Shepherd’s Pie As Only Don Can Make

Okay, this is usually attributed to the Irish and Don being anything but, made this the very best totally comfort food you might wish for. Irish or not!

  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and finely chopped
  • 3/4 tsp. salt, divided
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper, freshly ground
  • 1 /2 lbs. ground beef
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. Worchestershire sauce
  • 2-3 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped (or 1 tsp dried)
  • 1 tbsp. fresh thyme, chopped (or 1 tsp. dried)
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp. flour
  • 1 1/2 cups beef broth
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn

In a large iron cast pan, heat the olive oil, adding the onions and saute until they begin to soften, which should be about  5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.

Add the carrots and cook an additional 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Add the beef to the pan and break up with a wooden spoon. Season with salt and pepper and mix with the onion mixture, stirring and cooking until the beef is browned. About 10 minutes.

Add the spices, tomato and worchestershire sauces, stirring to combine. Sprinkle the flour over the top and cook until the mixture is equally dispersed.

Now add the broth and cook for a couple of minutes until almost absorbed. Now stir in the peas and corn. Remove from the heat and allow to cool down.



  • 3-4 large potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 3/4 cup cheddar cheese

Cook until done , drain and press through potato ricer. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.

Place the meat mixture in a casserole dish and spread the topping over the top. Top with shredded cheddar cheese.

Bake in 375 oven for 45 minutes. You may wish to place this on a cooking tray so the filling won’t drip over.

Chicken in a Creamy White Wine Sauce

Oh my! If you want a dinner to die for, this is it. Don made this last night and you could lick the plate (your Mom won’t let you). It is super delicious.

  • 2 large chicken breasts
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • small bowl of flour for dredging
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 4 tbsp. butter, divided
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth
  • 1 pinch of Herbs de Provence (or Italian seasoning)
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

Cut the chicken breasts in half lengthwise to make them thinner in size. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, garlic powder and then dredge in the flour to coat.

Add the olive oil and 2 tbsp. of the butter to a skillet on medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, add the chicken and cook for about 4-5 minutes per side until golden in colour. Take the chicken out of the pan and set aside. They should not be fully cooked yet.

Add the wine and broth to the pan and leave it to bubble for about a minute. Scrape bottom of the pan to loosen any bits. Now add the remaining butter and seasoning to the pan and continue to simmer for about 2 minutes.

Add the cream and chicken back to the pan. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for a further 5 minutes until the thicken is cooked through and the sauce has thickened up a bit.

Add some green beans, cauliflower or even beets and you have an awesome meal.


Easiest Macaroni and Cheese Ever

Believe me, this is not the usual recipe I make, but it is good, fast and easy. We did enjoy it.

  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • 3 tbsp. flour
  • 1 lb. good cheddar cheese, shredded, for a much better flavour (not cheese slices for sandwiches)
  • 1/4 lb. Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1/4 lb. Brie, outer skin removed and discarded.
  • 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • pinch white pepper
  • 1 tsp. dry mustard
  • pinch cayenne
  • pinch freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 lb. macaroni (elbow) noodles

Crumb Topping

  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup finely shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tbsp. melted butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Bring a large pot of water to the boil and keep hot until ready to cook your pasta.

In a sauce pan, bring the milk and cream to scalding but not boiling and in another sauce pan melt the butter and add the flour, cooking for about 3 minutes.

Slowly add the hot milk to the flour mixture, whisking all the while to attain a smooth sauce.

Now add the pasta to the hot water, cooking for 3 minutes or whatever the pasta instructions say, cook 3 minutes less. They will continue to cook in the oven.

Now add the 3 cheeses to the white sauce and stir with a wooden spoon until all melted and smooth.

In a small bowl, add the balance of the seasonings and add a drop or two of water to make a slurry and add to the sauce, whisking well.

Drain the pasta and add to the sauce and stir gently. Add together all the topping ingredients and mix well.

Spray a 9 inch square pan and pour in the pasta. Sprinkle the topping over the surface and bake now for 25-30 minutes until hot and bubbly.

Add a green salad, glass of wine and enjoy.

Cauliflower Rice and Oven Baked Trout

Don, our own private Chef, made this the other night and I wanted you to try it as well. It is absolutely yummy.


This recipe is for two. If more at your table, just adjust the amounts.

