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Cottage Pie recipe – alternate of Shepard’s Pie with beef

cottage pie recipe

Raise your hand if you love comfort food! My hand is way up! This is the time of year when warm, heavy comfort food is perfect for combating the cold weather. One of my family’s favorite recipes in the cold weather months is Cottage Pie; which is also known as Shepard’s Pie with beef.

If you are familiar with Shepard’s Pie, then you know it is a recipe made with ground lamb. I don’t eat lamb, so I created my own Shepard’s Pie with ground beef; which is commonly known as Cottage Pie. I made this Cottage Pie recipe myself over the years through trial and error with ingredients my family enjoys to eat. I hope you love my Cottage Pie recipe, also know as Shepard’s Pie with beef!

Ingredients:

1.5 lbs. grass-fed, 90% lean ground beef (for Shepard’s Pie, substitute ground lamb)

4 Russet Potatoes made into mashed potatoes

1 cup shredded mild cheddar

3/4 cup chicken broth

3 carrots chopped

3/4 lb. green beans OR 1 bag of frozen peas (my family seems to prefer peas)

2 cups sliced mushrooms or 2 cans of sliced mushrooms

4 teaspoons Paprika

2 diced or smashed garlic cloves

1/4 cup chopped onions

1 tablespoon Olive Oil

Yields: 8 servings

cottage pie recipe

How to make Cottage Pie or Shepard’s Pie with beef:

Start by boiling the four potatoes. When they are soft enough, mash up the potatoes, and mix in a half cup of milk, three pats of butter, and 1/4 cup chicken broth to help the mashed potatoes not get dry. The rest of the chicken broth will go into the meat mixture.

While the potatoes are cooking, cook the ground beef with a tablespoon of olive oil. Then, chop the carrots, onions, mushrooms (unless you use cans) and beans (if you use beans instead of peas). Throw all of the ingredients, including the garlic and paprika, into a mixing bowl. Stir until everything is mixed together. Keep the mashed potatoes separate.

cottage pie recipecottage pie recipe

Once everything is mixed together, scoop the mixture into a large casserole dish. Using a wooden spoon, smooth out the mixture so that it lays flat in the casserole dish.

cottage pie recipecottage pie recipe

Once your mashed potatoes are ready, scoop them into the casserole dish, on top of the meat mixture. You will want to smooth out the mashed potatoes on top of the mixture to make a flat top. This can be done with a wooden spoon.

cottage pie recipecottage pie recipe

When the mashed potatoes are nice and flat on top of the beef mixture, sprinkle the shredded cheddar on top of the mashed potatoes. Try to spread the cheese evenly on top of the casserole so that when it bakes, the cheese melts evenly on top.

cottage pie recipe

Cover your casserole dish. My casserole dish has a glass lid, but if you don’t have a lid for your casserole dish you can cover it with tin foil or aluminum foil.

Bake your Cottage Pie for 30 minutes at 400 degrees. After 30 minutes, remove the lid or foil and bake for another five minutes at 400 degrees. The total cooking time for Cottage Pie, from when you start boiling the potatoes, to when the casserole is done in the oven, is about 2 hours. Be sure to allow enough cooking time in your schedule. This is a dish you can always prepare ahead of time too! That is what I love about casserole-style dishes, you can prep them ahead of time, and then just bake them when you are ready!

This is an all-in-one dish, so you don’t need any side dishes. It is a complete meal! Love that! Serve with your favorite beverage, and enjoy!

If you would like to make Shepard’s Pie, you can substitute the ground beef for ground lamb, and this Cottage Pie recipe will instantly transform into a Shepard’s Pie recipe.

Things you might need to cook this Cottage Pie recipe at home:

I hope you love this Cottage Pie recipe, also known as Shepard’s Pie with beef. Enjoy!

XOXO

Cathy

cottage pie recipe


Holiday Hostess Gifts under $75

holiday hostess gifts under $75 holiday gift guide

Holiday Hostess Gifts under $75 from top left: Holiday Giving Plate / bowls and cutting board / mini bundt cakes / holiday bottle opener set / home fragrance gift / holiday candle gift set / tea gift set

The holiday party season is about to begin! This means we all need to be prepared for those festive invitations to start rolling in. Nothing is worse, or more rude, then showing up to a holiday party empty handed; we need to arrive with creative holiday hostess gifts!

A bottle of wine or a bottle of champagne is the most boring, and expected, holiday hostess gift you can give. Not only does it show you were unprepared, and just grabbed something from your cellar, it can be deemed rude if your hostess does not drink alcohol. Yikes! Talk about a social faux-pas. For shame!

