Slow Cooker Coca~Cola Pork Loin

You guys.  This recipe.  It is so, so good!  I want to create this dish at least once a week, because not only is it divine the first day you prepare it, it makes the most amazing leftovers to use in quesadillas, grilled paninis or just to snack on that you will ever eat!  You can also shred the meat and mix it with the leftover sauce for pulled pork sandwiches, yay!

The marinade is spectacular.  And the Coca~cola sauce…..it is marvelous.  Seriously.  I believe that you could put this stuff on a shoe and it would make it taste great.  You have to try it.

Here’s what you need.

A pork loin of whatever size you choose.  You can choose a two pound pork loin or an eight pound pork loin, it won’t matter.  It just needs to fit in your marinade container and you’ll have more leftovers, yum!

Put all of your marinade ingredients into a gallon size ziploc bag and mix.  To do this, I seal it up and squish it around.  Easy peasy, and done.

Place your pork into the baggie and stick into the fridge overnight.  You will be so glad you did this, I promise.

The next morning, put your pork loin into the slow cooker and discard your marinade.  I know it’s painful to just dump something down the drain, but it has done it’s job.  All of the liquid you see in the photo above is from cooking all day on low.  You are definitely going to want to eat lunch, because otherwise you are going to starve to death on the day you make this from the incredible smells that will be wafting through your kitchen.

About an hour before you are ready to sit down and eat, make your Coca~Cola sauce.  Mix all of the sauce ingredients in a pot over medium and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes until thickened.  Pour 1/3 of the sauce over the pork and cook for an additional 20 to 30 minutes.

Keep the remainder of the sauce to spoon over everything in sight.  It’s so, so good!

Here’s the handy dandy printable!

Slow Cooker Coca~Cola Pork Loin
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Ingredients

  • Marinade:
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup coca~cola
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 TBSP mustard
  • 3 TBSP olive oil
  • 2 TBSP worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (I always used jarred!)
  • 1 TBSP dry mustard
  • 2 TBSP balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp ginger (I use the jarred stuff here too)
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 5 pounds of pork loin
  • Coca~Cola Sauce:
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 TBSP corn starch
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard
  • 2 TBSP butter
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3/4 cup coke
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. The night before you want to cook your pork loin, mix all marinade ingredients in a gallon ziploc bag. Add the pork and refrigerate overnight.
  2. The next morning, place the pork loin into your slow cooker and discard the marinade. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.
  3. One hour before you are ready to eat, put all Coca~Cola sauce ingredients into a pot and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, until thickened. Pour 1/3 of the sauce over the pork loin and cook for another 30 minutes.
  4. Serve and enjoy!!!
7.6.6
17
http://www.somewhatawry.com/slow-cooker-cocacola-pork-loin/
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Calories
6633 cal
Fat
271 g
Carbs
430 g
Protein
612 g


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Christmas Candy :AKA: Old Fashioned Icebox Fruitcake

This is a recipe that’s from Denton’s family.  Denton’s Mama makes it every Christmas that they get to spend with us.  She got my Daddy hooked on the stuff when she made it for him one year.  So this year when we had Christmas at Thanksgiving, lol, I made him and my Mama a giant batch to last them through the winter.  Maybe.

I LOVE this stuff.  I hesitated to even put the word FRUITCAKE in the title of this post because – 1. I HATE fruitcake.  I’m sorry if you love it!  B.  This has nothing, NOTHING to do with traditional fruitcake in my opinion.  Sorry for all of the shouting in this paragraph.  I feel VERY STRONGLY about fruitcake, obviously.

Let’s get on with the recipe and you’ll see what I mean.

Gather your ingredients.  You need:

A whole box of vanilla wafers.  My MIL always, ALWAYS uses the Nilla brand.  Now, you know me, unless it’s on sale and I have a coupon for this specific brand…..I used the brand from Aldi.  Shhh, don’t tell Denton’s Mama. 

Candied Cherries…..

Yum!

Candied Pineapple.

Double yum.

I absolutely could not find any candied pineapple this year until we got home and I found ONE.  So in the recipe for my parents, I substituted the tropical dreams Pineapple from Sun*Maid.  My parents still loved it, but if you can find the candied pineapple use it.

Raisins.  Denton’s Mama always uses golden raisins, but I had these, so……. and chopped pecans, which I somehow didn’t a photo of.

Nectar of the universe……it goes with everything, right?

