“Your life is a result of the choices you make. If you don’t like your life, it is time to start making better choices.”
2012 was a tough year. Not just for me, but for a lot of my loved ones. Change, death, loss, fear, confusion. You name it – we had it.
It was almost a year ago that I made a decision that would change my life as I knew it. Not just my life, but what I had envisioned for my life. It was a hard decision, but it was one that would lead to a happier and more content version of myself. A version of myself that I recognized again and actually liked.
I had come across the above quote, and it made me think about how unhappy I was, and why. Once I started making decisions that were better for me, and not anyone else, I started to love my life for the first time in a really long time.
I also stopped cooking, which led to the lack of posts over the past year.
It’s hard to do things with passion when you don’t know yourself anymore, so I took some time to figure out “me.” One thing is for sure, I still love being in the kitchen. It is still a place where I am comfortable, creative and anxiety free.
I decided that 2013 was going to be a positive, happy and exciting year. I needed it after the past year and so did the closest people to me in my life. We rang in the new year together on the beach and cheered to “new beginnings” and “happier times.”
My brother-in-law lost his mother almost a year ago. She loved “My Big Fat Italian Life” and saved all of my recipes. While I may have stopped blogging last year, I didn’t stop cooking. I was cooking for her when she couldn’t, and I just didn’t feel right blogging about it.
So, for Dianne, I am going to start sharing recipes again. I am going to dedicate the year of “new beginnings” and “happier times” to her. Cheers, Dianne!
Every so often my family has a little friendly cooking competition. Everyone grew up in the kitchen and in the food industry, so it’s only natural that everyone thinks they are the “best” in the trade. While I was in Chicago I missed a few of the cook-offs, so when they decided to have a Super Bowl cook-off, I jumped at the chance!
I had made the Page Family Meat Pie before, but this time I knew I had to up the ante. These pies weren’t going to be just traditional meat pies, and I didn’t want to come in last! I decided to put a spin on the original recipe and it turned out pretty good!
I did forget to drain the meat all of the way, so I ended up with a runny consistency, but the flavor was great.
My Uncle Paul (aka Uncle Handsome) ended up winning, but I came in second (first for flavor).
Page Family Meat Pie
5 Yukon gold potatoes
1 large onion, finely chopped
7 pieces bacon
1 red pepper, finely chopped
1 yellow pepper, finely chopped
2 lbs ground beef
David Page’s Special Seasoning
Salt & Pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
½ cup milk
½ stick of butter
Philadelphia Cooking Cream, Savory Garlic
Salt & Pepper, to taste
2 pie shells
Box of Puff Pastry
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Peel the potatoes and add to the boiling water. Once the potatoes are fully cooked, remove from the heat and set aside in a mixing bowl.
Finely chop the onion and set aside.
In a large skillet cook the bacon in an ungreased skillet on medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes.
Chop the yellow and red pepper and set aside (do not get rid of the grease).
Add the onion and the beef to the skillet with the bacon grease. Season with David Page’s special seasoning, sage, salt and pepper to taste and garlic powder. Add the chopped peppers.
Take the bacon and chop into tiny pieces. Add to the meat.
Add milk and butter to the potatoes and mash with a mixer. Add salt and pepper to taste and the cream cheese. Make sure to leave some lumps in the potatoes.
Add the pie shell to the pie pan.
Drain the beef. Once the meat is drained, mix with the potatoes and add to the pie shell.
Beat 3 eggs in a bowl and brush on the edges of the pie crust and the top of the pie.
Preheat the oven to 350° and bake for 45 minutes to an hour (if the edges start to brown faster than the pie, add foil to the edges).
If you have left over filling, you can make mini meat pies, as well!
Roll out the puff pastry dough on a well-floured surface and cut dough into 3-inch squares.
Add filling to the center of each square, but be careful not to add too much filling or the pastry won’t close.
Brush beaten egg on the edges with a pastry brush.
Fold the square into a triangle and push the edges together (you can even use a fork to make a pattern).
Add more egg to the edges.
Place triangles on a baking sheet
Preheat the over to 375° and bake for about 20 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown.
The meat pie contest was a lot of fun, but I am pretty sure no one in my family wants to see another meat pie for a long, long time! It was a bit excessive…
And to start 2013 off with a bang, we welcomed the newest member of the Page family at the end of 2012. Introducing baby Augustus or “Gus.” He is as cute as a button!
I have a very, very long list of things to make and I’m excited to share them with you throughout the year! More updates to come…I promise!