Friday, February 09, 2007


Well I'm finally back in the land of Internet!

It's been odd to cook things and take pictures but not to share it...

A lot has happened in the last couple of weeks that we have lived here. Good and bad. In no particular order:

the toilet would clog

discovered that my oven rocks

my magnet hooks kept falling with the weight of my Living Kitchen colander

this place is so big sometimes I feel like I'm wearing somebody else's shoes

our shower decided to stop working, for 5 straight days

a frigid winter and a cold apartment = retail therapy in buying a robe and two sets of pajamas

happiness can be found in a pie dish

I've been drinking too much Pepsi

So, though life hasn't been perfect, it hasn't been that bad either. The kitchen has proven to be my haven, my retreat. I have cooked more than I expected I would, and I think it's a nice introduction to a new space. There's still a lot I need to get used to, and I have to remember where I put things, but I am looking forward to more happy moments in the kitchen.

Last weekend, my friend, Rosemary, came for some dessert, as I mentioned previously. I made Nigella's Apple Crumble from How to Eat. I knew that Fabien, Rosemary's beau, loves apples, so I thought it'd be a special treat for all of us.

It is an easy peasy recipe and was indeed well received. Delicious.

A friend at work said to me that a housewarming is just that... a way to make your house feel warm, feel loved, feel like a home. Having friends and my family over certainly did help.

Rafa was away in Florida at the time, and I thought that a nice 'welcome back' meal would be his favorite, shepherd's pie. I've made versions of this, using ground beef, of course. Some of you may remember that during my Cupboard Love project, I was not able to find ground lamb anywhere. But, with this new address comes supermarket delivery - a supermarket that stocks ground lamb. I was so excited to give Tom N-D's recipe a try from Just like Mother Used to Make. {As an aside: My landlord was over one night to have a look at the shower and saw the book on the countertop; he thought it was a baby-making book. LOL.}

So, back to the pie, it's fairly simple to make as well. You chop up some onions, garlic, leeks and carrots. (I omitted the celery -- bleuch!) Separately, you fry up the ground lamb until cooked

through. Since lamb gives off a lot of fat, you drain the meat and set aside. Then, you use the juices and oil to fry the vegetables. The lamb is added back along with tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce and a bay leaf. Once that simmers for a while, you put it into a pie dish and top it with creamy mash. And then you bake.

Mmmmmmm. I am not a fan of minced anything but I was SOOOO impressed with this dish. It popped with flavor - totally awesome. Rafa loved it; I was chuffed.

Check out the next post to see what I meant by how happiness can be found in a pie dish.

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