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Bourbon Peach BBQ Pulled Pork

Let’s have a Labor Day where we don’t have to labor over dinner!

Bourbon Peach BBQ Pulled Pork to the rescue. It cooks in the slow cooker (Crock Pot) so the day is YOURS to do other things.

Pull a few ingredients together, do a little chopping and mixing, and you’ve got dinner ready to go.

You can feed a few and have awesome leftovers or a feed a crowd for the exact same effort.

No need to heat up your oven, no need to feel left out of the BBQ scene if you don’t have an outdoor grill.

It’s all good with this one. Oh, and there’s bourbon!

Here’s what you need:

Bourbon Peach BBQ Pulled Pork Ingredients

Boston Butt Pork Roast, Onion, Garlic, Olive Oil, Chicken Broth, Molasses, Peach Preserves, Soy Sauce/Tamari (GF), Balsamic Vinegar, Bourbon, Cornstarch (not pictured), Smoked Paprika, Red Pepper Flakes, Salt & Pepper.

Click here for a Bourbon Peach BBQ Pulled Pork Shopping List

Yes, there are a lot of ingredients but by now you probably have most of them on hand. If you don’t already have peach preserves, buy a big jar and you can make Yummy Oven Glazed Chicken the next night. See how easy that was? I’ve got almost your whole weekend covered!

I have a 3½-4 pound Boston Butt Pork Roast. Mine is boneless and tied by the butcher but if your store only has bone in, that will work just as well.

And since I am not the first person to think of having pulled pork on a summer holiday weekend, chances are very good that Boston Butt Roasts are on sale at your store right now.

Season your roast on both sides with salt, pepper, and smoked paprika. I used about 1 teaspoon each per side.

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Use your hands to massage the spices into the meat.

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Crispy Salt & Vinegar Potatoes

Crispy Salt & Vinegar Potatoes!

We haven’t spent much time on side dishes around here but they are a great place to experiment or to spruce up a dinner that you make regularly.

For example, take your favorite good old Oven Roasted Chicken recipe and add some new sides like Glazed CarrotsGreen Beans, or these Salt & Vinegar Potatoes.

I’ve made these a couple of times and they are equally at home with beef, pork, chicken, or even fish.

Honestly, it’s pretty hard to go wrong with a good, crispy potato anytime. These boil in a vinegar and water combo that give them extra zip and flavor.

Think of salt & vinegar chips and you’ll quickly understand why this is a great idea.

Here’s what you need:

Crispy Salt & Vinegar Potatoes Ingredients

Baby Potatoes, Vinegar, Butter, Green Onion, Salt & Pepper.

Click here for a Crispy Salt & Vinegar Potatoes Shopping List

I have 2 pounds of baby Yukon Gold potatoes but any small potatoes will do.

Cut the potatoes in half and place them in a large pot with 1 cup of white vinegar. Fill the pan up with water to cover the top of the potatoes by about 1 inch.

Bring the pot to a boil over high heat then reduce the heat to medium and cook until the potatoes are fork tender but not falling apart, about 15 minutes.

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General Tso's Chicken (thighs)

My two guilty pleasures from Chinese carry out places are sadly things that I can no longer order now that I am eating a gluten free diet.

It’s probably better for me in the long run not to be noshing on deep fried crab wontons and deep friend General Tso’s Chicken but what’s a girl to do when she has the hankering for that sticky sweet savory sauce?

You know the answer…make something even BETTER at home.

This recipe was also semi-inspired by the Yummy Oven Glazed Chicken that I made earlier this summer. Since then, I’ve been on a roll trying to find easy recipes for chicken thighs (either bone-in or bone-less) that can come together quickly and without much fuss.

While there are quite a few ingredients for the sauce, the preparation is simple and easy. This starts on the stove but finishes in the oven so you aren’t chained to your kitchen the entire time.

Here’s what you need:

General Tso's Chicken Thighs Ingredients

Chicken Thighs, Olive Oil, Soy Sauce (or Tamari for GF), Rice Wine Vinegar, Honey, Sesame Oil, Chili Garlic Sauce, Dry Sherry, Corn Starch, Orange Zest, Ginger, Black Pepper, Green Onions, & Sesame Seeds

Click here for a General Tso’s Chicken (Thighs) Shopping List

I looked around the internet for various General Tso’s recipes and sort of combined them into the sauce you see here. Being gluten free, I had to find some way around the hoisin sauce used in most recipes.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

In a medium bowl, mix ½ cup soy sauce with ¼ cup honey. I always use the low sodium soy sauce my recipes don’t get overly salty.

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Caramelized Peaches

 

Caramelized Peaches!!!!

