Sunday, March 27, 2011

Slow Cooker Texas Pulled Pork and Jamie O's Best Baby Potatoes

I found this recipe on and have made it a couple times now. Very tasty, without all the heavy barbeque sauce! I like to toast the buns in the oven at 450 for a few minutes beforehand and serve it with coleslaw, either on top or the side. This particular time I made Jamie Oliver's new potatoes (yum!) which have some lemon and mint mixed in. Highly recommended!

Slow Cooker Texas Pulled Pork
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 (4 pound) pork shoulder roast
  • 1 cup barbeque sauce
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon prepared yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 extra large onion, chopped
  • 2 large cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 8 hamburger buns, split
  • 2 tablespoons butter, or as needed
  1. Pour the vegetable oil into the bottom of a slow cooker. Place the pork roast into the slow cooker; pour in the barbecue sauce, apple cider vinegar, and chicken broth. Stir in the brown sugar, yellow mustard, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, onion, garlic, and thyme. Cover and cook on High until the roast shreds easily with a fork, 5 to 6 hours.
  2. Remove the roast from the slow cooker, and shred the meat using two forks. Return the shredded pork to the slow cooker, and stir the meat into the juices.
  3. Spread the inside of both halves of hamburger buns with butter. Toast the buns, butter side down, in a skillet over medium heat until golden brown. Spoon pork into the toasted buns.
Jamie Oliver's Best Baby Potatoes

2 lb. baby potatoes
pinch of salt
3 pats butter
5 sprigs of fresh mint, leaves chopped fine
juice from 1 lemon

Boil potatoes with a pinch of salt after scrubbing them clean. You should be able to insert a fork easily into one when they're done (about 10-15 minutes). Drain them in a colander; place in a bowl with butter, salt and pepper, mint, and lemon juice. Toss to coat.


This is a traditional Serbian beef and potato dish I found many variations on. I went with one off of and it turned out pretty good. I'd probably try to tweak it next time like seasoning the potato slices. I used a mandolin slicer to get the potatoes thin and uniform; worked like a charm. I also removed the foil the last 10 minutes to let the potato tops brown up. Sorry, not a great picture.

Serbian Ground Beef, Veggie, and Potato Bake (aka Musaka)
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1/2 tablespoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 pinch ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch ground cloves
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/8 cup red wine
  • 1 cube beef bouillon
  • 2 tablespoons half-and-half
  • 3 potatoes, peeled and sliced
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Lightly grease a casserole dish.
  2. In a skillet over medium heat, cook the beef until evenly brown. Remove beef from skillet, reserving juices, and set aside. Mix in the olive oil, and saute the green pepper, onion, carrot, and celery until tender.
  3. Return beef to the skillet, and season with paprika, salt, black pepper, red pepper, cinnamon, and cloves. Stir in the water and red wine until heated through. Dissolve the beef bouillon cube into the mixture. Remove skillet from heat, and mix in the half-and-half.
  4. Layer the bottom of the prepared casserole dish with enough potato slices to cover. Place the beef and vegetable mixture over the potatoes, and top with remaining potatoes.
  5. Cook, covered, 45 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the potatoes are tender.


The first time I tried Feijoada was at a Brazilian restaurant in St. Louis. I fell in love instantly! Feijoada is a traditional Brazilian stew made of beans and pork. It is served accompanied by thinly sliced collard greens, rice, roasted cassava flour (I use corn meal), and peeled orange slices. I found so many variations on this recipe as it's said to be a peasant's stew. After combining several recipes I found, I came up with this! And I've made it over and over again for years. Be prepared though to spend all day in the kitchen! This needs to simmer on the stove for at least 5 or 6 hours.


