Slow Cooker Pulled Pork BBQ

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork BBQ
Ingredients:
1 pork roast (about 3 lbs)
1 18 oz bottle of sweet barbecue sauce
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 cup chicken stock
1 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes
1 onion, thinly sliced into half circles

Sweet hawaiian buns for serving
Pickles, cole slaw, cheese – whatever you like on your pulled pork sandwich!

This is a set it and forget it recipe. Combine all the ingredients BUT the pork in the crock pot, mixing it up well. I used sweet baby ray’s hawaiian barbecue sauce and it was a bit more tangy than I liked, so that was my reasoning for the brown sugar. If you’d rather it be tangier then you are welcome to omit the brown sugar. Once everything’s mixed, dip the pork in for a bath, turning it a few times to coat. Turn on high and cook for six hours, turning periodically.

slow cooker pulled pork bbq recipe

At that six hour mark, it’s time to pull the pork. I took it out in chunks and did it on a paper plate, then put it back in. Basically take two forks and pull the meat apart and it should shred off. Do it all and put it back into the slow cooker, and let it took for another 30 mins – an hour. Basically the longer it cooks, the more saucy and flavorful the meat will get.

slow cooker pulled pork bbq recipe

Serve that baby up. this makes a ton and for two people, well we have plenty of leftovers. I’m using it instead of turkey in my turkey enchilada recipe from the other day. It’s going to be delicious! Here is a pic of my sandwich with sliced pickles and a little bit of shredded cheese with my reheated sweet potato corn cakes.

slow cooker pulled pork barbecue recipe

Sweet Potato Corn Cakes

Holy moly. These things were so good that my husband devoured them. He 90% of the time likes what I make, but it’s once in a blue moon that he actually gets excited and enthusiastic about something he puts in his mouth. It’s not that he’s not appreciative, he’s just not the overly emotional type. It’s ok, because I love him for so many other things. Besides it helps gauge when he really loves something so I can make it more often.

I will be putting these on the menu quite a bit. They’re similar to the sweet potato balls he loved that I made years ago except with the addition of his favorite vegetable. I like this version much better myself. I wonder how they freeze. They reheated very well – just put them in a 375 degree oven for about ten minutes from the fridge.

Sweet Potato Corn Cakes
Ingredients:
3 lbs sweet potatoes, skin on.
1 cup frozen corn
2 eggs
1/3 cup cornmeal
1 cup bread crumbs
1 tbsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
2 green onions or 1/2 small onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp garlic, minced
oil for frying

First thing first! Prepare the sweet potatoes. Pierce the skin as deep as you can go in all around the potato, then wrap it fully in a paper towel. microwave for six minutes (if it’s larger, it might take longer). The potato should feel soft in the middle. I did it 2 at a time until they were done. Let them cool then peel all the skin off.

sweet potato corn cake recipe

Use a fork and mash the potato up really well. Add all the other ingredients minus the oil. Then mix it up real well and it’ll form a dough!

sweet potato corn cake recipe

Heat oil in a frying pan on medium high heat. It should be pretty hot when you put the cakes in. Take about 2-3 tbsp of dough in your hand and form it into a circle, then pat it down into a patty about 1/2 inch thick. Make sure it’s all even thickness on all the potato cakes. They can be bigger around if need be but the thickness is important so they cook well and at the same time. Cook for 3 minutes on each side, then transfer to a paper towel lined plate.

sweet potato corn cake recipe

When you are done you will have delicious, golden brown cakes of goodness. I served mine with ketchup but my husband didn’t need any of that. He just inhaled the cakes on their own.

sweet potato corn cake recipe

Family Dinner Time – Sweet Pork Roast and Ranchy Roasted Taters

Today you get a two-fer! I decided to utilize one of the four ginormous pork roasts we got at Costco yesterday and make a roast in the slow cooker. I also decided to pair them with some utterly delicious roasted potatoes with ranch all over them. I will be honest and say that my husband did not dig these carrots, but he is also a fanboy of my honey and brown sugar glazed ones. I, on the other hand, usually do not like carrots too much and I was hardcore into these. So, YMMV.

I have three more of these things to come up with some way to make, and I believe tomorrow I’ll be posting my no-noodle southwestern lasagna. It’s going to be a good culinary weekend!

