Quick Tip: Adding Corn and Peas to Cottage Pies

I recently added a post here about making cottage pies and, back in 2013 I had posted one about making shepherd’s pie. I’ve had a few questions from readers, and thought I would answer them here.

  1. When using canned vegetables, I use one to three tablespoons of the liquid from the can as the liquid in my pies, depending on the pan size. Then I drain the vegetables before adding them to the pie. When adding the liquid to the pan, I do so either before or after I put in the ground beef. It doesn’t seem to make a bit of difference which.
  2. You could also add the liquid after the corn or peas.
  3. You can add frozen vegetables strait to the baking pan, pouring them directly over the ground beef along with whatever liquid you use. But…
  4. You could also cook the veggies in water, using a few tablespoons of that water after cooking as the liquid in the pie, and then draining the vegetables and pouring them over the meat.

Happy days!

~ Shannon

Healthy Snacking Options

As per my new year goals, I’m consuming even more healthy foods this year. Whenever possible, I will be getting in extra vegetables, and consuming at least one fruit every day. I don’t want to go overboard on fruit because I’m working on weightloss goals and fruit has a good amount of sugar, but it’s important to include fruit in a healthy menu. And most fruit is simply delicious.

One way I’m meeting my goals is by really thinking through my snack options. And there are so many delicious, healthy snacks out there. The picture above is a snack I’ve made and intend to repeat. Fruits, veggies, and protein, with a little coconut oil in the dip for the healthy fat addition.

SnapIt Board used in this Photograph.

Some other things I’m doing more of:

  • Fruit-based smoothies with protein powder, a small amount of coconut oil, and ground flax seed, paired with raw green beans or other raw. Vegetables can be eaten fresh from the garden if you have one, to save money. And any affordable fruit can be used in the smoothies. (In this picture, I used two SnapIt Boards, which I am loving right now. I don’t have the best lighting or surfaces in the room that I rent, so these boards help with my picture taking efforts. This is not an affiliate link, but the people who make the boards did send me the pair to try out.)
  • Fruit-based smoothies, like above but with greens. Because greens are super good for you and I need more in my diet.
  • Fruit slices paired with some seeds. I especially love sunflower and pumpkin seeds, but I’m also roasting the seeds from different varieties of squash. (If I haven’t posted a recipe recently, I will be doing so!)
  • Chicken slices with strawberries, carrots, and celery.
  • Nut butter and celery sticks.
  • Home-baked chard and kale chips.
  • Trail mixes.
  • Non-dairy yogurt topped with berries.

I’m sure I’ll come up with more ideas.

So how about you? What health goals did you make this year? How are you going to reach them?

~ Shannon

Limited Time Only: 50% off Organic Produce

(Referral Post: From now until 11:59 PM ET January 4th, 2020, you get 50% off your first subscription box and I will get 50% off a future box of my own. Win-Win! Thereafter, we’ll both get a discount still, it just won’t be as good. The amount changes from time-to-time.)

Now that the holidays are over, it’s time to begin blogging more. I hope you enjoyed all the recipes I’ve shared, as well as the descriptions of the Misfits Market boxes I’ve been sharing. The second type of post takes a great deal of time to write. This year I’m skipping the second type, unless I here from a number of you asking me to continue with them. I want to mainly share recipes and articles about food. I’ll still mention the boxes in posts that include a recipe using the Madness Boxes I receive, and let you know when particularly amazing discounts occur. But I don’t plan to post specifically about every box.

In case you missed them due to extreme holiday busyness, my recent recipes have included: Roasted potatoes & carrots, spiced almond nog, cottage pie with Italian herbs & baked collard green chips, and cottage pie variations.

Now, on to this hefty discount from Misfits Market!

What exactly is 50% off?

There are two boxes to choose from. The Mischief Box is filled with 10-13 pounds of organic fruits and vegetables. This box usually goes for $22. At 50% off, the box will cost $11 plus tax and shipping for the duration of this offer.

The Madness Box sells for $35. At 50% off you will pay $17.50 plus tax and shipping for 18-22 pounds of organic fruits and vegetables.   –   To put this box in perspective, I receive a box every two weeks. After giving some of the produce two my daughters, I still have enough produce left over to last me that long. I am single. I dry herbs and freeze some of the produce so it doesn’t go bad before I can eat. I get mostly vegetables, which is what I need. I do not receive bananas, so I buy these separate. Usually the fruit consists of apples, pears, mangoes, lemons, and/or limes. I have also seen grapefruit, berries, and other types of fruit on occasion. It’s a substantial amount of food that fills a couple of reusable shopping bags every other week.

