Friday, July 27, 2012

Pork Roast with Sweet Potatoes

This is such a great slow cooker recipe, traditional with a unique twist to keep it interesting.  It's also a great dish to serve to company.  Since it's thrown in the crock pot in the morning, all you'll need to do while the guests are there is throw together a salad to serve on the side.  Better yet, put those guests to work and get everyone chopping in the kitchen! :)

This recipe was adapted from one in  Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker: Family Favorites which is one of my all-time favorite cook books because everything is delicious and nothing comes out of a can.  Don't skimp on the candied ginger in this dish, it really takes this dish to the next level.  You might also want a loaf of nice crusty bread to soak up all the yummy juices!

Slow Cooker Garlic Pork Roast and Sweet Potatoes

2-3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
3 med. carrots, cut into chunks
3 small sweet onions, quartered
1 3-4 lb. pork loin roast, trimmed of fat and tied with twine
1 tsp. dried oregano or marjoram
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 c. apple cider or apple juice
1/4 c. chicken broth
3 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. chopped crystallized ginger

Coat the inside of your slow cooker with cooking spray and add the vegetables.   Rub the roast with oregano, garlic powder, salt and pepper.  Nestle it down into the veggies.  Combine all remaining ingredients except ginger and pour over the roast.  Sprinkle the ginger on top.  Cover and cook on low 8-9 hours or high 4-5 hours. 

Transfer the roast to a platter and cover with aluminum foil.  Let stand for 10 mins to let the juices settle.  Remove the twine and carve the roast into thick slices.  Serve with vegetables and juices from the crock.  

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Peach Raspberry Pie

This is my go-to summer pie.  It has all the flavors of summer and is equally good nice and cold from the fridge or hot from the oven with a little vanilla icecream.  You can find the recipe for my no-fail pie crust recipe here.

Peach-Raspberry Pie

4 c. peaches, peeled and chopped
1 c. raspberries
3/4 c. sugar
3 Tbsp. flour or cornstarch
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 Tbsp. butter
2 pie crusts (to make one double crust pie)
1 Tbsp. sugar for topping

Preheat your oven to 400.  Roll out first pie crust and place in bottom of pie pan, trimming edges as needed.  Place the fruit in a colander for 15 min. to drain any excess liquid.  Transfer to a bowl and toss with sugar, flour or cornstarch, and cinnamon.  Fill pie crust, dot with 2 Tbsp. butter and top with second crust.  Flute edges as desired and be sure to cut a few vents in the top to allow steam to escape.  Sprinkle 1 Tbsp. sugar over crust and bake for 45 mins.  Keep an eye on the crust.  You may need to cover the edges with a strip of aluminum foil to keep them from overcooking.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Black Eyed Pea Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

No, I have not fallen off the face of the earth.  Yes, I have been crazy busy!  We've been swamped with swimming lessons and soccer practice, not to mention a 10 day trip to my dad's ranch in Wyoming over the 4th of July.  This trip was the first time I traveled for any extended amount of time with my two kids by myself.  My husband had to work, so I loaded up the van (thank God for mini-van's with DVD players!  How did our parents do it?!?) and hit the road.  We had a really nice visit.  The first few days I got to spend with my dad, which was a real treat.  We rarely get one-on-one time together; our family is so darned big!  My step-mom showed up a couple of days later after a volunteering trip she'd been on, and my younger sister rolled in the next day with her little boy.  He wasn't too sure about me on this visit. He finally decided I wasn't the boogie man about 10 minutes before we headed back home. 

We had a little BBQ get together with some of the extended family and I whipped up this quick bean salad which I adapted from this recipe from the Liv Life blog.  It was so light and fresh.  A perfect accompaniment to ribs :)

¼ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1½ Tbs Olive Oil
7 leaves fresh cilantro, thinly sliced
1 clove of garlic, pressed
zest of one lemon, finely grated
1 tsp mustard
salt and pepper to taste

Salad:1 can black eyed peas, drained and rinsed
½ cup chopped tomato
1 avocado, diced
2 green onions, finely chopped

In a small bowl mix the dressing ingredients together, whisk until well blended.

In a large bowl mix together the salad ingredients. Add the dressing and toss lightly to coat evenly. Add salt and pepper to taste, and serve!

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