Monday, November 8, 2010

Pulled Pork into amazingly incredible Nachos!

Okay, so I went to the store a while back and found that they had meat on sale, they were restocking the store and so things were pretty cheap... now Nic and I don't usually eat pork, just because its not as healthy for ya as chicken or fish is... but really...who can resist  the possibility of pulled pork?

The main three spices used are: Oregano, Chili Powder, and Cumin

The Pork shoulder I used was already partially smoked, and it gave it a nice smoky flavor....

Pour main spices, (about a Tablespoon each) into large mixing bowl.
add 1/2 cup of brown sugar, Salt & pepper  1 Tablespoon each or less depending on your preference.

The other great ingredients are Extra Virgin olive oil, White wine vinegar, 1 whole onion, 
One-two Tablespoons of Molasses (for some reason it didn't make it into the picture)
 and either 1 whole clove of garlic or garlic powder.
 I used the powder cause that is what I had on hand.


For the onion you are going to want to puree it in a food processor or one of those amazing Magic bullets. Make it really really creamy...

See, its so creamy it looks like mashed potatoes... thats just how you want it :)

Add its entirety to the mixture of spices. Scrape that baby clean :)

Now mix it together and add 1/2 cup of dried parsley. It makes it look pretty :) and adds a slight flavor..

Now add your molasses... look at it! it smells so amazing! 
also add your vinegar (bout 1 teaspoon) 
and your olive oil (bout 1 tablespoon) 
mix it well

Now its time to rub your pork with your spice mixture.. Make sure you rub every nook and cranny good! You will want it to be good and flavorful!

Now add 2 cups of water around the pork in your pot

Cover with foil or lid 
and place it in a 350 degree oven for about 6-7 hours or until fork tender, turning over every hour... 
the turning helps it to cook evenly and just makes sure it wont dry out... 
our oven is old and so it took double the cooking time... 
It should be fork tender like this: 

let it cool and rest for about 20 minutes... 
this preserves the juices and keeps you from burning your fingers...
Tear apart the pork and put it right back into the liquid.
Trust me you will wish you had if you don't! 

Now remember it was partially smoked so its okay that it is still pink, as long as it reaches at least 165 degrees internally *thats the safe temperature for pork, i let mine reach even higher than that...

You can serve it on top of a piece of bread, like an open faced sandwich with a side of white bean chili, 
or you can make these amazing nachos!!!!

just chips, the pulled pork, and cheese dip! And oh my goodness taste of heaven! 
By far the best way to serve this!!!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Fish and Chips

Okay, so we were craving a little more of a fast food-ish type of a meal and the things we had on hand were Idaho potatoes and frozen tilapia...(tilapia is an amazing tasting fish!) 

For the chips :
-Take a heavy duty largish sauce/soup pan and melt some crisco in it, or you can just use canola oil...
P.S. If you use crisco, be sure to keep it on med heat until it melts and to keep a close eye on it, it will catch on fire otherwise :p

-Slice the potatoes relatively thin, like almost paper thin but not quite...

-Once the oil/crisco is up to heat (it should sizzle and bubble once you drop a potato in)... drop em in! :)

The potatoes will start to curl up and flip over... just keep an eye on em until they are crispy chip like... you will be able to see the difference in the way they look... (if you can't tell whether they are done or not, its okay, just take one out and LET IT COOL and pop it in your mouth... you will know :)

 In the meantime, take the tilapia and season it however you like your fish...

I seasoned it with Old Bay seasoning for seafood, parsley (For color), Tony Chachere's, and sea salt & pepper to taste...

-Put a little olive oil in a pan, turn the heat on med-high heat and cook it :)

-It doesn't take that long for fish to cook, I just cook it until the meat is white and the outside is a little browned... :) its yummy

Look at that beauty!
P.S. for an amazing additional sauce, just mix ketchup, mustard, and mayo together to form a nice orangy-pinkish color :) *My inlaws taught me that secret :)

When the chips are done, just scoop 'em out and place on a kitchen towel to cool and release the grease :) (haha that rhymed)

Salt & Pepper to taste :)

and look how delish!!!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Potato Bread :) who knew mashed taters could be so useful!

We ran out of bread at the house and since I didn't feel like making a trip to the store, I ended up making
bread... :) Potato bread is amazing! The potatoes are so cheap right now so we had them on hand...

Okay so here it is:

Boil peeled potatoes (throw the potato skins in your garden> I'm telling you, your garden will love you forever)...

keeping the potato water for later, mash the potatoes and mix with 2 tablespoons of Olive Oil and 1 cup of lukewarm milk, stirring just to mix. After potato water has cooled add 1/2 cup to potato mixture.

In a separate large bowl mix: 6 cups of bread flour, 4 tablespoons of Active Dry Yeast, and 1 teaspoon of salt..