6 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 lb. hamhock
8 oz. bacon diced
8 oz. smoked sausage
1 1/2 lb. pork strips
2 onions, chopped
1 orange, halved and peeled
3 bay leaves
1/4 t ground pepper
1 red bell pepper, chopped fine
wine reduction or dry red wine

Saute the garlic, pepper, and onions in a bit of olive oil for a few minutes. Combine everything in a deep pot and simmer (covered) on low 5-6 hours, stirring frequently. The red wine addition is to taste and also to add some liquid. I probably use about a cup to a cup and a half. Serve with finely sliced collard greens, white rice, orange slices, and corn meal. I like to grab a forkful of the stew with the rice and then dip it in the corn meal and greens. It'll stick to your ribs!

Lemon Bars with a Shortbread Crust

Again with the lemons!!! These were pretty easy, with the assistance of a heavy duty food processor. If you dust the powdered sugar on them the night before serving, you'll have to dust a second layer because it soaks in over time. A little difficult to slice up, I'd recommend taking your time and maybe dusting them after slicing.

Lemon Bars with a Shortbread Crust
  • 2 cups All-purpose Flour
  • 1 cup Powdered Sugar
  • 1 cup Cold Butter, Cut Into Small Pieces
  • ½ teaspoons Salt
  • _____
  • 4 whole Eggs
  • 2 cups White Sugar
  • ⅓ cups Flour
  • ½ cups Fresh Lemon Juice
  • Powdered Sugar, To Sift Over The Finished Bars

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9×13” pan with cooking spray.

In the bowl of a food processor, (or in a large mixing bowl, with a pastry cutter) combine the flour, powdered sugar, butter and salt.

I like to push this past the point of a pie crust, which I would just barely want to come together. This has to have some sturdiness to it, so I will mix it until it has really come together. Pour the crust into the pan and, using a spatula, press the dough into a really firm crust on the bottom of the pan. Poke a few holes with a fork or knife to release steam while par-baking the crust.

Bake crust 15 minutes at 350F. It will be barely golden. When you take it out, press the crust down with a spatula to release any steam bubbles that have formed, and to make a more compact crust.

While the crust is baking, make the filling. In a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk the eggs until fluffy. Add the sugar, whisking constantly so that the yolks are not “cooked” by the sugar. When the eggs and sugar are well combined, add the flour to the filling and mix well. Finally, add the lemon juice and whisk to combine.

Pour the filling over the hot crust when it comes out of the oven.

Return to the oven to cook for another 15 minutes. The lemon should just be set, and the top should have a tiny bit of golden color to it.

Let the lemon bars cool completely before sprinkling them with powdered sugar, (a shaker or sifter works best), and cutting into bars.

Lemon Cookies, Take 3

Still having so many lemons to play with and being on my quest for the perfect lemon cookie, I tried a third recipe. This one I found on, a blogspot I found through This cookie turned out so chewy! I think it was the agave nectar. The site suggested sandwiching Haagen-Dazs Five Lemon ice-cream between two cookies. I went with a lemon juice and powdered sugar icing drizzled on top. Will definitely make these again.

Chewy Lemon Cookies

1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
pinch of salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter
zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling
1/4 cup agave nectar
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons lemon juice

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together flour and salt. Set aside.

2. In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter, lemon zest, 1/2 cup sugar, and agave nectar. Mix until very smooth, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides.

3. In a small cup, boil the lemon juice and stir in baking soda. With the mixer on low, slowly add in half of the flour mixer, and then add in in the baking soda mixture. Follow with the remainder of the flour mixture and mix until combined. Scrape down sides of bowl with a rubber spatula and mix the dough by hand a few times to ensure an even distribution of the ingredients.

4. Pull the dough together with your hands and shape into a log. Roll up in parchment paper, twist up the ends and freeze for 5 hours, or over night. Slice dough into 1/3 inch thick disks. Bake for 9-10 minutes. Tops should be cracked on the top. Let cool for a few minutes on the cookie sheets before transferring to a wire rack.

