Slow Cooked Pork Roast

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This was so simple and flavorful, makes a big batch and it’s so versatile. We’re using this pork for BBQ pulled pork sandwiches, but you could use some in one of my favorite macaroni dishes or these amazing taquitos. I don’t cook pork often enough, but after trying this recipe out, I’m sure add it to the rotation. If you follow the recipe link, you’ll see that there are a few different ways to season this up, but I chose the “plain” version so the leftovers would be easier to use. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

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**Potato Bun Recipe Here and Creamed Corn Recipe Here**

Slow Cooked Pork Roast – adapted from The Kitchn

  • 4 to 6 pound boneless pork shoulder or butt (or 5 to 7 pounds bone-in), trimmed of excess fat
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 carrot, roughly chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, roughly chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 bay leaves

Directions –

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Place a rack on the lower-third of the oven. Pat the pork dry with paper towels, and season with salt and pepper. Heat a large dutch oven over medium-high heat and add the oil. Sear all sides of the meat, add the vegetables and chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Once it simmers, cover and place in the oven. Bake for 2 to 4 hours, checking after the first two hours for “fork-tenderness” – My 4 pound bone-in roast was fall-off the bone tender at 3.5 hours. Transfer the pork to a large container. When cool enough to handle, use two forks or your fingers to shred the meat into pieces. Remove any large pieces of fat or bones. For more moist and flavorful pulled pork, you can mix some of the cooking liquid back into the pork. Start with a little, mix, then add more until the pork is as wet or dry as you like. Alternatively, for barbecue pulled pork, you can mix in barbecue sauce. Pulled pork will keep for 1 week in the refrigerator or for up to 3 months in the freezer.

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Super Simple Chili

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I was hesitant to try this one because there are so few ingredients, but all the reviews reassured me that this would be worth making. I decided that it wouldn’t be seasoned enough for my taste so I added a few extras to bump up the flavor. I used one pound each of ground beef and pork, sauteed onion and garlic with the meat, added a six-ounce can of tomato paste along with the tomato sauce. I also had a couple of cups of homemade chicken stock that I didn’t want to waste, so I used that instead of water to loosen the chili up. I didn’t modify the spices (although I should have – there still wasn’t much flavor in this). This is not a “soupy” chili at all but it would be perfect for hot dogs, hamburgers or nachos. Overall, this was as I had predicted – too bland for my tastes! Although, it’s a good jumping off point for those who like to tweak recipes anyway. Thanks for stopping by!

**Click the link for the original recipe.

Super Simple Chili – adapted from The Pioneer Woman

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • One 8-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 – 6 ounce can tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • homemade chicken stock for thinning, or water
  • 1 – 15 ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 – 15 ounce can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • Shredded Cheddar, for serving
  • Chopped onions, for serving

Directions –


Place the ground beef in a large pot and throw in the garlic and onion. Cook over medium heat until browned. Drain off the excess fat, and then pour in the tomato sauce, tomato paste, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt and cayenne. Stir together well, cover, and then reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. If the mixture becomes overly dry, add 1/2 cup water or stock at a time as needed. Add the beans and simmer for 10 minutes. Serve with shredded Cheddar and chopped onions.

Garlic Green Beans

Quick Post: These were so good, (so was the entire meal – roast chicken and garlic rice pilaf linkage). This is such an easy, amazingly flavorful meal and definitely company worthy (not to mention cheap!) It hits all the right buttons! Thanks for reading, enjoy 🙂

Garlic Green Beans – adapted from A Sweet Pea Chef

  • 1 lb. fresh green beans, stems removed
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter (**next time, I’ll use 1 TBSP**)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/8 tsp. ground black pepper

Directions:

Steam green beans until slightly tender, about 6-8 minutes.

Melt butter over medium heat in a large skillet. Add garlic and cook 1-2 minutes. Transfer steamed green beans to the melted butter and garlic. Toss to coat green beans evenly and continue to saute for approximately 5 minutes over medium heat.

