I’m going to keep this short and sweet: dramatic 3 year old girls and teething 9 month olds are HARD, yo. Like, thank-the-Lord-and-pass-the-wine-and-xanax-we-survied-another-day HARD. These days, I can barely be expected to keep myself from getting in my car and driving to the nearest liquor store to buy out their entire inventory of tequila, let alone cook a decent dinner. Thank goodness for crockpots. Because, after my first cup of coffee and before the first meltdown of the day, there’s still a glimmer of hope. Like, I feel like I could accomplish anything right after that first cup of coffee. Got my energy; got my caffeine; I CAN COOK DINNER TONIGHT! Bring on those poopy diapers! Hit me with your best toddler tantrum! I GOT this! I’m gonna thaw that meat today, dangit!
Then it usually starts to go downhill around 9am. Clingy, crying baby. Whiny toddler. By the time naptime rolls around, I’m a shell of a human. Wishing I could crawl into the fetal position and pray for death.
Obviously, I’m kidding (sort of). My life is very full (sometimes). I’m a very happy mommy (except when I’m not). Really, though. If I’m being serious, of course life gets a little cray (ok, a LOT cray), but I wouldn’t have it any other way. On those freaking ridiculous days where I can’t be expected to function normally, this dinner is SO VERY EASY. And really, really good. Everybody will love it. And you can save yourself a little trouble. You deserve it. I know I do.
Pork. Dr. Pepper. BBQ sauce. Do it.
Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork
pork roast (about 2-3 pounds)
1 can Dr. Pepper
1/3 cup BBQ sauce
Put the pork roast, Dr. Pepper, and BBQ sauce in a slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours. When the pork is very tender, shred with 2 forks and toss with the remaining cooking liquid. Serve on hamburger buns. Serves 4.
Just in time for Labor Day weekend, here’s a knock-out recipe for baked beans! I have a feeling these will make yet another appearance at our get together this weekend! Enjoy the holiday!
Crockpot Brown Sugar Baked Beans
3 (28 ounce) cans pork and beans
1 small onion, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup barbecue sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons yellow mustard
5 slices bacon
Mix first 7 ingredients in a crockpot. Stir until combined and arrange the bacon strips on top. Cover and cook on low for 3-5 hours, stirring occasionally. Remove the bacon strips before serving.
Recipe source: a mixture of my mom’s recipe and a recipe from Six Sisters’ Stuff
With Memorial Day just around the corner, you’re going to need a knock-out recipe to please a crowd. I know grilling is a popular option this time of year, but barbecue is our food of choice for big get togethers. You just can’t beat a pile of sweet, smoky meat on a toasty bun with deviled eggs, potato salad and a big side of dill pickles! Mmm, mmm! This pork is insanely easy- just throw it in the crockpot with a little salt, pepper and barbecue sauce. Yep, that’s it. And it’s gooooood. Give it a try for your Memorial Day shindig this year! Don’t forget the beer!
Crockpot Pulled Pork
3-4 pounds pork butt or pork loin
1/2 cup Texas style barbecue sauce (thick, sweet and a little spicy!)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Put the pork in the crockpot and season with salt and pepper. Pour the barbecue sauce over and cook on high for 4-6 hours or low for 8-10. Shred the meat with two forks and serve on a toasted bun. Serves 4-6.
Recipe source: Sing For Your Supper original
Thursday night at our house is usually “pizza night”. We didn’t really plan it out that way, it just sort of happened over time. By the time Thursday rolls around, I’ll have cooked dinner every night that week and we’re ready for something convenient, plus, we happen to live within a stones throw of the best pizza in the area. So, somehow, Thursday night eventually turned into “pizza night”. But just because it happens to be “pizza night”, doesn’t mean it has to be take out pizza. We love making pizza at home- our favorite variety is black olives, mushrooms, green olives and fresh tomatoes, but last week we wanted something different. I had some leftover grilled pineapple from the night before and thought the classic ham/pineapple combination might be good, but honestly, I’m a little tired of that one. Then I remembered I had two small chicken breasts thawed in the fridge, so I decided on BBQ chicken pizza with pineapple and cilantro! YES!
I cooked my chicken in the crockpot, then shredded it and tossed it with BBQ sauce, brushed the pizza crust with a very thin layer of BBQ sauce and ranch dressing, topped it with cheddar and mozzarella cheese, the BBQ chicken and the pineapple, then after baking, gave it a hearty sprinkling of cilantro. OMG-HOLY-YUM!!! We gobbled this up as if we hadn’t eaten in days! An instant favorite! You MUST try this pizza!