What you get?

Ten to twenty-two pounds of organic produce delivered to your door, which, depending where you are from, can normally amount to about 40% off the store-bought version. Plus, you’ll get 50% off for the next few days only, ending at 11:59 PM ET on January 4th, 2020. This deep a discount doesn’t happen every day, so now is the time to use it.

What do I get?

Full disclosure, even I can use a discount on my grocery bill. Food is expensive no matter how you look at it. When you order your first box by January 4th using my referral code, COOKWME-PI4FFE, I will get 50% off a future box. The discount normally isn’t this good for me either. I don’t get paid to blog, so these referrals are a help when they do happen.

A little more about this company:

In 2019,

  • They shipped more than a million boxes of food.
  • They rescued more that 15 million pounds of produce. That otherwise would have gone to waste.
  • They prevented more than 1 million tons of CO2 emissions with eco-friendly packaging choices.
  • Expanded their delivery to more states.
  • Customers get the chance to refer friends and family, so they can get discounts.

This year they will:

  • Expand delivery to even more states.
  • Work toward giving more customers the ability to customize parts of their orders.
  • Offer Monday deliveries.

They are working toward getting to know our needs and catering to as many of them as they can.

How to get your first box:

  1. Use referral code: COOKWME-PI4FFE – This is an important step!
  2. Go to Misfits Market to make your first order!
  3. Let me know how you enjoy your Misfits Market box, and how you use the produce. You can do this by emailing me at shannonlbuck@gmail.com, or by commenting on any posts here on the blog.


~ Shannon

Roasted Potatoes & Carrots with Corn + A Smoothie

I’m still loving these Misfits Market boxes. I skipped the Christmas week box because I wasn’t going to be preparing as much food at home,  but I will be getting another box in a little over a week. I still have fresh produce at home that I’m working on eating, and again I’ll only be preparing some of my meals here.

The last box had a good amount of potatoes and carrots, and I had some some other things I had to use up, so this was my dinner the other night. (By the way, I love how colorful everything is.)

(I served the following two items with corn as a side.) (And I had this a few weeks back as well. It’s a good meal.)

Roasted Potatoes & Carrots


three each: small red and yellow potatoes

1 each: small orange, purple, red, and yellow carrots

oil of choice

sea salt




  1. Wash and towel dry the vegetables.
  2. Cut the top off the carrots, and any bad parts off the potatoes.
  3. Cut the carrots and potatoes into bite-size chunks of roughly the same size.
  4. Lay out on a baking sheet.
  5. Drizzle oil over the vegetables.
  6. Sprinkle salt and herbs over them.
  7. Mix the vegetables on the baking sheet with your hands to evenly distribute the oil and seasonings.
  8. Place in an oven at 400 degrees. Bake 25 minutes.
  9. Take out of the oven and turn the vegetables.
  10. Bake again at 400 degrees for another 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Remove from oven.

During the last few minutes of bake time, prepare the smoothie.


1/2 to 3/4 cup coconut milk

1 small banana

a handful of blueberries

a handful of raspberries

1 tsp pea protein powder

1 tsp ground flax seed

1/2 tsp coconut oil

  1. Put the liquid in the blender.
  2. Add the banana.
  3. Follow that with the pea protein, flax, and coconut oil.
  4. Add the berries.
  5. Blend until smooth, adding more liquid only if necessary.


  • Mix things up, using items you have on hand to save money.
  • Beets are great roasted, as is fennel, if you’d like to try something different.

Serving Suggestions

  • These two items could be served alongside a salad, rather than corn, for an extra nutrient boost.


~ Shannon


Spiced Almond Nog

Because my body does not like to process dairy well, I’ve been missing eggnog so much at the holidays that I have cheated and had some the last couple of years. I never feel good after, so I take Imodium. I know. I know. Why would I consume something that does not treat my body well? It was always one of my favorite parts of the holidays. That and the canned, jellied cranberry sauce.

This year I noticed that Blue Diamond Almond Breeze has an almond nog. Yay!

Does it taste exactly like eggnog? Don’t know. I use it to make rum drinks with, and it works great for this purpose.