White Cake Mix

My daughter’s birthday is this week! Why can’t she stop aging? 😉 I know that is impossible, but looking back at pictures makes me sad – she was so little! Now she’s a giant-almost-6-year-old. Anyway, I decided I would bring her class some cupcakes, and what’s more fun than those rainbow cupcakes that are all over Pinterest?? At first I thought I would take the easy way out and use a white cake box mix, but after reading the ingredient list I couldn’t justify it! Hydrogenated this and high fructose that…garbage! Ignorance is bliss sometimes, but now that I know better I have to choose better – even if it is for a group of kindergarteners that could care less! 😉 Of course it’s easier to throw a box cake together, but this is loads cheaper – easily pennies on the dollar for these pantry staples. I made my own superfine sugar – if you have a food processor you should if you don’t have it on hand. I put a piece of plastic wrap over the work bowl so the sugar dust didn’t fly all over the place. Once the sugar was finished and measured, I added all the other ingredients to the bowl and pulsed it a few times. That was it – couldn’t be easier! The next post will be on the super fun and festive rainbow cupcakes!! Thanks for reading, enjoy!
White Cake Mix – adapted from I Am Baker
  • 2 3/4 cup flour (343 grams)
  • 1 3/4 cups SUPER fine sugar (you can buy this or make it)
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt

Directions – 

Sift all the ingredients together and store in an air tight container.

To Use: 

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 5 egg whites ( I used Egg Beaters, pure egg whites, about 1 cup)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract
Directions –

1. Cream butter and add egg whites one at a time until mixed. (*The batter separated terribly and never emulsified, but it still worked out once the dry ingredients were added*). Add milk, vanilla and almond extract. Add the dry ingredients in about three additions, making sure to scrape down in between and being careful not to overmix.

2. Fills two 8-inch rounds, or 16-18 cupcakes. Bake 325-350 degrees for 20-30 minutes; and cupcakes 17-22 minutes or until done.

Citrus Salmon

Quick Post: Coho salmon was on sale at Publix so I had to pick some up. Wild salmon is a healthy treat for us – all except my daughter – she has an aversion to fish (she’s my picky eater). I baked the salmon in foil again – it is a fool proof method. Maybe one day I’ll try something new, but when it comes to using an expensive food like this, I go with what I am most comfortable with. This time I used orange and lemon slices to season my fish along with some cilantro that I had leftover from making this to give it an herby kick. We enjoyed this with this garlic rice pilaf and a green salad. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Citrus Salmon –

  • 1 – 6 ounce piece of Coho salmon
  • 2 slices lemon
  • 2 slices orange
  • cilantro leaves
  • kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper
  • 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter or olive oil (optional)
Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Ready a piece of foil on a baking sheet.
2. Place the salmon on the foil, season with salt and pepper and lay the citrus slices across the top of the fish. Place dots of butter on top and lay the cilantro leaves over all. Gather the sides of the foil to create a package – don’t seal too tightly or you may tear the foil. Place on top of a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes (depending on the size and thickness).

Cheesy Orzo

Quick Post: I really enjoyed this and I seem to have a thing for orzo pasta side dishes when I need something to go along with fish. I modified this more than I usually do for a first attempt with the addition of peas and lemon zest. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Cheesy Orzo – adapted from Food Network

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 box of vegetable stock
  • 2 cups orzo pasta
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano or Romano
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • the zest of half a lemon
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Direction:

Preheat a 8 inch pot with a tight fitting cover over moderate heat. Add butter, onion and garlic and saute for 2 or 3 minutes. Add broth to the pan and bring to a boil. Stir in orzo and return broth to a boil. Cover pot and reduce heat to simmer. Cook for 10 – 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until liquid is absorbed and pasta tender. Remove lid and stir in frozen peas and cheese. Season with salt, pepper, and lemon zest. You favorite fresh herbs may also be stirred into the orzo or rice to strengthen the flavor even more.

My Go-To Pizza Sauce

Quick Post: This is my favorite, and more importantly – my kids’ favorite pizza sauce. I always double this so I can freeze the leftovers for future pizza nights. We like saucy pizzas, but once I portioned it out, I can probably get 8 pizzas worth of sauce, if that makes sense. It is zesty, rich and thick thanks to all that tomato paste. This is so convenient because I always have these ingredients on hand and it is so freezer friendly. I love that I can have this dough and this sauce on hand at all times in case I have no idea what to make for dinner; and who doesn’t like pizza night? I know my kids always appreciate it! Thanks for reading, enjoy!
Zesty Old School Style Pizza Sauce – adapted from The Cooking Photographer
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce (without sugar)
  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Fresh cracked pepper to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar

Place all the ingredients in a medium sized bowl and stir together.

