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crock-pot pulled pork bbq

unnamedChef Michelle is on the scene once again!

I am a huge crock-pot fan! Throw a bunch of stuff in, walk out the door, and when you get home dinner is done. Who doesn’t love that?! I wanted to share this super simple recipe that is a family favorite. I’m not sure what magazine I ripped this out of years ago but I hope you like it as much as we do. ENJOY!

Hands-on Time:
10 min.
Total Time: 6—9 hours.
Serves 6 (easily)

Ingredients:
3 lb. or larger boneless pork butt roast, trimmed of fat.unnamed-1
1 12-oz. can of Coke (I use 1-20 oz. bottle of Coke Zero to help save on calories while still getting the flavor. Don’t use diet soda.)
18.5 bottle of your favorite barbeque sauce (I use Stubb’s Spicy barbeque)
Rolls for serving – either sandwich size or you can use slider rolls.

Directions
1). Place the pork butt roast in your crock pot and pour the soda in. Cook on low for 6—8 hours.unnamed-2

2). Remove roast, shred meat and remove any extra fatty pieces. Reserve the juices.

3). Return meat to the crock pot. Add in your barbeque sauce and some of the reserved juices to make a medium-thin sauce. Cook and additional 30—60 minutes.

michelle’s musings
I have a large crock pot so I typically use a 6 lb. size for leftovers. I don’t trim the fat off since I think it adds flavor and it’s much easier to take any fat off when shredding it. Place the roast fat side up in your crock pot. I have also used bone-in which again, no big deal removing the bone and fat at the end when shredding. If you want to substitute with chicken breasts, I have made it by cooking it on high for 4.5 hours.

I love BBQ with slaw so I will also grab a bag of the pre-mixed coleslaw and add Wegman’s Yogurt Coleslaw Dressing. Another great slaw recipe is from Cooking Light, Tequila Slaw with Lime and Cilantro.

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rt booklovers convention

IMG_2101.JPGSo, I have been slightly MIA the last couple of weeks. Not because I haven’t been reading. And not because I don’t have some recipes in my back pocket. It’s because I’ve been spending the last few weeks furiously preparing for the RT Booklovers Convention in Dallas, TX. And it’s here!

This is my first convention/conference of this nature IMG_2094.JPGand it’s not related to my day job. Already, I’m having a great time! My brother and sister-in-law surprised me and picked me up from the airport. The hotel looks awesome. And I’ve already met an author, Carrie Ann Ryan and a cover artist Charity Hendry!

So, bear with me. We will return to our regularly scheduled program next week, post convention, when I will have new knowledge, new books, and new insights to share. Stay tuned!
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wicked (the play)

wickedThere is good in Baltimore. There is culture and positivity. While that clearly has not been the focus the past week, it’s important people know that it does exist here. And while I’m not a Baltimore native, I hate for only the negativity to be highlighted when speaking about the city. So…

I was pretty sure I was the last person on the eastern seaboard who hadn’t seen the play Wicked. Therefore, a couple of weeks ago, when I saw that it was here in Bmore at the historic and restored Hippodrome, I had to take action. Years ago, I tried reading the book and got to about page 20 and gave up. However, I heard from friends and critics alike that the play was great and a must see–so I did.

In case you’re not familiar, Wicked is the story of the Wicked Witch of the West from The Wizard of Oz. Yes, it’s her side of the story and what a story it is. The tale of her parents marriage, how she was conceived, and ultimately how her father and society treated her because of her green skin is pretty tragic. She goes through a period where she is somewhat accepted by her peers at college but due to her principles, beliefs, and fight against the oppression of talking animals, she once again becomes an outcast–this time for good. Not only was her background surprising, but so was her relationship with Glinda, as was her love interest.

The production overall was done really well. The sets were creative and often down-right pretty. The acting, singing, and comedic timing were essentially flawless. Admittedly, I was surprised that there was so much humor in the play, but it worked.

It’s impossible not to see some of the parallels between the Wicked Witch of the West and some of the citizens of Baltimore: the racism, oppression, discrimination, etc. Of course, in the play everything is resolved after final act–if only it were that easy in real life.

When all is said and done, I liked it and I’m glad I finally got to see it. I love The Wizard of Oz and whenever I catch it on tv, I always find myself watching. I didn’t love it like so many before me, but I would recommend it–especially if you’re a fan of the The Wizard of Oz. Much like the city of Baltimore–give it a chance.

pray for baltimore and nepal

baltimore-harbor.jpg.1920x810_0_302_10000For the last 20 years, I’ve called Baltimore home. While I no longer reside within the city limits, I am not far away, and it is therefore with a very heavy heart that I type this. No city deserves what Baltimore is currently enduring. I can only hope and pray that the violence, fires, looting, and riots cease immediately, order is restored, and the city can begin to heal. It’s going to take a very long time for the physical and non-physical wounds to be repaired. At the same time, those in Nepal are suffering the aftermath from a devastating earthquake.

kathmandu-tour-packagePlease keep all those in Nepal and Baltimore in your prayers.

pillsbury pull-aparts

IMG_2067In a three-way (minds out of gutter) text between myself and two of my oldest and dearest friends, Lisa asked for Easter recipes. Meg and I dove right in to provide some. Lisa used none of them and Meg and I proceeded to add to our collection. I see why this is a go-to for her when she has house-guests. Meg, thanks for sending it! And Lisa, thanks for asking–next time, try this one! Enjoy!

While I got the recipe from Meg, it originated on the Pillsbury site.

Ingredients
1 egg
2 tablespoons milk
1 (16.3-oz.) can Pillsbury™ Grands!™ Flaky Layers Refrigerated Original Biscuits
1 (2.1-oz.) pkg. precooked bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3 oz. (3/4 cup) shredded Cheddar cheese
1/4 cup finely chopped green onions (4 medium)IMG_2061

Directions
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 11×7- or 12×8-inch (2-quart) glass baking dish with cooking spray. In large bowl, beat egg and milk with wire whisk until smooth.

2. Separate dough into 8 biscuits; cut each into quarters. Gently stir biscuit pieces into egg mixture to coat evenly. Fold in bacon, cheese and onions. Spoon mixture into sprayed dish; arrange IMG_2063biscuit pieces in single layer.

3. Bake at 350°F. for 23 to 28 minutes or until golden brown. Cut into squares.

tara’s tips: I used an 8×8 square baking dish from Pampered Chef. Make sure the biscuits ‘stuffed’ into the pan. I fried 5 slices of bacon and drained it instead of using precooked.

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