Hello from cold, dry Maryland! Kevin and I officially made the move last Saturday, so now we’ve spent a whole week in our new house.
Because we’ve immediately dived into some major house renovations, our entire kitchen at the moment is comprised of a 1.7 square foot fridge plugged in downstairs and a toaster oven we keep where the kitchen used to be- and will eventually be again. As you can imagine, this has forced us to get a little creative with our cooking. (Also, we’ve been eating out a lot.)
Mostly we’ve been doing a fair number of peanut butter and jelly- or grilled cheese- sandwiches. But we’ve also been watching a lot of My Drunk Kitchen- the Hannah Hart YouTube show where she gets drunk and cooks (shock!), with greater and lesser degrees of success. Something about binge-watching her show must have jump-started our creative brains, because dinner last night can only be described in MDK-sian terms.
While we were trying to come up with the week’s menu, I came up with what I considered an ingenious idea to do a shepherd’s pie in the toaster oven, using those pre-made pie shells. After a quick googling, I found this recipe. Here’s where we began emulating the MDK style- I didn’t read it. I grabbed the ingredients list and off we went.
Several hours later when we finally got around to making dinner we discovered that you’re supposed to actually cook the veggies first, instead of just dumping everything into the crust and sending it on its merry way. This posed a bit of a problem, since we don’t have a bowl. Or a stove. (I mentioned the reno, right?) Luckily, Hannah- style inspiration struck us and we turfed the second crust out of its tin and used that tin as a bowl. The tin of veggies got shoved into the toaster oven until they seemed vaguely cooked.
Of course, we also don’t have cooking utensils (or any utensils that aren’t plastic, for that matter) or oven mitts, so we’ve been using disposables and sleeves, respectively.
The pie crust, very emphatically, warned us against baking it in the toaster oven, but since we couldn’t find anything on the internet that said it would explode, mutate, or otherwise become inedible if we did so, we forged ahead, after dumping a pound of pre-made baked potatoes on top.
In the end I think it turned out pretty delicious- we ate the leftovers for lunch today, which I think says something.
Despite the rousing success of our MDK recipe, both Kevin and I are counting down the days until we have a proper kitchen again- only a month and a half to go!
For those of you interested in our version of Toaster Oven Shepherd’s Pie, I’ve recreated our process as best I can below:
Toaster Oven Shepherd’s Pie
- Pre-made pie crusts (but not Pillsbury, because they use lard despite not putting it in any of their other products)
- Bag of frozen veggies (corn, lima beans, green bean things, carrots)
- Bag of shredded cheddar
- Container of pre-chopped onion (which the sales person will kindly dig up for you, despite their doubt that they have one left this close to the Super Bowl)
- Thingie of minced garlic
- Box of veggie broth
- Container with 1 lb. of mashed potatoes (you might think this is too much potato. It is not)
- When you return from the 40 minute walk to the grocery store, rather than unload everything from your wheelie grocery bag, stick the whole thing into the garage. It’s cold enough to be a fridge, after all.
- Once it’s dinner time, bring everything in. Pull up the recipe, realize you need a bowl and a stove. Pour the frozen veggies into the spare pie crust. Realize you don’t want uncooked pie crust in the shepherd’s pie, so dump the veggies into the plastic topper thing from the crusts, chuck the pie crust, then pour the veggies in the tin. (Oh, the crust you’re going to use should be defrosting.) Add enough veggie broth to satisfy you. Also onions. Stick the tin in the toaster oven for 15 minutes (or thereabouts) at 375. Once you take it out, using your sleeves, place it on top of the toaster oven because you don’t even have a proper floor- it got ripped out last week.
- (You have to prebake the crust at some point. Do that.) Add cheese and garlic to the veg. A lot of garlic, because you love garlic. Pour them all into the crust. Dump the entire mashed potatoes on top of it- despite Kevin’s concern that it’s too much potato- and use a plastic fork to spread it around until it covers the entire pie. Bake at 400 for 30 minutes, or until the potatoes brown and look delicious. Use your sleeves to take it out.
- Once it’s cool, use plastic silverware to move it onto paper plates. Enjoy while drinking de-caf Coke out of paper cups and sitting on the dining room floor! Hannah Hart would be so proud of you.
And that’s the first toaster oven recipe we’ve invented! Have you guys ever made a desperation-based recipe? What did it entail? I could use the inspiration, so let me know in the comments!
P.S. My manuscript is at 58,668 words!