Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork

Pulled Pork with a tangy BBQ sauce… life is good!

Pulled pork

One of my favorite ways to eat pork is pulled pork. It is super easy to make and so delicious. I have been making it for years and have made it a few different ways. It has been a staple at all our kids graduation parties and actually a lot of parties that we have had over the years.  But I have always made it in the oven and baked it at a slow oven, which is a great way to make it.

But the last time I made it we actually were gone for the afternoon and I didn’t want to leave the oven on while we were out and about. So I turned to my trusty slow cooker for help.  I knew upon my arrival back home that my house would be filled with the aroma of pork cooking. It’s a good thing  when you open that door and you are hit smack dab in the face with the smell of  something delicious to eat… I love it.

Pulled pork

Usually my pulled pork is simple with not too much hassle, but this time I decided to start with a rub, for something a bit different. I threw some different seasoning together and rubbed it all over the pork and then placed it on a bed of chopped onions  with a little water in the slow cooker. I let it cook like that for most of the day. After that I discarded the onions and water that I had placed in the bottom the slow cooker and shredded the pork. Once the pork was shredded I placed it back in the slow cooker, added the BBQ sauce, and continued to cook it for another hour.

Turns out that this pork is just a bit tangy, tender, and overall delicious. I served this with my quick hamburger buns for a easy dinner on a Sunday evening. Life is good…

Pulled pork

 

Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 3 to 4 pounds pork tenderloin
  • 1 large onion roughly chopped
  • 1 to 2 cups of water
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1½ teaspoon onion powder
  • 1½ teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1½ teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon or to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon or to taste black pepper
  • BBQ Sauce-
  • 1½ cups ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 1 cup water
  • 5 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1½ tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
Instructions
  1. Remove the silver skin if any is on the pork tenderloin and set aside. Roughly chop onion and place it in the bottom of the slow cooker. Add water so that it covers the bottom of the slow cooker about one to two cups, it does not have to cover the onions.
  2. Mix all the seasonings and the sugar together. Rub the mixture over the entire tenderloin. (If there is any left over it can be sprinkle over the tenderloin once it is placed in the slow cooker). Place the tenderloin into the slow cooker for 6 to 7 hours on low.
  3. After the cooking time remove the tenderloin. Discard the onions and the liquid from the slow cooker. With two forks pull the pork apart. Once the meat is shredded place it back in the slow cooker. Add the BBQ sauce and continue to cook for another hour. Serve on buns for a delicious sandwich.
  4. To make the BBQ sauce- This can be done shortly before the pork is done cooking. In a small sauce pan combine all of the ingredients. I like to heat my BBQ sauce before adding it to my meat. So over medium heat cook until heated through. If you prefer you can purchase BBQ sauce and use that.

 

Pulled Pork empty bowl

 

 

 

Quick Hamburger Buns

Homemade bread… adds a little warmth to the coldest winter day .

buns

 

Yay,  it is finally March. You just don’t know how tired I am of winter. Wearing layers of clothes, freezing fingers on the way to work, freezing all day at work no matter how many layers you wear… I know that I shouldn’t complain, since I chose to live in Minnesota. But, really does it have to be so cold for this long?!? I can’t wait until all the white outside is replaced with some color… like green. Really enough is enough.

Quick buns

 

Well one thing good about the cold is that it is the perfect time to spend in the kitchen making things like bread. Yeah, I love the smell of fresh bread baking in the oven when it is cold outside. It makes even the coldest days just a bit brighter.

What makes fresh baked bread even better? It is when you don’t have to wait all day before you stick it in the oven to bake. That is one of the hardest things when baking homemade bread is the waiting and waiting. The recipe that I am featuring today will have bread on the table a bit faster than some of those other recipes.

Homemade buns

It’s perfect to serve as a bun with your favorite hamburger or favorite meat or just as a dinner roll bun. When I made them I served them with a BBQ pulled pork, but some of the family ate them with butter. Perfect either way.

