Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Pineapple Pulled Pork Pizza


Did you try my Texas Pulled Pork? If so, you can turn this-



Flavorful and tender BBQ pork, made over into pizza!


All you need is some handy-dandy homemade crust, a smattering of toppings, plenty o' cheese and you have yourself an economical and tasty dinner!

I know I wax poetic about home economics quite often. It is a topic near and dear to my heart, as I suspect it is for a lot of people. We may have a tiny household of 2 people, but we also live on one income. It's not like the hubby and I are eager to throw away money. I think discussing ways to save money is interesting to just about everyone, I mean, who doesn't want to keep more of their hard-earned money in their own pockets? I've already told everyone how many meals I get out of pulled pork, and this pizza is just one example. It's super-easy to turn leftover pulled pork into just about anything. Which brings me to another point- small households. If you run a small household, you might feel adverse to cooking such a large amount of meat. A 4 lb roast sounds quite large, doesn't it? The fact of that matter is that you don't find many roasts that are smaller than that. I mean, I usually find the smallest pork shoulders to be around 8 lbs. Don't be afraid of this, small household. Cut that roast in half, and freeze part of it. And make the 4 lb roast! Just have a game-plan for the leftovers. And honestly, wouldn't it be nice to spend one day cooking the protein, and then have it ready to work with for several dinners throughout the week? 

Well, I'm not afraid to tell you- It's wonderful!

Here are few other ideas for leftover pulled pork:












Can I tell you how much I heart food bloggers? I think we are some of the nicest and most creative folks on the planet. Not too mention people's photography skills. Wow! Definitely something I strive for every day.

Ok, I think I've demonstrated more than a few methods for leftover pulled pork. If you have a small household, please, don't be afraid. Be very, very excited! 

Have a great day everyone!


Ingredients (makes 1 pizza):

cornmeal
1/2 cup BBQ sauce (I used Sweet Baby Ray's)
1 cup fresh pineapple, diced
1 cup red onion, thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, torn

Directions:

1. Prepare dough according to directions.
2. Preheat oven to 550º for 1 hour, placing a baking stone on very top rack. Remove dough from fridge, allow to come to room temperature.
3. After 1 hour, turn oven off. Turn broiler on. Sprinkle flour on a large working surface. Roll dough into a large circle. 
4. Remove baking stone from oven and place on baking stone rack. Be careful, the stone is hot! Sprinkle cornmeal over baking stone. Move pizza dough circle onto baking stone. Brush BBQ sauce onto dough. Distribute pulled pork, pineapple, and red onion evenly over dough. Evenly sprinkle mozzarella over dough. Broil in preheated oven for 5-7 minutes, or until cheese is melted and pizza has begun to form blistered pockets all over. Remove from oven (carefully!), sprinkle with fresh cilantro, and slice. Serve immediately!


If you liked this recipe, you may enjoy these-







Monday, November 17, 2014

The Best Raspberry Vinaigrette

plus a salad recipe!


I love a good raspberry vinaigrette. Until recently however, I've been buying it at the store. Eek. Commercial salad dressings top a lot of foodie lists of the worst processed food items you can buy. Full of preservatives, artificial flavors and colors, and dun dun dun, waaaaay too much sugar. Preservatives I can see, but artificial flavors and colors? Look at that gorgeous raspberry color! Why would you need to artificially color that? And I'm pretty sure some commercial raspberry vinaigrettes don't even contain much of real raspberries. Well, I can tell you with ease, there are more than a few real raspberries in this dressing. 


This has to be one of the best raspberry vinaigrette recipes I've tried. And I've tried quite a few recipes. Recipes that had way too much vinegar and very little raspberry. Recipes that had way too much sugar and very little vinegar. Recipes that were bitter. Recipes that were way too sweet. Recipes that were too thin. It wasn't until I came up with this recipe that I was finally satisfied. This isn't your typical vinaigrette. It's thick, creamy, and for lack of a better word, luscious. The texture kind of reminds me of honey mustard. And it works.  It's a very versatile dressing, good for lettuce, spinach, veggies, fruit, meat, nuts, etc. 


One of my favorite salads to put raspberry vinaigrette on is a spinach salad. I've been making this salad (with commercial raspberry vinaigrette) for years. Years upon years. One of my friends brought a version of this salad to "Family Dinner" when the hubby and I were still living in our first apartment in Portland. "Family Dinner" was basically the hubby and I, plus a couple of his co-workers and their significant others getting together to share dinner and episodes of "Nip/Tuck". You know, in "Nip/Tuck"s heyday. We called it "Family Dinner" because one of the couple's family lived in Minnesota and the rest of us, well, our families lived not quite close. Each week, one couple would prepare dinner for the group. The next week, a different couple would prepare the meal. Ah, the early 20's. When friends were your family. Good times. I was introduced to quite a few "new-to-me" foods during that time. One being this salad. Spinach, red apples and red grapes, gorgonzola cheese, and raspberry vinaigrette. Yummy!


