Carnitas!!!

Who doesn’t love taco night?!  Especially Taco Tuesday!

In an attempt to keep dinners simple, but new this week, we made 2 Ingredient Pork Carnitas.  Very similar to 2 Ingredient Chicken, just with pork.

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The grill has taken over most of our meals this week…woo hoo…but Sunday, I still pulled out the crockpot.  Great for hearty fall meals but also awesome for warm days that you don’t want to turn on your oven.

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Tuesday night, Cooper was super into our dinner…

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Which turned out absolutely delicious!!!

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We made tacos on Tuesday, and I had leftovers for lunch today.  Both were fantastic, which makes this a good make ahead option!

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And for dessert…the BOY and I made S’mores Ice Cream!

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Which may not look that awesome in this picture but is highly addictive!

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Which we noted as we ate it out of the container with a shared spoon and covered in whipped cream tonight : )

 

2 Ingredient Pork Carnitas

Ingredients

~2 lbs Pork (the BOY picked out ‘center’)

1 jar of smoky salsa (or whatever kind you like)

Directions

Spray crockpot with cooking spray.

Place trimmed pork and salsa in crockpot.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours.  When soft and falls apart easily, shred pork with 2 forks.  Return to crockpot and continue to cook for about 1 hour.

Use for tacos or salads or anything else!

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Island Pork Tenderloin {Awesome New Recipe}

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After the past week of just putting one foot in front of the other, I seem to have risen above my funk and am back to feeling like myself.  I’m sure the weekend spent feeding my soul with some QT husband time, chocolate, and fun helped!

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This morning’s first stop was the yoga studio.  One of my favorite teachers was subbing.  She told an amazing story about a golden Buddha covered in clay.  The moral being that we cover ourselves with layers of stress and expectations and that when we crack through them, our golden self is below and ready to shine through.  I was definitely ready to shine and was actually shining when I emerged 75  minutes later dripping in sweat.

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I thought the story was spot on and could have so many interpretations.  I’m thinking that I will use it for the kids yoga workshop I am teaching next weekend.  After yoga, I ran a few errands picking up a couple of gifts and groceries. I am all stocked up for an intense cheese plate for next weekend’s work party.

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I had leftover chili for lunch that I heated up as I unpacked all my food.  Then I put Tuesday’s dinner in the…you guessed it…crockpot.  I was in a baking mood and had the bananas to use, so I made mini Banana Maple Muffins with blueberries.

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I found the perfect mini muffin liners when I cleaned out my pantry.

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It was a productive day (for example I finally put away our snorkel equipment from the trip), and I happily curled up next to sleeping Cooper to watch a Law&Order marathon while blogging and emailing.  Around 6:20pm, I paused the TV to make dinner.  It’s super funny to watch Cooper who is his absolute laziest from like noon to 6pm spring up, stretch, and come to the kitchen demanding his dinner.

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So a few notes about tonight’s dinner recipe.  Number 1 and most importantly…it is AMAZING!  Like super awesome!  I followed the recipe pretty much as written except I only used a 1ish pound tenderloin.  I kept the spices the same so it was really strong and flavorful.

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I used my Le Cresuet because I know that it goes from stove to oven easily and I never know which pans can do that.  As for the glaze.  By the time I made that, I realized that I only needed half.  I used 1 tbsp garlic, 1/2 tbsp tobasco, and about 2 tbsp brown sugar.  When I tasted it, it tasted REALLY strong and spicy so I added a dash of cinnamon and coated my pork.  However, by the time the pork was cooked (this took about 25-28 minutes), it was spiced JUST RIGHT…not too hot at all.

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This recipe is easy and takes basically no time to prep.  We devoured our dinner with some leftover homemade ice cream for dessert.  And then sat down to enjoy the dynamic Grammy performances.

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You know it’s been a successful day when you’ve used basically EVERY utensil in your kitchen…ha ha!

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What did you think of the Grammy’s?

Island Pork Tenderloin

From Travels from East to West

For spice rub:

  • 2 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 pork tenderloins (2 ¼ – 2 ½ lbs total) trimmed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

For Glaze:

  • ¾ cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped garlic
  • 1 tbsp Tabasco

Stir the spice rub ingredients together in a small bowl and rub all over the pork.  Heat oil in ovenproof 12-inch heavy skillet over medium high heat.  Brown pork, turning occasionally, about 4-5 minutes total.  Remove from heat, but leave pork in skillet.
Stir together brown sugar, garlic and Tabasco in a small bowl.  Pat the mixture on top of the pork.  Place skillet in the oven at 350.  Roast until thermometer inserted diagonally into the center of each tenderloin registers 140 degrees, about 20 minutes.  Let pork stand in skillet, loosely covered with foil for 10 minutes.

