Cheesy Shepherd’s Pie

I AM DONE EXAMS WAHOOOOOOO!  Other than half of a take home exam that I need to finish for tomorrow night, I am now officially on Christmas break.  This means that I finally have time to do things other than sitting in my bed/library studying and eating Costco-sized Toblerone bars.  For the next two weeks, I will have all the time in the world to blog, relax, play Super Mario with my little brother, cook and spend endless amounts of my day watching my new favourite tv show, How I Met Your Mother.


I realized the other day that I haven’t been testing out many of the recipes that have been in the recent issues of Canadian Living.  For a few months I was on a real roll, and had been trying out nearly half of their recipes from each issue.  Since I am now regularly getting their monthly magazine sent to me at home (thank you cheap student subscription rates!), it should be easier for me to try out their stuff, right?  Well regardless of the answer to that question, I am just going to have to make a conscious effort to review more of their recipes, starting now.

Making this recipe was actually what saved me from complete unhealthiness last week.  With leftover tourtiere in my freezer and this, I was eating somewhat decently for at least one meal a day, something which I am sure my stomach appreciated.

This shepherd’s pie recipe is found in the December issue of the magazine.  For some reason that boggles my mind, the recipe is actually called “cheddar cottage pie.”  The only reason I didn’t call it this in the title was because I really had no idea what a cottage pie was.  After several debates with Britt and our other friend Freya, we came to the conclusion that this name was because the pie was a “warm winter cottage-like food.”  Apparently we were wrong.  Here is what the ever helpful Wikipedia says:

The term cottage pie is known to have been in use in 1791, when potato was being introduced as an edible crop affordable for the poor (“cottage” meaning a modest dwelling for rural workers).

Alright, so we were completely off there.  But we ARE students after all, and “affordable crops” are always a plus.  Thank you again to Wikipedia for the endless bank of wisdom.

So this one was pretty good, but unlike many other Canadian Living recipes, I found this one to actually be a bit bland.  Ever since I started cooking in the summer, my taste buds have somehow gotten super sensitive, meaning I’m always craving some sort of spicy kick.  I think it’s probably just me and my neuroses, but I’d add a little extra thyme, salt and pepper to this one just for safe keeping.

Also, happy first day of winter!  To celebrate, here is a picture of the circumstances that I’m going to have to photograph under until the day I decide to make myself a light box. I get even more weird looks from the neighbours now that I’m dragging a chair out to the front steps…

The final product.  I think my potato level was a little dominating in a “I’m going to crush the life out of your meat layer so it’s not photogenic” sort of way, but so such is life.  The half Irish in me screams that you can never have too much of our little spud friend.