Unbelievably Easy Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

This recipe is so easy it is almost embarrassing to post.  Two ingredients and fantastic results.  Now that is one great recipe!   I usually use whatever BBQ sauce I happen to have in my pantry.  However, this time, I used a wonderful Virginia product that I received.  I used Shaffer’s Bold and Sassy Sauce. I always prefer to use locally made products in my recipes.  Their sauce is a vinegar/red wine based sauce with molasses, coriander, cumin and other spices.  It was a delicious addition to this easy recipe. 

slow cooker pulled pork

 Big Julie’s Bold & Sassy (16 fl oz) - $6.99

 

 

Unbelievably Easy Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
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Ingredients
  1. 2 pork tenderloins or one beef brisket
  2. BBQ sauce
Instructions
  1. Almost too easy to post - in your slow cooker, pour in 3/4 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce. Add your meat of choice. Drizzle with an additional 3/4 cup sauce. Cover and cook on low for 7 1/2 hours. Shred meat, return to sauce to keep warm. Serve.
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Orange Twist Rolls

These yeast rolls are not your everyday rolls, these are the rolls to bake when you have a special occasion, brunch, or luncheon.  They are over the top delicious with the orange filling and orange glaze.  If you want a show stopper recipe, Orange Twist Rolls are just what you are looking for.  Serve these for breakfast or brunch, it will be hard to eat only one!

orange twist rolls

 

Orange Twist Rolls
Yields 24
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Dough ingredients
  1. 1 package active dry yeast
  2. 1/4 cup warm water
  3. 1/4 cup sugar
  4. 1 teaspoon salt
  5. 2 eggs
  6. 1/2 cup sour cream
  7. 6 tablespoons melted butter
  8. 3 cups flour
  9. Filling
  10. 2 tablespoons melted butter
  11. 3/4 cup sugar
  12. 2 tablespoons grated orange rind
  13. Glaze
  14. 3/4 cup sugar
  15. 1/2 cup heavy cream
  16. 2 tablespoons orange juice
  17. 4 tablespoons butter
Instructions
  1. Dissolve the yeast in the warm water in a small bowl. In the large bowl of electric mixer using the dough hook, combine 1/4 cup sugar, salt, eggs, sour cream, yeast mixture and butter. Add the flour and combine until a soft dough forms. Let dough rise in a warm place for 2 hours. Turn the dough out onto a floured board and knead 15 times. Divide dough in half. Roll each half into a 12-inch circle. Combine the sugar and orange rind in a small bowl. Brush each circle with 1/2 of the melted butter and sprinkle with 1/2 of the sugar mixture. Cut the circle into 12 wedges. Roll up staring with the wide end and place rolls in a greased 9 x 13 baking dish with the points down. Repeat with the other half of dough. Cover rolls and let rise 1 hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake the rolls for 20 - 30 minutes until golden brown. Top with glaze while warm.
Notes
  1. Glaze
  2. Combine the sugar, cream, orange juice, and butter in a saucepan and boil for 3 minutes, stir constantly. Pour over the rolls when removed from the oven. Cool rolls slightly; serve warm or at room temperature.
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Brussel Sprout Apple Salad

If you like Waldorf Salad and brussel sprouts, I think you will really like this salad.  I took the two and melded them together to create this delicious salad.  I prepared the brussel sprouts and while they were cooking, mixed the remaining ingredients in my salad bowl.  Blended the warm brussel sprouts, remaining salad ingredients and dressing in my salad bowl.  Tossed completely and served.  A wonderful combination of hot and cold all topped with a creamy dressing.

Brussel Sprout Apple Salad

Brussel Sprout Apple Salad
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  1. 12 oz. brussel sprouts, thinly sliced
  2. 1 tablespoon each of olive oil and butter
  3. 1 apple, diced
  4. 1 stalk of celery, diced
  5. 1/3 cup walnuts, chopped
  6. 1/3 cup dried tart cherries or dried cranberries
  7. Dressing
  8. 5 tablespoons half and half
  9. 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  10. 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  11. 1/4 teaspoon sugar
Instructions
  1. In a large sauce pan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter. Add brussel sprouts and stir frequently until they begin to lightly brown. While the brussel sprouts are cooking, combine the remaining salad ingredients in a bowl. Mix the dressing ingredients together. Continue to cook the brussel spouts just until parts begin to brown and they are crisp tender. Toss the brussel sprouts with the remaining salad ingredients. Top with dressing and toss. Serve.
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Jalapeño Popper Potato Casserole

A few weeks ago, a good friend of mine made these amazing jalapeño poppers.   I started thinking what else could I create with this great taste sensation.  I immediately thought of my favorite potato casserole recipe and decided to turn the heat up on this recipe.  I switched from using cheddar cheese to smoked gouda, diced the jalapeños and cooked them with red onions until the peppers were slightly charred and added them to the mixture.  This gave the peppers the smoky taste that you would get when roasting the poppers.  This re-creation of the my potato casserole recipe turned out terrific.  To add more spice to this recipe, you can certainly add additional peppers or add a few dashes of your favorite hot sauce.  This recipe is very easy to customize and you certainly can add your favorite add-ins.

