Sunday, October 10
I had full intentions of writing this post last night as soon as we finished dinner...but then the food coma set in and I was pretty much useless for the rest of the night (and most of this morning if we are being honest)
You see, Sundays in the UK are serious business, especially when it comes to dinner. While there are many things about British culture I haven't grown accustomed to yet, I can always handle food. Sean and I decided to try a Gordon Ramsay recipe for Shepherd's Pie. We figured it'd be delicious. and provide us with at least one or two opportunities to yell out the f-bomb in the kitchen like he does.
(Sorry this picture is so ridiculously large. and scary. eek!)
Cooking in this apartment has proven to be like Marriage Preparation 101 for Sean and I. It's all about teamwork really. Well, that and trying not to scald or seriously maim one another when maneuvering around our ridiculously tiny kitchen space.
Notice the pink lighter on the counter? Is it for candles? Did one of us scandalously pick up a smoking habit? Nope. That, my friends, is what we use to LIGHT OUR OVEN. As in Sean sticks his entire head and half his body, Hansel and Gretel style, into the oven in order to light it. Gah. Hey Oven, Laura Ingalls Wilder called, Little House on the Prairie needs their stovetop back so ma can make some porridge for the horses. (Okay, I know horses don't actually eat porridge, but you catch my drift. The oven is old. really really old.) It also doesn't have any temperature settings. It has two pictures on it. Little flame and big flame. Every time Sean and I cook a meal it's like a game of Kitchen Roulette. Will we or won't we murder our own dinner?
Last night though we were successful in making a proper English dinner, along with one of my favorite family desserts. Before we salivate at our desktops over the ooey, gooey, chocolate peanut buttery cookies of sin I made, we must first take a look at dinner. Remember, Mother always said, you need to eat all your vegetables before you can have dessert.
The secret to this recipe's amazingness? It calls for lamb rather than beef and you add in Worcestershire Sauce (which I can NEVER freaking pronounce properly), Red wine, and chicken stock. The other secret? Having a big strong man to mash all the potatoes by hand. No mixer here, ladies. He's the real deal. He also grated fresh Parmesan into the mashed potatoes. If I wasn't already planning to marry him, this act alone would've sealed the deal.
20 minutes and about 5 "opening the oven and making sure it wasn't on fire" times later, this beast of a pie was ready to be eaten.
I'm pretty sure I saw a tear glistening in the corner of Sean's eye when he pulled that thing out. More than once he proclaimed, "Now this is a man's meal". What dear? You don't prefer all the spinach smoothies and Greek Yogurt I've been sneaking into our daily diet?
Combine with some pumpkin scented candles and a little red wine and it's simply perfect!
Okay, great. Don't get me wrong, that Shepherd's Pie is all fine and good...but if dinner was a man's meal then dessert was a woman's paradise. Chocolate Peanut Butter No Bake cookies are a tradition in my family albeit a dangerous one. Whenever I am around them, they tend to disappear at an alarmingly rapid rate.
This recipe combines pretty much all of my favorite things: chocolate, peanut butter and oats (and sugar and milk and butter. ohhhhh the amount of butter) If I could figure out a way to work macaroni and cheese or red wine into this recipe, I'd never eat anything else ever again.
Yes, that is giant gobs of butter floating in that pool of chocolate. Avert your eyes. Yummmmmmm
Is it bad that my household "jar" of peanut butter is really more the size of a small child's swimming pool?
I'm not even sure pictures do these cookies any justice. They are just so so so good. And I'm not going to lie to you. While I did use Natural Peanut Butter and Almond Milk, these are in no way, shape, or form healthy for you. Unless you are like me, and you pretend that it provides the necessary balance of protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats. Plus, doctors are always claiming how beneficial chocolate is for your heart. With that reasoning behind me, I found no problem in eating them for breakfast this morning. and perhaps another one at lunch. and maybe just one more tonight after dinner. Sigh.
But the real question remains....
Who is coming over to do all these dishes?
Seriously. I'm not kidding this time.