Pages

Pineapple Ginger Shredded Pork

Thursday, July 20, 2017



As a mom of boys, one thing I figured out early on in the madness that is motherhood, is that if I put dinner in a taco or tortilla, it will be eaten. It is just one of those meals that I know that they will eat. This shredded pork is no exception. It is slow cooked all day in a slow cooker, yielding perfectly tender meat that stands out in flavor. It really packs a punch. It has a hawaiian/ pacific islands type taste to it, but I use it as my staple shredded pork. It tastes so good with cilantro and pickled onions on tacos as well as piled onto a sweet hawaiian bun or even atop a bed of coconut rice to make a quick meal.
We always have leftovers of this meat and the sauce, and the next day I  make grilled naan pizza with the shredded meat. I thicken up the leftover sauce in a saucepan over medium high heat and a bit of cornstarch to thicken it up a bit to spread over the naan. Then I pile on the meat, add fresh pineapple , red onion and cilantro, topping it all off with fresh buffalo mozzarella cheese. Heaven !
This pork is a good idea for weeknight meals , especially during the school year. It has become a favorite in our rotation. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

PINEAPPLE GINGER PULLED PORK

Ingredients
3.5 lb boneless pork shoulder (or butt)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
2 1/2 cups pineapple juice
2 tsp ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup low sodium soy sauce
2/3 cup ketchup
1/4 c rice vinegar
1-2 T Sriracha sauce

DIRECTIONS
1.In a small bowl, mix together the salt, pepper and garlic powder. Sprinkle evenly all over the pork shoulder.
2. Place the pork shoulder in the slow cooker. With a sharp knife, stab the meat a few times. (This helps absorb the sauce)
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the pineapple juice, ginger, garlic,brown sugar,soy sauce, ketchup, rice vinegar and sriracha sauce.
4. Pour 1/2 of the sauce over the pork, reserving  the rest.
5. Cook on low. for 6 -7 hours.
6. Shred the pork and add the reserved sauce to your liking .


Easy Weeknight Korean Beef

Tuesday, July 18, 2017


This is a tried and true recipe that everyone in my household loves. Korean Beef. This is not authentic korean beef. But the flavors arw close , eveb with it being Americanized. Sweet, spicy carmelized ground beef over steamed rice. So good. And it is so quick to put together. And inexpensive to make. You can always add steamed veggies to the meat to make it more substantial. If I have fresh broccoli or cauliflower , I will usually serve it on the side. But it is just as good without the veggies. 1/4 c of brown sugar is enough for us ( and a scant one at that) , but you can add up to 1/2 c if you like the meat a bit sweeter. And you can sub  the Sriracha sauce for crushed red pepper. I usually use the crushed red pepper, but my husband prefers the Sriracha. There are never any leftovers with this one.



Weeknight Korean Beef
Ingredients
1 lb lean ground beef
1 T vegetable oil
3 T brown sugar
1/3 c low sodium soy sauce
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 to 1 tsp crushed red pepper (or Sriracha sauce,to taste)
1 bunch green onions

Directions
1.Heat the sesame oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the ground beef and garlic. Brown an drain off the fat.
2.Add the brown sugar, soy sauce, ginger, black pepper and crushed red pepper ( or sriracha sauce). Simmer for a few minutes to heat through, stirring well.
3. Serve overrice and top with sliced green onions.


Liz

Slow Cooker Italian Sausage Florentine Pasta Sauce

Monday, July 17, 2017


Pin It

Ladies and gentlemen, you have been warned! This is a recipe that you will go back to and make for years to come! I have a few spaghetti sauces in my arsenal, like this one that my nana made in humongous batches when I was growing up. I make both of these sauces quite frequently , but this one is a quick, no fuss recipe that is perfect for weeknight meals. It is just that easy to whip up and not have to worry about dinner.Just brown the sausage and dump the ingredients into a slow cooker to simmer all day. Add it to your favorite pasta, pop in a loaf of garlic bread to crisp up in the oven and toss a quick salad and dinner is done.  The spinach in it is awesome! And...if you have picky eaters who eat by sight and you think that the spinach with deter them.... it cooks down and turns dark , so it blends in with the sausage and the tomato sauce. They won't be able to pick out the green stuff! Score one for mom !!!! Woot woot! (Just don't let them watch you drain the spinach and put it in the pot. ;) * You can sub the hot italian sausage with sweet sausage or a milder version. We like the hot variety. Whatever works for you. Happy Eating!!!!~Liz

Slow Cooker Italian Sausage Florentine Pasta
2 lbs ground hot italian sausage
2 jars your favorite pasta sauce ( I use Classico brand  )
1 10oz frozen package spinach, thawed,drained and squeezed dry
1 box pasta , cooked al dente
grated parmesan cheese , optional
In a medium skillet, cook the sausage until cooked through and crumbly (drain fat if needed
Place cooked sausage in the slow cooker and add the two jars of pasta sauce.
After you thaw the spinach, squeeze it a few times to drain the juice and then place between paper towels to dry it out. Then add the spinach to the sauce and meat in the slow cooker.
Stir well to combine and cook on low 5-6 hours or high 2-4.
Spoon sauce over cooked pasta and sprinkle on grated parmesan cheese. (optional)
Serve immediately.

