What do you do when you have 12 bottles of opened wine? Besides drinking all of them I mean.
Oh, wait. Are you one of those people who can drink an entire bottle of wine by yourself? Then we should definitely be friends. I'll trade you - wine for food.
One of the perks of my job is the access to free wine. That, along with drinking on the job and the occasional free meal. Once in a while we get a bunch of samples for tasting but we don't usually finish them. They get stuck in the fridge and are eventually forgotten. Googling red wine recipes gave me a few ideas but this stood out the most to me.
Red wine? Check.
Chocolate cake? Check.
More chocolate? Just hand me a slice already!
These days (everyday) I'm dreaming of Sydney and imagining how wonderful the weather must be now. I'm reminiscing about Taipei and it's endless rainy winter days and their amazing hot pot buffet with free flow ice cream.
It's getting way too hot here. I'm talking hot like spending 5 minutes outdoors and the back of your hands are perspiring, showering 5 times a day, all you want to do is stay home hot.
Staying at home means that I lay in bed reading on my kindle, or sit in front of my computer watching hours and hours of CSI and Supernatural. At some point, I get my lazy ass off my very comfortable bed/ chair, put on my imaginary apron and bake something.
You know how sometimes you spend so much time making all the components of a cake and by the time you are done baking, you don't even feel like doing a proper frosting job? I mean, the cake is going to taste the same even if you just cut it into chunks and slather the frosting on top, right? Right, but we can at least do it in an artful way that is worthy of a picture. That was how this naked cake came about, it looks great (if I do say so myself), and it tastes great, no thanks to the heat.
Have you ever had one of those days where everything you made turned out bad? Well, I had one of those - FOR THE WHOLE WEEK! Even recipes that I've tried and done many times failed horribly. It was not pleasant. After 3 tries that went south, I was hungry, tired, angry and ready to throw in the towel.
On days like this, what I crave is a piping hot meal that is so good it makes me forget my unhappiness. Enter the Shepherd's Pie - one of my all time favourite comfort foods. Shovelling spoonfuls of it into my mouth makes me forget all about my baking failures. You know what's the best part? You can make this in advance, refrigerate it and eat it over a few days if nobody else in the family devours it ;p
Just so you know, Shepherd's Pie is made with lamb, and cottage pie is made with beef. While the recipe calls for lamb, I frequently use pork or chicken in my pies. As opposed to baking, cooking doesn't call for very specific measurements in terms of ingredients, so feel free to adjust the ingredients to your liking!