Friday, March 31, 2017


According to Bon Appetit (where this recipe is located), there are as many colcannon recipes as there are cooks in Ireland. This one uses softened and crunchy savoy cabbage, as well as garlic and leeks for extra depth.




5 medium Yukon Gold potatoes (about 1¾ pounds)
Kosher salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
2 leeks, white and pale-green parts only, sliced in half lengthwise, thinly sliced crosswise
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 cups (packed) shredded savoy cabbage (from about ¼ large head), divided
1¼ cups milk
½ cup heavy cream
Freshly ground black pepper


Cover potatoes with water in a small pot; season with salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat and simmer until a paring knife slides easily through the flesh, 30–40 minutes. Drain, let cool slightly, and peel.

Meanwhile, melt 4 Tbsp. butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add leeks and cook, stirring frequently, until very soft, 8–10 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until garlic is fragrant and leeks are just beginning to brown around the edges, about 3 minutes longer. Add 1 cup cabbage and cook, stirring constantly, until wilted. Add milk and cream and bring to a simmer.

Add potatoes and remaining 1 cup cabbage, then coarsely mash with a potato masher. Season with salt and pepper.

Transfer colcannon to a large serving bowl. Top with remaining 2 Tbsp. butter and sprinkle with scallion.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Imitation Canned Cream of Broccoli Soup

I made it for realz. I had half a head and all of a stalk of broccoli and some half-and-half I needed to get rid of -- er, I mean, I needed to make something delicious from.

First, I cut off the florets and set them aside. Then, I trimmed off the woody bits from the stalk and cut it into rounds. I put it, and some scallion, into salty water and cooked them until they were tender and most of the water was gone. While that was happening, I roasted a clove of garlic in the toaster oven -- 350F for about 15-25 minutes, until it was soft. The clove of garlic, not the toaster oven.

I sliced some mushrooms thinly and chopped up more scallions. I shredded some cheddar cheese.

Then, I mashed the now-soft scallion and broccoli stems. I put the broccoli florets, the peeled and mashed roast garlic, the sliced scallion, the cheese, and the half-and-half in the pan with the broccoli stems. I added some thyme leaves and some grated nutmeg and simmered it for about 20 minutes.

The result?

Honestly, I used too much salt in the cooking water, and the soup was WAY too salty! Otherwise, good.

The next day, I cooked some rotini without adding salt, drained it, and poured the leftover broccoli soup over it as a sauce. Much better.

Marian Allen, Author Lady
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes

Friday, March 24, 2017

Beef and Guinness Hand Pies

This recipe comes to us from Frugal Mom, Eh! Blogger Elizabeth says, "Typically it is made with good cuts of beef, stout, mushrooms and all sorts of good stuff. I’ve modified the recipe to simplify it and make it accessible no matter your budget and of course kids love eating with their hands so even the pickiest eaters will enjoy this one!"

Beef and Guinness Hand Pies

Makes 16 Hand Pies


1 lb ground beef
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
2 Medium Sized Potatoes, diced
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 cup sweet peas
1 bottle Guinness Stout
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
Salt & Pepper, to taste
2 packages of Deep Dish Pastry Shells (4 Shells total) OR your favourite pie pastry recipe doubled.


Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Grease a baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.

In a skillet over medium-high heat, brown beef and onion then stir in the vegetables, thyme, Guinness, Worcestershire sauce and seasonings then bring to a boil.

Reduce heat and simmer for 7-8 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Roll out pastry dough and cut out 16 – 5 inch rounds and 16 – 5.5 inch rounds.

Spoon filling onto 5 inch rounds, brushing milk around the edges and cover with the 5.5 inch rounds and press with a fork to seal.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Stuffed Green Peppers - Could Be #Vegetarian

We fell off the turnip wagon. A friend of a friend offered us half a pastured pig, and we and two other friends split it. Lots of sausage. Lots and lots of sausage.

The first thing Charlie thought of was stuffed green peppers. We usually have these vegetarian, and you can, too.

Stuffed Green Peppers

  • olive oil
  • green peppers, cored and halved
  • onions, chopped
  • cooked sausage or hamburger (or veggie crumbles or nothing remotely meat-like)
  • (if you don't use spiced sausage, you want to use chili powder and cumin)
  • onion
  • cooked rice
  • tomato sauce
  • shredded cheddar cheese
Oil the peppers and put them into a 350F oven to soften and cook a little. Meanwhile, cook the sausage and onion or spices and onion. Add the rice and tomato sauce and some of the cheese. Remove the pepper halves and put them into an oiled dish or dishes. Stuff with the stuffing. Bake at 350F for about half an hour. Sprinkle with more cheese. Bake until cheese is melted and (if you like it the way we do) browned.

The green stuff on the side is roasted broccoli: Spray the broccoli with oil spray and sprinkle with salt. Put it in the oven alongside the pepper dish. Crispy and delicious!

