Saturday, September 22, 2012


I'm close to crossing off another item on my 25 by 25 list! My father-in-law came over for dinner, again. I made it a goal at my last birthday to invite him over for dinner 5 times before I turn 25! It's something that we are having a lot of fun with. I don't want it to seem as if inviting my father-in-law over for dinner is a challenge for me, but in sense it can be! Trying to carve out time in our schedule and plan ahead to make a big meal doesn't always get to happen in our house as much as we wished it would. I'm so glad that I made this an item on my 25 by 25 list because it really helps me to remember how important family time is to us!


I usually try to make healthy meals any time that I cook; however,when my father-in-law told me that he had never tried Sheppard's Pie, I just had to break out an old recipe from my mom. She didn't actually call it Sheppard's Pie; in our house, this awesome meal was called "Surprise" because you never knew what was going to be in it. The key ingredients always remain the same: ground beef, mashed potatoes, cream of mushroom soup and american cheese. Almost always she would use green beans, too. That, however, is where you can be creative. If you don't like green beans, then throw in mushrooms or peas. Each time that I make this meal, I make it differently. Like mother like daughter, I suppose!

This time, I had chives in the refrigerator, so I added them to the seasoned ground beef. The cooked and seasoned ground beef will be your first layer.

I then mixed one can of cream of mushroom soup with two cans of green beans and one can of mushrooms. This mixture will be your second layer. Feel free to get creative, here!

I ended up having to use box mashed potatoes for this particular dish. You can be creative with the amount and which kind of potatoes you use. I used about 3 cups of mashed potatoes with this dish. The mashed potatoes will be your third layer; then you are ready to bake the dish for 30 minutes at 375 degrees. I usually check on the dish with 5 minutes left, and top the entire dish with american cheese slices. Pop the dish back in the oven for the remaining 5 minutes or until the cheese has melted.

Dinner with my father-in-law was a success; he loved "surprise" and left with the recipe! It's an easy meal that you can put your own spin on. You can make it healthier by using ground chicken, omit the cheese... whatever you want!

Thanks mom for passing this yummy recipe on to me! It's a crowd pleaser, for sure.


  1. My grandmothers mixture was different but what I loved is she puts it in a pie crust and tops it with mashed potatoes. She would put them in a tube with a decorative tip and squeeze these little swirly peaks of potatoes across the entire top.

    1. You're grandma's mixture sounds amazing! I have a few decorating tips that I rarely use. What a great idea! Thanks so much for sharing, Ashley! :)