The Circle of Kindness: An Irish Journey of the Heart is the third book in a series about the nurturing power of food and love, by Jana Kolpen & Mary Tiegreen, following Dancing with the Moon and The Secrets of Pistoulet.
The quirkiest and most delicious of this charming series, I found myself wanting to dine at The Inn Between, (open in between breakfast, lunch, and dinner), have tea with the Legendary Lady and play in her dish cabinet, and bake in the cozy kitchen of Merriweather Cottage!
“In the enchanted Irish countryside of ancient forests, singing bridges, and babbling brooks stands a thatch-roofed pink cottage overlooking the sea. In all of Ireland there’s no place finer to have a cup of tea and witness the wonders of life that are offered to us every day.“
I set off for a picnic for my
Irish Journey of the Heart
with The Novel Bakers. . .
I picked a spot under the shelter of a
giant oak tree with an ancient face. . .
Mother Nature did not cooperate since it was rainy.
I felt as woeful about the weather as my ancient-faced tree looked :) and moved my picnic indoors~
I packed my basket with a
specialty of The Inn Between. . .
The Pie of the Wandering Shepherd~ for those who have a wondering nature and need to be reminded of home~
Shepherd Pies in miniature size, made in a muffin pan. It seemed fitting that they were made from circles of biscuit dough :)
Mini Shepherd Pies~
recipe inspired by The Inn Between and
courtesy of Aaron McCargo, Jr.
Total Time: 55 min
Prep 10 min
Cook 45 min
Yield: *12 mini pies
(My changes noted by * at the end)
*1 can biscuits *(12) recommended: Grands
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound ground beef
1/2 onion, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup beef stock
*1 cup frozen mixed vegetables
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 1/2 cups leftover mashed potatoes
*1 tablespoon granulated garlic powder
*2 tablespoons granulated onion powder
2 cups shredded Cheddar
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Spray a 12-count muffin pan with cooking spray. Mold biscuits to the shape of each muffin cup. Par-bake biscuits for *6 to 8 minutes until light golden. Remove from oven and set aside.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add ground beef and brown. Stir in the onions, salt, pepper and garlic and allow to cook together for a couple of minutes.
Mix flour into the meat mixture and stir until a paste consistency is reached. Add beef stock to pan and stir in vegetables and herbs, the last few minutes, until combined.
Reheat mashed potatoes in a microwave for 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in granulated *garlic and onion powder.
*Spoon equal amounts (approximately 2 tablespoons) of warm potatoes on the bottoms of each par-baked biscuit. Then top with equal amounts of beef mixture (approximately 2 tablespoons). Finally top with equal amounts of Cheddar.
Return to oven and bake for 12 to 15 minutes until cheese is melted and browned. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before popping individual pies out with a knife.
*I only found Grands in 8 count, so I bought 2 cans of biscuits, there was plenty of filling for 16 mini pies.
* I baked the biscuits 5 minutes, punched down the middle with the back of a spoon to create more a ‘well’ for the filling, and returned them to the oven for another 3-4 minutes.
*I used frozen peas & carrots.
*I omitted garlic & onion powder since potatoes were already seasoned.
*I put mashed potatoes on top of beef mixture instead of the bottom and then placed the cheese on top of the potatoes.
Original recipe from Food Network, here.
Fitzpatrick and The Bored and Colorless Sisters enjoy an afternoon of delicious food, sparkling champagne, wonderful stories, and laughter. . .
And they toasted their good fortune
for having such a fine day.
Salad of Summer Flowers,
assembled from the most beautiful baby salad greens.
I topped the greens with a few nasturtium flowers, the last of the violas, raspberries, blueberries, and candied pecans.
“The smallest kindness can make a big difference. It begins with compassion and listening with your heart.”
– Mademoiselle J.
“The circle has no beginning and no end.
In our lives we may travel far from home,
but we will someday come back to where we began.”
Thank you for your visit!