I feel weird writing a blog about these cupcakes. The major reason why is that they were made for book club this month and book club was all about not using technology. The book we read was called "The Winter of our Disconnect" and discusses one woman and her three teenage kids struggle with giving up the use of technology for 6 months. So for our "theme" this month, we attempted to organize book club without the use of technology.
We have been doing book club for almost two years now and what's interesting to think about is that it was started over a Facebook post. Every month we send multiple email chains about dates and themes and locations. We have started organizing our dates via a Doodle poll (which may be the single greatest thing to ever happen to scheduling 8 busy ladies). Most of the time when we actually go to book club, we actually don't talk about the book--- because we've spent the whole month gchatting, texting and emailing about it that there's not much left to talk about. So taking all of that away for a month... was definitely an experiment.
This whole thing was my idea (not to brag or anything...) It started with a letter distributed to everyone at the August Book Club. I included a calendar I made and a self addressed stamp envelope for everyone to fill out and send back to me. I also included a set of address labels for the rest of the book club so that people could send mail to one another if they needed to talk about the book! I got all of the calendars back and even some cute notes along with them. Then at September Book Club, everyone got an invitation to November book club which included the theme (home cooking) and their assigned "course". I didn't even know they still made those invitations where you simply fill in the lines! I thought everything these days was either an evite or some fancy invitation.
What I found was by the time book club came around... I really had no idea what was going on! I really had no idea what people were bringing or who was even coming! Maureen had sent me a very nice RSVP card and Katie had RSVPed via the "pony express" (we had gone horseback riding and she yelled it from the horse). I had no idea about the others! Finally people started breaking the technology ban. It started with an illegal Facebook post. Then a couple gchat RSVPs. But overall we did really well. People read the actual book and not on the Kindle... who remembers the last time they did that?? I think it gave us some good perspective and allowed us really reflect on how technology rules out lives. Especially when over half the book club conversation revolved around what we had seen on Pinterest!
Anyway, back to the theme.... which was "home cooking" l chose to make a main course since i was hosting and all but it still ended up being a cupcake. Shepherd's Pie has to be one of the single greatest food combinations ever. It has my favorite things.... ground beef, mashed potatoes and peas! Seriously, how can you go wrong with that?? So trying this new recipe for shepherd's pie cupcakes was definitely something I needed to do! I was a pretty bad food blogger and didn't take pictures along the way! But the finished product was awesome!
Even though the recipe said to use a biscuit per pie, i opted to buy the bigger Grands biscuits and cut them in half. (Or i shopped without reading the recipe and therefore didn't realize I didn't want thick ones....) I also added peas because who doesn't like peas :) Or maybe I just love them. I also used instant mashed potatoes, but added some butter to make them extra flavorful. They made for a great dinner and an even better breakfast :)
Shepherd's Pie Cupcakes
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 cup frozen peas (or less...)
- 1/3 ketchup
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tube (12 ounces) refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
- 1 packet instant mashed potatoes (like those by betty crocker)
- 1/2 stick of butter
- Preheat oven to 375. Spray a mufffin pan with cooking spray
- In a skillet, cook ground beef, onion, garlic and frozen peas until meat is no longer pink and peas are cooked through. Drain off any fat
- Stir in the ketchup, vinegar and salt and set aside (I actually did this up the night before to reduce prep time day of)
- Place biscuits (or half of a thick Grand's biscuit) in each cup of the tray. Press them down in so that they come up the sides making a little cup
- Spoon in the ground beef mixture into the cups and set aside
- Follow the directions on the package for the instant mashed potatoes (I always use the stove top with milk directions) and add in half a stick of butter at the end
- Take a piping bag with a big tip and pipe on the mashed potatoes onto the cupcakes. You can also just spread them on
- Bake for 20-25 minutes. Serve warm
Recipe adapted from Taste of Home