Themed Date Night is back for Round 2! Anybody fancy a trip to the land of shamrocks? That is, Ireland, of course! From the food and music to some movie ideas and language pointers, we’ll cover some fun ideas to transform a plain stay-at-home date night into a fun excursion to The Emerald Isle.
So what exactly is Irish food? Potatoes and beer are the first things that come to mind. But what if you don’t drink? And how many ways can you cook potatoes? And for goodness sakes let’s not even go the Lucky Charms route.
Alright, sit back and check out these recipes:
Corned Beef Grilled Cheese: I made these last night and man are they good! The great news is that you can get the corned beef right from your deli and the other ingredients are easy to substitute. I used Havarti cheese because I didn’t have the recommended Jarlsburg or Fontina. Instead of the beer and sugar I substituted cooking white wine with some molasses to add the yeasty sweetness and flavor, but still have a liquid that evaporates quickly. Plus it adds some saltiness.
→ A quick note about beer substitutes
What if you don’t buy alcohol? It’s actually really easy to substitute these things. You just have to know WHY the liquid is there in the first place. For more information check out this chart or this article. Essentially, beer adds 3 things: liquid, flavor, and carbonation. So, you just need to determine which of these is important to your recipe. I would recommend substituting beef broth for a stronger addition of flavor, chicken broth for mild, and cooking white wine (or dry white wine) for a light flavor. You can also add molasses if the sugar is not an issue as it has a little of the yeasty flavor the beer would have. Also, Sprite or carbonated water could substitute for something that needs carbonation.
Guinness Beef Stew with Cheddar Herb Dumplings: This looks absolutely delicious! In this case I would probably substitute the beef broth for the guinness. MMMmm those dumplings though!
Beef and Guinness Hand Pies: How cute are these?!
Slow Cooker Corned Beef with Cabbage: And then there’s always the classic Corned Beef and Cabbage!
Shepherd’s Pies: These are cute miniature versions of a quick classic, Shepherd’s Pie.
Sides & Bread
Irish Nachos: Yes, it’s a thing. Basically thin slices of potatoes covered in cheese and bacon… Heck yeah!
Colcannon: Mashed potatoes with kale, smothered in butter.
Boxty: Another interesting take on potatoes. They are essentially a potato cake made from shredded and mashed potatoes. Would be great with ketchup!
Classic Irish Soda Bread: Yum! This recipe only takes 15 minutes to throw together!
Irish Apple Cake with Custard Sauce: Looks so delicous and moist!
Irish Potato Candy: So cute and sweet!
Irish Soda Bread Cookies: If you liked the Irish Soda Bread idea but are look a little sweeter why not try these!
Alright I’ve got several good movie ideas for you here!
- P. S. I Love You – While this movie is not entirely set in Ireland, a good majority is. This movie is soooo good. Heads up: You WILL cry your eyes out, you may even need to pause it for a few minutes, hold each other, and bawl. This is okay. Additionally, you may want to check the Parent’s Guide in IMDB because there is a scene with a naked man butt that you will want to avoid, lol.
- Leap Year – Amy Adams goes to Ireland. Yes.
- Darby O’Gill and the Little People – Okay, okay, yes this is an old live-action Disney movie, but it’s super cute and fun, and it has a (super) young Sean Connery in it. Always fun to see the stars before they were stars. My family references this movie all the time, because it’s just one of those cute obscure old classics.
Another idea? Why not have a limerick contest? A limerick is an Irish form of poetry (think Irish Haiku) where you have a specific number of rhyming syllables with which to make your poem. The rules:
- Limericks consist of five anapaestic lines.
- Lines 1,2, and 5 have seven to ten syllables and rhyme with one another.
- Lines 3 and 4 have five to seven syllables and also rhyme with each other.
“Hickory dickory dock,
the mouse ran up the clock;
the clock struck one
and down he run;
hickory dickory dock.”
– Mother Goose
“There was an Old Man of Kilkenny,
Who never had more than a penny;
He spent all that money,
In onions and honey,
That wayward Old Man of Kilkenny.”
– Edward Lear
For more check out this page on Limericks.
4. The Final Touch
Obviously, you could eat your sandwiches in a field of clover, while wearing all green and drinking ginger ale. Or you could just learn some Irish terms of endearment, which are in Gaelic.
- Tá grá again duit (taw graw agum dit) = I love you.
- Is tú mo rogha (iss too mu row-ah) = You are my chosen one.
- A mhuirnín (uh WUR-neen) = Darling
- Mo chuisle (mu cooish-la) = My pulse (shortened from “The pulse of my heart.”)
If you’d like a little more info, here are a few good pages that explain it better than I could:
To learn how to say “I love you.” in Gaelic, I recommend this wikiHow.
I hope this has given you some good inspiration to pull off your own little trip to Ireland and expand your cultural borders a little more. =)
Lots of love!
Want more cute date night ideas?