Tag Archives: baking

Shepherd’s Pie


1 pound ground beef

2 cups beef stock

4 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1½ -inch chunks

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

½ cup milk

½ cup shredded cheddar cheese

1 large onion, diced

4 ounces white mushrooms, trimmed and chopped (optional)

1 large carrot, peeled and diced

½ cup frozen peas

1 tablespoon tomato paste or ketchup

2 teaspoons vegetable oil

2 tablespoons Madeira or ruby port (optional)

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon soy sauce instead of salt

¼ tea ground black pepper


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cut and rinse the starch of potatoes. Place potatoes in medium saucepan; add water to just cover. Bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until potatoes are soft and tip of paring knife inserted into potato meets no resistance, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain potatoes and return to saucepan. Return saucepan to low heat and cook, shaking pot occasionally, until any surface moisture on potatoes has evaporated, about 1 minute. Remove pan from heat. Add 4 TBLS butter and milk to potatoes. Mash potatoes well with potato masher. Stir in cheddar cheese. Season with white pepper to taste. Cover and set aside.

Heat oil in 10-inch skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add carrots and cover. Cook carrots stirring occasionally until they begin to soften. Add onion, mushrooms, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are just starting to soften. Add the beef and break it up into smaller chunks as it browns.

Once the beef is brown, add 2 tablespoon flour, tomato paste or ketchup. Add Madeira if desired, cooking and scraping up any browned bits, about 1 minute. Add broth, Worcestershire, soy and bring to a simmer, scraping up any remaining browned bits. Add peas. Return to a simmer and reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and cook until beef is cooked and peas are heated through about 5 to 10 minutes while continuing to stir occasionally. Don’t over break up meat.

If gravy has not thickened, stir cornstarch into about 2 tablespoons of water together in a small Pyrex bowl. SLOWLY stir cornstarch into filling a small amount at a time mixed and continue to simmer for 30 seconds until the correct thickness appears. Add add 2 TBLS butter. Season with salt and pepper to taste if needed.

Move meat filling into four crock pots.

Place mashed potatoes in large zipper-lock bag and snip off 1 corner to create 1-inch opening. Pipe potatoes in even layer over the filling in the crock pots, making sure to cover entire surface. Mound potatoes up with back of spoon, then use tines of fork to make ridges over surface. Place crock pots on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake in 400 degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until the potatoes begin to brown.

Caution crock pots will be hot.

Move crock pots to small plates and serve hot!


© Drunken Chef Enterprises LTD 2022


        Seeing how today is Saint Patrick’s Day I thought I would share a recipe from a dear old friend for Irish Soda Bread. I will be making this if not tonight Saturday when I make my corned beef and cabbage that I posted earlier this month. I don’t normally like soda bread but this recipe is a sweeter version then I have EVER had before. If you’re not a fan of Irish Soda Bread suggest you try this one. If you are a fan I hope you will let me know how you like this version of it.   

Irish Soda Bread

Serves  5 to 7


4 Cups four

1 Cup sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

1½ stick butter

1-1/3 cups buttermilk


Grease 9 inch round pan.

Mix and knead all these ingredients and then add 1 cup raisins.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. 


Serve with butter

Serve on Saint Patricks’ Day with corn beef


The Drunken Chef

Artichoke Pie

This is a picture of an apple pie, but you get the idea

This is one of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes. How bazar and I can not believe I have not posted this yet.


9 inch pie shell top and bottom

1 package frozen or canned artichokes

4 eggs

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder or chopped garlic

3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese

8 oz. package mozzarella cheese

salt, pepper, to taste


Preheat oven to 350°.

Cut artichokes in half, brown in a pan with a little olive oil, add garlic and set aside.  Beat eggs in a large bowl and then add all other ingredients.  Fold in artichokes hearts.  Pour into pie shell. Cover with top crust and pinch together sides. Add slits to the top crust with a pairing knife and brush with milk.  Bake at 350 for one hour.

Cut into wedges and serve warm. Makes and excellent first course or appetizer and pairs nicely with a wine wine like a Pinto Grigio.

NOTES: This is a favorite recipe for Thanksgiving and so portable to bring to someone’s house. So easy to make.

Only 174 More Days

While most people are counting the days until Christmas, I will be counting the days until April 30th. This will be the one-year anniversary of when I have started my cookbook-writing project here. I have posted 123 recipes so far but I still have 168 recipes to prepare, take pictures of and write about.

