Sunday, March 18, 2012

Traditional Irish Shepherd's Pie

So, with all of the hoopla about being Irish, we try really hard to have something traditionally Irish for St. Paddy's day. I did not have time to make Guinness Stew this year, and I was actually working on the 17th, so on the 16th, Grant and I made this recipe. Or course, Grant gave meat up for Lent, so I had to make two different ones. One with meat, and one with fake meat crumbles. Both turned out great. Well, there was the third one that I had to take to work the next day, too... I hope that you might enjoy it. We also made Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes. They were very tasty. I'll post those later.

Traditional Irish Shepherd's Pie

1 tablespoon olive oil (or canola oil or any oil you have!)
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 lb ground beef or 1 lb lamb
1 large onions, finely diced (you can use frozen diced to make it easier)
3-4 large carrots, finely diced (although I actually to lazy to finely dice anything)
1 cup frozen peas (like I measured)
3 -4 sprigs fresh thyme, finely chopped (or a teaspoon or so dried)
2 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon butter
1 glass red wine (then have a glass)
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 cup beef stock
1 large quantity mashed potatoes (6 cups, fresh or leftover, fairly thick)
1 eggs, beaten (I don't always remember this)
grated parmesan cheese (optional)

Pre-heat oven to 400°F. Saute carrots in the olive oil until starting to get tender.
Add in the onions and saute for a minute or two then add the meat. Season with black pepper and thyme. Cook until browned then drain fat. Add the butter and peas.
Sprinkle with flour and stir through. Add wine and Worcestershire sauce. Let this reduce slightly then add the beef stock. Allow to reduce down until you have a thick meaty gravy. Season to your taste. Remove from heat. Grease an oven proof dish**(9x13 works, as does an oval baker) with butter (or pam) and add the meat sauce. Spoon or pipe the mashed potatoes over top. Brush with egg and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese if using. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the potato is nice and browned on top. Serve as is or with some crusty bread to mop up that yummy sauce!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Coffee Cake

Wow, two blog posts in a short amount of time. You can thank my daughter for that. She has asked for my coffee cake recipe, so I decided to share it. It's not like it's a big secret. It's an recipe from a cookbook that I treasure SOOOO much, that when mine fell apart, I found one on eBay to replace it. Yep. It was published way back before I was even born. The Betty Crocker's Picture Cook Book. 1958. I'm particularly glad it's revised and enlarged, because that means that I can read the print! Here you go, straight from page 99.

Prize Coffee Cake, Streusel Filled

Mix thoroughly:
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup soft shortening (like Crisco)
1 egg
Stir in:
1/2 cup milk
Sift together (like I do that) and stir in:
1 1/2 cups sifted (really?) GOLD MEDAL flour (that's what the recipe says)
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt

Spread half of the batter in greased and floured 9" square pan. Sprinkle with 1/2 of the struesel mixture (to follow) add the remaining batter, and sprinkle remaining Streusel over top.

Streusel Mixture
1/2 cup brown sugar (packed, of course)
2 tbsp flour
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp melted butter
1/2 cup chopped nuts (I use pecans, and this is sometimes optional at our house.)

Bake @ 375 for 25-35 minutes, until toothpick stuck into center of cake comes out clean. Serve warm, fresh from the oven.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Blueberry Salad

I am not a big fan of jello molds or jello salads or stuff like that. One year, when we participated in a "supper club" at church, that was exactly what I was asked to bring. So started a long search of what to make. Something that I could choke down. You know, that wouldn't be conspicuous because I didn't eat the very thing that I brought? So I stumbled upon this recipe in a church cookbook from a previous church that we had gone to. Remains one of my favorites. Hope you enjoy it!

Blueberry Salad

1 can blueberries, drained- not blueberry pie filling, but the kind that you would use in muffins of bread
1 large can crushed pineapple in heavy syrup, drained
1 boxes raspberry jello
2 cups boiling water

Mix the 2 cups boiling water with the jello and stir until well dissolved. Stir in the fruit. Place in an oblong pan and refrigerate until set.


