The weather has turned abruptly cold in California, leading me to want some good old-fashioned comfort food. Poking through my kitchen, I had some potatoes – putting my Captain Obvious cap on led me to shepherd’s pie.

I looked up several recipes online and kind of mish-mashed one together from available ingredients. I’m not sure if this was the right idea, as the meat was appropriately gravied and the mashed potatoes nice and crisp on the outside but the recipe still lacked a certain oomph. Still, it filled us up. I’ll have to try tweaking this recipe a little bit more because I am rather fond of shepherd’s pie. I keep going back, trying to recreate the magic that was my first experience with it, with a lot of failure.

At least the Cheddar Bay Biscuits I made with them were fairly tasty.

Shepherd’s Pie

5 small potatoes
1 lb. ground lamb
1 small can peas
1/2 onion
Handfull of mushrooms
1 clove garlic
1 small can cream of chicken

Sour cream

Preparation: Prepare skillet to cook meat and baking dish. Preheat oven to 350-degrees.

1/ Mince garlic. Chop onions. Slice mushrooms.

2/ When oil is hot, add garlic and saute for one minute. Add vegetables, sauting for a little bit.

3/ Add ground meat and saute until mostly cooked. Drain of fat and liquid.

4/ Add cream of chicken and can of peas. Spoon into baking dish.

5/ Boil potatoes until easily pierced by a fork. Drain of water. Mash potatoes until smooth, with choice of butter, sour cream or milk.

6/ Scoop mashed potatoes up and dot surface of meat-veggies mixture. With spoon, slowly work the dots of mashed potatoes together until a smooth surface is created.

7/ Bake in oven for 20 – 30 minutes, until top of potatoes are crisp.

Servings: Too many for 2 people

Cheddar Bay Biscuits

2 cups Bisquik mix
2/3 cup milk
1/2 cup shredded cheddar
1/4 cup butter
1/2 tsp. garlic
1/2 tsp. parsley flakes

Preparation: Prepare baking sheet and preheat oven to 350-degrees.

1/ Mix first three ingredients. Add more milk as needed if mixture is slightly dry so that it is moist (but not squishy-wet). Beat vigorously for a few strokes to ensure well mixed. Mixture will be very thick.

2/ Drop by spoonful onto baking sheet. Bake 8 – 12 minutes or until golden brown.

3/ Melt butter. Mix in garlic and parsley. Brush tops of biscuits with them while they are still warm.

Servings: 12 – 5 biscuits