After being introduced to this salad, I began to reserve it for special occasions and I usually served it with steak. I remember 2 or 3 Valentine's Day menus that included a New York strip and this lovely salad. These days, I make it more often that once a year. And it goes perfectly with quite a few proteins- chicken breasts, fish fillets such as cod, halibut, tilapia, even salmon, pork tenderloin. You get the idea. This salad makes a great side dish. And don't limit your use of this dressing to this salad. The dressing goes quite well with lots of toppings, as I mentioned before. 

So, it's November 17 and here in NE Kentucky, we run the risk of getting some snow today. I'm not too worried, the temperature has been quite warm around here. It was 43º yesterday and it only got down to 35º last night. We are sitting firmly at 37º right now, so I'm thinking we might miss this first winter storm. I can only hope. I'm not ready for snow because once it starts, we'll probably be dealing with snow here until March. Maybe April, like last year. Ick. Can you tell I'm not a winter person? He he. 

All right, I'm out. The hubby says I need to be home by noon today, because that's when the snow is supposed to start. We went back and forth on this, me saying it should be too warm, him saying the snow could fall hard and fast and then it wouldn't matter if the temperature is too high. I'm not a snow driver though, so I fully plan on being home by noon. So-- off to run my errands :)

Happy Monday! Have a fantastic week everyone!


Ingredients (yields 2 cups):

3/4 cup frozen raspberries, thawed
1 cup canola oil (I used canola as to avoid the olive oil flavor)
1/4 cup + 1 tbsp white vinegar
1 1/2 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp poppy seeds
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp onion powder

Directions:

1. Combine all ingredients in food processor. Pulse until smooth, about one minute. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 weeks. 

Recipe adapted from Food.com.
If you liked this recipe, you may enjoy these!








Friday, November 14, 2014

25 Meatless Meal Ideas


Yay! It's Friday!

My 25 Easy Mexican-Inspired Recipes post went over so well, I thought I'd do another 25-recipe roundup. The Mexican-Inspired post was one of my most viewed posts of last month, so I think, I think, you guys like them. It's unusual that my most viewed post of the month is posted on the last day of said month. Plus, I have another reason I'm doing a roundup. Occasionally I get into a mood where none of photographs look good to me. I've got 3 posts in the pipeline and I couldn't bring myself to post any of them because none of them were "good enough". These moods come and go, so I'm guessing I'll end posting all of these recipes at some point. I suspect all photographers are like that at some point.

Meatless meals. While the hubby and I are by no means vegetarians (as evidenced by the 2 large New York strips we devoured early in the week!), we do try to eat a balance between lean meats and meatless meals. We mostly eat chicken, which we have 3-4 times a week while the rest of the week we eat meatless. Once or twice a month, we eat steak or ground hamburger. Some weeks, we have a couple of turkey meals. Some weeks, we have a couple of seafood meals. We rarely eat pork anymore. The most pork we eat is bacon a couple of times a month. I know a lot of people don't consider a meal a real meal unless it has meat. However, in the last 2-3 years that the hubby and I have been experimenting with meatless meals, we've found meatless doesn't have to be light or un-filling. Meatless meals can be just as satisfying, sometimes more so. I've found you can eat a lot more when you are eating more vegetables than meat. I've also found my weight is easier to maintain with the hubby and I's current grubbing. Plus, the best part- meatless meals tend to be cheaper. Meat is expensive, and only seems to be getting more so these days. I'd highly recommend trying a meatless meal once or twice a week, just to try it out and see if it's something that would work for you. 

Well, the weekend is here and the hubby has to work all weekend. Boo. I've got a busy day on tap that includes a trip to the big box store, the dreaded Walmart, prepping the hubby's lunches for a stint of day shifts, a photography session, and making a large batch of soup. Whew. It's going to be a busy day. Tomorrow, I'm starting up workouts again (feeling lots better!) and cleaning house, and Sunday shall be reserved for football and reading. So that's my weekend, hopefully yours is going to be a tad more exciting than mine :)

Have a great weekend bloggy friends!





















































Linked to: Weekend Potluck, Foodie Friday, Treasure Box Tuesday

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