5. Whisk up some fresh lemon juice with powdered sugar until you reach the consistency desired. Drizzle on top of each cookie and allow to harden about an hour.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Jamie Oliver's Shrimp Stir Fry

Sorry for the bad photo, I wish I could capture the DELICIOUSNESS of this dish in a picture! Oh my goodness, this turned out so good! Found the recipe in Jamie Oliver's book, Food Revolution. It's just so fresh and crisp, overflowing with veggies and brightness! And the rice noodles were a great switch on the typical rice. Light and yummy!

Hardly-Any-Prep Shrimp Stir-Fry

a thumb sized piece of fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic
2 fresh red chiles
bunch of fresh cilantro
peanut oil
1/2 pound large shrimp, raw and peeled
1 heaped tsp five-spice powder
1 tsp cornstarch
1/2 c fresh corn kernels
handful of snow peas
2 T soy sauce
juice of 1 lime
1/2 tsp honey
1 tsp sesame oil
handful of frozen peas
7 oz rice sticks or vermicelli
handful of bean sprouts

Put a large pan of water on to boil. Peel and finely slice the ginger and garlic. Finely slice the chiles. Roughly chop the cilantro.

Preheat a wok or large frying pan on a high heat and once it's very, very hot add a good lug of peanut oil and swirl it around. Stir in the cilantro stalks, ginger, garlic, chile, shrimp, and five-spice powder, and fry for a minute. Add the cornstarch, corn, and snow peas and give them a good toss or stir for another minute. Stir in the soy sauce, lime juice, honey, sesame oil, and frozen peas. Add the rice sticks to the pan of boiling water and use a wooden spoon to break them up a bit. Cook for just 2 minutes, no longer. Drain the rice sticks in a colander over a bowl, reserving the cooking water. Add a large spoonful of the cooking water to the wok and cook for a further minute or two.

Use tongs to divide the rice sticks between your serving bowls. Spoon the shrimp, veggies, and any juices over the top and sprinkle with the beansprouts and cilantro leaves.

Lemon Cookies, Take 2

With the abundance of lemons, I tried my hand at a second lemon cookie recipe, this one stuffed. The batch didn't make too many, but then again they were sandwiched. Great crunchiness to this recipe and again, not too overpowering with lemon flavor. The sandwiches were a bit to handle as far as being thick. I mean, when you bite into a cookie, you want to finish it in one, maybe two bites. These were a definite three bites. Don't let me stop you from making these though! They were very tasty! I've had my second one since dinner. However, I am still on my quest for the perfect lemon cookie! Recipe from a blogger,

Lemon Sandwich Cookies

2 sticks of unsalted butter, softened
1 cup of powdered sugar
1 tablespoon of lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon of salt
2 cups of Flour
2 tablespoons of granulated sugar for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 350. In the bowl of a mixer beat butter, powdered sugar, lemon zest and salt until combined and smooth. Place the mixer on low and slowly add the flour the dough will be very stiff. Do not over mix the dough stop mixing when just combined and finish mixing by hand.
Turn the dough out onto wax paper and form into a cylinder, wrap and chill until firm at least 1 hour but up to 3 days. Once chilled unwrap the dough and slice in 1/4" slices. If the dough cracks let it warm up. If you chill it longer than a few hours you will probably have to let it sit out at room temperature for 30 minutes or more.
Place an inch apart on a baking sheet and sprinkle with the granulated sugar. Bake until they barely start to brown, 10-12 minutes. Once baked transfer to a cooling rack to completely cool.

Creamy Lemon Filling

4oz of softened cream cheese
1 tablespoon of lemon zest
1 - 1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar

In a bowl mix together the cream cheese and the lemon zest until smooth then gradually add the sugar until it forms the consistency you are looking for and whisk until smooth.

To make the sandwiches put about 1 teaspoon of filling between 2 cookies.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Meatballs with Peppers and Pineapple

I spotted this recipe on and I've never come across a bad recipe of her's yet. This turned out yummy, a nice twist on the typical sweet and sour pork or chicken. The meatballs alone were tasty and had a little kick of heat too. I added a bit of parsley flakes to the meat mixture. The sauce was mild and not overly sweet like some sweet and sour mixes. Feel free to add some green peppers too or snow peas to brighten it up.

