Praise Song for the Day

It seems that we may have sold the motorcycle; that is, our amazing friend Matt may have sold our motorcycle.  We woke up to his email yesterday morning and I think that must be why the sun is shining so brightly in London two mornings in a row!  How nice for everyone here?!  So Matt, when are you bringing the lovely wife over for that beer (and free accommodation) we owe you?

Yesterday I had the most fun wandering to Leicester Square to have lunch with Drew and Janita after my morning job search.  I stopped at Piccadilly Circus to help some tourists get a few good shots of themselves and I wandered through the famous Foyles bookstore.  Wow.  It’s like a university bookstore on steroids.  (Credit belongs to Emily on that phrase!)

Last night I made a very tasty vegetarian Sheperd’s Pie and green beans on the side.  (Eric are you listening?  Yes, Donna, you could make it for your meat-eaters, too.)  This is a good one, but remember measuring is for wussies.  Unless you are baking.

This recipe goes out to all of those non-cookers in the world who just throw stuff in and figure it out as they go.

Basically you need:

  • 9×9 square baking dish
  • Quorn mince/Morningstar Farms Mince, or other ground beef sub (like lentils)
  • 4 good sized potatoes, Idaho or similar (brown)
  • peas and carrots (canned or frozen, but drained)
  • corn kernels, optional (drained)
  • Vegetable broth (use the cheat, I don’t care)
  • Gravy (cheat.  for real.  it’s ok.)
  • Herbs de Provence (It contains rosemary, marjoram, basil, bay leaf, thyme, and sometimes lavender flowers and other herbs, and I will look the other way if you just make your own little assortment, but Donna, I think I left mine with you.)
  • garlic (powdered or minced)
  • salt and pepper
  • butter
  • chip dip, sour cream, or whatever kind of milk is normally in your fridge
  • shredded cheese, optional

Preheat oven to 350-375 degrees.  Whatever.  Line 9×9 baking dish with foil for easy clean-up if you are into that kind of thing.

Peel the potatoes and chop them up.  Cook them in gently boiling, salted water.  While the potatoes are cooking, “saute” the other veggies in a shallow puddle of veggie broth until broth is absorbed/evaporated.  (If veggies cook before broth disappears, drain). Set veggies aside for a moment.  I don’t know, use a bowl or a plate – whatever.

Heat or make your gravy in the frying pan.  You did already have that out, right?  Well, anyway, add garlic, salt, pepper, and lots of Herbs de Provence to your gravy until it tastes right.  Add in your mince.  Heat through and add drained veggies – mixture should be less firm than meatloaf but not as runny as sloppy joes.  Just eyeball your proportions; only you know how tolerant you and your picky/non-picky family are.  (Keep an eye on those potatoes…)  Spread this mixture in the bottom of your pan.

Drain potatoes once cooked.  Mash with butter and dip/milk/spices+milk, use your imagination.  A little garlic never hurt anyone.  I said a little, Gina.  Spread potatoes on top of first layer in your baking dish.

sheperds pie one

Place in the oven until mashed potato peaks turn a golden color or until you are so hungry that you can’t stand it.  If you want, you can sprinkle some cheese on top.

sheperds pie two