Sunday, September 1, 2013

Best Ever Pulled Pork Sandwiches

(picture from


3-4 lb pork roast
2 onions chopped
16oz of your favorite BBQ sauce
6-8 oz of your favorite BBQ sauce, we like Sweet Baby Rays Sweet & Spicy (set aside)

Sandwich Buns

Place pork roast, onions and 16 oz of BBQ sauce in crock pot and cook on low 6-8 hours.  Remove from crock pot and shred with forks. Do not return to crock pot.  In separate bowl toss meat with remaining 6-8oz of sauce or drizzle this sauce over pork once its on the buns.  Then toast buns, place meat on buns and top with coleslaw.  The coleslaw is awesome so don't skip it!!

Dead Simple Slaw

I use the 16-ounce bag of pre-shredded cabbage
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 large green bell pepper, finely chopped 
1 large carrot, coarsely grated
1 1/4 cups mayonnaise
1/3 cup cider vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar

Toss all vegetables in a large bowl with 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper.  Whisk together mayonnaise, vinegar, and sugar, then toss with the slaw.  Chill, covered, stirring occasionally, at least 1 hour (for vegetables to wilt and flavors to blend).

Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen 

Big Al's K.C. Bar-B-Q Sauce 
*haven't tried this yet, but I want to

2 cups ketchup
2 cups tomato sauce
1 1/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
4 teaspoons hickory-flavored liquid smoke (I use mesquite)
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (I use 1/4 teaspoon)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

In a large saucepan over medium heat, mix together the ketchup, tomato sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, molasses, liquid smoke and butter.  Season with garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, paprika, celery seed, cinnamon, cayenne, salt and pepper.

Reduce heat to low, and simmer for up to 20 minutes.  For thicker sauce, simmer longer and for thinner, less time is needed. 

Recipe is from Allrecipes

Friday, April 19, 2013

Black Bean, Corn and Avocado Salsa

This is one of my favorite snacks.

Note: These measurements aren't exact, for once in my life I just "threw stuff in" you can add more of what you love and less of what you don't.

1-1.5 cups frozen corn kernels I put them in a strainer and rinse them to unthaw them a bit
1 can black beans rinse and drained
1/2 bunch chopped cilantro
1-2 avocados cubed
3-4 roma tomatoes chopped
3 green onions chopped (white and green parts)
1 lime juiced, more if you like
I used about 2 tsp of Wildtree's Italian Salad Dressing Mix you can use Good Seasons or any brand you have on hand.

Mix it all up gently and enjoy with chips, on salad or with any mexican dish.

Thick and Chewy M&M Blondies

These are just what you expect.  Thick, chewy and delicious!  The M&M's sink to the bottom which doesn't affect the taste but if you want to see them on top you might try sprinkling a few on towards the end of the baking time.

Thick and Chewy M&M Blondies
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup M & M candies (or chocolate chips or butterscotch chips)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13x9" pan with non-stick cooking spray.
Add the brown sugar to the melted butter and stir until combined. Add the vanilla and the eggs to the brown sugar mixture.
In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda and salt. Add the flour mixture to the brown sugar mixture and stir until all combined. Fold in the M&M candies (or chocolate chips). Scrape the batter into the baking pan and smooth the top using a spatula (I actually just used my hands to push the dough all the way to the edges and it was much easier). Bake for about 24-27 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the blondies comes out clean.
Let the blondies cool completely and then cut into squares.
Makes 12-20 squares depending on how big you cut them.

I found this recipe at 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Easy Sweet and Sour Chicken

We love this Sweet and Sour Chicken Recipe.  It reminds us of one we used to get at the Thai Orchid Restaurant. It uses bottled sauce which is why it's quick and easy,  I realize that may not be as healthy, but it is what is is people.  We like it.

Kikkoman Sweet and Sour Sauce (for basting or simmering, not their dipping sauce, I get a 4lb 11oz bottle from Cash and Carry and I can get 4+ meals for my family of 7 out of one container.  It's also much cheaper than the itty bitty store bottles.)

3 chicken breasts sliced very thin
1 red pepper, sliced thin
1 yellow onion, sliced
1 seedless cucumber cut into spears
1 large can pineapple chunks, drained or fresh pineapple

Pour some oil in a large skillet and stir fry onions and peppers. Add chicken, season with salt and pepper and cook until chicken is no longer pink.  Add as much sauce as you like along with the cucumbers and pineapple and simmer for a few minutes then serve over rice.  

