So. There is this restaurant/grocery store/pizza place/really hip joint for the Scottsdale moms to drink coffee & eat muffins. It is down the street from me. And every single time I go there, I end up leaving upset. They serve pizza at different times depending on the day. I always get elbowed by someone. I never end up ordering the correct item at the correct register. And last week, when I was going to tell the girl behind the counter that I loved her hair color, she seemed annoyed at having to ring up my purchases, so I didn't. BUT, they have the most amazing chocolate pudding I have ever eaten in my whole entire life. And for that, I keep going back, Pavlovian in my obsession. I keep telling myself that I'm going to find a similar recipe & make the same pudding. But part of me just wants to stop there every other day on my way home from work & buy it. Because it comes in a little plastic pudding cup with a snap-on top. And the whipped cream on top is perfect & thick, even the day after I buy it. And I am obsessed, I tell you.
I found a use for arugula. Thanks to Bekah, I tried to make an arugula pesto, which was a GREAT SUCCESS, so much so that I doubled the recipe, froze the extras, & am planning to eat them later.
I also pried the shepherd's pie recipe from the recesses of Russell's brain. It went something like this:
Me: Hey, where did you find that recipe?
R: On the internet somewhere. Shepherd's Pie for Dummies? 30 Minute Casseroles? Really Easy Shepherd's Pie?
Me (after recognizing the recipe by the photo): Okay, okay, so you subbed chicken & chicken broth. How many turnips did you add? Three? Okay. How long did you boil the broccoli?
R: I don't know. Until they were done? Four minutes? I also sassed up the potatoes.
R: I added butter & cream.
Me: How much?
R: However much you add to make them good.
We obviously come from different schools of cooking. But here it is, the famous recipe for Russell J's Shepherd's Pie, based very, very loosely off of this recipe:
- 1 1/2 lbs leftover rotisserie chicken
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 cup each celery, broccoli, & carrots (or whatever you have around)
- 3 potatoes
- 3 turnips
- 8 tablespoons of butter (1 stick)
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- salt & pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel & quarter potatoes & turnips, boil in salted water until tender (about 20 minutes). Drain.
2. While the potatoes are cooking, melt 4 tablespoons butter in a large frying pan.
3. Saute onion in butter onions in butter over medium heat (2 minutes). Add the carrots & celery & cook until onion is tender.
4. While onion, carrots, & celery, are cooking, bring some water to a boil in a saucepan. Boil broccoli about 4 minutes, until bright green. Drain.
5. Add chicken, salt & pepper, & 1/2 cup chicken broth to onion, carrots & celery. Cook, uncovered, over low heat for 10 minutes.
6. Mash potato/turnip mixture in bowl with butter & heavy cream. Season to taste. (If you are Russell J, you recommend blending them in a KitchenAid Pro 600 series. However, this is only a suggestion.)
7. Place chicken/onion mixture in a 9" x 13" baking dish. Distribute mashed potato/turnip evenly on top. Make peaks with a fork.
8. Cook until bubbling & brown, about 30 minutes. Broil for last few minutes if necessary to brown.
Finally, I need some swimsuit advice. After nearly fifteen years of wearing bikinis, I have to drag myself back to the land of the one-piece swimsuit for my job as a camp nurse this summer. If you were my supervisor (in a land where I can justify spending over $100 for a swimsuit), would these be too risque to wear in front of 7-to-15-year-olds?