Sweet Pork Roast
Ingredients:
1 jar peach preserves (I used smuckers. Not the smallest jar but the next smallest one)
1 20 oz can pineapple tidbits in juice
1/2 cup soy sauce
4 tbsp mustard
1 cup chicken stock or broth
1 medium vidalia or sweet onion, slivered
1 small pack baby carrots
1 3-4 lb pork roast

slow cooker pork recipe

First we set up the sauce. Add in the entire jar of preserves, the soy sauce, mustard and chicken broth/stock. Stir until it looks like the above photo. Break down the mustard as best as you can. Whisking might be a better option as well I just used a spoon though.

slow cooker pork recipe

Time to put the onions into the bath! Doesn’t it look delicious already? Add the pineapple tidbits and juice in, then give it a good stirring.

slow cooker pork recipe

Nestle in that beautiful roast. It is just waiting for a good cooking. Turn it over once it’s in so the entire thing is coated to begin with.

slow cooker pork recipe

Time to add the carrots. Once that’s done make sure it’s all tucked away, cover, and turn on high. Every hour I came in and turned it over.

slow cooker pork recipe

Here it was about halfway. Delicious looking already, but it still had a lot of work to do.

slow cooker pork recipe

I cooked mine on high for about six hours. This is the finished morsel. The pork just fell apart and the pineapples and onions I spooned on top of it with the broth as you’ll see below. It was killer, guys.

Rancy Roasted Taters
Ingredients:
1 large or 2-3 small red potatoes per person.
1 tsp olive oil per person
1 packet ranch mix (if you are feeding a ton of people you might wanna add another packet)

roasted potato recipe

First off, wash the potatoes and cut them into small wedges or chunks, then place into a bowl. You want them about this size and even sized pieces to cook correctly.

roasted potato recipe

Time to pour in the oil and sprinkle in the ranch mix! Stir it extra well to coat each piece in both oil and seasonings.

roasted potato recipe

line a sheet with foil and spray well with no-stick spray before tossing the potatoes down in a single layer (very important!) and cook at 400 for 15-20 minutes. Halfway through stir the potatoes but keep in an even layer. Should be brown and soft, so keep an eye on them cause your oven may vary.

roasted potato recipe

No big deal, my dinner is just rockin’ hard core. I’m gonna eat now, y’all.

Sweet Potato, turkey and salsa enchiladas – healthy and yum!

I have outdone myself today.

Have you ever made something so absolutely delicious that you wolfed it down because it was that good, then all you wanted to do was have more because you didn’t want it to end? That was my experience with these enchiladas. Maybe it was the anticipation. I had seen something similar on Pinterest and decided to make it my own as I am usually want to do. I was excited to get the ignredients and fix it up myself, and the anticipation did not disappoint. They were delicious. I really think someone needs to take the rest of these off my hands before I do something destructive like eat the entire pan tonight.

Sweet potato, turkey, and salsa enchiladas

Ingredients:
1 tube ground turkey
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
5 mushrooms, chopped
2 tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp paprika
1 medium sized sweet potato
1 cup salsa that is heavy with black beans and corn (I use wal mart’s brand)
white corn tortillas
1 19oz can red enchilada sauce
2 cups shredded cheese (I use reduced fat fiesta blend)

Optional customizations:
jalapenos or green chiles
red pepper flakes

This dish, like many of mine, has room for customizations and I put a few suggestions underneath the list of ingredients. I don’t like my stuff spicy but if you do, add more peppers and even red pepper flakes. I used the Old El Paso mild enchilada sauce, but as long as it’s red and at least 19 oz then use whatever you like.

First thing’s first. You’re gonna wrap the sweet potato in foil and pierce it around it in a few places, then roast at 400 for 45 mins (or until it’s soft and done). Set it aside because you don’t need it yet. (this step is not pictured because common sense. You can do this!) You’re ready to get started now! Chop your onions and mushrooms and cook on medium high heat with the garlic for about three minutes. Crank that baby to high and then add the turkey. Once the turkey is about halfway done that is when I add my spices. Once the turkey is cooked all the way drain and then move on. Add in the salsa and one cup of cheese and then it’s time to work magic with the sweet potato. Unwrap it and slice it in half lengthwise, stripping off the skin (it should just slide right off at this point). Chop it into half inch cubes and toss into the meat mixture. Great job! Now stir, stir stir.

healthy enchilada recipe

You’re going to want to pour some of the enchilada sauce in the bottom of the dish. Not a ton, just enough to make a light layer on the thing. If I had a bigger rectangle dish I would’ve used it because I could have made more enchiladas. I feel like I would have needed another small can of sauce though and possibly more cheese.

