Sunday, January 29, 2012

Easiest pork ever + another Sunday FUNday with my little man!!

Who would've thought that I could make pulled pork in my crock pot using only three ingredients including the pork??!! Well I'm pretty sure plenty of people before me already know this...and it is crazy yummy!!

Pulled pork made with Root Beer in the crock pot! You can use Coke, Dr. Pepper, or another soda of your liking as well. I even read that someone using orange with chicken (I may try that one later too).

Any-who back to today's Sunday dinner:

see I told you...crazy easy. Oh ignore the garlic please...I considered tossing some in (seriously I can't help myself, I seem to feel everything needs garlic! It's like Paula Dean & butter...), but didn't, instead I added salt, pepper, & no salt garlic & herb seasoning to the pork before setting it in the crock pot.

Hmmm how did little man & I pass the time since we were home all day you might ask??
 Winnie the Pooh Movie time with Pooh, Baby Elephant, & Little Foot....this was the first of two times we watched it today....reminded me of the millions of times I "got" to watch the Care Bear movies with T (my brother)...oh well the snuggles make it all worth it with my little man. At least it's not Barney!!!
He melts my heart every day. So sweet! The wall behind little man, is the wall we are thinking about doing chalkboard paint halfway up...has anyone done that?? Success or not so much??

Most of the pork cooking happened while little man was sleeping, and this momma was reading The Hunger Games. OhMmmGeee, it is a great book!! If you haven't read it, I highly recommend, in fact if I wasn't typing this right now I would be reading it!!!

 Shredding time!!! again crazy easy...hmm do you see a pattern here by chance??
 and ready for buns....yummmm

Root Beer Crock Pot Pulled Pork

2 lb Pork Loin (mine was 1.5)
12 oz (one can) Root Beer
1 18 oz bottle of your favorite bbq sauce (I used Sweet Baby Ray's Sweet & Spicy to balance the sweet soda)

I rubbed salt, pepper, & galic/herb seasoning on the pork. Set pork in crock pot, pour Root Beer over it. Set on Low, and cook for 5 - 6 hours (depending on size & your crock pot, mine was finished in 4.5). Take pork out and shred, dump root beer out, and put pork back in. Mix the bbq sauce in with the pork, and cook for another hour. You can leave it on warm if needed until time to eat. This recipe makes 8 servings.

We also made these tasty fries as our side dish for the evening....

There is no better french fry to me than the simple homemade ones with garlic pepper!! My hubs makes waaayyy better ones than me, but these were pretty good if I do say so myself (well no one complained anyway...)

Happy Monday eve everyone!! I am headed to the couch to read my book :)

Good enough to steal!

Here it is folks....the Chicken & Dumplings recipe that was so tasty, someone stole my leftovers, and tubberware from the fridge at work.

This recipe is adapted from one I found on pinterest, and it is very simple but time consuming. So, it was perfect for a Sunday night meal!

I started with a 5 lb chicken (thawed), my veggies, & seasonings in a large soup pot, or dutch want to make sure the chicken will fit and that you will be able to cover it with water!

Once the chicken was cooking, I gathered the dumpling ingredients all together.

If I can do this, and it turned out this good....anybody can! my dumplings aren't exactly the same me they taste fantastic either way!!!

And....time to let the dumplings dry a bit...which means it's time to check out the chicken!!

All done!! While the chicken was cooling, I strained the stock....
Toss the veggies, and run the stock through a strainer lined with cheese cloth or a coffee filter (I used the filter method since I didn't have cheese cloth). Be prepared this is time consuming....I did a little at a time! I ended up with almost eight cups extra of stock to freeze for later use!!!

After shredding the chicken.....adding the dumplings & chicken to the stock (plus salt & pepper)...
this is the result...
Chicken & dumplings that are good enough to steal!!

Chicken & Stock
1 3-5lb chicken
1 large onion
3 celery stalks
3 carrots
5-6 garlic cloves *I really like garlic
1/2-3/4 tsp rosemary
1/2-3/4 tsp thyme
*salt as needed
*pepper as needed

3 cups flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
4 1/2 Tbsp shortening
1 cup milk

Place all Chicken & stock ingredients in a large pot & cover with water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook for 1 hour or until chicken reaches 165 degrees.
*You can make the dumplings while chicken is cooking.
Mix flour, salt, & baking soda together, then cut in shortening with your fingertips. Slowly add milk 1/4 cup at a time just until the dough forms into a ball, don't over mix.
Roll out onto floured surface to 1/4 in. thickness. Use pizza cutter or knife to cut dumplings 1 inch wide by 3 inches long. Place them on wax paper to dry for at least 30 minutes.

Back to the chicken:
Once chicken is cooked remove and let cool. Once cooled remove chicken from the bone, and throw away bones & skin.
Also throw away veggies from stock, then strain the stock through strainer lined with cheese cloth or coffee filter.
In a large pot heat 6 cups of your stock (store the rest in the fridge or freezer for a future recipe), to a simmer, and drop in dumplings, cover and heat for 6-7 minutes. Reduce to low, add chicken and continue cooking for 15-20 minutes until thickened. Add salt & pepper to taste, and ENJOY!!!!!

Next up Crock Pot Pulled Pork & the Perfect French Fries!!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Chicken & Dumplings, Dinosaur Cages, & Thunderstorms...

This (Chicken & Dumplings, Dinosaur Cages, & Thunderstorms...) has been the makings of a very good January Sunday for me!!
I have never made Chicken & Dumplings or noodles before, well not from scratch anyway. I am proud to say they turned out amazing!! Maybe I do have a touch of my papa, & my mom's incredible cooking ability after all.
I promise they are every bit as good as they look!!

Throughout the day, as the cooking was going on :), my little man very much wanted me to help him build dinosaur cages over & his dinosaurs kept "jumping out mommy" and "dinosaur knock it down mommy". This kept us very busy all day long....
As you can see this is a very serious building plan....

And as this day is coming to a close a loud thunderstorm complete with hail decided to hit...seriously thunder lightening & hail in Missouri, in January..awesome..
Well at least little man seemed to like it; "go see rain out there mommy"...he meant looking out the back door.

I must say this out of the ordinary three day weekend has been nice and relaxing. I truly love just being at home hanging with my little man.

I hope everyone else had equally relaxing Sundays!! I will probably enjoy a nice glass of....
while I sit back and listen to the rain...
Have a great Monday everyone!!