Are you ready for some Irish Style comfort food?  Nothing says St. Patricks day like good food and good beer.  This recipe combines them both! Feel free to substitute your favorite Irish beer or even beef broth if you’d like to skip the beer altogether. Get your green on, get in the kitchen and get ready to whip up this famous Irish staple.
1 & 1/2 pounds russet potatoes
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup half & half milk
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 & 1/2 pounds ground round
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons tomato paste
1/2 cup Guinness Irish beer
1/2 cup beef broth (or chicken broth)
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 cups frozen vegetable medley, thawed (corn, peas, carrots, green beans)
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon dried thyme

  1. Peel the potatoes and cut them in fourths. Place them in a medium pot and cover with cold water.
  2. Boil the potatoes over medium-high heat until they are fork tender. (While the potatoes are boiling, prepare the meat filling.)
  3. Remove the potatoes from the boiling water add butter and mash the potatoes with a flat beater on low speed.
  4. Gradually pour in the half & half and add in salt, pepper and cheese. Mix until smooth.
  5.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  1. In a saute pan heat the oil over medium heat. Saute the onion until it begins to turn golden brown. Add in the garlic and continue to saute.
  2. Add in the ground round, salt and pepper. Cook until the beef is completely brown with no more pink.
  3. Sprinkle flour on the meat and fold it into the mixture.
  4. Add in the tomato paste, Guinness beer, beef or chicken broth, Worcestershire, rosemary and thyme.
  5. Stir to mix everything together. Bring meat filling to a brief boil, then reduce the heat to low.
  6. Cover the saute pan and let the mixture simmer for about 12 minutes until the sauce is lightly thickened.
  1. Fold the vegetable medley into the meat mixture until everything is combined.
  2. Transfer the meat filling to an 8 X 8 inch baking dish. Using a spatula spread it evenly on the bottom.
  3. With a clean spatula, spread the mashed potatoes evenly on top of the meat mixture.
  4. Around the edges of the meat mixture make sure the potatoes form a nice seal within the baking dish to prevent overflow of the filling while baking.
  5. Put the baking dish on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper to catch any overflow.
  6. Place the Shepherd’s Pie on the middle rack of the oven to ensure good heat circulation.
  7. Bake for 25 minutes or until the potatoes become lightly golden.
  8. Remove the Guinness Shepherd’s Pie and allow it to cool for 15-20 minutes before serving.

Not your average cocoa


The cold weather has arrived on the WEST SLOPE!  Ready or not it’s here and with it comes yummy treats and fun family traditions.  We’ll visit on family traditions soon but let’s chat about one of my favorite treats today – HOT COCOA!

Now there is nothing wrong with a little Swiss Miss but why stop with that when you can make something super delicious that your family and friends will remember and crave each year as the weather picks up a chill. Here’s a few fun recipes you can give a try.  Don’t forget to submit to us your own favorite recipe by either commenting below or emailing us at



4 cups milk of choice (You can substitute half and half, heavy cream, or a mixture.)
1 tsp vanilla extract
8 oz. white chocolate, chopped into small pieces
Whipped Cream or marshmallows for topping
  1. Stir together milk, chocolate and vanilla in small saucepan.
  2. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the white hot chocolate comes to a simmer. (Do not let it come to a boil.)
  3. Remove from heat and serve immediately, topped with whipped cream or marshmallows if desired.



4 cups milk
4 candy canes, crushed
3 oz. dark chocolate (or 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips)


  • 4 candy canes to use as stir sticks
  • whipped cream
  • crushed candy cane for garnish
  1. Add milk, crushed candy canes, and chocolate to a medium sauce pan.
  2. Cook over a medium flame, whisking occasionally as the candy canes and chocolate melt.
  3. As the candy and chocolate melt, whisk more vigorously to incorporate ingredients.
  4. Do not let the milk boil as that will cause it to form a skin.
  5. Divide the hot cocoa between 4 cups; top with whipped cream and crushed candy canes. Add a candy cane stirring stick.


