Thursday, November 25, 2010

Baked Apples

Happy Thanksgiving! 

On this wonderful, joyous holiday that is mostly celebrated with large amounts of food, I felt it was my duty to post a new recipe. After our wild week last week with recipes every day, things have significantly toned down.  But don’t worry, we’re still here!  And for those of you Harry Potter haters... we got it out of our system.  You can read now.

A bit of sad news that is slightly Harry Potter related – I left my beloved camera, a graduation present I got in May, at the movie theater that night.  When I came back to the theater the next day to look for it, it was gone, and not in the theater’s lost and found.  I’m really really depressed about it.  I'm a very responsible person - I don't lose things, particularly not expensive things.  I really miss it.  I know it’s just a thing, but I loved that camera.  I used it all the time.  It’s my own fault, though, I suppose.  If I could physically give myself a roundhouse kick to the gut, I would.  It sort of feels like I already did.

So because of my camera loss, I had to use my webcam today, which is less than stellar quality.  In fact, it’s sort of like looking through a really blind person’s glasses.  The pictures are pretty blurry.  I’ll fix this camera situation soon, though, don’t worry.  This is just a temporary fix.  I hope.  (What I really hope is whoever took my camera will return it, but who am I kidding?)

Anywho, there have been a couple of granny smith apples sitting in my refrigerator for a while now, and yesterday my mom suggested baked apples.  I had never tried one, so, interested, I looked up a recipe.  It seemed easy enough.  And then as I looked at my notes for the blog, I realized that baked apples were actually mentioned in literature!  Here’s a quote from Jane Austen’s Emma.  For those of you familiar with the story and characters, this is the overly talkative Mrs. Bates speaking.

“About the middle of the day [Jane] gets hungry, and there is nothing she likes so well as these baked apples, and they are extremely wholesome... I have so often heard Mr. Woodhouse recommend a baked apple.  I believe it is the only way that Mr. Woodhouse thinks the fruit thoroughly wholesome.” (Austen 210)

Well if Miss Jane Fairfax likes nothing so well as a baked apple, we’d better try it.  I got my recipe, slightly adapted, from  That site is so awesome.

Baked Apples
Servings: 1

1 granny smith apple
1 tbsp cubed butter
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp apple juice
Cinnamon and nutmeg to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).  (As my oven was preheating, it started to smoke heavily.  Word to the wise – make sure your oven is clean before you undertake a baking project.  Fortunately the smoke cleared by the time I was ready to pop my apple in the oven.)
  1. Core the apple completely. Not the prettiest coring job, but it works.
  1. Stuff each apple with 2 tablespoons brown sugar and 1 tablespoon cubed butter (pre-mixed together).  I also peeled a ring around the center of the apple to vent.
  1. Add the apple juice to the baking dish, as well as just enough water to cover the bottom.  Place the apple in the baking dish.  Sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg.
  1. Loosely cover apple with foil and bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes.  Uncover and bake an additional 10-15 minutes, until the apple is tender.

My apple took a while to get to the tenderness I wanted.  I was hoping for a super soft apple, like in apple pie, but it was a little firmer than that.  It was still delicious, though, and with the uber buttery sauce, it was a “wholesome” yet tasty fall treat.  If you want, you can even thicken the sauce by putting it in a pan and boiling it down into a sugary syrup, or just add a little corn starch.  Then you could have vanilla ice cream with your apple and drizzle your apple-cinnamony sauce over all of it.  Mmmm...

The beauty of this recipe is that you don’t have to worry when you make more than one.  It’s the same for each individual apple.    

Well, I’d better go.  It’s nearly 4:00 a.m. and I’ve got stuff to cook tomorrow.  Again, Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

P.S. We have over 1,000 hits.  That is SO COOL!!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Butterbeer...with special guest Pumpkin Juice!

