Monthly Archives: November 2011

Pulled Pork Sandwich (a la root beer)

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Are you more interested in the salad in the background or the mac and cheese in the lower corner? That's mean...but stay tuned

Happy Thanksgiving!

For many of you, it will begin the same way:

All you hear is the creaking of your hammock and the sound of the waves connecting with sand. All you can feel is the soft touch of your sarong as it dances in the light breeze. The sinking sun is casting an orange glow on your closed eyelids brings. You can sense the presence of your private hut nearby.

It is paradise. It is your paradise.

Then a soft sound can be heard. The sound grows louder. Harder to ignore now. You are shifted from your beach to your bed. It’s 4am. You are tired. You smack your alarm and shuffle your feet to find your furry slippers. You’d give anything for another hour of sleep.

But you have to get up and stick your hand up the ass of a bird.

Don’t worry. Your family will appreciate it. They love you. We love you, too.

Despite your hard work, let’s face it: by Saturday your family will have had enough with turkey sandwiches, stuffing and squash and YOU want something easy and different.

You’ll need:
3lbs pork butt
1.5 bottles of IBC root beer
Potato rolls
1 bottle of Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ Sauce

Go ahead. Say it. Get it out of your system. Yes, this recipe calls for pork butt but it has absolutely nothing to do with the ass of a pig.  You’re sick.

#childhood

And yes, there is root beer in this recipe so don’t knock it until you try it. We had our lovely friends Brian and Charlie over for dinner the night we made this and they left here in the car they came in and not an ambulance.

This really is a simple recipe because it involves our good friend the crock-pot that we spoke about previously on this blog. It does most of the work while you watch Ellen.

Your first step is to heat the cooker on low and drop in your pork ass butt. Add enough root beer to barely submerge the meat. Set it to cook for 7-8 hours or until the pork effortlessly pulls apart.

Questionable beginnings

Drain the root beer from the meat and return to the cooker. Add the BBQ sauce and heat for a few more minutes. Serve immediately on delicious potato rolls. We served the sandwiches with jalapeño and scallion cornbread, a fresh salad with homemade citrus vinaigrette and homemade macaroni and cheese.

The result was a tender, sweet and lovely sandwich that you can cook to perfection while getting caught up on your trashy celeb magazines.

From us to you – Happy Thanksgiving!

xoxo

Salted Caramel Ice Cream

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Swoon!

Did you ever notice that there are so many rules in life?

No white after Labor Day
No pleated pants
No scrunchies
No parking
No braking
No soliciting
No feeding the birds
No loitering
No substitutions
No refunds
No exchanges
No complaining
No whining
No moving about the cabin
No magic outside of Hogwarts

Just don’t get caught wearing pleated white khakis in November while doing magic outside of Hogwarts. That just crosses the line and is unforgivable.

Thank God there is no rule about eating ice cream after summertime. And a special thanks to God that you can make ice cream yourself out of just about anything you want. Peppermint for the winter, butter pecan for the spring, lavender vanilla for the summer, and caramel for the fall!

It would seem that salted caramel is all over the place recently so it would only make sense that we jump on that bandwagon and make an ice cream version.  Once again we rely on St. Ina Garten to provide us with the most excellent caramel sauce.

You’ll need:

For the salted caramel sauce
1 ½ cups of sugar
1/3 cup of water
1 ¼ cup of light whipping cream
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¼ tablespoon of sea salt

For the cream base:
1 cup of whole milk
4 large egg yolks
¾ cups sugar
2 cups of light whipping cream

First lets make some sweet auburn goodness, shall we?

In a saucepan, add the sugar and water on low-level heat until the sugar is completely dissolved.

Sorry folks, but we have a rule for you: No stirring. Let the natural process take its course (about 10 minutes) then bring the mixture to a gentle boil until the sugar turns a warm auburn color.

Molten hot sugar!

