Thursday, January 26, 2012

Cherry Coke Pulled Pork Sliders

Super Bowl time is almost here, so as always I'm going to share some of my favorite recipes and things that I plan to serve at my Super Bowl party. This is a very easy, very moist and flavorful pulled pork. You can use your favorite BBQ dry rub and favorite BBQ sauce, but if you are planning ahead, I strongly suggest going online and ordering the BBQ sauce from Atlanta's Fat Matt's Rib Shack. It's the best I've ever had, and I always try to have a couple bottles around for when I make BBQ anything.

Cherry Coke Pulled Pork Sliders

Boston butt roast
Dry BBQ seasoning
Tony chacheres seasoning
2 cans cherry coke
1 cup baby carrots
1 cup celery cut into 2" chunks
1 large Vidalia onion cut into large chunks
1 bottle BBQ sauce (Fat Matts Rib Shack or Sticky Fingers are my favorite)
Hawaiian rolls

Sprinkle a liberal amount of BBQ seasoning and Tony Chacheres all over the roast.
Place 1/2 of the veggies at the bottom of the crock pot, put the roast on top, and then pour the remaining veggies on top.
Pour both cans of cherry coke on top.
Cover and cook on low 6 hours.
Remove roast and veggies, and strain liquid into a bowl to remove any extra fat.
Shred pork and place back into crock pot.
Pour remain liquid and bottle of BBQ sauce into crock pot.
Stir gently, cover and cook an additional 2 hours on low.
Serve on Hawaiian rolls with the veggies on the side

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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Chicken and Dumplings

Whenever we are having company from out of town, it's pretty much a guarantee I will receive a phone call prior to them coming "making sure" that I planned on making this for dinner at least one night. Honestly, I think some of our friends only visit for this meal. So, at the risk of never having company again, I decided to share this recipe. Just so you know in advance, the dumplings are the fluffy dumplings (like they should be) not the noodle like ones I seem to find in restaurants (I mean really, if I wanted chicken and noodles, I'd order chicken and noodles). I usually serve this over white rice (jasmine) and it can serve 8 (yet in my house I'm lucky if it serves me since my husband and son try to eat it all).

Chicken and dumplings

3 1/2-4 1/2 lbs chicken parts (usually 1 cut up fryer chicken will do)
4 Tbl butter
1 large onion chopped
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 cups hot water
1 3/4 cups chicken stock
4 medium carrots peeled and cut into 1" chunks (or 1 cup baby carrots)
3 medium celery stalks cut into 1" chunks
1/2 tsp thyme
1 tsp salt + extra for season
1/2 tsp pepper + extra for seasoning
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tsp lemon juice
1 1/3 cup Bisquick
1/3 cup milk

Rinse and pat the chicken parts dry.  Remove the skin and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
Melt butter in a 10" deep skillet over medium heat until golden.
Place as many chicken pieces as will fit flat and cook, turning once, until pale golden (about 3-4 minutes each side).  Remove pieces onto a plate and cook the remaining pieces.
Remove the chicken and add the onions to the chicken fat in the pan.
Cook until the onions are tender but not browned, about 5 minutes.
Stir in the flour and cook stirring for about 1 minute.
Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the hot water and chicken stock.
Place back over high heat and continue to whisk until the mixture comes to a boil.
Add the carrots, celery, thyme, 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper.
Return the chicken to the pan with all the accumulated juices bring to a simmer.
Reduce the heat so that the liquid barely bubbles and cover tightly.
Cook until the dark pieces exude clear liquid when pierced with a fork (about 20-30 minutes).
While it is cooking, prep the dumplings by mixing the Bisquick and the milk.
Remove the chicken from the pan and skim off any fat from around the sides.
Stir in the heavy cream, lemon juice, and any additional salt and pepper to taste.
Remove the chicken from the bone, cutting into large pieces, and place back into the pan.
Drop dumpling dough by the Tbl on top of the chicken and allow to simmer for 10 minutes.
Using a large spoon, slowly turn the dumplings over, cover and simmer an additional 10 minutes.
Serve immediately.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

All You Need is Love

Recently my EtsyMom team posted a Pinterest competition between all the members.  Basically, we have to find a Valentines Day themed craft (outside of the scope of our usual "shop" craft), make it, blog about it, and then post a photo and blog link on the Facebook page.  Then, people will have a certain amount of time to vote on their favorites.  So I searched for days, and finally found what I wanted to do...
I didn't find instructions to do it, but it was easy to figure out myself.  They were so simple and fun to make, and will look so cute on my wall.  I'm even going to make another set for the whole year in a beach theme (I'll post photos of it once it's made). 

So here's what you need to make it:
4 6x6 canvases
4 different fabrics (enough to cover canvases)
Bag of buttons
Cardboard heart
Red glitter glue
Iridescent glitter
Spray glue
Fabric Glue

First start off by making the heart.  Place your cardboard heart on plastic and spray with the spray glue.  Sprinkle the iridescent glitter on in a thick coat.  Immediately spray with the spray glue again (you will see the glitter almost foam up and become puffy...that's the point).  Sprinkle more glitter on and let it dry completely.

Next, cover each canvas with a different color fabric.  I used fabric glue to adhere the fabric to the canvas by gluing it to the backs only (that way if for whatever reason down the road you want to redo them, you can just remove the fabric and reuse the canvas).

Then, draw out the L, V, and E on three different canvases, leaving one open for the heart (the O).  You can do this freehand, or if your handwriting stinks, do like I did and print out the letters in whatever font you like (I used Monotype Corsova in my example) in however large you want (I did 400pt).

Finally, fill in each letter with the red glitter glue.  Place the buttons on top of the glitter in order to fill in the center of each letter.

And here is the final result hanging up on my wall...
So much fun, and it adds a cute romantic setting to the space, perfect for this time of year.  Hope you love this craft idea, and I'd love to see photos of any you make, so please comment below with links so everyone can see!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Birdseed Snow Angel

Birdseed Snow Angel

As you know, I am always looking for cool ideas for my son to do outside.  Even in Florida, it is quite cold today (a whopping 20*, yet this weekend I'm sure we will be back up to the 80s), and this always makes me think of my stint up north in the snow.  So I had to find a cute snow inspired craft, and this one caught my eye immediately.  Of course, I found it courtesy of my friends at Disney Family Fun.  And even if you live in an area more prone to sand than snow, it could always be re-created at the beach (and I'm sure the seagulls will thank you for it) as a Sand Mermaid.

  • Various types of birdseed (like thistle, corn, sunflower and safflower) or if at the beach, breadcrumbs.
  • Cups
  • Pine boughs (again, if you are at the beach, substitute with seaweed and shells...can even make it into a sand mermaid!)
  1. This angel is easiest made by a team: One partner lies down to make a snow angel while the other partner stands by to help the maker get up without messing up the imprint.
  2. After the imprint is formed, pour cups of birdseed into the angel, filling the head and body with bands of variously colored seed.
  3. For a finishing touch, add pine boughs for the angel's spreading wings.