These were a happy accident and so good that even though there is no formal recipe, I had to share them with you right away.

I was thinking of making this pork with grilled peaches recipe from the NY Times last night but I didn’t have the right cut of pork. So I made one of my favorite pork tenderloin recipes which is basically the rosemary-mustard topping from this Pork Roast recipe slathered onto a pork tenderloin and grilled. I had 4 peaches so I decided to put them out there as well.

Rather than putting the peaches directly on the grate, I heated up my trusty cast iron skillet on the grill (you could also obviously do this on the stove top but get the pan really hot), added about 2 Tablespoons of butter to the pan, and put in the peach halves cut side down. Keep the heat at about medium and don’t move the peaches until they have a nice caramelized crust to them, about 5-7 minutes. Turn them over in the buttery pan for just 1-2 minutes more. You want the peaches to be tender but still hold their shape. 

Sorry there are no pictures but this is so easy, I’m sure you get the gist of it.

Bring your peaches in and serve them with the pork. One bite of peach with one bite of pork. SO GOOD!

But wait, there’s more! 

You’d better believe I went out today and bought vanilla bean ice cream for the leftover peaches from last night.

And I bought more peaches.

Try this while they are in season! You won’t be sorry!!!!

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Blueberry Basil Quinoa

Blueberry Basil Quinoa

When you think about it, blueberries are one of the more savory fruits we have. On their own, they’re not really all that sweet. It’s easy to forget that when we most often eat them in sweet things like muffins and pies.

Paired with basil, some nuts, and a little bit of lime, they give this quinoa salad quite a bit of zip.

(This also reminds me that I need to make that crazy recipe for Blueberry Balsamic Glazed Chicken again!)

Here’s what you need:

blueberry basil quinoa ingredients

Quinoa, Blueberries, Basil, Lime, Pecans, Olive Oil, Honey or Maple Syrup, Salt & Pepper.

Click here for a Blueberry Basil Quinoa Shopping List

Thoroughly rinse 1 cup of uncooked quinoa under cool running water. This is an essential step to avoid bitter tasting quinoa.

Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a medium sauce pan. Add the rinsed quinoa.

At this point, you can either turn the heat down to low and simmer the quinoa until all of the liquid has been absorbed OR if you have a bit more time and don’t want to be hanging out in the kitchen, turn the quinoa off, put a lid on the pan, and wait for all the water to be absorbed.

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Your quinoa is ready when all the grains have puffed up and slightly spilt open making that little white line down the grain.

Set the quinoa aside to cool.

Click HERE, there’s more!

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Greek Shrimp with Tomatoes & Feta

I had a different recipe post planned for today but then I made Greek Shrimp with Tomatoes & Feta Monday night and whoa boy, all bets are off.

You need this. STAT!

Fresh tomatoes are in season and are the key to this simple, savory sauce.

Feta cheese, while not something that springs to mind for a shrimp dish, gives this a sharp but creamy topping.

This starts on the stove top but bakes in the oven making it a simple, one pot meal. Definitely one for the Quick & Easy Category.

Here’s what you need:

Greek Shrimp Ingredients

Shrimp, Tomatoes, Shallots, Garlic, Fresh Mint, Feta Cheese, Olive Oil, Red Pepper Flakes, Oregano, Salt & Pepper.

Click here for a Greek Shrimp with Tomatoes & Feta Shopping List

Let’s talk about shrimp for a minute. We love shrimp and have the good fortune to live on the Gulf of Mexico where wild caught shrimp are plentiful and affordable.

I used to buy the bags of farm raised shrimp at the store but I got tired of them being mushy and limp. You can make up your own mind, but a quick search of the good old google will show you some rather unappetizing aspects of most farm raised shrimp.

So, if you have a good fish counter at your supermarket or a fish monger or specialty fish store, I personally think your money is better spent on wild caught shrimp.

These beauties are Pink Florida shrimp caught down by the Keys and FROZEN on the boat. Yes, I am eating frozen shrimp. Why? Because if you look at a map, the Keys are waaaaay down there, a long boat ride away from Tampa. The shrimp are processed and frozen right on the boat so they stay fresh and flavorful. I buy mine at the Tampa Shrimp Docks in a 5 pound box (anywhere between $9-15 per pound depending on size), bring them home and repackage them into 1 pound baggies.

Then when I want shrimp for dinner, all I have to do is mosey out to my own freezer and grab a pound of gorgeous pink shrimp.

EVEN if you don’t live in Florida, you can still get these (or similar) shrimp. My dad gets Florida or South Carolina shrimp in his store in Kansas City…nowhere near a big body of water.