Just a heads up that the cucumbers make this.  Seriously my husband was totally skeptical and not a huge cucumber fan but the crunch they give is awesome.  The other thing we love about it is having the chicken sliced really thin.

This recipe feeds my family of 7 with a little left over.  So you may want to adjust if you don't feed an army every night.  :)

Friday, March 1, 2013

Kneaders Raspberry Bread Pudding with Warm Vanilla Sauce

This recipe is a copy cat of the Raspberry Bread Pudding from Kneaders Bakery.  It is pretty much heaven on earth.  I made it last year with croissants and then my friend Corinne made it over the holidays with French bread and I loved it even more.  

1 1/2 loaves stale french bread
1 qt. heavy cream
3 C. sugar (I think you could cut this down to 2 cups maybe even 1 1/2)
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
5 C. raspberries, fresh or frozen
1 C. sugar
1/2 C. apple juice
In a large bowl mix the cream, sugar, egg and vanilla. Cut bread into 1 1/2 inch cubes and add to cream mixture, coating the bread well.Let stand 30 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes to allow cream to absorb.Mix the raspberries, sugar and apple juice, stirring until sugar is dissolved.

Layer a 9×13 inch baking pan 3/4 full with the bread mix and pour fruit filling over the bread mix, spreading evenly.

Top with the remaining bread.Bake 40 minutes at 375.

Serve warm topped with vanilla cream sauce.

(If you want it to cut into nice squares you can chill it and then cut it into squares, then microwave it for 20-25 seconds per piece and top with sauce.)

Vanilla Cream Sauce

2/3 C. butter
2.5 T. flour
1 1/2 C. heavy cream
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 C. sugar

Melt butter in medium saucepan and add flour.  Stir 10 minutes until it has a nutty aroma, do not brown.  Add salt, cream and sugar until mix is thick.  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.  Serve warm over the pudding.

Indonesian Beef Curry with Coconut Basmati Rice

Another great recipe from my friend Corinne.  She found it in Cooking Light magazine.  I made a few adjustments for our tastes/heat tolerance. :)  It also makes a great freezer meal.

Curry - 
Cooking Spray             
1 1/2 lbs. lean top round, cut into thin slices (I also use petite sirloin)
1 1/2 Tbsp. canola oil 
1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots (I minced an onion)
1 Tbsp. minced, fresh ginger 
6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced (I use 6 tsp. bottled, minced garlic)
1 serrano chile, thinly sliced (I mince them - wear food prep gloves)
2 tsp. ground coriander   1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
3/4 tsp. salt                     1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. black pepper      3 cardamom pods, crushed (I use 1 tsp. ground cardamom)
1 stick of cinnamon         1 cup vegetable broth
1 Tbsp. lime juice

Rice - 
1 1/4  cups water   (1\2-3/4 cup water if doing in rice cooker)
1 cup uncooked basmati rice
1 cup light coconut milk
1/4 tsp. salt

To prepare curry - 
Heat a large skillet, coated with cooking spray.  Cook beef, in single layer.  Do one 1/2 at a time if needed.  Cook for about 3-4 minutes.  Place beef in bowl on the side.

Reduce heat, drain liquid and add oil to pan.  Add Shallots, ginger, garlic, and chili's.  Cook 4 minutes stirring occasionally.  Stir in Coriander, cumin, salt, cloves, pepper, cardamom and cinnamon stick.  Cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly.  Return beef to pan, and add broth. 

Cover, reduce heat. (**This is when I let it cool and freeze it flat in a Ziploc bag.**)  Simmer 35 minutes or until beef is tender.  Uncover and cook for 10 more minutes, or until sauce is thick.  Discard Cinnamon stick and add in lime juice.  

To Prepare Rice on Stovetop:
Bring all ingredients to a boil.  Cover and turn heat down and simmer for 18 minutes.    Take off heat and let sit for 5 minutes.  Fluff with a fork.

In Rice Cooker:
Dump it in (see water adjustment) and let it work it's magic!

*I like to double this for my family.  It feeds us dinner one night and lunch for a few people the next day.