  • 1/2 medium head of cauliflower. cleaned, cored and cut into 2 inch wide florets (makes 2 1/2 cups)
  • 1 large garlic clove, halved and thinly sliced
  • 2 x 6 oz. trout fillets
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp. milk
  • 1 tbsp. butter


  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 2 tsp. whole grain mustard
  • 1 tbsp. Ponzu sauce

Mix well and drizzle over the trout when ready to dine.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place cauliflower and garlic in a medium pot and cover with water. Set the pot on the stove on medium-high heat and bring to a simmer, cooking for 10 minutes or until very tender.

When that is cooking, line a cooking tray with parchment paper and set the trout fillets, skin side down and brush each one with 1 tsp. olive oil. Roast for about 12 minutes or until just cooked through.

Drain the cauliflower and with a potato masher, mash it thoroughly.  Cover and keep warm.

To plate, mound the cauliflower equally on each dinner plate. Set the trout fillet on top and drizzle the awesome sauce over. Add any vegetable you like and enjoy. Sure a glass of white wine is a perfect addition.

A Really Tasty Shepherd’s Pie (Yummier Now With Subtle Changes)

This is the 1,829 recipe on my site. Enjoy!

This recipe is great when having company and the meal is more on the casual theme.

This recipe will serve 6, but you can easily double the ingredients to serve 12.

  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 1/2 lb. ground beef
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 tsp. worchestshire sauce
  • 1 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tbsp. Italian parsley
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 can whole kernal corn (Green Giant is best)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 4 large potatoes boiled in water along with 1 garlic clove (making garlic mashed potatoes)
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1 /4 cup cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large pan, heat the oil and add the onion, carrot, and meat. Cook until browned which would take about 10 minutes.

Drain the fat, add the broth tomato paste and herbs, simmering until the juice begins to thicken and then add the peas and corn.

Pour this into a 1 1/2 quart baking dish and set aside.

Cook the potatoes until done. Drain the water and put the potatoes through a ricer, then add the butter, cream cheese and cream. You only need to mix this with a spatula, it is soooo creamy and delicious.

Pile the potatoes over the meat mixture and bake for about 35 minutes until the potatoes are a golden colour around the edges. Sprinkle cheddar cheese over the top before baking.

**NOTE:  July 2023 -Don made this yesterday and we all said how great it was. He laughed and said it was my own recipe and he just made a couple of “adjustments” to it. WOW! it truly is delicious and worthy of praise.



Spinach Ricotta Cannelloni

Word of caution: Read through first. It looks long but, believe  as well, it is truly delicious.  Don made it the other day and we did take pics but I didn’t get them posted yet. patience!


Sauce, you do need a lot

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp. fresh thyme
  • 1 tbsp. fresh oregano
  • 1/3 cup tomato paste
  • 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 3 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/3 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 2/3 cup roughly torn basil leaves


  • 1 lb. chopped spinach (I used fresh)
  • 1 lb. full fat ricotta
  • 1/2 cup finely shredded parmesan
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (Mozzarella, Colby, Cheddar, Gruyere, Swiss)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • grated nutmeg, just a sprinkle
  • 3/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper


  • 18-22 dried cannelloni tubes
  • 1/3 cup finely shredded parmesan
  •  1 1/4 cups shredded Mozzarella
  • basil and parmesan for garnish

To make the sauce, heat the oil in a small pot over a medium high heat. Add the garlic, onion, bay leaf, thyme and oregano. Cook for 3-4 minutes until the onion become translucent.  Add the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute.

Add the wine, increasing the heat to high and let it simmer rapidly for about 2 minutes, until it is mostly evaporated.

Add the tomatoes, stock, sugar, salt and pepper. Stir then simmer on a medium heat for 20 minutes.

Remove the bay leaf and blitz with a stick bender until smooth. Simmer for 1 more minute and remove from the heat. Stir in the basil and cover to keep warm.

Saute the chopped spinach with a little oil to wilt it down and remove excess liquid. Cool down and proceed.

Place the spinach in a bowl with the remaining filling ingredients. Mix, taste it and adjust the salt and pepper as the different cheeses vary in saltiness.

Now the fun begins.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Use a baking dish(8.5 x 10.5 inch) as it will hold 20 tubes nicely.

Spread 1 cup of the sauce on the base of the baking dish. Transfer the filling mixture to a piping bag with a large nozzle. You can use a zip lock bag by cutting a hole in a corner that will hold the nozzle and now pipe the filling into each tube and place in the baking dish. Pour the remaining sauce  over all the tubes to cover.