Now it’s time to assemble! Spread some of the mixture in the center of a corn tortilla and roll it up. Place it in your dish seam side down. I like to pack them in kinda tight so they don’t come unrolled very easily.

I filled mine to the brim but there was enough mixture I could’ve probably made a few more in an 8×8 square pan. I just decided to freeze my extra for later. Once you have your pan stuffed full pour the rest of the sauce over the top of all of the enchiladas and top with the remaining cup of cheese.

Bake that baby at 350 for 20-30 minutes, until everything is bubbly and cheese has melted beautifully.

Southwestern Zucchini Lasagna – No Pasta Needed!

I’m still on a fairly healthy trying to eat right kick. I use ground turkey most times in place of beef and I eat the hell out of some chicken. I decided I was going to try a lasagna with zucchini sliced thin instead of noodles after seeing a “roll up” made with them on pinterest. I also wanted to do a southwest version as opposed to a straight up Italian mozzarella version as well. Not gonna lie, it took about 5 tries to spell “mozzarella” correctly. Thanks, little red squiggly lines.

Anyway this was adapted from a spaghetti squash recipe and formatted but it is amazing and I love it. I hope you do too. The one thing I like is that it’s really customizable – there are a couple “use what you want” ingredients here and that’s because everyone’s taste is different. Want a tangy sweet taste to your sauce? Use barbecue. I had ketchup on hand so that was what I used. If I had a can of tomato sauce I might’ve used that. If you like things spicy? Throw some red pepper flakes in. Load it with cayenne. Even chop up jalapenos and add it to the vegetable mix. Make it your own and come back and tell me how it was!

Southwestern zucchini lasagna

1 large zucchini, thinly sliced longway ( I used an accordion slicer and made it so easy and super thin)
1 small jar salsa
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can white/yellow corn, drained
12 oz ground turkey
1/2 small onion, diced
2 tbsp minced garlic
5 large mushrooms, chopped
1 container skim milk ricotta cheese
2 cups reduced fat / fat free shredded cheddar (or cheddar jack blend, taco blend, whatever you like)
1/4 cup “Sauce” of your choice (tomato, barbecue, ketchup, etc) with a little extra left over
2 tbsp olive oil
seasonings to your taste

Oven: 350 – 20 minutes covered in foil, 10 minutes after uncovered.

First off? Heat that olive oil on medium high and cook the garlic, onion and mushrooms for about three minutes. Add the turkey and turn to high, cooking until everything is done. I added an herbs de provance sea salt blend and pepper here. Another good addition would be cumin, cayenne and/or chili powder to make it even more southwestern. Once the meat was done I turned the heat off.

In a large container I mixed the salsa, corn, and beans. I used about a cup and a half and added to the meat mixture with the 1/4 cup of sauce and stirred until it was all blended. I’ll use the rest of the salsa mix either as dip or on spaghetti squash later in the week. It works well for either. Once it was all mixed it looked like this:

healthy lasagna recipe

Provided I had all my components prepared – by prepared I mean the zucchini sliced (I cut off both ends to make it even) and the ricotta prepared (here is another place you want to at least add salt and pepper but you could mix it up with other spices too) it was time to build. I put a little splattering of the same sauce I put in the meat mixture on the bottom, then a layer of zucchini to cover it up. You can preheat your oven to 350 at this time too!

healthy lasagna recipe

On top of that goes a layer spread of ricotta cheese, and then the meat mixture.

healthy lasagna recipe

Cheese gets sprinkled over the meat and then the layers repeat with the zucchini strips in the alternate direction. (if they were up and down the first time, make them stretch left to right this time). A final layer of cheese on top pretty heavy should top it off. I did three layers on mine out of one zucchini in an 8×8 pan.

healthy lasagna recipe

Then it’s ready! Cover it in foil and cook at 350 for 20 minutes, then remove the foil and cook about 10 minutes more or until the cheese is nice and browned. Take it out, let it stand for about five minutes, then cut in and devour.

healthy lasagna recipe

I didn’t just eat two servings of this. I lie. I totally did. Not even caring. It’s comfort food that you can feel kinda good about. It’s not the best healthy recipe in the world but it beats layers of pasta noodles and ground beef right?

