Posts Tagged ‘cold weather meals’

Southern Shepard’s Pie

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016
The perfect slice!

The perfect slice!

I am always looking for a new way to make Shepard’s Pie, and this recipe caught my attention. Since I was only cooking for my husband and me, I cut the ingredients in half. I made my own crust and used a deep-dish ceramic quiche dish. Publix premade mashed potatoes worked well and saved time, and I doctored them up a bit with melted butter and milk. The result was very savory — and we had enough for a second meal. In fact, I think the pie was better the next day.

The pie with cheddar cheese in the mashed potatoes.

The pie with cheddar cheese in the mashed potatoes.


2 lbs hamburger meat                                                                                                         2 pre-made deep dish pie shells

The filling.

The filling.

3 medium onions
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
5 -6 medium potatoes
1 (12 ounce) can beef consomme
1 (12 ounce) can whole kernel corn
1 (12 ounce) can sweet peas
1 (12 ounce) can carrots
1 1⁄2 cups cheddar cheese
1⁄2 cup milk
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
4 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons ketchup
Worcestershire sauce

DIRECTIONS:Pre-bake pie crusts according to instructions on crusts – or at 400 degrees until light brown, for about 15 minutes. Let cool.

Boil 5 or 6 medium peeled potatoes until tender. Drain and mash with 1/2 cup of milk, 2 tablespoons of butter, 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise, and 1 teaspoon of salt.
Mix with a mixer on high speed until fluffy. When cooled a little, fold in about 1 1/2 cups of grated cheddar cheese.
Dice up onions and saute over medium high heat in a little EVOO and butter with about a tsp of salt.
Add chopped garlic, and continue to cook until onions are tender.
Remove onion mixture.
Brown hamburger in the same pot with about a teaspoon of worcestershire sauce.
Add onion mixture back to pot with 2/3 can of beef consomme and 3 tablespoons of ketchup, a teaspoon of salt and pepper. Cover pot with a tight-fitting lid and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes.
Mix about 3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour in with the remaining consomme until all lumps are gone. Raise heat until the meat mixture begins to boil. Slowly add the consomme flour while stirring quickly, and continue to stir and boil for about 1 minute after all of the flour is added. Remove from heat.
Fold in the drained corn, peas, and carrots. (I didn’t add these all at once, I always cook by balancing the color of veggies to meet as seen above.)
Spoon the mixture into the cooled pie crusts.
Pipe the cheddar mashed potatoes on top of the pies to form a decorative top crust. (I didn’t do this.)
Bake at 425 degrees for about 15 minutes, or until the potatoes brown on top.
Let cool for about 10 or 15 minutes before serving.
Attribution: Chris Sharpe at

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Minestrone With a Twist

Wednesday, April 6th, 2016

FullSizeRender-4You all know that in my family we love to eat soup, and I take advantage of the cooler weather to indulge my craving for this comfort food. Lysander’s makes wonderful pre-packaged bean combination with the recipe on the back.

Of course, I don’t like to follow recipes. I washed and separated the beans and set them to the side. I sprayed Crisco in a slow cooker and stirred 1/2 cup of chopped white onion and one clove of minced garlic in one tablespoon of olive oil. I turned the slow cooker to high, and got the rest of the items together. I baked one pound of Italian pork sausage in the oven for forty minutes at 325 degrees. After about thirty minutes I added the beans to the slow cooker, followed by two cans of fire roasted tomatoes, six cups of homemade chicken stock, and three cups of water. When the sausage was cooked, I allowed it to cool and sliced it, adding it to the slow cooker. I added 1/4 cup of dry red wine, and then let the slow cooker go at the highest setting until I had to leave for work. Then, I turned it down to the ten hour setting.

When I got home from work an amazing smell greeted me! I prepared about 1/4 pound of ditalini pasta, and placed the cooked pasta in the bottom of the bowl, spooning the soup over the top. Then, for a bit of healthy green and beautiful color, I heaped two handfuls of fresh organic arugula on top. A dusting of grated parmigiana cheese, and I was thrilled with the result. Try it soon and let me know what you think.

Un Homage: Jacques Pepin’s Black Bean Soup Augier

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

Black bean soup with garlic bread

There are two good things about the recent cold snap. The first is the ability to take out my sweaters, boots, coats and other clothes that are a fond memory when the temperature hits ninety degrees. I love fall and winter clothes, what I don’t like is a long icy winter. It is so much fun to create outfits with jackets and long pants. I love the layering and the ability to use different scarves and accessories. Six months of hot weather limits fashion terribly. Other than resort wear, fashion designers pay very little attention to those of us who exist in the sweltering heat.

The second change at this time of year is the food we suddenly long to eat and cook in our home kitchens. The chillier temperatures create a hankering for savory soups and stews. I love soup. Making a velvety soup is not as easy as one might think. I always have homemade frozen stock in my freezer so I can create when the mood strikes me.

Recently, while cleaning out a kitchen cabinet I found some old copies of Food and Wine Magazine. In the February 2002 issue the incredible chef Jacques Pepin shared his recipe for black bean soup. I made this the other night when the temperatures dipped into the forties, and it was sublime. I suggest that you choose one or two of the garnishes since the beans really need something to bring them out. The soup also needs heat, so if you don’t add andouille sausage as I did use Tabasco table side. I served the soup with homemade garlic bread. I have shared the original recipe with you below. Enjoy!


1 pound dried black beans, picked

over and rinsed

2 Quarts water

6 cups chicken stock or canned low-

sodium broth

3/4 pound red potatoes, peeled and

cut into 1/2 inch dice

2 cups chopped fresh or drained

canned tomatoes

1 cup coarsely chopped cilantro stems

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme


1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

3 cloves minced garlic

1 1/2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar

tabasco sauce


Chopped  onions

2 hard cooked eggs

2 bananas, sliced

cilantro leaves and small sprigs

Extra -virgin olive oil

Red Wine vinegar

Tabasco sauce

MAKE THE SOUP:  Put the beans in a large pot,

cover with cold water and let stand for 1 hour.

Drain the beans,.  Rinse the pot; add the beans,

water, stock, potatoes, tomatoes, onion, cilantro

stems, thyme and 1 teaspoon of salt and bring to a

boil.  Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring

occasionally, until the beans are tender and the soup

has thickened, about 2 1/2 hours.

Transfer 3 cups of the beans to a food processor and

puree until smooth.  Stir the puree into the soup.  If

the soup is too thick, thin it with a little water.  Stir

in the olive oil, garlic and vinegar, season with salt

and Tabasco and bring to a boil.


Put the onion in a colander and  rinse under cold

water; pat dry.  Put the onion, eggs, bananas and

cilantro in separate bowls and serve with the



the soup can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.  Reheat


Notes: I added 1/2 good red wine to the soup. I removed three cups and used an immersion blender to make the puree. If you do not have an immersion blender you need one. I would recommend a good one you can purchase here. We put sliced andouille sausage in the soup for a bit of heat. Jacques recommends any sort of pork you may have in your fridge.

Per Serving (excluding unknown

items): 162 Calories; 18g Fat (97.9%

calories from fat); trace Protein; 1g

Carbohydrate; 0mg Cholesterol; 10mg

Sodium.  Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 0

Vegetable; 3 1/2 Fat; 0 Other