You see not only am I posting my recipes but also I am posting them as I cook them throughout the year. This way, I know it is a complete cookbook from all the entries from the past year. At least the ones that were worth of cooking. The hard part is that some of my recipes I cook more often than others. Like last night for example, I made the short rib recipe again as well as shrimp cocktail. This time the ribs were severed with a baked potato. It was all good but I have posted all those recipes earlier in this blog. I mean who cooks anything just once a year, except maybe a stuffed turkey (the traditional American Thanksgiving meal).

Having worked out in the yard all day yesterday, I was also way too tired to even make anything dessert. So, I had a half of a Pepperidge Farm chocolate chip and macadamia nut cookie they call Sausalito. Plus, an ice cold glass of milk. The milk I purchased at a place called Stew Leonard’s. There is only one of these huge supermarkets by me but I love this place. I also purchased the short ribs there because they were on sale this week. I really went in there for the lobster tails that were on sale but they were way too tiny at only 4 ounces to even bother cooking. Plus I don’t think that when they are that small they are very good tasting. I need a lobster tail that is at least 10 ounces for it to taste any good and it be worth going through the trouble of making for dinner. I have not made my favorite 16 once tail in so long just because the price of them is so prohibitively preventative.

What will be on tonight’s menu that I can write about? I didn’t even know yet but if you’re interested come back here and read all about it on Monday. I will need to post more than one recipe a day between now and the end of April if I plan to stay on track.

Friends of our due to come back from Florida soon and we will all need to all get together over dinner and drinks so I can hear all about their delightful culinary experiences. Unfortunately, the way Jennifer has been feeling we could not go with them; It may still be a long time before she can get on a plane or take a long trip anywhere at least until she is out of the excruciating back pain she is still in.

Today will be a day for more grocery shopping and chores around the house. The batteries in the smoke detectors need to be changed as we rolled the clocks back an hour. Hopefully, I can squeeze enough time for a bit of cooking. More importantly, I hope its new recipe. Well that’s all I have for now until I cook something. Like breakfast or maybe even lunch. You can also follow me on Instagram @drunckenchef82.

The Druncken Chef (Russ)

Sunday was Blueberry Pie Day

Sunday I made one of my usual entrées of chicken-cutlets. The side dishes were baby zucchini in a butter sauce and a simple salad.

Dessert however was a little more special. I made homemade blueberry pies with a homemade piecrust in an individual serving size – 6 inch mini aluminum pie tin. The only problem was, neither of us could eat a whole one all by our self, so we both split the same one. I just had to put vanilla ice cream on top. Plus, it was still very warm. Making the ice cream get all melty and blend into the blueberry filling.

Click here for: Homemade Pie Crust

Click here for: Blueberry Pie

Click here for: Apple Pie

The Drunken Chef (Russ) I will post a picture of my lunch sandwich on Instagram:

Blueberry Pie(s) Recipe

Make the pie crust recipe found by clicking here: Homemade Pie Crust


Two to three pints of fresh blueberries

1/2 to 3/4 cup granulated sugar

2 tablespoons cornstarch

2 tablespoons butter

1/4 water

1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional)


Start by making a pie crust or use store bought. Grease a 9 inch pie pan or use individual pie tins as seen below. Lay the pie crust in pan by gently folding it in half and siding it over the top, then unfolding it. Gently press into place. If it breaks you can repair it by wetting your finger with water and “gluing” the pieces together.

To make the filling. In a medium sauce pan add the sugar, corn starch, butter and water. heat over medium high heat until the sugar mixture just begins to thicken. Add two pints of blueberries. Continue to stir gently, trying not to break up all the blueberries. Keep cooking until the mixture no longer thickens any further. Pour cooked blueberries into pie shell. Top off with the remaining pint of blueberries. Moisten the bottom crust using your index finger and water around the rim of the pie plate.

Place second crust on top. Using a fork press crusts together where they meet on the pie dish (around the edge). Cut a 1 inch slit in the top to let out steam.

Brush the top crust with milk to make for a browner crust.

Bake for 30 minutes until done in a 425 degree oven.

Notes: Allow pie to cool and serve with vanilla ice cream and homemade whip cream. You can also warm up cold pie a few seconds in the microwave. Caution the filling can become extremely hot, so do not over heat the pie in the microwave.

