2.22.2010

Everyone Needs A Pulled Pork Sandwich

Get the whole tomatoes. I swear it makes a difference. And BBQ sauce - you never know how many different types of BBQ sauce there is until you go to the store to look for a specific brand! Generally I'm not too picky, but I do like Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce. And so does my mom (which is coming from someone who's from northern Minnesota who knows no other spices than salt and pepper... seriously!). You'll also need one onion, sliced thinly.
Once the pork is cooked in the crockpot, shred it.
Return it to the crockpot and then make your sauce a little thicker.
And then put together your sandwich. I kinda forgot which was the top and which was the bottom. Oops.

Pulled Pork Sandwich

1 can whole tomatoes
1 half bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce
1 onion, sliced thinly
Salt and pepper to taste
Pork shoulder, loin, butt, whatever large hunk 'o pork you can find at the grocer/butcher

Throw everything into the crockpot and let it sit for 7 - 8 hours. Sometimes longer, whatever. (This is super easy).

Then take out the pork and shred it, but before you start shredding, look into the crockpot. There's lots of good juices in there.

Pour almost all of it into a heavy bottom pot and add in 1/2 cup more BBQ sauce. Let simmer and thicken for 30 - 45 minutes or so (this should be a gentle simmer).

After you're done shredding the meat, put it back into the crockpot with some of the leftover juices, stir to combine.

Put together your sammies with the pork and BBQ sauce. Eh, voila! You have sandwiches for lunch for the next few days too!

2.21.2010

Blueberry Cream Cheese Muffins

I love muffins. Bimmer Man loves muffins and as it turns out, I usually get a request once a week to make them (do I actually make them? Sometimes...)

Lately blueberries have been on sale at Cub Foods so I wanted to make some yummy muffins. And of course with cream cheese, who doesn't love cream cheese?

In the original recipe there's no cream cheese and I generally mix it into the batter. However, I completely forgot to toss in the softened cream cheese so I ended up dropping 1 - 2 teaspoons of it onto the top of each muffin, much like my favorite Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins.

Enjoy!

Grandma's Blueberry Lemon Muffins


From the Sister's Cafe

2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
zest of one lemon
1 egg
1 cup milk
1/2 cup shortening (or butter)
1 cup frozen blueberries

Topping (this makes extra - you can try cutting it down if you want):
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 Tb lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar

Mix dry ingredients and set aside. Beat eggs, milk and shortening. Stir in blueberries. Add dry ingredients and stir gently to combine. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Combine butter and lemon juice. While the muffins are still warm, dip the tops in the butter and lemon juice, then dip in sugar. Makes 12 muffins.

2.20.2010

Book Club - What To Make?

Red Velvet Cake OR Caramel Cake?

We've read the The Help by Kathryn Stockett (which was amazing by the way... but I don't want to ruin it for any fellow book clubbers...). I won't say too much about it except for this:

Minny made Caramel Cake and I want to learn how to make it like she does, not to mention how she makes fried chicken.

But that's another blog post! I'll update with my thoughts on the book (besides amazing) after book club on Monday night along with the recipe that I used.

But still, anyone have a preference?

Caramel Cake or Red Velvet Cake?

2.17.2010

Mashed Potatoes? How Many Ways?

I love mashed potatoes.

There's no doubt about that.

And I make them several ways, but how do you make yours?

Regular mashed potatoes = milk and butter
Special mashed potatoes = cream and butter

Then sometimes I add goat cheese or feta or chives or basil or whatever else I can get my hands on.

But you know, everyone makes them differently. So, how do you make mashed potatoes and what's your favorite thing to put in them?

2.16.2010

More Color Theory?

So, do you think that color can give you an idea of what your career should be? Meh, I just like to take tests. What was that website from high school where there were hundreds of social tests to give you an idea about yourself? Eh, I don't remember but I'll try and find it this week.

Click here to take the Dewey Color System Career Test.

FYI - I prefer greens and blues...

