Recipe: Best Shredded Pork (Slow Cooker)

The other night, I made the best shredded pork I’ve ever made. It was delicious. I thought I’d share the secret with you. 

First, I rubbed both tenderloins with some Texas dry rub. You can find some great recipes online or use your favorite rub. 

I melted a couple of tablespoons of coconut oil in a skillet and browned the tenderloins on all sides. 

In the slow cooker, I covered the bottoms with onion slices. I had a vidalia onion the size of a newborn’s head. I cut it in half and then sliced it like I would rings.  I placed the tenderloins ontop of the bed of onions, put the lid on, and set it to cook on low. 

I cooked it on low for 5 hours. I removed the tenderloin to a large bowl and shredded it. I used tongs to fish out the onions and put them in the bowl with the shredded pork. 

I used a ladle to scoop out as much liquid as I could. I probably left about 2 tablespoons in the bottom of the slow cooker. 

I dumped the shredded pork and onions back into the slow cooker and used the tongs to toss them with a bottle of BBQ sauce (I had Sweet Baby Ray’s hickory brown sugar). I then turned my slow cooker to the warm function and put the lid back on. I let it warm together for about 15-20 minutes. I used the tongs to stir again before serving. 

We put our shredded pork on delicious onion rolls and served them with a side of bacon ranch pasta salad. I also cooked up some fried apples seasoned with sugar and cinnamon. It was a filling and delicious dinner. 

Recipe: Cheesy Potatoes

I am feeling a bit better about things today. I thought I’d stop by and share the recipe for the cheesy potatoes I made for Easter this year.

Normally, I spend weeks planning my holiday menu and grocery shopping list. This year, aside from purchasing a ham, I did not make any such menu plans.

To be honest, I just used the glaze packet that was included with our spiral sliced ham. The rest of the menu was built from things I had on hand. I ended up serving the ham, these cheesy potatoes, dinner rolls, and pineapple tidbits. I made from scratch brownies for dessert.

Funny story about the dinner rolls. I thought I had a canister of flour behind the current canister, which only had about a cup and a half of flour in it. When I pulled out the canister, it contained a half a bag of powdered sugar. My yeast was already proofing in the bowl, and my husband had to make an emergency run to the grocery store. The yeast proofed in warm water/milk and a little bit of sugar for almost an hour. They were large, but kind of dense. I’m not sure if it was the recipe (a new recipe I nabbed off Facebook) or if it was the yeast over-proofing.

So, needless to say, these from scratch cheesy potatoes were the shining star of Easter dinner this year. The recipe was so very easy to pull together and it was made entirely from ingredients I almost always have on hand.

Cheesy Potatoes

3 lbs potatoes, cubed (I used a blend of red and yellow potatoes)

4 tbsp butter
1 onion, diced (I used a large yellow onion)
1 tsp garlic, minced (I like to keep a jar of minced garlic in olive oil on hand)

3 tbsp Wondra (you can substitute all-purpose flour)
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp salt
1 tsp mustard powder
1 tsp paprika

2 cups milk
3 cups shredded cheese, divided (I had colby jack and sharp cheddar)

Preheat oven to 350* and grease a 9×13 baking dish. (I like to use coconut oil)

Place potatoes in a pot and cover them with water. Toss in some kosher salt if desired. Bring to a boil and boil uncovered for about 8-10 minutes. Potatoes will still be firm. Drain and set aside in a large bowl.

In medium saucepan, melt butter over medium high heat. Add onions and cook until soft and translucent. Add in garlic and cook an additional 2 minutes.

Whisk in Wondra and seasonings. Cook, whisking constantly, until golden in color. Whisk in milk. Bring to a simmer, whisking often to prevent sticking. Simmer until thickened. Whisk in 2 cups of cheese. Continue whisking and simmering until cheese is full melted and incorporated.

Pour cheese sauce over potatoes and stir gently to coat. Pour cheesy potatoes into prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup of cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 15-20 minutes or until sauce is bubbly, potatoes are cooked through, and the top is starting to golden.

