Shepherd’s Pie

More cooking! I promised you that I’d be back on track with that! Some late night cooking for the boyfriend since I was going out for an advanced screening tonight ūüôā ¬†Not so sure about the movie but its okay, its free anyways.

I’ve only ever made Shepherd’s Pie months ago to help my friend’s family out. ¬†I never actually tried how it turned out but apparently it was pretty good. ¬†My boyfriend kind of wanted me to do it for us but I never got around to it until now. So here we go! Last weekend, I promised that I’d do it this week and after a late night cooking, its all done.

Shepherd's Pie

It looks a little weird but its partially because of the lighting and second, because I kind of messed up a part of the ingredients but I’ll elaborate after the recipe.

This one was inspired by Looneyspoons recipe.  The original one includes squash and sour cream for the potato topping but I did a traditional mashed potato with some milk and butter instead.

Here is the recipe:

Makes 6 servings

Meat and Vegetables

1 1/2 lbs extra-lean ground beef
1 cup chopped onions
2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp paprika
*1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 cup frozen mixed peas and carrots
1 cup canned corn
1/3 cup reduced-sodium beef broth
*2 tbsp chili sauce
1 1/2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp each salt and ground black pepper

Potato Topping

2 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
*2 cups peeled and chopped butternut squash
*1/2 cup + 2 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese
*1/2 cup light (5%) sour cream
1/4 tsp salt
*Dash nutmeg
*Minced fresh parsley for garnish (optional)

Shepherd's pie

1. To make filling, cook beef, onions and garlic in a large pot or skillet over medium-high heat until meat is no longer pink and onions are tender.  Stir in paprika and thyme.  Cook 1 more minute. Add peas and carrots and corn.  Mix well.

2. In a medium bowl or measuring cup, whisk together broth, chili sauce, flour and Worcestershire sauce.  Add to meat mixture in pot, along with salt and pepper.  Reduce heat to medium-low.  Let simmer, uncovered for 5 minutes.  Mixture will thicken slightly.  Remove from heat, cover and keep warm while you prepare potato topping.

3. To make topping, place potatoes in a large pot and cover with water by 2 inches.  Bring to a boil.  Add squash.  Cook until both potatoes and squash are tender, about 12 to 14 minutes.  Drain potatoes and squash in a colander. Return to pot.  Sprinkle 1/4 cup Parmesan over vegetables.  Cover with lid and let stand 1 minute for cheese to melt.  Add sour cream, salt and dash nutmeg. Mash well using a potato masher. Try to get out as many lumps as possible.

4. To assemble casserole, spread meat mixture evenly over the bottom of a 2 quart casserole dish.  Top with potato-squash mixture.  Fluff with fork so small peaks are formed.  Sprinkle remaining 2 tbsp Parmesan over potatoes.  Bake at 375F for 25 minutes, until completely heated through.  Remove from oven. Sprinkle top with parsley, if desired.  Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

A lot of changes were made.

  • All the asterisks(*) show those that were omitted except for dried thyme
  • Dried thyme was replaced with half dried basil and half dried oregano
  • I used frozen peas but fresh chopped carrots
  • Flour was gluten-free
  • Potato topping was not at all like this one but mashed potato. I forgot to replace the squash that removed so I fell short for the topping. Instead of sour cream and everything, I used unsweetened almond milk and butter.

I have an issue with corn so my boyfriend was the only one who tasted it. Apparently, I need to work on making the potato topping. ¬†Other than that, it was a tasty dish ūüôā

I am curious about how squash potato mix would work for the potato topping. ¬†Maybe I’ll try that next time! It doesn’t look too amazing in the first picture but the topping looks very appetizing. Plus, my kitchen had a wonderful delicious aroma from the cooking. Guess that helps when its 2am and I’m still waiting for this to come out of the oven ūüėČ

Do you like Shepherd’s Pie? Any tips on making mashed potatoes?¬†

**Psst: I’m experimenting on cooking so another recipe going up very soon ūüôā This time, it’ll look awesome! Remember to check back.

Happy Mother’s Day: Oops! There It Is! Chocolate Cake

Cute name, right? This is the actual title of this recipe that I did for yesterday’s early visit to my boyfriend’s place to wish her a Happy Mother’s Day. ¬†Along with dessert, I bought her some nice yellow and pink bouquet ūüôā

I don’t usually make a lot of desserts completely chocolate unless its for special occasions. ¬†After developing some sensitivity to chocolate, it not always my first choice because then I don’t get to join in the fun but I realized that sometimes baking is really about seeing how happy others are when they like what I make! Whats a better time than making people I care about something they’d love, right?

Here’s how this came out:

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Doesn’t it look delicious? When I was mixing this, it started smelling so chocolatey and awesome. ¬†Imagine what happened while it was baking then when it came out? ūüėČ

The recipe is from Looneyspoons Collection from Janet and Greta Podelski.

Makes 12 servings

Ingredients:

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp salt

1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar

2 eggs

3 tbsp high quality vegetable oil

1 cup light (5%) sour cream

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 tsp almond extract

1/2 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Right out of the oven :)

Right out of the oven ūüôā

1) Preheat oven to 350F. Spray an 8×8 inch baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.

2) In a small bowl, mix together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.

3) In a medium bowl, beat together brown sugar, eggs, and oil using an electric mixer on medium speed.  Add sour cream, vanilla and almond extract.  Beat on low speed until well blended.

4) Gradually add flour mixture to sour cream mixture, beating on medium speed.  Fold in chocolate chips.

5) Spread batter evenly in prepared pan.  Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean.  Remove from oven and let cool in pan for 15 minutes.  Cut into 12 squares.  For maximum moistness, store at room temperature in an airtight container.

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Its a pretty simple cake to make and if you follow their ingredients, it should be quite healthy.  I followed it for the most part.  However I removed the almond extract and sour cream and replaced it with 1/2 cup almond milk.  Also, I used white chocolate chips instead of semi-sweet because I ran out of the latter.

Still, the moistness was right on. ¬†My boyfriend and his parents thought it was delicious ūüôā That always makes me happy! I didn’t try it so I can’t comment much on that. It did smell extremely yummy!

It was definitely a success and its worth a try! Especially worthy for Mother’s Day (or probably any day)

Have an awesome Mother’s Day!!!

Happy Mother’s Day