Crush your vanilla wafers.  You can make them very, very fine or leave chunks of cookies.  Both ways are excellent!  Then, start adding the other ingredients.  Chop the pineapple pretty fine……

The raisins too……

Chop the candied cherries fine and add them.  Pour in the sweetened condensed milk and pecans…..

Stir, stir and stir.

Press into buttered dishes.

Try not to just scoop it out and eat it by the spoonful at this point!  Refrigerate for at least a couple of hours, then cut into bite size pieces.  This stuff is heaven.  But, it’s very, very rich, so you’ll definitely want to cut it into 1 X 1 pieces.  And then try not to eat forty of them.  Good luck with that!

Here’s the handy dandy printable.

Christmas Candy :AKA: Old Fashioned Icebox Fruitcake
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Ingredients

  • 1 box of vanilla wafers
  • 1 can of sweetened condensed milk
  • (1) 8 ounce container of candied cherries
  • (1) 8 ounce container of candied pineapple
  • 4 ounces of raisins
  • 1 cup of finely chopped pecans

Instructions

  1. Crush the vanilla wafers until fine.
  2. Chop the cherries, pineapples, raisins and pecans until fine.
  3. Add all the ingredients together and stir until very well combined.
  4. Scoop into a very well buttered dish and refrigerate until set (at least a couple of hours).
  5. Cut into 1 X 1 pieces and enjoy!
  6. Note: This stuff freezes fantastically!!!
7.6.6
16
http://www.somewhatawry.com/christmas-candy-aka-old-fashioned-icebox-fruitcake/
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Calories
1314 cal
Fat
79 g
Carbs
151 g
Protein
13 g


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Easy Homemade Almond Joys

This year Olivia has fallen in love with Almond Joys.  Knowing her Mama, she casually asked a few nights ago if I could make them, homemade.  Of course we can!

Here is what you will need:

Start out with sweetened coconut flakes.

Add a can of sweetened condensed milk.  (Ignore the chocolate chips for now)

Powdered sugar.

Mix it all together and add a splash of vanilla.

Next, melt your choice of chocolate. 

I went with semi-sweet chocolate chips in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time.  Take them out every 30 seconds and stir.  It will literally only take about 1 minute to a minute and a half to melt.  If you don’t do this, you run the risk of burning your chocolate.  Bad news, dude.

While your chocolate is melting, butter your dish after putting parchment paper in it.  I used aluminum foil in my dish and I won’t do this next time.  Parchment paper, yes.  Aluminum foil, no.

Pour your yummy mixture into your dish…..

Dot every available surface with almonds.  There are never enough almonds in my Almond Joys!

Pour on your melted chocolate and spread thin.  Put them into the fridge for at least an hour and then devour.

Here’s the handy dandy recipe!

Easy Homemade Almond Joys
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Ingredients

  • 14 ounces of sweetened coconut flakes
  • 14 ounces of sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 1/4 cups of powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup of almonds
  • 14 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate chips (or any other chocolate of your choice!)

Instructions

  1. Mix together: coconut, condensed milk, powdered sugar and vanilla.
  2. Pour into buttered dish.
  3. Push almonds into the mixture. We covered ours completely!
  4. Melt chocolate and pour over everything and spread until thin and even.
  5. Cool in the fridge for at least an hour.
  6. Devour and enjoy!
7.6.6
15
http://www.somewhatawry.com/easy-homemade-almond-joys/
ESHA Logo
Calories
7131 cal
Fat
357 g
Carbs
886 g
Protein
105 g


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Black Bean Burgers

Black bean burgers.  Yum.  Liv hasn’t eaten meat in over two years now.  Actually, I think it’s closer to three years.  Finding ways to up her protein was high on my list when she made the decision to become vegetarian.  This one is easy peasy lemon squeezy.

Start with your favorite can of black beans.  Or cook your own from dried beans.

Drain and rinse very, very well.

Yum.  Black bean burgers are so good!

Put your drained beans into a food processor.  You don’t have to, you can mix everything by hand, but I’m tired at the end of the day and I have a food processor soooo…..  Then add a big spoonful of minced garlic.  I always used the canned stuff.  See earlier sentence.

Salt and pepper.

Bread crumbs and a good glug of olive oil.

Jujsh it until the mixture comes together….

