2 A Smoked Pork Sandwich

Smoked Pork SandwichOnce I made those no-knead rolls, I KNEW the perfect filling...smoked pork. Watch out...my mouth is already watering!

A few years ago, my husband fell in love with smoking...meat, that is. He does not have a smoker, but a good friend of his does. There are a variety of smokers, but the best ones are the kind that automatically feed the 'pellets' of wood throughout the smoking process. Low and slow are the keys to a mouth-watering, tender meat!

I use this pork, combined with Bull's Eye BBQ sauce and honey (50/50 ratio) and pile it on the roll. I also use this pork in my tamale recipe that I will share with you the next time I make it.

This recipe uses a rub for the outside of the meat. It should cover two large pork shoulders or more. Spread the rub EVERYWHERE...every nook and cranny that you can find. The rub creates a soft crust surrounding the meat and allows the juices to stay inside.

Smoked Pork
(4x6 printable recipe) (full page recipe)

6 T. paprika
3 T. dried brown sugar
2 T. dry mustard
1 1/2 t. garlic powder
1 1/2 t. ground celery seed
1 1/2 t. sea salt
1 1/2 t. ground thyme
1 1/2 t. ground coriander
1 1/2 t. marjoram
3/4 t. cayenne
2 c. cane sugar
1/2 c. seasoned salt
1 t. ground allspice
1/2 t. ground ginger
1/4 t. ground cloves

1 pork shoulder

Combine all spices and mix thoroughly. Rub spice mixture into every nook and cranny of your pork shoulder and all around the outside.

**Place in smoker and smoke for 3 hours on 160 degree setting.
Change setting to 250 degrees and cook an additional 8 hours or until meat registers 195 degrees with a meat thermometer.

**Or, check your smoker directions and cook as directed!


10 A Video Tutorial: No Knead Rolls

Welcome to my first closed captioned video tutorial!

My good friend from Comemos, Let's Eat! confided in me, "If I see it done once, I remember it forever." We are visual learners. Thank you for the great idea!

"I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand."

Feedback, comments, and experiences are welcome and appreciated!

P.S. After watching this video for the zillionth time, I neglected to add an important step!
After shaping your rolls, cover them lightly with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm place for 90 minutes. Then proceed with 'snipping' the tops.

No Knead Rolls
adapted from Jim Lahey, Sullivan Street Bakery
(4x6 printable recipe) (full page recipe)


6 A Frozen Hot Chocolate

Frozen Hot ChocolateI saw this recipe on My Kitchen Cafe when I first started this blog. I vowed I would make it...and I'm so glad I did!

Frozen...hot...sounds like an oxymoron, but this really works! I took my favorite hot chocolate, Stephen's Chocolate Mint Truffle and combined it with semi-sweet chocolate chips. I had some half and half on hand, so that made it extra heavenly!

Since my husband and I were the only ones home, I cut the recipe in half. After gulping the last drop, I kind of wished I made a full batch!

One of my goals is to try a new recipe and post it here. Thanks, Melanie!

Frozen Hot Chocolate
from My Kitchen Cafe
(4x6 printable recipe) (full page recipe)
4 oz. of your favorite chocolate
2 t. store-bought hot chocolate powder
1 1/ T. sugar
1 1/2 c. milk
3 c. ice cubes
whipped cream
chocolate shavings, optional

Chop chocolate into small pieces and melt in microwave on low heat. (I just used chocolate chips and melted them in the microwave on high power for 1 min., stirred, and then 30 seconds more on high power).
Once melted, add hot chocolate mix and sugar, stirring constantly until thoroughly blended.
Slowly add 1/2 c. milk, stirring until smooth.
Cool to room temperature.
In blender, place remaining 1 c. of milk, chocolate mixture and ice.
Blend on high speed until smooth and consistency of a frozen daiquiri.


2 Pork Chops and...Mustard!

Pork Chops Mustard
Pork chops and....applesauce! Where have you heard that before? If you are from my generation, you will know that line from the Brady Bunch. This line was my husband's response when he asked what was for dinner and I told him, "Pork chops."

This recipe came highly recommended from my friend at Comemos, Let's Eat. It is a Nigella Lawson creation, a gal from the Food Network. It is a very easy, simple recipe! If you do not have pork, you can definitely use chicken. It made for a very tender pork that was sweet with a little "tang" on the side. I used the pork chops from Costco and cut them in half.

