Tuesday, March 30, 2021
Saturday, March 20, 2021
|PULLED PORK BARBECUE -- SLOW COOKER|
When Mommy ordered her groceries for the week, she had not anticipated such a large cut of meat, so she ended up with a massive amount of BBQ. Worked out well for me because I got back to the farm late that afternoon and I didn't have a dinner plan. But I had the BBQ that Mommy shared. It was delicious! We wrapped it up in tortillas because that's all I had on hand.
Let me be clear! This does not taste like you made it in a slow cooker. It's pretty close to pulled pork you'd get at a BBQ restaurant. I have a couple of other slow cooker pulled pork recipes on the blog and we like them, too. But this one is different. Better different. I asked Mommy to share the recipe and tell a little about it. And send me photos. Here is what she sent.
This was a hit at my house. The first time it was served, Little Sister ate 3 helpings, Baby Girl ate 2 big helpings, and J-Daddy said it was worthy to sit on an Independence Day spread. Leftovers have been eaten multiple times without complaints.
PULLED PORK BARBECUEfrom Fresh Flavors for the Slow Cooker by Nicki Sizemore, creator of FromScratchFast.comSpice Rub
- 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 Tbsp packed brown sugar
- 2 tsp granulated garlic (I used jarred minced garlic.)
- 1 tsp ground mustard
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (I omitted it.)
- 1 (4-5 lb) boneless pork shoulder (also called pork butt), trimmed of excess fat
- Salt & freshly ground black pepperSlow Cooker
- 1 medium sweet onion, thinly sliced
- 4 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced (I used jarred minced garlic.)
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/2-1 cup barbecue sauce (I used 1c of Sweet Baby Ray's Original Sauce.)
- Salt & freshly ground black pepper
- Buns (or rice, or tortillas)
- Barbecue sauce
- Red Cabbage & Sweet Corn Slaw (aka Princess Slaw at our house)
RUB THE PORK
1. Combine the paprika, sugar, garlic, mustard, and cayenne in a small bowl. Season the pork generously with salt and pepper to taste, and rub it all over with the spice mixture. If you have the time, refrigerate the pork in an airtight container or ziplock bag overnight.ASSEMBLE THE SLOW COOKER2. Arrange the onion and garlic in the bottom of a 5- to 7-quart slow cooker, and pour in the vinegar and honey. Place the pork on top. Cover and cook until the pork is tender and pulls apart easily with a fork, 9 to 10 hours on low or 7 to 8 hours on high.3. Switch the slow cooker off, and transfer the pork to a cutting board. Let cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Using two forks, coarsely shred the pork, discarding any large chunks of fat.4. Using a ladle, skim off enough fat and liquid in the slow cooker to measure 1 cup, then discard. Transfer the shredded pork back into the slow cooker with the remaining liquid and onions, and add the barbecue sauce to taste. Season with salt and pepper to taste then toss to combine.SERVE5. Pile the pulled pork into buns, and serve with additional barbecue sauce on the size for drizzling. Serve the slaw either in the sandwiches or on the side (or both!)Cook’s Notes:
- Kroger gave me 8-lb bone-in pork butt, so I cut it in half, and doubled the spice rub amounts. I adjusted the cooking time to 5 hours on low and then 5 hours on high.
- Since I skipped cayenne pepper, J-Daddy added Frank’s hot sauce to his before eating.
- The first time I served barbecue with rice and lima beans. The second time I served it in quesadillas. The third time it will be served as sandwiches. Guessing could work in a biscuit or on pizza too…
Saturday, March 13, 2021
|Lemon Pound Cake|
LEMON POUND CAKE
2 sticks butter, softened
8 tbsp. butter Crisco
3 cups sugar
5 large eggs
1 cup milk
4 cups plain flour (I like to use White Lily flour for this)
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon flavoring
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Cream butter, sugar and eggs until consistency of paint; then add dry ingredients alternately with milk. Add flavorings last.
Bake for approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes at 325 degrees in a floured and greased tube pan.
This cake freezes well.
- Whisk baking powder and salt into flour to blend it in.
- Cream butter and shortening until lighter and fluffy. Add sugar and mix well, until sugar is nearly dissolved.
- Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each one.
- Add flour and milk alternately, starting and ending with the flour, mixing just until blended after each addition.
- Add lemon flavoring and vanilla extract and mix another 30 seconds.
- Use a spatula to scrape to the bottom of the bowl and make sure everything is mixed.
- Pour (or spoon) into a well greased tube pan. (I use Baker's Joy to grease the pan.) Spread it evenly.
- When done, let cake cool in pan on a rack for about 15 minutes. Turn out and cool completely.
Here is my "fitness trainer" for the week. This was one of her rare, still moments. Oh, those are long, tiring days. But then you blink and that hard part is over. Glad I got to spend some extra time with her. While I can still keep up!
Saturday, March 6, 2021
|Oven Baked Chicken Fajitas|
Did you think I went away and wasn't coming back? When I looked at this blog last week I realized it's been over a month since I posted. It was not an intentional break, but it was one that I needed. I needed time to just be. Time to take care of some house chores. Time to do some serious decluttering.
You can thank reader Becky for today's post. She emailed to tell me she thought she had accidentally been unsubscribed. But no. She was not receiving new posts because there weren't any. I ran out of words.
