Wednesday, November 28, 2012

shepherd's pie

'Tis the season!

'Tis the season for Christmas music.  'Tis the season for space heaters, hot cocoa, pajama pants, and fuzzy socks. 'Tis the season for comfort food, cookies, and candy canes.

And, when you are a food blogger, 'tis the season for bad photography. :)  Alas, I always have mixed feelings about this time of year.  It's really my favorite - I love the cool weather, warm food, holiday music, and my birthday is in a matter of days!  But I hate the fact that the days get shorter, leaving me less natural light and causing my pictures to look less than ideal.

When this time of year rolls around, I still do my cooking in the evenings, so you'll notice a drastic downward shift in the quality of my step-by-step photos.  To capture the cover shots of the finished dishes, I actually have to plate them at about 2:00pm and go outside to my porch, rain or shine.  More than once, my lunch has been rained on.

But that's okay.  What's important is not so much the image, right?

The important thing is the dish...the care that went into selecting the ingredients...the creativity that inspired the actual recipe...the execution of the meal while also holding a 9-month-old baby!  Oh, and the taste!

I've learned to have grace for myself this time of enjoy all that is wonderful about the fall and winter and leave behind my yearnings for photographic perfection.  I hope you can have grace for me, too.

After all, you know that when a dish has this much cheese on it, it's got to be good. :)

And on that note, I leave you with shepherd's pie.  It's never really a looker of a dish, but it's always delicious.  Thank goodness for that!

 Shepherd's Pie
1 onion, diced
1 lb. ground beef
1 1/2 cups peas
10 3/4 oz. cream of mushroom soup
1 cup corn
4 potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/4 cup milk
1 T. butter
salt, pepper, and rosemary to taste
shredded cheddar cheese or Velveeta slices to top

In a skillet over medium heat, brown beef and onion; drain.  Add peas, soup, corn, and rosemary; combine and pour into greased 8"x8" baking pan.  Place potatoes in a saucepan and cover with water.  Boil over medium-high heat until tender, about 10 minutes.  Drain; add milk, butter, and seasonings to pan.  Mash potatoes and spread over beef mixture.  Bake, covered, at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Sprinkle with cheese and bake, uncovered, another 5 minutes or until cheese has melted.  Serves 4.

Note: For this post, I used shredded Cheddar cheese, but my husband and I both agree that Velveeta is our hands-down favorite topping.  You can find Velveeta slices alongside other sliced cheese in your local grocery store.

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