Archive for March, 2011

Some Shepard’s Pie

4 Comments

Posted by Michael, March 2nd, 2011

Rebecca and I are suckers for comfort food and when we gave up eating meat roughly two years ago, we were also giving up many comfort foods we both grew up with.  For me, it was the many Italian dishes.  For Rebecca, it was the corned beef and cabbage type dishes.  Don’t get me wrong, we still crave these dishes but we’ve found some comfort food replacements along the way.  One of them being black bean tacos; we just cannot get enough of these things.

So when we started playing the “what do you want for dinner?” game at work the other day, Rebecca came up with a great solution: Vegetarian Shepard’s Pie.  Now, if you do a simple Google search for this, you’re going to get many results with many recipes.  The majority of these recipes included meat substitutes and other non-everyday-type vegetables.  We don’t do meat substitutes; we’ve tried and we really don’t like them.  So as the conversation went on, we realized it had to include ingredients that screamed comfort — nothing crazy, no curve balls.

I found a great recipe on about.com.  It had everything we wanted: carrots, corn, peas, celery, onions, potatoes.  The recipe did call for a meat substitute, but I ignored it while cooking.

I started by dicing all the vegetables (about 1-1.5 cups for each) and placing them all in a large pot.  Along with the vegetables came the vegetable broth, pepper, bay leaves and nutmeg.  This mixture cooked on medium-low heat all while I stirred constantly; maybe a solid 10-15 minutes until everything was tender.

While the veggies were cooking, I was also chopping and then boiling my potatoes.  The recipe didn’t give instructions for the mashed potatoes (it called for already prepared mashed potatoes), so I did my own thing.  Boiled the potatoes until soft and then mashed them with some butter and cream.  Easy, yet delicious.

Once the veggies were tender, I took out about 1/2 cup of the broth and placed in a bowl.  I then slowly mixed in flour (about 2 tablespoons) into this broth.  And once this was all mixed, I added this broth back in with the vegetables.  This pot continued to cook for a couple more minutes all while I was stirring constantly and trying to get everything thickened.

As soon as the veggie mixture was thickened, we were good to go. I placed the veggies into a casserole dish, spreading into an even layer.  Then I added the mashed potatoes on top and baked at 375 for a solid 25 minutes — at which point the very top of the potatoes started to brown.

And what do you know?  This dish was absolutely fantastic.  We both had seconds and couldn’t wait until we could eat some more at lunch the following day.  It’s been just about a day and I’m ready to make this again.  This dish is definitely going to become a comfort food of ours.

We’ll be posting this over at Jenn’s What I Ate Wednesday link party once again. Go check out Peas & Crayons for some more recipes! 🙂

ps- for another good read today check out Sara from House Bella’s guest post on why she moved from New Hampshire to Idaho over at Two Become One. It’s part of Samantha’s “Living Your Best Life” series of posts and it’s a goodie!

pps- that ps was from Rebecca, hijacking Mike’s post. I can’t stay away for a day 🙂

On a Magic Carpet Ride

16 Comments

Posted by Rebecca, March 1st, 2011

I mentioned last week that Mike and I were headed to Ikea over the weekend for some extra storage. I also had another mission in mind- an area rug. You were all very helpful in my past office area rug plea, but after painting the stripes, I decided I no longer wanted a patterned rug. This was one of the reasons why I started this blog, to chronicle the adventures of me changing my mind and rooms evolving 🙂 I just thought it would be a little much to have a large graphic rug with such dramatic walls. I remembered that when I went to Ikea looking for a patterned rug, there was a perfect color green solid rug. So my main reason for going to Ikea Friday night? To pick up that rug.

When we finally made it down to the rug section (who am I kidding, Mike and I go to Ikea so often that we fly through the upstairs in about 15 minutes!), I spotted the rug and ran over. It was marked as “last chance” and the only size left was the larger one, which was nearly 7’x10′. Right before we left, I measured out a 5’x7′ area and figured that would be a good size. I was fairly certain this large one would be too big, but it was a low-pile and the perfect color. Oh and it was $199. Seriously Ikea, every other rug you have is like $19.99, yet I manage to find a $200 rug?! The price scared me and the size scared me, but what scared me even more? The fact that it was “last chance”. Our dining room furniture was last chance and I wanted it for months. When we finally went to pick it up, we ended up on a wild goose chase to Brooklyn to find our table. “Last chance” brings back awful memories for us, so we decided to pick it up and if it was too big or we had buyer’s remorse, we could always return it.

