Month: April 2016

Cow Herders Pie

Baked pie shell with ground beef and two vegetable-beef soups on top.

Because It Sure Isn’t Mutton

   Having one of those “I have to fix dinner, but all I have is ground beef and not much else and I don’t have time to go to the grocery store because everybody is famished and if I went, I would probably      go in the coolers behind the dairy case and take a nap” evenings?

    Me, too, and I don’t even do the cooking.  But hubby is at church working at a WOW Women Of Worship day, and I know he won’t have time to go to the store. (I can’t drive for medical reasons.)

I pushed my wheelbarrow-walker in front of the pantry and fridge and came out with a few things and an idea.  We had the ground beef, of course, but we just had hamburgers, hubby had meat loaf for lunc yesterday, and I eat too much when we have spaghetti.

     A few weeks ago I fixed a ground beef shepherds pie that hubby raved over–a rare occurrence. I got milk, hamburger meat, grated cheddar cheese, margarine, some leftover vegetable-beef soup, and a thawed out pie shell from the fridge.  In the pantry, I found a can of Campbell’s Chunky Beef Tips and Vegetables Soup and a package of Clover Valley Four Cheese Instant Potatoes.  Then I got to work.

     I spread the pie shell over the bottom and up as far as I could in a square casserole dish. I baked the shell ten minutes to give it some extra stability under the other ingredients. I browned the ground beef in a large skillet and added in both soups.  That’s when I remembered to take pictures.  Then I poured the meat and vegetables over the pie crust.  And that’s when I realized I had forgotten to drain the ground beef.  I put some hot dog and hamburger buns which were headed for the bread crumb bag, on top of the meat mixture to absorb  some of the extra grease.  Sure wish I had a big dog to give those meaty buns to.

    I used the same frying pan, poured in two and 1/2 cups of milk and four tablespoons of margarine, and brought it almost to a boil.  I poured in the instant potatoes, turned off the stove, and stirred just a little. As the potatoes thickened, I stirred more and added pepper.  Then I poured the potatoes on top of the meat and vegetables and spread that.  I sprinkled on about half a cup of shredded mild cheddar, put the casserole in the oven at 350* for ten minutes, and took out a delicious meal.


     To be careful with your money, I certainly recommend a meal or two for which you buy nothing else, other than what’s in the house already. Since this is the last day of the month and I have not bought “big groceries” in a month, this is a big affirmation that there is almost always something to fix.



A Nickel’s Worth of DIY on a Bedside Table

My slatted bedside table needed to be cleaned off, straightened up, and maybe redone. I took some very simple steps to make my wood table look better, at least to me, and at least for now.
First, I moved everything off the three shelves and dusted the shelves thoroughly. I didn’t sand. I didn’t prime.
Second, I used some white liquid shoe polish in its applicator. I sponged the polish on a slat or two of the top shelf and on one top rim. I went over this small amount of wood a couple of times. Since the applicator sponge is very old, the polish barely came out, being almost dry, but sometimes the polish came out in big drops. The purpose was to see how this table might looked white washed, not painted. I think I will paint and distress this table at a later time.
Third, I replaced the open-weave plastic placemats I’ve used on top of the table for two years. I have to drink water and citrus juice drinks very often because of a kidney condition, and these placemats take hot, cold, or sweating bottles and containers without leaving puddles or suction. I like the whitewash sample with the royal blue mats. Another vote for painting.
Fourth, I replaced the brass-look lamp base, some magazines, my medicine container, a former coaster holder I use for nighttime necessities, a desktop pen holder I use for other things I might need, and my juice container. I also put a former letter holder near the edge. You’ll see it in a photo with two of my three “devices”. The red cover is my LG tablet. The blue cover is my iPad mini. The third space is for my iPhone, which I was using to take the photo! The little blue clip holds the two charging wires to the device holder.
The last step for today was to put my blood pressure monitor, misc. basket, knee brace, and arm brace on their shelves. I also replaced a folding laptray which I use for coloring sheets, handwritten notes, and small jigsaw puzzles, and for eating soup in bed. A much neater bedside table awaits its turn to be painted, and I am a bunch happier with the results and decisions I made.

Cost: about 5 cents worth of years old shoe polish.

Please like or comment on this post if you will. I’d like to know if anybody gets any ideas or has other comments.  Thank you very much!