4 cups whole milk1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
4 cups whole milk
⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
½ cup sugar1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon cayenne powder
  1. Place 1 cup of milk to a medium saucepan.
  2. Cook over a medium flame until the milk just begins to simmer
  3. Add cocoa powder, sugar, cinnamon and cayenne powder to the milk.
  4. Whisk until cocoa, sugar, spices and milk are thoroughly combined.
  5. Slowly add remaining 3 cups of milk, whisking to combine.
  6. Cook over a low flame until the hot cocoa is warmed through.
  7. Server immediately.


4 cups Silk Cashew milk
6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces

1 tablespoon sugar1 teaspoon vanilla

  1. Add Silk Cashew milk and chocolate to a medium sauce pan.
  2. Cook over a medium flame, whisking occasionally as the chocolate melts.
  3. As the chocolate melts, whisk more vigorously to incorporate ingredients.
  4. Do not let the milk boil as that will cause it to form a skin.
  5. Divide the hot cocoa between 4 cups; top with dairy-free whipped cream and chocolate pieces


5 cups Milk
½ cup Hershey’s Cocoa
½ cup Nutella
½ cup White Sugar

1 cup Hot Water

  1. Combine Cocoa, Sugar, Nutella, and Hot Water in large pan. Stir, and bring to gentle boil.
  2. Transfer mixture to Crockpot, add Milk, and Stir well.
  3. Cook on HIGH for 2 hours or LOW for 4 hours, or until hot.
  4. Pour into mugs or Mason Jar Mugs, then top with Whip Cream and Sprinkles! ENJOY!!
Recipe can be doubled for a larger batch.
If serving at a party, let simmer on LOW for a delicious holiday or party drink!


1-1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
2 teaspoons Truvia sweetener (more if you want it sweeter)
1 teaspoon orange zest
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (orange extract can be used for even more flavor)
Whipped cream or marshmallows, for topping
Add all ingredients except the whipped cream into your Vitamix blender. If you have a Vitamix Blender that has a hot soup preset option set it and forget it! (Well, don’t forget it…drink it after it’s done) After your hot chocolate is finished pour it into a mug, top with whipped cream or marshmallows. If your Vitamix does not have a preset option simple blend on high until hot. This will take about 4 minutes.

* If you don’t have a Vitamix (or Blendtec) you could simply add all ingredients (except marshmallows and whipped cream) to a small saucepan and heat over medium heat until fully melted and combined.

Friday Favorites

Copy of Copy of Friday

It’s time for FRIDAY FAVORITES again!  But this time we are focusing on FAMILY Favorites. Most of us have kiddos and with school just around the corner we are doing whatever we can to drink in those happy smiles, warm summer days and make memories that will last a lifetime. Here are a few of our current Friday Family Favorites.  Let us know what you like to do as a family!

FAMILY FITNESS – We all know it’s good to keep ourselves fit but now is the time to invest into the future health our families too.  Have you ever worked out with your kids?  My kids love to work out with me – especially my 10 year old.  From leisurely bike rides to full on fit camp, we sweat as a family.  Here’s a great video you can do with your kids from   Her daughter Quinn is too cute and enjoys being healthy wit her mom!


HIGHLINE LAKE – If you have lived in the Grand Valley for anytime at all I’m sure you’ve ventured out to Highline Lake.  From tubing, to jet skies to splashing on the family beach area – there’s lots to do, even camping!  I like to invite a few girlfriends and their kids, pack a picnic lunch and make a whole day out of it.


