Friday, 10 December 2010

Sweet potato cottage pie

I am feeling much better now... Thank you for all the kind words on the previous post.  Much appreciated.

Last night, I was craving for a pie and I searched in my kitchen for some ingredients and with what I found in the fridge and cupboard, I made a sweet potato cottage pie.  The pie looks a lot bigger in the picture, it's actually just a small ramekin for one serving (well, maybe 2... but I am greedy).

Although for me most food is comfort food, there is something so soothing and extra comforting about a freshly baked pie.  This may comes in the ray of spices, like thyme, rosemary and bay; the sweetness of slowly cooked onions, carrots and mushrooms; the tender meat inside, and the rich savoury gravy underneath... And I prefer my pie to be topped with mash, not pastry.  White potato mash is great, but sweet potato is so much better... yum...

Elisabeth from Food and Thrift Finds kindly tagged me on a series of questions.  So, here are my answers:

1. Are you a vegetarian, or have you thought of being one?
No, I am not a vegetarian and I haven't thought of becoming one.  It'll be such a challenge.  I must say though, twice or three times a week, I always have meals that are meat-free.  But I don't think I can give up meat entirely.

2. Who inspired you to cook or bake?
That's easy: my mom.  She is a fantastic cook and an excellent baker.  My mom used to be a pastry chef and a private caterer.  One of my fondest childhood memories is following her and watching her 'perform' from one kitchen to another.  I sat quietly in the corner, watching the excitement whilst waiting if there's any extra food... and guess what? there's always extra food.

3. How do you celebrate Christmas? or a favourite holiday of your choice?
Christmas is definitely my favourite holiday.  Sadly, I have not been home for the past eight years to celebrate the holiday with my family.  My family is in Indonesia and my break from work and studying is not long enough for me to visit them.  I'll be visiting them soon though, so I'm really looking forward to that.  If I were home, we'll go to church in the morning and then later, we'll have the elaborate Christmas lunch and open our presents afterwards. 

4. Do you prefer to celebrate New Year's Eve with friends and/or family, or prefer to ring in the New Year quietly, and privately, at home?
I am always out on New Year's Eve either with friends or family.  The past three years and again this year, I'll be in London, outside the London Eye to watch the fireworks.  I think it's more exciting outside and I like to be part of the countdown with thousands of other people.  

5. If someone were to ask you to bring a dessert to a party, what would you bring? Store bought, or home-made, and if you were to make home-made, what would you make?
My friends always give me a hard time every time I bought something pre-made from the store.  They think I'm being lazy.  If I had the time, it's got to be home-made, maybe something like cream cheese pound cake, chocolate cheesecake or chocolate cola cake.  Everybody can go to the store and buy something, but it's definitely more special when you make all the effort and it shows that you care about them.  

6. How will you celebrate your next birthday?
I don't want to think about my next birthday... Maybe in an island where time stands still and I don't have to get older.

7. Do you have a New Year's resolution-and will you be sticking to it?
I don't have one yet for 2011.  My resolution for 2010 was to eat more avocado and I think I've done pretty well this year.  If it's food related, maybe I'll stick to it.  

Thank you Elisabeth.  So, now it's my turn to tag other bloggers, my chance to get to know you better, and since I still have 23 awards to share, I'd like to give you an award as well.  Aren't I nice?

Tubuko DX - Da Washoku Kitchen
Alexandria - Dreams of Sugarplums
Kristen - Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker
Katrina - Goodbye, Butter
Lucy - The Kitchen Maid
Jenn - Jenn's Food Journey
Jennifer - Indigo's Sugar Spectrum
Bella - Mangiabella Tasting the Beauty of Life
Joan - The Artist Chef
Joy - Joy and the Yamdaisy

And here are my questions to you:
1. When did you learn to cook?
2. Name three things that are always in your fridge.
3. Do you have any food guilty pleasures?
4. Tell us about your most memorable meal...
5. What is your drink of choice?

When you received this, you can set up your own questions and pass it on to other bloggers of your choice.  I look forward to reading your answers.

This weekend I'm gonna try to finish my essay as I really want to get it out of the way before the holiday.  My friends are coming over tomorrow for X-Factor finale which will be fun.  Enjoy your weekend everyone...


  1. Thanks, Michael. I appreciate the award.
    1. I learned to cook from my mom and grandmother, through trial and error [like the first time I greased a pan, inside and out, because Mom said to be sure to grease ALL the sides ;-)].
    2. There is always a bottle of minced garlic, a bag of yeast and a jar of grated Romano cheese in my fridge.
    3. Cheese. I love it. All kinds, all the time.
    4. My most memorable meal (bad memory) was when, as a newlywed, I substituted wine vinegar for wine when I made cod. Oh how horrible sour cod tastes!!!
    5. Water. I hardly ever drink anything else.

    It was fun to see your cottage pie recipe. When you said you were hankering for some pie, I immediately thought sweet.

  2. Oh yes, Michael, sweet potatoes are delish! I really love them on top of your cottage pie.
    And it was fun reading more about you too!

  3. thanks so much! Nice to learn more about you too! I will be sure to post soon!

  4. I adore the sweet potatoes! Now you have me crave for some seriously comforting treat!
    Have a relaxing weekend!

  5. Don't you hate that because you cook/bake and you have a food blog that people will never accept anything store bought from you!! LOL I guess that's the cross we must bear :)
    Thank you so much for the award Michael! I so appreciate it. I'll be posting soon!

  6. Thanks so much for the award! I really appreciate it!

    1. I should have learned to cook from my mother, because she owned a restaurant and catering business, but I didn't. I just picked it up on my own growing up and then after college started getting a little more serious about making delicious meals.

    2. Feta cheese (which I'll eat on anything), minced garlic (for when I'm out of regular), and eggs (because you can always make a meal with them.)

    3. Um, everything? I love all cheeses and cured meats, but I also have a total sweet tooth and crave cookies and pies.

    4. Gosh, there have been too many. My husband and I love to eat out when we go to new cities so it's hard to say which was the most memorable.

    5. Water if it's non-alcoholic, but definitely wine if we're talking alcoholic. I used to be on only red wine drinker, but now I'm loving whites as well. A nice glass of sauvignon blanc will always improve my day.

  7. Wow, what a nice surprise! I'm really touched, thanks. Will reply to your questions some time this week. Glad you're feeling better and have a great weekend (oh, how I wish I could be watching the X Factor too!)

  8. Oh! Wow!!!
    Thank you very much for the award. Surprise!!!!
    I will be posting it soon.
    'cream cheese pound cake' sounds too yummy! Mouse watering!!!
    Wish you a beautiful day!

  9. Thank you so much for the award!! I look forward to following your blog as well. I totally know what it is like to be away from family...not quite as far as Indonesia. You have me beat on that one.

    This cottage pie looks great! I love the substitution of the sweet potatoes for regular ones. Yum! :)

  10. Hi Michael, Thankyou so much for the award! It is a lovely one, and I am going to have fun checking out the other blogs in you list!

    Also, that Sweet potato pie is SO yum! On my list!

  11. This cottage pie looks very comforting. The sweet potato mash on top is a nice touch.

    I enjoyed reading this post.
    Happy Holidays to you.

  12. Very much appreciated. After my busy days with work... I will try to do this as well. My sked is tremendously erratic lately. :(