The long awaited post is finally here! Now that many of us die-hard Harry Potter fans have already seen the movie, time to celebrate the actual day of the release! Woohooooo!!
I had a great time seeing the movie last night/this morning. It was so good. I can't even explain how much I enjoyed it. I'm still paying the consequences of staying up too late because I'm dead tired and this post won't even be well written...I'm sure.
Anyway, Butterbeer: a Harry Potter staple. People have been fascinated with this made up beverage since the beginning of the book series. I always imagined that it would be sweet and warm and taste a lot like whipped cream and melted butter. Let's see what the Harry Potter wiki says:

"Butterbeer was a popular wizarding beverage described as tasting "a little bit like less-sickly butterscotch."[1]
It had a very slight alcohol content, which could get house-elves fully drunk,[2] but seemed to have a less pronounced effect on humans.[3][4] In 1996, Harry Potter wondered what Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger might do at Professor Horace Slughorn's Christmas Party "under the influence of Butterbeer,"[3] indicating that it could lower inhibitions. Winky, a house-elf, took to getting drunk on Butterbeer after losing her job with the Crouch family[2] — an addiction from which she never fully recovered.[5]

Butterbeer was served cold in bottles and hot in "foaming tankards."[6] In Hogsmeade, it was sold at the The Three Broomsticks[6] and The Hog's Head,[7] although the fact that the latter pub's stock was described as "very dusty" suggests that it was not sold there very often. In Diagon Alley, the drink is sold at the Leaky Cauldron.

At the Hog's Head, customers were charged two sickles per Butterbeer,[7] but it is not certain whether this is a universal price for the drink, or if the price of the drink varies from location to location."


I've tried a lot of different Butterbeer recipes and none of them really tasted like how I imagined it to taste. I'm so glad I had this excuse to try more Butterbeer recipes! I decided to have a butterbeer tasting party...And I have three different recipes, here we go!

ButterBeer Recipe #1
2 1/2 cups of milk
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp butter

1. heat milk in saucepan over medium high
2. Add ingredients
3. Blend with mixer to make frothy
4. Bring to almost a boil
5. Serve.

ButterBeer Recipe #2
2 1/2 cup of milk
1/2 cup butterscotch chips

1. heat milk in saucepan over medium high
2. Add ingredients
3. Blend with mixer to make frothy
4. Bring to almost a boil
5. Serve.

ButterBeer Recipe #3
1 1/2 cans of cream soda (or to taste)
1/2 cup butterscotch syrup/chips
1/2 tbsp butter

1. Heat butterscotch and butter in pan until melted
2. Stir in soda slowly.

Ladies and Gentlemen, your ingredients (some of these ingredients are for Pumpkin Juice...we'll get to that later)

Left: ButterBeer 1 Right: ButterBeer 2

This is ButterBeer 1. It was the palest of them all because it didn't contain butterscotch. It tasted a lot like slightly altered milk. If you don't want a strong flavor, but still long for sweetness, this is a good one for you.

This is ButterBeer 2. This one is significantly sweeter and is DELICIOUS warm!

These are the three butterbeers. Top of triangle: ButterBeer 3 Left: Butterbeer 2 Right: ButterBeer 1

Before we move on to the results of the taste test, let's introduce Pumpkin Juice! Pumpkin juice was another one of those fascinating drinks in Harry Potter. I always expected it to taste a little like liquid pumpkin pie but not thick. Oh how naive of me. What does Potter Wiki say about this drink?

"Pumpkin juice is a cold drink favoured by the wizarding world, and among the students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. It is drunk at any occasion, such as breakfast, lunch, at feasts or on other occasions. It seems to have taken on the same role that orange juice has in the Muggle world.
Pumpkin juice is readily available, and can be purchased on the Hogwarts Express. Severus Snape threatened to Harry in his fourth year that he might slip Veritaserum in his morning pumpkin juice while believing that Harry stole his potion ingredients. Dolores Umbridge offered Harry Potter pumpkin juice in 1996 when she wanted to secretly administer Veritaserum to him, but he chose tea instead. Prior to a Quidditch match in his sixth year, Ron Weasley believed that Harry had slipped Felix Felicis into his morning juice to help him play perfectly."

Very interesting! So here's the deal. Pumpkin juice is not sweet. My roommate Jessica said "It tastes like you just picked up a pumpkin and put it in your mouth!"
My other roommate Tara said "It tastes kind of like baby food".
So, be the judge for yourself. It was not what i expected but it didn't taste bad by any means. I added a little sugar substitute to it but it didn't change much.

Pumpkin Juice
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 cup pineapple juice
2 cups apple juice
1 cup grape juice (Grape juice was too expensive so I got Cranberry Raspberry, tastes pretty similar).

The pumpkin. I realized at this point that I should have put this in the blender. I recommend you put it in the blender otherwise you will be chewing your pumpkin juice like we all did. I just told people it was "pulp" not chunks.

No matter how much you stir it, it will settle and separate. So stir often!!

