Tag Archives: recipe

Dragon’s Breath Pulled Pork

Who watched the first episode of Game of Thrones Season 7 last night? I was enthralled from start to finish. I mean that first scene almost had me in tears. You go, Arya Stark! I especially loved the scene of Daenerys Targaryen finally coming home to Dragonstone. The silent joy and resolve of that moment was one of the most moving parts of this entire series.

I just can’t wait to see what happens for the rest of this season! Will Jon Snow and Daenerys meet? Will he find out the truth about his past? Will little Arya get her chance at revenge on Cersei, or will Jamie beat her to it? Will we see more of Ed Sheeran? (seriously, what was that all about?) All these burning questions and only 6 more episodes!

I like to make a special dinner for GoT night. This week it was one of our old favorites re-imagined. Pulled pork with an extra spicy bite and just a hint of sweetness seems more than fitting. Definitely give this one a shot the next time you sit down with friends or family to another thrilling episode!

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 lbs Pork Loin Roast
  • Pork Rub- I created my own with 1/2 cup brown sugar and  1 Tbsp each: garlic salt, paprika, red pepper flakes and black pepper.
  • 1-2 liter of Dr. Pepper
  • 3 Serrano peppers- the smaller the pepper the more heat you get
  • 2 Jalepenos, plus more if you want some for a raw topping
  • 1 Green Pepper
  • 1-2 Cup of Jack Daniels Spicy BBQ sauce.

These ingredients will give you a nice little mild to medium spicy bite. If you really want to kick it up a notch you can get 2 of the following: cayenne pepper, tobasco pepper or habanero peppers.

Rub the pork rub onto your roast and let it sit for 5 minutes. In your slow cooker add the roast fat side down. Slice the peppers at least in half and add to the slow cooker. Pour in the Dr. Pepper in so that the roast is at least 3/4 submerged. Pour 1/2 Cup of BBQ sauce onto the roast.

Cook for 6-8 hours on low.

Once your meat is tender carefully move the roast into a large bowl. The meat should easily pull apart with a fork. Shred the roast and add 1/2 cup BBQ sauce.

Toast your buns and add your favorite toppings such as Colby Jack Cheese, Jalapenos, Onions, or Cole Slaw. Don’t forget to top it with even more BBQ sauce to your taste!

Check out an awesome dessert with the Cookies of Fire and Ice here!

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Chocolate Peppermint Buche De Noel (Yule Log)

Chocolate Peppermint Yule Log

Well this is a quite a birthday cake if I do say so myself. For my birthday this year we decided to take on a very different and slightly difficult cake. There was an episode of Holiday Baking Championship on Food Network a few weeks ago where the bakers had to innovate this classic French dessert. So I took on that challenge as well! For many people holiday baking is the best baking of the year, for myself included! I have never really done a ton of fancy treats, but I am sure ready to start. Next year I will get a better jump start on this so that you have time to perfect your favorites. Many of my recipes come from my mom. Not this one though. I had to go to a serious source of baking expertise, Martha Stewart.

I won’t lie to you, first time making it was a little bit stressful. But now that I have done it once I am very confident that this will become a yearly tradition and a treat that will be shared with friends and family. It’s really not as difficult as I imagined, all you need is patience and a few hours of your time. A baking partner doesn’t hurt either.

This was also a great opportunity to break in my new icing application tool (Thanks Alanna!) As you can see we are far from professional cake decorators, however, the rosette tip turned out to be perfect for the making bark-like decorations.

Cake Batter: For Martha Stewarts site click here: http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/7bTRR8/www.marthastewart.com/338834/chocolate-genoise

  • 2/3 cups cake flour
  • 1/3 cup Hershey’s cocoa powder
  • Pinch of Baking Soda
  • 5 Tbsp Butter
  • 3/4 cup Sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract

Peppermint Buttercream Filling:

  • 1/2 Cup Andes Peppermint Chips
  • 12 Tbsp Unsalted butter-Softened – I usually ignore the unsalted part but in this case it’s really important. Your dessert will almost be inedible with that much salt in it.
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 5 Tbsp heavy cream

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting:

  • 4 cups powered sugar
  • 1/2 cup Hershey’s Cocoa Powder
  • 3-4 Tbsp heavy cream
  • 1 cup unsalted butter- Softened
  • 1/2 cup salted butter- Softened
  • 2 Tsp Vanilla Extract

Prepare the cake according to Martha Stewart’s instructions. Do not over cook your egg and sugar mixture, it will turn into scrambled eggs.  Max temp for that mixture is 110 degrees. Be patient waiting for your eggs to thicken, this may take some time.  Be very gentle when folding the dry ingredients in. Do not be skimpy when buttering the pan, you don’t want a fight when taking the paper off.

