Thursday, May 28, 2009

Foodie Friday - Pulled Pork Barbecue

It's time for Foodie Friday hosted by Designs By Gollum - I love to see what everybody's cooking up. I've been doing recipe reviews the past couple of weeks - but every so often I have something too good not to share. I don't know about you, but I had never tried to make barbecue until this week. Somehow it always seemed to be a mysterious process of cooking -- with wood chips and special pits - hours of smoking the meat and heavily guarded secret recipies. I just figured it would be too difficult and time consuming to attempt. Maybe you thought so too -- but I can assure you -- I'll never think that again, and hopefully neither will you.

First I'm going to give you a recipe I found in Southern lady Gracious Tables by Phyllis Hoffman (she's the publisher of "Cooking with Paula Deen" and "Southern Lady" magazines - two that I adore! Then I'll give you my modified version.

1 (2-lb.) boneless pork loin, trimmed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic
2 cups chicken broth
Bottled hickory smoked barbecue sauce
Dill pickle chips
4 to 6 hamburger buns

1. Cut pork loin in half length-wise; season with salt and pepper. In a Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add pork loin, browning all sides. Remove pork loin and in the same pan, cook garlic for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Return pork loin to pan; reduce heat to medium low and add chicken broth. Cover and simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until tender, turning meat every 30 minutes. Remove from heat and cool 10 minutes. With two forks, shred meat into bite size pieces.
2. To assemble sandwiches, layer pork, barbecue sauce and pickles on buns, which can be steamed or buttered and toasted first if desired.

Now here's my modified version.

The first thing I did was to break out the crockpot. Not only are they great in the winter and cold weather -- they're great in the summer too, for not heating up the kitchen (and the cook!). Of course, I lined my crockpot with a liner for easy clean up. Then I used a pork tenderloin of about 1 1/2 lbs. I seasoned the tenderloin with salt and pepper and put it in the crockpot with 1 1/2 cups of chicken broth and 1/2 teaspoon of minced garlic. Let that cook on low for about 7 hours.

This is the tenderloin right out of the crockpot.

With two forks I shredded the tenderloin.

We like eastern North Carolina style barbecue sauce the best and this is the best I've found. Uncle Yammy's. My husband uses this brand of rib rub for his ribs too.

I've poured on some sauce and chopped the meat somewhat finer. Between pulled and minced.

And here's the finished sandwich with fresh corn on the cob and slaw. Easy and not at all mysterious! I think we'll be having barbecue quite a bit this summer! Now I'm off to see what everybody else is cooking up this week. Be sure to check out Designs By Gollum and find something yummy to put on your table!

See Ya!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Tablescape Thursday - Cowboy Birthday

Once again it's time for Tablescape Thursday and here at the bunk house we're planning a Cowboy Birthday dinner! Our son-in-law Brett, will be celebrating his birthday at our house with a cowboy theme since he loves horses and all things western.

Here's the table set for celebrating our favorite cowboy.

A "rooftop" view of our table.

A close up look at a place setting. Bandanas make great napkins.

This salad bowl is hard to describe. It's sort of a metalic pewter color with a bit of a bronze colored cast to it. No name on the back. I got these this past fall at Tuesday Morning. We used these at my husband's birthday dinner as well so I guess they're official "Birthday bowls".

These are my red plates from Marshall's - right after Christmas they were reduced to $3. It's funny how you find everything red on sale right after Christmas, like you wouldn't use it any other season.

Here's a close up of the centerpiece. The flowers are "faux" for this practice scape. We won't be having the real dinner until the week after his birthday - then I'll get real ones. I think of sunflowers and black-eyed susans as being good flowers for an old coffee pot. Hope I'll be able to find some real ones.

A closer look shows some rusty old horseshoes and a rusty star. I remembered to keep the horseshoes turned up so the good luck doesn't pour out!

My first layered tablecloth is a red and white checked one from Walmart.

I have looked and looked for several years for a vintage cowboy themed tablecloth. They're hard to come by and if you do find one they are terribly expensive. I guess lot's of tablecloths haven't survived cowboy chow! Those messy old cowboys must have wiped their hands and mouths on the tablecloths! Anyway, this year I just gave up and found one that's new, but "vintage style". Hope it survives cowboy chow!

Here's another view of the tablecloth showing the old chuck wagon all ready to cook up some vittles!

Here's my "get along little doggie" Spunky, helping out.

One more view of the table. Brett will be taking his favorite cowgirl Katy and their two little fillies to the river for a much deserved week's vacation. He'll be trading horse rides for jet ski rides! Yeeeee Hawwwww! Ride 'em cowboy! But when they get back - the birthday bash is on with his birthday request of a lasagna dinner with all the fixins.

