Thursday, March 24, 2011

Crock Pot: Root Beer Pulled Pork

This is a favorite at my house.  Root beer pulled pork! I made it for my AXO buddies last weekend and then served the leftovers at Mata's birthday party at school (well I sent them...)!   It's super easy, and uses the crock pot... my favorite tool. 

What you need... 
  • 3-5 lb. lean pork sholder
  • 2 cans of root beer
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • 1-2 sweet onions (we love the onions after simmering all day!)
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste
For the Sauce:
  • 1 jar of chili sauce 
  • 1 can of root beer

Combine all of the ingredients in the crock pot.  I put the meat in first, then add the garlic, then the salt and pepper.  After dicing the onions, place them on top.   Lastly, add in 2 cans of REGULAR root beer.  Simmer on low for 8-10 hours.

After 8-10 hours, shred your pork and let it sit in the yummy juices.  

While it is soaking in all of the yummy juices make your sauce.   In a saucepan, combine 1 bottle of chili sauce and 1 can of root beer.   Bring to a boil, stirring often.  Once it boils, reduce heat to medium and keep stirring frequently.   The sauce will start to thicken.  Then after about a 1/2 hour or the sauce is as thick as you'd like it, it's ready.

Remove your pulled pork and onions from the crock pot with tongs.  Then pour your sauce over the pork and serve.  We usually like to eat it as sandwiches with tasty Hawaiian Bread Buns.

I hope you enjoy it!   Happy Spring BREAK!!! 

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Anne's Bacon Mac & Cheese

This is one of my favorite recipes from my friend Anne.   She uses all sorts of fun yummy veggies like leeks, peas, green onions, etc., however when you live with someone who doesn't eat anything green, we use the variation below.

What you need...
  • 2 T. butter
  • 2 T. flour
  • 2 cups of fat free milk (warmed)
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese (we use Swiss, Parmesan, & Sharp Cheddar)
  • 4-5 slices of center cut bacon (chop it up and fry it)
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 12 oz. box of pasta (cooked)
  • breadcrumbs

After cooking the bacon and the pasta, it's time to make your roux.   Melt butter in a medium sauce pan. Let it bubble. As soon as it stops bubbling, it's hot enough.  Add two tablespoons of flour. Stir with a wire whisk until mixed and it begins to bubble.  Let bubble for a minute, whisking constantly. Slowly add the two cups of warm milk while you whisk it.

Continue to whisk frequently until mixture comes to a boil.  Continue to whisk until mixture thickens.  You can decide how thick you want it.  Now you have the roux.

Remove from heat. Add cheese.  Mix in pasta and bacon to the sauce.

Adjust seasonings.  Pour mixture into a baking dish.

Top with more cheese and bread crumbs.   Broil in the oven until browned on top.

Now it's time to enjoy!    Believe me... you will never go back to the blue box again....  Enjoy!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Spinach Salad

I almost forgot to take a picture!  It was so tasty!
I made this salad today for Ethan's Baptism.   I first had this salad at a party with my mom.  Her friend Patti held the secret ingredient to one of the best salads ever.   I've made some changes to the salad itself to include some of my favorite things, however, the dressing recipe has remained untouched.    It seriously is the best!

What you need for the salad:
  • 1 bag of fresh spinach 
  • 1 pound of strawberries
  • 1 pint of raspberries
  • 2 avocados
  • 2 cups almonds
  • 1/2 sugar
What you need for the dressing:
  • 1 cup of oil
  • 1/2 cup of red wine vinaigrette
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of almond extract
  • salt & pepper to taste
For the salad:
Wash your spinach and dry off all excess water (or just pat them dry).   Wash your strawberries and slice them into fourths.   Wash your raspberries.  Dice your avocados into cubes.  Mix all of these ingredients in a large bowl.  

For the candied almonds:
Prepare a piece of wax paper close by to put your almonds on once they are finished.  Put 1/2 cup of sugar in a frying pan and turn the gas on high.   Continuously stir the sugar until it starts to liquefy.  As soon as it turns to a light brown liquid add the almonds and coat them as much as you can.  Then, carefully, spread out the almonds on the wax paper and let them cool.   The sugar will be extremely hot so be careful!   After they have cooled off, break them apart and add them to the salad!

For the dressing:
Mix the oil, red wine vinaigrette, sugar, almond extract in a container.  Tightly close the container and shake it up!   Add to the whole salad or serve on the side!

Feel free to add to chicken too.   Another fabulous addition if you want to add some protein.   Let me know if you try it or try it and come up with a different combination!


Thursday, March 3, 2011

Double Boiler Oatmeal... only the best for oatmeal snobs!

This is one of my morning favorites that I used to think it was impossible to make... partially because no one makes oatmeal like my mom.  However, after observing the process, I think I've got it nailed!   I'm now an oatmeal snob... and refuse to eat the packaged stuff.  Today, I made the recipe for a group of coworkers to celebrate Lindsey's Birthday!

To make the best oatmeal ever, you need:
  • 1 cup of Quaker Oats (not instant)
  • 2 cups of Milk ( I use Horizon Organic 2%)
  • 1 tablespoon of cinnamon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla
  • Double Boiler

 First, fill up the bottom of your double boiler with water.   Next, mix all of the ingredients into the top pot.

 Next, cover your pot and put the gas on high until the water starts to boil.

 Once the water starts to boil, bring your heat down to low/medium.   Let it simmer, stirring every 5-10 minutes. 

 After about 30 minutes, check the consistency...  If you like it, it's done, if not, let it cook some more.  If it's too thick, add a little more milk.   It's really up to you and how you like it!

Lastly, top with your favorite toppings!   The Field School bunch loves bananas, chocolate chips, and walnuts.  Today, we used chocolate chips, bananas, and granola.    Of course, plain is wonderful too!   Let me know what you think and if you come up with any other good combos with toppings!