How is it Monday already! This weekend has gone so quickly, probably because we were so busy. On Saturday we both got our haircut, then went out for lunch, before going food shopping, then to the cinema to see Iron Man 2.  We had lunch in a little cafe in Winchmore Hill but I can’t remember what it was called! I had a mozzarella and roasted vegetable panini, which was yummy, and the bf had a steak and cheese ciabatta that looked so nice! Iron Man 2 was really good and so deserves more then the 3 stars that a lot of the UK reviews gave it. There was a good storyline and it was quite funny in some places. I recommend that you go to see it if you can. On Sunday we went to the gym then cleaned the flat. I was so exhausted afterwards!  Then we went round my bf’s parents to watch the last game of the football season. Unfortunately, even though Man Utd won, they didn’t win the title as Chelsea won 8 – 0 against Wigan! The bf was a bit disappointed and down afterwards but not as bad as I thought he would be! Plus he perked up as soon as he had dinner, cooked by me – recipe to come!

So on top of that, this weekend I have cooked my little heart out! I cooked Cottage Pie on Friday evening, Chilli on Saturday and dinner for my bf’s family on Sunday AND I cooked this evening! I’ll be writing up the recipes throughout the week (hopefully!) so today I present my recipe for Cottage Pie.

This meal is so versatile and you can adapt it for your tastes. Here is a little list of things that you can vary:

  1. You can make this with beef mince – Cottage Pie – or lamb mince – Shepherds Pie. We usually buy beef mince as it’s cheaper but lamb mince does add a deeper flavour to it. Just remember to use the correct stock!
  2. You can add any vegetables you want. I usually use carrots in the ‘base’, then add peas and sweetcorn, yet you can add in anything that you feel is suitable.
  3. You can replace the can of chopped tomatoes with a can of baked beans! The bf’s mum does this in her Cottage Pie and it it yummy. It might sound a bit odd but surprisingly the beans do go well with everything else.
  4. You can use either normal white potatoes for the mash on top or sweet potatoes. We use sweet as they are so flavoursome and we love them!
  5. Of course you can use whatever cheese you want on top!

Cottage Pie (Serves 4)

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 500g beef / lamb mince
  • 1 tsp basil and 1 tsp oregano
  • 175g peas and sweetcorn
  • 150ml beef / lamb stock
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes / baked beans (!)
  • 1 kg potatoes / sweet potatoes
  • grated cheese
  1. Preheat the oven to 220C/Gas Mark 6. Peel and boil the potatoes.
  2. Heat a tbsp oil in a pot and add the onions, garlic and carrots. Saute for a few minutes until softened.
  3. Add the mince and cook until browned. Halfway through, add the basil and oregano.
  4. Once browned, add in the peas, sweetcorn, stock and chopped tomatoes / baked beans. Stir to combine.
  5. After a few minutes, stir in a good squeeze of tomato puree. Leave to simmer until the potatoes are cooked.
  6. When the potatoes are cooked, mash them with some milk, butter and a little grated cheese.
  7. Place the mince mixture into a large ovenproof dish, level out then spoon over the mashed potato.
  8. Bake for 25 mins.
  9. Sprinkle the rest of the grated cheese over the top and bake for another 5 mins until golden and bubbling. Enjoy!

Oh before I go, Melissa at Crunches for Cupcakes posted some great tips on staying motivated and positive whilst looking for a job. She is managing to do this so well and her tips are fantastic. If any of you are in this situation please read them, you will be inspired and good luck!