this will be Anastasia’s first experience with a pet sitter…
we’ll see how that works out…😂
I thought before we departed…
I’d take you for a quick stroll around the garden…
this is my favorite time of year…
everything is so beautiful…
I almost don’t want to leave…
However…a change of scenery is always good…
whether it’s a faraway trip…
or only a small getaway…
I always get excited…
because it gives me a greater appreciation for home…
Here where I live we’ve already experienced the first few days of fall…which leads me to the much anticipated offerings of the season and it’s wealth of getting cozy ay home. This delicious cottage pie is the perfect and ultimate cozy-comfort food.
Ingredients for mashed potato topping:
2 pounds potatoes peeled and cut into big chunks
4 tbsp butter half a stick
¼ cup sour cream
¼ to ½ cup milk
Salt and pepper to taste
Ingredients for filling:
1 pound ground beef
1 small onion diced
2 cloves garlic minced
2 cups of frozen peas and corn medley
2 tbsp flour
½ cup beef broth
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp rosemary
½ tsp thyme
1 bay leaf
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Boil the potatoes in water to cover until fork tender and then drain the water.
Add the butter, sour cream, milk and salt and pepper to taste and mash the potatoes with a hand masher or mixer until you reach your favorite mashed potato consistency. Set aside.
In a large skillet brown the ground beef along with the onions and garlic. Drain any excess grease.
To the same skillet add 2 cups of the frozen vegetables, cook for about 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Sprinkle the flour over the meat and veggies and stir to mix.
Add the tomato paste and stir to mix it in.
Then add the beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, rosemary, thyme, and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer and then reduce heat to low. Cook uncovered for 10 minutes, adding additional broth if necessary to prevent the meat from drying out.
Remove from heat. Remove Bay Leaf. Spread the meat mixture in an even layer in a 9×13 dish that has been sprayed with nonstick spray.
Top the meat with the mashed potatoes making an even layer of potatoes. You can get all fancy and pipe the potatoes onto the meat or you can use a spoon and spread the potatoes evenly and then use a fork to make designs and ridges in the potatoes. These little ridges will brown nicely!
Place the dish in the oven and bake for 30 minutes until brown and bubbly. You can place it under the broiler for a few minutes to brown the potatoes more if necessary.
“Music is a form of prayer, uniting people everywhere.”
Hello, sweet friends…
I hope you are doing well…
This summer marked a few benchmarks…6 years since our move from California…a surprise trip celebrating my sister’s birthday…the garden tour…
my (new to me) piano.
The anticipation of this beautiful instrument took on a life of it’s own… days were spent arranging, rearranging & creating space in our living room…obsessive thoughts of how everything would look afterwards.
Not to mention the excitement of getting to a time in life where I was able to choose a piano of my own. I have written several posts about the journey of pianos in my life…each have told a story…however, what I’m most grateful for is the gift which music has played.
Getting acquainted with this new friend has been a joy…and touches a deeper part of my soul…
which has now given Home a wonderful and different rhythm.
Another benchmark I forgot to mention were the peaches harvested from our peach tree. It is a special tree that was planted last year in memory of our beloved pet Cami…the peaches are so sweet just like her. With that being said I can’t think of a better way to end a summertime meal than with a sweet & delicious peach cobbler.
½ cup unsalted butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar, divided
1 tablespoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 cup milk
4 cups fresh peach slices
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Ground cinnamon or nutmeg
Melt butter in a 13- x 9-inch baking dish.
Combine flour, 1 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt; add milk, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Pour batter over butter (do not stir).
Bring remaining 1 cup sugar, peach slices, and lemon juice to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly; pour over batter (do not stir). Sprinkle with cinnamon, if desired.
Bake at 375° for 40 to 45 minutes or until golden brown. Serve cobbler warm or cool.
”The measure of achievement is not winning awards. It’s doing something that you appreciate, something you believe is worthwhile.” -Julia Childs
Hello, sweet friends…
I’ve heard it said that the best homes have something to do with the people who live in them….
that being said…no doubt the best rooms in those homes are ones which bring a sense of comfort to those who share it…
This awareness somehow brings a smile since my biggest joy has come from creating a welcoming home…
Old fashion as it may sound…preparing a meal is best when I share it with others…
So as summer’s last sunset swiftly approaches… Let me share a couple of favorites…
1 pound bowtie or rotini pasta
1 pint cherry tomatoes quartered or halved
8 or 12 oz fresh or marinated mozzarella balls chopped)
1 can 2.25 oz sliced black olives, drained
½ cup fresh basil thinly sliced
Optional: 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
1/2 – 1 cup Italian salad dressing or dressing of choice or olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Place a large pot of salted water over high heat; bring to a rolling boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente, about 7 to 8 minutes.
When the pasta has finished cooking, drain it at once and quickly rinse it under cold water until cool, about 1 minute.
Place cooled pasta in a large mixing bowl.
Add dressing to pasta, then add the tomatoes, olives, basil, onion, and mozzarella balls. Toss to combine.
Serve at once, or chill until needed.
Summer Berry Trifle
can’t help think that the binds the
16 oz Fresh Strawberries, hulled and quartered
1 pint Fresh Blueberries
12 oz Fresh Raspberries
6 oz Fresh Blackberries
1/4 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Seedless Raspberry Jam
2 tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice
2 1/2 cups Heavy Cream
2/3 cup Confectioners’ Sugar
1 angel food pound cake
Combine the strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries with the sugar in a large bowl and let stand 30 minutes.
Stir the jam and lemon juice together in a small bowl and set aside.
Combine the heavy cream and confectioners’ sugar in a cold bowl and beat with an electric mixer to stiff peaks.
To assemble the trifle, form a layer of the pound cake on the bottom of the trifle bowl. (Cut slices of cake into strips to make them fit in a single even layer). Brush the cake lightly with some of the jam mixture. Spoon one-third of the berries on the cake; top with about a third of the whipped cream. Repeat the layers two more times with the remaining pound cake and fruit. For the final whipped cream layer, spoon a decorative mound in 4-inch diameter in the center.