Remove the sugar from the heat and add the cream and the vanilla. Be careful during this process since the splatter could disfigure you. No pressure (Damn! Another rule).

Caramel beer? Now that is an idea!

Return the caramel to the stovetop and heat on low, stirring constantly, until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Transfer into a glass bowl. Add salt and set aside at room temperature for about 4 hours.

Bowl of beauty!

In the meantime, do your laundry. Wash your floors. Run to the farmers market and buy a mum. Rake your leaves. Read a book. Loiter. Solicit. Feed the birds. Return to your kitchen and start the cream base.

Heat the milk in a saucepan medium heat. Meanwhile in a large glass bowl, add water and ice until about half full.  Take a smaller glass bowl and set in the ice water. Pull out your strainer and place it on top of the smaller bowl. It will slosh around, you will get wet. FYI.

Confused? Sorry. It helps if you have a set of glass bowls of various sizes that stack together.

In a new bowl, whisk together egg yolks and sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Add your warmed milk to the bowl and whisk until your wrist bleeds. Return the entire mixture to the saucepan where you heated your milk and cook for 5 minutes until custard thickens.

Be careful here because your eggs can turn to scrambled eggs in no time. What could be more disgusting than scrambled eggs chunks in your caramel ice cream?

Strain your custard into the bowl floating in the ice water. Add the heavy cream and stir lightly. Add your caramel sauce and let sit in the fridge for a few hours until chilled.

Pour into your ice cream maker...or into a glass with a straw. Whichever.

Whip out your ice cream maker. Add the mixture. Make ice cream. Eat it proudly. Share with friends. Share with us.

Twisted!

Oh, one more rule: No regrets.

xoxo

Feta and Olive Hummus

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Deconstructed hummus...you'll find out why

When an idea comes to us it could signal something good, or it might foreshadow an oncoming disaster.  Take for example our decision to refinish Mark’s childhood furniture to use in our den. See? Good decision. Now consider our decision to eat funfetti frosting out of the can with a spoon. Some may argue not our best decision.

But today we decided to puree some of our favorite things into a hummus. How often can you combine some of your favorite things into one really wonderful creation that is just as good as its parts? Not often, and we will prove it to you:

  1. Peanut butter cups melted on everything bagels…no thanks
  2. Chicken parm drizzled with a Starbucks macchiato…we’ll pass
  3. Pumpkin chocolate chip pancakes with crumbly bleu cheese…we’re appalled
  4. Godiva chocolate brownies baked with Cape Cod chips…a vile thought
  5. Macaroni and cheese drizzled with homemade vanilla extract…could it get any worse?
  6. Yes it could: cream of broccoli soup milkshake

You get the point, right? Now if you are seriously pondering #4 or if you can’t 100% agree with #6 then we should probably go our separate ways.

So let your last thought of us be about this amazing Greek-Middle Eastern fusion that takes seconds to make and even less time to eat the entire bowl.

You’ll need:
1 can of drained garbanzo beans (about 15 oz)
½ cup of pitted kalamata olives (make it a heaping ½ cup)
3 tablespoons of crumbled feta cheese
1/3 cup tahini
2 tablespoons of olive oil
3 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice
½ teaspoon of red pepper flakes
¼ teaspoon of cumin
Pinch (or two) of salt

What is so insanely simple and foolproof about this idea is that you can throw everything together in the food processor and pulse until at your desired consistency. You may need to add a little water to the mixture to loosen it up if you so desire, but it is entirely up to you.

A little warning: tahini is an interesting substance. It is sesame paste but is the consistency of watery peanut butter. We can’t quite decide how we feel about tahini. It is a paste? Is it an oil?  One thing for sure, it’s a little weird.

Now what is totally embarrassing is that when we finished making this we threw it right into a container and fled to a family dinner where it was devoured before we could take a final picture.

So sorry! But use your imagination…it was sweetly arranged in a metal bowl with slices of pita bread.

Yum!

xoxo