Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Easy Crock Pot BBQ Pulled Pork

This recipe was so simple and delicious! It can be in the crock pot on low for 10-12 hours, which is exactly what I was looking for - something that I could quickly put in the crock pot before work and would be ready (and not burnt) when I got home.

Easy Crock Pot BBQ Pulled Pork

  • 1 lb pork loin (or pork shoulder)
  • 18 - 20 oz of BBQ sauce (I used Garland Jack's Sweet Six: Hickory Spice)
  • 1 can of light beer
  • 1/4 cup of water (if you're cooking for less than 10-12 hours, the water isn't necessary)
  • 1 1/2 tsp of BBQ seasoning
For Serving:
  • Hawaiian buns (or you could use regular buns)
  • Desired toppings (here are some ideas):
    • Cheese
    • Spinach
    • Sweet pickles
    • Coleslaw
    • Carmelized onions or onion straws
  1. Season the pork loin with the BBQ seasoning. 
  2. Place the seasoned pork loin in the crock pot and pour the BBQ sauce, beer, and water over it. 
  3. Cook on low for 10-12 hours or on high for 6-8 hours. 
  4. Prior to serving, take the pork loin out of the crock pot and pull it apart with a fork. 
  5. Serve on buns with desired toppings as a sandwich.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Spanish Chicken Rice with Saffron Cream

The base of this recipe is from the November 2013 issue of Cooking Light.  As is my usual course, I modified the recipe to my family's tastes.  This dish is alot like paella, so if you wanted to add a variety of seafood or other protein, I think you could modify this recipe even further to satisfy your family's tastes.


1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 chicken breasts
1 onion, chopped
12 ounces turkey breakfast sausage
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 jalepeno pepper, diced
3 cups cooked brown rice
1 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup chopped green olives
1 1/2 cups skim milk
1/4 cup tomato paste - I used the whole small can and liked the tomato base
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads, crushed slightly - watch this, as this will stain things if you are not careful
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup greek yogurt

Preheat oven to 375.  Heat skillet over medium heat, add a teaspoon of oil and swirl to coat.  Brown chicken for about 4 minutes each side.  Remove from pan and keep warm.  Add remaining oil and cook onion, garlic, jalepeno, and sausage together until the sausage is no longer pink.    Add peas and olives.  Add the cooked rice and chicken to this mixture and toss to combine.  In a medium saucepan, combine milk and next 5 ingredients (through black pepper) and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture comes to a boil.  Cook 1 minute longer than remove from heat.  Stir in greek yogurt.  Add sauce mixture to the chicken mixture and stir to combine.  Spoon into a 11 x 7 glass baking dish that has been coated with cooking spray.  Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 15 minutes.  Remove foil and cook an additional 15 minutes or until chicken is done and the dish is bubbly.  Enjoy!

Ingredients - Yes there are a lot!

Browning the chicken

Combining chicken and sausage mixtures

Adding the rice

Cooking up the sauce

Finished dish straight from the oven


Saturday, January 18, 2014

Cranberry Orange Relish

This is a great alternative to cooking cranberries.  I felt that it was a bit fresher and tasted great.  I used this version  in the Turkey quesadilla recipe.

1 orange  - zested and cut into orange sections
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons honey
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 12 ounce bag fresh cranberries

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse to combine.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Crockpot Hot Chocolate

With all the cold weather lately, you really can't go wrong with hot chocolate. Will made this recipe this weekend and it was amazing!

Crock Pot Hot Chocolate

  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 6 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 4 tbsp of semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Whipped Cream and mint or regular chocolate chips for serving
  1. Combine the sugar, cocoa, salt, and 1 cup of the milk in a mixing bowl; beat until smooth.
  2. Pour into slow cooker.
  3. Add remaining 5 cups of milk and vanilla extract.
  4. Cover and cook on low for 2 hours.
  5. Add cream; cover and cook on low for another 10 minutes. 
  6. Stir in chocolate chips until melted. 
  7. Pour into mugs and top with whipped cream and chocolate chips. 

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Tater Tot Hot Dish

OK, to me, this is comfort food at it's finest ...easy to prepare, tasty to eat.  It's also a dish that kids will love and they can even help prepare which makes making the food a family affair too.


1 pound ground beef or turkey
1 can Cream of Mushroom soup
1 can Cheddar Cheese soup
1 can of corn
1 bag of Tater Tots

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Brown meat either on the stovetop or in the microwave.  While the meat is browning, spread the can of Cream of Mushroom soup on the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish.  Next take the browned meat and evenly layer it on top of the soup.  The next layer is the can of corn, the the cheddar cheese soup, and finally the tater tots....I like to line my up in nice neat rows (or enlist the kids to put them in nice neat rows), but it's a personal preference.