GLADE PARK MOVIE UNDER THE STARS– Okay I’ll admit, I’ve never done this but I have SO many friends that look forward to this each and every summer.  I’m gonna have to make a point to check it out this year.  You, your family, the colorado sky and a fun movie with snacks – yeah that sounds pretty awesome! Not to mention it’s raises funds for the Glade Park Volunteer Fire Dpt.  Check out the website for more info…xMUS2016Schedule.jpg.pagespeed.ic.GBfQxuh1AX

FAMILY HEALTHY CHICKEN NUGGETS – What family hasn’t eaten their fair share of chicken nuggets?  I wince at the idea of what they may be made out of so we rarely get them through a drive through unless it’s Chic Fil A or a trusted place.  Here’s a great recipe from to make Easy Baked Chicken Nuggets.  She even has dairy, egg and grain free options!Easy-Baked-Chicken-Nuggets-by-Whole-New-Mom-fb-900x471

What’s on your agenda for these end of summer days?  Let us know!

friday favorites

Welcome to our first edition of Friday Favorites! We consider ourselves a trendy group of gals and we not only like to keep up with what’s hot but also like to set the trends ourselves. Keep watching for more Friday Favorites if you’d like to see what we recommend in the areas of food, decor, fashion, hometown life, entertaining and more!


Matcha Tea – Ahhhh what can you say about Matcha besides, YUM?!  Okay well I guess you could say a few things besides yum, but trust me, if you have one you’re gonna start craving another.  The gals make fun of me because I think it has a sorta fish tank flavor… yeah I know that’s totally weird, right? But honestly it’s more like an earthy, sweetness that reminds you of your favorite Japanese restaurant. I can’t get enough of this stuff.  My Dad even bought me some serious ceremonial grade tea with the whisk and cool little matcha bowl to go with it. I’m kinda of obsessed with this stuff.  So besides being super yummy in a totally unique way, what’s the big deal about matcha?

Matcha is a finely milled green tea and has been used in traditional Japanese tea ceremonies since the 12th century.  It has surged in popularity recently due to its visual appeal, health benefits and beautifully distinct flavor. It’s high in antioxidants, improves memory and concentration, increases energy levels and endurance and also somehow has a calming effect to it too.  How cool is that?  I know that my mornings are extra special when I whisk up some matcha.  If you’d like to give it a try without going through all the hubbub you can always grab a green tea latte at Starbucks – but be aware theirs is yummy, but full of sugar.  All in all it’s a great way to see if you enjoy the unique flavor that everyone is seeking to fill their cup with.  Let us know if you try it and what you think!


Okay I’m seriously swooning over this cute t-shirt representing our sweet side of the mountains.  Who doesn’t love a little state camaraderie? I mean if Texas can be in love with their sweet tea lovin’ state we can be in love with our mountain bike lovin’ side of Colorado right?

This year The Downtown Music Festival has combined with the  Grand Junction Off-Road Mountain biking event to create the biggest downtown event of the year! With 18 bands, 3 stages, a 4-block beer garden, a bike and gear expo, local food trucks and kids activities at 6th and Main! And guess what?  You can get this super cute swag there! Get your #‎WestSlopeBestSlope tee shirt any time between May 20-22 at the Downtown booth which will be located at 5th & Main.
This is Downtown Grand Junction’s biggest event of the year and it all starts tonight!
How cute is this bag? If you hadn’t noticed yet, sea foam is the color of the season.  I should know… I’m about to paint my teenage daughters room this color and that means it’s cool, right? Ahhh, in all seriousness this tote is great because there are FIVE different ways to wear it, it’s functional so you can fit half your life in it (cuz we all do) and the color will compliment many different outfits and your soon to be summer tanned self. This tote goes from weekdays to weekend easily. It has a secure slide-through closure, it features a matching pouch (that doubles as a clutch!) and functional cross-body strap (that can be worn 4 ways!) It’s also available several fresh colors for spring/summer.  You can get it here…
I don’t know about you but my house as a child always had fresh potted plants.  My mom was able to make them thrive and it always gave the house a clean and fresh appeal with a beautiful splash of color.  Cue the 90’s and everybody seemed to gravitate towards silk plants.  -ick. Now I probably should also lean towards silk as well since I don’t totally have a green thumb but I’m all about learning new things so about a month ago I went out and bought 4 plants and 2 big outdoor planters full of flowers.  As of now they are all thriving!  I can feel my thumb getting greener!  Check out the great article from to improve your skills with house plants so that you too can bring some life and color to your home.

blog author: Jillian Gallegos
Production Assistant
Maves Group