Thursday, August 2, 2012

Shepherd's Pie and Chocolate Cup cakes

Do you ever look at your menu plan and think I don't want any of it or I'm so hungry I want it all? I did yesterday but I was also thinking about my family and how they have been such good sports. Never knowing what I will fix and if they will ever get their favorites again. So last night was a decision to follow the night before, an old favorite. I figure with 2 in a row, I should be able to get away with a new and different item each day for at least another month.

Last night was Shepherd's Pie. Sorry no pictures, as my son was gone all day and well after dinner, with my camera. I tried taking pictures with my phone but they did not look appetizing at all. Who wants to see a picture of food that looks nasty? Not me.

If you are not familiar with shepherd's pie I do hope you are a visionary and can see it in your minds eye. If you are familiar you may be thinking, after reading my recipe, that that is NOT how it goes at all. Remember,  I don't follow instructions and I march to the beat of my own drum. So my recipe is a little unconventional.

Now on to dessert, I had been craving chocolate and sweet. Really I wanted lemon yesterday but I had no car and was short one item for every recipe I wanted to fix. to my old reliable chocolate cake recipe. I decided to make it in the form of cupcakes instead and I wanted to try fixing my own frosting again. This is a task that I have not mastered. Some days I fix frosting and it is lovely other times not so much. Like yesterday, it is ugly frosting but oh so good. My cupcakes look like someone pooped on them. Oh well, grandma always used to say "if a cake is ugly that just means it taste good" well she is right on this one.

Hope you will give these recipes and others a try and when you do, please be sure to come back and let me know if you changed it, how you liked it and if you'll do it again.


Shepherd's Pie

1 lb lean ground beef
1 can, drained, mixed veggies
1 medium yellow squash cubed
1 medium zucchini, cubed
1 can cream mushroom soup
1 can water
1 pkg brown gravy mix
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp parsley flakes
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp black pepper, freshly cracked
1/3 cup water

Cook the meat with seasoning in 1/3 cup water, break down until fine crumbles. Cook until done. In a crock pot add all other ingredients. stir well and cook on low for 2-4 hours.
30 minutes before time to eat, mix up instant mashed potatoes, 6 servings and place on top of the mixture in the crock pot. 
Allow this to cook for 30 minutes.
Serve and enjoy

Chocolate Cup Cakes

6 TBSP baking cocoa
3 cups all purpose flour
1 TBSP baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups DUKES mayonnaise (no other type)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups COLD water

1 stick soft butter
1 bag melted milk chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 cups powdered sugar
4-6 TBSP milk

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line your cupcake pan with liners or spray a 13 x 9 baking pan if you prefer.
Sift powdered cake ingredients into a bowl and set aside. In a large bowl add mayo, vanilla and water. Mix well. Once the liquid is smooth, slowly add the dry mixture and incorporate well but do not over mix. Pour batter into the pan or dip into cup cake liners.
Bake for 25 minutes for cup cakes, 30-35 for caked.
Allow to cool and frost.

Frosting: in a bowl beat butter, melted chocolate and vanilla. Slowly add the powdered sugar and add milk one tablespoon at at time to the get the consistency you desire.

Once cupcakes/cake is cool, frost and enjoy!