Marian Allen, Author Lady
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes

Friday, March 17, 2017

Southwest Shepherd's Pie with Mashed Cauliflower Cheddar & Bacon

Delish brings us a healthier take on the traditional shepherd's pie. See the full recipe and video here. It sounds yummy and is rated as easy to prepare. (That's my skill level!)

Southwest Shepherd's Pie with Mashed Cauliflower Cheddar & Bacon


2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 small red pepper, chopped
1 tbsp. jalapeno, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. ground turkey
kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp. chili powder
1 (14.5 oz.) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, drained
1/2 c. corn kernels, fresh, frozen, or canned
1 (20 oz.) bag Green Giant Mashed Cauliflower Cheddar & Bacon, cooked according to package directions
2 green onions, sliced, greens and whites separated


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. In a skillet over medium heat, heat olive oil. Cook onion and red pepper until slightly softened, 5 minutes. Add jalapeno and garlic and cook until fragrant, 2 minutes more.

Add ground turkey and sauté until cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and chili powder. Stir in tomatoes and corn and let simmer until liquid is slightly reduced, 5 minutes.
In a large bowl, mix cooked Green Giant Mashed Cauliflower Cheddar & Bacon with the white parts of the green onion. Spread cauliflower mash over turkey mixture and smooth top.
Bake until mashed cauliflower begins to turn golden, 20 minutes.

Garnish with darker ends of the green onion.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Roasted Vegetables #Vegan

Here's something our #4 Daughter (the amazing Sara Marian) made while she was visiting.

She called it Roasty Vegetables. I call it a casserole, even though it has no liquid, which a casserole has.

We all called it good, anyway.

She lined up sliced potatoes, green beans (these were from a can), and baby carrots, and topped them with onions. We sprinkled them with minced garlic and herbs (I think we used thyme, rosemary, and sage). Then she melted vegan margarine and poured it over. [EDIT: She reminded me that she also poured some Italian dressing over it! She doesn't always, but she did that night.]

When she makes this at home, she also tucks in a line of chicken thighs.

She covered it and baked it at 350F for an hour. It looked like this.

Savory and delicious!

Marian Allen, Author Lady
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes

Friday, March 10, 2017

Irish Soda Bread

This recipe is from Food Network's Claire Robinson. There is a video tutorial here, along with the recipe, that shows you step-by-step how to make the bread.

Claire's Easy Irish Soda Bread


1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading surface
3 cups whole-wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups buttermilk


Watch how to make this recipe.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, baking soda, oats and salt. Pour in most of the buttermilk and mix well, adding more buttermilk, if needed, to form a soft dough. Turn out onto a floured surface and lightly knead into a shapeable dough. Avoid overworking the dough. Shape the dough into a round disk shaped loaf and cut a deep "X" in the top with a sharp knife. Put the dough on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 7 minutes at 425 degrees F. Lower the oven temperature to 375 degrees F and bake another 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the bread from the oven to a cutting board. Cool slightly before cutting and enjoy warm!

Recipe courtesy of Claire Robinson, 2010

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

A Tale of Two Squash - Thing One #Vegan

So we had two squash. They were YUUUUUUUGE! I cut them in half and gave half of each to #4 Daughter, the amazing Sara Marian, who gave me a recipe for squash casserole which I'll post on my own blog tomorrow.

MEANWHILE, I scooped the seeds out of both of my halves, pulled off and discarded the fibers clinging to them, tossed them in olive oil, sprinkled them with salt, and roasted them at 350F until they started turning brown.

Mmmm! Toasted squash seeds!

Marian Allen, Author Lady
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes

Friday, March 3, 2017

Slow Cooker Corned Beef Dinner

I thought March would be the perfect time for some Irish recipes. Let's start with this slow cooker corned beef dinner from (


2 -2 1⁄2lbs corned beef brisket
1 medium onion, sliced
1 stalk celery, cut in 3
4 medium potatoes, peeled and halved
4 medium carrots, peeled cut in 3
1 cup beef bouillon
bay leaf
garlic clove, smashed
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1⁄2 teaspoon dry mustard
4 small cabbage, cut into wedges
1 teaspoon caraway seed


Trim brisket of all visible fat, cut to fit 4 qt or larger crockpot, if necessary.

Place onion, celery, potatoes and carrots in bottom of crock pot, lay brisket on top.
Whisk together bouillon, bay leaf, garlic, Worcestershire sauce and dry mustard.
Pour over brisket, cover pot.
Cook on low setting for 8 to 10 hours, adding cabbage wedges and caraway seed for the last hour of cooking.
To serve, discard cooking liquid, slice meat onto hot serving plates, accompany with the cooked potatoes, carrots, celery, cabbage wedges and your favorite mustard.