8 ounce sour cream
8 ounce cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup or so chopped pecans

Mix well the first 3 ingredients and spread over jello mixture. Sprinkle pecans over top. hill until set. Serve. Enjoy. I sure do!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Candy Corn Martini

So, Grant has sent me to this site that has all types of different, interesting recipes, and every once in awhile, I go there to find something different, usually amongst the cocktail variety. There are some really great jello shots on there, if you are looking for some fun ones. Anyway, today, I found this one, and thought I would share. It is for Candy Corn Martinis. Haven't tried them yet, but how can you go wrong??

Candy Corn Martini

1 cup vodka
3/4 cup candy corn, plus more for garnish
1/4 cup butterscotch schnapps

Pour the vodka into a measuring cup and add the candy corn. Let infuse for about 3 hours, or more if you forget about it! In a shaker with ice, add the vodka, 1/4 cup butterscotch schnapps, and shake well. Pour mixture into a martini glass with candy corn on the bottom.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Easy Brunch Casserole

So, on my last day of work, I brought in an egg dish. Everyone wanted the recipe. I'm a little embarrassed, as it is SOOOOOOOO easy. It's just a through it together kind of thing. You can let it set over night, or not. You just choose as to how much time you have. It tastes yummy either way.

Brunch Casserole

1 dozen eggs
8 ounce (or more to taste- sometimes I use about 12) real sour cream
English muffins, split and BUTTERED- not margerined, or not skipped!
1 pound spicy breakfast sausage, browned and crumbled.
shredded cheddar cheese- about 2 cups

Mix together the eggs and sour cream. Don't be too concerned if you have clumps of sour cream in the eggs. You won't ever know it when it is cooked. As a matter of fact, sometimes I have some rather large ones, and you would never know. If if bothers you, put the sour cream in the bowl first, stir it up, and start mixing in the eggs a couple at a time. Set aside. Split and butter the english muffins generously. Place buttered side down in a 9X13 casserole dish. Pour egg mixture over top of muffins. "Sprinkle" sausage on top of this, then sprinkle with the cheddar cheese to personal preference. Now, sometimes I put a few jalapenos in there before the cheese, sometimes I put in some mushrooms, sometimes some olives, sometimes all of it. That's why this is so easy. Just put in what you like, and top it off with the cheese. If you bake it now, then bake for 30 minutes at 350. If you choose to refrigerate, cover and do that, then take it out, bake for about 45 minutes at 350. Either way, let it sit for about 10 minutes before eating so the eggs don't get runny. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Creamy Clam Sauce, With Linguine

So, recently I dug out an old recipe that is quick and easy to make. It is a favorite around here, and unfortunately is something that I forget about! I hope that you enjoy it as much as we do.

Linguine and Clam Sauce

1 cup slice fresh mushrooms (4 oz, optional, if you are Grant)
2 cloves (or teaspoons from the jar in the fridge!) garlic, chopped
1/4 cup butter
3 tablespoons flour
3-6 1/2 ounce cans chopped clams, drained, reserving the liquid from two of the cans
1 cup cream (yes, cream. If you are afraid of cream, I guess you could use whole milk)
2 tablespoons dry sherry, or a good douse of a yummy white wine
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon dry basil
1 teaspoon dry oregano
1 tablespoon dry parsley

1/4 - 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 - 1/2 pound hot cooked linguine

It is best to have all of the ingredients ready to go, as this recipe progresses quickly. In a heavy pan, saute mushrooms and garlic until soft; stir in flour (make a roux) and gradually add reserved clam liquid and cream. Cook and stir until slightly thickened. Add clams, sherry, parsley, basil, oregano, and pepper; heat thoroughly. Serve over hot pasta. Serves 2 - 3 hearty appetites.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Azalea Cocktails

Well, by popular demand, here is the recipe for the cocktails that we make. Brian says that we usually serve them over ice, but this is how the recipe says to make them. I don't think that it really matters, as long as you have a glass in your hand!

Azalea cocktails

1 part lime or lemon juice (I like the sweetened lime juice best)
1 part canned pineapple juice
3 parts gin
Grenadine to color pink

Mix in cocktail shaker with ice and shake.