash.
Mix in the milk and salt, cooked onion and cabbage and cheese into hot potatoes and season with pepper. Mound onto serving plates and make a well in the center of each. Pour a little melted butter into each well, if desired.
Nutrition Facts
Irish Colcannon
Amount Per Serving (2 cups)
Calories 577 Calories from Fat 342
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 38g 58%
Saturated Fat 24g 120%
Cholesterol 111mg 37%
Sodium 861mg 36%
Potassium 1215mg 35%
Total Carbohydrates 37g 12%
Dietary Fiber 7g 28%
Sugars 6g
Protein 23g 46%
Vitamin A 25.2%
Vitamin C 65.3%
Calcium 58.6%
Iron 45.2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Irish Beef Guinness Stew

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I’m delighted to welcome AG Howard to talk about her new YA-inspired retelling, ! The book is out today with Abrams and Chronicle.

Kate Ormand: Congratulations on your new book! Can you tell us a little about how inspired you and why you chose it as the inspiration for a new story? AG Howard: Thank you, and thanks for having me over for an interview! As for the move to Phantom, just like all things Alice, I’ve always been a huge PotO fan. From the time I first discovered Gaston Leroux’s The Phantom of the Opera in high school, I was captivated by the tragic, dangerous, and often sardonically humorous anti-hero, Erik. I can’t get enough of Leroux’s novel, the movies, and the musical. And since my AiW spinoff was so well received, it gave me the confidence to tackle the Phantom’s spinoff possibilities, something I had been toying with in my imagination even before I wrote SPLINTERED. I’ve seen other adaptations of The Phantom — a lot of them actually — and one prequel that I adore (Phantom by Susan Kay) but not many spinoffs or continuations. So after thinking it through — mentally twisting and twining the original backstory into the here and now — I fell in love with Erik’s maniacal brilliance and wit, broken soul, and talent all over again. I had to give him a modern stage on which to perform, so I could see what horrors he might stir up for one unfortunate occupant of an opera-themed boarding school.

KO: When researching, what did you particularly enjoy looking into? AGH: My favorite research was into Christina Nilsson’s life. Having had success with fashioning a character for SPLINTERED who was related to Lewis Carroll’s real life Alice inspiration, I opted to go a similar route with ROSEBLOOD and include Leroux’s real life inspiration for Christine, rumored by many to be the world-famous Swedish operatic soprano who went by the stage name Christina Nilsson (birth name: Kristina Jonasdotter). As I began looking into Christina’s timeline from birth to death, I was fascinated to find how accurately her life ran parallel with Erik’s history, with only a couple of minor discrepancies that were easy enough to explain away in the pages of a novel.

KO: I love how the cover ties in with the series. First impressions on seeing the cover? AGH: Thank you! Well, that’s actually an interesting story. The cover we went with was the third of three mockups (all of which were crafted Sweetiee Rose Gold Bangle Tin Alloy Bracelet with AAA Zircon and Mini Pyramids Woman Jewelry Gift qf1hgpiR
), pictured below.

Mockup #1 was an attempt to capture the mystery and romantic elements of the book. But it had a 1950’s romance/Nancy Drew vibe, and the story is so much more than that. It’s musical, atmospheric, eerie, dramatic, and magical. Not to mention, contemporary. The first mockup felt flat and static, and didn’t capture any of the latter elements.

In mockup #2, the contemporary drama and musical flowing atmosphere were captured perfectly. As was the magic and eeriness. But the panoramic-stage scene felt a little too distant from my other book covers, and my publisher wanted to keep that close-up aspect so fans would know it was by the same author just by looking. So, we traded that one for a more Splintery-feel with the final mockup.

Mockup #3 almost had it all, but needed some tweaking still. We had to lose some of the roses, especially the ones in Rune’s hair. Her eyes were too blue and needed to be deepened to green. And the mask looked rather mechanical, resulting in an android/sci-fi nuance. So we whitened and cracked the mask to make it more Phantom-ly, incorporated an eerie blue mist to the background (to make Rune’s green eyes stand out and add a theatrical element). Then we let the thorny vines take the stage … all the way to the back of the cover and the red curtains set slightly off-kilter to represent the eerie twists and turns of the read.

