Crockpot Apple Cider Braised Pork

Happy Monday! I hope your week is off to a great start!

I was really kind of hoping for a day at home today because my life is an absolute mess. I just need a day to organize my house, my thoughts, everything. But alas, we’re out of dishwasher tabs and I have no plans to handwash all the dishes today. I considered overnighting some from Amazon but then I realized how ridiculous that would be. Even for me.

And you know that once I’m out there in the wild, I’m gonna need to stop by at least a couple thrift stores to see if there’s any Pyrex in need of a good home.

I also have to go by the library and pay for the 2 books that Penelope (#idiothusky) decided to eat last week.

In other words, ugggghhhhh.

Anyway, we’re finally done with fall sports and I am incredibly grateful that we didn’t have a single game or practice that involved shivering in the snow.

But at the final football game, I heard those dreaded words. You know the ones.

“We’re gonna have our end-of-season party at…”

Just give my kid his trophy and let me go continue my life as a hermit, dangit!

But we went and I used it as an excuse to wear the new booties that I haven’t had a chance to wear yet.

The party was at Bass Pro Shops which I thought was just a store with fishing stuff but somehow serves pizza and has a bowling alley inside. And it’s, like, a really cool bowling alley with sharks coming from the ceiling and the bowling ball returner-thingies (technical term) are crocodile mouths. But it was absolute craziness for 3 hours.

And then the next morning I woke up with hives.

This is what kid parties do to me.

I decided to share this really delicious Slow Cooker Apple Cider Braised Pork with you today since it is Monday and you’re probably already dreading cooking dinner. (I am!) If you happen to have a pork roast and some cider on hand, I’ve got you covered.

I love doing pork in the slow cooker. It just turns out so tender and there’s so much you can do with it. I just made a sauce to pour over the shredded meat but you could easily mix it with a little barbecue sauce and put in on sandwiches.

 

Crockpot Apple Cider Braised Pork

Click for the full recipe

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Let me tell you about how productive I was yesterday.

I got so much done yesterday morning and then both kids that were home fell asleep around 11. Clearly, I couldn’t waste such a peaceful time on things like laundry or scrubbing the toilets. Especially when my DVR was calling my name. So I turned on Madam Secretary (obsessed) and starting searching for a neon geometric cardigan.

WHICH NO ONE HAS RIGHT NOW!

So my children finally wake up and I realize I’ve spent 4 hours searching for a cardigan. I also managed to somehow watch 4 episodes of Revenge.

And then since I’d spent most the day sitting around watching Netflix, I figured I might as well sit around some more and swatch all my nail polish onto fake nails. Because that’s what normal adults do on Mondays.

I did cry on the phone with my internet provider for about an hour. That’s something, right? You guys, I can’t handle the slow internet. I called them Sunday night and the guy reset a bunch of things and then concluded that it was my Macbook causing the issue. WHICH IT ISN’T. So I cried. Because I was so frustrated.

They’re sending a guy out today. I’m going to try not to cry.

Anyway, more pumpkin. Pumpkin all day, every day.

I posted this recipe originally back in 2008. I think that was probably the first year I was really into pumpkin. Probably because that’s the first year I was really into cooking. But we absolutely loved it then. My husband is kind of a pumpkin hater but he still talks about this pasta. And he was totally jealous when I said I was making it a few days ago.

It’s so, so, so good. The pumpkin and the sausage and the sage just work so well together. I’ve got leftovers in my fridge that are currently calling my name!

Click for the full recipe

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Delicious Bacon and Pineapple Fried Rice featuring Success® Boil-in-Bag Basmati Rice. 

Second post the week, second recipe that starts with “Bacon and…”

I like bacon.

I’m also weirdly into pineapple lately. Remember how early in the summer I was spending $7 bucks 3 times a week on a pound of pre-cut mango? That’s what’s happening with pineapple right now. Except, thankfully, pineapple is a lot cheaper than the mango.

One day I’ll learn to cut fruit. Maybe.

So I wanted to combine my two current favorite foods into another of my favorite foods: fried rice. I know, fried rice with bacon and pineapple? It sounds weird but I dig it.

Before you click away and unsubscribe and all that, it’s not really like the Chinese takeout rice you’re used to. Yes, it is still fried rice but it’s fried in bacon fat and it has no egg in it. Plus, I used Basmati rice which is my favorite kind of rice. It’ slightly nutty and the grains don’t get clumpy on you when they cook. They stay separate and fluffy, which is how I like my rice.

You guys know that rice has been the bane of my existence since we moved to Colorado. I don’t know if it’s the altitude or my stove or what but I have not successfully made a batch of rice since moving here over 3 years ago. Like, it’s so bad that I’ve had to throw out pans. Because ugggghhhh, burnt rice on the bottom of the pan is the worst.

I’ve started using the Success®  Boil-in-Bag Basmati Rice. I love it because it is fool-proof. I’m not even kidding. The bags come pre-portioned in a BPA-free bag so it’s no mess, no measuring and it’s ready in 10 minutes. You literally stick the entire bag in water, bring it to a boil, and remove the entire bag 10 minutes later.

So for this recipe, I made the rice one night, took the entire bag and put it in the fridge overnight. (Fried rice just works better with cold rice.) The next day, the rice was ready to be fried and covered in bacon, still in it’s little bag. No dirty bowls, nothing.

I’m obsessed.

Have you tried the Success® Boil-in-Bag Basmati Rice? 

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I kind of mentioned last week that I’m in the middle of a major power struggle with one of the kiddos over food.

I think part of it is normal and then I think part of it is just because he just really loves to aggravate me. He’ll say things like, “I don’t like chicken. Except McDonald’s chicken nuggets.”

Oh, well isn’t that convenient!

Or, like on the night I made these Slow Cooker Aloha Pork Chops, he informed me that he doesn’t like pork. And I told him that I guess he won’t be having bacon anymore and bacon is his FAVORITE.

It took him about an hour but he eventually said that maybe he does like pork after all and he agreed to give it a try. And he loved it! Because what’s not to love about pork chops cooked in pineapple juice?

These were a huge hit with all the kids and a bigger hit with me because I had to do basically zero work. They cooked all day and then I simmered the sauce for about 10 minutes just to get it thickened up a little bit. I served it with mashed cauliflower in an effort to be healthy but the kids were not a fan and next time I’ll definitely serve it with rice. The extra sauce would be delicious on rice!

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Meatballs are one of the few things all 3 of my kids will eat without complaint. And this recipe is proof that I can literally put anything in meatballs and they will eat them.

As I was shredded the zucchini for these, my 4 year old walked into the kitchen and said “Eww, I don’t like zucchini!”

Umm… guess who asked for more meatballs not once but twice!

If we’re being technical here, these aren’t really Thai meatballs. Honestly, I’m not even sure Thai meatballs are a thing. I think Thai-Inspired would be a better title but…

Yeah.

So these are pork meatballs with a little ground turkey which I love because I love love love the flavor of pork but not necessarily the fat/calories so I feel like I can eat more if I mix in some super lean ground turkey. The meatballs have lots of shredded zucchini and carrots mixed in with some curry powder, fresh ginger, garlic, all kinds of good stuff. And then you cover them with a peanut sauce before baking!

Except I don’t eat peanut butter because I do try to eat paleo when I’m not drinking wine and eating my weight in Qdoba 3-cheese nachos so I used almond butter in this “peanut” sauce. You could totally use peanut or even sunbutter if you prefer the taste of those!

Anyway, the sauce is SO good. I could drink it! Coconut milk, almond butter, and curry powder just make the yummiest combination.

These are super simple and I anticipate making these often in the coming months.

Click for the full recipe

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