Shepherd’s pie


I’m sorry. I don’t take this blogger photo thing as seriously as I should. It’s not pretty, but it’s good. 

A bit of backstory: I started blogging about 4 years ago when several baseball moms started bugging me to actually write down my recipes. It’s a concept, and I have never been one to be so formal. 

But then I got the idea that if I organized both my recipes and shopping lists that would be real value to working moms. I did that for a summer to test the idea and learned a ton about how people cook and grocery shop. The idea was solid (as proven out by services such as Blue Apron), but it didn’t really scratch the creativity itch for me. Nor did I really intend to make money at it.

Cooking is an art form. I just love sharing my tested recipes and even more joy when someone tells me they learned something new in the process (or tried a new ingredient). The blog serves that purpose for me. 

But in the past year or so, I have observed that we have a food consciousnesses crisis in this country. We have more, we consume more than we need, we waste more. And by “we” I certainly am generalizing. Americans don’t want to think about our food and where it came from or what purpose it serves our body. We are mindless consumers. And trained to be that way. 

That’s changing, but like most change, not fast enough. I do what I can in my little world to support that change—raising mindful eaters and sharing recipes with my small circle. I think I need to bring more of those cultural observations into the blog going forward, in addition to recipes and food travel notes. Thoughts welcome!!

Ironically, this recipe makes a massive amount of food that lasts at least 2 days (that’s eons in our house). But as winter sets in, we do need our comforts. All things in balance. 😉

Shepherd’s pie

  • 5lb potatoes, peeled and halved
  • 3/4c 1/2 &1/2 (or milk)
  • 1 stick butter
  • Parmesan cheese
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 lb lean ground turkey 
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 1/2 bag frozen mixed vegetables 
  • 15 oz can tomato sauce
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne 
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • Dash of cinnamon 
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley 
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and pepper 

Boil potatoes in salted water til soft (about 20 min). While potatoes cook, sauté meats until brown, add onion and celery, cook til soft (about 5 minutes). Add seasonings, frozen vegetables and tomato sauce. Simmer for 20 minutes and then remove bay leaf.

There are 3 keys to creamy, light mashed potatoes: 

  1. Never add cold liquids to hot potatoes (=glue)
  2. Don’t rinse potatoes, just let them air cool to a temperature you can handle. In this recipe you can let them sit awhile.
  3. Get a potato ricer. 

Microwave butter and cream for 1 minute. Add potatoes using ricer. Mix together, season with salt.

Place meat mixture on the bottom of large (10×14) baking dish, top with potatoes and sprinkle with parmesan. Cover with tinfoil, bake at 350 for 30 minutes, remove foil and cook another 10 min or so til top begins to brown.

Can be made ahead and/or frozen.

Advertisements

Shepherd’s pie


I’m sorry. I don’t take this blogger photo thing as seriously as I should. It’s not pretty, but it’s good. 

A bit of backstory: I started blogging about 4 years ago when several baseball moms started bugging me to actually write down my recipes. It’s a concept, and I have never been one to be so formal. 

But then I got the idea that if I organized both my recipes and shopping lists that would be real value to working moms. I did that for a summer to test the idea and learned a ton about how people cook and grocery shop. The idea was solid (as proven out by services such as Blue Apron), but it didn’t really scratch the creativity itch for me. Nor did I really intend to make money at it.

Cooking is an art form. I just love sharing my tested recipes and even more joy when someone tells me they learned something new in the process (or tried a new ingredient). The blog serves that purpose for me. 

But in the past year or so, I have observed that we have a food consciousnesses crisis in this country. We have more, we consume more than we need, we waste more. And by “we” I certainly am generalizing. Americans don’t want to think about our food and where it came from or what purpose it serves our body. We are mindless consumers. And trained to be that way. 

That’s changing, but like most change, not fast enough. I do what I can in my little world to support that change—raising mindful eaters and sharing recipes with my small circle. I think I need to bring more of those cultural observations into the blog going forward, in addition to recipes and food travel notes. Thoughts welcome!!

