The Most Magical Shepard’s Pie

Okay I hate it when bloggers go on and on about whatever they did that week before they actually share a recipe and I just can’t do that so I’m gonna just put it right here so you don’t need to scroll for an hour just to find it.

This shepard’s pie is seriously the best, it’s so saucy and the gravy is so delish. Definitely different then your plain ol’ pie. The yams make it sweet and there’s a ton of garlic and again it so saucy! The butter and broth make this a nourishing meal, making this an ultimate healthy comforting dinner. Don’t think butter is nourishing? Message me and I can hopefully convert you from margarine ;P

  • 3 yams – baked or microwaved
  • 2 egg yolks
  • butter
  • splash of milk
  • 1lb ground meat of choice
  • 1 med red onion
  • 6 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cup broth
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 bag frozen mixed veggies

Preheat oven to 385

First off I start with the yams, personally I do them in the microwave cause I find it way fast and the results are the same to me. Poke them with a fork all over (with the peel still on) put them on a plate. Depending on the size, I usually start with 7 minutes, flip and 5 minutes and then check if they’re soft all the way through.

Then I go to meat mix, cook your meat through then add onion until the onion is cooked, next add garlic and cook for about a minute. When that’s all cooked add your oil and flour, stir together so it’s a bit sticky then add broth, let it boil for roughly a minute. Next stir in ketchup and Worcestershire sauce, and then finally add your frozen veggies. Set this aside.

When the yams are done scoop them out into a bowl, add your yolks (the yolks add some firmness to the potato and helps create a slight crispy “crust”), butter, and milk to make them mashed potatoes.

In a large greased baking dish layer your meat and then the mashed potatoes over everything. Put in the oven for 40 minutes or until the gravy is bubbling through the potatoes, then broil for a few minutes to get a nice caramelized edge.

the best shepard's pie - simply scholing

What kinds of nourishing meals have you been enjoying lately? Let me know by leaving me a comment!

May 2020 Garden

I’ve now had to replant a few things but I just wanted to say my lettuce, carrots, and the few bean plants that made it are growing great. I started with 6 broccoli and I’m left with 3.5 because some bunny keeps munching on the leaves 😛

My strawberries are also flourishing and we’ll be able to pick some very soon, especially if this sun continues!

And there’s a little update for now 🙂

DIY: Pear Stamp Garland

Ultimately, this is a project I did for work quite a while ago and I’m finally sharing it now as I feel it’s fitting for spring/summer. It would work well to do with older kids, but I didn’t want to attempt it with Cornelia. Too much mess, too much stress 😛

Using acrylic paint that I had on hand I made green, in a sort of Ombre-ish way. Then cut the pears in half. Using a fork pierced into the top I dipped the cut side into the paint and then stamped on to kraft paper.

Once they were dry I cut out the shape and strung it on to green yarn. Et voila! Super simple 🙂

Spring and Summer Beginnings 2020

Hello all! I hope you’re having a lovely Spring. I’m a little late for just a Spring beginnings so it’ll be combined with Summer and maybe I’ll edit this later if anything changes in a monthish. In these posts I share a few goals or tasks I want to achieve in this certain season. I probably haven’t written one of these in over a year because I took a long hiatus and had very little I wanted to share. Okay jumping in.

  1. Gardening. Last year I skipped making a garden entirely as I just couldn’t handle it with where my head was. But this year I’m doing one again and I have a different set up this year. Cornelia gets to keep the old space as a dirt box and so my garden is split with our upstairs tenants and then additionally I have an apple tree, strawberry plot, and a couple blueberry bushes. My garden is definitely a beginners garden, I have a hard enough time taking care of indoor plants. This year I planted beans, lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, and broccoli. So far I’ve replanted bean seeds as they didn’t sprout and then will also try my tomatoes again. This just proves that I’m a terrible plant person.
  2. Keeping my phone away, especially around the kids. I want them to have my attention and know that I’m not going to ignore them. This is the time where I’m building the foundation of our future relationship and I want to avoid any cracks in that foundation.
  3. Eating more fruit and vegetables, because I’m terribly unhealthy and I want my children to grow up with good eating habits.
  4. Shopping local. Local and small businesses have all been hit really hard by Covid19, and it’s important to help out our neighbors. Generally, shopping local also includes more ethical manufacturing or harvesting options as well. Lots of businesses have curbside pick up (which is so easy) and the farmers market will be open in a couple weeks.

