In the year 2019, your favorite recipes are literally a click away. From recipe sharing on Facebook posts, to watching foodies post their favorite meals on Instagram and Snapchat. In today’s age you can Google the ingredients you have in your refrigerator for a list of recipes so you don’t have to wreck your brain when you forgot to pick up groceries. My personal favorite is Pinterest! When I am looking for something a little out of the ordinary I love surfing different recipes on Pinterest and organizing them to different boards so my family and friends can check them out. Although the kitchen has definitely evolved, there is a major downfall into having all your recipes digital and not having a hard copy. Before recipes were digitize, the most reliable place to get your recipes were from family and cookbooks. I have to admit I love all the avenues of obtaining recipes but I think its best to keep it old school and have a hard copy of my favorite recipes in the kitchen. My ideal “organized” kitchen would utilize cookbooks, recipes cards and binders. Recipes binders are the easiest to use and get started organizing your recipes, you can easily print your favorite recipes from your favorite apps and websites and slip them into page protectors and a few labels and tada! Next, the index recipe card box! I would use this box to organize written recipes that I am still working on, once completed I would definitely invest in a lamination machine from Walmart for $20. For me, an upper open cabinet to the right of the stove is the best storage place for all my recipes with some counter space bellow for a cookbook stand. You can just as easily use this idea on your kitchen isle. Wherever you decide in your kitchen is the best place to put your recipes, be sure to organize them first.
Have you ever dreamed of owning your own fruit orchard? Does the idea of fresh picked apples and figs daily entice you? I can guarantee you will love will owning your own fruit orchard and as intimidating as it sounds, orchards aren’t limited to wide acres of lands; millions of home gardeners are turning their backyards into orchards. Being a South Carolina native, I am used to hot summers and cool Georgia peaches, but the idea of picking my own peaches from my own peach trees sounds like a dream come true. So I began digging deep (pun intended) into the world of fruit trees and the people who grow them and I decided I to plan out my own backyard orchard! South Carolina has very hot humid summers and mild winters so my only problem is narrowing down which fruit I really would like to grow. My back yard is .25 of an acre, I can use half of that space and still grow. You can use even less space for your fruit trees and narrow down your favorites to about 4 trees. My fruit choices are lemon, orange, apple, peach, cherry and fig. To get started on your backyard orchard, make sure you have a space in your backyard that receives at least 6 hours of sunlight with well-drained, fertile soil. Allow 10 to 15 feet between each fruit tree you plant and while digging your hole remove a space nearly twice the width and depth of the roots. Research your area to determine what fruit will grow best in your climate and soon you’ll be apple picking in your own backyard.
Shepherd’s Pie’s Irish history is one we all can relate to, which is why after 300 years this dish is as popular as ever. Shepherd’s pie first came about in the late 1700’s by housewives looking for a frugal way to incorporate leftovers in a in new dish. There are many different recipes that you can find but the basic structure is mash potatoes on the top and bottom and a meat filling. Authentic Irish recipes includes meats such as mutton, lamb or beef filling sauteed with onion, garlic and celery. Americans have adopted this dish as a family night staple. I remember growing up and my mom making Shepherd’s pie with ground beef, potatoes, green peas and topped with cheese. It was one of my favorites dishes growing up, and so good it was easy to get dessert; those were the days. The Irish housewives that created this dish really don’t know how many mom’s they have saved and that their recipe will go down in family dinner history.
Here is a Shepherd’s Pie recipe to try on St. Patrick’s day to make you feel a little more Irish this holiday.
|READY IN: 40 mins||SERVES: 4-6|
|YIELD: 1 pie||UNITS: US|
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 lb ground beef or 1 lb lamb
- 1 large onion, finely diced
- 3 -4 large carrots, finely diced
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 3 -4 sprigs fresh thyme, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 glass red wine
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 large quantity mashed potatoes(estimating 1L or 6 cups, fresh or leftover)
- 1 egg, beaten
- grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
- Pre-heat oven to 200C/400°F.
- Saute carrots in the olive oil until starting to get tender.
- Add in the onions and saute for a minute or two then add the meat.
- Season with black pepper and thyme.
- Cook until browned then drain fat.
- Add the butter and peas.
- Sprinkle with flour and stir through.
- Add tomato paste, wine and Worcestershire sauce.
- Let this reduce slightly then add the chicken stock. Allow to reduce down until you have a thick meaty gravy. Season to your taste.
- Remove from heat. Grease an oven proof dish** (9×13 works for me, as does an oval baker) with butter and add the sauce.
- Spoon or pipe the mashed potatoes over top. Brush with egg and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese if using.
- Bake for about 20 minutes or until the potato is nice and browned on top.
- Serve as is or with some crusty bread to mop up that yummy sauce
Recipe by GrumpyIrishLady
It is amazing what fresh herbs can do! From basil to lavender, a few leaves can add color, fragrance, and bold flavor. In southern cooking it’s all about flavor and seasoning ;everyone in the south has a secret family recipe for fried chicken that includes delicious herbal and seasonal blends that makes you come back for seconds. One popular herb has worked its way in the soul of southern cooking, and quickly became my go to herb. This herb is amazing in sauces, soups, teas, meats, fish, breads and not to mention has medicinal properties! It has an aromatic earthy smell and is loaded with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. I am talking about none other than rosemary. This shrub has taken over on the food scene in the south as traditional soul food gets a lighter maker over. Trend setting restaurants in Charleston, SC are using fresh rosemary in cocktails and desserts and the people are loving it. If your looking to add a little rosemary to your life, this herb grows fairly easy in well drained soil, whether on a windowsill or in your garden. This fragrant plant needs 6 hours of sunlight a day and doesn’t have a pest problem like some other plants. Freshen up your next potato salad or grilled salmon with a sprig of rosemary and thank me later.