Close up on the pumpkin floaties!

And on with the party! I had my roommates Sam, Tara and Jessica as well as Sam's friend whose name escapes me at the moment because I'm sleep deprived, and my friend Spencer sample all three butterbeers and the pumpkin juice

This is Spencer. He was pretty excited about the butterbeer opportunities. His favorite was number 2 because it didn't give him a sugar attack like number 3 and it had more flavor than number 1. He's such a silly man!

This is Sam and friend. They both liked the 2nd one also, for basically the same reasons. Sam's friend called it "medium froth" because he tried to froth it into submission like Butterbeer 1 and it only kind of frothed. Good times my friends...good times.

And this is Jessica! She, too, liked the 2nd one best. She was a good sport about it; she was super full when I trotted out the butterbeer.

Now, my opinion? I LOVED the third butterbeer. True it was SUPER teeth and "stay awake for days" kind of sweet but it tasted the most authentic of the three to me. Number 1 was a little too bland, but kind of malty in a weird way. Number 2 was a duller taste but still a very nice hot beverage. Number 3 won in my eyes because it was authentic; it tasted EXACTLY how I thought butterbeer should taste. However, everyone else voted for number 2.
Ironically, at the end of the night, I had to combine the three leftovers into one pot and when I heated it up the next morning, I think it tasted better than any of them did separately.

Try these out and let me know which was your favorite. =) Mischief Managed.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Pumpkin Pasties

Tonight is the midnight release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1!  I am beyond excited.  I'm leaving in soon with some friends to go wait in line outside of the theaters.  Midnight couldn't come soon enough!

As a treat to munch on while we're waiting in line for hours, I made pumpkin pasties.

Cornish pasties (the ‘a’ is pronounced like the ‘a’ in ‘crash’ or ‘at’) are a common treat in Britain. They are basically beef stew packed into a flaky, folded-over pie crust.  They are delicious and portable, which is awesome.  You might be picturing hot pockets right now, but I assure you, pasties are way better.   I got to try one in Oxford for lunch while I was strolling through the town, and I think it was among my favorite English foods.

Pumpkin pasties are J.K. Rowling’s invention, so there’s no particular recipe to go with them.  But if you think about it, it’s logical to assume that they are like pumpkin pie, only in a pocket.  So basically, they’re destined to be delicious.

Pumpkin pasties are first mentioned in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (or Philosopher’s Stone in England), when Rowling describes Harry’s first experience on the Hogwarts Express.  The food trolley rolls up to Harry and Ron’s compartment, and “a smiling, dimpled woman slid back their door and said, ‘Anything off the cart, dears?’” (Rowling 101).  From there, Harry beholds a cornucopia of Wizarding treats.

He had never had any money for candy with the Dursley’s, and now that he had pockets rattling with gold and silver he was ready to buy as many Mars Bars as he could carry – but the woman didn’t have Mars Bars.  What she did have were Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans, Drooble’s Best Blowing Gum, Chocolate Frogs, Pumpkin Pasties, Cauldron Cakes, Licorice Wands, and a number of other strange things Harry had never seen in his life.  Not wanting to miss anything, he got some of everything and paid the woman eleven silver Sickles and seven bronze Knuts.

Ron stared as Harry brought it all back in to the compartment and tipped it onto an empty seat.

“Hungry, are you?”

“Starving,” said Harry, taking a large bite out of a pumpkin pasty. (Rowling 101)

Pumpkin Pasties were Harry’s first taste of the Wizarding World.  Will they be yours, too?

Pumpkin Pasties
Recipe courtesy of

Makes about 2 dozen miniature pasties.

2 eggs, slightly beaten
2/3 cup sugar
1 1 lb. can pumpkin
½  tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
½  tsp. ginger
¼  tsp. cloves
1 2/3 cups evap. milk (1 can)
½  tsp. allspice
¼ tsp nutmeg

9 oz pie crust pastry (enough for two single standard pie crusts)

Add all ingredients except for the pie crust into a mixing bowl.  Beat the filling ingredients together until consistent.  Bake the pie filling in a large casserole dish in hot oven (425 degrees) for 15 minutes. Keep oven door closed and reduce temp to moderate (350 degrees F/180 degrees Celsius) and continue baking for 45 minutes or until table knife inserted in center of dish comes out clean. Cool on wire rack.

