Great Ideas

UPDATED 05/02/2011 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 05/02/2011 at 01:00 AM EDT

PRINCE WILLIAM'S

COTTAGE PIE

Former Kensington Palace chef Darren McGrady shares his recipe for the royal heir's "all-time favorite" dish

COTTAGE PIE

Serves 4

2 tbsp. vegetable oil

1 large onion, chopped

1½ lbs. ground beef

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1½ tsp. dried thyme

2 cups water

1 tbsp. browning and seasoning sauce (such as Kitchen Bouquet)

2 beef bouillon cubes

1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

2¼ lbs. red potatoes (7 to 8), peeled

1/8 tsp. grated nutmeg

¼ cup heavy cream

1 egg yolk

½ stick (4 tbsp.) butter

1½ tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. ground white pepper

1 cup grated cheddar cheese

1. Heat oil in a large saucepan and saute onions, 5 to 6 minutes.

2. Add ground beef and cook until no longer pink, 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in flour, thyme, water, seasoning sauce, bouillon cubes and Worcestershire sauce.

3. Reduce heat; simmer until sauce thickens and meat is fork-tender, 35 to 40 minutes. Remove pan from stove and transfer beef to earthenware dish. Reserve liquid.

4. Preheat oven to 350. Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water. Cover pot and bring to a boil. Lower heat; simmer until tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Drain potatoes and mash them.

5. Combine nutmeg, cream and egg yolk with butter, salt and pepper. Mix into mashed potatoes. Pipe potatoes over meat using a pastry bag.

6. Sprinkle with cheese, bake until potatoes are golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes. Serve with warmed sauce.

*Adapted from McGrady's Eating Royally

NIGELLA LAWSON'S

ENGLISH BREAKFAST

Getting up early to watch the royal wedding with friends and family? The British chef provides a recipe that makes the perfect culinary complement to the big event

STRAWBERRIES AND CREAM MINI MUFFINS

Makes 24 muffins

1 cup strawberries, slightly under-ripe, diced into quarter-inch pieces

1 squeeze of lemon juice

1 cup flour

½ cup sugar

1 tsp. baking powder

¼ cup vegetable oil

1/3 cup sour cream

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 large egg

1 tsp. powdered sugar

1. Preheat oven to 400. Line a 24-cup mini-muffin tin with paper baking cups.

2. Put diced strawberries into a bowl, spritz lemon juice on them and stir gently to combine.

3. In a medium-size bowl, stir together flour, sugar and baking powder.

4. In a small bowl, beat together oil, sour cream, vanilla and egg. Pour mixture over dry ingredients, stirring to combine with a wooden spoon. Fold in strawberries.

5. Divide batter evenly among the paper cups in the mini-muffin tin. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.

6. Place tin on a wire rack and leave for 5 minutes. Take out the muffins and continue cooling them in the paper cups on the wire rack. When muffins are completely cool, place the powdered sugar in a small sieve. Shake sieve lightly to dust the muffins with sugar. Serve.

GUY PELLY

GIVE A ROYAL TOAST

The London nightclub owner-and pal of Prince William's-shares a cocktail recipe

PUBLIC'S CHAMPAGNE COCKTAIL

Serves 2

¼ cup fresh or frozen (defrosted) raspberries

2 tbsp. water

¼ cup vodka

3 tbsp. lemon juice

2 tbsp. raspberry liqueur 1½ tbsp. simple syrup

½ cup chilled champagne or sparkling wine

Fresh raspberries for garnish

1. Puree berries and water until smooth.

2. Combine berry puree, vodka, lemon juice, liqueur and simple syrup in an ice-filled shaker and shake vigorously.

3. Divide among 2 champagne flutes and top with champagne. Garnish.

For more drink ideas, visit people.com/royalcocktails

WHERE WILL THEY HONEYMOON?

The bride and groom are keeping mum on their plans, but here's a guide to destinations that have a special meaning to the couple

1. IBIZA, SPAIN

What it's known for: Considered Europe's party capital, it's also perfect for simply lounging on a private yacht. Why it's special to Will and Kate: One of Kate's uncles owns a villa there, plus the couple took a vacation (complete with a visit to a natural mud bath) on the island in 2006. Info: ibiza.travel/en

2. RUTUNDU, KENYA

What it's known for: Located on the slopes of Mt. Kenya, the site provides a jumping-off spot for safaris in the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy. Why it's special to Will and Kate: The prince proposed to Kate at a Rutundu lodge. During their stay, Kate wrote in the inn's guest book, "I love the warm fires and candle lights." Info: lewa.org

3. NECKER ISLAND, BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS

What it's known for: Owned by British tycoon Sir Richard Branson, the island is designed for privacy-visitors can rent out the entire place and have the Caribbean enclave all to themselves. Why it's special to Will and Kate: Branson's daughter Holly is a member of Will and Kate's inner circle. Info: neckerisland.virgin.com

4. CAIRNS, AUSTRALIA

What it's known for: It's a popular spot for those looking to scuba dive on the nearby Great Barrier Reef. Why it's special to Will and Kate: During a visit in March, Will told the locals, "I love scuba diving... . I will have to come back-maybe we'll have a honeymoon in Cairns?" Info: cairns.aust.com

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