All of it came together splendidly, as you can see by the final result represented by the book jacket below:

KO: Music plays a big part in . Did you listen to music a lot while writing? Any tracks you can recommend that tie in well with the mood of the story? AGH: Yes, I always listen to music while I write. In fact, for each book I make playlists and I love to share them with readers. NinaQueen Cupid 925 Sterling Silver Bead for women fit pandora charms bracelet phBDzfHk0
, for example.

There are five songs that had special roles in the writing of .

Nature Boy by Aurora

This song is a perfect reflection of Thorn through Rune’s eyes: the enigmatic, broken, masked boy who appears and vanishes as if by magic, who seems to know all of Rune’s secrets and how to heal her soul sickness with his violin, who’s trying to find his own truths, while trapped between loneliness and loyalty, and humanity and love.

In My Dream by Fyfe Monroe

Just as Christine sings in the Broadway musical: “A,” Rune’s own dreams become more substantial than reality at times. This song embodies the eeriness and mystery behind those interludes.

Midnight by Coldplay

This ballad provided the perfect mystical, otherworldly mood for the romantic moments in the book, most especially during the rooftop scene, my personal favorite. I get all swoony just thinking about it…

Bittersweet by Apocalyptica

Thorn and the Phantom have a strained relationship throughout the story, a rift caused by Rune’s presence at the academy. But this isn’t a love triangle. If anything, it’s a triangle formed by a boy torn between his love for his father, and his blossoming feelings for a girl he has an otherworldly connection to. I could almost envision the father and son performing this duet as Thorn plays his violin (in place of a cello) — the Phantom lost to bitterness from past experiences, and Thorn craving the freedom to have those very experiences for himself.

Sacrifice by Lisa Gerrard and Pieter Bourke

Where would a retelling be without some operatic inspiration? This particular heartbreaking melody inspired me while writing chapter 12, one of the most visceral, emotional, gritty, and riveting scenes of the book … IMO, anyway. Stepping back in time into Thorn’s childhood, and a pivotal moment between him and the Phantom that sealed their fates and destinies forever.

However, there are 48 more songs on my official playlist, and they can all be found S925 Sterling Silver I Love You To The Moon and Back Love Heart Pendant NecklaceBox chain 18 dNGef1

KO: And to wrap up, can we end with a quote from ? AGH: “Pretty faces were no more than masks worn to justify laziness and intellectual monotony. Since Erik had been born without one, he’d crafted a myriad of his own—masks that gave the illusion of conformity, but could be cast aside whenever he wished to unleash the true, blinding radiance of deviation.”

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Remember last week when I said coding was just writing?

I was wrong. As one commenter noted, it's even simpler than that.

Like broken clocks, even pointy-haired managers are right once a day. Coding is just typing.

So if you want to become a great programmer, start by becoming a great typist. Just ask Steve Yegge .

I had a brief email exchange with Steve back in March 2007, after I wrote Put Down The Mouse , where he laid that very same Reservoir Dogs quote on me. Steve's followup blog post was a very long time in coming. I hope Steve doesn't mind, but I'd like to pull two choice quotes directly from his email responses:

Strong statements indeed. I concur. We are typists first, and programmers second. It's very difficult for me to take another programmer seriously when I see them using the Large Oval Turquoise Style Acrylic Clip On Earrings In Gold Tone 30mm L AGYC8
. Like Steve, I've seen this far too often.

First, a bit of honesty is in order. Unlike Steve, I am a completely self-taught typist. I didn't take any typing classes in high school. Before I wrote this blog post, I realized I should check to make sure I'm not a total hypocrite. So I went to Silver 25x6mm Gas Lamp Post Charm on a lobster trigger wz1DH
and gave it a shot.