Mustard Pork Chops
Nigella Lawson
(4x6 printable recipe) (full page recipe)

2 pork chops, about 1 lb. total weight
2 t. garlic oil (I used olive oil and 1 garlic clove, pressed)
1/2 c. cider (I used apple cider)
1 T. whole grain mustard
1/3 c. heavy cream (I used 1/2 and 1/2)

Trim the fat off the chops and put them between plastic wrap; pound thin with a rolling pin.

Heat oil in the pan and cook chops over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes per side. Remove to a plate and keep warm.

Pour cider into the pan, deglaze. Let it cook for 1 minute; add mustard and stir in the cream. Add back the chops and serve.


7 Candied Cinnamon Almonds

I went to my mother-in-laws house shortly after Christmas and noticed some almonds in a gift wrapped dish. This was one of the neighborhood gifts that had been given to her.

Once I tried them, I fell in love. Deeply in love. Addicted. I couldn't stop eating them! One after another, savoring the crunchy cinnamon-vanilla flavors......mmmmm. Just thinking about them made my mouth water and ache for more!

Fortunately, my father-in-law recognized the need to have these in the house and acquired the recipe. He made another batch, which I nibbled on until they were almost gone....and copied a recipe for me. Ahhhhh.......

Candy is not my forte, but these were very simple and easy to make. I used parchment paper instead of a greased baking sheet, which made clean up very easy. I also made sure I used a heavy-bottomed pan and stirred the mixture constantly, to prevent burning.

Put 1 c. sugar in a heavy bottomed saucepan.

Add 1/2 c. water.

Add 1 t. cinnamon

Add 1 t. vanilla. The good stuff.  Not imitation!

Get it to a nice rolling boil...

Put 2 c. almonds in....

And stir, stir, till it gets boiling again...

And cook for 10 minutes or until it reaches crystallize stage.

Hmmm....it's hard to see through the steam.

It's starting to crystallize on the sides. Maybe it's ready.

Maybe not.

Let's check it.


Not ready.

Stir some more.

Boil, boil, boil. Stir, stir, stir.

Aaaack! It began to crystallize VERY quickly!

(it only took 8 minutes, not 10)

It says to 'spread' the almonds on a greased cookie sheet. I used parchment paper.

It doesn't really 'spread.' It's more like...dump them out and
chop them apart.

Put them in a 300 degree oven for 10 minutes.

Mix (more like chop them apart) and bake for 5 more minutes.

Here they are....in all their glory.

Can't wait to eat them....

It's best to let them cool.

Let's get a close-up...

Nope, can't wait...

I'm addicted.

Print Friendly and PDF
Candied Cinnamon Almonds
1 c. sugar
½ c. water
1 t. cinnamon
1 t. vanilla
2 c. raw almonds

Mix and bring to a boil the water, sugar, cinnamon and vanilla.  Mix in the nuts and boil for approximately 10 minutes or until mixture reaches crystallize stage.  
Spread on greased cookie sheet. 

Bake 10 minutes at 300°.
Mix and bake 5 more minutes.  


3 Minestrone Soup

This is one of my favorite soups that brings out the Italian in our family. My kids make fun of how I pronounce it "minestronee." The Italian side is my hubby's not mine! 

This soup is chock full of veggies, noodles and beans swimming in a flavorful tomato broth. This recipe came from a friend of a friend and we have made it several times since!

This recipe makes a LOT of soup, so plan to share with others or have leftovers. 

TIP:  I have frozen it with good results. Just take your favorite soup bowl, line it with plastic wrap and freeze your soup in it. Then transfer the frozen soup into a freezer Ziploc, squeezing as much air out of it as you can, and store it up to 3 months.

Minestrone Soup
from Sally Brinton
(4x6 printable recipe) (full page recipe)

1 lb. ground beef
1 t. salt
1/4 c. chopped onion
1/4 c. chopped celery
1-28 oz. can tomatoes
4 c. water
2 large carrots, peeled and sliced
2-8 oz. cans tomato sauce
2 c. beef broth
1 T. dried parsley leaves
1/2 t. basil leaves
1 t. oregano leaves (I used 1/2 t.)
1/4 t. pepper
1/2 t. garlic salt
1-15 oz. can garbanzo beans, drained ( I omitted)
1-16 oz. can green beans, drained
1-15 oz. can kidney beans, drained
1 1/4 c. mostaccioli macaroni, uncooked
Parmesan cheese, sprinkled at serving, if desired

Brown the beef, onion, and celery. Add tomatoes, water, broth, carrots and seasonings; bring to a boil and simmer 20 minutes.

Add the beans and macaroni and cook an additional 15-20 minutes, until the macaroni is tender.


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