The price is high at $3.28 per quart, but I can get three drinks out of it if I use wine glasses rather than tall glasses.

While working my shifts at The Inn, I am sometimes gifted different types of alcohol from certain guests. Twice in a two month period, one guest gave me a of Bacardi Rum, and another gave me whiskey. For this recipe, I’ve been using the rum.

The amount of rum used will depend on your tastes. I do not use a lot. Just enough for a little added flavor. I don’t measure out any of the ingredients for this recipe. I use organic spices because the taste is superior.

Spiced Almond Nog






  1. Pour just a little rum into a the wine glass.
  2. fill the rest of the way with nog and stir.
  3. Sprinkle cinnamon and eggnog over the top.

Happy Holidays!

~ Shannon

Cottage Pie with Italian Herbs & Baked Collard Green Chips

I’ve enjoyed a different cottage pie every so often since the weather started cooling off, and have made posts here and here about doing so. With the different seasonings I have on hand, and a tweak here-and-there, I can switch things up so making these pies doesn’t get old. The chips I baked the day before. and they were delicious sprinkled over the top.

Something I am trying to do is eat less meat. I’m not ready to give it up, but I’ve been trying to use it more as an ingredient than the main part of a meal. This saves money on the grocery bill. This also means I can use leftovers.

A serving is filling when served with a side salad.

Cottage Pie with Italian Herbs & Baked Collard Green Chips


1/4 to 1/2 pound of ground beef

1/2 a chicken breast

1 large potato

2 small yellow potatoes

6 baby read potatoes

1 medium sweet potato

3/4 to 1 cup of frozen corn

butter or oil

2 Tbsp vegetable stock or reserved sweet potato cooking water.

2 tsp Italian herb mix (dried parsley, basil, and oregano)

2 to 4 baked collard green chips

  1. Rinse the sweet and other potatoes.
  2. Peel sweet potato and chop. Put in a pot and cover with water on medium-high.
  3. Reduce heat when the liquid starts to boil, and cook until fork tender.
  4. Drain the sweet potato, reserving the water, and then mash with a fork.
  5. Pour the water back into the pot and put back on the burner, but do not turn on.
  6. Measure out the frozen corn and add it to the sweet potato water. Do NOT turn the burner on. The hot liquid will warm the corn perfectly.
  7. Chop the other potatoes.
  8. Put in a pot and cover with water, and cook on medium-high.
  9. Reduce heat when the liquid starts to boil, and cook until fork tender.
  10. Drain the potatoes, and then mash with together with a fork.
  11. Drain the other potatoes and mash.
  12. Put oil or butter in a skillet and heat on medium-high until melted.
  13. Add the ground beef.
  14. Brown the ground beef while dicing the chicken.
  15. Drain and rinse the ground beef when cooked through, putting the meat into the bottom of a casserole dish.
  16. Cook the chicken in the same skillet, adding more butter or oil if needed, until cooked through. Drain and rinse, and add the meat to the casserole dish.
  17. Add two tablespoons of vegetable stock or the reserved cooking water from the sweet potato to the baking dish.
  18. Drain the liquid from the corn, spreading the corn over the meat mixture in the dish.
  19. Top with sweet potato and spread out in a this layer.
  20. Top with the other mashed potatoes, spreading it all out evenly over the sweet potato.
  21. Place in the oven and bake at 350 degrees for 25+ minutes, until warmed through.
  22. Remove from oven and crumble baked collard chips over the top. (These could also be added when you add the herbs to the mashed potatoes.)


  • By using the sweet potato water rather than just regular water, you’re getting those added nutrients.
  • By using that water over store-bought stock, you are saving money.

Serving Suggestions


~ Shannon


Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

While there may still be some things posting to the blog this month, I am actually on vacation. Everything has been written and schedule to post on the blogs on specific days, so you can still check in and read new things while I am away.

I will be enjoying working at The Inn a little extra this week and next (or, at least, I will enjoy the extra money that goes along with it), and spending time with family. The bestest will be dropping off gifts, and I’ll be organizing and tidying up my space to start afresh in the New Year. I’ll also be doing my tarot and numerology readings, to see what my 2020 should look like. And finishing up filling out my 2020 planner. These are the little traditions that get me into the New Year successfully, so I have a clue about what I am doing.

So I want to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! I hope you had a Happy Yule!