My results are below:

Best Occupational Category

You're a RESEARCHER

Keywords

Independent, Self-Motivated, Reserved, Introspective, Analytical, and Curious

e investigative types gather information, analyze and interpret data, and inquire to uncover new facts. They have a strong scientific orientation, enjoy academic or research environments and prefer self-reliant jobs. Dislikes are group projects, selling, and repetitive activities.

RESEARCHER OCCUPATIONS
Suggested careers are College Professor, Physician, Psychologist, Pharmacist, Chemist, Marketing Research, Inventor, Sales Forecasting, Project Engineer, Dentist, Identifying Consumer Demand, Chiropractor, Dentist, Medical Technician, Optometrist, Research & Development Manager, Respiratory Therapist, Real Estate Appraiser, Chiropractor, Veterinarian, Geologist, Physicist, Science Teacher, Medical Technologist, and Author of Technical Books.

RESEARCHER WORKPLACES
Task-oriented careers where you can become absorbed in the job, be original and creative, and not conform to rigid company rules will work best for you. Unstructured organizations, for example, that allow you to sail your own ship are vital.

Suggested Researcher workplaces are universities and colleges, home office positions, medical facilities, computer-related industries, scientific foundations and think tanks, research firms, and design laboratories.



2nd Best Occupational Category

You're a SOCIAL MANAGER

Keywords:

Tactful, Cooperative, Generous, Understanding, Insightful, Friendly, and Cheerful

This very social type enjoys working in groups, sharing responsibilities, and being the center of attention. Fields of interest are instructing, helping, nurturing, care giving and instructing-especially young people. They discuss and consider feelings in order to solve problems, lead, direct, persuade, guide, organize and enlighten others.


Interesting, right? What sorts of careers does it give you? Are you doing what it says you should do?

2.12.2010

Steak

That's what's for dinner. Yum.
Oh, it smelled so good... I don't eat red meat very often but when I do... it looks like this!

So, get two good steaks. And your cast iron skillet, butter, olive oil, salt and pepper ready.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Season both sides of steaks with salt and pepper.

Heat the pan on medium-high or high, however much smoke you want, go for it. Add butter and olive oil, then the steaks.

They only need to be heated about 5 minutes on each side, then finish off in the oven depending on how you like it. I did about 8 minutes to make the steaks medium-rare.

And this was my lunch today. Yum... leftovers....

2.11.2010

Color Test Anyone?

So click here to take a hue test... I don't have much patience for these and my eyes get a little weird from concentrating on the colors too hard (you know, like that flag art piece where you stare at the blue/yellow flag and then move your eyes to the gray flag and it's the correct color?).

But if you're bored, it's kind of fun. The lower the score, the better!

2.09.2010

Endless Possibilities of Accent Chairs

Aghh... there's so many options for chairs. Eventually we need to furnish our 1949 living room. I've sort of picked out a sofa:The Custom Sonoma Sofa, in Chenille Saddle for $799

But honestly, it doesn't have to be the above sofa, I just like this style. I think it would look nice in our house that was built in 1949. I want touches of the 50's style, only updated and with a fabric that's fairly easy to clean pet hair off of. I really like the roll arm, but unfortunately Restoration Hardware furniture is way out of our league (I'm secretly fine with that because that means we have extra moola for artwork, woo hoo!). So I have to find cheaper options. There is a Room & Board outlet by me, but I'm thinking their stuff might be too modern, doesn't mean I can't go looking though!

So here's a few different options that I've been looking at for accent chairs. They're all different.

Pottery Barn Marcel Armchair, $599 - $799

Pier 1 Sigourney Wing Chair, $399, originally $499


West Elm Sweep Armchair, $499
Ikea Stolkhom, Blad Multicolor, $299


Camille Accent Chair, $169, originally $399 from JC Penney

2.04.2010

Poop Cookies

AKA Oceanspray Craisin's Black Forest Cookies
But yes, they look like poop. With bits of red blood, oops, I mean Craisins sprinkled throughout. I decided to toss in some white chocolate chips too. Kinda look like the dog just ate a blanket and pooped it out, right?

