Traditional Irish Champ (Mashed Potatoes with Scallions and Cheese)

I've had a bit of trouble getting motivated the past few months, so I decided it was time to take a brief break from writing and spend more time in the kitchen. That's always been my solution when words don't come to me easily. I spent the summer testing out new canning recipes, then took a brief vacation to Ireland where I was able to travel the country by train and try some new-to-me dishes.

There is nothing like a vacation to provide a bit of inspiration, but two days in to our trip I realized something: Despite the fact that I live in what I refer to as the frozen North, the temperature difference between Ireland and Southern Wisconsin is pretty substantial, even in the summertime. The days were cold and rainy, much like our typical fall weather back home, so I spent my vacation gorging myself on soup, fresh baked bread, and other dishes that are wonderful at warming you from the inside out.

Once I returned home the temperatures had gone through the roof, so I tucked all of my ideas away, thinking to pull them out once our weather back home cooled off. The trouble with that is our weather has been incredibly mild this year, it was 60°F only a week ago. This hasn't really put me in the mood for comfort food yet, but things are slowly changing. We finally had our first substantial snow of the year, so I knew the time had finally arrived to dust off the new recipes I'd been working on, starting with this delicious Irish Champ. 

Traditional Irish Champ | Not Starving Yet

Traditional Irish Champ

makes 6 - 8 servings


3lbs russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ cup whole milk
6 scallions, thinly sliced
¼ cup Kerrygold Irish butter, salted
1 - 2 ounces sweet cheddar cheese, shredded (see notes)
white pepper, to taste


  • Place cubed potatoes in a saucepan, add sea salt, and cover with 1 - 2 inches of cold water. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium. Allow the potatoes to simmer in an uncovered pan for 20 - 30 minutes or until they are fork tender. Larger potatoes will need to be boiled longer, so I prefer to check mine around the 20 minute mark and continue cooking as necessary.
  • In a small saucepan add whole milk and sliced scallions, then cook until the milk is warm. Do not boil.
  • Combine cooked potatoes, butter, warmed milk, and scallions in a large bowl, then mash until they've reached your desired consistency (I prefer to leave mine a little chunky.) Add the shredded cheddar and white pepper. Mix well, then serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until later. Enjoy!


You can use any type of cheddar you'd like in this recipe, although I'm partial to Kerrygold's Skellig. It adds just a hint of sweetness and gives the potatoes a rich, melt-in-your-mouth flavor. 

If you need to feed a large group of people this is a great dish add to your menu. It can be made a day or two in advance and reheated in the oven when you're ready to serve it. After you've made the potatoes place them in an oven safe baking dish and cover with plastic wrap. To reheat: Remove the plastic wrap, place the dish in a cold oven, turn the heat up to 350°F, and bake for 30 - 45 minutes or until the potatoes are no longer cold in the center.


2017 Holiday Gift Guide - For the Last Minute Shopper

I know there are only a few shopping days left until Christmas, but today I have a gift guide for those of you who like to wait until the last minute. I know you're out there, because I live with a last minute gift buyer. So, I dedicate today's guide to those of you who enjoy living on the edge and ordering your gifts less than two weeks before a major holiday. Here's hoping your deliveries arrive undamaged and on time (and may you have a backup plan in place for when they don't!)  

2017 Gift Guide for the Last Minute Shopper | Not Starving Yet

Spiceologist Pink Peppercorn Lemon Thyme All Purpose Rub from Amazon

Casina Rossa Gourmet Sea Salt Gift Pack from Amazon

Death Wish Ground Coffee from Amazon

Hammond's Candy Stirrers from Amazon

Mustard and Co. Gift Set from Amazon

Daelmans Stroopwafels from Amazon

Claey's Peppermint Candy from Amazon

Fuego Hot Sauce - The Good Hurt from Amazon

Didn't find what you were looking for? Don't worry, we have you covered! Check out our past gift ideas for more inspiration.


This post contains my Amazon affiliate links. I try to keep advertising unobtrusive and to a minimum in order to provide you with the best experience possible. Purchases made through these links provide me with a small income and ensure I can continue providing you with quality content.

2017 Holiday Gift Guide - For the Writer in Your Life

Every year I spend countless hours browsing the internet, seeking out the coolest items to add to our yearly gift guides (which really is an excuse to cover my horrible shopping addiction, damn you Amazon!) Today I have a roundup of some of my favorite gifts for the writer in your life.

2017 Writers Gift Guide | Not Starving Yet

Peter Pan Collector's Edition Moleskine Notebooks from Amazon: You just think lovely wonderful thoughts and they lift you up in the air.

Honest Acronyms File Folders from Amazon: These fun folders perfectly sum up most of the paper items found in most offices. They may or may not help keep you more organized, but at least they're honest, right?

Writers' Tears Irish Whiskey from Walsh Whiskey Distillery at Royal Oak: I stumbled across this remarkable Irish Whiskey at the Celtic Whiskey Shop in Dublin, Ireland this past summer. Next time I'm facing yet another rejection letter I can at least drowned my sorrows with something tasty, yet humorous. 

Soap for Writer's Block from Hallmark: It smells like regurgitated ideas and probably a vampire. Come on. It's a bar of (handmade) soap, not magic. Try vodka (although I prefer Whiskey myself.)

A - Z Bookends from Amazon: These fun and functional bookends are the perfect gift for the writer (or reader) in your life. 

The Writer's Block - Ideas to Jump-Start Your Imagination from Amazon: This 3x3x3 block will either jump-start your imagination, as promised, or provide plenty of excuse to procrastinate further which can be a double edged sword. 

Too Much Coffee Mug from Amazon: My words, like most writers, are fueled by coffee. The words stop flowing once the coffee does. True story.

Didn't find what you were looking for? Don't worry, we have you covered! Check out our past gift ideas for more inspiration.


This post contains my Amazon affiliate links. I try to keep advertising unobtrusive and to a minimum in order to provide you with the best experience possible. Purchases made through these links provide me with a small income and ensure I can continue providing you with quality content.

Quick & Easy Sugar Coated Pecans

There are a handful of recipes that I've made for years that are so easy I've never bothered to write them down. I think everyone has a recipe or two like that, but I've been making an effort to post them to the blog as I think of them, that way after I'm gone my friends and family can still enjoy them. There is nothing that makes me more sad around the holidays than knowing that my favorite relative has departed and not left behind the recipe for their signature dish.

Case in point: It's been over ten years since my Great Aunt decided to join the giant cocktail party in the sky and I'm still trying to recreate her cheeseball. It was a staple at family gatherings and I still can't figure out what I'm doing different.

This recipe for sugar coated pecans is one of those quick and easy things I've always tossed together when I need something to bring to a party or family gathering, it's my equivalent of Aunt Helen's cheeseball. This recipe takes less than 10 minutes to make, only uses three ingredients, can be made days in advance, travels well, and is always one of the first things to disappear. In my mind this makes it the perfect party food (or last minute holiday gift.)

Quick & Easy Sugar Coated Pecans | Not Starving Yet

Sugar Coated Pecans

makes 6 - 8 servings



1 pound pecan halves
2 tablespoons salted butter
3 tablespoons granulated sugar


  • In a large skillet set over medium heat, melt butter. Add pecans, then continue cooking until the pecans are lightly toasted and have been throughly covered with butter (approximately 5 minutes.) 
  • Remove pecans from the skillet and allow them to cool slightly before tossing them with sugar. Once cool the pecans can be stored on the counter in a sealed container and should stay fresh for at least a week.


These pecans are tasty on their own, but you can jazz them up a bit by adding a teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice or another seasoning of your choice.