Homemade Pie Crust Recipe

This recipe can be used for the majority dessert pie crusts and shells and makes 2 Flaky Pie Crusts (top and bottom).


3 cups sifted flour

1 1/8 tsp. salt

1 cup shortening (Crisco)

8 to 10 tablespoons water with ice


In a large bowl add sifted flour and 1 and 1/8 teaspoons salt. Using a pastry cutter or knife and fork cut shorting into flour. You can also use a stand mixer with a dough hook. Cut shorning in until you have pea sized piesece or flour around shortnigh. Using a wooden spoon, mix in ice cold water one tablespoon at a timeuntil all the flour is incorperated and doung is a little sticky.

Separate dough into two balls of dough . Using a floured rolling pin. Roll out dough on floured counter top or table. Always starting in the center and rolling outward until the circle of dough is slightly larger then the pie dish. 10 to 11 inches depending on how deep you pie dish is. You can always trim off the extra.

Fill with your favorite filling or bake in a 425 degree oven for until golden brown for chocolate cream pie (recipe coming soon).

Amish Friendship Bread

When you give the bags away. Put the Day 1 date on them.

Important Preparation Tips:

  1. Do not use a metal spoon or bowl for mixing
  2. Do not refrigerate
  3. If air gets in bag, let it out
  4. It is normal for batter to thicken, bubble and ferment

Day 1:                        Congratulations – you received fermented batter – do nothing

Day 2:                        Squeeze the bag several times

Day 3:                        Squeeze the bag several times

Day 4:                        Squeeze the bag several times

Day 5:                        Squeeze the bag several times

Day 6:**                    Add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar, and 1 cup milk.   Squeeze bag

Day 7:                        Squeeze the bag several times

Day 8:                        Squeeze the bag several times

Day 9:                        Squeeze the bag several times

Day 10:   In a large non-metal bowl combine the batter with 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup milk.  Mix with wooden or plastic spoon.                          

Pour 4 1-cup starters into 1-gallon Ziploc bags.

 Give these starters away to family or friends with a copy of these instructions.

To the remainder of your batter in the bowl ADD:

            1 cup cooking oil

            1 cup sugar

            1 tsp vanilla

            3 large eggs

            1 ½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

2 cups flour

1/3 cup milk

½ tsp baking soda

1 large box or 2 small boxes of instant vanilla pudding

2 tsp cinnamon


In a small bowl mix together 1 tsp cinnamon and 3 tbsp. sugar… sprinkle into well-greased loaf pans before pouring batter into pans.  Bake at 325° for 1 hour or until done.


Extras you can add = 1 cup raisins, nuts, or chocolate chips.

** If you don’t want any starters to give away, on day 6 and day 10 only add ½ cup of each. That will give you 2 starters (one to keep and one to give away) and a batch to bake – or you can bake the two batches for 4 loaves.  Hope you enjoy!

Do not put in the sun.  Do not use any metal (spoons, bowl or measuring cups) plastic only. Use Pyrex loaf pans to bake


The Friendship Bread Adventure

For all incentive purposes, it is essentially fall. In the fall people bake. So get your loaf pans ready. I am not a big baker, but I do bake.  I am a better chef then I am baker. To me, being a chef is the easier of the two. I have a lot of respect for other chefs and even more respect for bakers.

All this leads me to my story about friendship bread. For those of you who have never had it, it is addicting, not only to make, but also to eat! I received my first zip lock bag with friendship bread starter about twenty years ago. I have always talked about cooking with my fellow coworkers so it was only natural that one of them would ask if I was interested in baking a loaf of this stuff that I had never heard of. They may not have even asked me. They may have just thrust it upon me like a quest to find the Holy Grail or a Golden Fleece.

I accepted the challenge with the vigor of a young man (back then) and followed the directions as they were passed along to me. Then I proceeded to pass a bit of this goo called “starter” and the recipe to the next few unsuspecting coworkers while eating four loves of this stuff I made myself. It was indeed and amazing experience. However I did NOT save any starter when I when done and without the starter I could not make any more of these scrum-dilly-umtious loaves. It took several years before I saw this recipe come around again. By now, I had very much missed the cake like substance I had once had in the fall while drinking my coffee. This time I received the starter goo in a different building and I was a little older and a little wiser, but the recipe looked and tasted exactly the same. It was like the miracle of the friendship bread calling too me.