Cover with foil and bake for about 30 minutes. Remove the cover and scatter the parmesan cheese then the mozzarella cheese. Return to the oven, uncovered, and bake for another 15 minutes until the cheese has melted.

Garnish with more parmesan and basil if wanted.

Your family and company will have a wonderful evening and lively conversations. What more could you ask for? Oh, sorry….would you like another glass of wine?

Pork Loin With Honey Garlic Sauce

I promise you, this is THE best pork loin. Don made it yesterday and it literally melts in  your mouth. Get ready! Here we go.

  • 2.5-3.5 pork loin roast, fat and skin removed
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil


  • 1 1/4 tsp. paprika (mild or smoked)
  • 1/2 tsp. brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. each garlic powder and onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp. red chili powder (optional)
  • 1 1/4 tsp. coarse salt
  • 1/4 tsp. cracked black pepper
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil


  • 1/3 cup golden corn syrup
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp. low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tsp. cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp. red wine vinegar
  • good pinch of salt
  • 1/4 tsp. cracked black pepper


  • 1/3 cup low sodium stock (beef or chicken) or broth
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 1/2 tsp. cornstarch

Pat dry pork with a paper towel. Combine 1 tbsp. of oil with the rub ingredients. Season pork, rubbing the mixture into the meat.

Heat remaining oil (about 2 tsp.) in a large pan or skillet over medium heat. Sear pork all over until golden brown, rotating the pork around to avoid burning the spices.

Melt butter in the same pan as the pork was in, scraping up any leftover bits in the pan. Stir in remaining sauce ingredients, bringing to a rapid simmer for 1 minute.


Place seared pork in a 6 qt. slow cooker. Pour sauce over the pork, cover with a lid and cook on LOW setting for 4-5 hours.

Transfer pork onto serving dish and loosely tent with foil. Let rest for 10-15 minutes.

While pork is resting, pour juices from the slow cooker bowl into a pot large enough to fit the liquid. Bring to a simmer over medium high heat.

Mix 2 tbsp. of the juices with 4 tsp. of cornstarch. Whisk cornstarch slurry into sauce and let simmer for a good 5 minutes. Note: sauce will thicken as it cooks. Simply thicken to syrup-like consistency.

Slice pork and serve drizzle with the Honey Garlic sauce.

Don served with potato rostis, but you could used mashed potatoes in you prefer.


Skillet Fried Chicken

This is a really nice way to up the ante on chicken for dinner. Don made this last night and it is delicious.

  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 tbsp. paprika
  • 1  tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 3 – 3 1/2 lb. chicken, cut up
  • vegetable oil for skillet
  • pinch each of garlic powder and onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Lawery’s seasoning salt
  • 1/3 tsp. baking powder
  • buttermilk for dredging

Dredge the chicken in buttermilk.

In a shallow dish, mix together the dry ingredients.

In a 12 inch nonstick skillet, heat about 2 cups of oil over a medium high heat. Cook the chicken, skin side down,  for about 10 minutes until a light brown. Reduce the heat to low and turn the chicken pieces over. Cook uncovered for about 20 minutes, without turning, until the juices in the thickest pieces, when cut to the bone, run clear. Test the temperature to 165 degrees.

Add some steamed baby potatoes, vegetable and a light salad. YUM!

Roasted Pork Loin

This recipe will serve 4 – 6 people



  • 3 lb. center cut pork loin, boned, rolled and tied*
  • 4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt, divided
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 7-8 small carrots, peeled and left mostly whole
  • 1 cup plus 2 tbsp. apple juice, divided
  • 1 large white onion, peeled and cut in 8 sections
  • 1 tsp dry Rosemary,
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/3 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/8 cup  Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 4 Russet potatoes, peeled and cut in bite sized pieces (3 lbs in total)
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 3 tbsp. all purpose flour

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Pat dry the pork with paper towels  and place on a platter. Coat with 3 tbsp. of the oil, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp pepper.

In a large, heavy bottomed roasting pan or Dutch oven, large enough to fit your roast, bring burner to medium high and once hot, add two tbsp of the oil . When simmering hot, add the pork, fat side down and sear and turn every two minutes for a total of 10 minutes This should sear the roast on all sides, including both ends.

Remove the roast from the pan to the platter. Add 1 cup of apple juice to deglaze the pan. After this has reduced by half and all the brown bits are scraped up from the bottom shut the burner off and add all the carrots, onions and Rosemary. Pour the chicken stock over the vegetables and set the roast on top of the vegetables.

