Archive for July, 2011

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Meighan and I were watching some old episodes of GardenFork and saw one on slow cooker pulled pork that looked good and were inspired to try our own version. It turned out great so I thought I’d share it:

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 lbs pork shoulder (we used Boston Butt)
  • 2-3 tbsp Cajun seasoning or homemade dry rub
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 tablespoon liquid smoke

 Directions

  1. Cut the pork shoulder into large pieces, leaving the fat on.
  2. Rub the Cajun seasoning or dry rub into the pork, generously covering all the meat.
  3. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pork and brown on all sides then transfer to the slow cooker.
  4. Add the onion and garlic to the skillet and cook for a few minutes until the onion starts to turn translucent and tender. Pour the water in the skillet to deglaze the pan and pour the onions, garlic, and water into the slow cooker.
  5. Stir in the liquid smoke to the slow cooker mixture.
  6. Cover and cook on high for 2-3 hours then turn to low and continue to cook for at least 5 more hours. The pork should fall apart when pulled with a fork.
  7. Remove from the slow cooker, separate and discard the fat, shred the meat by pulling apart with two forks, and return to the slow cooker to mix in your favorite barbecue sauce.

We used Sticky Fingers Memphis Original barbecue sauce and served on toasted sesame seed buns with coleslaw on the side.

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Blueberry Muffins

So, here is a little background to this post: Ben has a distant relative named Lou who owns 300+ acres in Ranburne, Alabama. On part of his land he grows tons of blueberry bushes. One weekend while Ben and his dad were playing on the tractor, Ben’s mom Jenny, his sister Kathryn, his grandmother Honey, and I all went and picked about 4 gallons worth of blueberries. We divided the blueberries and I was left with a huge bag full. I gave my mom and sister-in-law some of the blueberries, but I was still left with a lot of blueberries. I froze some of them and kept some in the refrigerator. Not knowing what to do with all these blueberries, I decided to make blueberry muffins. I made the first batch over the 4th of July weekend while Ben and I were staying with my parents in Carrollton. This batch tasted great but they stuck to the pan. I did not have a nonstick pan so I guess that is why they stuck. I also used fresh blueberries from the refrigerator for the first batch.

After my first attempt, I decided to tweak the recipe a little and I made them again this morning. They again tasted great and did not stick to the pan! With this batch, I used a nonstick pan and the blueberries that I previously froze.

Below is the recipe for my blueberry muffins.

Blueberry Muffins

makes 12 regular-sized muffins

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2  teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, separated
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder (make sure it is not expired)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen)
 Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease muffin cups.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy using a hand mixer. Mix in the eggs one at a time, beating well with each addition, then stir in the vanilla. In a separate bowl, stir together 2 cups flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. Put blueberries in small bowl and mix with 1 tablespoon AP flour. This helps prevent blueberries from settling to bottom of batter.
  4. Stir the flour mixture into egg mixture alternately with milk. Fold in blueberries. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups. I found that an ice cream scoop is the perfect size.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.
  6. Once out of oven, let muffins cool in pan for about 5-10 minutes. Using a butter knife, loosen muffins from around the side of pan. Turn pan upside down onto a cooling rack and muffins should come out easily onto rack.
Yummy!!

4th of July in Carrollton

It has become a bit of a family tradition for us to spend 4th of July in Carrollton to watch the parade and fireworks. I took the video camera originally intending to film our nephew Colton but ended up filming most of the parade.

Later that night we drove to the Carrollton schools to watch the fireworks. Initially we hauled chairs and blankets down to the elementary school field for an up-close view but were run off by thunder and lightning so we ended up watching them from the back of our trucks parked at the high school.