Meatballs with Peppers and Pineapple

  • 1-¼ pound Ground Beef
  • ½ whole Onion, Diced Very Finely
  • 1 whole Egg
  • ½ cups Panko Bread Crumbs (or Regular Breadcrumbs)
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper, To Taste
  • ½ teaspoons Crushed Red Pepper, More To Taste
  • ¼ cups All-purpose Flour
  • Canola Oil, For Frying
  • 2 whole red Bell Peppers, Seeded And Diced Roughly
  • 1-½ cup Fresh Pineapple Chunks
  • 2 cups Beef Stock Or Broth
  • 2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
  • ½ cups Sherry Or White Wine Vinegar
  • ⅓ cups Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoon Cornstarch
  • Salt To Taste
  • Crushed Red Pepper, To Taste

Preparation Instructions

Combine ground beef, diced onion, egg, salt, pepper, breadcrumbs, and crushed red pepper. Mix with hands until combined. Roll meat mixture into small balls and place on a cookie sheet. Freeze on the pan for 15 minutes to firm.

Mix together beef stock, soy sauce, sherry (or vinegar), sugar, and cornstarch.

Heat canola oil over medium-high heat. Roll meatballs in flour, then fry in two batches until nice and brown, about two minutes per batch. Remove meatballs and set aside on a separate plate.

Pour off oil from pan and return pan to medium high heat. When pan is hot, throw in the chopped green peppers and cook for one minute. Add pineapple to pan and cook for one minute, stirring gently. Pour in stock/soy sauce mixture, then add meatballs. Stir gently to combine and allow to cook and bubble for a few minutes, or until sauce is thickened. Add salt and crushed red peppers to taste. (Hint: this dish is yummy if it’s a little spicy.)

Serve over cooked jasmine rice.

Coconut and Apricot Chicken Curry

I found this recipe while browsing through and lifted it off Turned out really yummy and was no trouble at all. The chicken browned up so pretty with the light flour dusting. And I love pretty much anything with coconut milk in it. Serve with jasmine rice.

Coconut and Apricot Chicken Curry

4 chicken breasts, cut in half
salt and pepper
1 heaping tablespoon flour
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon minced ginger
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
2 tablespoons garma masala
2 cloves
1 dozen dried apricots, cut in half
1 small can coconut milk
2 tablespoons apricot jam
1 large handful roughly chopped cilantro

In a large bowl toss chicken with salt and pepper and then flour. Heat a large skillet to medium high heat and add oil. Brown the chicken well on both sides and reserve to a plate. Pour off all but a tablespoon of oil. Add onions and saute until caramelized, don’t rush it, this takes awhile (think 20 minutes). In a mortar and pestle crush fennel and cumin seeds. Add the spices to the onions along with cloves, garam masala, ginger and garlic. Turn down heat and cook for 3 minutes not letting the garlic burn. Stir in apricot jam and then add apricots and coconut milk. Transfer to a dutch oven and add chicken back in. Bring to a simmer, cover and turn to low. Simmer covered for 20 minutes. Uncover and simmer for another 20 minutes. Stir in cilantro, season to taste and serve hot.

Better Buckeyes

I got a request for a peanut butter and chocolate baked treat at work and this is what I decided on, in it's purest form. These are quite rich and addictive; make sure you have a glass of milk on hand! Very easy to make--dipping them is a little tricky and making sure to mask the hole afterwards--so make sure they're thoroughly chilled. I didn't use all the wax recommended, just enough to make the chocolate "dippable" or liquid enough. Recipe off

Better Buckeyes
  • 1-½ cup Creamy Peanut Butter
  • 1 stick Butter, Room Temperature
  • 2 Tablespoons Honey
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1 pinch Kosher Salt
  • 3 cups Sifted Confectioners Sugar
  • pounds Paraffin (that's 1/2 Bar Of Gulf Wax), Chopped
  • 2 cups Chocolate Chips (12 Oz)

1. In stand mixer, mix peanut butter, butter, honey, vanilla, and salt together until smooth.

2. Slowly add sugar 1/2 cup at a time until the dough comes together. Be patient. You might not need to use all of the sugar.