Makes 1 1/2 cups of pizza sauce.

Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter

Yes, there are only three ingredients in this tomato sauce. I was skeptical when I first saw this recipe at Smitten Kitchen, but this site had yet to steer me wrong and so I trusted the author’s judgment. The butter creates a velvety, rich sauce and the onion flavors this perfectly.Once the sauce was finished, I buzzed it with my stick blender to create a smoother texture. There is no need for herbs or garlic and try to resist “doctoring” this up.  What is even better about this is that you probably have all the ingredients needed in your pantry. It’s great for busy moms who want to try out new but not intimidating, made-from-scratch recipes. And who doesn’t like this sort of simple comfort food? I used Linguine fini for this and served Italian style chicken sausage and everyone really loved it, even my picky husband who doesn’t like tomato sauce. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter – adapted from Smitten Kitchen via Marcela Hazan’s Essentials of Italian Cooking

  • 28 ounces whole peeled tomatoes from a can (San Marzano, if you can find them)
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium-sized yellow onion, peeled and halved
  • Salt to taste

Directions –

Put the tomatoes, onion and butter in a heavy saucepan (it fit just right in a 3-quart) over medium heat. Bring the sauce to a simmer then lower the heat to keep the sauce at a slow, steady simmer for about 45 minutes, or until droplets of fat float free of the tomatoes. Stir occasionally, crushing the tomatoes against the side of the pot with a wooden spoon. Remove from heat, discard the onion, add salt to taste.

Serve with spaghetti, with or without grated parmesan cheese.


Rotisserie-Style Chicken (…in a crock pot)

I haven’t used the crock pot in a long time. I do enjoy the convenience of it, especially when it comes to cooking a whole chicken and not worrying if it’s going to become dry. Now, I am a fan of roast chicken; but this recipe is great because there is no added fat to ensure moist chicken.

Verdict: This is pretty good, but I will do things a little different next time. First, I’ll start the crock pot earlier in the day to cook it on low, (because of the late start I cooked it on high for 5 hours), be sure to place the bird breast-side down and skip the foil. We ate this with PW’s crash potatoes and some steamed broccoli. I will post the recipe for the potatoes tomorrow – they’re really easy and complimented this dinner nicely. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Crock Pot Rotisserie-Style Chicken – adapted from A Year of Slow Cooking

  • 1 whole chicken (my bird was less than 4 pounds)
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 4 whole garlic cloves
  • 1 yellow onion (I had over 1 cup of diced white onion)
Directions – 
*I used a 6 quart crock pot, lined with this. I also roll some foil into balls and place on the bottom of the slow cooker, then place the chicken on top*
1. In a bowl, combine all of dried spices. Rub the spice mixture all over the bird, inside and out. Plop the bird breast-side down into the crock pot. If desired, shove 4 whole garlic cloves and a quartered onion inside the bird. Do not add water.

2. Cover and cook on high for 4-5 hours, or on low for 8. The meat is done when it is fully cooked and has reached desired tenderness. The longer you cook it, the more tender the meat.

Hot Fudge Sauce

Quick Post: The husband requested hot fudge…I obliged:) We used it to top off the already decadent fudge brownie/vanilla ice cream goodness. Make this at your own risk! Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Hot Fudge Sauce – adapted from Christina Marsigliese

  • 1/3 cup whipping cream
  • 2 TBSP light corn syrup
  • 2 TBSP sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

Directions –

1. In a 2 quart, heavy bottomed sauce pan combine all ingredients – minus the chocolate, over medium low heat. Bring it to a simmer and stir in chocolate until completely melted and smooth. Increase heat to medium and bring mixture to a boil. Cook, stirring constantly until a thick syrup like consistency, about 3-5 minutes. Remove pot from heat and pour into a glass jar or bowl and let cool for about 1 minute. Serve immediately or cool completely, stirring every so often. Seal the lid on the jar or store in an air tight container and keep refrigerated for up to 2 to 3 weeks. Rewarm over a double boiler or place jar in a pot with hot water coming a few inches up the sides of the jar until warmed through, adding a few teaspoons of water to thin it out as needed.