Poblano Cheese Grits – Almost Like Coyote Blues and DELISH!

These are delicious. So, at Coyote Blues last night I had these poblano cheese grits. I’d had them once before and now it’s my main reason for going to this place. I wanted to try to emulate them at home, so I found a generic recipe for cheesy grits with peppers and stuff and adapted it for what I wanted. Success! It’s not perfect but it’s pretty damn good.

Poblano Cheese Grits
1 poblano pepper, roasted, skinned and chopped.
4 1/2 cups water
1 cup quick grits
2 tsp salt
2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp paprika
1 cup shredded cheese
4 oz (half a brick) cream cheese
1 egg, beaten

I pre roasted the poblano pepper – basically gave it an olive oil rubdown and roasted at 400 until it was charred, then removed the skin and seeds and chopped it up.

Then, I boil the water on the stove. Once it’s boiling stir the grits in and add the salt. let it cook for about five minutes, or until it’s nice and thick. I reduced the heat so it wasn’t spastic to about medium high. Stir occasionally!

Once they are done, remove from the heat. Stir in the shredded cheese and the cream cheese. The type of cheese depends on what you like. I used cheddar, but jack would be good too. then stir in the chopped peppers, cayenne and paprika. Once it’s all stirred and the cheese has melted, the grits should be cooled enough to add the egg ( I used both types of cheese while they were still refrigerator cold). If you are worried, temper the egg with a bit of the mixture at a time.

Transfer to a casserole dish. Bake at 375 for about 30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and delicious.

It’ll come out looking like this. And then, we eat!!

I made some summer beef sausage and ate it with it. Delicious!

Cheesy Cauliflower Bites – Yummy Balls For My Tummy

I haven’t made anything (new) this delicious in a while. I definitely outdid myself. I’d seen different cheese cauliflower contraptions about on the interwebs but I wanted something that had more of a loaded potato feel. I hit the nail on the head. This is absolutely fricking delicious. I think it’s funny that Facebook predicted my future:

food recipes

Yummy balls, indeed, Facebook. I must warn you, these make a lot. i made 30 of them and since there are only two of us that means a ton of them will be frozen in serving size packages and I only have to do this once in a while. You can even do what I would normally do – serve mashed cauliflower with half of the head, then save the other half of the head to do this and just halve the rest of the ingredients. I will even do that for you in parenthesis and italics in the ingredient list. How sweet am I? If you have a large house to feed this is relatively cheap. It’s a great side dish to take to a potluck. Serve it at a party! It’s so versatile and delicious and honestly it tastes like potato bites (I have made both, so I know). Without further ado!

Yummy Balls
1 head of cauliflower, cooked and riced (or mashed, or food processed <-- favorite) (1/2 of this)
2 cups italian bread crumbs (1 cup)
1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs (3/4 cup)
1 packet hidden valley ranch mix (1/2 packet)
2 eggs, beaten (1 egg)
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (3/4 cup)

cheesy cauliflower bites recipe>

I mix all my ingredients in the bowl minus the cauliflower while it’s cooking. It just saves time to have it ready to go. I’ll be honest, I mixed the bread crumbs and ranch first and coated two pork steaks with it (then replenished the crumbs) to save some time. Once my cauliflower was done and processed (I made sure it wasn’t scalding hot too) I put it in and mixed it up.

cheesy cauliflower bite recipe>

This is where it gets messy. I made sure it was all mixed and it should be almost dough-like. I took off my rings and got dirty for this part. First off, make sure the sheet is well-sprayed with non-stick spray before you start. Scoop up some of it and roll it into a ball gently in your hand. Ping pong to golf ball size is what you’re looking for. I fit 30 on a standard baking sheet (5 across, 6 long). Roll and caress the balls gently in your hand before you place them on the sheet. Yummy balls!

cheesy cauliflower recipe>

Bake at 425 for 15-20 minutes, or until the balls are golden brown. They should look somewhat like this:

cheesy cauliflower

These things are addictive and delicious. I’m freezing them now before I eat the entire tray. A side note: this isn’t the absolute healthiest way to have cauliflower, but for someone who doesn’t really like it, it’s a good way to sneak it in.