Almost Famous

When was the last time you saw the movie Almost Famous? If you haven’t heard of it, don’t tell me because it will only make me feel old : )

The BOY had never seen the movie, but I convinced him that it was the best free movie on Amazon for us to watch Saturday night.  I tried to convince him that we should watch Anastasia (one of my all time favorites but that didn’t go so well).  I’ll admit that Almost Famous was an awesome Saturday night #datenight movie!

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The weekend arrived on cue and I was ready for it!  Both the BOY and I had long and busy work weeks and Friday night was a welcome arrival!  I was up early Friday morning for a hot yoga class and gladly rode the high of yoga through my work day, inspiring my kids yoga classes.

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My ‘Almost Famous’ glasses : )

Before the BOY got home, I quickly soaked up the day’s Tour de France stage.  He claims to not like it, yet he knows a lot about the peloton.  Anyways, we ate dinner and I was so exhausted that I went up to bed early.  I was up early Saturday morning (Thanks Coop!) and met with my trainer for an awesome AM workout of boxing and strength.  I just tried the boxing stuff for the first time, and I honestly feel all brides should do it!  Then, I met my Dad for an hour of tennis in the heat before meeting back up at my parents house with my bestie for lunch and envelope stuffing. 

We were quickly able to figure out an assembly line and within a few hours all of my wedding invitations were sealed and ready to mail!  Sorry friends…no spoilers!  OMG!  We are having a wedding!!!

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After a glass of wine with my parents. I drove home, picked up the BOY, and date night began at Mariano’s.  We bought cheese and dinner and opened up a bottle of wine from one of my favorite wineries from our California trip.  And then started the movie…

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The BOY grilled up a fantastic dinner!  Sunday flew by way to quickly.  The BOY and I played tennis in the morning and then ran a few errands.  We ran into his aunt at Nordstrom, and had an super fun impromptu lunch.  Then, we were off to the grocery store and back home.  It was a busy day since the BOY and  both had to work today.

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I got started way too late yesterday on Monday night’s dinner, which was crockpot pulled pork.  The best thing about this recipe is that I had all the ingredients (except the pork) already in my house.  By the time I was ready for bed, my pork was looking and smelling good, but still not ready to shred.  We ended up moving the crockpot to the fridge and going to bed.  We both had busy Mondays, but the non shredded pork was super yummy for tonight’s dinner!

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Have an amazing week!

Meal Planning 7/20/15

Monday: Crockpot Pork Roast from Mismashed Mom

Tuesday: Turkey Taco Tuesday

Wednesday: I don’t remember : )

Thursday: Out of Town!!!

Never Miss a Monday

It was another crazy busy, non stop weekend!  I barely had a minute to sit down and breath.  On the plus side, we did get TONS of wedding stuff done!  Wedding bands…check!  Suits and ties…check!  Décor…check!  Gifts…check!  Invitations…check!  It looks like we are having a wedding…woo hoo!

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This morning, I went to the gym and my trainer stood me up.  This has never happens, but we had some confusion about rescheduling days since I am working next Monday before heading out of town for my bachelorette party.  Instead of calling it, I warmed up on the jump rope and hit the weights REAL hard!

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#NeverMissAMonday

I returned home sweating from head to toe.  I showered quickly and then the BOY and I did our weekly grocery store run.  When we got home, I had just enough time to unpack the groceries and eat before my mom arrived.  She played with Cooper while I finished lunch, and then we headed out for a wedding meeting.  Afterwards, we did a bit of shopping.  I picked up an adorable hat which will be perfect for the beach next weekend : )

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I started tonight’s dinner before I left.  It was supposed to take about 6 hours, but cooked quicker.  This always happens in my crockpot!  I asked the BOY to add the peppers and pineapple (from memory), and I totally forgot about the OJ.

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Even without the starch to thicken it up, dinner turned out ABSOLUTELY amazing!  Both the BOY and I devoured our dinners and raved about the recipe.  This will definitely get added into our rotation.  It was nice to have such a tasty and easy dinner after a chaotic weekend to enjoy while we binged on Orange is the New Black tonight.  The BOY would tell you that he was happy that the tour was on break for the  day…ha ha!

I’m off to bed as a new week is about to start!

