Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Crock Pot Pork Roast

Jon and I had a beautiful day off together earlier this week. We slept in, had a leisurely morning, and headed to the beach.

Before we left for some fun in the sun, I threw a pork roast into the crock so we'd have supper when we came home. It turned out so moist and flavorful! No sauce was needed for this star dish. And, bonus- I didn't have to heat up the house when it was 100+ degrees outside!

A few snapshots of our day at the beach (click to see the larger image):

Do you spy a giant 5 foot spider web?

There are a ton of these Golden Silk Orb-Weaver spiders here. It's more commonly called a banana spider.

Pelican- we saw several of them this day.

After two years, we finally pulled out a map to find out what the land mass in the distance is. It's Cumberland Island! You know, where we saw the horses on my birthday. :)

First attempt at a photo on the beach- a little breezy for me...

Second attempt on the boardwalk was much more successful.

There you have it- a glimpse of our day at the beach. We checked on our nest, no signs of babies yet. But the Georgia Sea Turtle Center posted a photo this morning of a hatch-ling. It would have been from one of the very first nests of the season. Fingers are still crossed our little turtle kids hatch and make their way home to the water!

When we arrived home, the roast smelled fantastic. I shredded the meat and served with mashed potatoes and fresh green beans. It was delish.  A great meal to end a great day with my sweetheart.

Here's to you and your culinary adventures, friends. Cheers!

Crock Pot Pork Roast

3lb pork roast with good marbling and a decent fat layer
2/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup honey
3 TBS soy sauce
2 TBS dry basil
2 TBS minced garlic
2 TBS olive oil
1/4 cup hickory bbq sauce
salt and pepper to taste

Spray the insert of the crock pot. Lay the pork roast in, fat side up.

Whisk together the remaining ingredients. Pour over pork roast. Cover and cook on low for 7 hours.

Remove from cooker. Allow to cool slightly.

Trim and discard any large pieces of remaining fat. You want to leave some fat on when you shred the meat because it keeps it nice and tender. Discard juices from the crock pot once cooled.

Shred meat using two forks. Serve with additional bbq sauce if desired.


Friday, July 20, 2012

Taco-Chili Skillet

This recipe evolved from Mom's taco chili recipe. I was really longing for the flavors of her chili, but it's been blisteringly hot.

Jon mentioned the other day that he missed hamburger helper. Then it hit me- add some pasta to the chili and thicken the sauce.

It was a home run. :) Super easy and delicious.

I hope your summer is going well and you are staying cool! And hopefully, you haven't been carried away by a waterspout like the one we had in our neck of the woods this week:

A local dolphin tour business re-posted this photo of the waterspout. I couldn't tell you who took the photo, but it's a great shot of the action. I didn't actually get to see this water tornado, but the girls at work could see it from the parking lot. They tell me it was so clear and clean it was unbelievable.

Jon and I go to the beach often and check up on our turtle babies. They should be hatching some day soon. Hopefully we will get to see them make their way to the Big Blue! If we do get the opportunity to see the miracle, I will try to capture it on film. So fingers crossed and prayers said :)

Here's to you and your culinary adventures, friends. Cheers!

Taco-Chili Skillet
Serves 6-8

8 oz pasta (I used gf shells)
1 lb lean ground beef
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 envelope taco seasoning + 2-3 tsp chili powder + 1 tsp cumin
1-2 TBS dry ranch dressing mix *
1 can whole corn, drained
1 can light kidney beans, drained
1 can rotel tomatoes
1/3 cup chunky salsa
1/4-1/3 cup beef stock*

Shredded taco cheese, optional
Sour cream, optional

Cook pasta in lightly salted water for 7-9 minutes until almost done. Drain well. Set aside.

Brown ground beef with onion and garlic. Season as desired with salt and pepper. I used Adobo seasoning.

Add remaining ingredients through beef stock. Simmer, uncovered for 10 minutes until thickened.  Gently stir in pasta.

Serve with a garnish of cheese and sour cream.

* As always, if you are gf- be sure you are using gf products. Just a heads up, some brands of dry dressing mix and beef stock contain gluten. Read your labels carefully :)

Friday, July 6, 2012

Summer Squash Casserole

It's been in the low hundreds here this week. The heat index climbed up into the upper 120's. We finally had a break in the weather around Wednesday- it was only 89 with a heat index of 97 when I got home the other night. I decided it was my very narrow window to make a new recipe- summer squash casserole.

I am so happy I made good use of that opening! This dish turned out really good. I served it with grilled pork chops and fresh tomatoes. And, like most casseroles, it was even better the second day.

I think this would make a great accompaniment to a chicken dish- perhaps chicken piccata. This is a definite keeper that we will revisit this fall.

Here's to you and your culinary adventures, friends. Cheers!

Summer Squash Casserole
Serves 6

2 lbs summer squash, sliced about 1/4 inch thick
2 TBS butter, divided
1/2 large sweet onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup gluten free bread crumbs
3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup fresh chopped chives
1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
1/2 cup sour cream
1 egg
salt and pepper
1/2 cup crushed corn flakes
1/4 tsp garlic powder

Preheat oven to 350.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add squash. Simmer for about 8 minutes, until squash begins to soften. Drain well. Set aside.

In the same pot, add 1 TBS butter, garlic,and onion. Saute until onion begins to soften and starts to turn translucent. Remove from heat.

Add bread crumbs, Parmesan, cheddar, chives, parsley, sour cream, egg, and seasonings. Stir until well combined.

Fold in squash. Pour into a prepared 8x8 or 11x7 casserole dish.

Melt remaining tablespoon of butter. Combine with corn flakes and garlic powder. Spread evenly over squash.

Bake, uncovered for 35 minutes.

Let cool 5 minutes before serving.