Sweet Heat Brussels Sprouts – An Easy Side Dish Recipe

I’m not gonna lie. I’ve always been afraid of brussels sprouts. I actually tried to make them once by sauteeing them in a pan with some bacon and onion and garlic, but it just didn’t work out. They were still super bitter and gross. After researching a bit more I discovered that roasting is the best method for the sprouts. I decided it needed a little something though, and what better something than sweet and heat? so I give you, my sweet heat roasted brusels sprouts.

Ingredients:
1 lb brussels sprouts, ends cut off and halved
3 tbsp melted coconut oil
3 tbsp honey
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

brussels sprouts recipe
Make sure the sprouts are all halved with the hard ends chopped off, and put in a bowl.

brussels sprouts recipe
Whisk the remaining ingredients together. Make sure you melt the coconut oil!

brussels sprouts recipe
Pour all over the sprouts and mix well, then spread across a baking tray (I lined mine with foil).

brussels sprouts recipe
Roast at 350 degrees for thirty minutes. They’ll pop out like this.

brussels sprouts recipe
It’s a redundant pic, but here they are starring with the pot roast I made..

Delicious and oh-so-easy crock pot roast!

Ok, I’m gonna blow your mind with how easy it is to make a delicious fall apart roast in little prep time. Basically all you need is six hours in a crock pot for a delicious dinner!

First off, let’s hit up the ingredients. I hate when the list of ingredients is down past the photos of how to do it, so I’m gonna try to never do that.

1 nice sized roast (This one is about 2.5 lbs)
4 medium red potatoes, chunked
1 medium white or yellow onion, chunked
veggies that you like
1 packet dry au jous mix
1 packet creamy ranch mix
1 packet dry pork gravy mix
1 can Dr. Pepper or Mr. Pibb or equivalent
1 cup hot water

Ok then! This roast will be three photos from start to finish.

easy crock pot recipe
First, arrange the potatoes and onions in the bottom as a little platform for your roast.

easy crock pot recipe
Then set down the roast on top, arranging the veggies around the sides.

In a cup, mix the hot water and packets of mixes and pour over top, along with the can of pibb/pepper.
As far as veggies go I just went to the salad bar at the grocery store and got some red/yellow pepper sticks, mushrooms and celery and called it a day. I was going to use that for something else but figured it would add good flavor to the roast and gravy without being too overpowering. I believe I’m going to serve this with some glazed brussels sprouts I am working on.

Here we go, the finished product:

easy crock pot recipe
And the finished product on my plate with a side of sweet heat brussels sprouts.
easy crock pot recipe

An After and An Afterthought

I showed below about my horrible rosacea and how splotchy my face looks without any makeup at all. I have a process, and said process takes a while to achieve something I can wear out of the house. My doctor has me taking ten days of minocycline to see if we can clear up the redness and the breaking out. I hope this works, because I’d like to be able to not have to splotch concealer all over my face. This is a regular face routine for me.

Moisturizer: CeraVe Moisturizing Cream
Primer: Almay Color Correct Primer
Foundation: Napoleon Perdis China Doll Foundation
Concealer: SheerCover duo concealer
Powder: Nyx Stay Matte powder foundation

Everything else I wear depends on my mood that day. I’ve been really in love with a certain pink and purple look for my eyes I got on Pinterest. It’s a little color around the top and edges, then dark shimmer over the lids. I have hooded eyes so it’s a good look for me.

The finished look?

Not too shabby, right?

I also recently moved, so it gave me the chance to completely organize and sort through my makeup collection. I have a darling iron vanity that I’ve had for a while now. Along with it? A plastic three-drawer unit that holds the makeup. Top drawer is face stuff and lip stuff and eyeliners. Second drawer is loose eye shadows and various creams. The bottom drawer is for all of my palettes. On top rests my nail polishes and removers. Then I keep the vanity for all my hair products, moisturizers, primer and brushes. Here’s what it looks like now.


The Battle Station

Two pills down into this treatment. Still itchy face. Hopefully that’s one of the first symptoms to go, because it’s one of the most annoying.