Pink Key West Shrimp

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Grilled Skirt Steak with Chimichurri Sauce

Here’s one for the carnivores! Grilled Skirt Steak with Chimichurri Sauce.

This recipe happened because I was a mean, mean wife and wouldn’t let Jim buy a bottle of Chimichurri Sauce at the store last week.

“Blech!” I announced. “Why would you want to buy that?”

“It’s fun. I like it…” the poor husband replied.

“But it’s supposed to be GREEN! That’s not even close to green.” And so it went until I assured him that we could easily and simply make our own SUPER GREEN & super tasty Chimichurri sauce at home.

I may be bossy at the store, but I think I made up for it with this dinner a few nights later.

Chimichurri Sauce and Skirt Steak have both become popular lately due to the Argentinian Steak House restaurant craze happening right now. One batch of this vibrant and potent green sauce will serve as both the marinade and the condiment for our grilled steak.

Here’s what you need:

Grilled Skirt Steak Ingredients

Chimichurri Sauce Ingredients

Skirt Steak, Smoked Paprika,  and Pepper for the meat.

Parsley, Oregano, Garlic, Red Pepper Flakes, Red Wine Vinegar, Olive Oil, Salt & Pepper for the Chimichurri.

Click here for a Grilled Skirt Steak with Chimichurri Sauce Shopping List

Note:  For the best flavor, I like to marinate my skirt steak for a couple of hours. Plan ahead.

Click HERE, there’s more!

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Baked Stuffed Peaches

Baked Stuffed Peaches!

Get ready for a big blast of summer. You must, MUST make these while fresh peaches are in season.

The peaches at my store were so perfectly ripe that you could smell them across the produce section. That’s when you know you need to put some in your bag and bring them home.

I supposed if we were in a fancy, hoity toity restaurant, we would call this Deconstructed Peach Crisp since it has all the bits for the crumbly topping smooshed onto our peach halves.

I’ll just call it delicious and let you get right to it.

Here’s what you need:

Baked Stuffed Peaches Ingredients

Peaches, Oats, Flour (GF is fine), Brown Sugar, Salt, Butter, and Pecans. Vanilla Ice Cream for topping (not pictured).

Click here for a Baked Stuffed Peaches Shopping List

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

The beauty of this recipe is that it takes mostly pantry ingredients. No need to buy anything special or out of the ordinary.

In a medium bowl, combine 1 cup oats (regular old fashioned, not instant), 1/4 cup flour (Gluten Free flour is fine), and 1/4 cup brown sugar.

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Mexican Grilled Corn

Have you had Mexican Grilled Corn or Elote yet?

In my personal experience (we’ve had it twice this week), you don’t have to have it more than once to become completely and hopelessly addicted.

It’s corn on the cob, grilled in the husks, and slathered, yes SLATHERED in creamy, cheesy goodness.

I know everyone in my family is looking at this saying, “What? Why on earth would you put all that on perfectly good corn on the cob?”

And the answer is…BECAUSE YOU CAN!

Let’s not waste any more time that you could be using to soak your corn for tonight’s dinner…

Here’s what you need:

Mexican Grilled Corn Ingredients

Corn on the Cob in the husks, Mayonnaise, Queso Fresco or other crumbly cheese, Chili Powder, and Lime.

Click here for a Mexican Grilled Corn Shopping List

I peeled back the very top of the corn and pulled out that big clump of stringy silks. Don’t peel it back too far, you want the husks fairly tight so they keep the steam in to cook the corn.

Place the corn in a big bowl of water and weigh it down with a smaller bowl so it doesn’t float. Soak the corn for 10 minutes.

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You must soak the corn so it steams and doesn’t burn up on the grill.

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Cool Watermelon Salad

Cool Watermelon Salad is my latest funky salad addiction.

We’ve been down this funky salad road together before with Strawberry Rhubarb Salad, Marinated Cactus Salad, Crunchy Celery Salad, and more, so you know that when I jump on a new salad bandwagon, I jump in a big way. 

Cool Watermelon Salad is actually even cooler than it looks thanks to strawberries and basil.

Basil! With watermelon. And strawberries. Yes, yes, and yes!

I had a watermelon salad recently at Whole Foods but it was full of all sorts of other things like feta and onions. I kept picking out the watermelon so I decided to go very basic with this one.

Here’s what you need:

Watermelon Salad Ingredients

Watermelon, Strawberries, Basil, Lime, Olive Oil, Salt & Pepper

Click here for a Cool Watermelon Salad Shopping List

Cut about 4 cups of watermelon into cubes and place them in a bowl.

I’m sure I had a little more than 4 cups – I used 1/2 of a big wedge of watermelon.

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