Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

January 31, 2011

I know my recent posts have all been dessert; but I do eat other things in addition to dessert 🙂 I was basically lured into trying this recipe because I kept on seeing it advertised on every magazine that I was reading at that time. I couldn’t remember when the last time I had pulled pork and never made it before; so I wanted to give this a try.

I didn’t have a boneless pork butt, so I used a bone-in version, and let it cook for 12 hrs. It was super tender, fell apart beautifully and was ridiculously delicious. I sprinkled some smoked paprika as well to give it a bit more spiciness to it, and it was perfect.  I love that it makes so much and  they froze and reheated well.  I  served it with this Carolina Cole Slaw and used store-bought barbecue sauce (although I think they were delicious without it as well. What could be more perfect winter meal than this? Happy eating! 🙂

Ingredients
1 5-pound boneless pork butt (shoulder) –I used a bone-in version that I think made it even more flavorful!
1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
2 teaspoons black pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
Soft sandwich buns

Directions
Combine all the seasonings in a small bowl and rub evenly over roast. Place meat in a 6-quart slow cooker. Add water. Cover and cook on LOW for 6-8 hours or HIGH for 4-5 hours or until pork is very tender.

Remove pork to a large cutting board or platter and let rest for 10-15 minutes. Pull, slice or chop to serve. Serve in buns with barbecue sauce.

Makes 16-20 servings

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Red Velvet Cake Truffles

January 29, 2011

Since I discovered these addictive Oreo Truffles, I learned how easy it is to turn your favorite ingredient into these delightful little treats. And just about anything covered in chocolate has to be good right? Then I saw Jen from Beantown Baker turning her leftover slice of Red Velvet Cheesecake cake into truffles… brilliant!!! I didn’t quiet have a leftover cake, but I did have some trimmings from my Red Velvet cake when I tried to stack the layers together and some  cream cheese frosting left, so I went to work on making these! I brought these to work to the excitement of my co-workers who called them divine and dangerous… because they were quite addictive! There is really nothing that can go wrong with bits of red velvet cake mixed with cream cheese frosting, dipped in chocolate…  Many thanks to Jen for the inspiration.

Ingredients
3 cups of crumbled Red Velvet cake
1/4 cup of Cream Cheese Frosting
1/3 lb of melting chocolate

Directions
Mix all of the crumbled cake and cream cheese frosting together. Form them into a 1/2-inch diameter balls. Refrigerate for approximately 10 minutes.

In the meanwhile, melt chocolate either in microwave (at 50% power), or over double broiler.

Dip cake balls into melted chocolate. Let set for a few minutes and store them in airtight container in the refrigerator.

Yield: approximately 2 dozens


Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip

December 28, 2010

This is probably the easiest, yet the most loved and requested appetizer among my friends and family. Every single guest who comes for a visit at our house requests this appetizer.  I love how easy this dish is to make, and can be prepared ahead of time. I will just have all of the ingredients mixed together a few hours before I need it, and just before the guests arrive, I can throw this into the oven. As the guests are arriving and settling in –this dip is ready to be served. I don’t usually have a lot of leftover and I love serving it with baked tortilla chips. This recipe makes about four cups, and I say that it serves about six guests. In reality, I have seen four of us devouring this to the last bit. So if you have several spinach and artichoke dip lovers, it may be good to double the recipe.

I do want to warn you though, this is not for the faint of heart. I do try to make it ehmm… a little bit lighter by using light sour cream and mayonnaise, and don’t go overboard with the cheeses. If you don’t have a dip recipe you love yet, I encourage you to give it a try. Happy eating!

Adapted from Paula Deen via Food Network

Ingredients
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach
2 (14-ounce) cans whole artichoke hearts
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 cup grated pepper jack cheese (or sometimes I use cheddar, whichever I have on hand)

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a casserole dish with nonstick spray.

Heat the spinach in a microwave oven on high for 5 minutes and squeeze dry. Drain the artichoke hearts and coarsely chop them.

Combine all the ingredients except the jack cheese in a large bowl. Stir well. Scrape into the greased casserole dish and sprinkle the jack cheese on top. Bake for 30 minutes uncovered.

Serve with bagel or tortilla chips.

Yield: 6 servings


Classic Pot Roast

October 6, 2009

My mom used to make a lot of our meals in her slow cooker when we were in High-School, but I just recently realized that I barely use my slow-cooker now at our house. I also associate slow-cooker with beef, which I don’t eat on a regular basis, this is probably why I don’t usually think of making my meals in a slow-cooker.  My dad is really a meat-and potato kind of guy, so a slow cooker is an ideal tool for mom so she can quickly put this together before she leaves for work, and it will be ready when we get home. 

Recently Red has been asking for a roast beef, and he has convinced me on how easy this would be to make in a slow-cooker. We just need to lay a bed of chopped veggies, throw some seasoning, broth, and a slab of meat, and let it cook all day. So this is ideal for any day, a weekend day where we spend all day catching up on chores, or week day when we’re at work and want something ready in the kitchen when we get home. I finally agreed on making this dish, thinking that it would save me some cooking time.

    I wanted a recipe that uses simple ingredients without any thickening agents from a can, so I settled on this recipe from AllRecipes that I thought had simple ingredients and easy to prepare–and didn’t involve any cream-based soup in it. I doubled the vegetables called in this recipe, added some shallots, rosemary and parsley seasonings to the beef. I also used chicken stock instead of water and cooked it for 8 hours. The meat was so tender, and we didn’t even need a knife to cut through it–and loved the heartiness of this dish! I think I am sold now on this concept of cooking more this type of dishes. I am going to find some more recipes using slow-cooker and see if we can get even more creative with our protein and selection! I hope you enjoy this as much as we did!

    DSC07042

    Adapted from AllRecipes

    Ingredients
    4 pounds chuck roast
    salt and pepper to taste
    1 packet dry onion soup mix
    1 cup water
    3 carrots, chopped
    1 onion, chopped
    3 potatoes, peeled and cubed
    1 stalk celery, chopped

    Directions
    Take the chuck roast and season with salt and pepper to taste. Brown on all sides in a large skillet over high heat.
    Place in the slow cooker and add the soup mix, water, carrots, onion, potatoes and celery.
    Cover and cook on low setting for 8 to 10 hours.

    Yield: 6 servings