Friday, September 27, 2013

Shepard's Pie

This morning I was awoken by the wonderful aroma dogs anxiety caused explosive diarrhea....which I found all over the carpeted landing.  Just to add insult to injury he also walked up and down and all around the mess, as to make sure I had to clean the entire stairway, and not just the landing, where he decided to go.

This is the one thing about my dog I just do not understand.  He was standing right next to the door!  It's also right by our bedroom!  Why in the world would he not bark?  I would very happily get out of bed and let him outside to go potty!  At any hour and in any weather!

The Mister and I got to talking about this a while ago.  There are a lot of people who adopt animals from shelters.  (Good for you!)  There are also a lot of those people who claim that the animal they adopted had to of been abused because of the animals anxiety problems.  If we had adopted Buehrle I would 100% think he had been abused in the worst way.

We did NOT get Buehrle from a shelter.  We picked him out of the litter before he was even old enough to come home with us.  He came from a very kind and loving small scale breeder in Wheaton Illinois.

He has always been a model dog.  He is very sweet, he lets Clara do whatever to him (ex dress-up) and listens to all of our commands.  We have only been loving and sweet to him in return.  Never have he raised a hand to him.  Ever ever ever.  He has never been left outside, chained up, or idle.  Ever ever ever!  He is a part of our family and we treat him as so.

 However, despite only being treated with kindness, this dog refuses to bark.  He will not let us know if he needs anything.  He will not let us know when he is scared!   One time the city was doing work right outside our house.  They had to bust the road open to get to a channel underneath.  The machinery was so loud and the force was so strong it woke me up and was swaying my bed.  At first I thought it was thunder, but soon realized what it was.  The house was quiet so I listened to the noise for about half an hour then got up to check on Clara and Buehrle, (who sleep in the same room) one room over.

I opened the door and Buehrle darted out.  I looked down and saw that he had been in there the entire time, trying to eat his way out through the wall.  He was terrified.  I was ONE ROOM OVER!  Why didn't he just bark?  I would have comforted him!  Oh, and every time he gets anxious or scared he has crazy diarrhea spells that are very intense and NASTY.

  Every. time. he's. scared.  
Which is awesome.

There was a point when he was having episodes like this at least 6 times a day.  I would walk out of the room for two minutes and BOOM!  I would take him out for a good half hour, bring him back, turn around to hang my coat up and ..... BOOM!  But nothing seems to be the cause of his anxiety.  He gets a ton of exercise, is always around people and has never been treated badly.  His diet is consistent as are the times he's fed.  I think I am going to have to make one of those collars like the dog's in Up wear JUST so I can figure out how to make this dog happy and calm!

I know it's probably poor form to talk about your dogs incontinence problems and delicious food in the same post, but here goes anyway.  How about I break it up with a candid picture of my kid?

Aww, that's better.
(She has started dressing herself these days.  I am loving her outfit concoctions.  Such a fashionista.)

Yesterday I went on a bake-capade.  While doing so I made my favorite fall time comfort food, Shepards pie.  I think what I love most about this is how versatile it is.  You can make it vegan, dairy free, gluten free, vegetarian, or meat and cheese filled with only a few extra steps.  I hope you like it too!

Shepard's Pie

Yes, I did put the pi sign on our pie.  
The look on Rhiannon's face when I do things like this is priceless.

I have made this so often I never use measurements, so all of these are just approximates.  I will start with the recipe I used last night, which is gluten and dairy free, and then add the variations after.

  • 4-6 potatoes, boiled (I add fresh garlic with them to make them extra tasty, but I like garlic more then most people do, definitely optional.)
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, minced
  • 1 M onion, minced
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 head fresh (or frozen) broccoli, chopped
  • 1 lb hamburger meat
  • Rosemary, oregano, thyme Chipotle chile, salt and peppar to taste
  • Olive oil
  • Vegetable broth (or chicken or beef or water)
  • Rice milk (opt.)
  1. Make your mashed potatoes to taste.
  2. While your potatoes are cooking fry your hamburger in the oil and chop up your vegetables to your liking.
  3. When your hamburger is done, transfer meat to another bowl while keeping the oil in the skillet.  
  4. Simmer the vegetables on M to MH heat in the oil and drippings as well as the vegetable broth.  (About 1/2 cup or so), for 5 minutes
  5. Mix the vegetables, meat and seasonings to taste.  You can add rice milk if you want your grazy to be more creamy.  You could also add a little bit of cornstarch mixed in with cold water if you want the sauce to be thicker.
  6. Put mixture in the bottom of a 13x9 baking dish.  

  7. Top with mashed potatoes.  
  8. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes

Rhiannon might kill me for posting this.


  • To make this vegan/vegetarian, omit meat.  You can add fake crumbles, if wanted.

  • My favorite way to make this is to add a can of cream of mushroom soup to the vegetables.  It makes it so thick,
    creamy and delicious!

  • If you like/can eat cheese, pour a handful of cheddar cheese on top of your pie for the last 5 minutes it is in the oven.  My favorite cheese to use was Kraft's Chipotle cheddar shreds.  (I have no idea if they even make that still.)  

  • If you want to get super fancy, omit the hamburger and use steak chunks instead.  Replace the vegetable broth with Guinness.
  • Your possibilities for this dish are endless.  Have fun and play around with it!

Have a Fantastic Weekend!

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