Why do we start blogging???
Why do we continue blogging???
Why do we stop blogging???
Why do we return to blogging???
In early January, one of the most prolific and popular bloggers dropped out. She made a short announcement, and then was gone. GIRLICHEF was on everyone's blogroll, she guest posted whenever asked, and not only updated nearly daily on her own site, she was instrumental in starting at least 3 more community sites. At one point, I considered dropping out. Honestly, thanks to three bloggers (one was GIRLICHEF), I continued through a rough spot and continued blogging for all new reasons. There have been many others that have dropped out (Crazy Asian Gal and My Tasty Treasures come to mind) recently, and I wish they would return. There have been a few that dropped out and slowly returned, after taking a break (I was thrilled to see Accountants Can Cook? return recently). But GIRLICHEF's return and the manor of her return made me ask myself anew all those questions above...
Won't give you my answers yet (but I would love to hear your thoughts). But for now, Welcome back Heather.
To me, the finest way I have to honor a blogger is to select a recipe from their blog. Either making as is, or taking inspiration, I love making a recipe I read on someone's blog.
And sure enough, on only her third post since her return, heather posted this easy quick and incredibly pleasing recipe for SHEPHERD's PIE. Follow that link to Heather's site. You will find her original posting of the recipe, as well as reading of her inspiration, and a surprise (best if you wait to go there after the 24th, but you will have to read her post to understand why I say that (Click HERE to get to that post)).
Have you been paying attention? yesterday, I posted a terrific recipe for a warm potato salad with ricotta cheese and my version of Herbes de Provence. I made extra, as I had this recipe in the back of my head to use the leftovers. Fine line between flavored mashed potatoes and potato salad. Once you mush up the big chunks in the potato salad, there is not even the fine line. These leftovers made a great topping for my shepherd's pie ala GIRLICHEF.
Here's what she said to do...
Shepherd's PieAnd low and behold, pretty much exactly what I did...
from Make-Ahead Meals for Busy Moms by Jane Doironyield: 4 svgs. (I doubled this & used a 9x13)
1 lb. ground beef, 85% lean
1/4 c. onion, diced
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 lbs. potatoes (~4 med.), peeled & sliced I used red potatoes, just quartered
1/2 c. chive & onion cream cheese (red. fat) I used regular Neufchatel
1 Tbs. butter
1/4 tsp. black pepper
14.5 oz. can creamed corn
In a large skillet over medium heat, brown the beef and onion together. Drain well and season with salt and pepper. Place the beef mixture in a 9x9x2" baking dish. Set aside to cool. Meanwhile, boil the potatoes in a medium pan for 20-25 minutes. Drain the potatoes and place them in a large mixing bowl. Add the cream cheese, butter, milk and pepper. Mix on medium speed until smooth. Pour the creamed corn evenly over the beef mixture. Spread the mashed potatoes evenly over the corn. When the potatoes have cooled, cover with foil and refrigerate until ready to bake.
Remove the dish from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Uncover and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the corn is bubbly around the sides.
I used my leftover tater salad, which already had ricotta cheese, so I left out the cream cheese. Heather changed the recipe a bit by topping with a little cheddar cheese and then a small can of drained peas. i took her advice!
Heather advertises this as a make ahead meal, easily frozen or made earlier in the day when it is convenient (as I did), and then left in the fridge. It was perfect to wait for Jackie to get home from her inconvenient day job, allows us to go out our door, take a right and snorkel around our bay for an hour. Come home, pop this in the oven, take our showers to get the salt water off us and the meal was hot, ready, tasty and perfect!
Loved the corn in this. Added such a great new taste to an old classic. An old classic recipe and a classic blogger I missed.