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Crock Pot Shepard’s Pie

31 Oct

I originally made this Shepard’s Pie a few weeks ago when it was 80 degrees outside and sunny. I post this recipe now when there is snow on the ground and it’s barely in the 40s. Can someone say What.The.Hell.Happened?!?!!!?!

I admit, I’ve lived in New England all my life, and you’d think I would be used to this crazy weather by now, but you know what, I’M NOT. I’m not ready to miss what the ground looks like for the next 6 months. I’m not ready to have to carry 5 extra layers of clothing in order to stay warm while I’m waiting for the T for a half hour. I’m not ready to snuggle under my 80 covers on my bed.

Ok maybe I’m ok with that.

I really should have made this Crock Pot Shepard’s Pie this weekend, and not 4 weeks ago. Ah well. I do have a delicious pot roast happening right now in my Dutch Oven, so at least there is that. This recipe makes A LOT of Shepard’s Pie. Which is great if you need leftovers to last the week. Because it will. It might even last longer than that.

You know what I AM ready for? I’m ready for this cold to GTFO of here. This cold has been kicking my butt these past few weeks, which is the main reason why I haven’t posted….at all this week. I apologize. Guess that’s what happens when you are around a bunch of 4 and 5 years olds all day.

Crock Pot Shepard’s Pie
From Slow Cooker Revolution



  • 2 slices white sandwich bread, torn into quarters
  • 1/4 cup whole milk (I used skim)
  • 2lbs 85% ground beef
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 10oz white mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 onions, minced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1.5 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 3 cups mashed potatoes
  1. Mash bread and milk into a paste in a large bowl using fork. Mix with ground beef, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper and mix with hands.
  2. Heat 2 tbsp oil in 12″ skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef mixture and cook, breaking up any small pieces, until beef is no longer pink. Transfer to slow cooker
  3. Heat remaining 2 tbsp oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, onions, carrots, tomato paste, garlic and thyme and cook until vegetables are soft, 8-10 minutes. Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in broth, then transfer to slow cooker.
  4. Stir heavy cream and soy sauce into slow cooker. Cover and cook until beef is tender, about 6 hours on low.
  5. Let beef filling settle for 5 minutes, then remove fat from the surface. Stir in peas and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Ladle into a bowl and cover with hot mashed potatoes.



Pork Burritos & a Giveaway!!

25 May

Let’s see how astute you guys are today.

How many of you know how much I love burritos?

How many of you know how much I love Pork?

How many of you know how much I love America’s Test Kitchen?

How many of you know that this is my ONE HUNDREDTH post??????

How many of you know that it’s my birthday this week?!?!!!?!

How many of you are sick of me asking you questions?????

What is the whole POINT of this post??!?!

Besides me telling you about these awesome burritos (they were awesome) I have decided that I want to give you a present for my birthday.

You’ve seen me post a couple of recipes about my newest cookbook, Slow Cooker Revolution. I am seriously in love with this cookbook. I love my slow cooker, I use it all the time. I even have a smaller slow cooker that I use for dips mostly (and desserts!). What I like most about this cookbook is that it’s more than just throwing stuff in the slow cooker and letting it do it’s thing. While there are some recipes that throw everything into the slow cooker and it comes out great, there are other recipes that just fall flat. By doing a little extra grunt work before putting everything into the slow cooker, the flavor comes out 1000x more.

Well, the lovely people at America’s Test Kitchen are letting me giveaway a copy of Slow Cooker Revolution to one of my readers! Chock full of 200 recipes, from breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, sides, and everything in between, even if you don’t win this copy you need to buy this book if you love slow cooker’s like I do!

So, how do you enter to win? Simple. Just leave a comment telling me what’s your favorite way to use your slow cooker!

Want extra entries?????

1. Follow me (@kitchenmisfit) and America’s Test Kitchen (@TestKitchen) on Twitter and Tweet: I  just entered to win a copy of @TestKitchen Slow Cooker Revolution from @KitchenMisfit Enter here!

2. Like Tales from a Kitchen Misfit & America’s Test Kitchen on Facebook and leave a separate comment.


1. Please make sure to include your email address so I know how to contact you! (I’m pretty sure you have to put your email address in order to comment, but just to make sure!

2. Please make sure to leave separate comments for each entry

3. Entries will be accepted until midnight of May 29th

4. Winner will be announced sometime on May 29th via

Full Disclosure: Slow Cooker Revolution was purchased by myself. All opinions are my own and I was under no obligation to review the cookbook. I just really love America’s Test Kitchen 😉

And now, I know ya’ll are dying for this Pork Burrito recipe. So here ya go!

Pork Burritos

From America’s Test Kitchen

Pork Filling

  • 2 onions, minced
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 minced canned chipotle chili in adobo sauce
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 15oz can tomato sauce
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 3lbs boneless pork butt roast, trimmed and halved
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
Microwave onions, chili powder, oil, garlic, chipotles, coriander and cumin in a bowl, stirring occasionally, until onions are softened, about 5 minutes. Transfer to slow cooker.
Stir tomato sauce and sugar into slow cooker. Season pork with salt and pepper, add to slow cooker, and coat evenly with sauce mixture. Cover and cook until pork is tender, 9-11 hours on low or 5-7 hours on high.
Transfer pork to large bowl, let cool slightly, then shred into bite-sized pieces, discarding excess fat. Let remaining liquid settle for 5 minutes, then skim the fat off the top.
Toss shredded pork with 1 cup braising liquid. Stir in lime juice. Add more braising liquid if necessary.
To Make Pork Burrito:
  • 2-4 large whole wheat tortilla
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup cooked white rice
  • juice of 1-2 limes
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1 can green chilies
  • 2 avocados
  • 1-2 cups shredded cheese
Combine rice with half of chopped cilantro and half of lime juice and mix thoroughly. Warm beans in microwave 1-2 minutes. Combine tomatoes with remaining cilantro and lime juice and green chilies. Mash avocados and set aside.
To assemble burritos, first warm tortilla in microwave for 20 seconds. Then layer rice, beans, avocado, tomatoes, pork and cheese on top. Fold in the sides then roll the burrito. Cover in foil. To eat, unwrap the burrito from the foil. Eat!

Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes

23 May

When I was a kid my Mom always made Sloppy Joes. Except we didn’t actually call them Sloppy Joes. We called them Manwich. Because of the can. I never really thought about the word Manwich until about five seconds ago. I mean, what kind of word is that anyway? Are they trying to say that only men can have this sandwich? I mean, I guess Girlwich doesn’t have the same ring to it, and you can’t really call it Personwich because then people are going to think it’s made from PEOPLE.

Basically, they should have rethought the whole name thing really.

And FYI, when I was a kid I used to each two manwiches.  So there.

Let me tell you, this Sloppy Joe’s recipe is most certainly NOT from a can. It’s way better than a can. It’s probably the best Sloppy Joe I’ve ever had.

I mean, it’s from America’s Test Kitchen, so obviously it’s a winner. I think actually the only thing I would change about the recipe is using a leaner ground beef. We usually get 90% ground beef or even turkey, and there was A LOT of fat when everything was settled and it bothers me and hubby’s stomach’s for a bit. It was still delicious, don’t get me wrong, but I prefer the leaner ground beef. I think next time I make this I will try it with ground turkey since I LOVE using ground turkey.

Sloppy Joe’s
From Slow Cooker Revolution

  • 2 slices high-quality white sandwich bread, torn into quarters
  • 1/2 cup whole milk (I used skim)
  • 2 lbs 85% lean ground beef
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil (I used canola)
  • 2 onions, minced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 15oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp hot sauce
Mash bread and milk into paste in large bowl using a fork. Mix in ground beef, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper using hands.
Heat oil in 12″ skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onions, garlic, and chili powder and cook until onions are softened and lightly browned 8-10 minutes.
Stir in beef mixture, 1 lb at a time and cook until no longer pink. Stir in 1 cup tomato sauce, scraping up any browned bits. Transfer to slow cooker.
Stir remaining tomato sauce, ketchup, sugar and hot sauce into slow cooker. Cover and cook until beef is tender, 6-8 hours on low or 3-5 on high.
Let mixture settle for 5 minutes and then spoon out fat from surface. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon onto buns and serve. Cheese optional.

Daring Cook’s Challenge: Gumbo

14 May

I’ve never been to New Orleans. That’s sad. I’ve wanted to go to New Orleans for as long as I can remember. My Dad used to promise that some year we would go to the Big Easy for Mardi Gras. Yeah, well, that didn’t pan out so well.

A lot of things come to mine when you hear or talk about New Orleans. Obviously, Katrina is a big one. But I’m talking about GOOD things. Delicious things.


Po Boys.



King Cake.


All these things are foreign to me. Well, except the beignets and po boys. Those I’ve had. But nothing else. The cuisine in New Orleans makes my mouth water. I keep telling my husband that I want to go to New Orleans for our next vacation, but he doesn’t like to listen to me. ::shakes fist::

Thank goodness this month’s Daring Cook’s challenge was Gumbo because there happened to be a Gumbo recipe in my new cookbook, Slow Cooker Revolution from America’s Test Kitchen. I love this book. I love my slow cooker, but let’s face it, sometimes you throw something in the slow cooker and then fish it out, sometimes it just doesn’t taste good. It’s an amalgam of something. Don’t get me wrong, there are other times I put something in the slow cooker and it turns out AMAZING. Slow Cooker Revolution’s recipes are a little more involved than just throwing ingredients in the slow cooker and letting it do it’s magic, but believe me, the extra steps are WORTH IT.

Our May hostess, Denise, of There’s a Newf in My Soup!, challenged The Daring Cooks to make Gumbo! She provided us with all the recipes we’d need, from creole spices, homemade stock, and Louisiana white rice, to Drew’s Chicken & Smoked Sausage Gumbo and Seafood Gumbo from My New Orleans: The Cookbook, by John Besh.

Slow Cooker Chicken Gumbo

Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 canola oil
  • 2 onions, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, minced (seeds and stems removed)
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, minced (seeds and stems removed)
  • 1 celery rib, minced
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 3.5 cups low-sodium chicken broth (I substituted using chicken base and boiling water)
  • 1.25lb andouille sausage, sliced 1/2″ thick
  • 12oz frozen cut okra, thawed and patted dry
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 scallions, sliced thin
  • dried parsley and red pepper flakes for garnish
Place oven rack in lowest position and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add flour to a Dutch oven over medium heat and stir constantly until it begins to brown. Take off the heat and whisk in the oil until smooth. Cover pot, place in oven and cook about 45 minutes.
Remove pot from oven and whisk roux to combine.
Stir in onions, bell peppers, celery, garlic, thyme and cayenne into roux and cook over medium heat, stirring often, until softened, about 10-12 minutes. Whisk in the chicken broth, making sure to scrape the edges and removing any clumps. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer, then carefully transfer to slow cooker.
Stir in sausage, okra and bay leaves into the slow cooker. Season chicken with salt and pepper and place the chicken on top of the slow cooker ingredients. Carefully push the chicken down until it is just covered. Cover and cook until chicken is tender, 4-6 hours on low.
Once the chicken is tender, carefully remove the chicken and shred. Once the stew has settled, remove any fat from the surface. Remove bay leaves. Add shredded chicken back to slow cooker and stir in and let sit for 5 minutes.
Ladle into bowls, and add scallions and garnish.
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