3.07.2014

BBQ Pulled Pork

Lip smackin' good y'all!

I don't know about you but I'm always looking for a good crockpot recipe. Honestly, sometimes I hardly have time to eat much less think about what to make for dinner. And in the summer when I'd rather be playing with my family outside, the last thing I really want to do is come inside to cook all night. I mean, I live in Wisconsin...I have to take advantage of summer when I can!!

Everyone and their mother has a pulled pork recipe that they swear by. My version of pulled pork is really just whatever I have in my pantry that will make it delicious. I usually buy the boneless pork ribs or pork shoulder when they go on sale at the grocery store and use that for my pork. From there I do what my mama always taught me, just add your ingredients until it tastes good! I like to serve my pork on a Hawaiian bun with some cold cole slaw that I usually buy pre-made at the grocery store (because making my own cole slaw defeats the purpose of not really putting any effort into cooking dinner ;). Although I did taste a blue cheese cole slaw the other day that I might have to make for the next round of BBQ pulled pork. I'm an open face girl and like to eat my BBQ pulled pork with a fork and knife, but if you like to get sloppy you can certainly accomplish that with this meal too! Serve this low maintenance meal with a side of potato and you are all set!

BBQ Pulled Pork
Source: Me

Ingredients:
1 package boneless pork ribs or 2-3 lb. pork shoulder
BBQ sauce (I use regular Sweet Baby Rays and some Open Pit)
1 TBSP liquid smoke
1 can of coke (optional)
Lawry's Seasoned Salt to taste
Desired toppings: pickles, cole slaw, potato chips, etc.

Directions:
1. Season the meat with Lawry's and place into crock pot (if you have crock pot liners I'd suggest using them).

2. Cover the meat with BBQ sauce. Add the can of coke and the liquid smoke. I sometimes mix some BBQ sauce with about 1 cup of water and add that as well. Cook on low 6-8 hours or high 3-5 hours.

3. Once cooked and falling apart, drain the liquid into a measuring cup or bowl. Shred the pork with two forks and add some liquid back in to keep the pork moist. I also add some BBQ sauce at this point and mix it in. Whatever you do, DON'T over sauce your pork!! You can always add more sauce when it's on your bun.

4. Pile pulled pork on a bun and top with your desired toppings! Enjoy!!

3.04.2014

Roasted Red Pepper Alfredo Pasta

Creamy. Delicious. Flavorful.

My friend Chelsea and I were having a girls night and we wanted to cook a fun dinner along with the fun butters we were making (she was making an apple bourbon butter and I made a pumpkin butter, both wonderful). Chelsea, an avid foodie and amazing cook herself, found this recipe and wanted to try it. So we went shopping together, bought all the ingredients, pulled out canning supplies out, and spent the whole afternoon/evening in the kitchen among good food and wine! Don't you just love nights like that?!

I have to say that this dish did not disappoint. It was very simple to pull together and the flavors were fantastic! I am a goat cheese lover and it adds just the right amount of tangy to the sweet roasted red peppers. The dish is actually much creamier than it looks in the picture however we had to let it sit as someone else came over just as we were about to eat (the nerve of some people). If you are tired of the same old red sauce and need to "kick it up a notch", definitely give this a try! 

Roasted Red Pepper Alfredo Pasta
Source: Damn Delicious via Pinterest

Ingredients:
12 ounces linguine (I used a full pound)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 ounces crumbled goat cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish
1 (12-ounce) jar roasted red peppers, chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
 
Directions:
1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions; drain well.
 
2. Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and onion, and cook, stirring frequently, until onions have become translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in milk, heavy cream, goat cheese and Parmesan until cheeses has melted, about 1-2 minutes.
 
3. Add red peppers and puree with an immersion blender. Stir in pasta and gently toss to combine; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
 
4. Serve immediately, garnished with Parmesan, if desired.

2.20.2014

Warm Toasted Marshmallow S'mores Bars



Total. S'MORGASM!!
 
Since it has only been forever and a day since I last posted anything, I'd like to explain. I'm pregnant! Pregnancy works well for the eating portion of this blog however it does not work well for the writing and cooking portion. Pregnancy has made me exhausted and by the time dinner comes around the only thing I feel like making is a bowl of cereal. Now that I'm 25 weeks along I have more energy to cook however I'm usually not very hungry with the nasty heartburn I have (doesn't pregnancy sound like so much fun?!).
 
A common question while pregnant is "what are your cravings?" My answer is usually "what aren't I craving?!" I pretty much eat everything anything so I literally crave everything. Weeks 1-10 I couldn't get enough juice, grape juice, cherry juice, orange juice, or a mix of all of them. Then I craved salty food like guacamole. Then I craved fruit. Pretty much the whole time I crave pasta. And now I crave sweets...lots and lots of dessert!! Enter my most recent craving, S'MORES.
 
I try really hard not to give in to all my unhealthy cravings. I usually let the craving sit for a couple days and it will dissipate but if I let it sit and it only gets stronger, well, then I just have to give in because the baby obviously NEEDS whatever it is I'm craving. I've been craving s'mores for about a week at this point. My friend Tara is also pregnant (and due just a couple weeks after me) and mentioned this very delicious s'mores recipe awhile ago. Like any good foodie, I instantly pinned the recipe to Pinterest knowing that I'd need to tap into it at some point. So yesterday I made these s'mores bars and they were DIVINE! I put 2 bars on my plate and dug in with my fork. Each bite of this gooey, soft, marshmallowy goodness brought me a little closer to the campfire in my mind! The base is a little crumbly but at the end of the day, if you don't get a little messy eating a s'more then are you really eating a s'more?! Verdict: try these! They take less than half hour to make and are a perfect crowd pleaser.
 
 
I know you are drooling...I am!
 
 
Look at that toasty goodness!
 

Source: Tara via Betty Crocker (thanks Tara!!)
 
Ingredients:
1 tube of sugar cookie dough (1 pound 1.5 ounces)
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 lb butter, melted
3 cups milk chocolate chips
4 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
 
Directions:
1. Preheat over to 375 degrees. Mix sugar cookie dough and graham cracker crumbs. Add melted butter. Press into the bottom of a 9x13 baking pan.
 
2. Bake graham cracker/cookie dough mixture about 18-20 minutes or until set. As soon as you pull the cookie base out of the oven, sprinkle the chocolate chips over the crust. Let the chocolate chips melt onto the crust for about 3-5 minutes (I actually turned off the oven and put the dish back in there to melt the chocolate better). Once the chocolate is melty, spread it around on top of the crust.
 
3. Turn the oven on to broil. Sprinkle marshmallows over the chocolate and put back in the oven for about 30 seconds. Watch closely as the marshmallows will brown really quickly. Once the marshmallows get to the desired level of "toastedness," pull the s'mores bars out of the oven and let cool for 10 minutes.
 
4. Cut the s'mores bars after 10 minutes and enjoy! If you don't eat them all you can easily put just one bar on a plate and re-heat it for about 30 seconds.
 
Side note: These would be great to bring to a party. Complete through step 2 and then pop in the oven to reheat at the party!