Shepherd’s Pie

Shepherd’s pie is a large meal that is easy to make. I like making it when I have lots of leftovers I can use in it to clean out my fridge and to finish up some food. This time I used some of my leftover turkey stock from thanksgiving, but I recommend using beef or veggie stock. I also recommend stock or gravy, so you do not have to thicken it as much as broth.

  1. Make your favorite mashed potatoes (find my recipe here). With a large dutch oven, begin browning 1 lb of ground beef or venison. Dice one small onion (1/2 cup) and add to browned meat. Cook your onions until translucent. Preheat oven to 450 F.
  2. Add strained cans of sliced carrots, peas, and corn. (You can also use fresh or frozen. Add your fresh veggies with the onion, add frozen veggies with this step.) Add 2 cups of stock and 3 Tbsp flour, stir and simmer until everything is hot and bubbly.
  3. Transfer into a 7×10 casserole dish, and bread pan if you have extra. Top with mashed potatoes, place in oven and cook for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, let cool for 10 minutes, then serve.

Christmas Leftovers: Ham, and Mac and Cheese

Mac & Cheese is another one of my favorite childhood foods. It is cheesy and packed with carbs. Just thinking about it makes my mouth water! My mom made a roux based sauce, that is butter and flour, then we add milk and an entire block (8 oz) of cubed white sharp cheese. The recipe below is enough for pretty much just me and my husband since I love it so much, however there is enough in the recipe to serve another person if it is paired with a protein and a veggie.
Also, some cheese brands don’t melt as evenly as others, so if your cheese tastes a bit gritty once it’s cooked, you should probably use a different brand next time. I usually use Aldi’s brand, cracker barrel brand, or Kraft. We have had Cabot work out sometimes while other times it is gritty, and Helluvagood always comes out gritty.

  1. Cook 1 1/2 cup of macaroni to al dente and drain.
  2. While that is cooking, preheat oven to 375 F. Dice 1 small onion (1/2 cup) and cook in 4 Tbsp of butter until translucent.
  3. Once onions are translucent, add 4 Tbsp of flour stir, then add 2 cups of milk. Heat to a slight simmer.
  4. While that is heating, cube one block of cheese (8 oz) by cutting the block in half the short way, then slicing into slices 1/4 inch thick. Once milk is simmering, remove milk from heat and immediately add cheese and start stirring until all cheese is melted.
  5. Place drained macaroni into a 2 quart size or bigger backing/casserole dish. Then pour the hot cheese over top and carefully stir.
  6. Bake your mac & cheese for 30 minutes until the top has begun to brown and is bubbling hot.
  7. With only 10 minutes left, slice ham and fry in a frying pan with 1 Tbsp butter. Serve together.

Christmas Leftovers: Ham Salad

Ham salad has been one of the foods that my mom has had since she was a little girl. This was the recipe her mom and grandmother used during the great depression to make ham last a few extra meals. For this recipe, they would use their own recipe for Thousand Island pickles, however, you can also use sweet relish or sweet pickles to accomplish the same task, however I canned some Thousand Island pickles this summer, so I’ll be using those. You will also see that I am using toast. I always freeze my bread since it’s just me and my husband and we don’t want to waste food, and toasting tends to work really well in cooking/heating up the bread again.

  1. Cut ham into cubes. Approx. 4 slices cut into 1″ x 1″ cubes (1 1/2 cup)
  2. Place these into a chopper, blender, or meat grinder. For chopper/blender, pulse until all of the ham takes on the small pebbly texture, or until you’ve chopped all of the cubes.
  3. Take sweet pickles (1/2 cup) and process into a relish.
  4. Finally, Mix Ham (1 1/2 cup), Relish (1/2 cup), and Mayo (1 cup). Chill or serve immediately on bread or toast.

Thanksgiving: Leftovers – Turkey Shepherds Pie

Shepherd’s Pie is a great way to use up any mashed potatoes or any other Thanksgiving leftovers you have left. I used 1 can of sweet peas and 1 can of sliced carrots, and I added what little corn I had left from Thanksgiving. I used up my leftover veggies, my thanksgiving mashed potatoes, and the remaining turkey that hadn’t been frozen yet. I also used a mixture of light and dark meat. As always, my recipe is very forgiving and versatile, and making it your own is encouraged!

  • Chop a medium onion (1 cup) and cook in butter/oil (5 Tbsp) until translucent.
  • Once that is cooked, you can add any uncooked veggies you desire (corn, peas, carrots), cook until soft, then add any other veggies you have left or desire.
  • Dice up any turkey you have left maxing at about 3 cups for a hearty meal, then add to the veggies. Add 1 Tbsp of ground thyme and dried sage (or any other variety of the 2 herbs).
  • Add 4 cups of turkey or chicken stock cook until hot, then slowly add flour while stirring to reduce clumping. Add flour until the mixture begins to form thick coating on your spoon (about 5 Tbsp).
  • Transfer mixture to a casserole dish and top with mashed potatoes and optional grated cheese.
  • Bake at 400 F for 15 minutes or until hot and bubbling. Wait for it to cool about 35 minutes to serve.

To see the other recipes I cooked this year, head back to my Thanksgiving: Overview post!

Thanksgiving: Leftovers – Turkey Stirfry

After several days of thanksgiving dinners, we needed a break from the standard thanksgiving flavor, so I decided I would take my usual Chicken stir fry recipe and just substitute in some cooked turkey. If you don’t have Worcestershire sauce, you can use soy sauce and add garlic and onion (powder or minced). Sorry no photos this time! I’m still trying to remember to take some whenever I cook.

  • 1 1/2 cup of cubed turkey
  • some oil
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Ground ginger
  • Frozen stir fry veggies
  • Cooked rice (for serving)
  1. Start by placing 2 Tbsp of oil into a wok or dutch oven and heat to medium-high.
  2. Carefully add the Turkey and cook till you begin to see color
  3. Add the frozen veggies and any ice in the bag. Add 4 Tbsps of Worcestershire sauce, and 1 Tsp of ground ginger. Coat everything in the sauce and cook until veggies are hot.
  4. Serve over rice!

To see the other recipes I cooked this year, head back to my Thanksgiving: Overview post!