Happy Monday Friends!

 

Meal Planning 7/13/15

Monday: Sweet and Sour Pork (recipe below)

Tuesday: Potato Bar Night

Wednesday: Pizza Night

Thursday: Grilled Chicken and Veggies

 

Clean Eating Sweet and Sour Pork

From Clean Eating Magazine  (Slightly adapted from the original)

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2  lb pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut into 1- to 1½-inch chunks
  • 1 white onion, peeled and chopped into 1-inch chunks
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 3 tbsp unsalted tomato paste
  • 3 tbsp Sucanat
  • 1 tbsp raw honey
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 tbsp potato flour
  • 1 each large green and red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 cup peeled and diced pineapple

Directions

  1. In a 5-qt slow cooker, add pork, onion, and garlic. In a large bowl, whisk together broth, soy sauce, vinegar, tomato paste, Sucanat, honey and ginger until well combined. Pour mixture over pork and gently stir. Cover slow cooker and cook on low for 6 hours.
  2. In the last 30 minutes of cooking, combine orange juice and potato flour in a small bowl and whisk until no lumps remain. TRUTH: I didn’t do this step : )Add to slow cooker along with peppers and pineapple, stirring gently to evenly distribute. Replace lid, increase heat to high and cook for remaining 30 minutes.

Down Day Dinner

Monday I needed a bit of a physical and emotional break.  I didn’t set an alarm and slept almost 12 hours.  Mind you, there were a few interruptions as Cooper kept wiggling his body into my arms for some love, but I didn’t mind.  I missed my little kitty while I was gone!  And he missed us and his pink blanket which we took for the car ride.

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The BOY and I did a grocery store run to fill up our empty fridge.  Then, I put dinner in the crockpot, took a shower, and planned to dive back into the studying I didn’t do this past week.  Instead, I got comfy on the couch (next to Cooper and the pink blanket) and worked my way through the DVR while folding laundry and snacking on apples and dark chocolate almonds.

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You see…on top of being exhausted, I have a cold and a random rash on my neck.  I was in need of a little down time…and so I took some!  I’m sure I’ll regret it later as there is much to catch up on.

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I chose an easy dinner recipe (to go along with my day of relaxation), and it turned out wonderful!

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So here’s a tasty recipe for the next time you need a down day.

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Meal Planning 2/16/15

Monday: Crockpot Pork (recipe below)

Tuesday: Fajita Night

Wednesday: Chicken and Salad

Thursday: Crab Stuffed Mushrooms

 

Super Easy Slow Cooker Pork

From Pinch of Yum

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs. pork shoulder
  • 1 cup soda (I used diet gingerale)
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground oregano
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup Marzetti Simply Dressed Balsamic dressing

Directions

  1. Place the pork, soda, garlic, chili powder, oregano, and Worcestershire sauce in the crockpot. Cover and cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for 6-8 hours.
  2. When the meat falls apart easily, shred it directly in the crockpot with two forks. Add the balsamic dressing and stir with the liquid in the crockpot. The meat should be saucy and moist.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees (or use the broil setting if you have that) and transfer the mixture to a baking sheet lined with foil. Spread it in an even, thin layer (drain some juice if it appears that there is too much) and cook in the preheated oven until the juices are bubbling and the edges are crispy, 10-15 minutes (less time if you have a broil setting).
  4. Transfer to a serving platter and enjoy on salad, tacos, or potatoes!

Pulled Pork Chili

It was another busy Monday here that involved a lot of running around.

 

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This weekend involved a lot of fun and a little less sleep.  So I crashed last night and was less than happy when my alarm went off this morning.  I started moving at 8am and just stopped to collapse on my couch around 9:30 tonight.  First up…after tea of course, the crockpot meal of the week.

 

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I’ve been wanting to make this recipe from How Sweet Eats and just needed the time to pull it all together.  This morning, I put my meat and beer in the crockpot and then forgot all about it.

 

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I had a session with my trainer.  She worked me hard!  And told me that I was strong.  Lifting weights and powering through burpees, I actually felt strong (Hello Bad Ass Warrior)!  Then I had a meeting to prepare for an upcoming presentation.  On my way home, I swung by the grocery store.  At which point, I remembered my pork.  I was afraid that I would walk in and find a tough piece of meat in the crockpot.  I grabbed the tongs and almost before I touched the meat, it crumbled apart into juicy goodness.  I added in the other ingredients that I had picked up at the grocery store.  Unfortunately, I didn’t have any chipotle seasoning, so I used some chipotle Tabasco instead of the red pepper flakes and chipotle seasonings.

