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Monday, June 30, 2014

Cottage yummy!

Growing up we called it shepherds pie.  Once I reached adulthood, I found out that it was actually cottage pie because it's made with ground beef instead of lamb.  Whatever you call it, this recipe is delicious.  It isn't the one I grew up with, but it's now my go-to recipe.

Mashed Potatoes
2 lbs potatoes
1/4c milk
2 oz butter
1/2 c feta cheese
salt and pepper to taste

2 tablespoons oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, chopped
3-4 carrots, peeled and diced
2 tablespoons flour
2 1/2 oz tomato paste
1 teaspoon chipotle powder
1 cup beef broth
2 tablespoon Worcestershire
1 large can corn
1 regular can peas
1 1/2 lbs ground beef

Preheat the oven to 400 F/200C degrees.

First start the mashed potatoes -

Cut potatoes and cut into small chunks (peel them first, if you prefer). Place in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water and add some salt. Set over high heat, cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, uncover, decrease the heat to maintain a simmer and cook until tender (easily pierced with a fork), about 15 minutes. Place the milk and butter into a microwave-safe container and heat about 30 seconds. Drain the potatoes and then return to the saucepan. Mash the potatoes and then add the milk, butter, salt and pepper and continue to mash until smooth. Add cheese if you'd like (I added feta but you can use parmesan or any other cheese you prefer)

Prepare the filling -

Place the canola oil into a 12-inch saute pan and set over medium high heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the onion and carrots and saute about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and stir to combine. Add the ground beef, salt and pepper and cook until browned. Sprinkle the meat with the flour and toss to coat, continuing to cook for another minute. Add the tomato paste, beef broth, Worcestershire, chipotle powder and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer slowly 10 to 12 minutes or until the sauce is thickened slightly.

Add the corn and peas and spread evenly into an 9x 13 baking dish. Top with the mashed potatoes. Place on a baking sheet on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 25 minutes or just until the potatoes begin to brown. Remove to a cooling rack for at least 15 minutes before serving.

A few notes - I made the filling while the potatoes were boiling.  I assembled it ahead of time and then just brought it up to room temp before baking it.  If you took it straight from the fridge to the oven, you would probably need to cook it a little longer.

I served it with garlic bread and a pretty roasted beet/feta salad.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Luanda, Angola - the first two weeks

I can't believe that we've only been here two weeks!  A lot has happened in that short time.  We've received (and unpacked) our household goods, taken a trip to the beach, toured the city, and settled into a routine.  Not bad, huh?

A few pictures for a glimpse into our new life...
the best part of moving...making a fort!

Our balcony

our awesome pool 

little friend we found on our deck

trip to Ilha do Mussolo
playing frisbee at the beach

making new friends

playground at work

enjoying the wildlife

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Broccoli, Tomato, and Dill Frittata

The best thing about having breakfast of dinner is have leftovers for breakfast!!  BRILLIANT!

Last night for dinner, I made banana pancakes and and a frittata.  Now, I have to warn you, this recipe has very few measurements in it.  I have a good excuse, since I'm in the middle of a move and haven't found my measure cups and spoons yet.  But it's a frittata and doesn't require exact measurements.  Give it a try - it's really delicious!

broccoli florets (about a cup)
med diced tomato
med diced onion
1 clove garlic, minced
dill seasoning
salt and pepper
6 eggs
parmesan (I used maybe half a cup)

Preheat oven to broil setting.

Steam the broccoli.  Chop into smaller, bite size pieces.  Whisk eggs, Parmesan, pepper, and salt. Heat an oven safe saute pan over medium high heat. Add some oil to pan (enough to coat). Add onion and garlic and sauté about 5 minutes. Add broccoli and tomatoes.  Pour egg mixture into pan and stir. Sprinkle with dill. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the egg mixture has set on the bottom and begins to set up on top.

Place pan into oven and broil for 3 - 5 minutes, until lightly browned and fluffy. Remove from pan and serve immediately.

I also sliced up some avocado to go with the frittata.  When I reheated it for breakfast this morning, I mashed the avocado and added salt and pepper and put it on top of the frittata.  I think I liked it better mashed.

Hope you enjoy!  Now, back to moving boxes for me.  Oh joy!


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