Showing posts with label mashed potatos. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mashed potatos. Show all posts

Monday, October 19, 2009

Say Cheese for Spuds!

First and foremost – let’s hear it for a fellow blogger, Julie Hyzy, for winning the Barry and the Anthony Awards for her debut novel, State of the Onion!!!

Wahooooooooooooooooo, Julie!!!!!!

Needless to say, Julie looks as happy as a kid on Christmas, right? Everyone was wishing her well. And the well-wishing was well-deserved. Her debut novel is a fun, "thrill-sy" book. (Combination cozy and thriller.)

Now, check out her second, Hail to the Chef. You won't be disappointed.

And now for today’s blog.

Warning: this blog is not diet-conscious. There is butter and crème fraiche and cheese involved. [Oh, hooray, right?]

Comfort food.

Why are there days when we crave it? Supposedly, in ancient times, people ate heavier foods as winter drew near to pack on extra pounds to weather the, um, weather. A harsh, cold winter didn’t provide the best assortment of veggies, know what I mean? But that’s not the only reason to enjoy comfort food. The main reason to crave it is because…IT’S GOOD!

My protagonist in The Cheese Shop Mysteries, Charlotte Bessette, loves a good stuffed potato. The sports bar in her fictional town of Providence, Ohio, Tim’s Tavern, serves a different baked potato each week. Here’s a sample.

For this recipe, I used a Seaside Cheddar from Ford Farms, located by the sea in a beautiful part of Dorset, England. Check out their website: Ford Farms.



1 Tbsp. olive oil
Salt and Pepper
1 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. crème fraiche
1 large brown-skinned potato
2 Tbsp. chives, snipped
2 Tbsp. Seaside Cheddar Cheese, diced


Lay potato on foil. Brush potato with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Wrap foil tightly around the potato.

Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour.

Open the foil, slice the potato lengthwise. Press at ends to “pop” open. Using a fork, break up the meat of the potato. Add 1 Tbsp. butter and 1 Tbsp. crème fraiche. Sprinkle with 1 Tbsp. snipped chives. [Note: I use scissors to snip chives. So easy to make a consistent cut.]

Layer with 2 Tbsp. diced cheese.

Put under broiler for 6 minutes, until cheese melts and becomes a light golden brown.
Remove from oven, set on plate with extra chives and pepper. Sprinkle top of potato with chives.

Serve hot as a main “vegetarian” entrée.

Note: if you’d like this as a side dish…before broiling, cut potato in half, top each portion with half the ingredients, and broil for 6 minutes.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A Hot Dish: Shepherd's Pie

Ta Da! The winner of our

drawing for an autographed

copy of Sally Goldenbaum’s

book is Janel from Michigan.

Congratulations, Janel!

The happiest day of my year, every year, is when

the temperature outside finally drops below 90.

Yes, I said 90. I live in the Southwest and believe

me when you suffer through stretches of 115 degree

days, 90 is almost chilly. Seriously, I consider 70

cold and pull on my hat and mittens if it drops into

the 60’s. So, last week when it dropped to 88 (brr)

degrees, I fired up my oven to bake one of my favorite

cold weather hot dishes – Shepherd’s Pie!

Easy Shepherd's Pie

(Cottage Pie in the UK)

1 pound lean

ground beef
1 teaspoon

Worcestershire sauce

Salt and pepper

to taste

1 cup frozen

mixed veggies

(corn, carrots and peas)
6 medium potatoes,

peeled, boiled, and


1 cup cheddar cheese

Brown ground beef. Drain grease if necessary. Simmer
beef and season with
Worcestershire sauce, salt, and
pepper. While simmering add frozen vegetables.
vegetables are warmed through, pour mixture into a 2 qt
casserole dish. Spread mashed potatoes on top (should be
about an inch thick). Sprinkle with cheddar cheese and
bake at 350° until cheese is browned on top, about 25 to
35 minutes.
I like to serve it with homemade biscuits.

Jenn McKinlay


March 2010

aka Lucy Lawrence


Sept 2009