Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Shepard's Pie

Scotland is all about comfort food and one of my favorites is Shepard's Pie, which I've made approximately 50 times in the six months that we've lived here. I use a recipe that I've adapted from The Joy of Cooking and it's the perfect dinner for a dark, rainy night - with enough left over for lunch the next day.

Shepard's Pie
Serves 4-6

Traditional Shepard's Pie is made with ground lamb, however I usually use a mixture of ground beef and ground pork (technically, using ground beef turns it in to Cottage Pie). I make mine in a 9x13 inch pan (the recipe below is based on using a pan this size) but it's easily adapted to whatever size you prefer. 

6-8 mashing potatoes for the topping, along with a bit of butter and cream to mash with

And for the meaty part:
1-2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion 
4 stalks of celery
4 carrots
1.5 lbs ground beef, pork or lamb - or a combination
1/4 cup flour
1 cup beef broth
1 tbsp rosemary
1 tbsp thyme
A pinch of nutmeg
Salt and pepper

Make the mashed potatoes first: peel the potatoes, dice them, and boil until fork tender. Mash with butter, cream, salt and pepper and set aside.

Meanwhile, clean and chop all the vegetables. In a large pan, heat the oil and add the onion, celery and carrot, and saute until softened, about 10 minutes over medium heat. Add the meat, breaking it up with a wooden spoon as it cooks. When it's no longer pink, add the flour to thicken the mixture. Stir in the broth and let simmer for a few minutes, also adding the spices as well as salt and pepper. Transfer this mixture to your pan and add a layer of mashed potatoes to the top. Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 30 minutes.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

8 Things to do in Scotland

While I wouldn't recommend visiting Scotland in January, if anyone is planning a trip for the summer months, here are a few things that we would recommend seeing and doing while you're here:

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

A New Year

Happy New Year! Hope everyone had a great one. We've been busy this holiday season and things are finally starting to fall back into a normal are a few pictures, if you'd like to see:

My parents were here for 10 days around Christmas, and we had lots of fun showing them around. We took them to the Edinburgh Christmas Market (above) and we also did a day trip to Anstruther for fish and chips and back to Edinburgh another day to see the Royal Yacht Britannia, which was really fun.

Since it was Christmas, we also spent a lot of time at the grocery store, prepping, cooking, last minute gift shopping and RELAXING! Ryan had a few games too - we gave my dad a jersey to wear and he gave Ryan a Scotland bowtie for Christmas, so the two of them were very festive looking:

Then my parents flew back to Boston a few days after Christmas and Ryan and I spent the rest of 2015 taking long afternoon naps! I'm feeling pretty good at 32 weeks now, but I'm definitely tired - a lot. We were lucky to have a beautiful New Years Day (!!) so I went for a long walk on the beach to ring in 2016 which is a year we're very excited for!

So! I'm cutting back a bit in 2016 as we prepare for the baby's arrival. I'm going to be posting once per week until the middle of February when I'm going to take some time off blogging completely to focus on our newest family member.

Happy 2016!