recipes


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


Crab Macaroni and Cheese recipe

homemade crab macarani and cheese recipe

pictured: Cathy’s homemade Crab Macaroni and Cheese recipe

Have you ever wondered how to make crab macaroni and cheese? Well, it’s really easy! If you love comfort food, and you love shellfish, and you love mac and cheese, then this is the dish for you!

I love, love, love macaroni and cheese. I also love Crab! Together, they make a grown-up version of every kid’s favorite meal from a box; without the box, and using real cheese.

In order to make my Crab Macaroni and Cheese at home, I use my personal macaroni and cheese recipe, then I add crab. It’s really easy. If you prefer substituting something in lieu of the crab, you can switch out the crab for lobster or shrimp. They both result in really yummy, grown up versions of macaroni and cheese! Yum!

how to make crab macaroni and cheese

How to make Crab Macaroni and Cheese. Start off by making homemade macaroni and cheese. Here is my recipe:

Cathy’s homemade macaroni and cheese recipe:

  • 1 lb. box of Barilla Elbow pasta cooked (you can use any brand-this is my preferred brand)
  • 16 oz. shredded Kraft Extra Sharp Cheddar cheese.
  • 1 teaspoon Paprika

Mix together the cooked pasta, Paprika, and shredded cheese. Place mixture in a large casserole. Cover and bake at 375 degrees, non-convection, for 25 minutes.

While the macaroni and cheese is baking, you can cook your crab mixture. You will need:

  • 1 lb. crab (shelled) (I buy it pre-shelled from the butcher) (Sub: lobster or small shrimp if you prefer)
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup pure virgin olive oil (the real stuff tastes best!)
  • 3 crushed garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup chopped or diced onion (cut to your preference-I prefer diced)
  • 1 tablespoon Paprika

In a mixing bowl, mix all of these ingredients together until they are blended. Pour mixture into a medium saucepan and cook until the crab is done, and the butter is nicely melted.

crab macaroni and cheese recipe

After 25 minutes in the oven, remove the macaroni and cheese casserole, but leave your oven on, and the door closed. Uncover the macaroni and cheese. Smooth your crab mixture over the top of the macaroni and cheese. I always leave a section bare because my oldest daughter doesn’t like fish, so she only eats the plain macaroni and cheese. You can cover half, like I do, or you can put shrimp on one side, and crab on the other. The mixture is large enough to cover the entire top if you decide to not leave a portion blank.

When the top of the macaroni and cheese is covered by the crab mixture, cover the casserole dish and bake at 375 for another 10 minutes.

Before you serve the Crab Macaroni and Cheese, please let it cool for 5-10 minutes in the covered casserole dish, outside the oven. I leave the casserole on my cooktop. Then, serve it up!

My kids love my homemade Crab Macaroni and Cheese, I hope you do too! It is a delicious comfort food which is perfect for cooler weather. ‘Tis the season for comfort food!

This is also a great dish to make for holiday pot luck parties, or if you are throwing a large party at home. Although I serve it as a main course to my family, for a large party, it can be a hearty side dish in a buffet.

I hope you enjoy it. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.

Kitchen tools you might need to make this recipe:

Thanks for stopping by!

XOXO

Cathy

crab macaroni and cheese


How to make Butterbeer recipe

how to make butterbeer recipe

How to make butterbeer recipe for the all of the Harry Potter fans out there! OK quick, which house are you? Although we are a Gryffindor family, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and even Slytherins, are welcome here. After all, a love for butterbeer is something we all have in common!

Last month, I took my family to Universal Studios. One thing on our agenda was to taste butterbeer! Harry Potter loved it, and it sounded like a fun, non-alcoholic drink the whole family could enjoy. So, we made grabbing a glass our priority. After we tasted our first butterbeer, we realized it was the most delicious drink! A butterbeer is part soft drink, part dessert; now doesn’t that sound amazing?! It really is; and you don’t have to be a Harry Potter fan to enjoy a yummy glass of my butterbeer recipe. If you are counting calories, never fear, I have a low calorie butterbeer recipe option for you here!

ingredients for making butterbeer at home like universal

First off, let’s talk about the tools and ingredients you will need to make butterbeer at home.

Ingredients:

  • Cream Soda: I recommend Henry Weinhard’s Vanilla Cream Soda for the most authentic taste. For a low calorie option which is quite delicious, I recommend Virgil’s Zero Cream Soda.
  • Torani Syrup: Classic Caramel or Butterscotch will do.
  • Heavy Whipping Cream: This needs to be heavy in order to stay afloat. It is a crucial part of the froth.
  • Vanilla extract: My favorite is Rodelle, but any vanilla extract will work.
  • Whipped Cream: My favorite canned whipped cream is Clover.

Tools 

  • Mixing bowl: Use a small mixing bowl
  • Hand-held whisk: This one by Kitchenaid has been in my kitchen for fifteen years and they still make it. Best whisk ever!
  • 12 oz. glass or pint glass: How cute is this “Hello Beautiful” glass! Yes, Hello there beautiful butterbeer, you are delicious!

When we returned home from our vacation, I looked online to see if I could find a butterbeer recipe. Unfortunately, the recipes I found used odd ingredients, were too complicated, or flat out didn’t work. So, I decided to come up with my own special recipe for butterbeer. I hope you like it as much as my family does! Here are a few simple steps for making butterbeer.

non alcoholic butterbeer recipehow to make harry potters favorite drink

I always start off my glass of butterbeer by prepping the froth first. Measure 1/4 heavy whipping cream and put it into the mixing bowl. Then, add one tablespoon vanilla extract. Whip the two ingredients together using a whisk until they are well mixed and you start seeing bubbles in the liquid. (see above for example)

low calorie butter recipe

Set aside your froth mixture and measure one tablespoon of Torani Classic Caramel syrup. After you measure it, pour the syrup into the glass or pint you plan to drink from.

easy butterbeer recipe

After you have added your Torani syrup to your glass, tilt your glass to a forty-five degree angle and slowly pour the cream soda into the glass. It is important to tilt your glass because good cream soda (like good beer) will create a large head if you don’t pour it into the glass at an angle. If you have a head on your soda, it might spill over the sides and you will not have enough room for your froth. If you do get a head on your soda, let it sit for a minute so that the froth can settle in, or you can sip the froth from the head off the top.

If you are wondering what “head” means, it is the name for the white fluffy foam which ends up on top of soda or beer that is not poured into a tilted glass; or is poured too quickly.

butterbeer recipe

The froth mixture will pour into your soda too quickly without a barrier. This is where the canned whipped cream comes in handy. Put a small layer of whipped cream over the top of your butterbeer to create a floor for your froth. Be careful not to add too much or you won’t have room for your froth, and you might spill.

how to make butterbeer at home

Now that your butterbeer is mixed together, and you have a whipped cream floor, slowly pour in your froth on top of the whipped cream. The froth will sink into the soda, but that is part of the flavor and fun. I recommend adding a straw for easier drinking. 🙂

Voila! There you have it! If you have been wondering how to make butterbeer, this is my version of Butterbeer. I hope you try this recipe and enjoy it!

Calorie Count with Henry Weinhard’s Vanilla Cream Soda: 285

Calorie count with Virgil’s Zero Cream Soda: 105

Thank you for stopping by!

XOXO

Cathy

how to make butterbeer recipe