Cook’s Note:  You can make these cheesy potatoes ahead. Follow recipe all the way until you cover them with foil. Place covered potatoes in refrigerator until ready to make. For best results, leave refrigerated potatoes on the counter for about 30 minutes before placing them in the preheated oven.

I apologize that I don’t have any pictures of these delicious potatoes. As you know, I’m terrible about remembering to take pictures, especially before I dig into my plate. My family said that these were the best cheesy potatoes I have ever made. Some of the best recipes are inspired by what the cook had on hand at the moment.

Enjoy!

I found my new favorite snack

I grew up turning plain bread into awesome after school snacks. You may have seen posts saying I served poor man’s garlic bread with dinner. This was originally an after school snack I could make myself.

Poor Man’s Garlic Bread

Butter a couple of slices of bread (per person) and place them on a cookie sheet. Sprinkle them with garlic powder and dried parsley. For an extra special treat, sprinkle them with Parmesan. Bake them at 350* for 5-10 minutes, until lightly golden.

And, of course, we’ve all had cinnamon sugar toast. For that, you just toast your bread, butter it, and sprinkle it with cinnamon sugar.

But, my sweet tooth has been craving chocolate lately. What can I say? I’m a chocoholic through and through. The only chocolate I have in the house is some chocolate chips already marked for other recipes and cocoa powder. The problem is that I’m almost out of flour, so I can’t bake any of the treats I have planned.

What does a chocoholic do when there is no chocolate in the house but cocoa powder and she’s out of flour? She thinks outside the box. This is where my new favorite snack came in. I was considering making cinnamon toast. It’s not chocolate, but it’s something sweet. Then I said to myself, “what about cocoa sugar toast?”, and I made some.

Cocoa Sugar Toast

3-4 tbsp sugar (to desired sweetness)
1 tbsp cocoa

Prepare your toast just like for cinnamon sugar toast. Sprinkle with cocoa sugar and enjoy.

I’m not sure if anyone has ever done this before. It seems like it should be a thing. Either way, it was delicious. I’m thinking about making some French toast sometime soon and sprinkling it with my cocoa sugar. Yum.

To be honest, I wish I’d discovered this delicious treat before I’d decided on ground beef for dinner tonight. Maybe tomorrow I can make French toast and serve it with some pan fried ham left over from the other night’s dinner.

Tonight, I’m planning on stuffing a meatloaf full of mashed potatoes and gravy. I’ve never actually stuffed a meatloaf before, but it sounds really delicious. I think I’ll serve it with roasted green beans.

Don’t forget to enter the 100 Follower Celebration Giveaway.

 

Creamy Chicken & Gnocchi Casserole recipe

My family loves the Olive Garden’s chicken and gnocchi soup. When we can’t get to the Olive Garden, we’ve found that this copycat recipe is pretty good. My daughter has been requesting that I make the soup, but I haven’t been in the mood for soup. Maybe it’s this lack of a winter we’ve been having this year, or maybe it’s because I’m just not the biggest fan of soup.

Not too long ago, I came up with this recipe for Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup Casserole. I started thinking, if I could turn chicken noodle soup into a casserole, what other soups would work. Armed with the copycat recipe for chicken and gnocchi soup and my creamy chicken noodle soup casserole, I crafted this new recipe. Even as I type this up, I am dining on some of the leftovers. Delicious!

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new year, new idea

I decided that the beginning of the year was an excellent time to revamp my blog. I’ve changed around some of the design. I also took the time to rewrite my meet me page. I have no intention of changing my content. This would be rather impossible considering that I write whatever is on my mind.

Along with the new year came a new idea. I have noticed that my recipes seem to be one of the most popular parts of my blog. I’ve posted some of my family’s favorites. I’ve posted a few of my own original recipes. I still have many, many more.

That’s where this new idea comes in. I was thinking that while I continue to post some great recipes here, I will gather up many more and compile a cookbook. If I manage to come up with enough recipes (and remember to take the pictures, too), then I believe I can come up with a great cookbook.

I am not giving up on my books, and I have not given up on the idea of writing more children’s books for my husband to illustrate. I think a cookbook would be a great addition to my growing collection of published works.

What do you think?