Spicy Pop Pulled Pork & Onions

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Whether you’re having a huge gathering at your house, taking a dish to someone else’s gathering, or just making dinner for your family, then it’s time to make Spicy Pop Pulled Pork.

Some pulled pork recipes take a bit to get together… even the slow cooker ones… but this one is not one of them.

In fact, I would challenge you to see just how fast you can get this in the pot. Next time I make it I’m setting a stopwatch and I plan to keep track so I know if I break my record. It’s just that fast!

The recipe is for cooking it in the oven but I made it in the slow cooker to save on energy and heat… 6 hours with the oven on in the middle of the day means an air conditioner that has to work DOUBLE time… not an option for our budget right now!

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Steak & Onion Sandwich

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After hitting “Publish” I realized that my most recent post, my Rustic Nectarine Pie, was my 100th POST!! What?!

This came as a surprise to both my husband and I…. “Honey!!!… do you have any idea how many posts I’ve made??” He was thinking between 35 to maybe 50 at the most… but ONE HUNDRED!? WHAT?????

Whew! That makes me tired… I won’t think about how many hours of pictures taking, color-correcting, and writing this adds up to be… A LOT. We’ll just leave it at that. Funny thing is… it doesn’t feel like that much really… I love every minute of it!

There’s no better way to start off another round of 100 posts than with this indulgent, fill-you-up good steak sandwich…

“O is for Onions” and this sandwich is packed with them! If you don’t like onions… you’re crazy. Let’s just get that straight. I still like you, I think…

But you’re crazy.

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Lighten Up!

After that rich, indulgent fried cheese sandwich, I thought it was time for something a bit on the lighter side…

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A simple salad made with romaine, sliced fresh strawberries, cubed mozzarella, and fresh basil!

Add some grilled chicken and you’ve got yourself a main dish salad!

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F is for Feta-Stuffed Peppers

I had been wanting to try stuffed peppers for quite some time and I finally had the chance to do it! This was the first time I made them and it won’t be the last. And… the stuffing included Feta… PERFECT!

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I made some adjustments to a Greek Salad recipe I found and served it alongside the stuffed peppers… YUMMY!

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Making this meal is a bit of a process, but if you do as much as you can ahead of time it’s MUCH easier and not so stressful! Still, leave yourself some time to get it all on the table… it’s not a quick fix but it’s a fantastic end result!

STICK WITH ME ON THIS ONE… Let’s get started!

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F is for Feta Greek Salad

The official recipe for this “Big Greek Salad” can be found here. I took out a couple of ingredients, added in one, and modified the directions just a touch to tailor it to my family’s tastes.

I served it with Turkey-and-Rice Stuffed Peppers and they were a great match! A delicious, gorgeous meal…

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C is for Coffee Braised Short Ribs

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Short ribs + slow cooker meal… yes please!

 

This requires a bit of work up front but once it’s in the slow cooker you’re free!

Short ribs are definitely a special occasion meal for us, but they are so full of flavor that it’s worth splurging for from time to time (figure about $5/ pound of meat… 3 pounds feeds 4-6 people). We used 9 pounds for the crowd we were feeding and it worked out just about right for 12 adults and 4 little kiddos. It really depends who’s eating. Hungry eaters = 3/4 pound per person. Lighter eaters = 1/2 pound per person. 🙂

The first question my guest asked me was: What is a SHORT rib anyway? (They thought it sounded kind of rude) 🙂

Short ribs are usually taken from the chuck cut of beef (you’ve probably heard of a “chuck roast”). Chuck is taken from between the neck and shoulder blade of the cow. Usually chuck is an inexpensive cut for a roast or steaks. When the chuck cut is used for short ribs it is cut into small rectangles or squares, each of which contain a piece of the rib bone (hence the “rib” portion of “short ribs”). They MUST be cooked slowly as they are a very tough cut of meat. They end up being fall-apart tender if you do it right and they are SUPER flavorful as they have a good layer of fat in them. You can see an uncooked picture of them below!

Doing some prep really helps out here. Take your short ribs out of the fridge and put them on a large sheet of foil for easy clean up. They need to sit for about 20-25 minutes to take the chill off before you sear them. Sear just means browning meat quickly over high heat. Searing keeps all the juices inside of the meat. Usually the meat is finished off at a lower temperature after the searing is done.

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C is for Carrots? Corn? Cocoa? Cranberries?… Christmas!?

I had a hard time picking out a “C” ingredient but I have finally come to a decision. We LOVE this ingredient… my husband and I… even my 2 year old daughter seems to like it. She likes it plain too… no sugar or anything else needed. She likes it black.

Do you know what it is now? 🙂  C is for Coffee!

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Both my husband and I worked at Starbucks in college. When we started there I’m pretty sure neither of us had really had anything coffee-like from there besides a Caramel Frappuccino. In Chicago I would make myself “steamers” (just hot milk and syrup) to stay warm. If you don’t like coffee you should try it. My favorite flavor to add to the steamed milk was hazelnut. Soon after starting work there I “graduated” to white chocolate mochas… pretty much the sweetest, least coffee-like espresso drink on the menu. My husband was the same: white mochas. Now he drinks black coffee or espresso shots over ice and my “poison” of choice is a Grande Americano (black). I like to order a cappuccino from time to time, but it’s hard to find a barista who steams the foam the correct way. I think it’s the hardest drink to make but one of the yummiest if it’s done right. It’s hard to mess up an Americano (just espresso shots and water). I’m officially addicted.

So, Coffee? Does this mean all desserts? Nope! I have short ribs and bone-in pork chops in the line-up and probably one other main course recipe to come! We’ve already tried out the short ribs and I’m SUPER excited to post them. It’s a crock pot recipe so you have work on the front end but then you can just relax! Woohoo!

Don’t worry… there will be desserts too! I have been drooling over them for days now. The Espresso Chocolate Mousse… it’s to die for. AND… it’s SO easy.

If you’re a coffee-lover I bet you’re excited! If not, we’ll convert you 🙂

Just to get you started: click here to learn how to brew the PERFECT cup of coffee in your own home! There’s something surprising you add to the coffee grounds to help take away any bitterness! WHO KNEW?!

Now, I want to know what your drink of choice is at Starbucks (or at whatever coffee shop you enjoy!) Whether or not it has coffee in it… leave a comment and let me know!

Happy Eating!

B is for Blue Cheese Green Beans with Pecans

We served these green beans with Blue Cheese Bacon-wrapped Chicken. They required similar ingredients and they paired well together. I was worried it would  be too much bacon and blue cheese on the plate at first… but then I realized… the more the merrier, right? Well, I hoped so and it turned out to be a delicious pairing!

The green beans are super simple and super delicious (my favorite combo). Even if you don’t use them as a side for the chicken, you MUST try them!

 

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A is for Apple, Ham & Gruyere Panini

I was going to end with this recipe because it was my FAVORITE of all the apple recipes… I decided against this because I wanted anyone who bought (or is going to buy) ham for their “Apple, Ham & Brie Sandwich” to get a double-duty use out of their ham. The ham with the brie and apples was a wonderful lunch, but this panini is hard to beat… we will be eating this every other week for the rest of our lives if I have anything to say about it! Really, it’s that yummy…

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If you read the word “panini” and were about to gloss over this recipe because you don’t have a panini maker… READ ON!

Not only is this recipe too delicious to pass up but you can always make a grilled sandwich in a skillet. No panini-maker required! If you have one already… WONDERFUL! It’s time to pull it out!

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