With all of this cold wet weather lurking around it makes me crave something warm and hearty!


I love the rain, well, let me rephrase that. I love the rain when I can be inside next to a fire. I don’t love the rain when it is ruining my hair, my shoes, or my freshly washed car. I don’t wash my car that often, but it seems as though every time I do, it rains just like this last weekend. Why me? It’s like there are these tiny little rain clouds lurking around the corner to see when I will be outside washing my car and then BAM old faithful right before my eyes. Well, what can I say, that’s life.


I love after a nice hard rain the smell of the fresh air, that is the best! After you have a good hard rain there is that fresh air smell. That is the best! That smell takes me right back to childhood. My mom and I used to take walks around the block after dinner. I think we would go around the block five or six times. But when it was raining and she was ready for her nightly walk, excuses would start running off my tongue, I would start rambling the excuses, “I’m too tired”, “I have a lot of homework”, “I don’t feel very good”, “What if we get stuck in the rain?” “What if we get struck by lightening?” My mom would always say, “Come on get your fat butt up and don’t be lazy!”


After the walk I was always glad that we went out because I loved that fresh smell! There is nothing like it. But really, did she have to say I had a fat butt?


The other smell that I love during the rain is the smell of fresh cut wood burning in someones fireplace. We used to always have fires, but as we got older my parents got the fireplace that turns on with a switch so you don’t get that “fireplace smell.” Although the laziness increases tenfold they are nice because all you have to do is flip the switch and voila you have a perfect fire!


Shepherds pie was something my mom would “make” or say she made as she took it out of the frozen container and put it in her own baking dish. I guess you could consider it homemade if you heat it up in the oven, right?


I mean that is really hard! 3-5-0 degrees. Setting the timer is something you may need to look up on YouTube. I don’t even think you would need to run to the gym after doing those two steps.


When I was a kid shepherds pie consisted of seasoned hamburger meat topped with mashed potatoes and corn. Pretty simple. These days there are several varieties! I have attempted many concoctions in my day and this by far is one of my favorites!


Snuggle up to the fireplace with this warm and hearty dish and you wont care that the rain is pouring all over your freshly washed car. 


Loaded Shepherds Pie
Recipe Type: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Author: Nilsen Pantry
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6
  • 2 pounds of lean ground beef (or any ground meat)
  • 1 cup carrots, chopped thinly
  • 1/2 cup yellow onions, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons of coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato puree or ketchup
  • 1 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 4 tablespoons of worcheshire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of good balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 6 medium sized (about the size of your palm) russet potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 1 teaspoon dried mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 slices of turkey bacon, cooked and cut into little squares
  • 1/2 cup of cheese, for topping
  • Bunch of green onions, for topping
  1. Set oven to broil
  2. Fill a large pot half-way with water and a dash of salt and boil
  3. Put all of the russet potatoes in the pot once it is boiling and cook until you can stick a fork in them, about 15 minutes. Drain when they are done and set aside.
  4. Heat 2 tablespoons of coconut oil in a large skillet
  5. Add the garlic and onions and cook on medium heat for about 2 minutes
  6. Add the ground meat and season with salt and pepper
  7. Once the meat is cooked add the carrots and cook for 2 minutes
  8. Add in the tomato puree or ketchup and cook for 1 minute
  9. Add in the worcheshire sauce and balsalmic vingegar
  10. Add in chicken stock and thyme
  11. Reduce heat on the meat to low and let simmer for about 15 minutes
  12. Take a potato masher and mash the potatoes.
  13. Mix in almond milk, coconut oil, Parmigiano Reggiano, mustard, salt and pepper to the potatoes
  14. When the meat is done pour in the bottom of a 9×12 inch casserole dish
  15. Spoon the mashed potatoes on top of the meat.
  16. Slightly fluff up the potatoes with a fork
  17. Top with cheese, bacon and green onions
  18. Place under the broiler uncovered for about three minutes until everything is bubbly and lightly browned



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