Happy 100th Post! And a Freebie! [This is a good one, don’t miss out]

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD CHAPTER ONE OF THE ONE-ARMED HOMEMAKER’S COOKBOOK

Out of curiosity – are you, dear reader, among those who did not think this blog would live to see 100 posts? I know at least part of me was. It’s pretty crazy to think that it’s lived this long… so, happy 100 posts, everybody!

100posts[throws confetti]

Whoo.

Now that that’s out of the way, since it’s customary to do something special as part of the celebratings, I’m going to release the first chapter of my book [remember this ole’ thing from way back then?] to anybody who would like it, just cuz I’m feeling generous today. And I really need more eyeballs on this thing.

The whole shtick of the book, and of this blog, is how to make people’s lives [starting with mine] simpler, less stressful and more wholesome. For me, breakfast is always a source of stress and difficulty, from what to make, right down to remembering to make it. This probably stems from being decidedly not a morning person. My hope is that there will be several of you who read this chapter, and decide that it was either so helpful – or so problematic – that you just have to leave a comment or send me an email letting me know exactly how it affected you.

Anyway, here it is 🙂

Seriously, let me know what you think of the first chapter in the comments, the good, the… parts I could improve. Eherm. I’m sure there will be plenty for everybody to have a turn pointing “fix-it” spots out 🙂

Happy 100 posts! [raises imaginary glass] And to 100 more!

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Homemade Cinnamon Applesauce

Yesterday marks my first attempt at making homemade applesauce,* and it went WAY easier than I anticipated.  I didn’t even (really) use a recipe!

Ingredients:

*Apples
*Cinnamon

That’s it.

Directions:

  1. Core the apples.
  2. Peel the apples.
  3. Quarter the apples.
  4. Eat random bits here and there.
  5. Dump all the apple pieces into a large heavy pot.
  6. Put two fingers of water in the bottom.
  7. Cover and boil for 15-20 minutes.
  8. Stir them up, when they fall completely apart they’re ready.
  9. Add some cinnamon and stir again.
    [Secret last step:  add a little sugar if the sauce is too bland.]
  10. EAT IT!!  Or can it.  Or freeze it.  Or give it away as gifts.

That’s it.

So easy right?  Right.  And here I thought I could never be *that* domestic!  The best part is that my kids knew what it was even before it was done, and they were positively clamoring to get their hands on it.  I kept having to say, “It’s too hot to eat, we have to wait for it to cool down.  It’s too hot…”  Boy were they happy when I finally let them at it!

What fall projects/recipes/traditions do you do with your family?  Especially ones involving cinnamon?  I’m foreseeing hot cider and pie experiments in my near future… MmMmMmMm.  ❤ Fall. ❤

*Note: It was also my first go at food photography… didn’t go half bad if I say so myself!  And I do.

Cafe Rio Sweet Pork

Image credit: crock-pot.com

This is far and away my favorite pulled-pork recipe.  Despite the fact that it has more than one step, it’s still dead easy, and yum-alicious every time.  Even the slow-cooking novice can nail this on the first try.

In the name of full disclosure, I kaifed this recipe from my friend’s blog and made some simplifications to it (seriously, I couldn’t be bothered to measure out half-cans of cola [eyeroll] ) but you can find the original (and supremely yummy) recipe here.

Also: be sure NOT to use diet cola.  No diet allowed.

Ingredients Total time required: 6 1/2 hours Serves: 4-5 adults
2 lbs pork roast For the marinade: For the sauce:
2 cans cola 1 can cola 1 can sliced green chilies, mild spiciness
1 tsp garlic salt 1/4 c light brown sugar 1 can enchilada sauce, med spiciness
1 c light brown sugar

Directions

  1. Ziptop bag >> pork roast.  can of cola.  brown sugar.
    Burp the bag (squeeze all the air out) and massage until sugar is dissolved.  Marinate in the refrigerator at least 3 hours and up to overnight.
  2. Drain the marinade.
    Slow cooker >> pork.  two (new) cans cola.   garlic salt.
    Cook until just barely cooked through and shreds easily, but isn’t too dry.  With my slow-cooker, that’s 3 hours on med-low.*
  3. Shred the pork.*  Toss the cooking liquid.
  4. Blender >> chilies.  enchilada sauce.  1 cup brown sugar.  Puree until smooth.*
  5. Slow cooker >> meat.  sauce.  Stir.
    Cook on low for 2 more hours.
    Serve over rice, in sandwiches, or just eat it straight.

This recipe freezes really well, is great at any temperature, makes every palate happy (haven’t met anyone who doesn’t like it, including kids) and is dairy-free, gluten-free, nut-free, egg-free, corn-free, melon-free, low-fat, and low-sodium, but not low-sugar.  Not sure about the calories, but it’s pork so there’s only so bad it can be.  Oh, and it’s not kosher.  Sorry.  Oh well…

Enjoy!

Notes:

    • Admittedly, I skip the first step and just jump to this step, and don’t bother defrosting the meat before starting it cooking.  Just make sure the meat is cooked through before going to the next step.  If it’s not frozen when you start, you might need to adjust the cooking time.
    • How to know if your pork is under cooked, over-cooked or just right:
      • Overcooked = it’s really really hard to shred the pork.
        Just right = it’s easy to shred the pork, and it’s soft and moist and lovely.
        Undercooked = It’s still bright pink, the juices don’t run clear, and/or it’s still one solid, un-shred-able mass.
  • If the sauce looks too thick after pureeing it, add cola or water, little by little,  until it reaches your desired consistency.