Quick Hamburger Buns
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 5½ to 6 cups of flour
  • 2 packages of yeast (or 4½ teaspoons)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup milk
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 egg
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl combine 2 cups of flour, yeast, sugar, and salt.
  2. In a microwave bowl combine the milk and water and heat until warm (about 120 degrees F). Add the warm milk mixture and the olive oil to the flour mixture, stir with a wooden spoon until well blended.
  3. Add the egg and blend in.
  4. Gradually add the rest of the flour one cup at a time, mixing by hand. Continue to knead the bread until enough flour is worked in so the dough is just slightly sticky to your touch and the dough is smooth.
  5. Grease the bottom of the bowl and turn to coat both sides.
  6. Cover and let rise in a warm place (I like to put a little warm water in my kitchen sink and then set the bowl in the water to help it rise faster) for 30 minutes or until double.
  7. Once the dough is double in size form into buns and place on greased baking sheet.
  8. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  9. Let the buns rest for 15 minutes and place in preheat oven. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown.
  10. Remove from oven and brush with butter.

Homemade buns

Pumpkin muffins with Peanut Oats Streusel

Breakfast is calling you … pumpkin muffins with peanut and oats streusel.

pumpkin muffins tins

I am the kind of shopper that likes to stock up on specials. You know when Thanksgiving rolls around and the pumpkin is on special, yeah I can’t resist buying a few extra cans. Then they get set in the pantry and eventually get pushed to the back, behind the cans of tomatoes and chili beans. Before you know it a few months have past and low and behold you find that can of pumpkin you just had to buy, surprise it is still in the pantry!

That is what happened to me, not sure what I was looking for but there sat that lonely can of pumpkin just begging to be made into something delicious. Pumpkin muffins came to mind; I love how moist baked food becomes when pumpkin gets involved.

 

pumpkin muffins

 

Then there is the dry roasted peanuts that were also sitting in the pantry. The company that Mike works for hands out a box of “goodies” at Christmas time and there is always a jar of dry roasted peanuts in the box. Neither one of us is too big on these dry roasted peanuts, so I decided to add some to the struesel for a little crunch.

 

pumpkin muffins

Just as I suspected the muffins were moist and the peanuts added a little crunch to round out a yummy muffin. I love the spices that go with these pumpkin muffins, nothing out of the ordinary, but I still love the cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. What a great way to start out your morning, even if you don’t have time for breakfast, there is always time for a muffin.

 

Pumpkin muffins with Peanut and Oats Streusel
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 cups flour
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ginger
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon cloves
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Struesel-
  • ¼ cup flour
  • ¼ cup oats
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • ¼ cup finely chopped peanuts
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. For the streusel - In a medium bowl sift together the flour, oats, cinnamon, and sugar. Add the melted butter and mix until well blended. Set aside until you have muffin batter mixed together.
  3. Sift together in a large bowl the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices. In a small bowl slightly beat the egg and then add the butter milk, oil, and vanilla. Once it mixed together add this to the dry ingredients. Mix until blended.
  4. In a prepared muffin tin (paper liners or lightly greased) fill the muffin tins ⅔ full. Sprinkle with the streusel and gently press lightly with fingers.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 to 17 minutes
Notes
If you would like to have a bit sweeter muffins add ¼ cup sugar.

 

pumpkin muffins

 

Potato and Shrimp Soup

I love a bowl of soup when it cold outside, this potato and shrimp soup hits the spot!

shrimp soup

First of all I have to say how good it feels to be back. I really missed the interaction that this blog brings. I have met so many wonderful people from all over the world. It’s an amazing thing, the internet, it make the world feel so small!!

I thought I would share some exciting news that happened while in my absence from my blog. Mike and I are going to be grandparents again. Yep, this is our second grandchild and we couldn’t be more excited. We have a granddaughter and the one on the way is a boy. We are expecting him to arrive in May and we can’t wait.

It is so true what they say about being grandparents… there is no greater joy.

shrimp soup

On to the recipe… I can’t believe we are in the Lenten season. So I thought I would share a simple shrimp soup recipe. Perfect for Lent or when you are simply looking for a meatless meal.

