Portabella “Burgers”

m1I enjoy a good cheeseburger as much as the next person, but I don’t enjoy the 1,000 sit-ups required to burn those calories. That’s not a joke – a hearty cheeseburger will set you back about 500 calories, and that’s without the bun.

For less than 150 calories we can Continue reading

Grilled Carrots

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Perfectly grilled purple carrots

Yes, grilled carrots. We’ve already talked about how healthy carrots truly are, so it’s worth finding fun new ways to enjoy them! Grilling carrots caramelizes a bit of the natural sugar in this root veggie, and the crisp edges are delicious. The trick to perfectly grilled carrots is Continue reading

Cheesy Hot Crab Dip

WIN_20160530_172010Seriously friends, Cheesy Hot Crab Dip is awesome. Set a dish of this on the deck with a bowl of tortilla chips at your next cookout, and it will surely disappear before the grill is ready. Summer is short. Have some delicious fun!

WIN_20160530_164641Ingredients (Fills one pie plate)

8 ounces light cream cheese, softened

8 ounces light sour cream

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce (optional)

12 ounces imitation crab meat, diced

1/4 cup finely diced red bell pepper

1 tablespoon finely diced onion

1/2 teaspoon ground paprika

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup finely shredded cheddar cheese

WIN_20160530_165427Directions

Step 1) Use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese in a medium size mixing bowl for about 30 seconds. Add all remaining ingredients except for the shredded cheddar cheese, and blend well.

Step 2) Transfer the cheesy crab dip mixture to a pie dish (9 inch diameter). Spread so that the top is even, and sprinkle with shredded cheddar cheese.

Step 3) Bake your Cheesy Hot Crab Dip in a preheated 400 degree oven for 15 minutes, or until the dip is bubbly and the top begins to turn golden brown.

Step 4) Allow to cool slightly (5 minutes or less) before serving.

Easy Pulled Pork

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This is so easy, I don’t know why we haven’t made this a million times. If you happen by for dinner in the near future, odds are we’ll be feeding you pulled pork. Once you try a bite, you won’t mind at all that I didn’t fuss over your dinner! In fact, I think you’ll go home and make a big pot yourself.  🙂

Ingredients (Makes 1 big ol’ pot of pulled pork, enough for 12 – 16 hearty sandwiches)

Boneless pork loin roast (about 3 pounds)

1 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce (I used Sweet Baby Ray’s)

1/2 cup white vinegar

For the brine:

2 cups water

2 cups ice cubes

1/2 cup salt

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon whole mustard seeds

Directions

Step 1) Bring water, salt, brown sugar, and whole mustard seeds to a boil in a large pot. Stir well to make sure all of the brown sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat. Add ice cubes to the brine, and stir to melt the cubes and cool the brine.

Step 2) Place the pork roast in a gallon size ziploc bag, and set the bag in a pan with sides (in case the bag leaks). Carefully ladle brine into the ziploc bag to cover the pork roast, and close the bag. Refrigerate for 24 hours.

Step 3) After 24 hours, remove the pork roast from the brine and place the roast in a baking pan with a lid.

Step 4) Whisk together 1/2 cup vinegar and 1 cup BBQ sauce. Pour this mixture over the pork roast, and place the lid on the baking pan.

Step 5) Place the covered pork roast in a preheated 300 degree oven for 6 hours. Really, 6 hours.

Step 6) After 6 hours, remove the lid from the baking pan and pull the pork roast apart with forks. This will be very, very easy! Serve with rolls and coleslaw. Enjoy!

Homemade BBQ Sauce

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Homemade BBQ Sauce

My Great Grandmother used to make a mild, sweet BBQ sauce which became a comfort food for her grandchildren.  If I were making BBQ sauce exclusively for my mother, I wouldn’t dare tamper with her Grandma’s original recipe!  Today, however, I was in a tinkering mood, and decided to use Great Grandma’s recipe as a base for something a bit less sweet and a tad more spicy. It’s pretty darn good. Don’t tell my Mom.  😉

Ingredients (Makes 4 cups)

1 large onion, finely diced

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons white vinegar

2 tablespoons brown sugar

4 tablespoons lemon juice

3 tablespoons Worchestershire sauce

1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses

28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

WIN_20150105_162615Directions

Step 1) Caramelize onion in butter by stirring constantly over low-medium heat for 10 – 12 minutes until onion is very soft and golden brown.

Step 2) Slowly add vinegar, brown sugar, lemon juice, Worchestershire sauce, and molasses. Stir until well combined.

Step 3) Add tomatoes and all remaining (dry) spices. Stir. Simmer gently for WIN_20150105_16274715 minutes to thicken slightly and blend flavors.  Serve as desired; store any leftover sauce in refrigerator.

Serving Suggestions

Meatball Hoagies: Spread BBQ sauce generously inside of fresh rolls. Top with cooked (hot) meatballs and provolone cheese.

Party Snacks: Add desired amount of bite size sausages or ring bologna WIN_20150105_163858slices to a slow cooker. Top with BBQ sauce and stir. Keep warm and serve on a party buffet with toothpicks.

Grill Accompaniment: Whether you’re grilling chicken, ribs, or something else, serve this BBQ sauce alongside!

Better-than-cocktail Sauce: Try this BBQ sauce, chilled, in a shrimp cocktail. Delicious!