Sunday, May 25, 2014

Shirley's Pork & Kraut

My lovely co-worker Shirley makes this amazing crock-pot pulled pork with sauerkraut.  Earlier this spring she was telling me her recipe and the next time she made it, I got a sample.  The best part, it's stupid easy.  After another weekend away, this time to Chicago for my niece's high school graduation, Ryan and I were in need of an easy, very little effort, comforting meal.

Let me also not forget to mention that nice bacterial + viral infection Ryan contracted right after our North Carolina trip; he gave part of it to me.  So I spent our weekend in Chicago trying not to cough on my relatives.  Two weeks after infection date, I'm still hacking.  It just won't go away!  Any who, it was so nice to come home midweek to a delicious hot meal of slightly salty pulled pork, and lots of warm kraut.  Plus we had enough leftovers for 1 Ryan size meal and 3 Brenna size meals.

Here's how to make your own:

1. Salt and pepper a pork shoulder roast.  I don't know how big ours was, but probably somewhere in the 3-5# range.  Then brown on all sides in your fat of choice (butter, coconut oil, lard, or bacon grease).

 2. Place roast in crock-pot and cover with 2 sliced onions and 1 large jar of sauerkraut.

3. Pour in 1 cup of water or chicken broth + 2 bay leaves.  Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.

4. Serve with a pile of green beans.  Yum Yum Yum.  Now you've got leftovers for lunch!

In other exciting news, I'm done with my Masters!!!  No more early morning class work, group projects, or boring text book reading!  Just a few more letters to add to my name:  MS, RD, LD  

Waiting to watch Jessie get her diploma, it was 50 degrees, and we were chilly.  My sister is in the pink jacket; Love you Amy!!!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

North Carolina Adventure

Ryan and I had a much needed 6 day vacation to North Carolina.  I got to visit my good friend and fellow RD Lucy, and then do some hiking and eating with Ryan.  Speaking of eating... I'm going to be honest, when I travel I throw some of my normal eating habits out the window.  While I typically avoid gluten, sugar, trans fats, and MSG...these things are hard to avoid while traveling.  Not to say that it can't be done.  But I'm such a foodie that I want to be able to taste all the local delicacies, and since I don't have any severe reactions to these foods, they end up on my plate.

After waiting over about an hour to get our rental vehicle, Ryan and I hit up a divey joint for some delicious southern food at Backyard BBQ in Durham.  Mmmmm.....cabbage and collards cooked to death with fatback.  No doubt the pork and chickens aren't pasture raised, and I'm sure they cook in vegetable oil; but DAMN was it good!  I did eat one hush puppy, and remembered why I don't like hush puppies.  They are just bland balls of fried dough, nothing to get excited about, and not worth the trans fats.

reminds me of Georgia

We joined Lucy for a sushi extravaganza later that night.  She was so excited that we had ordered enough between the 3 of us to require a sushi boat.  We all had sushi babies by the end of it.
Lucy and her first sushi boat
While I don't have a picture of it, lets just say the warm cookies waiting for you in your room at a Double Tree hotels are FREAKING AMAZING!!! The first ingredient is chocolate, then flour...yhea they mean business.

In Asheville Ryan and I discovered some neat bars where he tasted many local brews.  I tried a locally made hard cider at the Wedge which wasn't absurdly sweet like so many on the market, it was quite tasty.
everything tastes better when enjoyed outside
Sunday night we had a ginormous meal of oysters and pork chop with lima beans and pesto (for me), steak with pimento cheese sauce (for Ryan) at The Admiral.  During which we discussed the option of doing a 24 hour fast the next day because we were both so bloated from the previous two days of food. This would be my second 24 hour and Ryan's first, but he was up for it.  Thankfully we had a full day planned exploring Biltmore Estate.  Being busy is key to doing a 24 hr fast, and we both did really well.  To be 100% honest it was more like a 22hr fast.  At about 5:30 we finished the Biltmore wine tour and were treated to several free samples.  However, no solid food touched our lips until about 7:30ish... when we devoured some very unique tacos from White Duck Taco. The Bangkok shrimp was my favorite.  In between we headed up to the Grove Park Inn for cocktails on the veranda.  I swear we were ok to drive!
Beautiful start to our day
19 hr fasting, Keeping busy at Biltmore, Off-road SEGWAY!
Breaking the fast...mmm....Vino
Mint Julep and Martini at Edison in the Grove Park Inn
View from Grove Park Inn
The 22/24 hour fast did the trick, both of us felt much less bloated and sluggish.  Besides being touristy, we also hiked 2 miles up to the summit of Mt. Mitchell and 1.7 miles up to Mt Pisgah.  Excellent ways to help burn off all the sushi rice, biscuit from Tupelo Honey Cafe, and newly found enjoyment of mint juleps.
Summit of Mt Mitchell
Summit of Mt. Pisgah-TOO BRIGHT!!!
Unfortunately, the day after we got back Ryan came down with the Flu!  Seriously?!!! Again?!!!  We are blaming it on the lady sitting behind him on the plane.  Here's to hoping I don't catch it.