I have always loved potato soup and have made quite a few variations. Another thing that I have always loved is shrimp, so I decided to throw the two together for a fabulous delicious soup.  I decided to invite a few more vegetables to the making for a bit more flavor and color. It is so true that we eat with our eyes, at least for me… and I love the colors in this soup so bright and bold.

shrimp soup

 

I decided to go with a bit of lighter broth, so I used vegetable broth and 2% milk, there is no heavy creams in this one. It has great flavor, but not quite the calories of some cream soups or chowders.  So for me it is a win win recipe. Who doesn’t want to watch their calories, right?

Potato and Shrimp Soup
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 32 ounces vegetable broth
  • 3 cups 2% milk or your favorite
  • Potatoes (I used 3 medium, but you can use more if like a thicker soup)
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1½ cups sliced carrots
  • 1 cup corn
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 pound cooked shrimp (or raw shrimp that have been peeled and cleaned)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. In a large Dutch oven add butter and chopped onions. Cook for 1 or 2 minutes and add flour, stirring until the flour is blended and mixture is paste like. Slowly add the broth and milk, stirring until well blended.
  2. Add the remaining vegetables, season with salt and pepper to taste add bay leaves and bring to a boil. Once the mixture comes to a boil turn heat down to medium to medium low and simmer to vegetables are tender.
  3. While soup is cooking coarsely chop shrimp. If using raw shrimp add shrimp and cook until they turn pink, if using cooked shrimp cook just until heated.
  4. Serve.

 

shrimp soup

Sweet Potato Scones

 

sweet potato scone 1

I am back! It has been just about 4 months since I published my last post. Can you believe it? I actually wanted to be back a little sooner, but things don’t always work out the way you plan it, or at least for me. Better late than never. Right?

It feels really awesome to be back. I have missed all of you and I hope that you have missed me too.

There is one big change to my blog, I have moved to WordPress. I am thankful for my smart and talented daughter Lisa, who did the work for me.  I know that she has put lots of hours into setting things up to the way that I wanted them, so I want to give a shout out to her!  Thanks Lisa!!

Since I love  scones the way I do, I couldn’t think of a better way to start back up than with a new scone recipe. I tried something that was new to me in scones… sweet potatoes.

Sweet potatoes in pie pan

Although I have always loved sweet potatoes I have never added them to a recipe for baked or savory dishes. In the past I have always loved them as a side dish. I decided it was time to shake things up a bit and feature them in some scones.  Plus I found a new spice that I decided to throw in with the mix. At least this spice is new to me, cardamom, I love it.

I love these moist and tender scones. The cardamom went perfect with the sweet potatoes and is now my new favorite spice. I topped the scones with an icing that had a hint of cinnamon and cardamom for a bit more sweetness and flavor. These are perfect for Sunday morning or for that matter any day of the week.

frosting in a bowl 2

 

Sweet Potato Scones
 
Author:
Serves: 8 scones
Ingredients
  • 2½ cups flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ginger
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon clove
  • 8 tablespoons butter (1 stick)
  • 1 egg
  • ¾ cup baked mashed sweet potatoes
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • Icing-
  • 1½ cup powder sugar
  • ½ teaspoon soft butter
  • Dash of salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cardamom
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 7 to 8 tablespoons heavy cream
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and spices. Add butter and cut in with fork or a pastry cutter until the mixture is the texture of course meal.
  2. In a medium bowl beat an egg slightly, add the mashed sweet potatoes and cream. Add the sweet potato mixture to the dry ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon or by hand until the mixture comes together.
  3. Place the dough on a flour surface and form a 8 to 9 inch circle. Cut the circle into 8 wedges using a knife or my favorite a pizza cutter. Place on a prepared (greased with shortening or parchment paper) baking sheet.
  4. Place scones in an oven that has been preheated to 375 degrees F. Bake for 14 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned.
  5. Remove from oven and cool completely on a cooling rack.
  6. For the icing - combine the powder sugar, salt, cinnamon, cardamom, and butter, mix until combined. Add the heavy cream a tablespoon at a time until you have the right consistency. But until smooth. Drizzle of cooled scones. Enjoy!

 

sweet potato scone