Adding evaporated milk (not to be confused with sweetened condensed milk)
Make or purchase pie crust pastry. Roll thin on lightly floured wax paper and cut into circles approx 4" in diameter. Put a spoonful of the cool pumpkin mixture towards one side of the center of the circle. Fold over the crust into a half-circle and firmly crimp the edges closed (This is sort of a pain.  Be prepared for a mess). Slice three small slits in the top for venting and place on a well-greased cookie sheet.  (I also coated some of them with my leftover egg wash from the treacle tart and then sprinkled some sugar on the top).  Bake at 400 F only until crust is a light golden-brown (about 15 minutes). Serve at room temperature so you don’t have to worry about people burning their mouths.

I rerolled the dough I bought.  It was thinner and more even that way.
I used a lid, not a cookie cutter, because it was 4 " in diameter.

I held them in my hands when I filled them, and then folded them like a taco.
Egg wash
Sprinkling sugar
And here are Barrett and Brandon enjoying them as well.  Brandon is faceless in this picture, but he enjoyed them!

Okay, I've got to go watch the movie! *squeals with excitement*  Cheers, mates!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Treacle Tart

Treacle Tart is known well among Harry Potter fans.  It is mentioned in the majority of the books for a particular reason – Harry likes it.  In Order of the Phoenix, at the start of term feast, Rowling writes, “Harry was too used to their bickering to bother trying to reconcile them; he felt it was better use of his time to eat his way steadily through his steak-and-kidney pie, then a large plateful of his favorite treacle tart” (Rowling 210).  Harry points out that treacle tart is his favorite dessert – so much so that he can ignore Ron and Hermione’s bickering.  That’s pretty impressive.

Then in Half-Blood Prince, when Harry smells the Amortentia (a love potion that smells like whatever attracts you to a person) in Slughorn’s class, he mentions treacle tart again.  “They chose the [table] nearest a gold-colored cauldron that was emitting one of the most seductive scents Harry had ever inhaled,” writes Rowling. “Somehow it reminded him simultaneously of treacle tart, the woody smell of a broomstick handle, and something flowery he thought he might have smelled at the Burrow” (Rowling 183). 

So not only is treacle tart Harry’s favorite dessert, but he considers it a seductive smell.  “Okay,” I thought when I read that for the first time (and the ensuing 500 more times), “I have got to try that stuff.” Therefore, Treacle Tart was at the top of my list of things to make for this blog. 

You may be thinking, “That’s all fine and dandy, Mary, but what the [insert expletives Ron would use here] is a treacle tart?”

Treacle is typically referred to as golden syrup in England.  It is a mixture of molasses (sugar cane boiled twice), corn syrup (composed mainly of sugar), and some more sugar.  It is a very common sweetener in England.  It’s not all that common here in America, however, which makes it sort of hard to find in stores.  So in order to make treacle tart, I just used a really light molasses.  I, personally, like molasses just fine, so this suited me.  I’m a fan of gingerbread, and the main flavor in that is molasses.  But if you can’t stand molasses, you can still make this and like it.  Make a golden syrup out of 1/3 light molasses, 2/3 light corn syrup. That would be 3 tbsp molasses, 6 tbsp corn syrup for this recipe.

For those of you unfamiliar with tarts, I think of them as really short pies, with crust on the bottom, then a thin layer of whatever kind of tart it is, and either no crust on top, or just a little for design.  This is definitely applicable to treacle tart.

So here it goes.  I got this recipe from BBC, so it is definitely a legitimate British recipe.

First let's start with the crust, also known as shortcrust pastry.  I know many may be tempted to just buy two sheets of Pillsbury unbaked crust and then move on, but trust me.  This recipe is awesome and it’s not too much effort.  Just keep in mind that these measurements are for 6 oz of pastry, and you will need 12 oz for the treacle tart.  Don’t forget to double it! 

