Easy Tender Pork Roast

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you would know that "we love the pig." In fact, I think I have more pork dishes than all the other categories combined (NOT!). We love the pig so much that we decided to make beef roast but use pork instead hahaha. No, seriously. This is originally my mother-in-law's beef roast recipe. I just copied it and used pork in lieu of beef. :-)

What you need:

4 to 5 pounds pork loin
14 oz chicken broth
1/2 cup Dale's seasoning 
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons ground black pepper

What to do:

Place pork in your slow cooker or Crock Pot.  Add broth.

Using a fork, poke roast to create little pockets or holes. Place pork in your slow cooker or Crock Pot. Pour in broth, Dale's seasoning and let meat absorb it. Sprinkle minced garlic and pepper.

Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours. 


Tips, Tricks and Tweaks:

1. I know, it is a loooong time to wait. But it makes the meat really tender. If you are pressed for time, cook using medium heat for about 6 to 7 hours.
2. If you are a garlic lover like me, add garlic powder!
3. Best served with veggies and mashed potatoes!


Beef Bulgogi

This is an attempt to copy my mother's Beef Bulgogi. When we had it "mom's way," beef bulgogi was wrapped in lettuce leaves and was eaten as an appetizer of sorts. I wanted it to be the "star" of dinner so I served it as the main course - along with rice, of course!

This recipe is a bit sweet, but the steamed rice pairing tones the flavor down and gives you a hint of sweet and a hint of savory. I think I like it better than the store-bought sauces - I control the ingredients I put, and less chemicals. Yay!

What you need:

1 pound top round steak, sliced thin 
1/2 Vidalia onion, cut in rings
1 mandarin orange fruit cup
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar (depending on your taste)
3 cups of water
3 tablespoons pineapple juice
3 tablespoons cooking wine
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
canola oil for frying

What to do:

Easy peasy! Just combine all ingredients except  the canola oil. Mix well. Let marinate for a minimum of 30 minutes. Overnight is better!

Heat about a tablespoon of canola oil in a non-stick pan. Fry the beef slices until slightly brown. Pour in about a third of the marinade and cook for a few minutes more. Remove from heat and serve with rice.

Tips, Tricks and Tweaks:

1. I used a fruit cup because I didn't have oranges. Use fresh ones if you have any.
2. Cooking wine works great, but sake gives it a better flavor.
3. Green onions are also great in this dish!
4.  I originally used 1/2 cup sugar in this recipe but found it a bit too sweet. Cut down a bit, or try the sweet version!  :-)



Yep, this is a real place. It is actually Boogertown Road, somewhere in Sevierville, Tennessee. We were there for short vacation, and one of the highlights of our trip is taking a picture of that sign. My brother-in-law had to stop the car long enough for me to get a clear picture. (Thanks, A!)

Now, before you start making assumptions, Boogertown is not about boogers. Well... it is, but in a different kind. According to my brother-in-law, the road is named after ghosts or "boogers", a term used in the 19th century. I would want to think that the word "booger" is the pre-cursor of the term "boogeyman" we use nowadays. :-)

Let me tell you, I love Tennessee... the snow, the tourist traps (haha), the beautiful mountains... but I don't think I would be comfortable driving there. The winding roads made me carsick (we stayed in a house on top of a mountain) and I always had to have a sucker to keep me from throwing up. But please, don't let me hinder you from visiting. Everything is gorgeous, from the quaint candy kitchen shops, to the big "dinner and show" buildings. There is always something to do there.

In our case, we threw snowballs at each other! :-)


Avocado & Spinach Salad with Warm Citrus Vinaigrette

Happy New Year, friends! And because like 80% of the country, our New Year's resolution is also to eat healthier, I want to start the year with a veggie post. 

Hubby and I both love this salad because of the avocado. Growing up, I always considered avocado as a fruit. Never in my wildest dreams would I think of putting it in savory dishes. Well, imagine my shock when I found out that here in the States, it is the other way around. People would give me strange looks when I suggest they dip their slice of avocado in sugar. Or the "she-eats-strange-things, she's-Asian" stare when I tell them to add milk to it. Funny how one thing can be seen so differently in another place.

I like to think that I have the best of both worlds. I enjoy avocado as a fruit and as a vegetable. Although in this case, I really didn't care. All I knew is that it went well with the salad and it was delicious.

I got the recipe from the Dec/January 2013 edition of Publix Family Style magazine. I tweaked it to use the ingredients we have on hand.

Taking the leaves for a wild ride! Thanks, MIL for my salad spinner!

What you need:

6 cups baby spinach leaves, rinsed and drained
2 medium ripe avocados, peeled, seeded and sliced in wedges
2 ounces crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup pine nuts
several pieces of blackberries, sliced

What to do:

In a large bowl, combine the spinach, avocados, and feta cheese. Spoon onto plates.

In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, combine olive oil, orange juice, lemon juice, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper. Heat for about 3 to 4 minutes, until the dressing is combined and warm but not hot. Drizzle the dressing over the salads. Top with pine nuts and blackberries. Serve immediately.

Tips, Tricks and Tweaks:

1. Use apple cider vinegar instead of white vinegar. It will give the dressing a deep, sweet taste.
2. You can also top it with finely shredded lemon peel.
3. Don't like avocado? Try it with hard boiled eggs.
4. We like feta, but you can also use gorgonzola cheese on this dish.


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