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Spicy Shredded Pork

Last night I made the Pioneer Woman’s Spicy Shredded Pork. It was so good. We all loved it. My husband said it was one of the the best pork roast he has had. Which says a lot since we raise hogs and I have cooked a lot of pork roasts.

Her recipes says to cook in the oven for a long time. I tried it in the crock pot and it worked great. It was very moist and tender. I shredded it up and placed some of the juices over it. We then ate it on tortillas with home made refried beans and guacamole. All three of my kids thought it was really good. I will definitely be making this again.

If you have never looked around the Pioneer Woman’s site you should. She has a lot of good recipes and ideas and her photography is amazing.

My Daughter’s Crochet Work

I have been wanting to post about my daughter’s crochet projects for awhile. I thought today I would take the opportunity to show off some of her work for Show and Tell Friday.

My daughter loves to crochet and has been crocheting for two years. She loves it and has quite a talent for it. The amazing thing is she is only ten. I know I am her mother but I think she has a pretty special talent to be doing the crochet work she does at ten.

She has recently started her own “business”. She has the opportunity to place her work in an antique mall. We have started a blog for her so that family and friends can see some of her work. You can visit it her site Briannas Creative Crochet. We also made business cards/tags to attach to her work. Catherine helped us with the design of both the blog and the cards. I think she did a great job.

When we visited family in OR recently she had twenty four doilies ordered. She is already busy working on those.

These she has finished, starched, and ready to go.

These are finished but still need starched.

She is working on two more now. She also made me a table center last year for Mothers Day. I hope you enjoy seeing her work.

New Favorite Breakfast

Note: If you have read my blog for long you will recognize this post. I had planned on posting a new recipe for Slow Cooking Thursday but do not have time to post it. I decided instead to repost one of my favorite crockpot meals, grits for breakfast. I hope you enjoy. For more great crockpot recipes see Slow Cooking Thursday.

I am a northern girl. I am from the northwest. Being from OR, grits are not on my top ten list of favorite foods. Now that I live in a more southern state I have learned that grits are a staple to most people. My husband and girls love them and will eat them several times a week for breakfast. My husband though likes the real grits not the quick instant ones. He likes the stone ground yellow grits. He says that they stick with you better than the instant ones.

I have tried to make grits several ways. I usually make them on the stove top or in the microwave. I have also tried them in the crockpot. When I tried them in the crockpot though I ended up with a dry, burned mess, that was just about impossible to clean up. I know others say it works great. But I have not had it turn out well.

I have also tried cooking oatmeal in the crockpot. The idea of this is so appealing because you would have a nice warm breakfast waiting for you in the morning. Once again I ended up with dry, burned on mess. I came across a blog though that had a method for cooking oatmeal in the crockpot that I had never heard of before. She described how she basically gave them a water bath, similar to how you would cook a custard in the oven. This creates steam so the oatmeal would not dry out. I was very interested in this method.

Recently on the blog crockpot365 she made grits. She made them the way I had done it before. She said they were good. I don’t know what I have been doing wrong. Others have it turn out well, but not mine. This inspired me though to try grits in the crockpot again, but I was going to try it the way I had read about making the oatmeal. I would place some water in my crockpot and place the grits in a bowl that fit in my crockpot.

So, I used the crockpot365 recipe with the method from Ann. We loved the results. Even me, the person that really does not like grits, liked them. They were so good. They were creamy and smooth. We sprinkled a little cheese on them and they made a wonderful breakfast. My husband said he thought it was the best way to cook grits. He said the texture was perfect.

I will definitely be making this again. We all thought they would make a great addition to our breakfast choices . And I like them because you have a nice hot breakfast waiting for you in the morning.

Here is what I did.

A New Dog

This post has nothing to do with food or the kitchen, sorry.

We got a new dog over the weekend. He is the sweetest little puppy. My kids named him Roy.

We already had two dogs. Meet Dale and Boomer. Dale is the black and tan one. Boomer is the large black lab mixed with something dog.

Boomer and Dale are great dogs. Our kids love them and they are great with the kids. Boomer was a stray dog that our friends found. No one knew where he came from and our friends could not keep him, so we took him. He is a big dog, at least 80 pounds. He has a fierce deep bark when he chooses to bark. The trouble is he rarely chooses to bark and he he will be your friend for life if you pet him. So, we wanted another dog to help Boomer with his barking problem. We thought if he had another dog that barked he would also bark.

We got Dale last summer from a local animal shelter. We were told she was a shepherd mix. We thought that would be a great choice. I grew up around German Shepherds and thought a shepherd mix would be a great dog. Well, Dale is a great dog, but she does not like to bark either and she will also be your friend for life if you pet her.