3. Roll dough into buckeye sized balls (a generous tablespoon) and place onto a waxed paper-lined cookie sheet. Stick a toothpick into each ball and place in the freezer or fridge until cool to touch.

4. Melt chopped paraffin in a double boiler over medium heat. Add chocolate chips, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat.

5. Dip each ball into chocolate, trying to get the buckeye to look like a real one.

6. After all of the balls have been dipped, remove the toothpicks and tap the holes closed with the blunt end of a chopstick or a skewer. Fingerprints on top of buckeyes are gross.

7. Place back into the fridge to set.

Glazed Lemon Cookies

Someone at the gym has been bringing in lemons from their tree and I've been grabbing a couple each time. They're great on a baked potato, panfried fish, in a tall glass of water, and especially for baking. With Girl Scout cookies being out, their lemon sandwich cookies have got me craving lemon sweets! Found this recipe on, but originally it's from Cooks' Illustrated. Pretty easy too, just a freeze, slice, and bake cookie.

Glazed Lemon Cookies


Lemon Cookies
¾ cup (5 1/4 oz.) granulated sugar
2 Tbsp. grated zest plus 2 Tbsp. juice from two lemons
1 ¾ cups (8 1/4 oz.) all-purpose flour
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. baking powder
12 Tbsp. ( 1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into ½” cubes
1 lg. egg yolk
½ tsp. vanilla extract

Lemon Glaze
1 Tbsp. softened cream cheese
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 ½ cups (6 oz.) powdered sugar

1. For the cookies: Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions; heat oven to 375 degrees F.

2. In the bowl of food processor, process granulated sugar and zest until it looks damp and zest is thoroughly incorporated, about 30 seconds. Add flour, salt, and baking powder; pulse to combine, about 10 one-second pulses. Scatter butter chunks over. Pulse until mixture resembles fine cornmeal, about 15 one-second pulses.In a measuring cup or small bowl, beat lemon juice, yolk, and vanilla until combined.With machine running, add juice/yolk mixture in slow, steady stream (process should take about 10 seconds); continue processing until dough begins to form ball, 10 to 15 seconds longer.

3. Turn dough and any dry bits out onto counter (or board); working quickly, gently knead the dough together to ensure no dry bits remain and dough is homogeneous.Roll dough into cylinder approximately 10 inches long and 2 inches in diameter.Center dough on piece of parchment (waxed paper or plastic wrap will work in a pinch ). Fold paper over dough.Grasp one end of parchment. With other hand, use bench scarper to firmly press parchment against dough to form uniform cylinder.Roll parchment and twist ends together to form tight seal. Chill dough until firm and cold, about 45 minutes in freezer or 2 hours in refrigerator.

4. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Remove dough log from wrapping and, using a sharp chef's knife, slice dough into rounds 3/8-inch thick. Place on prepared baking sheets, spacing them about 1 inch apart.

5. Bake until centers of cookies just begin to color and edges are golden brown, 14 to 16 minutes, rotating baking sheets front to back and top to bottom halfway through baking time.
Cool cookies on baking sheet about 5 minutes, using wide metal spatula, transfer cookies to wire rack and cool to room temperature before glazing.

Lemon Glaze:
1. Whisk cream cheese and lemon juice in a medium nonreactive bowl until no lumps remain. Add powdered sugar and whisk until smooth.

2. When cookies have cooled, working one at a time, spoon scant teaspoon glaze onto each cookie and spread evenly with the back of spoon. (I sometimes put the glaze in a zipper lock plastic bag, snip off the end, and drizzle or dollop the glaze on top of the cooled cookies.)

Let cookies stand on a wire rack until glaze is set and dry, about 1 hour.