15 Delicious Ways to Eat, Drink & Enjoy St. Patrick's Day

St. Patrick's Day arrives just when the seasons are at their most ambivalent. Will it rain? Will it snow? Will the sun suddenly appear, bringing gardens and green delicious things back to life? The simple country fare on the traditional St. Patrick's Day table reflects this tipping point between winter and spring. Here are some of our favorite delicious ways to celebrate this Irish-American holiday.

Over-wintered potatoes and cabbage, along with preserved beef and bacon are the classic choices — along with a pint of good Irish beer. Here are some simple ways to enjoy St. Patrick's and the Irish influence in American cooking. From a vegetarian hash to succulent roasted cabbage with bacon, and real Irish scones to a hot Irish cocktail, pick up a plate or a glass and be Irish, at least for today, saying goodbye to winter and hello to spring.

Here's a smattering of good yet simple Irish eats (and drinks!) we'd like to indulge in today. Many are vegetarian (Guinness Stew, Red Flannel Hash) and most are simple ways to enjoy the vegetables that are still available to us here in the late throes of winter and early spring. Happy St. Patrick's Day, and happy cooking!

• 1 Red Flannel Hash - Onions, potatoes, cabbage, and... beets! No corned beef in this hash, which is a wonderful way to start or end your day.
• 2 Roasted Cabbage with Bacon - One of my favorite recipes ever, and it just has a couple of ingredients. It turns out silky, plump cabbage wedges, shiny from the olive oil and bacon.
• 3 Vegetarian Guinness Stew - Another vegetarian way to enjoy vegetables and St. Patrick's at the same time.
• 4 Nigella Lawson's Chocolate Guinness Cake - Don't care for Guinness? That's fine — just use it in this rich, chocolatey cake instead.
• 5 Real Irish Scones - Sara Kate went to Ireland and brought back this recipe for these moist, light little pats of joy.
• 6 My Mother's Irish Soda Bread - Classic Irish soda bread, with buttermilk, caraway seeds, and golden raisins.
• 7 10 Ways to Eat a Potato (and Just a Potato) for Dinner - The most enduring culinary symbol of Ireland is still the potato, and this post celebrates that humble, wonderful vegetable with ten ways to let it stand on its own for dinner.
• 8 Kerrygold Aged Cheddar with Irish Whiskey - And if you just want a bite of cheese with your Irish scones or bread, then this cheese flavored with Irish whiskey is your best bet.
• 9 Cheddar & Chive Guinness Bread - Lots of Irish-inspired ingredients packed into one delicious loaf of bread.
• 10 Chocolate Stout Pudding Pie - Beer in your pie? When it's as luxurious as this one, oh yes.

• 11 Irish-Style Lager from Rogue Ales - This year's beer pick for St. Paddy's.
• 12 Warm Up to St. Patrick's With an Irish Whiskey Skin - A hot and potent mix of whiskey, lemon, water, and sugar. An Irish cousin to the Hot Toddy, and just right for the colder moments of spring.
• 13 The Trouble With Irish Whiskey (and James Joyce Cocktails) - Bushmills, Jameson, and the James Joyce cocktail.
• 14 Beer Float! - One of our favorite ways to enjoy Guinness or any other proper Irish stout is with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream. Sacrilege! say the beer purists, but really, an ice cream-stout float must be tried at least once. Bitter, sweet, cold, and delicious!
• 15 Irish Coffee - Classic and wonderful!

What are you cooking for St. Patrick's Day? Is the classic corned beef and cabbage on your table? Or are you branching out with something a little different?

(Images: See linked posts for full image credits.)