, , , , , , , , , , ,

After getting home and warming up from being outside in the cold drizzle on the farm, it was time to cook dinner. With seven kids – two of my daughters friends were sleeping over and the boys both had friends to stay also – I planned a feast. The Birthday Girl had requested Shepherds Pie and Chocolate Cake for dessert, but I also spread out an array of child friendly foods.


shepards pie2 pounds of potatoes, peeled and cubed

2 tablespoons sour cream

2 tablespoons softened cream cheese

1 egg yolk

1/2 cup cream

salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 3/4 pound ground lamb

1 carrot, peeled and chopped

1 onion, chopped

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons flour

1 cup beef stock

2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce

1/2 cup frozen peas

1 teaspoon paprika

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

Boil potatoes in salted water until tender, about 12 minutes. Drain potatoes, and pour them into a bowl. Combine sour cream, cream cheese, egg yolk and cream. Add the cream mixture into potatoes and mash until potatoes are almost smooth (I added everything straight in with the potatoes and saved a bowl).

While potatoes boil, heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add oil to the hot pan with the lamb. Season with salt and pepper. Brown and crumble meat for 3 to 4 minutes. Add chopped carrot and onion to the meat, cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. In a second small skillet over medium heat, cook butter and flour together 2 minutes. Whisk in broth and Worcestershire sauce. Thicken gravy one minute, then add to the lamb mixture. Stir in the peas.

Heat broiler to high. Fill a small baking dish with lamb and vegetable mixture. Spoon potatoes over meat evenly. Top potatoes with paprika and broil until potatoes are evenly browned. Top pie with chopped parsley and serve.


Recipe adapted from Rachael Ray



chocolate pound cake with cream cheese filling


1 cup butter

2 cups sugar

4 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

4 ounces of German sweet chocolate, melted

3 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup buttermilk

In a mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar, add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Blend in vanilla and add chocolate. Sift together flour, salt and baking soda, add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with dry ingredients.


6 ounces of cream cheese

4 tablespoons of butter

1/2 cup sugar

2 eggs

2 tablespoons of flour

1 teaspoon vanilla

Cream the cheese and butter together in a bowl, add sugar slowly and eggs, flour and vanilla. Mix well. Pour half of the cake mixture into a 10-inch bundt pan, then pour the cheese mixture on top. Pour remainder of the cake mixture on top of cheese mixture. Spread evenly. Bake for one hour and 30 to 35 minutes. Cool in pan at least 10 minutes before removing cake to a wire rack to cool completely. Then frost with glaze.


1/4 cup butter

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon cream

In a small saucepan, melt better, blend in brown sugar, mix well. Stir in cream and continue to heat for 1 minute. Spread over the top of the cake.


Recipe adapted from Arkansas Living Magazine, July 2014