Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Reclaimed space and the kids' favourite

Now that the house is pretty much finished on the inside, I have to start putting things in their places.  I need to create some spaces too.  The kitchen bench had been collecting clutter aka the kids' stuff for ages.  I decided to reclaim the bench.  I really should have taken a before photo, but I don't tend to think "Oh I'm going to blog this, so I should take photos of every step."  My brain just doesn't work that way and I really do appreicate people who can do it.

Here's the bench

kitchen bench


And it's been a while since I've shown a photo of the kitchen.   This is the kitchen as of yesterday.   Col just had a look at the photo and asked why the kitchen is on a tilt.  He told me that i need to stop drinking before I take photos.  Photographic composition is not my strong point.

kitchen


One of the benefits of clearing the bench is that I can also use it as a work space.  It's a good space for cutting as a downlight is right above it.  Normally I'd use my cutting table, but it's covered with knit that I need to dye and cut.

work corner of chaos


Do you see that bookcase with the glass front doors?   It is full of cookbooks.  Before I started sewing a lot, I used to collect cookbooks.  I still buy them from time to time, but I am more selective these days.  I still enjoy cooking, but I find that the creative cooking brain and the creative sewing brain can not co-exist.  Tonight the kids requested their favourite, Cottage Pie.  Excuse the picture...it was before it was baked, so it's missing the nicely browned top.  I was too hungry after it was done to set up some nice shot.  I am NOT Donna Hay although I used her recipe.

cottage pie


When my mom was here, she actually asked me to make it a second time, and I promised to give her the recipe, so here it is.

Shepherd's Pie from Modern Classics book 1 by Donna Hay

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 onions, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
600g (20oz) lamb or beef mince  (I use beef which is why I called it cottage pie)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
400g  (14oz) can peeled tomatoes
1 cup beef stock
1 fresh or dried bay leaf
1 sprig thyme
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
ea salt and cracked black pepper

potato mash
1kg (2lb) potatoes, peeled and chopped
75g (2.5oz) butter
1/4 cup (2 fl oz) milk  (I usually use more like 1/2 cup milk)
1/2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese  (50g, Mom, use the microplane that I bought you.  It makes super fluffy grated cheese which blends easily into the mash.)

Preheat the oven to 190C (375F).  Heat a large saucepan over medium heat and cook the oil, onion and carrot for 5 minutes or until soft and golden.  Add the mince and cook for 3 minutes or until browned.  Stir through the tomato paste, tomatoes, stock, bay leaf and thyme.  Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.  Add the peas and simmer uncovered for a further 15 minutes or until all the liquid has evaporated.  Add the salt and pepper and set aside.  
To make the mash, boil the potatoes in water until soft.  Drain and mash with butter and milk then stir through the parmesan.
Spoon the meat mixture into a 4 cup capacity ovenproof dish.  Top with the mash and bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown.  Serves 4-6

I would say that it definitely serves 6.  We can easily get two meals out of it, and the kids eat as much as Col and I do.  Also I put salt in the mash.  I know the parmesan is salty, but it's not enough in my opinion.

Oh and since I'm talking about food.  If any of the lovely ladies from the Sunday Craft Room visit my blog looking for the chocolate chip cookie recipe.  I thought I'd link to it here, so you don't have to search for it.  Thanks for a lovely day.  Sorry I don't talk much at first.

7 comments:

MoederKip said...

oooh, shepherd's pie - what a great winter warming idea.
May try that one soon for (do they have vegetarian shepherds? LOL!!)
Kitchen looking lovely too :-)

ingrid said...

Wow, the kitchen looks fabulous, even on a tilt!
I have kitchen aid envy btw :-(

Suzy said...

Thanks for the link to the choc chip cookie recipe, they were fantastic. And so nice to meet you!

The Handmaden said...

Your kitchen looks so very shiny. I love free bench space.

claire said...

Ohhh, nice kitchen! I'm rather jealous, in a good way :)
I think I'll try the shepherds pie, thanks for sharing!

Steffi said...

Your kitchen looks so beautiful and thank you so much for your delicious recipe!

Brenda said...

oooh, just found you via Ingrids blog, love your gorgeous white kitchen!