So, here we are living way out in the country with two dogs who don’t bark at anything. If there is any chance you will pet them, they wag their tale and wait patiently for you to be their friend. We decided we needed to try to get another dog. Hopefully, one that barked at least a little.

We started looking around and we found a German Shepherd that we liked. We got him over the weekend. So far he seems at least a little more “fierce”. Both Boomer and Dale run, I mean run for their lives, if they see running water. If you get a hose that has running water coming out anywhere near either of them they take off. Roy on the other hand seems to love water. He loves playing with the water coming out of the faucet. Maybe the fact that he does not run and hide from water is a good sign. We hope so.

Any guesses why my kids wanted to name the new dog Roy?

We do not let our kids watch much TV. Basically no TV. We do let them watch a few old movies and TV shows that we have on DVD. One of their favorites to watch are the old Roy Rogers and Dale Evans movies. Last year when we got a new dog they decided to name her Dale. So, it only made sense to them that our new dog being a male should be name Roy. So now I feel kind of silly calling Roy and Dale to come across my yard.

I will try stick with food in my next post.

Freezer French Toast

I will start by saying this recipe is NOT healthy and I do not fix it often. It is a treat for my family.

It makes a good holiday meal since it can be made ahead of time. I recently made it when we had company. It works great for a breakfast for company because it can be made a head of time and frozen.

I have been making this recipe for several years. I found it online somewhere, but don’t remember exactly where. It is one of the few freezer breakfast meals that I make.

This recipe makes a 9×13 pan. I like to get bread from the bread outlet and make several pans at once to freeze.


Gazpacho

I finally have a healthy recipe to post. We have a lot of tomatoes and cucumbers from our garden so I am trying to find ways of using them all up. Last week I made gazpacho. I have had gazpacho before but have never made it myself. I guess I always thought it was hard. Well, I was wrong, it is very easy. My whole family enjoyed this. It was really good and even better a day or two later. The flavors really were blended better the second and third day. This made a great summer time meal.

The recipe I tried was from Simply Recipes. I will definitely be making this again. I made it in my food processor and I think I blended it a little too smooth. Next time I will leave it chunkier. It also makes quite a bit. It was enough for a dinner and a lunch for our family.

Shop Local Farms

My frugal tip for today is to try to buy local in season produce. I try to buy as much local fruit and vegetables as I can. I do not have a CSA near me, so that is not an option. I do however have several farms and orchard near where I live. There are several blueberry and blackberry farms that offer both u-pick and items they have picked.

This week I bought peaches from a local orchard. They taste wonderful. They are so fresh. They are much better then I can get in the supermarket and cheaper. I did have to buy in bulk to get a better price, but we will easily use them up in the next week or so. I will also freeze a few of these to use in smoothies over the next few months. I go to this same orchard in the fall to buy apples. Again I buy in bulk but apples usually last a while, especially if kept cool. We have a garden this year but in the past when I did not do a garden I u-picked tomatoes and other things.

So look around, call a few places and check some prices. You might be surprised at how much you can save buying local in season produce.

Fudge Cake Brownies

I found this recipe in a Southern Living Magazine quite a few years ago. It is one of my favorite brownies to make. I have doubled it and used a 9×13 pan, just cook them a few minutes longer.

My favorite way to fix these is to leave off the powdered sugar and place a few flavored chocolate chips on them. About 5 minutes before they are done I sprinkle either mint chocolate chips or raspberry chocolate chips on top of them. I let them cook the last three to five minutes.

I take the brownies out and carefully spread the melted chips across the top of the brownies. Cool and then refrigerate for a couple of hours. Cut and enjoy! This is how I fixed them in the picture above. They are also very good just baked and sprinkled lightly with powdered sugar.

Easy Lemon Pie

I made this pie to take to a church dinner on Sunday. It is not the healthiest pie recipe but it is really easy and good. My mom gave me this recipe a few years ago. I think she found it in a magazine a long time ago and she has made it many times since then. It makes a great summertime dessert.

For more kitchen ideas see Tammy’s Recipes.

Buying In Bulk

I like to buy items in bulk. It is not cheaper on all things but on some things it is quite a savings. For example we like homemade pizza. Pepperoni is my husband favorite type of pizza. Pepperoni is expensive and not an item I see on sale very often. Yes, we could do without pepperoni, but I like to try to fit items my husband likes into the budget. I have found that I can do this by buying some things in bulk. Pepperoni is one of them.

I buy it in a 5 lb package at Sam’s Club. Yes, I know that is a lot of pepperoni. For us about a years worth. But it only cost me $11.57. I wrap it up in individual packages and freeze it. I get about 18 packages which is about 18 meals. I usually use 1 package for two homemade pizzas which for us is a dinner and lunch for my husband the next day. This makes pepperoni much more affordable. It is much more than this per package at the grocery stores.

For more frugal ideas see Biblicalwomanhood.com

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