Mix flour into potato mash mixture untill it forms a hard dough...

 I know it seems like a long time, but knead the dough for ten minutes...

*Please ignore the laundry on the floor in the background...
laundry day :)

 Once you have kneaded the dough the length of time needed, separate into 20 small balls..

Put the dough in lightly greased bread pans ...

Place them in a warm place and let rise :)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

< See...risen :) look at those beautiful puffy pieces of yummy-ness :)

Place in 400 degree oven for 10 minutes... then lower the temperature to 375 degrees until the bread is done, (about 40 minutes give or take).

And so there you have it  the beautiful finished product....two lip smacking loaves of bread :)
I see sandwiches and toast in your future ;)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Whole wheat: Chocolate, chocolate chip & pecan cookies...Not what you expected is it?

Everyone has there favorite cookie... but do they have their favorite type of whole wheat sugar free cookie? Probably not... there are not very many recipes that turn out tasting even close to what we consider edible as a cookie... Since I have been recently trying to change to whole wheats and whole foods, it has been rather challenging when it comes to my love of baking...most things turn out grainy feeling or just plain gross! So I decided to experiment... I went online, used highly rated recipes and used cookbooks  know to be exceptionally well made... The recipes were so different from the normal cookie recipes I grew up learning...I was intrigued! I mean, I cannot go without making treats for my hubby or the people around me that I love! :) And I definitely don't want them to think they are gross, obviously if I am going to spend time in the kitchen I want to have good results...who doesn't?
I am not completely removing normal bleached flour from everything, (although I would love to) I just want to be proactive with our health, and with enjoyment of that healthy food.  I tried a couple different recipes that like I said before turned out in disaster, I almost wonder if the people who commented on those recipes were just trying to be nice or if something else was but in all seriousness they just wouldn't do... So, I gave up... well I gave up trying other people's recipes... And then it was as if all the creative juices started flowing and I wanted to see what I was made of... I put all my past cookie making experience to the test. I was going to attempt at making my very own recipe... scary I know! lol... I used only whole wheat flour (I keep wanting to spell it and Splenda instead of sugar. (Disclaimer, I am not advocating for sugar replacement in everything...especially for younger children. Natural sugars are incredibly important in your daily life... like from fruit. But I don't think it hurts to replace those extra little things like cookies and deserts with sugar substitutes..then again this is my opinion... :)
 They have the consistency of peanut butter cookies, and so I am still experimenting to see what they would be like as soft cookies. They are the dark color because they have cocoa in them and thus they are chocolate cookies with choc. chips and pecans... I had people try them girls and guys and my hubby, and they past the test ;) So I think they are going to be a good addition to my baking repertoire. I am still debating on wether or not to place here the recipe for these cookies... Not many people bake with whole wheat... but ....
*IF YOU ARE INTERESTED...reply that you would like the recipe and I will post it so that you can also have it :) I hope you enjoy :)

Saturday, April 3, 2010

ahhh the changes...

Well... I'm sure it has become apparent that I have no longer been cooking through the country cookbook... Things really got expensive... But that doesn't mean that i have completely stopped my cooking or baking...oh no... quite the contrary... I have been trying to save more money and become more frugal, and I must say> It is definately WAY FUN!!! I love the feeling of making something completely from scratch! In fact, I try to find ways to do everything just like that! Here are some things i have been doing:

Homemade cinnamon rolls> yeah they tasted pretty amazing! Since i used the bread machine, it was really simple and had very little clean up!

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm milk
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 egg, lightly beaten plus 2 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
4 cups flour (Add a bit more if dough seems too wet after first few minutes of kneading in the bread machine.)
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons bread machine yeast

6 tablespoons butter
1 1/3 cup brown sugar mixed with 3-4 tablespoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon milk
1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
4 tablespoons (or less) butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
(You dont necessarily need the butter if you are wanting it to be less fattening, but it sure does taste good!)

*Put the dough ingredients in the bread machine in the order listed and run on the dough cycle. After the dough cycle is finished, roll the dough into a large rectangle and spread it with filling, butter first, then sugar & cinnamon mix.

*Roll up and cut into 10-15 rolls and place in two greased round cake pans. Bake at 325 degrees for 20 minutes or until browned. Spread the icing on as soon as they come out of the oven.

You can also cover the unbaked rolls with plastic wrap, stick them in the refrigerator overnight, and then bake in the morning.
I froze half of them and they held their wonderful flavor, but they didn't raise quite as big as the others had.