So there’s 4 things that I’m working on this season, I wanted to keep them simple and achievable. I’ve got an almost 3 yr old and a 2 month old so I can’t be doing anything fancy! If there’s any goals or things you’re working on and want to share with me, leave me a comment!

I’m the worst

I really am the worst at this blogging thing. My last post was 6 months ago and in it I said I would be blogging regularly, welp. Life got away with me and I didn’t have much to say. I was pregnant with my second and working in retail over Christmas so I was tired. Very tired hah.

Things have now settled since Theo has arrived, just about two months ago. So maybe I’ll pick this up again, this time I’m not going to promise anything though.

Everyone knows that life is weird now, maybe that’s why I’m coming back to this. I used to share goals that I had for every season so maybe that’s what will come next.

For now I am potty training, maybe crafting and definitely feeding little humans.

Late night things – reintroduction to the blog

I miss this space. I feel like it’s an outlet for me, not that I’ve really considered myself creative. And sure people would probably say “oh sure Dawn, you’re creative” but meh, I get my ideas from other people, I’m not good at coming up with new things on my own.

When I first started this blogging thing I was discouraged by my so few followers or the little engagement that I received. Since then I’ve learned a lot and I care a lot less. Teaching myself that life is “perfectly imperfect”, really I try to tell myself this all the time. So basically what I’m wanting is to make this a place where I can ramble on about the things I do care about. This place will kinda be my brain but on the outside and open and raw and if you feel the same way I do, with whatever I’m putting out there then know you’re not the only one.

Moving on to tonight’s ramble…

Lately, I find myself trying to find the things that I enjoy and not what media is telling me to like. And it’s really hard. Trends and social media are strong influences. Maybe it’s cause I’m a new mom and I’m trying to “find myself” again but I also feel a little like I never did “find myself” in the first place.

And I’m talking like superficial stuff, so like “Do I really like succulents or is just because all my friends are posting their supes-cute greenhouse instagrams?” or “Do I even look good in rust orange or mustard yellow?”

I can tell you though, I don’t like pumpkin spice everything or 90’s fashions on adults or manicured long nails and perfect eyebrows. I do really like fresh flowers on my kitchen table and vintage window shopping with family and I reeeally want a pair of overalls for after this baby comes because I reeeally want to match my babies and be a garden-farmer and maybe some chickens, oh and sheep cause they’re cute.

Okay that is all, it’s late. If you also have thoughts share on my insta-post.

Does anyone even talk about lent anymore?

What’s the point of Lent if you’re just giving up chocolate for 40 days? Where’s the sacrifice?

To me Lent is about giving up something so you can draw closer to GOD. Cause that’s the point right?

It’s the lead up to Easter. The holiday of the bunnies, right? Well not exactly. It’s the time of year we remember the greatest sacrifice ever made. I think because it happened a rather long time ago it’s impact has been diluted. Someone actually died, for me and I feel like I need that reminder more then once a year to truly appreciate it.

Over the past couple months I’ve made the choice to recede from my community, and as an outlet for general life stuff I’ve turned to shopping. Which I feel has distanced myself even more from wanting to connect with the Lord. Consumerism is a sickness.

This Lent season I want to practice minimal spending and more mindfulness about where our money goes and how I spend my time and reconnect with my community.

I was looking for comfort in material things when I know that’s not where peace comes from. This Lent I’m going to TRY running to the arms of GOD instead. I’m human, I’ll probably trip on the way.

just some evening thoughts

I’ve never been a good writer. I’ve never been convincing with the words I’ve written or said. In fact, I’ve never been much good at anything really. I haven’t had any true talents. No extraordinary skills. Nothing stands out about me, I find myself rather plain.

