Sunday, April 29, 2012

Weekend Recap & Recipes

Friday afternoon, we took the boys to the park to get out all their energy so they'd sleep good for the babysitter. She got to the house about 7:00, after the boys were asleep and we left. I was a little nervous at first, but I knew the boys were in good hands. We went to T.G.I.Fridays for dinner and drinks. Afterwards, we went to Target to pick up a couple of things before going home. It was so nice to sit and enjoy a meal without having to worry about anything and then to walk casually through Target and take our time looking at the stuff we wanted to look at. We really enjoyed our date night and plan to start doing it more often. The boys were fine while we were gone.

Greg playing Words With Friends while I was trying to figure out what I wanted to order. He put his phone away after I finally figured out what I wanted. (I got the Korean Steak Tacos, they were delish!)
 Mmm....strawberry daquari on the rocks.

Saturday morning, we went to the mall and let the boys play in the play area while I ran into a couple of stores. We had lunch at Chick-Fil-A at the mall and came home and put the boys down for a nap. When they woke up, I worked on dinner while Greg and the boys went to the gym.

Evan in his room before Carter woke up. He's always into something.

After the boys went to bed, we had dinner. I made Cafe Rio Pork Barbacoa. I had to put the pork in the crock pot Friday night because it takes 18 hours to cook. I made homemade pico de gallo, homemade tomatillo dressing and homemade guacamole to go with it. We had "barbacoa bowls" with shredded lettuce, rice, beans, cheese, tortilla strips, pico, guac, sour cream and the tomatillo dressing. It was all so good. It was definitely worth the 18 hours it has to cook, and we'll be having it again. Greg said the pico de gallo was "as good as we get in a restaurant" :) There is nothing that I make that is as good as you can get in a restaurant, but it still made me feel really good. He really liked everything last night, but he had it for lunch today leftover and said it was even better. He said this pork was his favorite thing I've ever made. You have to try it! It's actually really easy, it just has to cook a long time in the crock pot. The pico de gallo, dressing, and guacamole only took me half an hour to make all of them. It's easy, it just takes time to cut everything up and put it together.

I tried to get the time on the coffee pot in the picture. This was 10:30 on Friday night before I went to bed, when I put the pork on.

The finished product. There was a lot of liquid because the recipe calls for a 5-6lb pork and the biggest they had at Kroger was 3.8lb.

The creamy tomatillo dressing. I love tomatillos but have never bought one or cooked with them, so I was excited to finally use them in a recipe.

My homemade pico de gallo. I've never made pico de gallo before. I don't know why, but now that I've discovered how easy it is, I'll be making it a lot more often.
I found the original recipe on Pinterest and it's from this website. The pork ends up having a sweet flavor. It's not hot AT all!! You can spice it up if you want, but if you don't like hot things, don't worry, this recipe isn't hot at all!

Cafe Rio Pork Barbacoa

5-6 lb. pork roast

21 oz. Dr. Pepper (or Coke, do NOT use diet soda)
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
1 clove garlic, minced
7 oz. can chipotle chilies in adobo sauce
6-ish oz. red taco sauce (I used hot)
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Place roast in crock-pot, cover half-way with water and cook on low for 12 hours. (I started my Pork Adventure at midnight and everything worked out perfectly for Sunday dinner at 6:00 pm.) After 12 hours, drain pork (retain liquid if you want sauce for burritos, simply mix with a can of verde enchilada sauce and away you go).

Mix remaining ingredients until sugar dissolves. I didn’t keep the actual chilies, I dumped the can into a bowl and added enough Dr. Pepper to get all the sauce off of the chilies, then I tossed them.
Add Dr. Pepper mixture to the roast and cook on low an additional 4 hours.

Take out roast and shred, add back into sauce and cook for 2 more hours. At this point the meat was so tender it practically shredded itself.

Cafe Rio Tomatillo Dressing

1 pkg. Ranch dressing mix
3 tomatillos (remove papery skin), rough chop
1 cup mayo
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup (or more) cilantro, rough chop
3 cloves garlic
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp green Tabasco sauce
juice from 1 lime

Dump everything in a blender and blend until smooth. Refrigerate in air-tight container

Easy Pico-de-Gallo

3 tomatoes, diced
1/2 bunch of cilantro, minced
1/2 sweet onion, minced
1 section of green pepper, minced--I skipped the green pepper
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
about 1/3-1/2 cup vinegar (use your best judgement)
salt and pepper

Mix it up really well and refrigerate.

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