Shortcrust Pastry
·         125g/4oz/ ½ cup plain flour
·         pinch of salt
·         55g/2oz/ ¼ cup butter
·         30-45ml/2-3 tbsp cold water

Preparation Method

Before you begin, make sure your kitchen is no hotter than 70 degrees, or your butter will melt and the dough won’t work (the small chunks of unmelted butter are key to flaky crust).  Be sure your butter is fresh out of the fridge when you use it, too.
     1.       Put the flour and salt in a large bowl and add butter.
2.      Using a pastry blender (click here for a picture or refer to picture below) cut the butter into the flour until you have a mixture that resembles coarse breadcrumbs with no large lumps of butter remaining. Try to work quickly so that it does not become greasy.  (If you don’t have a pastry blender, click here to learn about other options).
Before I started blending
Finished cutting in/blending
3.      Using a knife, stir in just enough of the cold water to bind the dough together (I used 2 ½ tbsp out of the 3).  Don't over stir.  It may seem too dry, but it’s probably okay.  The way to tell if it has enough water is by picking up the dough in your fist and squeezing it.  It should be able to hold together once you unclench your fist.
4.      Cover the dough in plastic wrap and chill for at least 10-15 minutes in the freezer before using.  When you need it, take the dough out of the freezer, squeeze it into a ball, and roll it out on floured wax paper.  Roll it as thin and even as you can get it without tearing holes.

Alright, now that we have the shortcrust pastry taken care of, on to the tart! 

Treacle Tart
·         350g/12oz shortcrust pastry
·         135g/9tbsp golden syrup (reminder – 3 tbsp light molasses, 6 tbsp light corn syrup)
·         125g/9tbsp fresh white breadcrumbs - about 2 slices (Yes, you do have to tear bread into little tiny pieces.  Yes, it’s tedious. Yes, it's worth it.)
·         grated rind and juice of 1 lemon (have fun cleaning the grater/zester after you do this)
·         1 tsp ground ginger
·         egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 tsp water)

Preparation Method
1.      Roll out two thirds of the pastry and use to line a 25cm/10in pie plate or flan tin. (I used a 9” spring form pan.  It worked perfectly).
Roll it on wax paper.  Flip paper over and fit crust into baking dish.
2.      Warm the syrup over a gentle heat and add the breadcrumbs, grated lemon rind and 15g/1 tbsp of the juice, and the ginger. Pour into the pastry case.
Pouring in molasses.  This will be golden syrup for you.
Freshly grated lemon zest.
Try not to think about what it looks like.  It gets better, I promise!
3.      Roll out the remaining pastry case and cut into strips; use these to create a lattice design on the top of the tart.

4.      Fold any excess crust over the edges of the lattice. Decorate the sides of the crust with a fork, being sure to press the ends of the lattice well in.  Brush the pastry with the egg wash and bake in the oven at 190C/375F/Gas 5 for 25-30 minutes until the pastry is crisp and golden.  Serve warm.
Egg wash
Pulling cooked tart out of the oven
Treacle tart out of the spring form pan
I read somewhere that Treacle Tart is supposed to be served with clotted cream.  Clotted Cream is a treat native to southern England, particularly Devonshire.  It is unpasteurized cream that is lightly cooked and often served with scones or desserts.  It has a thick, sweet, creamy consistency.  Sounds delicious, right? 

The problem is, they don’t exactly sell unpasteurized cream in the grocery store.  Trust me, I looked. So I found a recipe for a substitute.   It’s not really a substitute, because according to my mom it tastes nothing like clotted cream.  It’s delicious in its own right, however, and we enjoyed it. It tastes like light whipped cream with a little bit of a cream cheese flavor. 

Substitute Clotted Cream
3 oz cream cheese
2 tbsp sour cream
1 cup (240 ml) heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 or 2 tablespoons granulated white sugar
Place all the ingredients in a large bowl and beat until the mixture holds its shape and looks like softly whipped cream.  Use right away or cover and refrigerate the cream until serving time.
Makes about 1 1/2 cups (we made a half recipe, which suited the tart perfectly).
Pseudo-Clotted Cream
 And now for the epic story of my adventures making the treacle tart.

The Story of the Me, My Mom, and the Treacle Tart
(For the following story, please keep in mind that I used all molasses, which made it stronger than it is really supposed to be.)

For those of you who don’t know or haven’t already figured it out, I live with my mom.  I learned 95% of my cooking skills from her, and we often cook together.  When I told my mom that I wanted to make treacle tart for the blog (and subsequently explained to her what treacle is), she said “Molasses?  That doesn’t sound good.” 

I wasn’t too pleased with her lack of confidence.  “It’s Harry Potter’s favorite dessert,” I protested.  “It has to be good.” 

Mom was unmoved by my plea to authority.  Neither she, nor anyone else in my family, likes Harry Potter.  She instead went off on a story from her childhood.  “When I was a little girl, my mother used to put blackstrap molasses in my milk every day, because she thought it would keep me from getting sick.  I got sick all right – of the molasses!  I’ve hated molasses ever since.”