 

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We baked this for about 15 minutes in the convection oven. You want the cake to be springy to the touch. It’s also very important to not over bake it otherwise it will just crumble when you try to roll it.

Once the cake has cooled for about 3-4 minutes lift the parchment paper out of the pan and invert the cake onto plastic wrap dusted with flour. Very carefully roll the cake with the plastic wrap. Here is how it should look. It’s ok if it cracks a little on the first roll, but don’t let the outer rolls crack too much. Wrap the cake in a damp dish cloth and place in the fridge for about 5-10 minutes while you prepare the filling.

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The ingredients for the peppermint filling just need to be mixed in a bowl on medium speed until smooth.

Take your cake out of the fridge and unroll it. Lightly and evenly spread the filling on the cake. Leave at least  1/4 inch around the edges. Start to roll the cake the same direction you did before. Remove the plastic wrap as you roll. The filling may start to come out the sides, it’s ok. Just keep on rolling. Once you are done it should look something like this:

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Cover and place back in the fridge while you make the chocolate frosting.

Place the softened butter in a mixer and beat until it’s pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Sift in the cocoa powder and powdered sugar. Keep the mixer going and add in the vanilla extract and cream. Keep mixing until you have reached the desired texture. Add a little more cream if your frosting is too thick. You want it to be easily spreadable, but not runny.

I put mine in the fridge for just a few minutes just to firm it up and make it spread on to look like bark. One of the tricks to spreading frosting on cake is to move the frosting around as if you’re going over the cake and do not press it onto the cake.

We added some sparkly gel mistletoe decorations and silver sugar to finish off the decorations.

IMG_1956 Chocolate Peppermint Yule LogI

I really hope you give this one a try! Let me know how yours turns out. And don’t forget to sign up for email alerts for all the upcoming posts.

 

Down and Dirty Dr. Pepper

Down and Dirty Dr. Pepper

To kick off our Dr. Pepper-palooza that was this Sunday I would like to introduce the Down and Dirty Dr. Pepper (and it’s incredible side kick….Dr. Pepper and Bourbon cupcake)

I am not quite sure what came over us today. I think it was perhaps 1 part Kohls savings high, 1 part boredom and 1 part Dr Pepper recipes are really popular on Bing search engine. What ever the case may be Levi and I spent our entire day making a complete meal using Dr. Pepper!!!

It’s a good thing we are going on a hike up Logan canyon tomorrow, otherwise my clothes might not fit for work on Tuesday!

The Down and Dirty Dr. Pepper is a boozy version of Dirty DP.

Fill a glass with ice.

Add:

1.5 oz Coconut Rum

1 oz Lime Rum

Fill the rest of the glass with Dr. Pepper.

Top it off with a dash of Half n Half and garnish with a lime!!!

Hope you love it!!! Be ready for more DP recipes to come 🙂

Stuffed Pork Chops with Apples, Walnuts and Bacon

Stuffed Pork Chop

So here is the pinnacle of what we are going to call the Apple Extravaganza of 2014! Lol. Once again we used the apples from our wonky little tree. I had never made a stuffed anything! So I was a little nervous, but we were watching Guy and Rachel Kid Cook Off and they were making stuffed pork chops and they looked AMAZING! I just had to try it, I mean if a 12 year old can do it I should be able to. And I learned a neat little trick.

When you are making the pocket in the meat you insert the knife and move back and forth in a motion kind of like a windshield wiper. You don’t want the opening doesn’t get so wide that all the goodness falls out. But just wide enough that you can get about 2 fingers in. Then you make a deep pocket leaving about a quarter inch around the edges.

This recipe makes enough for 2 so you can adjust the proportions as needed.

2 thick cut pork chops

2-3 medium apples~ diced~ We of course used mystery apples, but I think that tart apples like Granny Smith would be amazing.

4 slices of bacon~ chopped in 1 inch squares

1 sweet onion~ sliced

1/2 cup Walnuts~ chopped

1 clove of garlic~ minced

Salt and pepper

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375. In a medium skillet cook the bacon until it’s about halfway done. Add the chopped apples, walnuts and garlic. Cook and stir until the bacon is almost done to your taste. You don’t want it to get too crispy because it will dry out way too much in the oven. Add the onion slices and coat them in the mixture and bacon grease, but don’t cook the onions. Take the skillet off the heat and let it cool till the mixture is just warm enough that you can touch it with your hands. Separate the onions from the rest of the mixture.