Ironically, this recipe makes a massive amount of food that lasts at least 2 days (that’s eons in our house). But as winter sets in, we do need our comforts. All things in balance. 😉

Shepherd’s pie

  • 5lb potatoes, peeled and halved
  • 3/4c 1/2 &1/2 (or milk)
  • 1 stick butter
  • Parmesan cheese
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 lb lean ground turkey 
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 1/2 bag frozen mixed vegetables 
  • 15 oz can tomato sauce
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne 
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • Dash of cinnamon 
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley 
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and pepper 

Boil potatoes in salted water til soft (about 20 min). While potatoes cook, sauté meats until brown, add onion and celery, cook til soft (about 5 minutes). Add seasonings, frozen vegetables and tomato sauce. Simmer for 20 minutes and then remove bay leaf.

There are 3 keys to creamy, light mashed potatoes: 

  1. Never add cold liquids to hot potatoes (=glue)
  2. Don’t rinse potatoes, just let them air cool to a temperature you can handle. In this recipe you can let them sit awhile.
  3. Get a potato ricer. 

Microwave butter and cream for 1 minute. Add potatoes using ricer. Mix together, season with salt.

Place meat mixture on the bottom of large (10×14) baking dish, top with potatoes and sprinkle with parmesan. Cover with tinfoil, bake at 350 for 30 minutes, remove foil and cook another 10 min or so til top begins to brown.

Can be made ahead and/or frozen.

Shepherd’s pie


I’m sorry. I don’t take this blogger photo thing as seriously as I should. It’s not pretty, but it’s good. 

A bit of backstory: I started blogging about 4 years ago when several baseball moms started bugging me to actually write down my recipes. It’s a concept, and I have never been one to be so formal. 

But then I got the idea that if I organized both my recipes and shopping lists that would be real value to working moms. I did that for a summer to test the idea and learned a ton about how people cook and grocery shop. The idea was solid (as proven out by services such as Blue Apron), but it didn’t really scratch the creativity itch for me. Nor did I really intend to make money at it.

Cooking is an art form. I just love sharing my tested recipes and even more joy when someone tells me they learned something new in the process (or tried a new ingredient). The blog serves that purpose for me. 

But in the past year or so, I have observed that we have a food consciousnesses crisis in this country. We have more, we consume more than we need, we waste more. And by “we” I certainly am generalizing. Americans don’t want to think about our food and where it came from or what purpose it serves our body. We are mindless consumers. And trained to be that way. 

That’s changing, but like most change, not fast enough. I do what I can in my little world to support that change—raising mindful eaters and sharing recipes with my small circle. I think I need to bring more of those cultural observations into the blog going forward, in addition to recipes and food travel notes. Thoughts welcome!!

Ironically, this recipe makes a massive amount of food that lasts at least 2 days (that’s eons in our house). But as winter sets in, we do need our comforts. All things in balance. 😉

Shepherd’s pie

  • 5lb potatoes, peeled and halved
  • 3/4c 1/2 &1/2 (or milk)
  • 1 stick butter
  • Parmesan cheese
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 lb lean ground turkey 
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 1/2 bag frozen mixed vegetables 
  • 15 oz can tomato sauce
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne 
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • Dash of cinnamon 
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley 
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and pepper 

Boil potatoes in salted water til soft (about 20 min). While potatoes cook, sauté meats until brown, add onion and celery, cook til soft (about 5 minutes). Add seasonings, frozen vegetables and tomato sauce. Simmer for 20 minutes and then remove bay leaf.

There are 3 keys to creamy, light mashed potatoes: 

  1. Never add cold liquids to hot potatoes (=glue)
  2. Don’t rinse potatoes, just let them air cool to a temperature you can handle. In this recipe you can let them sit awhile.
  3. Get a potato ricer. 

Microwave butter and cream for 1 minute. Add potatoes using ricer. Mix together, season with salt.

Place meat mixture on the bottom of large (10×14) baking dish, top with potatoes and sprinkle with parmesan. Cover with tinfoil, bake at 350 for 30 minutes, remove foil and cook another 10 min or so til top begins to brown.

Can be made ahead and/or frozen.

Barbacoa reimagined (aka leftovers)

  
So Cinco de Mayo is coming up, which might be an excuse to make tacos. In our house, we don’t need a reason to make shredded meat. The boys love it, it’s easy and you can get multiple meals out of it.

