Thursday, November 20, 2008

Rachael Ray's Steakhouse Shepherds Pie

Sometimes when I watch Rachael Ray's show 30 Minute Meals, I think, "You've got to be kidding me." I mean, is she running out of ideas, or what? Really, who thinks of combining macaroni and cheese, beer, chopped up hot dogs, ketchup and mustard? That's a miss. A big disgusting miss.

But to be fair, she has some hits too. Like this recipe for Shepherd's Pie. I happened to catch it on her show last month and I've already made it 3 times. Add a side of green beans or corn and some bread and it's great family dinner. And even though I've made it 3 times, I still have yet to get it under 30 minutes!

Rachael Ray's Steakhouse Shepherd's Pie (original recipe is here, my version is below)

2 TBS butter
2 TBS flour
1 1/2 cups beef broth
2 TBS steak sauce

2 lbs ground sirloin
8 oz container mushrooms, sliced
1/2 onion, chopped

3 large baking potatoes
3 TBS sour cream
3 TBS chives
4 slices bacon

Bring peeled, cut up potatoes to a boil in salted water.Add sirloin, mushrooms, and onion to a skillet and salt to taste. Cook until meat is browned and liquid is gone.In a small sauce pan over medium heat melt butter, whisk the flour into butter, cook 2 minutes then whisk beef broth into flour, add steak sauce and pepper, to taste. Thicken 6 to 7 minutes. Pour gravy over meat mixture, then pour into a baking dish.Drain cooked potatoes and add sour cream and chives. Add a splash of milk so it will be easier to spread. Mash and then spread over the meat mixture. Top with nuked, crumbled bacon.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Pumpkin Soup

So yesterday I posted a picture of my messy, unorganized cookbook. It's full of recipes I've torn out of newspapers, ripped out of magazines, and jotted down on envelopes. I've got dozens of recipes that are just waiting to be made. Recently, I decided to go through them to see if I could thin out my collection a bit and I ran across a recipe for Pumpkin Soup. I had torn it out of a newspaper (Irene Wassell's food column in the AR Democrat-Gazette) way back in December of 2005. And since soup weather has now arrived, I decided to give it a try.'s a keeper! It's thin but creamy and delicious with buttered french bread. The flavor combination of pumpkin and onion is wonderful and the spices aren't overpowering like I worried that they might be. I can't wait for the weather to get even colder so I can make this soup again.

Let's see, that's one clipping down, 1185 to go.

Pumpkin Soup

1/2 cup minced onion
2 TBS cooking oil
1 TBS all-purpose flour
1 tsp curry powder, or to taste (I used 1/2 tsp)
1 (16-oz) can pumpkin
1 TBS brown sugar
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
3 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 tsp Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning, or to taste
2 cups half-and-half

In a large saucepan, saute onion in oil until translucent. Add flour and curry; stir until well mixed with the oil.Stir in pumpkin, brown sugar and nutmeg. Add broth and creole seasoning and whisk until smooth.Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Add half-and-half and heat until hot. Do not boil. Serve immediately.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Homemade Dog Treats

I've had dogs for 10 years now and throughout that time I've made several homemade treats for them. Carrot cakes, oatmeal cookies, cheese puffs, but my absolute favorite is the Peanut Butter Dog Biscuits. They're easy, healthy, natural, crunchy and taste great. As a matter of fact, when LP and I made them for Lexie's birthday a few weeks ago, we ate 4 of them drizzled with a little honey!
Peanut Butter Dog Biscuit (original recipe from Sacramento & Co.)
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 cup natural peanut butter
1 cup skim milk (I used 2%)
Mix dry ingredients. Mix milk and peanut butter, separately. Combine. Roll out to 1/4" thickness and cut shapes. Prepare cookie sheets with non-stick spray. Bake at 385 degrees for about 20 minutes. Cool and store airtight in the refrigerator. Best if allowed to come to room temp first.