Lightly season the pork chops with the salt and pepper. Fill the pork chops with the mixture don’t be afraid to use your hands and really get as much filling in each pork chop so that they get nice and round. If you made the hole too big you can use a toothpick to close it up so the filling doesn’t fall out. Put half the onion slices on the bottom of your baking dish. Place the filled pork chops on top of the onions, place the rest of the onions on top of the chops. Top it off with the remaining mixture.

Cook for 30-45 minutes. You want the temperature of the meat to be 165 degrees.

Look at all this yummy goodness:

Stuffed Pork Chop

I hope you enjoy this superb dish as much as we did!!

Twix Cheesecake

Twix Cheesecake

So I have tried making a Twix cheesecake twice already and they have both been individual cheesecakes in cupcake papers. Two years ago I did this for a bake sale at work and it went over like gangbusters!! They were delicious. So many people asked me for the recipe but I was just to lazy to put it together. So I tried again a month ago for a work BBQ for my other job. Those did not turn out so well. But they were still pretty tasty.

So now it’s time for the charity bake sale again. I decided against the individual cakes because……well….ain’t nobody got time for that!!! So I gave it a go in the 9 inch springform pan. I also got kinda crazy on the batter and was just making stuff up on the fly. It turned out pretty AMAZING!!

Crust- Pretty basic stuff

2 cups of Nilla Wafer crumbs

1/2 stick of softened butter

Preheat the oven to 350 and bake the crust for about 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack while preparing the crust.

Filling

16 oz softened cream cheese

1 cup sugar

16 oz sour cream

7 oz sweetened condensed milk

8 caramels

1 cup white chocolate chopped

1 tbsp vanilla

3 eggs

1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

Smuckers Caramel Topping

Drizzle some of the Smuckers over the crust while it’s cooling. In an electric mixer beat the cream cheese till smooth. (This is not the time to get lazy, otherwise your cheesecake will not be smooth and creamy.) Once the cream cheese is smooth add the sugar and mix completely. In a double broiler over medium heat warm up the sweetened condensed milk and caramels. Mix until the caramels are completely melted. Remove from heat and quickly stir in the white chocolate until melted. Pour it right into the mixer. (Even though you may be tempted to eat the whole bowl, don’t give in!!) Keep it moving while you add in the sour cream, vanilla, eggs. Stir in a 1/4 cup of the chocolate chips. Pour the filling on top of the crust. Sprinkle the rest of the chocolate chips on top and drizzle a little more caramel topping to top it off.

Bake for 30 minutes at 350. Then reduce the temperature to 200 and bake for another 20-30 minutes. You can generally tell it’s done when you give it a little wiggle and the filling doesn’t jiggle very much. Then leave it the oven to cool for about an hour and then move it to the fridge for about 4 hours.

 

Snickers Cheesecake

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This is the other amazing creation I came up with for another amazing friend that helped watch our furry babies while we were off gallivanting across the Four Corners. We all shared this one together after the perogie sausage casserole with a bottle of 50 Shades of Grey wine 😉

So here is one for Alanna and chocolate lovers everywhere!!!  

Crust:(I think I’m going to try something different next time)

2 cups crushed Nilla Wafers

4 tbsp butter

Filling:

8 oz Regular cream cheese

8 oz Milk Chocolate cream cheese

16 oz Sour Cream

1 cup sugar

3 eggs

1 tbsp vanilla extract

1 snickers bar chopped

Caramel Ice Cream Topping

4 oz peanuts chopped

1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350. Mix the Nilla wafers with the butter. Press into the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan. Add the chopped Snickers bar. Put in the oven for 15 minutes. Cool in the fridge while preparing the filling. 

In a mixer beat the cream cheese till blended and smooth. Add sour cream and keep mixing. Now it’s time to add the sugar. Mix completely. Beat in the eggs and vanilla.

Now we’re going to try something a little different. Pour half the filling in the springform pan. Sprinkle on half the peanuts. Then drizzle on as much of that yummy caramel as your little heart desires, but save some for round 2. Now put that in the oven for about 20 minutes. For round 2 pour in the rest of the filling, sprinkle on the rest of the peanuts, drizzle on some more caramel and sprinkle on the mini chocolate chips. Put it back in the oven for another 40-ish minutes. Remember that you are looking for the top to crack a little and not much movement when you jiggle the pan. Let it sit in the oven for an hour after baking. Then move to the fridge for about 4 hours. 