So if you'd like to try yourself some poop cookies, go right ahead.

Oceanspray Craisin Black Forest Cookies

INGREDIENTS:

1 11.5-ounce package milk chocolate morsels, divided
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 6-ounce package Ocean Spray® Craisins® Cherry Flavor
Sweetened Dried Cranberries
1 cup pecans or walnuts, coarsely chopped

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350ยบ F.

Pour 3/4 cup morsels into an uncovered large microwave-safe bowl. Set remaining morsels aside. Microwave morsels for 2 minutes on high. Stir until chocolate is smooth.

Stir in brown sugar, butter, eggs and vanilla. Add flour and baking powder, mixing until thoroughly combined. Stir in remaining morsels, cherry flavor dried cranberries and pecans.

Drop by tablespoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 12 minutes or until cookies are puffed and set to the touch. For a firmer cookie bake for 14 minutes. Cool on cookie sheet for 2 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely. Makes about 2 1/2 dozen cookies.

In A Funk Lately

I don't know if it's because I don't get a full night's sleep (hello, practice for future parenting by having a foster puppy) or because it's the winter and it's so gray all the time.

I made poop cookies the other day (I'll post pics and the recipe if you'd like to make poop cookies too) and decided that I probably shouldn't make cookies that look like poop ever again. So I have white chocolate chips waiting for me at home to make something. So I've been put off from baking for this week (and cooking, thanks to poop cookies).

But my left eye is twitching again and I haven't worn make up in 4 days. So, I need something fun.

10 Random Facts About Me Today

1. I didn't eat breakfast

2. I miss breakfast. Especially having hot water at work for oatmeal

3. I really like the show The Good Wife

4. There's a huge knot in my right shoulder that hurts like heck and no amount of ibuprofen will take the pain away (see? I need summer back!)

5. I think I want a guinea pig. Or maybe two to keep each other company.

6. I have no idea how to take care of guinea pigs

7. My mother would never step foot in my house if we had guinea pigs

8. My mother also misses my dog, so maybe I could bribe her to come over if we had guinea pigs

9. I love homemade pizza

10. I'm excited to make Rusty a dog bed that's green

2.02.2010

EEK!!! I GET TO GARDEN THIS YEAR!!!

And I'm so freakin' excited!

I planted lots and lots of bulbs (I mean, it was AT LEAST 150) and now I'm ready to watch for them to come up, especially after it's been snowing like 5 inches over the past day or two. Yuck. I want my tulips to come up!
A patio table set. I've been dying to eat outside at a real table. In Indiana we were eating on our laps with the dog practically eating off our plates too.


I could get a water fountain.
I can get cute garden stuff like this fish rain gauge.

And I'm so freakin' excited!

Art for the dining room?

Ugh. I'm trying to find artwork for the dining room. I mean we found something but... we'd have to wait until August (see story at bottom of post). It needs to go with the gold tinted walls but also with the modern furniture. So I've been thinking going abstract but I don't want to all of a sudden HATE it one day and decide to change it... again and again and again...

So I think I need some help. What sorts of artwork say dining room? I don't want orange. I don't want too dark. I like flowers, sea scapes, city scapes, abstract, impressionism and Picasso. I love Gustav Klimt.

Sigh. I just don't know what to do.
Maybe a black and white photo for $47?
An abstract for $165?

Or like this Gayle Ullman for $38?

Eh, I don't know... something like this Paul Lawler for $36?

See, I have no idea. Bimmer and I saw a fantastic Paris cityscape at the state fair last year and we should've gotten it when we had the chance. I suppose we'll just have to go to the state fair again this year.

I also like prints but I feel like they'd be totally dated 2000's within a few years. Ugh, decisions, decisions.

Which reminds me, I need to go to the fabric store and get a zipper, needles and stuff to make Rusty a new dog bed that can be washable. It's going to be green to match his fur.