Easy, hearty shepherd’s pie takes the edge off winter

shepherd's pie

A scoop of piping-hot shepherd’s pie will warm you on a cold evening. Photo by Laura Groch

Wet, wintry weather makes me want hearty, hot meals. Soups and stews come to mind, warming the kitchen as they cook and warming the body as we eat.

The humble but sturdy shepherd’s pie also fills the bill. This is an easy-to-make, forgiving dish that can be as economical or as extravagant as your budget allows.

It’s also extremely flexible: You can use whatever’s at hand without having to rigidly adhere to a list of ingredients, which freaks out some cooks.

(And p.s., looking ahead to Super Bowl feeds, this would be just as bowl-worthy as chili for your crew.)

My pie — baked in a casserole dish, not necessarily a pie plate (see? flexible) — Continue reading

Let’s get mushy, pumpkin lovers

pumpkin mush

Pumpkin Mush is homey and hearty, and you won’t bump into it coming and going. I added some dried cranberries to this version. (Photo by Laura Groch)

We’re not even into November, and already people are professing to be sick of pumpkin. The ever-lovin’ merchandisers of the world are putting it into everything but deodorant and detergent (and can those be far behind?). Pumpkin breads, cakes, cookies, pies, risottos, soups, coffees, pancakes — no wonder we’re sated with this squash.

At the risk of adding to the pumpkin parade, I’ve got a recipe that you probably Continue reading