I gave her my condolences for her unfortunate childhood and continued with my plans to make treacle tart.

As I began to make it, however, I started to have my doubts.  “It says fresh white bread crumbs,” I called out to my mom as I reviewed the recipe.  “Does that mean I have to tear slices of bread into little pieces?”

Mom laughed and said, “You wanted to make it.”

I was pretty concerned about the whole endeavor as I sat in a chair tearing a single slice of bread into little tiny bits.   

“The British are weird,” I said.  “Harry is weird.  Bread crumbs and molasses?  Who thinks of these things?”

“I know,” said Mom, while she too tore up a little slice of bread.  “Especially molasses.  I really don’t like molasses. When I was a little girl, my mother-“

“Yeah, I know, Mom,” I said.  “Blackstrap molasses in the milk.  You told me.”

“Well it was really traumatic,” said Mom with finality.  We continued tearing in silence.

When it came time to mix the molasses and breadcrumbs together, I gazed upon the lumpy brownish mixture.  It looked unappetizing and smelled horrifically strong.  At that moment, I struggled to accept the fact that I would probably not like treacle tart.  I didn’t have to like the dessert as much as Harry, right?  As I considered this, though, a part of my childhood curled up into the fetal position and started whimpering.  I think it’s the same part that still has a slight crush on the aforementioned fictional character.

As I laid the lattice work on the top of the crust, though, I felt a resurgence of hope.  At the very least, the tart looked nice.  I showed it to my mom, and she admired it as well.  “I might actually try that,” she said. 
But as I popped into the oven and thought I heard her muttering incredulously, “Molasses...”

Twenty-five minutes went by.  When the tart came out – What a glorious moment!

“Oh wow!” Mom exclaimed.  “It looks great!”

“Hm!” I said proudly. “See!”

“I don’t know if I’ll like it, though,” Mom warned.  “That blackstrap molasses-“

Mom,” I groaned.  “Just try it.”

So we sat down at the table to partake of my curious creation.  I cut myself a nice 2 ½ inch wide piece, and then gave Mom a sliver about a centimeter wide.

“That size good?” I asked, pointing to her splinter of a slice.

“Yes,” said Mom.  “Perfect.”

Then we tried it. The first bite had a great texture – the crust was flaky and crisp, and the treacle portion was gooey and warm – but it did taste pretty molassesy.  I took a second bite, and while I could still taste the molasses, I also tasted the prominent zing of lemon!  It was a wonderfully surprising combination!  That, topped with the pseudo clotted cream, and I was thoroughly enjoying myself.

“Okay,” I said happily, “maybe Harry isn’t as crazy as I thought.”

“Yeah, it’s pretty good!” said Mom as she reached over to cut herself another piece.  

The treacle tart is gone now.  Mom ate more than half of it.  It was a delicious treat that we both enjoyed.  Through this experience, I learned two things above all others.  First, Harry Potter still is and forever will be awesome.  Second, traumatic childhoods can be overcome with an open mind and a little British cooking.

The End

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Shepherd's Pie

There were a lot of things to choose from to do for this English food post. I don't remember Shepherd's pie being in any of the Harry Potter books, and I know that my version is not really's totally American...but it's still good!!!


1 pound ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 (10.75 ounce) can Campbell's® Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup (Regular or 98% Fat Free)
1 tablespoon ketchup
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup frozen peas and carrots
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter
1 1/3 cups instant mashed potato flakes or buds
(Warning: Just follow the directions on the back of the package(s) for the potatoes, this milk and butter didn't end up being enough!)

Cook beef and onion in 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat until well browned, stirring to break up meat. Pour off fat.
Stir soup, ketchup, black pepper and peas and carrots into skillet. Spoon beef mixture in 9-inch pie plate.
Heat milk and butter in 2-quart saucepan over medium-high heat to a boil. Remove from heat. Slowly stir in potatoes. Spoon potatoes over beef mixture.
Bake at 400 degrees F for 15 minutes or until potatoes are lightly browned.

And now for the pictures!

Browning beef and onions

ingredient family picture

Peas and Carrots!

I "eye-balled" this Tablespoon of ketchup...I dont think it's super accurate but it didn't ruin anything!

The lying butter and milk

Finished product! Usually the potatoes would be evenly spread...


Can you handle all this butterbeer?! How mysterious...