jalapeno popper casserole

 

 

Jalapeno Popper Potato Casserole
Serves 6
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Ingredients
  1. 3 large baking potatoes, baked
  2. 1/2 pound smoked gouda cheese, grated
  3. 4 jalapeño peppers, seeds removed, diced
  4. 1/4 cup red onion, diced
  5. 1/2 cup sour cream
  6. 1/3 cup cream cheese
  7. Salt and pepper, to taste
  8. 4 tablespoons butter, divided
Instructions
  1. Bake potatoes (rinse clean, prick skin and roast 375 degrees for 1 1/4 hours), remove from oven, cut in half and let cool slightly. Scoop insides of potatoes into a medium mixing bowl. Add cream cheese, sour cream, 2 tablespoons butter and salt and pepper. In a heavy small skillet melt the remaining two tablespoons of butter, add jalapeños and red pepper. Cook over medium heat until the peppers begin to slightly char, remove from heat and add to potato mixture. Stir well. Fold in grated cheese (reserved about 3 tablespoons for the top of the casserole). Spoon into a greased baking dish. Top with remaining cheese. Bake 350 degrees until hot and bubbly, approx.. 20 - 30 minutes.
Notes
  1. You could also make these twice baked potatoes - fill the potato shells with the mixture and place on a baking sheet. Bake 350 degrees until hot and bubbly, approximately 20 minutes.
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Raspberry Coconut Bars

This recipe was one of my mom’s “go to” recipes.  Easy to prepare, basic ingredients and delicious.  A great shortbread type crust, gooey filling and light crunchy topping.  She never used a mix or can of soup in her recipes, scratch baking at it’s best!   I sure was lucky growing up with such a great cook in the kitchen.

raspberry coconut bars

 

Raspberry Coconut Bars
Yields 24
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Ingredients
  1. Crust
  2. 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  3. 1 cup sugar
  4. 2 egg yolks (reserve egg whites)
  5. 1 1/2 cups flour
  6. Filling
  7. 2 egg whites
  8. 1/2 cup sugar
  9. 1 cup raspberry preserves
  10. 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  11. 1 cup chopped pecans
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. With an electric mixer, beat the butter and 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks and beat until well incorporated. Gradually add flour. Pat into a ungreased 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Bake 25 minutes, cool slightly.
  2. Spread baked crust with raspberry preserves and sprinkle with coconut.
  3. Beat the egg whites until stiff. Gradually add the 1/2 cup sugar and beat until soft peaks form. Gently fold in the nuts. Spread this mixture over the baked layer that is topped with raspberry preserves and coconut and return to oven for 12- 15 additional minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely and cut into bars.
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Candied Oranges

Sometimes I think my kitchen is more of a chemistry lab than a kitchen.  I love candied oranges, however, they are definitely pricey when you see them and not readily available.  So, I thought I would try my hand at making candied oranges.  They are the perfect accompaniment to a cheese tray, great to chop and mix in muffins or quick breads, an interesting addition or garnish for cocktails, delicious served with whipped cream mixed with brandy, serve sliced with an after dinner cordial and my latest concoction – chop two candied oranges and mix into one-half gallon of vanilla ice cream and top with chocolate sauce.  Below I have highlighted another fantastic Virginia food find I came across Willie Byrd Chocolate Sauce , I heated and topped my candied orange ice cream with this and all I can say is…  unbelievably delicious!

candied oranges

candied orange ice cream  

 

Candied Oranges
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Ingredients
  1. 1 1/3 cup sugar
  2. 4 cups water
  3. 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  4. 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  5. 6 seedless oranges, score rind
  6. Juice of 1/2 lemon
Instructions
  1. In a heavy sauce pan that will hold 6 oranges snugly, combine water, sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon. Bring to a boil and boil for 10 minutes. Add oranges, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 2 hours. Turn oranges every 1/2 hour. After 2 hours, remove the lid and bring the syrup with the oranges in it to a boil. Boil until the syrup is thick, this will take about 10 minutes. Turn oranges frequently so they do not brown. When syrup has thickened, remove the pan from the heat and let the oranges cool in the syrup. Turn the oranges so the syrup coats the oranges as they cool. Refrigerate the oranges when completely cool. Candied oranges will keep for at least 2 weeks refrigerated.
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Baked Oatmeal

This is a perfect breakfast or brunch dish.  You can make one batch and have oatmeal all week or freeze portions for later.  If you are an oatmeal lover you will love this recipe.  If you are not an oatmeal lover, you will become a fan after trying this oatmeal.  Trust me on this one!

