Taste{Full}: April 2011

Saturday, April 30, 2011

What's For Dinner? Spicy Dr. Pepper Shredded Pork!

With three little ones and a crazy schedule, I'm always looking for easy dinners that taste like I spent far more time on them than I actually did.  Here's a new favorite I found recently from one of my favorite bloggers ever, The Pioneer Woman.  (Her blog is seriously addicting... don't say I didn't warn you!)  It's for Spicy Dr. Pepper Shredded Pork, and it's utterly uh-mazing.  It's also insanely easy, and a nice twist on traditional pulled pork.  As an added bonus, your house will smell positively irresistible to any meat-loving man within a mile!

This is one you will need to thrown in mid-day, as it takes at least 6 hours to cook, so it's a great Saturday or Sunday dinner!  A few notes... You can find the chipotle peppers in adobo sauce in the International section of your grocery store, with the Mexican items.  Don't substitute anything else, their smoky flavor is crucial!  However, if you are not a big fan of spice, DO NOT USE THE WHOLE CAN OF PEPPERS!!  I use only half of a 7 oz. can, and there is still a nice amount of heat, nothing major.  If you're looking to really clear your sinuses, I would at most recommend the full 7 oz. can.  For toppings, I love using shredded pepperjack cheese, pico de gallo and fresh cilantro.  Roll it up in a warm tortilla, and you're done!  Enjoy!

Spicy Dr. Pepper Shredded Pork


  • 1 whole Large Onion
  • 1 whole Pork Shoulder ("pork Butt") - 5 To 7 Pounds
  • Salt And Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 can (11 Ounce) Chipotle Peppers In Adobo Sauce
  • 2 cans Dr. Pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
  • Toppings  (Pepperjack cheese, Tomatoes, Lettuce, Cilantro, Avocado, Salsa, Etc.)

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Peel the onion and cut it into wedges. Lay them in the bottom of a large dutch oven.
Generously salt and pepper the pork roast, then set it on top of the onions in the pan.
Pour the can of chipotle peppers over the pork (include the sauce.) Pour in both cans of Dr Pepper. Add brown sugar to the juice and stir in.
Place lid tightly on pot, then set pot in the oven. Cook for at least six hours, turning roast two or three times during the cooking process. Check meat after six hours; it should be absolutely falling apart (use two forks to test.) If it’s not falling apart, return to the oven for another hour.
Remove meat from pot and place on a cutting board or other work surface. Use two forks to shred meat, discarding large pieces of fat. Strain as much of the fat off the top of the cooking liquid as you can and discard it. Return the shredded meat to the cooking liquid, and keep warm until ready to serve. (You can also refrigerate the meat and liquid separately, then remove hardened fat once it’s cold. Then heat up the liquid on the stovetop and return the meat to the liquid to warm up.
Serve on warm flour tortillas. Top with shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, grated cheese (pepperjack!), avocado slices, fresh cilantro, salsa, and whatever else you’d like.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Taste{full}: What's for Dinner?

I'm learning that I am not a good homemaker in so many ways...Take dinner for instance. I love to cook and try new recipes, but only in ideal circumstances that usually don't play out in real life. For instance, when I have enough money for the crazy expensive ingredients Giada uses...or when I don't have a 16 month old crying to be picked up or hanging on my ankles (true story--we have both ended up on the floor after my tripping over her on at least several occasions)...or when I don't have a job that necessitates I be out of the house for 10 1/2 hours a day. SO, I'm left with vain ambitions of finding something quick, somewhat cheap, easy, and not terribly bad for me. You can probably guess which of those factors goes out the window the fastest--yes ladies, you guessed it. Hence why I had such a hard time finding a hides-all-my-imperfections swimsuit last year! In any case, I was happy with my dinner last night and since I love you :), I decided to share it...

An American classic--grilled cheese and tomato soup... but hold on, this ain't your mamas grilled cheese (with the "cheap cheese" as Joe's mom once labeled the cheese in the fridge for a family party--we will never let her live that down!), white wonder bread, and the soup right outta the can.  Read on sisters.