And as the sun sets slowly in the west....the stars (tealights) come out as we have coffee and birthday cake around the "campfire". Happy Birthday Brett!

Be sure to check out the other fun tablescapes this week hosted by the bestest of all tablescapers, Susan of "Between Naps On The Porch".

See ya!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Weekend Treasures Of A Different Sort

Usually when I post on my treasures of the weekend I'm talking about thrifting at the Goodwill or shopping at the local antique shops -- but this weekends treasures are about something priceless. Time with my daughter Katy and her twins, Kendall and Keelyn. Right after Church, we packed up the van and headed to Colonial Williamsburg where my son-in-law Brett works with the horses for the carriage rides and his dad, Gerry, works as a colonial costumed actor.

First order of business when we got there was lunch for the girls. You can see their sweet smiles -- sweet potato smiles that is! And I wonder who gave them those bibs that says "I Love My Nana"?

After lunch Keelyn looks ready to roll, Kendall says that she'll just sit back, relax and enjoy the ride.

Kendall says, "This guy sure sounds like Gramps but what's up with the powdered wig and hat?"

Keelyn just hanging out with Nana and playing in the grass.

After a full afternoon it's time to pack up and head back home. The girls say "Bye-bye ya'll."

Nana says "See ya!"

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Foodie Friday - Recipe Repeat and a Share

It's Friday! Time for an invite over to Gollum's to see what every body's cooking up! Last week was Food disasters - so I decided not to try and duplicate any of those - I can manage those all on my own! Although they were quite humorous!

One of the recipes that caught my eye a couple of week's ago that I thought I would bring back for "Recipe Repeat" was Marty's Korean Fried Rice. Marty says this is a family favorite and I can see why! This is sure to become a family classic if your family, like mine, loves chinese food. Be sure to visit Marty at her blog "A Stroll Thru Life"

Marty's Korean Fried Rice

1 large onion
6 slices bacon
3 eggs
5 cups cooked white rice
soy sauce

Dice onion and saute in a little oil until clear. Cut or tear bacon. Remove onion and cook bacon until crispy. Remove bacon and beat eggs and scramble in the same pan. Add onion and bacon back into pan. Salt & Pepper and mix. Add cooked rice and stir until mixed. Add soy sauce to taste. Serve as a side dish.

Marty says that her family prefers this as a side dish, but I added peas and carrots and three small (already cooked) chicken tenders and made it the main dish. We loved it. You could add lots of those leftovers that were too much to throw away, but too little to make another meal. In fact, I had put aside some of this to have again the next day for lunch - but it was a midnight snack for my husband! It certainly got our stamp of approval. This is a great recipe for those times you're looking for something quick and simple. Thanks Marty for sharing this!

Now this recipe is not a "Foodie Friday" repeat -- but it is from another blogger friend that many of us know and love ... Dot from "Picket's Place". This is her blackberry cobbler recipe and another standard to add to the recipe box.

Dot's Blackberry Cobbler

1 stick butter
1 Cup sugar
1 Cup self rising flour
1 Cup milk
1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
1 can blackberry pie filling (this could be any fruit pie filling you would like)

Preheat oven to 350. Spray Pam on baking dish. Melt butter in dish. Drop fruit in big spoonfuls. Mix sugar and flour in mixing bowl. Add milk and whisk. Add vanilla and mix. Pour over blackberry (or fruit) mix. DO NOT STIR. Bake 45 minutes.

Cobbler usually does not make a "fancy" presentation like a pie or cake would. But when somebody bakes a cobbler for me it sort of says, "I just love you like family!" It's the sort of dessert for coming in the back door, sitting at the kitchen table, having a cup of coffee and catching up on all the family news. Just like visiting Dot at "Picket's Place". This is good old comfort food, speaking of which, Dot's feeling pretty low this week, because her 16 year old furbaby Maggie crossed Rainbow Bridge on Saturday. So if you get a chance, stop by and give her a cheerful hello!

I took this cobbler to work and it was all gone within half an hour! It got all thumbs up!

Come on over and I'll bake you a cobbler - 'cuz you know I just love you like family!
Be sure to check out Foodie Friday at Designs by Gollum to see what everybody's cooking up this week.

See ya!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Tablescape Thursday - Strawberries On My Table

It's Tablescape Thursday and you know what that means....all across blogland ladies are setting their tables and playing with their dishes!