 

baked oatmeal

Baked Oatmeal
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Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  2. 3 cups milk
  3. 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  4. 1 teaspoon salt
  5. 1 egg, beaten
  6. 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
  7. 1/2 cup fresh red raspberries
  8. 1/2 cup fresh strawberries, diced
Instructions
  1. In a large heavy bottomed saucepan, combine oats, milk, brown sugar, salt and eggs. Mix well and cook over medium head, stirring frequently, until thickened - 15 - 20 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8 inch square pan. When the oatmeal mixture in thick, stir in the berries. Pour mixture into prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes or until oatmeal is set. Let cool for 5 minutes prior to cutting into squares.
  3. You can serve this oatmeal plain or with warm milk over the top or top will a dollop of butter. Also great sprinkled with confectioner's sugar or brown sugar.
Notes
  1. The baked oatmeal is great reheated in the microwave.
  2. You can freeze the baked oatmeal after it is cooked. It works well cut into squares after it is cooled, wrap it in plastic wrap or a freezer bag and freeze. Then you can just take it out and heat it as needed.
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Whole Wheat Orzo Salad

Pasta salads are one of our favorites during the warm spring and summer days.  Easy to prepare early in the day and great to serve with your favorite grilled meat, fish, or chicken.  I use the marinade from the marinated artichokes as the dressing, I also love to use feta cheese that is infused with pepper.  It just adds the perfect piquancy to this salad.

orzo salad 2

 

Whole Wheat Orzo Salad
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup whole wheat orzo, cooked
  2. 1 jar marinated artichokes, drained, marinade reserved
  3. 1 cup sliced cherry tomatoes
  4. 1 zucchini, shredded
  5. 1 carrot, shredded
  6. 1/2 cup kalamata olives, sliced
  7. 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled (I use feta with pepper)
  8. Salt and pepper, to taste ( I omit the pepper when using feta with pepper)
Instructions
  1. Cook orzo according to package directions. Drain and place in a mixing bowl. While hot, toss with 3 tablespoons of reserved marinade from artichokes. Let cool, if preferred, add additional marinade to desired amount of dressing. Add remaining ingredients, toss. Refrigerate until serving. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes prior to serving. Add additional feta when serving, if desired.
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Rum Baked Pineapple with Vanilla Cream

This dessert tastes as great as it looks.  When you are looking for a “WOW” dessert – this is it.  You can make everything in advance and bake the pineapple just prior to serving.  (I cut two pineapples in the photo below since I was serving 10). The hardest part of this recipe is cutting the pineapple!

rum baked pineapple

 

Rum Baked Pineapple with Vanilla Cream
Serves 6
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Ingredients
  1. 1 large pineapple
  2. 4 tablespoons dark rum
  3. 1/4 cup brown sugar
  4. Sauce
  5. 2 cups half and half
  6. 1/4 cup sugar
  7. 1 whole egg
  8. 2 egg yolks
  9. 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  10. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Cut one slice off of the pineapple leaving the top intact. Scoop out insides of pineapple, cut pieces in approximately 1 inch cubes, discard core. Carefully cut the pineapple, you do not want to pierce the shell. Toss pineapple chunks with rum and brown sugar. Return chunks to pineapple shell top with reserved slice. Wrap green top with foil. If preparing early in the day, the pineapple will keep at room temperature. When ready to serve, bake pineapple in 350 degree oven for 20 minutes or until warm. Drizzle with chilled vanilla cream.
  2. VANILLA CREAM -In a medium saucepan, scald half and half (heat until tiny bubbles form around pan) Cool slightly. In a mixing bowl, beat sugar and whole egg. Add egg yolks, cornstarch, and vanilla. Beat well. Slowly add 1/2 cup of warm half and half to egg mixture. Beat constantly. Then slowly pour egg mixture into cooled half and half while stirring with a wooden spoon. Return to medium low heat, stir constantly until mixture thickens and coats a spoon. Cool. Refrigerate until serving.
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Mexican Squash

Looking for a side dish that is perfect to serve on Cinco de Mayo next week?  This vegetable dish is perfect with all of your Mexican favorites.  You will be hoping to have leftovers, terrific to add to eggs, omelets, and even great tossed with pasta.  Now, time to find your favorite margarita recipe,,,

mexican squash

Mexican Squash
Serves 8
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Ingredients
  1. 3 tablespoons olive oil
  2. 1 clove garlic, minced
  3. 4 medium zucchini, cut in 1 inch pieces
  4. 3 medium yellow squash, cut in 1 inch pieces
  5. 1 green pepper, cut in 1 inch pieces
  6. 1 red pepper, cut in 1 inch pieces
  7. 1 sweet yellow onion, minced
  8. 1 cup chopped celery
  9. 1 1/2 cups picante sauce
  10. Salt and pepper, to taste
  11. 1 cup shredded cheese - Monterey jack and cheddar
Instructions
  1. In a large skillet over medium high heat, heat olive oil. Add vegetables. Saute for 3 - 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add picante sauce and salt and pepper, stir. Reduce heat to medium low, cover and cook until all of the vegetables are tender, 5 - 8 minutes. Top with cheese and cover until the cheese is just melted. Serve.
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