I am by no means the world's fastest typist, though I do play a mean game of Typing of the Dead . Let me emphasize that . I just wanted to make sure I wasn't full of crap before I posted this. Yes, there's a first time for everything. Maybe this'll be the start of a trend. Doubtful, but you never know.

Steve and I believe there is nothing more fundamental in programming than the ability to efficiently express yourself through typing. Note that I said "efficiently" not "perfectly". This is about reasonable competency at a core programming discipline .

Maybe you're not convinced that typing is a core programming discipline. I don't blame you, although I do reserve the right to wonder how you manage to program without using your keyboard.

Instead of answering directly, let me share one of my (many) personal foibles with you. At least four times a day, I walk into a room having why I entered that room. I mean no idea whatsoever. It's as if I have somehow been teleported into that room by an alien civilization. Sadly, the truth is much less thrilling. Here's what happened: in the brief time it took for me to get up and move from point A to point B, I have totally forgetten whatever it was that motivated me to get up at all. Oh sure, I'll rack my brain for a bit, trying to remember what I needed to do in that room. Sometimes I remember, sometimes I don't. In the end, I usually end up making multiple trips back and forth, remembering something else I have done while I was in that room after I've already left it.

It's all quite sad. Hopefully your brain has a more efficient task stack than mine. But I don't fault my brain – I fault my body. It can't keep up. If I had arrived faster, I wouldn't have had time to forget.

What I'm trying to say is this: . When you're a fast, efficient typist, you spend less time between thinking that thought and expressing it in code. Which means, if you're me at least, that you might actually get of your ideas committed to screen before you completely lose your train of thought. Again.

Yes, you should think about what you're doing, obviously. Don't just type random gibberish as fast as you can on the screen, unless you're a Perl programmer. But all other things being equal – and they never are – the touch typist have an advantage. The best way to become a touch typist is through typing, and lots of it. A little research and structured practice couldn't hurt either. Here are some links that might be of interest to the aspiring touch typist:

(But this is a meager and incomplete list. What tools do recommend for becoming a better typist?)

There's precious little a programmer can do without touching the keyboard; it is the primary tool of our trade. I believe in practicing the fundamentals , and typing skills are as fundamental as it gets for programmers.

Hail to the typists!

[This] reminds me of a true "Dilbert moment" a few years ago, when my (obviously non-technical) boss commented that he never understood why it took months to develop software. "After all", he said, "it's just typing."

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We get a lot of letters in our inbox, and some of my favorite inquiries are ID requests where someone also notices something interesting going on.

Here’s an example of one such question:

Your Name: Becky Boots Your Bug Question: I witnessed a Locust emerge from the ground on the 4th of July and then shed watched as it shed its exoskeleton….I took pictures….it was a very bright fluorescent green….now, every night at least one if not two seem to migrate back to my front porch, where there is a light, seemingly to go belly up and die….only now they are a dark green and black camouflage pattern with white undersides….I read a little, but cant figure out what kind they are? I live in Iowa!

Picture credit: Becky Boots

This ID request is actually pretty easy for me, because I grew up in Iowa. In Iowa, the most common cicadas are Tibicen species. They grow underground for a couple years, and there’s a generation every summer. When they emerge, they’re a very pretty lime green and then harden into a camouflage coloration.

The molting process of the cicada is a really popular subject for YouTube videos. There’s all sorts of timelapse videos and animated GIFs showing both the process of molting and coloration just after emergence.

It’s an oddly specific internet fascination, but I happen to like it because I think newly molted cicadas have spectacular coloration. Here’s what this specimen would probably look like after it’s shell hardened and it’s colors developed:

Picture Credit: Fredlyfish4, via FlikrLicense info: CC BY-SA 2.0

So the cicadas Becky is seeing are most likely Tibicen cicadas. The description is rough, but this genus is very common…so I feel pretty confident about that ID even without a picture.

There’s another interesting thing going on here, though…because there are also some dead cicadas on her porch.

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