This is just one of those true comfort foods that never gets old. And truth is, you can add or change this in so many ways that I ususally don’t have to go to the store, I just use up what I have. So this is the “basic” Shepherd’s Pie, but feel free to make additions or changes and see how you like to eat it best…
Weeknight Shepherd's Pie
2 pounds ground beef
garlic powder and seasoning salt-to taste
3/4 ounce package brown gravy mix
2-10 3/4 ounce cans cream of mushroom soup
2 1/2 cups water
2 cups frozen carrots and peas (thawed)
Salt & pepper-to taste
2 1/2 cups potatoes, peeled, cooked and made into mashed potatoes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In skillet, brown the ground beef and onion: drain well and season with garlic powder and seasoning salt. Pour into a large mixing bowl.
Stir in the gravy mix, soup, water, carrots and peas; mix well. Spoon into a greased 9 x 13 baking dish; sprinkle with salt and pepper and top with the mashed potatoes.
Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until browned and bubbly. Top with a sprinkling of paprika.
I find that this makes enough to freeze half for another time-BONUS!!
Some variations could be to change the meat to veal, ground turkey or ground chicken. Add in other favorite vegetables: corn, okra, mushrooms, etc. Add cheese into the mashed potatoes.
I just heard my mom drop to the floor as she opened this recipe to reveal brussels sprouts! I am mostly not a very good vegetable eater so this recipe will come as a huge shock to her (and to most people that know me well). But you know what? I actually really liked this recipe and if you like brussels sprouts, you will probably really LOVE this recipe!
Baked Brussels Sprouts
1 pound brussels sprouts
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup Swiss cheese or Gruyere Cheese (something that melts easily)
Salt & Pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cut off the stem end and pull of the loose leaves of the sprouts. Add them to the water and blanch for 5 to 7 minutes. Immediately remove and put them in an ice water bath.
Make the sauce by melting the butter then whisking in the flour over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly for about 1 minute or until the flour is incorporated into the butter, slowly whisk in the milk and continue stirring until thick and creamy, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add 3/4 of the cheese and stir until melted. Season to taste (add in the cayenne if you'd like- I did and it added a little pop).
Halve the brussels sprouts through the core and put them in a baking dish. Pour the sauce over, cover with the remaining cheese and bake for 12-15 minutes, or until bubbly and browned.
A FEW TIPS ON BUYING BRUSSELS SPROUTS:
Look for a firm, tight brussels sprout with dark, unblemished leaves.
The smaller the sprout, the sweeter it will be.
Refrigerate them, loosely wrapped in paper towels and sue within 3 days.
They are a terrific source of vitamins C and A, fiber and potassium.
adapted from 5 Ingredient Fix by Claire Robinson
One of the great things about blogging is the people that I “meet”. Recently a reader was in touch with some questions about an older recipe. In writing back and forth I asked her what she would like me to make next. She gave me a few specifics about what she’d like and what her husband’s tastes for food were and I decided that this recipe might hit the spot. I haven’t made it in years but it is so easy and delicious I knew I had to share it.
Hamburger Rice Casserole
So Julaine, this one’s for you and I hope your family likes it as much as mine does…and as always, thanks for reading!!
Hamburger Rice Casserole
1 pound hamburger with 1/2 cup onions-diced and browned
3/4 cup Minute Rice-I like the brown rice variety
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 teaspoon soy sauce
3/4 cup grated cheese-any flavor is good
1- 8 ounce can water chestnuts-diced
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup frozen vegetables-in my house it has to be corn
1 cup Asian crunchy noodles
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients but the noodles. Put into a greased 9 x 13 baking dish. Bake for 1 hour. Add the noodles to the top for the last 10 minutes.
Some alternatives are: Worcestershire instead of soy sauce. Add 1 package Chorizo for some added kick and of course any seasoning that you like would make it your own.
While you're at it, make a double batch and throw half in the freezer for another time!
Recently I was in a local Chili Challenge. I was asked numerous times for this recipe and since it won 3rd Place overall and the People’s Choice Award, I knew I had to share with you! Its a pretty basic chili, but the addition of the Chorizo, Andouille sausage and beer really send it over the top. Let me know what some of your favorite chili additions are…
Beefy Beer Chili
2 pounds ground sirloin
1 package Andouille sausage, cut length wise and quartered
1 package Chorizo (I used pork)
1 large onion-diced
1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans-drained
1 (15 ounce) can chili beans in spicy sauce
2 (28 ounce) cans diced tomatoes in juice
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
1 (10 3/4 ounce) can tomato soup
3 tablespoons Hormel real bacon bits
4 cubes beef bouillon
1 bottle of an Amber Ale (I used Fat Tire)
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 teaspoon cumin
2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1/4 cup chili powder* This is to taste, you might want to start with a lesser amount at first
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon sugar
Pinch of salt
Pinch of pepper
In a large stock pot over medium high heat, crumble and brown the ground sirloin and the chorizo; drain and put back in the pot. Meanwhile, in a skillet, brown the andouille sausage. Put into the stock pot and saute the onions in the fat from the andouille (you may have to add a little olive oil).
Pour in the kidney beans, spicy chili beans, diced tomatoes and tomato paste and tomato soup. Add the onion and all the rest of the ingredients. Stir to blend, then cover and simmer over low heat for at least 2 hours; stirring occasionally. After 2 hours, taste and adjust the seasonings as necessary. The longer it simmers, the better it will taste. If you need more liquid, use another bottle of beer, adding slowly until it's the right consistency.
**Serve with sour cream mixed with chopped adobo chilis and sauce!
We just love Chinese food, unfortunately our options aren’t great for take out, so I try to make my own whenever possible, thus eliminating the MSG that most restaurants use and that is so bad for you. This is one of the simplest recipes in my repertoire and I think you’ll love it! Of course, using the crock pot is an added bonus on those nights when you’re running like mad…
Cashew Chicken-Crock Pot
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts-cut into bite size pieces
1/2 cup flour
Pinch of pepper
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 garlic clove-minced
1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger-grated
Pinch of crushed red pepper; to taste
1/2 cup cashews
Combine the flour and the pepper in a Zip-loc bag. Add the chicken pieces and toss to coat.
Heat the oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Brown the chicken on all sides for about 5 minutes total. (They don't have to be cooked through at this point).
Combine the rest of the ingredients (excluding the cashews) in a small mixing bowl.
Put the chicken in the crock pot and cover with the liquid mixture, stirring slightly. Cover and cook on LOW 3-4 hours or HIGH 1-2 hours.
Serve over brown rice and top with cashews.