Guinness Pulled Pork Sliders

Night Before

Slice white onion and lay on the bottom of crock pot. Mix together paprika, salt, red pepper, garlic powder. Rub on the pork loin and place on top of the onion.

Mix together coleslaw and dressing and let sit.

Day of:

Add a beer to the crock pot and cook on low for 8 – 10 hours, or until pork is done and pulls apart. Serve on mini Hawaiian rolls with coleslaw.

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Sweet and Sour Meatloaf

Prep:

Chop broccoli, place in container and drizzle with olive oil, red pepper flake, garlic, salt, and pepper.

Mix beef with ketchup,

Prep can only be 1 -2 days prior to cooking.

Day of:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spread broccoli on a cookie sheet and roast for 10 – 15 minutes.

Place beef in microwave for 8 minutes. While beef is in microwave, clean and pierce potatoes and put broccoli in oven.

Heat half and half on stove in a pot.

Place pierced potatoes in microwave for 7 minutes. Mix glaze and pour over beef. When the potatoes are done put the beef back in the microwave for 3 – 5 minutes and scoop out the potatoes into the half and half.

http://www.food.com/recipe/oven-roasted-broccoli-206184

http://www.cookingchanneltv.com/recipes/fast-mashed-potatoes-for-desperate-times.html

Spagetti Squash and Meat Sauce

Prep:

Cut spaghetti squash in half, drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place on tinfoil covered baking sheet, face down. Roast at x degrees for x minutes. Scoop out cooled squash and store.

Brown meat with 1/2 onion and garlic. Slice mushrooms and add. Add tomato sauce and Italian seasonings. Store.

Day of:

Reheat and serve with meat sauce on top of spaghetti squash.

Crockpot Zuppa Toscana

Sometimes I’m in the mood for a meaty, creamy soup and this fits the bill.  It is a little time consuming for a crockpot meal, but worth the effort!  N and I cook up the bacon and sausage and get everything ready to go the night before.  I use scissors to cut the bacon, which I find a lot quicker than trying to cut it with a knife.

This is another been-making-it-since-college meal and it goes great with a panini or some crusty bread.

Crockpot Zuppa Toscana Recipe

1 lb. sausage

2 large baking potatoes

1 large onion, chopped

1/4 c bacon (or more…)

2 garlic cloves, minced

16 oz chicken broth

1 qt water

2 c kale (or spinach)

1 c heavy whipping cream

 

To Do:

Brown the sausage and cook the bacon.  Add everything except the kale and whipping cream to the crockpot.  Cook on high for 3 – 4 hours.  Add kale and whipping cream for last 5 minutes of cooking.

Twix Caramel Brownies

Another hit from Two Peas & Their Pod!  N’s work group announces an impending birth by bringing in caramel brownies.  I had tried a salted caramel recipe and it did not go well so I tried these and they were a huge hit!  I would have taken a picture, but even the second batch was gone too quickly!   Get the recipe here.

Bonus fun fact – I have the same blue tablecloth in the pics – it used to be in my classroom but now I’m saving it for summer entertaining.  I got it from Target 2 summers ago – they have some of the cutest outdoor stuff!

Beer Cheese Soup & Soft Pretzel Bites

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N and I are a little obsessed with the Oscars.  Back in college my roomate and I would throw crazy parties where we dressed up in old prom attire, taped a red plastic table cloth to the ground, served gold colored cocktails, and had a fondue matched to every best picture nominee (clearly before there were 9 nominees and also before we had lives).

This year we kept it simple – golden beer cheese soup & not-so-simple-but-oh-so-worth-it soft pretzel bites.

Beer Cheese Soup Recipe:

1 stick of butter

1/2 can carrots

1 tsp pepper

1 tsp garlic salt

1 cup onion

1/2 cup flour

6 cups chicken broth

.65 lbs. cheddar (get the brick & shred it yourself)

12 oz beer (avoid dark beers like stouts – we love Lakefront’s Riverwest Stein)

To Do:

Shred cheddar & dice onion.  Shredding your own cheese is very important because if you buy the pre-shredded variety it won’t melt the same.  Melt the butter in a stock pot & add the carrots, pepper, garlic salt, and onion.  Simmer until soft.  Add 1/2 cup flower and wisk until smooth.  Wisk in chicken broth.  Slowly add shredded cheddar while stirring.  Bring everything to a boil and add the beer.  Simmer for an additional 15 minutes & stir to keep the bottom from getting burned.

Soft Pretzel Bite Pinterest Link via Two Peas & Their Pod (Original recipe post)  They also include a cheese dip recipe, but with the beer cheese soup I didn’t think it was necessary 😉

Christmas Eve Apps

We had my side of the fam over for Christmas Eve and, per usual, I made way too much food.

Here is the recipe roundup:

  • Hot Artichoke & Spinach Dip
  • Mama Voss’s Crab Fondue
  • Green Olive Cheese Ball
  • Dippers: Veggies, Italian bread, and pita chips
  • Crispy Baked Ravioli (my least favorite – I wouldn’t do this again, but the breading stayed on surprisingly well)
  • Crock-pot Swedish Meatballs (used this recipe as inspiration, but then made them in the crock pot – turned out great)
  • Pumpkin Spice Poke Cake (Easy & yummy.  What can I say, I love a good poke cake. I used 1/2 of the pudding & it was cheesecake flavored, which was plenty)
  • Peppermint Chocolate Crackle Cookies (I used 3/4 tsp mint extract instead of peppermint chocolate – a definite winner!)

I love a dinner of appetizers!  Please be sure to share your family favorites!

In-Season Foods: December

What’s good now?  (Besides hot chocolate?)

Food Image

  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Cranberries
  • Onions
  • Parsnips
  • Potatoes
  • Rutabagas
  • Turnips
  • Winter Squash

Regionally close foods

  • Apples
  • Beets
  • Bok choy
  • Broccoli
  • Celery
  • Eggplant
  • Greens
  • Leeks
  • Plums
  • Radishes
  • Spinach
  • Turnips

Other in-season foods

  • Oranges (Navel)
  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Grapefruit (Texas Rio Star, Rio Red, Pummelo, Sweetie)
  • Tangerines (Fairchild)
  • Tangelos
  • Mandarins (Satsuma, Clementine)

 

Sources: Foodgeeks, About, Midwest Seasonal Food ChartEat the SeasonsSunkist
Photo courtesy of Photokanok via FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Criss-cross Applesauce

I have heard that home-made applesauce pretty much is the best thing ever.  After my first try I couldn’t agree more!  After polling some friends on FB and tweaking a recipe I found on Pinterest, I am happy to say this one is a keeper…

Recipe:

12 medium Macintosh apples

1 can cranberry sauce

3 Tbsp brown sugar

Dash of cinnamon

To Do:

Peel, core, and slice apples.  (My apple-peeler-corer slicer made me one happy lady!)  Pop the apples, cranberry sauce, sugar, and cinnamon in a crock pot on low for 5 to six hours.  It was a little thin, so I left the lid off the crock for the last 30 minutes or so.  And that’s IT!  I ran the applesauce through the blender but that is just our preference.

Hope you have a chance to enjoy something that tastes like fall!

~A