I have also started making my own yogurt! It is so easy too & it turned out pretty good! There are so many methods to making yogurt, and this is just one of the many, but it worked and it tastes great! If you eat yogurt like my husband and I do, this is worthwhile and saves quite a bit of money :)

It’s this easy:

*Heat the milk in jars to 180 degrees in pot of boiling water.
*Take jars out of water and screw on lids, put in fridge for 45-50 minutes. Let it cool to 110. Put pan full of hot water with lid on in a picnic cooler (put a towel under so if it touches it doesn't melt your cooler). This keeps the water hot.
*When yogurt gets to 110 degrees, stir in 2 Tbs plain yogurt per quart of milk.
*Put it in cooler next to pot of hot water, take lid of pot and close the cooler for 4-24 hours.
*Put in fridge till cool and has a layer of whey, either stir in whey or use in soups (its good for you).
*Done. $10-$20 worth of yogurt for $3, and that’s if the milk is regular price.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

For My Valentine...

My husband and I celebrated Valentines day a couple days early this year and I have to tell you... it was amazing!
I could not think of anything to get him and so I decided instead to make him something to eat...the way to a mans heart is through his stomach right???? lol....

and so chocolate cake it was, no this was not in the recipe book, but i figured...hey i made it... might as well blog about it and so here it is :)

We had the most romantic valentines day ever! He set up the table in our living room and on the table used oreo's to write 'i love you' ... and he lit candles and had sparkling grape juice and a cute stuffed animal, and chocolates, and skittles, and a beautiful necklace! it was amazing! :)

so i felt a little bad that all i got him was a chocolate cake...but he didnt seem to mind one bit and he actually thought it was an amazing gift for him :) lol...

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Spicy Fried Potatoes and Exquisite Meat loaf

Well, this is a moment in history... (in my life anyways), I have always made meatloaf with ketchup on the top, which is really good, but this...this is incredible!
The use of Bacon as a topping is a wonderfully added flavor... plus the mixture of Lean Beef and Pork, it is just amazing! My husband kept going on and on about it! He even said, "This is better than most steaks I have ever eaten!"... I was pretty satisfied by that... ;)

Page 155, Country Meat Loaf...

as a side dish Spicy Fried Potatoes Pg. 50

These were also really amazing! And i know this statement doesn't apply for this meal, but these potatoes would make the worlds best beef and potato burrito! But they were incredible by themselves.

Spicy fried potatoes

2 garlic cloves sliced
1/2 t crushed chillies (or chili powder)
1/2 t ground cumen
2 t paprika
2 t red or white wine vinegar
1 1/2 lbs. small new potatoes
5 T olive oil
1 red or green bell pepper
salt and pepper to taste

mix garlic chillies, wine vinegar, and spices and let sit.. Boil potatoes untill almost soft... about 15 min... drain
heat oil in large frying pan and saute/fry potatoes untill golden
add spiced garlic mixture and bell pepper
cook about 2 min longer
and there you go!

Pretty good if you ask me :)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

My latest apologies...

As you might have noticed, I have been lacking on my postings... This is due to a new school semester beginning... I do not, however, desire to continue falling behind... thus i will shortly catch us up to date...
I have still been cooking through the cookbook... only not posting the outcomes...

In december I made The French Apple Tart...Pg. 184

The directions seemed somewhat shaky, Makes more than one tart... a lot of effort and not that great of taste... i probably will not waste my effort on this one

I also made the Farmhouse Onion Soup: Pg. 23

This soup is amazing! And the leftovers make a gread dip for beef sandwiches made from leftover french bread! I WILL DEFINATELY MAKE THIS AGAIN!!!

2 T olive oil
2 T butter
4 large onions, chopped
4 Cups beef stock
1 1/2- 2 oz Gruyere or Cheddar Cheese, grated
salt and pepper to taste
and french bread

Heat oil and butter in deep saucpan and fry the onions briskly for 3-5 minutes... reduce heat and cook on low- medium heat for 45-60 minutes. When onions are a rich brown, add the beef stock and seasoning. Simmer, partially covered for 30 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary... it is scrumptious!

I later made the New Potato salad: Pg. 46
.... Yeah....not so much... I think I will stick to Killer Potato Salad... but i made it...

That has i think caught me up to date... Next will be the meatloaf i believe... we shall see how this goes... :)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Sugar cookies :)

I was asked to put the recipe for the sugar cookies i made at christmas time up on the blog page... so here is the amazing recipe:

Sugar Cookies:

Prep:25 min Chill: 2 hours Bake: 6-8 minutes per sheet Oven temp: 375 degrees F.

*Makes about 5 dozen 2-inch cookies...

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1 large egg
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. Baking soda
1 tsp. cream of tartar

-In large bowl beat powdered sugar, butter, vanilla, almond extract, and egg using electric mixer on medium speed. stir in flour, baking soda, and cream of tartar. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
-Divide dough in half Roll out and cut... and bake... and then enjoy :)