I love food. A lot. I especially love cooking tasty food from scratch. Cooking is a great source of inspiration for me. If I get stuck on a chapter or need a break from sitting at a computer, I usually head to the kitchen. Working with my hands gets my creativity flowing. As an added bonus, I then have treats to keep me fueled up and happy. The following recipes are some that I toyed with while writing, reminded me of certain characters, or were ones I just love to eat! Have fun trying these out and pair with a good book.
Shepherd’s Pie is a beautiful meat pie topped with mashed potatoes instead of crust. One of the best things about the dish is that it is so versatile; feel free to expand on this simple recipe to find a combination of veggies and spices that you like! It’s a perfect, hearty meal for chilly Minnesota winter nights!
Transfer the filling to a large casserole dish. Heap the mashed potatoes on top and spread around until smooth. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the potatoes are slightly browned and you can see the juices from the filling begin to bubble up. Sprinkle on the cheddar cheese and cook for another 2 minutes.
Enjoy with a tall glass of Guinness and a thick slice of soda bread!
Bannock comes from the Scottish Gaelic word Bannach meaning a cake. Traditionally, bannocks are thick, flat breads cooked on a griddle. I’ve added more sweetness and spices to give this traditional oat cake more of a decadent, scone-like flavor. Perfect when paired with a cup of organic coffee and a good book.
Recipe adapted from and photo courtesy of http://ediblearia.com/2009/08/01/metis-wild-blueberry-bannock/
Whisk ingredients together and pour into ice cream maker. Follow ice cream maker directions. If you are really adventurous, omit the Irish Cream and add whiskey to taste. Enjoy anytime of the year!
This doesn’t have anything to do with the book, but is one of my favorite recipes and got me through hours of editing! Happy Pizza Night!
Makes 1 pizza about the size of a large cookie sheet or two smaller round pizzas
Mix the first five ingredients together. Coat a wooden spoon with olive oil and mix in the flour. Stir together until you have a sticky dough. Rub your hands with olive oil and knead, adding more flour until the dough isn’t sticky anymore. Coat the dough ball with olive oil and set aside in a bowl covered with a towel until raised (about doubled in size, but I’m really not too picky about this part). I put mine on a heat pad to make it go faster. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and prepare any toppings. Once the dough rises to your liking, punch it down and roll it out on a floured cutting board, adding more flour as needed. Transfer onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Slather with sauce, 3-4 varieties of shredded cheese (I usually mix in a few shakes of garlic salt and more pizza seasoning to the cheese as well), and any other toppings you like. Bake for another 10-15 minutes. DEVOUR! 🙂
I never time how long I knead the dough. I usually just knead it until it’s no longer sticky. I don’t worry too much because I figure the crust only has to rise a tiny bit, right? In regards to how long I let the dough rise, I usually set the bowl on the heating pad and then go grate my own cheese and chop up a bunch of vegetables. After I’m done preparing the toppings, I punch the dough down. Usually, this ends up being about a half hour. Again, I don’t worry about it too much. Good luck and have fun!!!! J