Here's my kitchen table this week - full of strawberries. Vintage strawberry dishes on a vintage strawberry tablecloth.
Now, I do like to let others have the opportunity to learn from MY mistakes. As you'll notice the flowers look rather orange in the picture - actually, in real life they are more peachy pink with a yellow center. When I bought them this weekend they were tight buds and looked like they would be pink and redish. So the lesson here is no matter what buds look like, when they open up you can still end up being surprised. I guess, you just can't go wrong with white flowers (sort of like white dishes). I was hoping that the yellow would pick up the color of the handles of the flatwear - but not really. Anyway, regardless of color, I am enjoying my bunch of peachy Alstroemerias.

Here's a close up of a place setting with my "Strawberry Fair" dishes that came from my mother in law. I do have quite a few of these dishes with 2 platters, a vegetable bowl, berry bowls, luncheon plates and a few soup/cereal bowls. These were the dishes she had at their river cottage. Luckily for me the other women in the family are not into "vintage" like I am. So they all came to me!

You can see the strawberries (and a few cherries too) inside the teacups. Oops! I didn't put the teaspoon on the saucer like Miss Janice taught us.

Take away the teacups and this is the dinner plate. I love the scalloped edges of these plates and all the detail of the transferware.

And here's the backside of the dinner plate. Even more strawberries back here!

My charger is my white JCPenny ironstone. Because these plates are so flat - they actually make better charger plates than dinner plates.

Here's a close look at the strawberry pattern of the tablecloth. The background colors are a very soft blue and green (I don't think the green really shows well in the photos). I love the soft material of these vintage tablecloths. They just don't make them like this anymore and this one is in excellent condition. You can also get a pretty good look at my new Cambridge bamboowear.

Here's a close up of the design in the middle of the tablecloth -- I think that you can just barely see a bit of the soft green here.

Here's my poor topless empty sugar bowl. It sort of looks like Bill and Beulah (my Target birdie S&P's)are looking for the top or at least the sugar! Oh, I almost forgot -- I also have a gravy boat and underplate in the Strawberry Fair pattern.

On the other side of the flowers we have my white butter dish and a small jam pot of strawberry preserves.

Ok - Ok -- If you really look closer you can see that those are red raspberries - but I've never seen a raspberry that red before - have you? Looks more like a strawberry color to me!

Another view of the full setting of the table.

A close look at my grandmothers antique white pitcher filled with my surprising bouquet.

A final birds eye view of vintage strawberries on my table. I hope you enjoyed your visit. For more tablescaping fun, be sure to check out Tablescape Thursday hosted by Susan of Between Naps On The Porch -- you can get there from my sidebar. You'll find a table set just for you!

See ya!

This Weeks Treasures

This was a good week with treasure hunting. Some was done on eBay and some was Saturday shopping around "the village". I seem to always be on the look out for something or another for an upcoming event or two, but also keep an eye open for an unexpected treasure as well! I did find quite a few, some actually came home with me and most remained for someone else's treasure hunt.

I found this white soup tureen on eBay. Loved the grape and vine design. I needed to replace an old tureen that I recently broke but never really cared for the the design so I was really happy to find this one. And no, I didn't break the other one on purpose.

Here's a close up of the design.

I also found these on eBay. My daughter-in-law and son are expecting their 2nd daughter on June 19th. This is grandgirl #4 for us! I'll be sending a little "goodie package" that will include these along with a book for Stella ("I'm A Big Sister) and a picture frame that says "Sisters" on it (actually, I've still got to find the frame). Stella will also be getting a birthday package soon since she'll turn 3 on June 6rd. But as soon as I get the baby package together, I'll be sending that first, since little baby Molly has been trying her best to get here early. We'll be going down for a long weekend right after she arrives and depending on when that is, we may be taking rather than mailing Stella's birthday gifts.

This is the business card from the lady who did the embroidery. She was so nice and actually got these into the mail on the very same day I ordered them, even though she customizes the color of hair, eye color, style and color of the lettering. Not only was she fast, when I mentioned that this had been a difficult pregnancy and little Molly had been trying her best to get here too early she said,'I'll say a little prayer for your little one." Now, I don't know about you, but this is certainly the kind of person that I want to do business with. She had many other customized items and I do highly recommend her.

A trip to Marshall's uncovered this set of "silverwear". I've seen these in several of your tablescapes, so not only does it offer me a new option with some of my tablescaping, it's also a good memory for me as my Grandmother had a set of this flatwear as well - only her's was the "real deal". Actual bamboo. I wonder if they even make those anymore. I also wonder where her's went?

This was a set of those really thick cork backed placemats for only $3.00. I thought that was a steal.

Lastly, when my husband and I were at a local antique/thrift store, he found this -- I'm sure he was thinking of me (don't you think so?). Anyway as we were walking through he kept pointing out dishes and items for future tablescaping. I was quite impressed - I think the man is getting the hang of it!

I hope that your week is filled with little treasures!
See ya!