Tag Archives: pulled pork

The Easiest Two Ingredient Crockpot Recipe {Food & Fitness Link-Up}

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Last week, I made the easiest Crockpot Recipe ever. {That sounds a little redundent, though, doesn’t it?} But the best part about it?

ROB LOVED IT!

I found it on this Facebook post link by Katie from Runs for Cookies. There are a lot of great ideas there; so just go grab a few!

But for now, I’m going to type out directions for the simplest Crockpot recipe you’ll ever make. Seriously. I’m going to list directions as if it was an actual recipe.

Carnitas

(Makes 4 – 6 servings)

Ingredients:

  • Pork Tenderloin (I used 1.5 lbs)
  • Jar of Salsa Verde (I used a 12 oz Trader Joe’s jar)

Method:

  • Put pork loin in Crockpot
  • Pour jar of salsa over loin
  • Cover
  • Put setting on low and let simmer all day

I let ours simmer from 7am to 4:30pm. Then I shred the meat and put it on warm until we were ready to eat, which was somewhere between 6 and 6:30pm.

It was perfect! This meat is so versatile. You can eat as is. But here is what we did:

  • I put it on a plate for Rob and topped with shredded cheese and dollop of sour cream. He raved over it.
  • I made mine into quesadillas by heating a corn tortilla in a pan spritzed with olive oil, removing it to a plate, heating another corn tortilla, topping with a little cheese, then the pork and the previously heated tortilla. Once the cheese is melted and the tortilla slightly crunchy, remove and cut into triangles. I served mine with a little Spicy Wholly Guacomole.

BUT… There are so many other ways to enjoy. Here are a few ideas:

    • Wrap in tortilla.
    • Put in tacos.
    • Make a plate of nachos.
    • Serve over rice.
    • Use red salsa instead of green.
    • Add black beans for even more protein
    • Use a can of tomatoes with garlic, onions and other seasonings to make it Italian.

I forgot to take a photo when I cooked it, but here are the leftovers I brought to work, topped with shredded cheddar cheese and a dollop of sour cream. I enjoyed it with some black bean chips that came in one of my Food Boxes.

Carnitas

I’ve been trying to turn many chicken recipes into pork ones since Rob is allergic to poultry. I get nervous when I try new ones, not being sure if the pork will dry out. But this one worked with pork chops. And after the success with the above recipe, I’m thinking I can do these Slow Cooker Chicken recipes with pork, too!

~

Last week was a strange one. I cooked {if you call that Crockpot recipe cooking!} only that one day. Then we sustained on leftovers, some easy eats, and dinners out with family in town! It was wonderful. But my fitness was minimal, too.

But here’s what’s in store for this week!

planningIt’s going to be another strange week with appointments and such after work. So these are my ideas for the week. I have all of the ingredients, it’s just a matter of choosing each day which one is easiest depending on how I’m feeling.

Dinners:

Lunches:

  • Leftover Meatballs from the weekend
  • Any leftovers we may have this week
  • Soup

Snacks:

  • Piece of fruit, applesauce, piece of dark chocolate, almonds

Breakfasts:

Fitness:

  • Walking. Lots of Walking. Since it’s going to be a strange play-it-by-ear week, let’s say at least 30 minutes 5 out of 7 days.

What’s your favorite Crockpot recipe?

Please share it in the comments!

Cheers~
Carrie

The Bulldog – Lowertown St. Paul

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Okay, so it’s not the same as the Bulldog NE. Can I say it’s as good? Hmmm… It’s almost like comparing apples to oranges. Well, maybe not that different. Maybe just two kinds of apples that you really like and you can’t choose between the two of them. Okay, so I’d probably choose the Nordeast location most of the time. But the Lowertown location of the Bulldog was actually much better than I expected.

Although you will find no cupcakes here. 😦

My husband suggested we stop by for dinner before another event we had taking place in downtown St. Paul. My friends Sally and Ryan love this place. I really wasn’t too excited about the menu online. And when we arrived, nothing sounded good to me. It was one of those days.

