09 May 2013

Nibbles and Narratives

This is my most favorite of comfort foods.
Last week, I shared that I made something awesome and never got back to y'all with the recipe... and it's going to have to be a bit longer because I forgot to pick up eggs this week with the groceries.  I promise, I will have it for you soon but today I have a different recipe for y'all.  One that my family loves and is my ultimate favorite comfort food.  It can be done in a poncey fashion, which I love, and it can be done on the cheap, which I do more often than not.  It's my Cottage Pie recipe and I thought I'd share.

I first learned how to make Cottage Pie from Gordon Ramsay and his recipe is delicious in it's own right but this one is a touch different.  My husband despises carrots, so I don't use them, and I rarely have wine in the house so that gets omitted as well.  Over the years, I just grab from my cupboard and it's all automatic.  So here is how I make Cottage Pie and it costs less than $1.50 per serving.

  • 1 lbs of ground beef (hence the term Cottage and not Shepherd's)
  • 1 can of corn, drained (15.25 ounces)
  • 1 can of tomato sauce (15 ounces)
  • 1 pkg of Instant potatoes (I'm using Idahoan 4 Cheese)
  • Worcestershire sauce (to taste, roughly 3 good splashes)
  • Allspice (to taste, roughly 3 shakes or so)
  • Minced onion (about half a cup)
  • Ground mustard (to taste, light dusting over mixture)
  • Garlic salt (to taste, roughly 3 shakes or so)
  • Pepper (to taste, about 2 shakes)
  1. Heat your oven to 350 and have your dish ready - I use an old oval one that I've had for years but any 2 or 3 quart baking dish will work.
  2. Brown your meat with the Worcestershire sauce, allspice, minced onion, ground mustard, garlic salt and pepper.  Drain and return to heat.
  3. Add in the corn and the tomato sauce and let it simmer down.
  4. Make up the instant potatoes in the microwave and have them ready.
  5. Now, pour your meat mixture in the baking dish and lay it out even.  Put your mash on top, covering all the meat mixture.  Sometimes I add a nice sprinkling of Parmesan cheese on top but I always add some beautiful chives to give it some color.
  6. Cook it in the oven for about 40 minutes until the potatoes are golden.
  7. Let it stand for five minutes before serving.  Enjoy! 
As far as the narratives go, I'm on the cusp of finishing my current book but I'm taking a moment to brag on my Hobbit.  She just turned 8 not two weeks ago and she finished her first chapter book on a 5.3 level - that's fifth grade reading level and she's only in second grade.  This week she completed reading "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" so I did what any other mother would do... I ran out and bought her "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets", which she is devouring as well.

A child who loves to read never will be alone or bored... and Hobbit found her love of reading.


  1. Always wonderful to have a reader in the house, I'm sure you and Hobbit will have many a cozy cup of tea reading together. I've just started Death Comes to Pemberly, your post made me pick it up off the nightstand!

    1. I would love to hear your thoughts on it when you're done. I'm hoping to find time to pick it up again this weekend.


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