Easter Weekend Recap

>> Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Hello guys! Hopefully, you all had a great Easter weekend. I know one person did (congrats!)!

Can you believe it’s the last week of April?? Wow. You know what this means…it’s almost YS2’s second birthday! Next Tuesday. Sniff. My lil guy is becoming a BOY!

Just prior to this past weekend, I started to get a cold. A slow-moving cold. It finally gained steam and presented itself on Sunday. Poo. I will say if you have to get a cold, this is the one to get (like we have a choice). It’s slow to take hold and the worst symptoms are lack of energy and nasal congestion/cough. No headaches, no grumpiness (not counting being annoyed), no sore throat, no feeling really bad. The end.

I was still able to fix dinner (not raw, far from it except for salad). I really wanted what I had planned: vegan shepherd’s pie, salad with balsamic vinaigrette sprinkled with pistachios, and apple crisp for dessert. Um, hello!

No pics. Nope, notta one! Lame huh? By the time it was all ready it was time to eat so forget the camera! Besides, Angela’s picture is much better than I could’ve ever done or had the patience for. If only I could plate my shepherd’s pie that fabulous naturally. Practice is all I need.

I pretty much followed Angela’s/Oh She Glows adaption of Gena’s/Choosing Raw version of vegan shepherd’s pie. Gena’s version calls for mushrooms but seeing I’m still new to “I think I like mushrooms again” I didn’t want to push my luck with this dish.

Did I mention I’ve never made nor eaten shepherd’s pie before? Traditional shepherd’s pie calls for ground lamb. Even in my carnivore days I didn’t eat lamb nor did my family so this was never made for that reason alone. However, even the adapted version with ground beef I never tried it. I’m sure for my family (okay, mom) it was a bit too involved and perhaps even too casserole-y to give it a go. Growing up, casseroles had their place from time to time but I don’t recall having a ton of them and definitely not shepherd's pie of any kind.

Anyway, I’d always been curious about shepherd’s pie but have no desire to fill mine with a meat base. With Easter around the corner and trying to come up with something to make I recalled Angela’s shepherd’s pie.

Since I’ve never had this or made this, was it risky? Maybe but I knew, just knew, it would be perfect.

So I followed her recipe pretty much. I got daring and used Yukon Gold potatoes instead of red (good call I say! I should point out that she didn’t say I had to use red so it’s any potato of choice) and in the filling, I rebelled and used 3 parsnips instead of 2. Oh and I added in a ½ cup of frozen peas and some dried sage. No wine but used more broth as suggested.

I did want a “meat” component so I really went out on a limb and added in cooked lentils. Oh my. Another good call if you want a heartier version. Heartier without it being heavy-laden. So good! I used green lentils (cooked up one cup of the lentils to 1.5 cups of water) and added those to the veggie mixture last just to heat through and to maintain their shape. I did need to add more broth to the mix so in the end I think I used 2-ish cups of veggie broth.

Of course, adding in the lentils made this dish grow so a 2.5 quart dish was not going to do. I needed the big guy, the 9x13 dish. Ah yeahhhh! That means leftovers. That’s always good as long as it’s tasty to begin with. Will this pass the test? I have two subjects who would soon let me know.

Oh and wait, I still have gravy to make. Ack! I tried following Angela’s recipe. I didn’t have all the ingredients so I improvised. Sometimes this works aaand sometimes this doesn’t. I don't really know what I did in the end. On its own, it tasted kinda weird. Not bad but kinda sweetish. I figured it would be a waste.

Now, the true test:

Yardsnacker took one bite and was singing my sweet praises (he wasn't pulling my leg either). Yardsnacker Junior managed to gobble up half of his. He’s iffy on potatoes sometimes but seemed to like these but the parsnips didn’t go over as well. He rebelled against that extra one I put in there apparently.
Remember that gravy? Well, the boys followed my lead of putting it on their plates (well, in the case of YS2, allowed me to put it in his bowl) because it was the perfect combination. Yay! So it wasn’t a waste after all.

Phew! Dinner turned out awesome and something I’d make again. Not often but definitely this fall/winter I’ll make it again.

I was going to make apple crisp but Sam offered (I wasn’t going to argue – I was tired now). He’s a much more daring cook than me. He added his own twist with subtle hints of chai tea spices. So very good! His recipe is loosely based on this one.

It was a tasty Easter. The Easter Bunny left some goodies behind for YS2 – new books/toys and clothes. No candy, thank goodness. Good Easter Bunny. :)

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As far as my cold goes, well, it’s going away. Probably helps that I chased a lot of it away eating almost a full tub of !muy caliente! salsa last night. A few chips were cosumed in the process but they were just for seeing how much salsa I could fit on one chip. I definitely need to start making my own raw corn chips again. Lisa’s got the right idea.

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