In a small bowl mix together the brown sugar, garlic powder, Dijon mustard and 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar, Using a pastry brush, brush this all over the seared roast.

Place the pan in the oven uncovered for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove from the oven, and cover with tin foil until the roast has reached 140 degrees (about 45 min)., and the vegetables continue cooking. Our 3 lb. roast took 45 minutes ater the initial 30 minutes to reach 140 degrees.

Remove the roast to a platter. Pour off all the liquid into a saucepan.

Add the potatoes to the pan with the vegetables and add the remaining 1 tbsp. of oil, 1/2 , tsp of the salt and remaining pepper and toss. roast for 15-25 minutes until they are tender.  After 15 minutes, toss the vegetables and roast a further 15 – 20 minutes. While these are roasting, in a small saute  pan melt the butter over medium low heat and add the flour, cooking for about 4 minutes to make a smooth roux.

Heat 2 cups of the reserved liquid that collected from resting the meat, and once it starts to bubble, add all the roux and whisk to make the gravy Keep  temperature of the gravy on low, or reheat when ready to serve.

When the vegetables are cooked, uncover the roast and slice,  serving with the vegetables and gravy.

Your family (guests) will rave about this and you can think to yourself “Damn I did this”.

Arroz Con Pollo, the most flavourable dish

As I am sure you are all aware that Don is the “Chef  of Chefs” and this dish is beyond anything.  Arroz Con Pollo has always been my favourite Mexican dish and boy oh boy did he do it up right. This is now on our list for ‘do agains’.

  • 2 cups uncooked instant rice
  • 3 skinless chicken breasts, slice in half lengthwise, then in thirds
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 box of chicken broth (about 26 oz.)
  • 1  8 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 3/4 jar of  garlic Classico sauce (secret ingredient here)
  • 1/2 finely chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup loosely chopped fresh parley
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp. cumin
  • 3/4 cup Mozzarella cheese
  • 3/4 cup Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spray a 13 x 9 baking dish with cooking spray (even a 14 x 10 Le Creuset casserole dish works well).

Add the rice to the baking dish. Sprinkle both sides of the chicken with garlic powder, salt and pepper and place evenly over the rice.

In a large bowl, combine the broth, tomato sauce, Classico sauce, onion, parsley, chili and cumin, stirring until well combined. Spoon over the chicken and rice, making sure to cover it all.

Cover with foil and bake until thermometer reads 165 degrees (about 60-70 minutes). Remove the foil, and sprinkle the cheeses over the surface. Bake uncovered until the cheese has melted and is starting to show a dark caramelized colour. this will take about 7 minutes.

Let stand a few minutes and serve.

I promise you, you will roll your eyes in pure delight.

Demi Glace (Au Jus)

Last week Don made the individual Beef Wellington (on site) and this is the Demi Glace that he made to go with it. In a word: YUM!

  • 4 tbsp. butter
  • 2 tbsp. flour
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 2 1/2 cups beef broth, separated
  • 1 tbsp. Worchestershire sauce
  • pinch of salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 1 bouillon cube (if necessary)

Form a roux with the butter and flour and cook out for 2 minutes, add the red wine and cook for another 3-4 minutes to cook out the alcohol.

Whisk in the 1/2 cup of broth and incorporate with the roux, whisking to avoid any lumps. Gradually add in the 1 1/2 cups of broth, again whisking constantly.


Note: Depending on the richness of the wine, you may wish to add part or all of the bouillon cube. or even the rest of the broth.

Seared Scallops with Fresh Corn and Truffle Oil

The other night, for a birthday dinner for Kelly  (#2 by the way) Don made this dish. Let me tell  you from the start, you could just sit down and eat the corn sauce,  it is that great. but it takes all of it to really be special.

  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 2 ears of whole sweet corn, kernels removed (about 1 1/2 cups of kernels)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • pinch of salt and white pepper
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 12 large sea scallops
  • few drops of black truffle oil
  • 1 tbsp. chopped chives
  • Angel hair pasta
  • butter

In a pan, heat the butter and saute the corn for about 2 -3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Now add the cream and bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook a further 2-3 minutes until the cream thickens.

In a fresh pan, heat the olive oil, Add the scallops and sear for about 2-3 minutes until they have a nice sear on each side.

Cook the angel hair pasta and fold in a bit of butter.  Place the pasta equally into 3 bowls, add the corn sauce on top and place the scallops over the top. Garnish with a few chopped chives.

Serve with a glass of chilled white wine and treasure each bite. OMGoodness!