I learned my lesson from the first time of giving away all of the starter. I gave out the recipe and starters but always made sure to keep one batch of starter and copy of the recipe for myself. I kept making theses loaves of deliciousness every ten days and passing on the recipe to many, many, many more unsuspecting people as would take the stuff and make it. This included not only my sister, but all her coworkers as well! As I heard a group of people talking about this cake in the coffee room I thought; what have I done?! It was like and bad science fiction movie now that kept growing (like The Blob staring Steve Macqueen). Months of baking went by and just after Christmas Day I could eat no more Friendship Bread or I would spontaneously combust. Covering the walls in cinnamon. That or I would have to start buying stretchy pants. Mind you all this baking started BEFORE Thanksgiving. I finally decided to freeze my starter in the hope that in the fall it would still be good. Somehow I doubted freezing this starter would work.

In the New Year, I researched a few different recipes on Friendship Bread starter and found one that seemed like is would work best. I tested it out and gave more starters away for opinions the very next fall. My original frozen starter never came back to life, but the new recipe for a Friendship Bread starter (below) worked! It even freezes okay according to one of my coworkers.

It has been at least two years now since my last endeavor into this Friendship Bread baking frenzy, so now is a good time as any to start it again. It takes time for the started to get to be a good enough quality, taste wise, for me to giveaway so I discard my first extra batches myself and give away the stuff starting with the second batch. You guys can always let me know what you do in the comments section below.

Today, I am staring my first batch of “starter” to ultimately make two loves of Friendship Bread. I dare you to follow along with me these next few upcoming weeks leading up to Thanksgiving to see if it is a disaster or a delicious hit this year. I double dare you to join me in making said “starter” listed below and getting even more people involved in this wonderful tradition in your neck of the woods!

I am attaching the “starter” recipe below. Then in the next 10 days, I will provide you with the actual recipe to make the loaves of Friendship Bread itself. They call it friendship “bread” but it is really a cake. A yummy, cinnamony cake that is like heaven with coffee. Trust me! When it comes to coffee I do not #&%$ around. This is good shit. So lets go bake!   

The Drunken (blabbering) Chef (Russ)

You can follow me and this whole process on INSTAGRAM here:

Friendship Bread “Starter” Recipe

        Makes 4 to 5 starters


Plastic spoons

Glass Bowls

One box heavy duty Gallon Zip Lock type Bags


1 package of active dry yeast

¼ cup of warm water (110 degrees F / 45 degrees C)

3 cups all-purpose flour (divided)

3 cups whole milk (divided and at room temperature)

3 cups granulated sugar (divided)


(Do Not Use Any Metal mixing spoons, measuring spoon or bowls)

In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in the water. It is very important the water be the correct temperature. Use an instant read thermometer for this (see Gadgets article). Hot water will kill your yeast and cold water will take forever to bubble. Yeast is a live organism that omits carbon dioxide and that is why it bubbles. Let the yeast stand in the water for 10 minutes. In a large 2-quart glass, plastic or ceramic bowl, combined 1 cup AP flour, 1-cup sugar and mix well or it will all clump up when the water is added. Slowly stir in 1-cup milk and then the yeast mixture. Cover loosely and let stand until bubbly.

Consider this day 1 of a 10-day cycle. Leave loosely covered in a warm place in your kitchen until day 2. Just not on top of the radiator or stove! That’s a bit too warm.

On day 2, stir and transfer starter into a zip lock bag. On days 3, 4 and 5 squeeze the zip top bag several times or stir with a plastic or wooden spoon. Let some carbon dioxide escape from the bag when necessary. I have had one burst open because I forgot to let the air out and it was all over my counter and very messy.

Day 6; stir in 1-cup of AP flour, 1-cup granulated sugar and 1-cup of room temperature milk.

Days 7 thru 9; stir or squeeze the bag.

Day 10; stir in 1-cup AP four, 1-cup sugar, and 1-cup milk. Stir well. Remove 1-cup of batter to 4 to 5 zip lock bags.

NOW it’s DAY 1 again. You can give one cup (zip lock bag) to each of your friends along with a copy of the recipe found here: “Amish Friendship Bread”.

Begin the process all over again. I think by the second or third batch is when the batter is the tasting its best.  

NOTES: Serve with coffee and add chopped walnuts or cholate chips for an extra twist.

Enjoy life, stay healthy, and have a great weekend!

The Drunken Chef (Russ)