As I mentioned in the post about our beloved Bulldog NE, the Bulldog in the Lowertown area of St. Paul isn’t related. In fact, I didn’t think any of the Bulldog locations were related. But after checking out The Bulldog Lowertown website, it appears that of the four Bulldog Bar/Restaurants throughout the Twin Cities, the Bulldog NE is the only one not affiliated with the others. To make things more confusing, the websites for each location are different from what they actual title each restaurant:

I guess the non-affiliated location in Northeast/Nordeast Minneapolis is a bit confusing, too. The website is www.TheBulldogNortheast.com. But I’ve seen it written and/or called the following:

  • The Bulldog Northeast
  • The Bulldog Nordeast
  • The Bulldog NE
  • The Bulldog N.E.

I digress. Now that we’ve got all of that out of the way, back to The Bulldog – St. Paul, which is where this experience occurred…

I was immediately surprised by how big the interior is! For some reason, I wasn’t expecting that. The focus here is on Belgian beers, just like at the Bulldog NE. They also have descriptions of beer styles in their beer menu:

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But they have other rotating taps as well. I’ve been off my usual IPA kick for several months for some reason. On this particular occasion, I chose what I would probably consider more as dessert beers.

BulldogLT Tap

My choices of the day were the Young’s Double Chocolate Stout and the Lindemann’s Francoise Lambic

I just love how the new Young’s tap handle looks like a chocolate bar in the midst of being unwrapped. 😉

For dinner, Rob was in the mood for this:

PHILLY CHEESESTEAK Thin-sliced sirloin, sautéed peppers & onions topped with our spicy cheese sauce on a hoagie $9.50 with Cajun Tater Tots

PHILLY CHEESESTEAK
Thin-sliced sirloin, sautéed peppers & onions topped with spicy cheese sauce on a hoagie –  $9.50 {served here with Cajun Tater Tots}

Oh, boy was he in heaven with that Philly Cheesesteak. {The tots were fine. He’s had better; but it didn’t stop him from eating them!} I had a bite and thought it was rather good, too. I’d recommend it. Still, believe it or not, I thought my dish was so much better!

QUESADILLA Shredded cheese, beans & pico de gallo hand-rolled in a tortilla with your choice of tasty goodness. Beef $9 | Chicken $9 | Pulled Pork $9 | Veggie $8

PULLED PORK QUESADILLA
Shredded cheese, beans & pico de gallo hand-rolled in a tortilla with choice of filling. {Options: Beef $9 | Chicken $9 | Pulled Pork $9 | Veggie $8}

I chose pulled pork because I read somewhere else on the menu that it was house-made. Otherwise, I normally order my quesadillas with chicken. I thought Rob could try it, too. But then I realized it had beans. Sometimes, I do win out with his allergies! 😉

This quesadilla was stuffed to the max and oh-so-flavorful. It actually put the cheesesteak to shame on the flavor-meter. I wouldn’t exactly call it a quesadilla though. It was probably more like a grilled burrito. Yes, it was stuffed that much! But I loved it. I did end up giving Rob a taste of just the pulled pork and I think he got a little jealous. I couldn’t even give him a section because the beans were well mixed-in. When we go back to the Bulldog in Lowertown St. Paul, I’m going to have a hard time ordering anything else.

What is your favorite dessert-like beer?

What is your favorite quesadilla filling?

Cheers~
Carrie

BBQ – A Confession

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I have a confession to make….

I don’t like barbecue sauce.

I know. Gasp. I live in America. For many Americans, it’s the essence of summer. {Although I’m not feeling very summerish around these parts with snow in May.} And since I write a blog titled Season It Already!, you’d think I’d have the best sauce to recommend!

I could blame it on the fact that I didn’t grow up with it. Our cookouts included hamburgers, hotdogs, potato chips and potato or noodle salad. If we were really lucky, we’d have a yummy steak on the grill.

But that probably isn’t why I don’t like barbecue sauce. I mean, my brother, who grew up in the same household as I did, loves it. And there are plenty of things that I didn’t really grow up eating that I adore now: asparagus, spinach, shrimp, scallops and black beans, just to name a few.

I’d  rather have a burger or fried chicken any day over barbecued chicken, barbecue pulled pork or baby back ribs slathered in the sauce. I don’t detest the stuff completely. I just choose not to order or eat it. I guess it’s kind of like me and ketchup. And that I loved as a kid, but I rarely use it now.