BBQ Chicken and Grilled Pineapple Pizza
1 large, thin pizza crust (I used Boboli brand)
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
2 chicken breasts, fully cooked and shredded
1/2 cup BBQ sauce, plus more for brushing on the crust
1/4 cup ranch salad dressing (*I make my own with a ranch seasoning packet, mayo and buttermilk)
fresh pineapple, cut into 1-inch pieces (however much you like- we like lots!)
fresh cilantro, chopped, about 1/3 cup
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Toss the cooked, shredded chicken breasts with the BBQ sauce. Set aside.
Brush the pizza crust with a thin layer of BBQ sauce (if you’re using homemade pizza dough or the roll-out kind in the can, you’ll need to pre-bake it for 10 minutes or so, just to crisp it up a little bit. My crust was pre-baked already, so I skipped this step), then spread on the ranch dressing. Top with the cheddar cheese and mozzarella cheese, then the chicken and pineapple. Bake for about 15 minutes, until all the cheese is melted and the crust is golden brown. Top with the chopped cilantro. Makes 1 pizza.
Recipe source: Sing For Your Supper original
Doesn’t that title just draw you right in? Ok, ok – it might not sound too appealing to you, but you’ll just have to trust me on this one, ok? Should you ever find yourself with leftover BBQ – you’re going to want to try this…..trust me.
In my home town, there’s a restaurant that serves something called “Texas Trash”; it’s essentially a taco salad of sorts, but with BBQ instead (and lots of other yummy things!). It’s so good, most of the time I don’t even wait until I have leftover BBQ to use up – I’ll just run by a good BBQ joint and pick up some brisket, beans and sauce just for the sole purpose of making Texas Trash! Start with a bed of Fritos, top it off with some chopped brisket, a little BBQ sauce, pinto beans, cheddar cheese, sour cream, black olives (yes, black olives!), jalapeno peppers (lots of ‘em), lettuce, cherry tomatoes and a drizzle of ranch dressing and you’ve got yourself one tasty pile of food! I swear, my mouth is watering just thinking about it! This is seriously one of my favorite things to eat! Tired of the same old chef salads and taco salads, but still don’t want to cook?? Make this! I *promise* it’s delicious!!
(there are no measurements because you just pile it on your plate according to how much you feel like eating!)
Chopped BBQ brisket (if you’re using leftover, make sure to heat it first)
shredded cheddar cheese
cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
Place the Fritos on a plate and top with remaining ingredients (however much you want!). Enjoy! (Wasn’t that simple?!)
I guess you could eat barbecued chicken in the Fall or Winter, but I personally don’t want to. I want it in the summertime. I like to sit outside in a shady spot, eating barbecued chicken legs, deviled eggs and baked beans; getting sauce all over my face and under my fingernails. Oh yeah…that’s good. Last week, I decided I’d gone long enough without trying a homemade barbecue sauce. And I thought Ina Garten’s was the best place to start.
It was surprisingly really easy to make! It was delicious, but I think next time, I’ll add a little less mustard, as this was a little too “mustardy” for me. I loved that it used hoisin sauce, though – that really gave it a great flavor. Hubby and I both really enjoyed this. And the great thing is, I have tons of sauce left over, so I’ll be using it for weeks and weeks!
The Barefoot Contessa
1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion (1 large onion)
1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves) (I only used 1 large clove)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup tomato paste (10 ounces)
1 cup cider vinegar
1 cup honey
1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 cup Dijon mustard
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 cup hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
*I also added a few dashes of liquid smoke, 1/2 cup of brown sugar and lots of black pepper
In a large saucepan on low heat, saute the onions and garlic with the vegetable oil for 10 to 15 minutes, until the onions are translucent but not browned. Add the tomato paste, vinegar, honey, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, chili powder, cumin, and red pepper flakes. Simmer uncovered on low heat for 30 minutes. Use immediately or store in the refrigerator.
I marinated the chicken in some of the barbecue sauce for 3 hours, then baked it in a 400 degree oven, covered with foil for about 40 minutes; I took the foil off, brushed on some more sauce, then baked uncovered, for about 10 or 15 minutes more. This goes great with some baked beans and deviled eggs (posted below). Enjoy your weekend!!