Monthly Archives: January 2014

Bangers and Mash

January 31, 2014

Most people that know me, know that my husband is a man who is very easily pleased.  He never wants for much, or asks for much, which sometimes makes holidays and birthdays a challenge, but makes me want to do something special just that much more.  I usually couple an experience with a gift and memorable meal.  For my honey, there’s no greater meal than Bangers and Mash. 

Bangers and Mash is a traditional British dish of mashed potatoes and sausage with a gravy- pub food at it’s finest.  My sweet husband’s face lights up any time a restaurant adventure results in a menu with Bangers and Mash.  With snow, and just moving into our new house, going out was looking like it might be a challenge for his actual birthday.  So, I decided to try my hand at making his favorite meal.  Now, I’d never made Bangers and Mash before, but I figured, what the hell- It was his birthday, after all, and things usually turn out alright when I wing it!

And oh, Mama… did it turn out!  If you do nothing else, make and devour the gravy.  Then, try not to lick the dish.  Honestly.

Presenting…Birthday Bangers and Mash!

(Serves 2 hungry people)

1 package beer and brats sausages (5 in a pack)
4 tbsp butter, divided
1/4 cup flour
1 packet onion soup mix
1 beer

1/4 cup beef broth

salt
pepper

Melt 2 tbsp butter in a high sided skillet.  Brown the brats on all sides, and set aside on a plate. (They’ll rejoin the party in a tiny bit.)  Add an additional 2 tbsp of butter to the skillet and combine with the 1/4 cup flour to make a rue.  Slowly whisk in 1 beer, 1 packet of onion soup, and 1/4 cup beef broth.  Add in a few dashes of salt and pepper, depending on your tastes.  Whisk and bring to a boil, being sure to stir vigorously for a few minutes to eliminate lumps.  (If there are some, don’t worry- it’s going over mashed potatoes, and will have the onions in there…and no one will notice AT ALL. I promise.)  Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and add the brats back into the gravy.  Continue to simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring and turning the brats occasionally.  If your gravy seems too thick, add a few splashes of beef broth.  Too thin?? add some flour, a spoonful at a time.

Serve in a pool of gravy, atop your favorite mashed potatoes.  For me, I love the speed and convenience of  Ore-Ida’s Steam and Mash potatoes.  They can be found in the freezer section, get steamed right in the bag, and then mashed with 2/3 cup of milk and a few tabs of butter.  They turn out amazingly delicious, without the hassle of peeling and boiling potatoes.  Win!

Darling husband loved his Birthday Bangers.  I was told they have to be a frequent meal, and not just for special occasions… and since they took under 30 minutes, that’s no problem at all!

Until next time…. give it a swirl!
J

 

What I’m Lovin’ Wednesday

January 1, 2014

Wow!  Welcome to 2014… It’s so hard to believe how fast the past year went, and even crazier to think how my 2014 is starting off!  The big news is… We’re moving to a new house!  And with a new house, comes a new kitchen!!!  I am SO THRILLED to be moving into my new kitchen, and have been busy all holiday break thinking about how to decorate.  Thanks to Pinterest and some clever bloggers, my What I’m Lovin’ Wednesday is some delightful art for my new digs!

First things first, this is my new kitchen:

Their stuff- not mine, yet!


We’re planning on painting things a light grey, so with greys and whites as my color palette, I set off on my quest.  I wanted cozy, classic, and a little bit quirky.  I knew I’d need to make a new “meal planner” board because the one I made previously just wouldn’t match.  Drat. 

So I set off to scanning pinterest, and the first little gem that I found was from www.lizzieroe.com.  One of her posts for “Make it Monday” made me swoon. 

property of Lizzie Roe 

Her post for this ADORABLE FREEBIE is here:  Lizzie Roe’s adorable kitchen art Freebie
I’ve never met her, but we might be kitchen style soul mates.  I idolize Julia Child, love all things that look “chalkboard”, and the fonts… I die. I HAD to have it.  I immediately came up with a million ways that I wanted to use this print, but couldn’t decide…so I thought about it for a while.

Next, I found this little guy:

His picture was kind of everywhere… I credit google images?

How cute is he, right?  I decided he needed to live in my kitchen too and bought a white frame from AC Moore to feature him in.  He’s going to live above the pantry where that Coke sign is currently hanging out.  I love him, and think I shall name him Fredrick. (Like I said, a little quirky)

  
 

Back to my super cute Julia Child quote print.  I finally decided to put it as part of my meal planner board, and my goodness- the finished product makes me giddy!  Here’s how it all came together:

1) get an 8 frame collage style frame, such as this one: Collage Frame
(I got mine at AC Moore- they are almost ALWAYS on sale, and you can use a coupon!)

2) Pick out your background paper- I used the ministacks of scrapbooking paper in neutral tones.

3) Pick out a super cute picture

4) Print out days of the week on CLEAR Avery Address Labels.  I used the font “Skinny Jeans” found here from misstiina.com

5) Put it all together!

Now I feel like my kitchen will be my dream room!  I can’t wait to move on in, unpack, and start whipping up some new TwiceAround recipes!

What are you LOVIN’ today??
J