December 18, 2009

A day in the life of a housewife

This is what it looks like to be without a job for nearly three weeks. Jennifer rings my doorbell at 2:30 in the afternoon. When she comes in, I'm still in my pjs, listening to a Tim Keller podcast on my laptop, keeping mashed potatoes warm on a back burner, and sauteing veggies on a front burner. Dinner is practically done at 2:30. Jennifer missed the most enjoyable part of this day however, which was peeling potatoes on the couch in front of the TV. I can't remember the last time I peeled potatoes. The smell reminded me of growing up. I think my mom must have peeled potatoes quite often, because I clearly remember that smell, and I also remember taking slices of uncooked potatoes from her and munching on them. I'm not interested in that little snack anymore, but I did enjoy the feeling of taking the time to peel the potatoes. Jennifer was planning to go to the movies (by herself!) at 4:00. What movie have you ever been so excited to see that you would actually go by yourself?? For her, it was New Moon. I'm not into vampires and warewolves myself, but I am into Jennifer, so I threw the sheppard's pie in the fridge, texted Matt with directions to start baking it when he got home from work, hopped in the shower, and headed to the movies with the lovely Jennifer.

When we walked into the theater there was just the talk of snow. We we walked out at 6:15 there was a beautiful sheet of the white stuff over the cars and the parking lot. Not so beautiful once we stepped out into it however and got pelted by little kitty litter sized ice balls in our ears and down the back of our necks. We raced to her car and as she pulled around the back of the (fairly empty) parking lot she said, "Look! We can do donuts in the parking lot!" as she barely turned her wheel and we fish-tailed a little too close to the other cars for our liking. Our eyes got big, we looked at each other and laughed, and from that point on we respected the roads as we drove home.

Shephard's Pie
4 russet potatoes, peeled and diced in 1 to 2 inch pieces
1/3 c milk
2 oz cream cheese (1/4 c)
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp chicken stock
2 tbsp butter

Cover the potatoes with water, add a generous amount of salt, and bring to a boil. I like for my potatoes to be really done so make sure they are very very fork tender. While the potatoes are cooking put the milk, cream cheese, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and stock in a small sauce pan and warm it up. You don't want it to reduce much, but you do want to warm the milk and melt the cream cheese. It's okay if the mixture is lumpy. Strain the potatoes really well. Turn the burner off and put the potatoes back on the hot burner to help evaporate any of the remaining water. Remove from the heat, add in the mixture from the sauce pan, and mash as much or as little as you like. I like mine really mashed. Slice the butter and place over top of the potatoes. Cover and set out of the way. Once the butter has melted, give the potatoes one more stir to mix it all together.

1/2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tbsp butter
2 carrots, chopped as thick or thin as you would like
2 ribs of celery, chopped as thick or thin as you would like
1/2 small onion
one package of pre-sliced pre-washed button or crimini mushrooms
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 tbsp tomato paste
1/8 c beef broth
1/4 tbsp worchestershire sauce
1/2 lb ground beef (although we used ground turkey today)
grated parm

Heat butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add next 6 ingredients and cook 10 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook 8 more minutes. Add ground beef (or turkey!), worchestershire, and broth and cook until meat is no longer pink. This recipe fits perfect in a 8.5 in square casserole dish, but you can double the recipe for a 9x13 pyrex if you're feeding a lot of people. Spoon in the filling, top with the potatoes, sprinkle with grated parm and bake uncovered for 40 minutes at 375.

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