Friends, I’m pretty sure you’re going to need to try this next recipe in our Guinness Week lineup — Guinness Pulled Pork!
I made a big batch of this yesterday to share with my good friends and neighbors, David and Suzannah, who just brought the sweetest little baby girl named Ava into the world. I asked if they wanted tacos or sliders, and they requested the latter. So I brought over this pulled pork and some salad for dinner, and we spent a wonderful evening catching up on all things life and parenthood and faith and more — made all the better by the fact that I got to spend nearly the entire time holding their tiny 12-day-old sleeping daughter in my arms.
I mentioned on Instagram recently that my family is unashamedly obsessed with Mexican food. We love it local, we love it authentic, we love it good, and we love it OFTEN.
So of course, even while we were in Chicago celebrating Thanksgiving for a few days, we had to get our Mexi fix. So we ended up trying XOCO, one of Rick Bayless‘ restaurants. The line on Black Friday was practically out the door, but we were freezing and once I saw the long menu of caldos (soups), I was hooked. I had a minor crisis trying to decide what to order (they literally ALL looked amazing!), but I read that the XOCO carnitas caldo was the most popular soup. So I had to try it.
Oh my goodness, people. I’ve stumbled upon a new way to make crispy pork carnitas. But instead of spending hours upon hours babysitting your carnitas in the oven, turning them countless times to get the crispies, and adding in tons of extra oil (or lard – eek), these delicious and crispy carnitas can be made in your slow cooker!
Being the granddaughter of proud Kansas farmers, I’m excited that a group of us bloggers from KC are taking today to celebrate a special local group — our Kansas Pork Association farmers! I feel like I have a special connection with this crew, being that my super-stylish aunt (raised on a farm, now a city girl) was once upon a time crowned the Kansas Pork Queen back in the day. True story. :)
But seriously, I have been around enough farmers to know that they are some of the most respectable, hardest-working folk around. And they also love what they do! This was undoubtedly the case with Jim Crane, a Kansas farmer who lives near my hometown. I had the chance to interview Jim, and completely enjoyed hearing his perspective on pork, farming, and his sweet family’s life on the farm. Read below for my interview, and then check out my take on his favorite recipe — what he calls “The Ultimate Pork Burger”! Granted, his recipe was a little more than my small frame could handle, so I decided to adapt it into some simple little sliders. No frills or fancy sauces here — just the delicious pork patties, bacon, and whatever fixin’s you prefer.
Ok, so these sandwiches may fall a little closer into the “melts” category, but I couldn’t pass up the alliteration. :)
Regardless of what you call them, these Prosciutto, Pineapple & Pesto Paninis were crazy delicious! They were basically an experiment combining favorite ingredients that I’ve been enjoying from our neighborhood market this summer — tasty prosciutto and fresh mozzarella from our Italian market, homemade pesto made with fresh local basil, my favorite sourdough bread, and of course, lots of juicy sweet pineapple. They kind of reminded me of a Hawaiian pizza, with the ham and pineapple vibe, but oh-so-much better with the prosciutto and homemade pesto.
It’s cabbage season again! And to celebrate our long-awaited “cold” front here in Kansas City (well, a drop from the 100′s to the 90′s again), I decided to make some cabbage soup. But to mix things up, thought it would be fun to include all of the yummy flavors in my favorite Chinese appetizer — egg rolls!
When I googled the concept, I realized I wasn’t the first to try this idea. But I improvised my own recipe on the fly, and it turned out to be delicious!! I’ve always loved a light soup filled with vegetables, but especially loved the hint of ginger, soy sauce, and (my favorite ingredient) sesame oil in this simple soup. I also borrowed the idea from some other bloggers of frying up some egg roll (or wonton) wrappers to serve on top of the soup. My friend, Christin, who helped me taste test said that was her favorite touch. ;)
(Before I begin, would love to invite you to head over to the Holiday Recipe Exchange to vote for my vanilla chai cupcakes! It only takes about 5 seconds to vote — just scroll down, and I’m #9. Would love to win the vanilla gift basket and have more yummy vanilla recipes to share with you! Thank you so much!!)
Allow me to introduce to you…the best stuffing recipe ever!!! Well, at least it’s the best stuffing recipe I’ve had in all my 27 years of life. :)
I know I’ve talked on here repeatedly about how much I love-love-love my Saturday morning trips to our City Market in downtown KC. And how lucky we are here to have such great local farmers with their amazing array of fresh produce, herbs, meats, cheeses, plants, flowers, and on…and on…..
But I don’t think I’ve ever talked about the treasures that lie on the perimeter of the market. Forming an enormous “L” around the farmers market are a host of local restaurants and stores, mostly specializing in specific ethnic cuisines. One of my favorites is Carollo’s – the most amazing Italian market and deli ever (or so I think!). I know we live in the heart of the Midwest, but for the brief moments I’m wandering around this grocery overflowing with pastas, tons of freshly-made cheeses, olives, olive oils, wines, and every kind of Italian meats you can imagine…I can almost pretend I’m in the heart of Italy. :)
I remember as a kid growing up, my sister and I would always tease my parents about their love of freshly-cracked black pepper. We had a huge pepper grinder that used to be placed on the table for every meal, and — while we rarely touched it — they took great delight in cracking fresh pepper onto just about every meal.
Now, decades later, it’s Yours Truly who has a slight obsession with the pepper mill. :) Absolutely love filling it with all sorts of beautiful peppercorns that I come across, and enjoying the satisfaction of grinding out some amazingly fresh, fragrant and oh-so-delicious black pepper.