Love & Light,

~ Shannon

Cottage Pie Work-Week Meals

This week I thought I’d post about a simple work-week meal based around the cottage pies I made the other day. They’ve been delicious, so far.

I froze enough for my four shifts at The Inn and, when I took them out of the freezer this evening to prepare them for tomorrow’s trip to work, I added just a couple of things to the containers. Organic carrots and grapes that taste absolutely amazing. Snacks for the weekend will be sliced cucumber.

I don’t care what anyone says, I can taste the difference between organic food and the other foods. Does anyone else? Is it just me?

This simple meal will fill me up during my shifts at work, in a healthy way. Can’t beat that.

~ Shannon



Cottage Pie Variations

I posted this shepherd’s pie and the variations back in 2013. I still love the original recipe and those variations, but there is more you can do with these pies.

Also, my daughter Zowie pointed out to me that, while these were called Shepherd’s pies while I was growing up, and therefore while she and her sister were growing up, they are actually cottage pies. Why? Because our versions are not made with lamb. If yours are, please continue to call them shepherd’s pie.

These pies can be baked in pans of varying sizes, and they allow for some amount of experimentation. I recently decided to make some for work meals, and these are some of the food combinations I came up with. They are so easy to make.



  • Ground beef, peas, mashed carrot, and mashed potato.
  • Shredded chicken, corn, mashed squash, and mashed sweet potato.
  • Ground beef, corn, peas, mashed carrot, mashed squash, and mashed sweet potato.
  • Shredded chicken, corn, peas, mashed squash, mashed potato.

I’m trying to get in as many vegetables a day as I can.

I love the little pie plates I bought. They allow you to make serving size pies for easy lunches, and can be packed into lunch sacks once covered. I use reusable methods for doing this, such as bees wax wrapping. I’d like to find some mini baking pans with lids.

Making a cottage pie is easy.

First, cook the meat and add some to the bottom of the baking dish with 1 or more tablespoons of water, broth, stock, or vegetable cooking liquid. Then add mashed, frozen, or canned vegetables, like this:

cottage pie 14

Next you want to add a top layer of your choice: squash, white potato, or sweet potato. And sprinkle on any herbs you want.

cottage pie 9

You can also add a dollop of another topping if you’d like. Be creative. Try new things.

Last, you’ll want to bake the pie(s) at about 350 degrees until they are warmed through. At least 15 or 20 minutes.


  • Grow what you can to save money.
  • Use store coupons or wait for sales to save money. Better yet, use sales and coupons together.
  • Eat in-season when possible for the freshest food, and to maybe save a little money.

Serving Suggestions

Enjoy the recipe!


This Weeks Misfits Market Box 10/2/2019

Look at all of this amazing food. I love getting these Madness Boxes from Misfits Market. I look forward to them every other week. There is plenty of fresh produce for me, and I can share some with my daughters.

  • 2 pints of grape tomatoes (Took what I would use and gave the rest to Skye & Zowie)
  • red grapes
  • 8 little pepper (Gave to Skye & Zowie)
  • 4 zucchini (Kept 2. Gave 1 each to Skye & Zowie)
  • 4 yellow peaches
  • 6 Bosc pears
  • 2 bunches green onions (Gave to Skye & Zowie)
  • 4 lemons
  • 2 bunches red kale
  • 2 egg plants
  • 14 carrots of varying pretty colors
  • 2 acorn squash
  • 4 onions (Gave to Skye & Zowie)
  • 8 apples

This was a very nice bounty of delicious goodness! The squash is being stored because it will last longer than anything else. I have others as well and, once-in-a-while, I will make a stuffed squash.

With this bounty I’ve already made lemonade and am planning to use the rest of the lemons to make lemon water. I made apple-peach and apple-pear sauces for work, and am using kale in smoothies. (One thing I wish came in the boxes is bananas. Oh, and lots of berries. I buy these at the store for my smoothies.)

I also used some of the kale for work salads, adding the tomatoes and zucchini I kept, and some of the carrots. And I’ll be bringing grapes to work for a snack! I love grapes.

I do plan to use the eggplant later in the week by roasting them with potatoes and carrots.

What do you think of all the good stuff that comes in these Misfits Market boxes? Do you get them? I noticed that my sisters boxes are usually somewhat different than mine, and she only lives about ten minutes from me.

~ Shannon