 

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The result…a powerful and unique chili!

 

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The BOY (and of course Cooper) agreed!  Check out his cute little tongue!

 

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We had our second tennis lesson tonight.  Although it reaffirmed that I am pretty bad at tennis, it was a lot of fun!  The BOY is thrilled to be getting in a workout and we are really trying to find a place to practice on the weekends that doesn’t cost a lot of money.  Maybe one of these days, the snow will melt and we can return to the outdoor tennis courts.  Although it’s not looking like that will happen any time soon as there is more snow moving in overnight.  Stay warm my friends and make some chili!!!

 

Meal Planning 1/20/14

Monday: You Pick Two (Soup* Salad and Sandwiches)

 

Tuesday: Pork Chops with mushrooms

 

Wednesday: Chicken Parm Burgers

 

Thursday: Pasta with Meat Sauce?

 

Friday: TBD

 

Lunch: Crockpot Pulled Pork Chili

 

*Not just any soup…my dad’s famous chicken noodle soup!

 

Don’t forget to take a look at this flavor packed chili on How Good Eats!

Chili Pulled Pork

This pork comes with a ringing endorsement from the BOY.  On my way home from work last night, I called him and he tried to get off the phone quickly.  He said that he was eating dinner (the pork) and I think he said it was incredible, but it was hard to tell while he was chewing.  Then he raved about the flavor before hanging up to finish his dinner!

 

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I don’t eat pork often, but I do like pulled pork on occasion.  I have never made a dry rubbed pork before.  When I saw this on Everyday Maven, I thought I’d give it a try. 

 

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When we opened the pork, it had a lot more fat than I realized.  I tried to cut it off with a knife, but it wouldn’t budge.  Luckily, the BOY came in with his brand new knife and removed it with one quick swipe.

 

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I placed my marinated pork in the fridge for a few hours and then thought about when I was going to make the pork.  It takes about 10 hours and the plan was Monday night dinner.  What I ended up doing was putting the meat in the crockpot Sunday night and then cooking it overnight.

 

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I was a little worried with so little liquid that the pork would be dry, but we woke up Monday morning to a delicious smelling house.  My second fear was that Cooper was going to wiggle his little nose into the crockpot overnight, but he seems to have left it alone.

 

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Yesterday morning, I shred the pork, which was so tender that it came apart with just the tongs picking it up.  I placed it in the fridge so it’d be ready for dinner.  The BOY had a pork sandwich on Hawaiian bread and I made a pork taco with shredded cabbage and salsa.  It was great!  So many possibilities…

 

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The BOY is still raving about this pork (he had it again for leftovers tonight). 

 

Even after last week’s pain and torture, I went back to see my trainer this morning.  The verdict…I still hate the anaerobic zone and I’m pretty sure it hates me too.  I also may have pulled an ab muscle, but I’m not sure how.

 

A Running Update…

Yesterday morning, I went for a run.  There were two things driving me to get out the door.  Number one is this upcoming 8 mile ‘race’.  I use the term lightly with the additional air quotes because I’m not planning on racing it as much as I am running it.  Number two, these beautiful fall mornings.  The weather is PERFECT for running, the scenes along the path gorgeous, and yesterday I saw a huge male deer along the side of the path.  We had a major stare down but he didn’t move.  I couldn’t believe I didn’t have my camera.  It was such a majestic site.  I ran 5 miles yesterday and am planning on another 4 on Thursday, taking Friday off, and then having a happy and successful 8 mile run, no time goal in mind on Saturday.  Like I said before, this is just an attempt to delay the end of race season a little bit longer.

 

 

Are you racing this weekend?

Do you like pulled pork?

 

 

Slow Cooker Chili Pulled Pork

From Everyday Maven

 

Ingredients

4½ lb pork butt

2 Tablespoons chili powder

1 Tablespoon kosher salt

1½ teaspoons ground cumin

½ teaspoon ground oregano

¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

pinch ground cloves

½ cup stock or broth

1 bay leaf

 

Directions

Combine all of the seasoning in a bowl.  Using your hands, spread the rub around the pork.

Place in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.

Then place your pork along with the stock (I used chicken) and bay leaf in your crockpot and set on low (8-10 hours).

Cook and leave it alone for set time.  Then shred with two forks or it should just fall apart.  You can drain the liquid or I let the pork soak up the liquid and flavor.

Use for a sandwich or tacos!