Patty out your burgers.  One recipe will make four of the hamburger happy meal type burgers you would get at a fast food joint.  I always lay the other three onto wax paper and put them into a freezer bag.  Tada, I have three extra burgers for later because Liv is a tiny human who can’t eat four burgers, but you may want to eat all four.

You will want to put this burger onto oiled aluminum foil to grill.  Trust me, they do NOT do well if you put them straight onto the grates.  Flip once and you are ready to eat!

Deliciousness on a plate.   Here’s the handy dandy printable.

Black Bean Burgers
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Ingredients

  • 1 (15.5) ounce can of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 heaping tablespoon of minced garlic
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/3 cup of breadcrumbs
  • 1 TBSP of olive oil

Instructions

  1. Put everything into the food processor.
  2. Mix until combined - less if you want some whole beans in your burger.
  3. Patty into four burgers.
  4. Place onto oiled aluminum foil and grill for 3 to 4 minutes on each side.
  5. Eat and enjoy!
7.6.6
14
http://www.somewhatawry.com/black-bean-burgers/
ESHA Logo
Calories
644 cal
Fat
19 g
Carbs
84 g
Protein
25 g


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Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs

This is another excellent example of a recipe that’s not really a recipe.  With that being said, I wish that I had had this “non-recipe” to follow when I first started making boiled eggs, deviled eggs, etc.

This process will work for one egg or thirty eggs.  It just depends on how big your pot is.

The first important step is to use older eggs.  Not spoiled eggs, just the oldest ones in your fridge and I hope you don’t keep spoiled eggs in your fridge.  I like mine to be at least a week old, but preferable two.  It helps the shell to start separating from the actual albumen – the white part of the egg.

Next, put your eggs in COLD water and bring to a boil.  You can add salt and vinegar to the water if you would like, but in my opinion, I don’t think this actually affects anything.  Some people swear by it, so by all means, continue.

After your eggs come to a boil, remove them from the heat and put a lid on your pot.  Set your timer for 15 minutes and then drain.  Immediately run cold water over your eggs and add ice to stop the cooking process.

Thirdly, peel your perfect hard boiled eggs, slice and serve.  You won’t have that weird green ring on the inside, just beautiful, sunny yellow yolks that everyone will want to devour.

Perfection.

Now, serve them with one of your favorite meals, make them into deviled eggs, or just straight up eat them with salt and pepper standing over your sink as you peel them.  Whichever way you enjoy them, you will appreciate their perfection.  You’re welcome!

Here’s the handy dandy recipe.

Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs
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Ingredients

  • A pot to boil your eggs in
  • Eggs
  • Water
  • Simple!

Instructions

  1. Place your eggs in COLD water.
  2. Bring to a boil.
  3. Remove pot from the heat and put a lid on it.
  4. Set your timer for 15 minutes.
  5. Drain and add cold water and ice to eggs.
  6. Peel and enjoy!
7.6.6
13
http://www.somewhatawry.com/perfect-hard-boiled-eggs/

Easy and Delicious Chicken Salad

This is one of those recipes that I can make in my sleep. It is simple, delicious and like most of my recipes you can tailor it to your specifications. This is perfect for your lunch, a snack or to take to a get-together as an hors d’oeuvre. In other words, you can make it as simple or fancy as you would like.

First things first. You can start with a chicken breast and cook it the way you love and then shred OR you can be lazy like me and use canned. Either way it’s going to be scrumptious.

If you go the canned chicken way, make sure that you drain it very, very well. There is nothing worse in my opinion than soggy chicken salad.

Flake the chicken well and add in salt, pepper, sugar and diced onion. You can also add in other things you love here, like crisp apples or sweet grapes, whatever floats your boat.

Don’t forget my tip about using the ends of your onions. Recipes like this one are perfect for using them.

Yum.

Next, add your favorite mustard and my favorite mayonnaise. One of the reasons I love this mustard is the container it comes in. I LOVE that narrow nozzle.

Perfection.

Mix it all together…..And put it on your favorite cracker for heaven.

Here’s the handy dandy recipe.

Easy and Delicious Chicken Salad
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Ingredients

  • 1 chicken breast cooked and shredded OR
  • 1 (12.5 ounce) can of cooked chicken
  • 2 tsp mayo
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 to 2 tsp diced onions
  • Whatever else floats your boat that day!

