Growing up in an Irish household, there was always Jiggs dinner, lassy pudding and some kind of a green dessert served on St. Patrick’s Day. What is Jiggs dinner? It is the Newfoundland version of a boiled dinner.

Even if St. Paddy’s Day fell on a Friday during lent, it was acceptable to have meat. Salt cod just didn’t go well in a boiled dinner. Here is the basic recipe for Jigg’s dinner.

Jiggs Dinner


Water bucket of salt beef (a chunk, depends how many you are feeding), carrots, turnip, cabbage, potatoes, greens (whatever is available, such as dandelion, collard greens or beet greens)


In a large pot, cover salt beef and soak overnight. The next morning, drain and add fresh cold water. Bring to a boil and cook for approximately two hours. Add carrots, turnip, cabbage, potatoes and greens about 30 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

What do you really know about St. Patrick’s Day? Here are the top 10 facts:

1. St. Patrick was born around the year 385 in either Scotland or Wales (not in Ireland).

2. Most sources agree he died on March 17, but the year may have been anything from 460-464.

3. He was captured by Irish raiders at age 15 and taken as a slave to Ireland for six years.

4. According to his own account, he prayed a great deal while tending the flocks and was eventually told by an angel to escape and return to Scotland.

5. When he got home, another angel is said to have told him to return to Ireland to convert the Irish to Christianity.

6. Early depictions of St. Patrick associate him with the color blue.

7. The association of St. Patrick’s Day with the color green is connected to his alleged use of the three-leafed shamrock to depict the Trinity.

8. St. Patrick’s Day is a holiday in the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Montserrat and Newfoundland and Labrador.

9. He did not, contrary to legend, banish snakes from Ireland. No snakes were there in his time.

10. On St. Patrick’s Day, 13 million pints of Guinness are drunk worldwide.

When thinking of green flavors for desserts, there’s pistachio, mint, kiwi, crème de menthe, lime, margarita, green apple, mojito, etc. Here’s a recipe that uses chocolate and mint together for a wonderful little sweet treat, but just have one. They are very rich.

Buttercream Bites


½ cup of butter, softened

4 oz. cream cheese, softened

4 cups of powdered sugar

⅔ cup mini chocolate chips

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ teaspoon peppermint extract

Green food coloring

¼ teaspoon of salt

Chocolate or vanilla coating of your choice (a bag of Wilton melts or container of Candiquick)

Sprinkles for garnish


In a large mixing bowl, combine butter and cream cheese until well mixed and fluffy. Add vanilla and peppermint extracts.

Add a few drops of green food coloring until the desired hue is reached. Color will lighten when you add powdered sugar.

Add salt and powdered sugar about ½ cup at a time, until you reach your desired consistency. You want a very thick frosting — much thicker than what you’d frost a cake with, but still able to stir.

Add chocolate chips.

If needed, add a drop or two more food coloring. Stir until well combined.

Place mixture in refrigerator for at least two hours.

Once chilled, use a spoon or small scoop to create balls (1-½ inch in diameter is good) of frosting, and place them on a baking sheet lined with wax or parchment paper.

Once all the balls have been made, place in the freezer for at least two hours.

Prepare your chocolate coating according to package directions. Make sure it’s not too hot prior to dipping.

Take frosting balls out of the freezer, just a few at a time, and dip them into the chocolate coating, and then put on a sheet of wax paper. Because they are so cold, the chocolate will set quickly, so make sure to immediately add your sprinkles after dipping each ball.

Store in refrigerator.


Georgia Clark-Albert is a registered dietitian nutritionist and certified diabetes educator at Penobscot Community Health Care in Bangor. She provides nutrition consultant services through Mainely Nutrition in Athens. Read more of her columns and post questions at or email her at