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    Friday, January 10, 2014

    Soup be posted soon.

    I've been making a few soups lately. (Winter just seems to be Soup Season, right?) Yesterday I posted a query on Twitter/Facebook if anyone would like my recipes and I got a few resounding "YES" answers in response.

    I haven't written up the recipes for posting yet, but since there was definite interest, I'll be sure to do so in the next few days.

    In the meantime, here are the pics & the soups I recently made:

    French Onion Soup
    I made my soup base first, then I could ladle out individual bowls for topping with bread & cheese & broiling when I wanted them.  I based mine on 2 different recipes - going back & forth between theirs. When I made mine, I thought the proportions of onions to broth was too much - especially when I added the baguette bread - so I ended up making MORE broth. I'll be sure to add in that correction to the version of the recipe I post for you guys. :)

    The Base (Onion Soup - without the bread & cheese)

    Final Product! French Onion Soup

    Leek, Potato, & Cheese
    This soup is very rich, but actually has a thin broth so it's nice & light. This is based on a recipe my mother developed while cooking at a Summer Camp in their kitchen one year.

    Ham & Split Pea Soup
    I made the ham stock the night before on the stove, using a ham bone I had in the Freezer. Next day I made the actual Soup and let it sit all day in the crock pot while I was at work. The recipe is based on the one my mother gave me, but I've adjusted the proportions to have more peas to the rest of the ingredients.

    Thursday, January 09, 2014

    Becky's Shepherd's Pie (with Ground Lamb) [RECIPE]

    I love Shepherd's Pie, but a TRUE Shepherd's pie is hard to find these days (at least here in America). Everyone here makes it with beef, but really, it should be made with Lamb. (Technically, if it's made with anything other than Lamb, it's called a "Cottage Pie". But that's me being a stickler.)

    This dish is something I've been meaning to make myself for a long time and last night I made it. Unfortunately, I didn't take a picture of the final product, but trust me, it's VERY good! Hope you enjoy it too!


    Becky's Shepherd's Pie (with Ground Lamb)

    Makes about 6 servings


    1 cup chopped onions
    1 cup chopped/sliced carrots (fairly thin, not TOO chunky)
    1-2 cloves minced garlic
    1 cup diced mushrooms
    2 Tbl flat leaf (Italian) Parsley, FRESH, minced finely
    2 cups (1 Lbs) ground lamb
    2 cups beef broth
    1-2 Tbl + Olive Oil (enough for sautéing)
    1 Tbl Butter
    1–½ to 2 Tsp Cornstarch
    Approx. 1 cup+ Mashed Potatoes (already made ahead of time); more if you want a thicker layer of potatoes on top.
    Approx. 1/2 - 1 cup? Shredded Cheese (personal preference for amount)
    Kosher Salt & Fresh Ground Pepper (or White Pepper) to Taste


    1. Chop veggies & make up beef broth (if making from bullion/granules).

    2. Sauté onions & carrots for 5-10 minutes in a bit of olive oil. Onions should start to become translucent.

    3. Add garlic & sauté a few minutes. (Then set it aside/remove from heat).

    4. In another pan, cook the ground lamb. When it has browned sufficiently/cooked, drain fat & add the lamb to the pan with the onions/carrots/garlic mixture.

    5. Add in beef both, mushrooms, & fresh parsley to the mixture and set on a med-low heat.

    6. Melt Butter & add Cornstarch to it, mixing thoroughly (making a Roux).

    7. Add the Roux, Salt, & Pepper to the lamb/carrots/onion/garlic/mushroom/parsley/broth mix & mix thoroughly.

    [If you have not already done so: Turn on Oven to PreHeat to 375 Degrees.]

    8. Heat mixture to low boil with the lid off on med high for a few minutes to reduce, then put the lid back on to simmer on med-low to low for 20 minutes.

    9. Pour hot mixture into oven safe baking dish. (Oven should be preheated to 375)

    10. Cover with mashed potatoes. (Personal preference for how thick the layer of mash should be.)

    11. Bake for about 15 minutes to get them warm (especially if using cold mash) & the mash starts to brown/crisp up.

    12. Cover the potatoes with a layer of shredded cheddar cheese (personal preference for amount of cheese) & cooked for another 15 minutes until the cheese is bubbly and beginning to crisp up.

    13. Remove from oven and let sit for 5 or more minutes (it’s HOT!) to cool enough to eat.