February 18, 2016

Shepherd's Pie

A long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, there was a Mom who completely forgot about the fact that she ran a food blog, and resorted to making the same old boring spaghetti, southwest soup, tuna casserole, and chicken casserole over and over again. Oops.

Two years later (give or take), and I'm back. Maybe. Long enough to tell you all about how I was inspired to look up a Shepherd's Pie recipe after being hooked on the idea of making one. I've been reading a trilogy by Nora Roberts (I love a good romance novel, and one that contains the paranormal and fantastical is even better), and it's set in Ireland. The younger brother is a chef at their families' pub, which has been passed down from generation to generation, and at least three times in the course of reading these, he's made Shepherd's Pie for his daily menu. I knew the gist of one enough (mashed potatoes, meat, vegetables) to have the idea really, truly latch and seriously start to crave one.

So I did what I do best when needing a recipe... I turned to Pinterest. And I came across this truly delectable recipe that sounded extremely easy and delicious, and gave it a try.

My 7 year old, upon taking a single bite, promptly said that she could eat it for the rest of her life. I call that a huge success. Not that it takes a lot to convince my kids to eat in the first place. I did toy with the recipe I had just a little, but I don't think it made a significant difference to what it would have otherwise been. Enjoy!

*photo was taken from iowa girl eats

Shepherd's Pie
1 bag Idaho potatoes, peeled & quartered
Garlic salt
1 Lb. ground beef
1/2 an onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves
3 Tbsp flour (I had whole wheat flour on hand)
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp soy sauce
14.5 oz can chicken broth
2 cups frozen vegetable medley (I used a bag of Great Value vegetable mix)
Salt & Pepper

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Brown the ground beef, onions, and garlic in a large skillet on medium-high heat. When the meat is completely browned, stir in the flour and cook for a minute or two. Put your potatoes in a pot of water, bring to a boil, and cook until soft. Drain.

Stir in the chicken broth, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, and tomato paste into the beef skillet. Simmer for 5-6 minutes (or until the sauce is thick and the tomato paste is completely blended). Turn the heat off, and stir in the frozen vegetables. Add salt & pepper to taste. Using an electric mixer, mash the potatoes to a very rough mash before turning it on. Whip your potatoes to your preferred lumpy state, adding butter and milk to the potatoes to your personal liking. Everyone likes their mashed potatoes just-so, therefore there really isn't any measurement required here. Add small amounts at a time until you hit your personal mashed potato perfection if you haven't made mashed potatoes before (I'm not going to lie, I had to call my stepdad beforehand for a mashed potato crash course). Add salt and pepper to your mashed potatoes, and mix well.

Pour the beef mixture into a large, oven-proof casserole dish. I used a 9x10 glass casserole dish myself. Top the mixture with mashed potatoes and smooth. Sprinkle garlic salt on top of the mashed potatoes.

Place the casserole dish on a large sheet pan (also known as a large cookie pan), to accommodate potential sauce overflow. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until the mashed potatoes are golden brown. Serve!

Original Recipe

Find This On Pinterest!

December 5, 2013

Alice Middleton's Chili

I've said this before, and I'll say it again... my stepmom's family wins at life when it comes to cooking. Right now, it's about -20 degrees outside. Okay, that is definitely an exaggeration. It's just now 32 degrees, and it's going on 7:30. Which means it's only going to get colder. Oh, and get this... Winter Storm Cleon is heading our way. Yep, a giant wall of more cold, ice, and snow heading right for us. Now what does all this cold weather have to do with food, you ask? A lot.

Mainly chili. My step grandparents chili has got to be the best thing (in my opinion) since sliced bread. I can't tell you how often I end up making this when it starts to get cold outside, or even when it's warm outside. It's just that darned good!!!

Alice Middleton's Chili
1 Lb. ground beef
1 onion, chopped
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
Chili Powder, to taste
2 cans chili beans
1 can dark red kidney beans
1 large can tomato juice, OR 2 cans of tomato sauce & desired amount of water
Pasta (we use macaroni or spaghetti pasta)

Brown the ground beef and onion together. Drain any grease. Season with salt, pepper and chili powder.

Combine the meat mixture and beans with the tomato juice or sauce. Cook on medium heat for at least 1 hour, and add any additional water if necessary. Add the pasta, and cook an additional 15 minutes.
You can also make this in a crock pot if you'd like... Combine it together in the crock pot and cook on hi for 4 hours, or on low for 6-8 hours.
Find This On Pinterest!

November 14, 2013

Chicken Cutlets with Olives and Tomatoes

Thank goodness I have good friends, because otherwise I'd probably never get around to updating my food blog here. Life gets a little crazy; sometimes it gets you down, sometimes it gets you going. Sometimes it brings you to a screeching halt. One thing I've found that almost anyone can have time for, make time for, or crave regardless of what they're going through, though, is food. Especially comfort food. And everyone has their own sort of comfort food, and mine is usually either fattening, sweet, or there are tomatoes involved. This post is appealing at the moment because it's exactly what I'd probably be eating right now if it weren't 1:00 am, and if my house actually had food in it. I really need to go grocery shopping. Did I mention it's another Paleo recipe?

Chicken Cutlets with Olives and Tomatoes
1.5-2 LB boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 lemon, juiced
1/4 - 1/2 tsp. sea salt (optional)
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
6 garlic cloves, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
28 oz. can plum tomatoes, drained & chopped
18 black olives, drained, pitted & chopped (1/2 can)
3 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped fine & divided
2 tsp. fresh thyme, chopped

Marinate the chicken in 2 Tbsp. olive oil, the lemon juice, sea salt and pepper for 30-60 minutes, turning often. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

In a large skillet, sauté the garlic and onions in the remaining olive oil. Add the tomatoes and olives, and sauté for 15 minutes, uncovered, stirring often. Add 1 Tbsp. parsley and thyme, stirring to combine.

Place the chicken breasts in an oven-proof baking dish. Cover with the sautéed mixture and sprinkle with remaining parsley. Cover and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until brown.

Original Recipe

My Friend's Blog

October 23, 2013

Creamy Veggie Soup

If there is one thing, absolutely-positively, that my stepmom's family can do without a doubt, it is cook. I have never had a meal at my Dad's house or with my stepmom's family that I did not like, despite the fact that I'm a little picky. My Mom's family (with the exception of a few) all have green thumbs, and my stepmom's family can cook circles around a person. This morning, my stepmom texted me and sent me a recipe that sounds SUPER tasty, and I thought I'd not only save it here on my blog for future reference, but it also serves to help you all find something easy and tasty to eat! Enjoy!

Creamy Veggie Soup
Onion, diced
4 Tbsp. butter
6 Tbsp. flour
2 tsp. cornstarch
Carton & a half chicken broth
1 can cream of celery
1 can sliced potatoes, drained & diced
1 can sliced carrots, drained & diced
2 small cartons heavy cream
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
Garlic powder, to taste

Find This On Pinterest!

Crock Pot Paleo Chili

Here's another recipe from my Paleo-diet friend. Periodically he sends me recipes to share with you all, and in honor of Fall (aka chili and soup season), we present you with...
Crock Pot Paleo Chili
1 Lb. group beef, browned and drained
2 cans fire roasted tomatoes
1 red pepper, diced to 1/4" cubes
1 green pepper, diced to 1/4" cubes
1 large can tomato sauce
2 Tbsp. chili powder
1 Tbsp. black pepper
1 Tbsp. cumin
1 Tbsp. garlic powder
Cook in a crock pot on low for 8 hours, and stir occasionally.