Smokey Mountain Chicken



This is one of those oh so easy chicken recipes that my family loves. Gooey cheese, barbecue sauce and spices...who wouldn't love it! The chicken comes out moist and flavorful every time. You can use any barbecue sauce , we prefer Sweet Baby Ray's. And I have used thick sliced colby jack and sharp cheddar and they both are awesome. I actually prefer the sharp cheddar, but the kids prefer the colby jack. Easy weeknight meal that is good enough to serve guests.  *note- the recipe calls for chopped tomato as well as green onion for garnish. I forgot to buy a fresh tomato for this meal, so I skipped it. But on any other day, it would be on top!

Smokey Mountain Chicken
Ingredients:
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
ground black pepper to taste
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon Italian-style seasoning
1 (18 ounce) bottle barbecue sauce
12 slices bacon
4 slices Colby Jack cheese
1/8 cup chopped green onion for topping
1/4 cup chopped tomatoes, for garnish
Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Place chicken breasts in a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking dish. Season with pepper, garlic powder and Italian seasoning to taste. Bake seasoned chicken in the preheated oven for 20 to 30 minutes or until cooked through and juices run clear.
3. When chicken is done, remove from oven and pour on barbecue sauce. Layer each breast with 3 slices of bacon  , then a slice of cheese. Return to oven and continue to bake for 5 minutes or until cheese has melted. Remove from oven and top with chopped green onions and tomatoes.


{ Summer Squash Bread }

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

 I  made 6 loaves of this yummy bread to freeze and two to eat for the next few days. I love this bread. Very like zucchini bread, but so pretty with yellow specks throughout! It freezes so well and is good toasted and buttered for breakfast. Great way  to use yellow squash!

Summer Squash Bread
2 eggs
1 cup canola oil
2 cups sugar
2 cups yellow summer squash, peeled and grated
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour two loaf pans.In a large bowl, beat the eggs well.Add the oil, sugar, squash and vanilla. Cream all together until incorporated.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and beat until well blended. Pour batter into two loaf pans. Bake at 325 for 1 hour, or until the center comes out clean with a toothpick.

Grilled Sausage & Shrimp Foil Packets

Monday, July 10, 2017


It has been so hot in the afternoons here in WV . Summer is definitely in full swing. Yesterday was one of those lazy days when all my husband wanted to do was lay around, catch up on sleep and not even worry about dinner. He suggested we make these foil packets for the grill so we wouldn't have to heat up the kitchen. We make these often , but usually just with salt and pepper for seasoning. He added creole seasoning before we closed up the packets for grilling, and they were perfect. And the cleanup, super easy. My kind of dinner.

                                         Grilled Sausage & Shrimp Foil Packets

                                                                    Ingredients
4 corn on the cob, each cut into thirds
8 -10 potatoes, washed and cut into fourths
1 lb raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 lb andouille sausage , cut into 1" rounds
1/4 c chicken broth
4 T butter, divided
creole seasoning , to taste ( I used Zatarin's brand)
salt and pepper, to taste

                                                                   Directions
1. Preheat grill.
2. cut 4 pieces of heavy duty aluminum foil into 12"x 18" and lay each on a flat surface.
3. Evenly distribute the corn, potatoes, shrimp and sausage between the 4 squares. Dot each packet with 1 T butter , a drizzle or two of chicken broth, and salt, pepper and creole seasoning to taste.
4. Tightly fold up and seal the packets.
5. Grill for about 30-35 minutes, until the potatoes are tender and the sausage and shrimp are cooked through.
* Be careful opening the packets. steam will escape and it will be very hot!

Chicken with Broccoli & Mushrooms

Friday, July 7, 2017




I try to make my weekly dinner menu a bit diverse so that we don't get bored with the same dozen or so meals over and over. My kids , thankfully, are open to new foods , so I try to mix it up for us a few times a month. One of our favorites is Chinese food. We do not have a very good choice of Chinese take out in the town where we live, so I make as many dishes as I can at home to satisfy our cravings. This Chicken with Broccoli and Mushrooms is a great meal that tastes great and is kid friendly. No strong flavors  to weird them out. I always make rice ahead of time and prep the ingredients and the sauce before I start cooking, and it is really easy to put together and get on the table. As always, I double the recipe to feed my house of boys.


                                                 Chicken with Broccoli & Mushrooms
                                 
                                                                    Ingredients

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, trimmed and cut into chunks
2 T canola oil, divided
2 c broccoli, cut up
1 c mushrooms, sliced
2 tsp minced fresh ginger
1 tsp garlic, minced
1/4 c hoisin sauce
1/4 c chicken broth
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp cornstarch
1/4 c water
salt and pepper to taste

                                                                Directions

1.In a large saute pan, add 1 T canola ( or vegetable) oil and heat to medium high.
2.Add broccoli and mushrooms and cook in the oil for about 4 to 5 minutes, until they begin to soften. Transfer to a bowl.
3.Add the second T of oil to the pan. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and cook until no longer pink. Add the vegetables back to the pan and cook for an additional two minutes.
4.In a bowl, whisk together ginger, garlic, hoisin sauce, chicken broth, sugar , sesame oil and soy sauce. In a separate bowl, mix together the water and cornstarch until smooth.
5. Add the hoisin sauce mixture to the pan and cook on medium high for about 2 minutes, stirring. Add the cornstarch slurry and bring to a boil. Cook  and stir frequently until the sauce thickens, about  1 minute.
6. Serve hot over rice.