So when pondering why I don’t like the stuff I came up with the following:

  • It’s often too sweet.
  • If not, it’s too tangy. {Likewise, I prefer my cucumbers plain rather than marinated in that vinegary concoction people seem to love.}
  • I don’t like the smokiness. {I don’t like smoky flavors in general. Okay, now I’m really wondering if the title of my blog is appropriate.}

All of that being said…

I found one that I really enjoyed last weekend!

We were lucky to be visiting some friends in Charlotte, North Carolina. Immediately after picking us up from the airport Thursday evening, they took us to one their favorite barbecue joints: Mac’s Speed Shop – Beer, Bikes and BBQ.

First, Rob fell in love with the beer list.

Mac's

Mac’s Speed Shop Draft Beer List – April 2013

While he sipped some beers that he’s never/rarely been able to enjoy on tap {i.e Southern Tier Crème Brûlée Stout!}, I stuck to trying the local ones. {Little did I know that we’d be checking out some of these breweries throughout the weekend! More on that to come.}

While the rest of the crew ordered Pulled Pork BBQ, I chose the Beer Can Chicken:

bEER cAN

Beer Can Chicken (1/4) with collard greens, mac & cheese and Texas toast

This chicken was moist and juicy. I loved it! The sauce on the side was the VTX Chipotle. I chose it because it was said to be spicy, but it was still too smoky for me. The collard greens and mac and cheese here were just an afterthought compared to that perfect chicken.

Little did I know, the Pulled Pork BBQ didn’t actually come with any barbecue sauce on it. Apparently, in Carolina, they like to cook their meats low and slow to infuse a smokiness into the meat and the sauce is added later. If only this photo would have turned out a little clearer. I was more focused on visiting and catching up with our friends than taking stellar photos.

Pulled pork

Pulled Pork BBQ with onion rings, mac & cheese and Texas toast

The pulled pork was excellent. It reminded me of a great one that we get at Costco, but better, of course, because it was just cooked. This is a bit of smokiness that I don’t mind! {Are you confused yet?}

And that photo doesn’t depict the batter/breading on those onion rings well enough. My husband knows that I’m not a fan of onion rings. He always wants me to try his and I decline. They just aren’t worth it to me. I love onions, but I want to taste onion, not just batter with something slimy in the middle.

But I grabbed one of these onion rings off of his plate.

Why? Because you could see the spices in the batter! It looked really good – like the coating on good fried chicken {which he has never had, so he doesn’t know what he is missing!} And that is exactly what these tasted like! These are onion rings I would not only eat, but I would order.

Then there was an accompaniment of sauces on the table that you could pour onto your meat. I tried a couple, and found one that I liked so much that I dumped more and more on my plate for which to dip my chicken!

Mac's

This Carolina BBQ Sauce has won me over!

I texted that photo to my friend Jen, and knowing full well my disdain for the sauce, her response was, “There’s hope for you yet!”

What makes it Carolina BBQ sauce and why I liked it, I have no idea. Okay, so I have some idea. When I google “Carolina BBQ sauce”, it appears that the Carolina stuff is mustard and vinegar based as opposed to many ketchup and molasses based sauces.

However, one of the other sauces we tried at Mac’s was the SC Mustard Sauce, which was very different and much more mustardy. So now I’m a little confuzzled. I think what I liked about this sauce was not only that it was balanced {not too sweet, not too tangy}, but also that it had a little kick at the end! {Or maybe it was just all ambiance and the fact that I was in Carolina!}

I was so turned around by that sauce that while we were out shopping one day around Charlotte, our friend Brendan pointed out this sauce and said that if we are going to take one back with us, we needed to get this one:

I bought a bottle of bbq sauce!

And so I did. Jaw dropping yet? This one looks like it will be different than the one I loved because it is sorghum-based, so I think it’ll be sweeter. Still, this Carolina trip opened my mind. I’m willing to try. When we cook with it, I’ll post the results! Aren’t you proud of me?!

Thanks, Tay and Brendan for a wonderful introduction to Charlotte!

What is your favorite BBQ Sauce?

The sharing of brands, styles and recipes is encouraged!

Cheers~
Carrie