mmmmmm. I have made these on numerous occasions and they always turn out good (well except that one time Popeye took over and I overdid the spinach but at least that made them healthier!). I have to say I'm not always good at exactly following the recipe but you can play with the amounts in this one and it still works. I've used pancetta before which is really yummy but substituted plain ol' American bacon last night. I also used already shredded cheese and olive oil in addition to the canola. And since I had Joe do the prep for me (Mr. Mom gets out of work earlier so he picks Genevieve up, gets her settled, and starts dinner all before I arrive home), we ended up with much LESS spinach than the recipe called for and much MORE bacon. which I'm totally ok with. :)

wow. This soup was gooooood. Even Joe liked it and he doesn't really care for soup, much less tomato soup. After having Panera's tomato basil (or is it tomato bisque?) soup the other night I was dying for a re-do, sans the trip or the cash. I went to allrecipes.com--one of my main go-to sources for easy and yummy recipes and this is the first one that came up. Seriously it was REALLY good!! Now I hate it when people recommend a recipe but they changed like everything in it (who else gets overwhelmed reading reviews that go on and on about their substitutions?!) but I will tell you I did make a couple of my own. I used mostly milk but also heavy cream because I wanted it to be really creamy (totally making sense why swimsuit shopping is so difficult, huh?!). In hindsight that wasn't really necessary because of the cream cheese it calls for. I also used Rotel (i.e. diced tomatoes with green chiles) instead of plain diced tomatoes. This wasn't me being inventive; it was just what I had on hand.  I am so glad I did- it gave it a spicy kick that was oh-so delicious and I think was a major factor in winning husband over. If you have kiddos eating it, I wouldn't recommend that move because it definitely made it spicy. Lastly I took advice from numerous reviewers and used a little less cream cheese than the recipe called for.  To finish, I topped it with grated Parmesan cheese.  Some reviewers also pureed the mixture to make a smooth soup. I didn't so it was kinda chunky but I might next time.  I also wished I had fresh basil on hand because that would have been soooo good. Croutons woulda been a nice addition also. Ok, now preggers is just dreaming.

All in all I was really happy with both recipes. Easy, delicious, and definitely fits in the comfort food category (if, like me, you are exhausted from 'making' a baby- don't be dirty, that part's already done;) and need all the comfort you can get!

Try this recipe and tell me what you think! OR if you have other easy, delish recipes or creamy tomato soup alternatives, let me hear about 'em!

Monday, April 25, 2011

New Hampshire's own GROUPON

I love sites like groupon, groupdealz, livingsocial, etc. Oftentimes the fabulous deals offered can't be beat...and I love anyting that helps me justify spending cash on something fun. (Don't you?!) However unless you live in a 'major' city, it can be more disappointing than fabulous, when you see deal after deal that requires a 60 minute drive to Boston. Anyone else go to Boston all the time in your head, but in real life, only go once or twice a year (not includiing the hell I like to call the airport)? And now that any outing includes shelling out cash for a babysitter in addition to whatever fun filled evening we have planned, I'll be lucky if I get there once a year going forward. That's where The NH Daily Deal comes into play! These deals are for local businesses right here in scenic New Hampshire. Now, I'm not gonna lie...I'm not necessarily drooling over every single deal I've seen on this site. But the beauty of these sites is that one day you may get a coupon for mustache grooming (totally not my cup of tea), but the next day it might be for a fancy bistro downtown (totally up my alley and purchased promptly!)...so if you simply open the e-mails you get daily, you're sure to find something to tickle your fancy eventually! Right now I'm debating purchasing the deal for half off golf in Amherst for husband for father's day. See, how handy this site is?!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Personalized Pretty-ness

I guess I have Zulily on the brain.  If you're not aware of this site, it's a flash sale sight specializing in baby and kid stuff (though they often have womens clothes, intimates, and accessories as well). The deals are pretty good and the couple of times I've ordered from them, they've left me with no complaints (which I can't say about hautelook, but that's another story).  Today they have a $30 credit for $15 at Frecklebox.  Now we love personalized stuff, as we discussed here and here.  But usually I'm too cheap, as I discuss in nearly every post :) to buy the stuff, except perhaps for gifts.  Well this adorable little lunchbox which I'd never pay $30 for, would only be $15 with your zulilly purchase. Which I could totally live with.  If only Genevieve was 5!!  (oooh that means new baby would be 3 and I'd be done with diapers! OR it could mean I'd be pregnant again...this is a dangerous road to travel down so I'll stop here!) I think this would also make a great gift--unique and cute and something the parent probably wouldn't purchase on his/her own!  Go take a look see at both Zulily and Frecklebox--they have all sorts of personalized kid stuff--and let us know what you think!

Cute or Weird?

I can't decide (and do none of us--our our little ones--have brown feet?!  Just sayin...)

If you vote 'cute,' you can buy them here! (sorry, a little late with this since they were on zulily today for 9.99.  If you're not a subscriber, do it!)

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