November 2, 2013

Halloween Spooky Shepherds Pie

This delicious Shepherds Pie casserole has a fun spooky Halloween twist- mashed potato ghosts!
This year was Ava's first time Halloween Trick or Treating and I was so excited to make her costume and take her out! Last year she was a week old itty bitty baby and now she's running and talking and a full blown toddler! What a difference a year makes! See last year's Halloween pics here
Next to Christmas Halloween is my favorite holiday and I love dressing up and decorating! I am not a fan of scary movies (even though I do like funny zombie and romantic vampire movies, haha) or haunted houses but I just LOVE carving pumpkins, making Halloween treats, going to parties and festivals, and dressing up in costumes! Every year I always dress up Charlie and Dylan and this year Ava got to dress up too!
We decided on peacock costumes and I found an adorable one for Dylan at Walmart and a cute Turquoise "tail style" dress for me at Marshalls. But the best costume was little Miss Ava! I am so proud of her homemade costume! She was the cutest peacock around!
 

 Our decorations (check out my $1 zombie signs!) including my Baby Ava pumpkin made with a pie pumpkin.
 I simply pinned a pacifier (nipple cut off) on, drew sleepy eyes, and tied on a bow (you could also add a baby hat for a boy!)

 My sweet babies, Dylan and Ava both wore their Halloween pjs every night this week!
 
Ava was walking around the house with her treat bucket.
My girl was ready to collect some candy!




Here's a fun recipe I made for Lactaid Milk a few years ago. Check out my cooking video below!

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 lb ground pork
  • 5-6 potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 10-12 oz small bag frozen mixed vegetables
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 8 oz pkg mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 cup milk (I used Lactaid)
  • 5 tbsp butter, separated
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 2 tbsp Worchestershire
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1/2 cup shredded mixed cheese
  • salt/pepper/garlic powder, to taste
  • olive oil

Directions:

  1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Cook and crumble pork in a skillet until cooked through and no longer pink. Season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Drain and set aside.
  3. Add a swirl of olive oil to a skillet and add chopped onions and mushrooms. Cook until softened. Season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
  4. Cook frozen veggies in a small saucepan with some water according to package. Drain and set aside.
  5. Meanwhile, add potatoes to a medium pot of water and bring to a boil. Boil until fork tender (about 15-20 min.)
  6. Drain and then add to a mixing bowl. Mix in milk and 2 tbsp butter. Using a mixer (or large spoon) mix until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. To make gravy: Melt remaining butter in a saucepan then whisk in flour to make a roux. 
  8. Next, add Worcestershire and beef broth. Season with pepper to taste. Simmer and stir until thickened.
  9. To assemble: using a 9X13 baking dish add mixed vegetables to the bottom. Spread to cover (for the Halloween version reserve 16 peas for mashed potato ghosts).
  10. Next add pork, then onion/mushroom mix, then pour gravy on top.
  11. Scoop mashed potatoes into a large freezer bag and cut off the corner top to use as a piping bag.
  12. Pipe 8 mashed potato ghosts on top of the filling mixture and add two green peas as eyes for each ghost.
  13. If not doing the Halloween version, simply spread the potatoes on, covering the filling completely.
  14. Top with shredded cheese.
  15. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 375 degrees.
 I had all burners going for this recipe!
 To make gravy: make a roux with butter and flour.
Then add Worcestershire and beef broth and cook until thickened.
To assemble: using a 9X13 baking dish add mixed vegetables to the bottom. Spread to cover (for the Halloween version reserve 16 peas for mashed potato ghosts).
Next add pork, then onion/mushroom mix, then pour gravy on top.
Scoop mashed potatoes into a large freezer bag and cut off the corner top to use as a piping bag.
Pipe 8 mashed potato ghosts on top of the filling mixture and add two green peas as eyes for each ghost.
If not doing the Halloween version, simply spread the potatoes on, covering the filling completely.

 Bake for 20-25 minutes at 375 degrees.


Here's a fun idea: stuff leftover shepherds pie (or any casserole) into a pepper! I simply removed the top, scooped out the seeds, cut out a pumpkin face, and baked the pepper for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Then fill with the casserole and bake for another 10 minutes or until heated through!

 Hope you had a Happy Halloween! Check out more of our pics below!
 Of course you can make this recipe anytime and omit the mashed potato ghosts and just cover completely with mashed potatoes and cheese. Rich, warm, and delicious and perfect for a cold night!
Trick or treat!
 Yes. I had to make a peacock tail for me too but it looks tiny compared to Ava's beautiful feathers!
Ava and her best bud Charlotte (Pumpkin Pi, get it?!) at the Fall Fest!
Yes, she is sorting her candy! She did it all night!

Would you like a pumpkin?
Last stop- Marble Slab ice cream where they were giving free ice cream to kids in costume. So I let Ava have her first taste of ice cream! She loved it of course!
 Finally we came home, put on her Halloween jammies and watched The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown. What a fun night!
Check out my winning cooking video!
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