Bake at 425 degrees for 30 minutes or until you can see the soup bubbling under the tater tots.  Enjoy!

 Five Ingredients

Cream of Mushroom Soup layer

Browned Turkey layer

Corn layer

Cheddar Cheese Soup layer

Tater Tot layer

Baked Dish

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Turkey Quesadillas with Cranberry Salsa

OK, this recipe is great for any leftover turkey and cranberry sauce.  It's also good as a vegetarian option...just replace the 2 cups of turkey with sautéed veggies.

The cranberry salsa was a flavor explosion, but I really liked the combo.

1 cup whole berry cranberry sauce
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons chopped green onion
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 pear, cored and finely chopped
1 jalepeno pepper, seeded and minced

1/4 cup chopped green onions
1 cup Monterrey Jack cheese with jalapeno peppers
8 8 inch tortillas
2 cups cooked turkey, chopped
1/2 cup greek yogurt

For salsa, combine all ingredients, cover and chill.

To make quesadillas, heat a large skillet over medium high heat.  Coat pan with cooking spray.  Saute onions approximately 3 minutes, until tender.  Remove onions from pan and reduce heat to medium.  Sprinkle 2 tbs cheese over each of 4 tortillas.  Top each cheese cover tortilla with one fourth of the onions, 1/2 cup turkey and 2 more tbs of cheese.  Cover with another tortilla.

Recoat pan with cooking spray and add 1 quesadilla to the pan.  Cook 2 minutes on each side until lightly brown and the cheese has melted.  Keep warm while repeating with the 3 other quesadillas.  Use a pizza cutter to cut quesadillas into 6-8 pieces.  Serve with cranberry salsa, sour cream, and optionally guacamole.  Enjoy!

Salsa ingredients

Quesadilla and salsa

Turkey and Chicken Paella

I have been reviewing a bunch or paella recipes and decided to make my own version as a combination of  a few different ones.


4 chicken breast cut into bite size pieces
12 ounces turkey sausage
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
1 cup white onion chopped
1 teaspoon garlic, diced
1 jalepeno pepper, diced
3 cups cooked brown rice
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1/4 cup green olives with pimentos, sliced
1 1/2 cup  milk
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads lightly crushed
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup greek yogurt
Cooking Spray

Prepare rice according to package directions.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Heat a large skillet over medium high heat with 1 teaspoon of oil added to it to coat the pan.  Cook the chicken about 4 minutes, until all sides are browned.  Remove chicken from pan and place in a bowl.  Place remaining oil in pan and sauté onions and turkey sausage with cumin and chili powder until sausage is cooked and onions are tender.  Add garlic and jalepeno pepper and cook an additional 2 minutes.  Add sausage mixture , cooked rice, peas, and olives to chicken, toss to combine.
Combine milk and next 5 ingredients (through black pepper) in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir constantly with a whisk until mixture comes to a boil, then cook 1 minute more.  Remove from heat and stir in greek yogurt.  Add sauce mixture to chicken mixture.  Spoon mixture into an 11x7 inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray.  Cover with aluminum foil.  Bake for 375 for 15 minutes.  Take off foil and cook for an additional 10 minutes until chicken is done.


Browning the Chicken

Mixing sausage, chicken, peas, and olives

Adding the rice

Cooking the sauce

Baked Paella

Served up with fruit for dinner

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Citrus Glazed Shrimp with Cilantro Rice

I've been going through my Cooking Light magazines...cleaning up a little bit for the new year.  I found another great, fairly simple recipe that we had recently.

The rice had a Mexican flare to it and the Chipotle chili powder gave the shrimp a bit of a bite.  I liked the combination.



1 cup brown rice, prepared according to directions
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 4-ounce can chipped green chiles, drained


1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons lime zest
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Cooking Spray
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons butter

After cooking the rice according to directions, add all the other ingredients and mix well.  Keep warm while preparing shrimp.

To prepare shrimp, combine shrimp, lime zest, garlic, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, and chili powder in a medium bowl, tossing shrimp to coat.  Heat a large skillet over medium heat.  Coat pan with cooking spray.  Add shrimp and sauté for 3 minutes.  Stir in lime juice and butter, cook one additional minute more, tossing to coat.

Serve shrimp with rice.
Ingredients for Shrimp

Ingredients for rice

Tossing shrimp with garlic, zest,chili powder,  salt and pepper

Sauteing Shrimp

Finish shrimp and rice.  Yum!