Holiday hostess gifts under $75 can turn out to be the perfect show of appreciation when you arrive at a party this season. The party hostess will appreciate the thought you put into the gift, as well as not being handed yet another bottle of wine; which s/he may not even drink.

There are a few types of holiday hostess gifts I enjoy giving when I arrive at a holiday party. I love to give gourmet food such as this mini bundt cake set or this nuts and dried fruit set. (I always make there aren’t any nut allergies before giving this one!) Candles, home fragrance, and coaster sets also make great hostess gifts for the holidays.

Holiday hostess gifts under $75

Luxurious holiday hostess gifts

I try not to think about trying to impress a party hostess with an expensive gift. If the hostess is a close family member, or one of my best friends, I tend to spend more on the gift simply because the person means a lot to me. For most parties, the perfect holiday hostess gift can be found under $75 and the hostess will love it! Plus, it is less likely the hostess will “price” the gift in his or her mind as she or he would with a bottle of wine. Cheap wine is always detected; especially if the receiver is a wine connoisseur.

What are your favorite holiday hostess gifts to give during the festive, holiday season?

Thanks for stopping by!

XOXO

Cathy


How to Macrame | a beginners guide

how to macramehow to macrame

Have you ever wondered how to macrame a plant holder, keychain, or other home item? I used to macrame all the time when I was a child. It was a common project in art classes, and summer camps, when I was growing up in Marin. When rewardStyle announced they were going to host a How to Macrame workshop in San Francisco, I immediately RSVP-ed yes!

Macrame brings back fond childhood memories for me; and about year ago, those macrame projects from my childhood fell back into my hands. My Mom moved a couple of years ago, and she had boxed up some of my childhood memories which I forgot to box up and take with me into my adult life. I cleaned out my room at the home I grew up in before she moved, but there were art projects, and other odds and ends that had ended up with my Mom’s things, and in kitchen cabinets; who knew! So, she boxed them up and they moved with her to her new home.

One year ago, my Mom sorted out these odds and ends she had found when unpacking in her new home. She gave me a box filled with them. Inside the box were a few of my old macrame projects I had made for our house. My middle child thought these macrame projects were “pretty” and she snapped them up, immediately asking if she could keep them. I said yes of course, and they now decorate her room.

She is extremely artistic, and asked me how to macrame so she could make more macrame items to decorate her room with. I was stumped! How could I have forgotten how to macrame when it was such an integral part of my childhood?! So, when this class popped up, I was beyond thrilled to take a refresher course in how to macrame; now I can teach my daughter how to make her own macrame decorations!

how to macrame

The How to Macrame class was held at One Kearny Club on Geary Street in San Francisco. It was so much fun to attend and see all the local bloggers I mostly interact with online. rewardStyle planned a fabulous and fun event. The event space was decorated with macrame and so many pretty flowers. There were passed appetizers, which were absolutely delicious, as well as an open bar.

After we socialized for a bit, our macrame class began! We all grabbed a chair, and then stood up in front of a wooden ring with sixteen ropes; ready to be turned into a macrame design. Out teacher, Jenny Lemons, gave us step-by-step instructions on how to macrame, and she walked around the room helping us with our knots, and our overall design. Our mission was to macrame a plant hanger. Later on, Dawn from Fashion Should Be Fun and I decided our plant hangers could double as iPhone carriers. More about that later on in this post.

Here are the steps for our macrame project:

how to macrame steps

Here is a little photo journal of the steps for making a macrame knot so you can see the steps in action. They are in order, steps one, two, then three.

how to macrame

When you get to this point, step three, pull the knot tight and wiggle it with your fingers to make sure it is symmetrical. I ended up making single knots on the top half of my plant holder, and then I went to alternating doubles knots on the bottom half of my plant holder. I think I defaulted to the single knot at first because it is the one I did most often when I was growing up. The single knot turns while the alternating double knot stays flat.

Below you can see my finished plant holder, and Dawn’s; which we found also makes a great iPhone case! Who knew?

how to macramehow to macrame

It was a fun event, and it was great to take a refresher course on how to macrame. Now, I can show my daughter how to macrame, and she can create her own home decor! I also plan to show her how to integrate beads into macrame. Love that!

Shop macrame supplies:

Do you know how to macrame? If so, what types of items do you like to make?

Thanks for stopping by!

XOXO

Cathy

*photo credits: some photos taken with my iPhone, some were taken by Andrea Posadas (hers are the good ones!!)

how to macrame