Instructions

  1. Flake the chicken and add all of the other ingredients.
  2. Mix until combined.
  3. Put on your favorite cracker or toast and enjoy.
  4. (Or just eat it straight from the bowl with a fork!)
7.6.6
12
http://www.somewhatawry.com/easy-and-delicious-chicken-salad/
ESHA Logo
Calories
885 cal
Fat
34 g
Carbs
5 g
Protein
131 g


Click Here For Full Nutrition, Exchanges, and My Plate Info

3 Secrets to Amazing Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes are heavenly when done right.  I do believe that this is Denton’s favorite thing I make.  He could eat them every single day.  As long as I make them with my three little secrets.  Here we go.

First Secret:  Start with well scrubbed Russet potatoes.  I’ve tried a LOT of different potatoes and they always turn out like glue if I don’t use russets.  Don’t deviate.  Trust me.

Potatoes, yum.  I even like them raw.

Cut them into roughly the same size for faster cooking times.  Not that mine are roughly the same size, but still.  😉

Second Secret:  Start cooking your potatoes in COLD water.  Please trust me again and don’t deviate.  It makes a world of difference.  I promise.

Add salt….

And pepper…..

A heaping amount of minced garlic cloves.  I always cheat and use the canned stuff.  Cook potatoes until tender.

Third Secret:  This one is the most important in my opinion.  Drain the potatoes and return them to your HOT pot.  You want it to cook off any of the residual cooking water and to dry out the potatoes.  It’s going to hiss and steam, and it gives the potatoes the most amazing toastiness, that you will not believe.  You will have to watch them like a hawk, you don’t want to burn them, just dry them out as much as possible.

And in an obscene amount of butter….. 

Add in whole milk and mash with your trusty potato masher.  Here is where I would be in trouble with Chef Gordon Ramsey.  I like my mashed potatoes with some lumps.  If you don’t, you can always put the potatoes through a ricer to ensure lump free potatoes.  But for me, they need to be slightly lumpy.  I love them that way.      

Additional salt and pepper could be required if you are me or my daughter, then sit down and enjoy all of the deliciousness you have created.  You’re going to love them.

NOTE:  This is my basic recipe, you can add in anything you like to make them your own and it doesn’t affect this recipe.  Cream cheese, chives, mayonnaise, yes mayonnaise, anything your heart desires.  Just use the basic recipe to cook and dry out your potatoes and you are going to love them!

Here’s the handy dandy printable recipe.

3 Secrets to Amazing Mashed Potatoes
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Ingredients

  • 4 to 6 medium russet potatoes
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 TBSP minced garlic
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup of whole milk

Instructions

  1. Scrub and peel your RUSSET potatoes.
  2. Dice into roughly the same size and put into COLD water.
  3. Bring to a boil and cook until tender. Approximately 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. Drain potatoes and put back into your HOT pot and steam away all cooking water.
  5. Add butter and milk and mash until you are happy with their consistency.
  6. Enjoy!
7.6.6
11
http://www.somewhatawry.com/3-secrets-to-amazing-mashed-potatoes/
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Calories
568 cal
Fat
53 g
Carbs
11 g
Protein
7 g


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Quick and Easy Hot Dog Chili

I love a good hot dog.  We don’t eat them very often, but when we do, I always want a tasty hot dog chili to go with them.

Hot dog chili is not the same as a chili that you would eat as a meal.  It’s finer and doesn’t have beans.  Although according to Denton my homemade chili recipe is awesome on hot dogs too!

Here is my version of the best hot dog chili made.

Start out with your favorite meat.  You can use ground beef, turkey, chicken, or even the substitute meat crumbles that you can buy in the store.

Brown until no pink is showing.  I like to use my potato masher to make the meat as fine as possible.  That’s just my personal preference.

I like to use 80/20 ground beef.  See all of the juicy goodness?  That’s flavor, people!

Drain, but do not rinse your skillet.  Flavor, people, we want to keep as much of it as possible.

Make your spice mixture.  I like:

  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp chili powder

I only use half of a 8 ounce can of tomato sauce, but you can use it all if you like.  It will just be more saucy. 

2 or 3 dashes of Worcestershire sauce.

1/2 cup of ketchup…..

After you drain your meat, sprinkle in the spices…..

Add in 1/3 cup of water and the ketchup and tomato sauce……

And mix it all together.

Simmer for 20 minutes to let everything combine and for the sauce to reduce.

Voila!  You have the perfect hot dog chili.

Note:  The leftovers freeze well.  If you can hide them from everyone.

Here’s the handy dandy printable recipe.