I've been thinking a lot about this past year. This time last year I was at the beach with my girl friends for our annual trip. Watching the TV news the night before we headed home we saw the announcement that the NBA was cancelling the rest of their season. I knew things were about to be drastically different. But goodness, I had no clue how very different. And here we sit now, fully vaccinated, thinking about how we plan to venture back into the world. For the last year, we have mostly stayed home. No restaurant meals. No trips.
Are we ready to make a mad dash back into our favorite restaurant? Not quite yet. We will try outside dining first. But I have realized how much better we have eaten this year when all of our meals have been at home. I have control over salt, fat and portions. I am healthier now that I was last year. And I don't want to lose the health improvements I've made. I also started an exercise program while I was only at home. And I have loved that program. We all have to find the one that works for us, but Grow Young Fitness has suited me to a tee. Next week will mark one year of following the progressive workouts without missing a day. Yes, there is a subscription fee but for me it's been worth it.
You know me. I only cook easy things. And after a year of making all the meals, I have streamlined my simple cooking even more. The above supper was made with no recipe. I pulled out the things that go with a Chinese-inspired dish—ginger, garlic, soy sauce, sesame oil, etc.—and put them with chicken and vegetables that were in the refrigerator. And I just cooked. For whatever reason, that feels much faster than following a recipe. Trust yourself in the kitchen. You know more than you think!
So what have I been doing during that last month when I didn't blog? I have spent some time with the newest granddaughter, keeping an eye on her while her mommy packs up their house. That family is moving. I'll head back there one more time before they go.
|There are more boxes stacked up now than when I made this photo.|
After watching Jessica pack and pack and pack, I realized now was the time to get serious about decluttering. I'm talking about the things put away neatly in cabinets and closets and drawers. But things I no longer needed. Right at this minute I have many boxes ready to donate. And that much more has gone to the dump. I've been doing this with a vengeance. And acknowledging that things that served me well have no place in my current life. This feels so good. (Marie Kondo would be proud.)
I have also decommissioned my "pandemic pantry." What a lesson I've learned from this year. I know that it's a good thing to have a well-stocked pantry for those emergency times. But I have learned more specifically what things I use a lot of and what "emergency" foods I shouldn't have bought. Ever. Yesterday I sorted it all out. Threw out the expired foods. Boxed up the excess/about to expire items and have them ready to go where they are needed. And I'll plan my menus around what is on hand as I work down my food stash.
So while the last week has been non-stop busy around the house, we still had to eat. I found a box of recipes printed out from my blog. (This year I've gotten better at cooking from a screen and not needing paper.) And one recipe jumped out at me as I went through that stack of paper and tossed the duplicates and the ones I'll never cook. It had been about a year since I made it, so it was due for a repeat.
If you need a simple supper, give this one a try. No. It is not fajitas like you get at your favorite Mexican restaurant. But it's delicious even if it doesn't sizzle.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place chicken strips in a greased 9x13-inch baking dish.
Bake, uncovered, for 25-30 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender. Stir a time or two through the cooking time.
We topped ours with sour cream, salsa, avocado and shredded lettuce. And instead of a second "fajita" I spooned the chicken/pepper mix over the shredded lettuce. That was a good, less-carby way to enjoy this.
Let's hope I'm not gone again for so long. Today the whole Blogger platform is trying to thwart me. Fingers crossed it sorts itself out soon.
Monday, February 1, 2021
- Gather all ingredients before you start. Make sure you have what you need.
- Measure the spices into a small cup before you start cooking. I move a spice bottle from the left side of the recipe to the right as I measure so I know what I've done should I get interrupted. It happens.
- Make the long recipe easier to read. Divide the recipe ingredients into groups—if you print the recipe out, draw a line between the groups. I divided this one up as I typed.
IF YOU DON'T HAVE AN INSTANT POT, make this on the stovetop. Sauté the peppers, onion and garlic. Then add the remaining ingredients, stirring to combine. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30-60 minutes, stirring occasionally.
You can go back and check the original post and see the recipe with the two ingredients I left out—coriander and salt. Plus, she has other tips. She says if your Instant Pot has a tendency to show the "Burn" warning, you can stir in the broth, then add the remaining ingredients without stirring. You can stir after it has cooked.
We topped our chili with tortilla chips, so neither of us missed the salt. And it was plenty good without the coriander. I have cooked for 50+ years without using that. So I'm pretty sure if I buy a bottle, it won't get used much. But then, maybe I will try adding it to see what I've been missing all these years.
This chili had a more complex flavor than most I've vegetable chilis I've made. The smoked paprika and the cocoa gave it a depth of flavor that my less complicated versions lacked. It's loaded with peppers, but when you taste it, the amount does not overwhelm. The flavors are balanced. The textures of the soft beans and the crisp corn are just right. The crushed tomatoes made this a thick hearty chili. So. You tell me. Is this the "best" vegetable chili ever? By golly, I think it might be!
You know I always ask my cattle farming husband for his opinion. "Well, it's not hamburger steak smothered in onions." Then he went back for more. I interpreted that as, "Yes. This is really good." We had a freezer incident last week. Everything thawed out, so we ended up cooking 5 beautiful filet mignons that night. A couple of those were grilled rare and frozen again for another time. (Not sure how that will work out.) But Daddy-O had plenty of red meat that week. I do like to mix in some meatless meals along the way. First, because I really like meatless meals. And second, because it is a good choice from a health standpoint.
Friday, January 29, 2021
|Roasted sweet potatoes, green beans, & pear salad on the side.|