“Pie baking happens here.”
And, how are you today?
Come on let’s have a seat.
Pie baking happens here.
By the way, have I mentioned there’s a dream kitchen in the making in a very sweet, very little cottage on the very beautiful Oregon coast?
Well, okay I should say perfect for me. More & more I realize that creating a home in a small cottage is similar to other things in life.
Particularly, those times when we find it’s necessary to switch things around a bit.
Just a little, & just enough to make them work better for us. Ya know what I mean?
There’s not enough room or time for items we don’t need, use, or find pleasure~ious joy in. Those which take up valuable, & important space.
Life is too short…and my kitchen is way too small for that.
So, with that in mind I recently found myself doing a little switch~a~roo with a previous table I had been using, to another one which I intuitively knew would work out better.
A friend (read; A New Home ) who is moving invited me over for an afternoon to check out a table she’s letting go of.
I adored my friend’s table the moment I saw it in her kitchen. With that said I am finding that a kitchen space does not have to be huge. For me an inviting kitchen means one which is charmingly small, and perhaps holds just enough space for those conversations of the heart.
You know the one’s I am referring to. One’s that often carry on well into the afternoon. okay…sometimes even into evening. Oh, and of course always include great baking.
I don’t have the smallest kitchen on the planet. Not by any means. That would be silly. However, it’s by far not on a grand scale. No gigantic island for this cottage dweller. I might be retired, however there’s no resting going on in this room.
As long as I can bake I’ll be on a happy mission to share how small is good, and you can actually make small appear rather large by avoiding clutter.
The primary color of the cottage kitchen is happy white, with happy pops of red/blue/….& a happy dab of pink here and there. These colors run through everything in other parts of the cottage. However, they begin in this room. After all it is the heart of Home. Cottage. Mansion. Apartment. Yurt. Okay…I think your getting the happy picture.
Wishing you a wonderfully grand October…
Marcia’s ideas for a cozy kitchen:
- Let your kitchen decor change with the seasons: delicate, new fruits and flowers in spring, a colorful bounty of produce in summer, golden-colored pumpkins and chrysanthemums in fall, and Christmas reds, & green in winter. (When I lived in California, I think I over~did this.)
However, here on the coast I still find it enjoyable to use colors I find in nature. Which often means incorporating different shades of blues/browns/reds.
- Light a candle in your kitchen. Place it on a windowsill or behind the sink to help you see your kitchen duties in a whole new light. (grin)
- Most important for me. Perhaps you too. Try to keep your kitchen counters free of clutter. The room will look more spacious, and you’ll be more inspired to spend time there.
I can’t end today’s post without a pie recipe. I’ve made this pie many times. It’s a meal in and of itself. Just add a salad, and you are good to go. It can actually be made the day before. I think it even tastes better. Since I don’t eat meat, I now substitute the meats with veggie sausages.
Shepherd’s Pie Makes 1 10-inch pie
CRUST & TOPPING
5 cups mashed potatoes (approximately 5 potatoes)
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon melted unsalted butter
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup finely diced shallots
2 cups clean, dry, sliced mushrooms
1 10-ounce package frozen spinach, thawed, and squeezed dry
1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 pound ground pork
1/2 pound ground lamb
salt (to taste)
pepper (to taste)
3 tablespoons flour
1 1/4 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup white wine or vermouth
1/2 teaspoon dry tarragon
Preheat oven to 350°
Coat the inside of a 10-inch deep dish pie plate with cooking spray. Mix together 2 cups of the mashed potatoes with the egg yolk. Spoon this mixture into the pie plate, spreading it evenly over the bottom and sides of the plate. You may find it helpful to wet the spoon with water as you spread the potatoes. Place the pie plate into the oven and cook for 15 minutes. Remove and let cool as you continue to work on the filling. Melt butter and vegetable oil in a skillet over medium-high heat until hot.
Add the garlic and shallots to the pan and cook until translucent. Sprinkle in the mushrooms. Mix well with the garlic and shallots and continue to cook until the mushrooms begin to brown.
While the mushrooms cook, put the squeezed spinach into a medium-size bowl and flake with a fork until it is well separated.
When the mushrooms are browned, remove the vegetables from the pan and add to the spinach. Set aside.
Return the pan to the heat and crumble in the beef, pork, and lamb; cook until brown. Season with salt and pepper.
Remove the meat from the pan and add to the spinach mixture, being careful to leave the drippings in the pan. Keeping the heat medium-high, whisk the flour into the drippings. Pour the broth and wine into the roux, whisking continuously until you have a thick, smooth gravy. Add the tarragon, and season with salt and pepper. Pour over the meat and spinach mixture, mixing well.
To assemble, spoon the meat mixture into the pie plate, packing it down well. Dot the remaining mashed potatoes over the top of the meat. Use a spoon to smooth it out, making sure the entire top of the dish is covered with potatoes. Brush on the melted butter. Furrow the top of the pie with a fork.
Place in the preheated oven and bake for 45 minutes until the top is brown. let sit for 10 minutes before serving.
This is a perfect pie to serve on a cool Fall day!