Shepherd’s Pie

Before I share my Shepherd’s Pie recipe, I want to tell you about my mixing bowl disaster!

About two weeks ago I broke one of my absolute favorite mixing bowls…the green one to my vintage Pyrex set that once belonged to my father’s sister.  It just slipped from my fingers when I was drying it, fell to the floor and shattered into a gazillion pieces.  My heart was as broken as my bowl!  I did a little searching to see if I could find one to replace it.  I did find one on-line, but with an asking price of nearly $40 plus shipping, I decided not to go with that one!  I let my thrifty niece know about my bowl, and she found several on-line for me at a price I could afford!!!  I could hardly contain my excitement today when I arrived home to see a box sitting on my counter…my new (to me) green mixing bowl!  Now that I realize that these bowls are from the 1950s and possibly even from the 1940s, I think that I will retire them from regular use.  I had no clue that they are that old!  Since I prefer using glass bowls instead of metal ones,  I have a shopping trip in my near future for a new set of  mixing bowls!

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Now to my recipe.  This dish is a wonderful way to use up leftover beef and gravy.  I have made it before but not with a pie crust.  It turned out just great! I really can’t give exact amounts here, so you just sort of eye it up.

Cooked roast beef, cut into bite-sized pieces…ground beef works fine, too (about 2 cups)

olive oil

1 medium onion, diced

Beef gravy (about 1 cup)

corn…I used frozen, but one can would be just fine

Mashed potatoes (about 1-1/2 cups)

salt, pepper, paprika

1 pie shell for 9-inch pie

Saute the onion in the olive oil until tender.  Add the beef and gravy to the skillet and  heat through. If the mixture seems a little dry, add more gravy, but don’t let it get to watery.  Season with salt and pepper and pour into pie shell.

Cover with a layer of corn.  Cover corn with mashed potatoes, spreading to seal the edges.  Sprinkle potatoes with paprika.

Bake in 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes until heated through,  crust is cooked, and potatoes are lightly browned.

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Potato Easter Egg Candy

Spring has finally arrived, and Easter is just around the corner.  We didn’t always have lots Easter candy when my children were small, but it is fun to have  a little. I was reminded the other day that Easter is the last candy holiday until Halloween!  This fun recipe helps to satisfy the sweet tooth of your favorite little (and maybe not-so-little) person in your life!  This is a modified version of one found in my 2007 Best of Country Cooking cookbook.

1 stick butter, softened

1/2 c. cold mashed potatoes, prepared without adding milk butter or salt

2 lb. confectioners’ sugar

1-1/2 c. flaked coconut

1 tsp. flavoring (vanilla; coconut; almond or whatever you like)

1 lb. chocolate candy coating

colored sprinkles of various types

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter.  Beat in mashed potatoes. Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar, beating smooth in between additions. Add coconut and flavoring; mix well.  Shape into 1-inch ovals (egg shapes); place on baking sheets and refrigerate 4-6 hours or over night.

Melt candy coating in microwave according to pkg. directions. Dip ovals into coating.  Place on waxed paper. Decorate with sprinkles.  Let stand until set. You may cool in the fridge for about 10 minutes.  Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.  Makes about 9 dozen.   I made mine a bit bigger, so I ended up with about 4-1/2 dozen.