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Friday, February 25, 2011

Hamburger Pie

This dish has the name "pie", not because it's even remotely related to actual pie but because it's similar to Shepherd's Pie (which, to be authentic, would have to be made with lamb).  This is a pretty fast and easy meal that my family really likes.  It can be changed to use whatever veggies you happen to have on hand - we've had it with many different vegetable combinations and liked it every time.

Hamburger Pie

1 pound ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 diced bell pepper (I had an orange bell pepper on hand when I made the hamburger pie pictured)
1 16-oz can green beans, drained
1 8-oz can tomato sauce (can also use 1 can condensed tomato soup)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
3 potatoes, peeled and quartered
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

  • Cook the ground beef, onion and pepper until the meat is done.  Stir in the beans, tomato sauce, salt and pepper.  Spoon the meat mixture into a 1 1/2 quart casserole dish.
  • While the meat is cooking, boil the potatoes until tender.  Mash them while hot; adding enough milk to make them fluffy and butter and salt and pepper to taste. (You can also use instant potatoes, but they're just not as good).
  • Drop potatoes on top of the meat mixture.  Sprinkle with the cheese.
  • Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Alissa's Apple Pear Pie

Sometimes we invite people over for pie on a Sunday evening.  OK, we do it frequently.  Usually these invitations are spur of the moment after I get in the pie making mood.  This week we ran into some neighbors as we were out walking on Sunday afternoon and stopped to chat a little.  When we got in the house my husband said, "We should have them over for pie."  This seemed like a great idea, although I wasn't sure what pie ingredients I had on hand.  After we extended the invitation I started looking for pie possibilities.  We had a few pears and a pair of apples so I decided to try something new to experiment on these neighbors.  I figured Drew and Shauna could handle it.

Another thing I tried differently this time was using milk instead of water in making the crust.  It turned out great - but not really different from my usual pastry making method.  So here's my new and original recipe for Apple-pear pie.  We liked it!

Alissa's Apple-Pear Pie

1 recipe double crust pastry

3 apples; peeled, cored and thinly sliced
3 pears; peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup flour
2 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small chunks
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Line a deep dish pie pan with pastry.
  • Mix together remaining ingredients except butter, pour into pie pan and pat down with your hands.  Dot with the butter.
  • Cover with top pastry, flute edges and cut in steam vents.
  • I like to brush the top with ice water then sprinkle on coarse sugar.
  • Bake for 15 minutes.
  • Reduce oven to 375 degrees and bake for an additional 40 minutes, or until crust is golden and fruit is tender.