Quick and Easy Hot Dog Chili
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Ingredients

  • 1 lb of ground beef (or turkey, chicken, or meat substitute)
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 4 ounces tomato sauce
  • 1/2 tsp EACH -
  • black pepper
  • salt
  • onion powder
  • garlic powder
  • sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp chili powder

Instructions

  1. Brown your meat and drain.
  2. Add ALL of the other ingredients.
  3. Simmer for 20 minutes on medium to medium low until thickened.
  4. Enjoy with your hot dogs or as a chili dog!
  5. Note: The leftovers freeze well! If you can hide it from everyone.
7.6.6
10
http://www.somewhatawry.com/quick-and-easy-hot-dog-chili/
ESHA Logo
Calories
1547 cal
Fat
115 g
Carbs
55 g
Protein
76 g


Click Here For Full Nutrition, Exchanges, and My Plate Info

Restaurant Style Baked Potatoes

Potatoes.  I absolutely love potatoes.  In any shape or form.  Baked potatoes are a great favorite of mine.  We have them at least once a week with supper.  Here is my favorite way to prepare them.

Start with giant, well scrubbed potatoes.

Find a sturdy sheet pan, your favorite olive or canola oil, a sharp knife and aluminum foil.

Gently stab all of your potatoes – so they don’t explode in your oven.

Generously coat with the oil…..and rub until covered completely.  Then, rub the rest into your hands.  It feels good and is very hydrating!

Heavily sprinkle with salt…..

Yummy.

Wrap tightly in the foil…..

Make sure that there are no loose spots.

Perfect.

Place them all on the baking sheet, and bake at *400 for 1 hour.

Sublime.  Utterly sublime!  Enjoy them on their own, or as a side.

Here’s the handy dandy recipe.

Restaurant Style Baked Potatoes
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Ingredients

  • 4 giant russet potatoes
  • olive oil
  • salt

Instructions

  1. Scrub your potatoes well.
  2. Drizzle with oil and rub all over.
  3. Heavily sprinkle with salt.
  4. Wrap tightly in foil.
  5. Bake on a baking sheet for 1 hour at *400.
  6. Enjoy!
7.6.6
9
http://www.somewhatawry.com/restaurant-style-baked-potatoes/
ESHA Logo
Calories
559 cal
Fat
14 g
Carbs
104 g
Protein
12 g


Click Here For Full Nutrition, Exchanges, and My Plate Info

Fast and Delicious “Lasagna”

This is an easy and fast way to make a “lasagna”.  Hayden won’t touch spaghetti – he’s a fettuccine guy – but he will eat lasagna.  Liv barely weighs 100 pounds, but can eat her weight in any kind of pasta.  Denton, as he says, will eat anything.  So I consider this recipe an all around success.

Start with a pound of your favorite pasta and boil for 8 minutes.  I had half of a box of rigatoni and 8 ounces of this supergrain pasta that I mixed.  It was delicious.  And you can’t beat the price!

Yummy.

Next, get out your favorite spaghetti sauce.  I love Classico.  It has the most luscious taste.  And I can get it for $1.50 a jar on sale at Kroger.   I found these on closeout for $1.34, woohoo!

Mix the pasta, and sauce….

Add in the cottage cheese…..

Mix it all together.

Top it with some shredded cheese and bake until bubbly.  I always turn on the broiler for the last 2 or 3 minutes to make the cheese have some crispy edges, YUM!

We always have this with my homemade garlic bread.  It was worth every single second of the 30 minutes it took to put it all together.  Try it and let me know what you think.

Here’s the handy dandy recipe.

Fast and Delicious “Lasagna”
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Ingredients

  • 1 lb pasta
  • 1 24 ounce jar of spaghetti sauce
  • 1 24 ounce container of cottage cheese (you could also use Ricotta)
  • 2 cups shredded cheese

Instructions

  1. Boil the pasta in salted water for 8 minutes.
  2. Combine the pasta, sauce and cottage cheese in a baking pan.
  3. Top with shredded cheese and bake at 400* for 20 minutes or until bubbly. Note: I always turn on the broiler for the last 2 to 3 minutes to make the cheese have some crispy edges!
  4. Enjoy!
7.6.6
8
http://www.somewhatawry.com/fast-and-delicious-lasagna/
ESHA Logo
Calories
578 cal
Fat
10 g
Carbs
94 g
Protein
26 g


Click Here For Full Nutrition, Exchanges, and My Plate Info