I tell ya, these toddlers have quite the set of lungs on ’em.
I started my glass of wine BEFORE dinner. In fact, C offered to give me a break, to go away and put my feet up instead of finishing dinner. And then the screaming started. I looked at C and said, ‘Oh no. YOU deal with babies. Let me do dinner.’ I took a swig of WONDERFUL wine (*Thank you Leslie and Brian! GREAT Holiday gift!!) and got back to trying to figure out why my Shepherds Pie wasn’t browning on top…
Dinner tonight was sautéed spinach & mushrooms with Shepherds Pie.
Results: The spinach disappeared, the Shepherds Pie was good but needs some tweaks. C thought it had too much carrot and would’ve preferred the veg mixed into the meat, I thought it needed a little garlic. Also, C is trying to remember a recipe for Shepherds Pie with baked beans in it. I’ve never heard of such a thing – OFF TO GOOGLE I GO!
Sautéed Spinach and Mushrooms by Me
2 boxes frozen spinach **The last few times I’d made this I used Fresh spinach. I wanted to see how it’d be with frozen. You can use either, but the frozen will need the water cooked out.
1 package Mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
3 Tablespoons Margarine or Butter
Salt and Pepper to taste
1- I half defrosted the spinach by putting the 2 boxes in a covered casserole dish with 4 Tablespoons of water, then nuking for 4 minutes on high. Drain well.
2- In your largest skillet over medium high heat, throw in the mushrooms. Let them sit for a few minutes until they release their water. Stir occasionally. When the mushrooms look cooked through, add the spinach. Cook together until the spinach is pretty dried out. Add margarine 1 Tablespoon at a time along with salt and pepper. Keep tasting as you go. You’ll know it’s done when you do a little happy dance with your toes and hope no one notices.
Shepherds Pie adapted from Jacquie from Allrecipes.com
Mashed Potato Topping
4 large Potatoes, peeled and cubed **I only had medium-small ones, so I used 6
1 Tablespoon Butter **I used Earth Balance Margarine. That stuff ROCKS it’s so good!
1 Tablespoon finely chopped Onion **I used a Red one as I already had it on hand…. Use a white one. Blends better into the mashed potatoes
1/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese **I omitted as this was a meat meal
Salt and Pepper to taste
5 Carrots, chopped
1 Onion, chopped
1 teaspoon Garlic, minced
1 pound lean Ground Beef
2 Tablespoons all-purpose Flour
1 Tablespoon Ketchup
3/4 cup Beef Broth **I used a bouillon cube that I reconstituted
1/4 cup shredded Cheddar Cheese **Again, I omitted as this was a meat meal
1- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until tender but still firm, about 15 minutes. Drain and mash. Mix in butter/margarine, finely chopped onion and 1/4 cup shredded cheese (if using). Season with salt and pepper to taste; set aside.
2- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add carrots and cook until tender but still firm, about 15 minutes. Drain, mash and set aside.
3- Preheat oven to 375º.
4- Heat oil in a large frying pan. Add onion and cook until clear. Add in garlic and after 30 seconds add in ground beef and cook until well browned. Pour off excess fat, then stir in flour and cook 1 minute. Add ketchup and beef broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
5- Spread the ground beef in an even layer on the bottom of a 2 quart casserole dish. Next, spread a layer of mashed carrots. Top with the mashed potato mixture and sprinkle with remaining shredded cheese **if using.
6- Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until golden brown. **I ended up making this before lunch, letting it cool and then putting into the fridge for later. An hour before I wanted to serve it, I took it outta the fridge and let it come to room temp on the counter. I baked it as it said to in the recipe, then because it didn’t brown on top, I shpritzed it with a little Pam and whacked it under the broiler for 5 or so minutes, until it got all crispy on top. E didn’t care for the crispiness – so C and I shared it while clapping. *grin*