Thursday, August 27, 2009

Crockpot Pork for Salads/Tacos + Sonia's Rice

We made big pots of this sweet pork up at girls camp and it was a hit! Some people call this the "Cafe Rio" recipe, but I don't because NOTHING beats Cafe Rio. If you want that, get in your car and drive there and order a salad. So worth it! But to feed your family on a busy work night, this recipe is GREAT because the pork simmers all day in the crockpot. I use this pork to make salads and also for pork tacos, which my kids love.

1 large pork roast or pork loin (I look for good quality, well marbled, etc.)
1 can coca cola
1/2 cup sugar
1 small can chipotle chili's in ADOBO sauce (only use the sauce)
1 tsp. dry ground mustard (heaping)
1 tsp. cumin (heaping)
1 tsp. minced garlic

Remove the chili's from the can of adobo sauce. Pour adobo sauce into a blender along with the
coca-cola, garlic and spices. (rinse can of adobo sauce with coca-cola to get all the sauce out). Blend until well mixed. Place the pork roast in the crock pot and pour the sauce over it. Cook on low for 7-9 hours or until it pulls apart with a fork.

**The chipotle chili's are VERY hot. That is why you remove them and add only the adobo sauce in this recipe. If you like things spicy, you can add some of the chili's. I added one small chili last time I made this recipe and it turned out pretty spicy! I loved it, but the kids didn't.

Sonia's Spanish Rice

In a skillet, heat 2-3 T. vegetable oil. Add 2 cups long grain rice and cook until it starts to brown a little - keep stirring and shaking the pan to avoid burning. Once rice gets a little translucent and puffy, add 1 can diced tomatoes that have been pureed in the blender and one small onion, chopped fine. Stir and cook until onion gets translucent. Pour chicken broth over the rice mixture (about 2-3 cups) and stir well. Cover and cook until rice starts to absorb all of the liquid. This will take about 25-30 minutes. I check it and stir it periodically. If it needs more liquid, I add more chicken broth. Keep covered and continue cooking until liquid has been absorbed and rice is soft.

Tomatillo Ranch Dressing

1 envelope buttermilk ranch dressing
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 bunch cilantro
2 tomatillos (casings removed and chopped into large pieces)
1-2 serano peppers with seeds removed

Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Refrigerate and allow to thicken.

Upside-Down Baked Potatoes

Another recipe to get excited about! These are going to be a new favorite around here. Who doesn't like to cook a delicious baked potato in half the time? These were cheesy, flavorful, creamy inside, crispy outside and looked great on the plate.

4-5 T. butter (I use real)
1/4 c. Parmesan cheese (I used the powdery kind in the green container from Kraft and liked it better than the real, grated Parmesan cheese)
4 medium sized Idaho baking potato's

Place the butter in a 13x9 pan and place in an oven that has been heated to 400 degrees. Watch the butter and when it starts to melt and bubble, remove it from the oven. Swish the butter around, cover the butter with the Parmesan cheese. Wash potatoes and cut them in half. Place them, cut side down, on top of the butter/Parmesan mixture. Return to oven and bake for about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to sit for a few minutes before serving.

Shirlene's Zucchini Cake

Are you wondering what to do with all of those zucchini's from your garden? Well, wonder no more. This cake is divine! The picture doesn't do it justice here, but I'd rather have a picture than not have a picture. You can make it in a 13x9 pan or in a sheet pan (as shown here).
In microwave, melt the following:
2/3 cup butter
2 T. hot water
2 cups brown sugar (beat well)
2 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla (beat again)
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. soda
1 tsp. salt
4 T. cocoa
Mix well and then stir in:
2 cups shredded zucchini (stir well)

Spread batter in a 13x9 cake pan. Sprinkle 1/2 cup chopped walnuts and 1 cup chocolate chips all over the top. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes. Or you can use a cookie sheet for a thinner cake and bake for about 30 minutes.

Stuffed French Toast

We went to Mimi's the other day and my kids had stuffed French toast. I decided to try my own version at home. You know I'm all about easy, so I decided to use flavored cream cheese for the inside stuffing and it turned out AWESOME!The finished product!

You have to cook these on all sides, so you have to be creative. I propped them up on the skillet to cook the tops and bottoms.
This is the bread I used (I buy it at Costco or at the Sara Lee Bread Store). This flavored cream cheese is only $1.25 at Walmart.

thick, hearty French bread
a little salt
flavored/sweetened cream cheese (I used strawberry)
powdered sugar

Break eggs in a bowl, pour in a little milk and whisk with wire whisk. Flavor with a dash of salt. Trim crusts off of bread so they are square. Take one slice of bread and spread flavored cream cheese in the middle. Top with another piece of bread. Dip the "sandwich" in the egg mixture and place on hot griddle. Bake on all sides until puffy and nicely browned. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and drizzle with syrup. Could also top with berries and whipped cream.

Easy Beef Noodle Bake

This dish reminded me of the casseroles my mom use to make for dinner. It was even better warmed up the next day for lunch.

1 lb. ground beef
1 small onion
1 can diced tomatoes with green chili's
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 small package of your favorite pasta (cooked according to package directions)
Cheddar Cheese

Brown ground beef with onion in a skillet. Salt and pepper to taste. Drain grease. Add tomatoes and mushroom soup, stir well. Stir in cooked pasta. Pour into casserole dish and top with cheddar cheese. Bake at 350 for about 20-30 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

*GREAT IDEA: While you're at it, double the ground beef, onion and tomatoes. Use half the mixture to make the casserole that night. Put the rest in a ziplock freezer bag and save for another night. All you would need to do is cook the pasta and then add the mushroom soup to the meat mixture, stir it, top with cheese and bake. Easy!