I made chipotle barbacoa and while the tacos were yum, I was more pleased by how the entire family got creative with leftovers:

  • Nachos
  • Add bbq sauce for a sandwich
  • Add to scrambled eggs for a breakfast burrito
  • Huevos rancheros (my fav)

Chipotle Barbacoa

  • 2lb beef brisket
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, chopped
  • 1/2 7oz can chipotles and sauce, chop peppers 
  • 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 5 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp salt
  • Black pepper
  • 2 tsp dried oregano

Rub the beef with oil, oregano, sugar, cumin, salt and pepper. Place beef on top of diced vegetables in slow cooker, add tomatoes and chipotle peppers. Cook on low 8 hours, shred with 2 forks and allow to cook another 30-60 min.

Serve with corn tortillas and your fav toppings.

Huevos rancheros

  • Corn tortillas (2 per person)
  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 can refried beans
  • Monterey jack cheese
  • Eggs (2 per person)
  • 1 can enchilada sauce
  • Pico de gallo
  • Salsa verde
  • Sour cream (optional)
  • Cilantro (optional)

Heat oil in saute pan, fry tortillas 30 sec per side, 1 at a time. Drain on paper towels. Heat enchilada sauce and beans. Fry eggs. 

Assemble dish by layering 1/4c enchilada sauce, tortilla, beans, cheese, tortilla, more sauce, eggs, add salsas, cilantro and sour cream to plate.

Magical meatloaf

Photo Nov 22, 6 31 31 PM (1)

Coming home on a cold winter night to a comfort-food meal of meatloaf, mashed potatoes and peas is a well-earned reward for a hard swim/hockey practice. It’s great the first night and easy to heat up as leftovers later in the week.

Three tricks make this meatloaf better:

  1. Saute onion, garlic and herbs to caramelize them.
  2. Adding a glaze to the outside that forms a nice crust, in contrast to the moist interior.
  3. Baking it free-form on a broiler pan instead of in a loaf pan, which adds to the nice texture.

Magical meatloaf

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 cup parsley, chopped
  • 3 slices white bread
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup parmesan, grated
  • 2/3 cup ketchup
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • Splash of hot sauce/Tobasco
  • Salt and Pepper

Tear bread into chunks and soak in milk. Set aside. Saute garlic and onions in olive oil until translucent. Add thyme and parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Squeeze excess milk from bread and mix into beef, eggs, parmesan, onion/garlic mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Shape into loaf (about 9″ by 4″ on a broiler pan. FYI–easy cleanup if you line the bottom pan with foil to catch the fat drippings). Combine ketchup, brown sugar and hot sauce in bowl, brush over loaf. Extra sauce can be used for serving. Bake at 350 degrees for an hour. Allow 10 minutes rest time before slicing.

Pot roast: No ketchup allowed!

There’s an ongoing discussion in our house about the “appropriate” use of ketchup. Yes, I believe there is a time and place for red sugar on food–primarily with other junk, like hamburgers and fries.

There is no place for it amongst well-prepared roasts, including pot roast. I get it. Many of us grew up with less-than-delicious overcooked roasts (not me, of course!) So when I first served this and Matt immediately put ketchup on it, I freaked out. He doesn’t do that anymore, and neither will you!

Based on a recipe from Julia & Jacques Cooking At Home

Perfect Pot Roast

  • 3-4lb chuck roast
  • 1-2 tbsp Vegetable oil
  • 2 onions, quartered
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 1/2c white wine
  • 1/2 water
  • 2 tsp dried or fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4-6 large russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 1 lb baby carrots
  • 1 package green peas
  •  1-2 tsbp Cornstarch

Season the meat generously with salt and pepper. Heat vegetable in roast pan on stove top, sear meat on all sides (about 10 min). Add wine and water, bring to simmer. Surround meat with tomato and onion chunks. Add thyme and bay leaves. Cover and roast for 3-4 hours at 300 degrees.

Peel potatoes and quarter.  Add potatoes and baby carrots to pan, season with salt and pepper, and return to oven covered for another 1- 1 1/2 hours.

Remove from oven and lift meat out to rest while thickening the sauce. The vegetables can either stay in the pan or also be removed. (Skipping the sauce thickening step is fine too!) Use 1 tbsp of cornstarch and mix in 1 tsbp of the pan sauce in a small bowl. Bring the pan back to a boil and mix in the thickener. Repeat this process until the sauce reaches desired consistency, adding butter if needed to finish the sauce (but generally it has enough fat in it already).

Add in peas, simmer for 3-5 min. Return meat to pan, if desired, carve into serving sizes.

And, please, no ketchup on the table!

Photo Oct 24, 6 42 00 PM