back in business...shepard's pie and warm apple cobbler...

Hello again! It's been way too long, but I am here, refreshed, re-inspired and ready to share with you :) I was sitting at work today on this seriously dreary, dreadful, rainy day thinking (of course) about food. What am I going to cook tonight? I would say that I have spent a large portion of my life over a stove, which is where I seem to find the most joy, but especially about this time of year, I start longing for comfort foods... soups, casseroles, chili, hot breakfasts, gourmet coffee and,of course, desserts. What is it about this time of year that just makes food more enticing?

My family was in for Labor Day weekend and we had so much fun. We went to Chattanooga for the first time. We checked out the Tennessee Aquarium (awesome.), proceeded to the Chattanooga Choo Choo and then on to Ruby Falls! It was such a fun day. By the time Sunday rolled around we were exhausted, but not too exhausted for a Duncan family tradition, Sunday dinner. My parents taught me the joy of cooking, so it is always a good time to cook with them. Don't think we didn't do it big. Fried chicken, homemade mashed potatoes, skillet gravy, sauteed green beans, salad, rolls and homemade apple cobbler with vanilla ice cream. We don't mess around. Food is love in our house. I thought I would share a recipe I made tonight with the leftover mashed potatoes... I mean, they can't go to waste, right??
Shepard's pie was on the menu tonight. This is a rather new discovery to me, but it is so easy and delicious. I wouldn't call it low cal, but you can make a few changes to make it a little more skinny jean friendly.

B's Shepard Pie
1 lb lean ground beef, browned and drained
2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup diced carrots
1/2 cup diced white onion
1 cup frozen green peas
1 cup chopped button mushrooms
1 tbsp minced garlic
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 cups leftover mashed potatoes ( or feel free to make them fresh!)

1.| Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large skillet, brown the ground beef, seasoning with 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Drain and set aside.
2.|In a separate skillet, drizzle olive oil and heat. Add minced garlic, carrot, onion and mushroom. Season with salt, pepper and other half of balsamic vinegar. Cook until onions are transparent. Add peas. Season again with salt and pepper, then combine meat. 
3.| Simmer over heat about 4 minutes.
4.| Coat medium casserole pan with nonstick spray. Pour in meat and veggie mixture and top with mashed potatoes. 
5.| Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until mashed potatoes are slightly browned! Serve piping hot with a glass of red wine.
6.| Have leftover apple cobbler with vanilla ice cream and then tell me life gets any better ;)

And for dessert....

Don't forget to serve warm!

Recipe to follow....

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