Get ready for some tasty eating!! It’s really good with a white wine 🙂

Sausage Perogie Casserole

Ah the mysterious perogie….. We do occasionally like to watch some shows on the Food Network. And we kept hearing about this thing called a perogie. No idea what it was and it just kept popping up in random shows and what not. So our curiosity was peaked. It was time to find out about this magical little treat.

Like 3 weeks ago we saw a box of frozen potato and 4 cheese pergoies at Walmart……..success!!! We bought them and we were all excited about it. Then we got home and put them in the freezer…..and that was it. There they remained, quite possibly till the end of time. I had no idea what they really were or what to actually do with them.

Yesterday we had one of our really good friends and her kids over for a little bit while their house was being shown in an open house. This good friend of mine is very generous with her time and help. She and her daughter were helping Levi with some much needed lawn work. So I thought it would be nice to have everyone over for dinner and just hangout. Here is my chance!!! Alanna told me how much they love perogies so I thought why not?!? I went onto Pintrest to get some inspiration and came up with:

Sausage Perogie Casserole

Sausage Perogie Casserole
Sausage Perogie Casserole
  • 1 16 oz package of frozen potato and 4 cheese perogies
  • 1 cup of chicken broth
  • 1 8 oz package of cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup onion- chopped
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp dried parsley
  • 1 package of Guy Fieri Mozzarella and Parmesean Sausages. (I really love Guy Fieri’s new line of chicken and smoked sausages) Sliced. I also sliced up a regular Hillshire Farm smoked sausage because I love really meaty dishes.
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400. Saute the onion in the olive oil until soft and starts to be translucent. Add the garlic cook another 2 minutes. Add all the sausage and cook till browned. Add chicken broth, cream cheese and parsley. Heat until you have a smooth creamy sauce.

In a 11×9 pan spray with cooking spray and arrange the perogies in the bottom on the pan. pour the sauce over the perogies. Cook in the oven for 15 minutes. Add cheese and continue cooking for 5 minutes.

We served it up with salad and a biscuit and a glass of white wine!! This is a really easy dish and is great for serving to guests or for a quick meal during a busy week.

White Chocolate Razzleberry Cheesecake

I made this tasty treat for the most colorful lady in our lives. Levi and I recently went on vacation and we had a couple friends looking after our furry babies. We decided to give our thanks with wine and cheesecake. 

This particular friend is new in my life so I am still trying to learn about her tastes. She had told me that her favorite wine is pink moscato. So Levi and I were in Durango, Co and we were in one of the many liquor stores stock piling our liquor cabinet. And believe it or not, we couldn’t for the life of us find a pink moscato. I’m pretty sure even our little tiny Utah liquor store has that. So after 15 minutes of combing through a huge wine selection I happen across a single bottle of Strawberry Mango Moscato. And it’s perfect!! Fun and fresh, just like my new friend. And now to come up with an equally perfect cheesecake.

For me nothing pairs with fruit like white chocolate! So I decided to use a little strawberry to match the wine and white chocolate chips for the added texture. Then to make it extra special I added some Razzleberry preserves!! I hope that my friend loves it and you will too ❤

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Crust:

2 cups crushed Nilla Wafers

1/4 cup softened butter

Filling:

8 oz  Regular Cream Cheese

8 oz Strawberry Cream Cheese

16 oz Sour Cream

1 cup sugar

3 eggs

1 TBSP Vanilla Extract

Red food coloring

1 bag of white chocolate chips. 

1/4 cup Razzleberry preserves

1 TBSP Sugar

Crust:

Preheat oven to 350. Soften the butter in the microwave for about 15 seconds. Mix the butter and cookie crumbs in a bowl. Press into the bottom of a 9 in springform pan. Bake for about 10-15 minutes. Cool in fridge while you prepare the filling.

Filling:

Beat both cream cheeses, sour cream and sugar till smooth. Add eggs and vanilla and a few drops of red food coloring. Mix well. Add in 3/4 of your white chocolate chips and mix in with a spoon. Pour the filling over the crust. Mix your Razzleberry preserves with a tablespoon or sugar. Pour in a ring in the filling, and then use a knife and drag it up and down and then side to side through the filling to spread the preserves inside the filling. Sprinkle the rest of the white chocolate chips on top.

Bake for 30-50 minutes based on your oven. Your cheesecake should crack on top and brown slightly around the edges. Also, if you give it a little shake it should barely jiggle. I also suggest baking on an oven sheet just in case your pan doesn’t completely seal.

Let the cheesecake sit in the oven for an hour after baking and then move it to the fridge to cool for about 4-5 hours.