I’ve always been the odd one out. Never really fit in with anyone or any kind of crowd. It’s uncomfortable growing up feeling like you don’t belong. For the most part I don’t have that one female friend who is my person. Most of my friendship are because of work, or shared husband’s friends, but I don’t have that “I’ll die for you” friendship with another female that I’ve longed for basically as long as I can remember.

I’ve always been a mix of personality traits. Kind of creative but really not creative at all. Outgoing but also cautious. I would take these personality quizzes and you’re given 4 options, I ended up splitting evenly over 3 of them. I never had my own personality fit.

You know that one toy you’ve played with as a kid that has all the different shaped blocks slipping into it’s rightful spot to join the others? I feel like I’m a shape that doesn’t have a designated place for me to slip through to join the rest.

These are just some things I’ve been pondering the last few nights, along with some other things that I want to share in this space.

Iced London Fog

Hello! It’s been a little while, we had a bit of a bumpy start to our summer but now things have calmed down so I figured I’d share a recipe.

I’ve recently discovered the joy of a London Fog on ice. It was a total summer drinks game changer. I can’t get enough of them!

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I don’t always have the means to go to a cafe to get one either so I’ve learned to do them at home. So simple, which I love!

Okay so you need…

iced london fog

  1. Put your ice in a glass, I used a mason jar because all our cups are puny and I like big drinks.
  2. Add your sweetener. You can use sugar, honey, or a drinks syrup, and you can always add less or more depending on how sweet you want it to be.
  3. Mix in the Tea. When I brewed mine I filled a regular mug with hot water and two tea bags. I don’t use boiling water because that can make your tea taste bitter.
  4. Lastly, pour in your milk and stir. If you prefer you can sub your milk for almond or coconut instead for a dairy free option.
  5. Enjoy with a rhubarb square or a strawberry peach galette!

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-Dawn

DIY Cloth Napkins

Hello Everyone! Hope you’re having a lovely Saturday!

Okay so I love filling my home with meaningful things.

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I also try to be mindful of those things I’ve brought into my home, whether it’s a new shirt or a new-to-me book shelf. I am by no means a minimalist, aesthetically it’s appealing but it’s not for me, I need the 3 different frying pans 😛

So I try to be aware of what I purchase: where it comes from, the materials, or maker. But also how it impacts the environment. I wrote a post on that topic last week, read it here if you missed it.

I was needing some brighter, more summery inspired cloth napkins. I didn’t really want to just buy some, I wanted to sew some myself so they’d have more value and to work on my mediocre sewing skills.

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I found my fabric at MCC, a local thrift store, for $1.50 and I had enough fabric to make 9 12×9″ napkins.

Okay so jumping in…

Materials you need are:

  • Fabric
  • Something to measure with
  • Fabric Scissors
  • Iron
  • Somewhere to iron
  • Thread
  • Sewing Machine
  1. So step one will be to measure and cut your fabric, whatever you chose. Cotton and linen are ideal, but because I bought mine second hand I don’t know the specs.

 

I cut my pieces to 12×9″ but you can adjust yours to whatever size you want.

2. Next would be to cut a little notch into the corners just under 1/2″ like this IMG_1269 (1)

3. Then you’ll want to iron down the short length side like this (for me that would be the 9″ side), remembering to press it down onto the back of the fabric.IMG_1566

4. and then trim the corner edge like this, and then iron the other edge like this

5. Next you’ll start to sew the edges down, to make it easier for yourself when you get to a corner make sure the needle is in the fabric then lift the sewing foot and turn your fabric square so the it’s straight with the hem, put the foot down and resume sewing. Remember to back stitch at the beginning and end of each napkin so it doesn’t unravel.

6. Repeat on all your napkins, and there you have it 🙂

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They’re not flawless because the hem isn’t rolled in but they’re perfectly imperfect. Easy and so simple. IMG_1579

You can fold them like a brochure and they fit nicely under utensils.

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IMG_1583 Now you can have your very own cloth napkins that you’ll hopefully treasure because you made them yourself.

Is there anything you’re sewing this summer? Tell me about it by leaving a comment!

-Dawn

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