So now we’re carting around a nearly 10ft rug when we once again walk by the Mongstad mirror I’ve wanted for years.

I have just been waiting for this thing to magically disappear, since every time we go and decide not to buy it, I feel like I’m playing with fire. We have an SUV now and we figured our desktops are 80 inches long and they fit, so maybe this would too? We measured the Mongstad and it was only 75 inches long with packaging!!! Score! Let’s bring that home too! Here we are with our carts of oversized purchases, that’s Mike in front of me…

We also got some doors for our Expedit bookcase, 2 white planters for the porch in the spring and some more storage boxes. We waited on line for.ev.er. Really we walked through the store and picked up all of this loot faster than this line moved.  We paid for our stuff and headed out to the car…

We put down the seats and start to slide the mirror in… it doesn’t fit. Wait wait! We can move our seats up a little! So we do. And it’s still sticking out of the back of the car. It’s about 25 degrees and windy, so I really don’t want to drive with my rear door open. Plus we couldn’t figure out where the heck to tie it down. We realized at this point that we are morons. The desks are much more narrow than this mirror and we were able to put them diagonally and push them up on our center console a bit. No such luck with this giant mirror. So we figure we’ll move our seats aaaall the way up just to get the mirror in and once we get the rear door closed, we can push them back a bit.

So Mike pushes the driver’s side seat up and I push the mirror in and close the rear door. I get to the front of the car and I see Mike, completely smooshed against the steering wheel, as if he is driving a clown car. I couldn’t hold it in, I doubled over with laughter. I asked him if he wanted me to drive and he said no, he just wanted to get out of the parking lot before someone saw him. I also tried to take his picture to insert here and he told me that he was suffering enough and did not need the moment documented on my blog for all eternity. I respected his wishes and will attempt to show you the ridiculousness of this situation with a picture of my own knees…

My knees are normally no where near the front of the car. I actually had to reach back to reach the cup holder. We laughed the entire way home and hoped that no one would stop next to us at red lights because we looked that ridiculous. I believe my seat was actually angled forward because by the time we got home, my back was killing me.

But I got my giant mirror finally!!!! 😀

On Saturday Mike cut holes in the office wall to hide the TV wires, but the power cord we had was too short so he had to order a longer one. I’ll take pictures of the much cleaner looking TV when the last wire is hidden! But we did install these guys…

We planned to go with white doors but when I saw these glossy dark gray ones, I couldn’t resist! Mike also drilled some holes in the backs of these to hide the Mac Mini and the battery chargers to our Shark Stick Vacs (every pet owner needs one!)….

So far I’ve only stuck a few things on this bookcase since I knew Mike would have to move it again this week once the new wire arrived.

Saturday night we rolled out our giant rug. Upon first roll, it was ginormous and I was nervous. We had to wiggle it under Mike’s desk since his computer was already hooked up, so we didn’t get that immediate feeling of the size. But once we rolled it out? It’s perfect! Macky obviously agrees!

He seriously did this about 2 seconds after we let him back in the room after rolling out the rug. He should be an Ikea spokesman…and yes he’s playing with a roll of frog tape, sign him up to sell that too! 🙂

Here’s a room shot from Sunday morning.

At least now the price doesn’t seem so outrageous for such a large rug! Really, I think any smaller would have looked funny and once we get chairs in there they will roll right to the back edge of the rug on either end. Speaking of chairs, we did stick to one plan

We picked up 2 of these chairs I first spotted in Staples back in November. They were actually even cheaper than the “sale” price back then and we got them for $99!! The boxes were stacked on the floor in a display, so we were able to judge the size and thought they’d fit in the car. We almost had a repeat of Friday night, but thankfully we got them in…

We still have to put them together, but we’re almost there!

For those of you wondering what these fabric samples I posted yesterday were for?

Curtain panels and possibly covering some of the storage bins we have. I want something with some white, gray and green in it to bring everything together so I’m working on a solution 🙂

One last time for that Macky video!!

Isn’t he adorable?? 🙂

Page 4 of 41234
Copyright 2010 - 2011. The Lil House That Could. All rights reserved.