October 14, 2008
When I was growing up, we had "family night" every Sunday at 5:30pm. It was a joyous weekly event of playing with my cousins, chatting with the adults and having the occasional family brawl over topics on '60 Minutes'. Regardless, it was a time that we would all be together without fail sharing food and fun. Every woman in the family (of course none of the men in the McCord clan cooked unless it was something that could be burned on a barbeque grill) had their own special recipes and for one of my aunts, it was shepherd’s pie.
I'll be honest, I remember the first few times I walked up to the buffet line I would scrape off as much of the mashed potatoes and cheese for myself as possible, leaving the veggies and meat at the bottom for someone else to eat. I wasn't a picky kid, but I knew what I loved.
Lately, some of my girlfriends have been starting a new tradition of
Wednesday night dinner with some of the neighborhood families. Last week I decided to make shepherd’s pie to see if any of the veggies and meat would make it to the kids’ plates. I was kind of shocked. Of course Kenya ate almost every bite (I’m either blessed or cursed that this child will eat anything), but the other kids seemed to enjoy it too, peas and all.
Shepherd’s pie is such a great family dish because you can puree it up for a baby and the toddlers, big kids and adults can enjoy it in its solid form.
Packed with protein, veggies and carbohydrates, it really is an all-in -one meal. My version of shepherd’s pie is on the healthy side. I love mashed potatoes as much as the next person, but a stick of butter and heavy cream seems a little too rich for my blood for a stay-at -home meal, so I've played with it to keep the flavor, but reduce a lot of the fat. So, now everyone in the family can enjoy weelicious recipes, be healthy and leave the table with full bellies!