Friday, October 29, 2010

Football Food Friday! Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Mustard Vinaigrette Coleslaw

Since most of my other Football Foods are either dips or appetizer-ish, I wanted to do something a little more main dish-ish for those days when you want more of a meal than snacks for the big game. And the best things about this recipe though it that it takes very little effort and active cooking time and is probably easier than some of the other football food recipes!

This sandwich is so delicious and I think you'll really love it! It is the perfect combination of flavor and texture. The pork is juicy and tender, the coleslaw is tangy and crunchy, and the avocado adds a creamy texture and mild flavor. I hope you enjoy it!

3-4 lb. pork loin
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, sliced
2 large cloves of garlic, smashed and peeled
32 oz. beef broth
2-2 1/2 cups of water (enough to cover the pork with liquid)
About 2 cups of your favorite BBQ sauce
Hamburger buns

Extra BBQ
Coleslaw (see below for recipe)
Pepper Jack cheese

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Lightly season all sides of the pork loin with salt and pepper. Brown each side of the pork loin in the oil, about 2-3 minutes per side.

In a slow cooker, create a bed of onions with three quarters of the onions. Place pork on top of onions and place remaining onions on top of and around pork. Place garlic in the slow cooker and pour in broth and water to cover the meat. Cover, turn heat to high and cook for five hours.

Remove the pork and onions from the slower cooker to a plate and discard the cooking liquid. With a tongs and a fork, shred the pork. After the pork is shredded, return the pork and onions back to the slow cooker. Pour in BBQ sauce and toss to combine. Heat another 30 minutes to an hour on high.

Mustard Vinaigrette Coleslaw
10 oz. bag of cabbage
1/4 cup vinegar
3 tablespoons dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 cup olive oil

While pork is heating in slow cooker with the sauce, make the vinaigrette. Whisk the vinegar, mustard, garlic, salt and pepper in a small bowl. While continuously whisking with one hand, very very slowly drizzle the olive oil into the bowl. It is important to continue whisking and drizzle as slowly as possible so that the dressing will emulsify and not separate on you. If it easier for you, you can easily do this in the blender, drizzling the olive oil slowly through the top opening or pour all ingredients into a dressing shaker or tupperware and shake, shake, shake! Chill the vinaigrette until you are ready to assemble the sandwiches.

Toast buns, if desired and top with pork and coleslaw and any other toppings desired.


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Festive Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Icing

I normally consider myself more of a cook than a baker and I usually don't dabble too much in creative cutesy food, but for some reason, I really wanted to make something cute for fall and this is what I came up with! Perfect for Halloween parties, Thanksgiving or just for fun! Cute and delicious--can't beat that!

1 butter yellow cake mix
1 package sugar free instant butterscotch pudding mix
4 eggs
1/4 vegetable oil
1/4 water
1 15 oz. can of pumpkin
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Starting on a low (so you don't splatter yourself and your kitchen), mix ingredients until slightly incorporated before turning the mixer to medium high. Continue to beat the batter for three to five minutes. This will "activate" the instant pudding mix and also whip air into your batter leaving you with a moist and airy cake. Pour batter into a well greased fluted bundt pan. Bake for approximately 55 minutes. Remove cake from oven and test with a knife or tooth pick to ensure the cake is finished. Cool in the pan for approximately 20 minutes and then remove from pan and cool on a cooling rack.

4 oz. cream cheese, softened (1/2 block)
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
2 cups of powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon milk
Yellow and Red gel food coloring

While cake is cooling, in a large bowl, combine cream cheese, butter and powdered sugar until smooth. Again, start on low and work your way up to medium on the speed! Stir in vanilla and cinnamon. Add milk a little at a time until you get a consistency that will allow you to drizzle the icing over the cake and let it drip down the sides.

1/2 roll marzipan (almond paste found in the baking aisle)
Green gel food coloring
Toothpicks for assembly

Unwrap the marzipan and gauge the pliability. It should be soft and moldable, but if it is like mine, it will be hard as a rock! So, what you'll want to do is heat it for about 30 seconds to get it a little softer. After it is soft enought to mold, knead the marzipan to get it so a smoother consistency and then add the food coloring to get the desired color of green you are looking for. Break off about 3/4 of the marzipan and begin to mold the stem. Next, proceed with molding the remaining marzipan into leaves. At any point during the molding process, you might need to pop the marzipan back in the microwave for 10-15 seconds to soften it back up. Set Leaves aside until you are ready to assemble.

After the cake has cooled completely, invert the cake onto a serving platter and slowly spoon the icing over the top of the cake, allowing the icing to drip down the side. Attach the stem with a toothpick by heating the stem in the microwave for 10-15 seconds. Push a tooth pick through one side of the bottom of the stem and out the other side. Using another toothpick, create a cross with the toothpicks by pushing the second through the other side. Secure the stem into the cake using the toothpicks. Place the leaves on the cake, resting them against the stem and the toothpicks.

Refrigerate until serving.

Serve and enjoy! Happy Fall!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Football Food Friday! Mexican Corn Dip (Hot or Cold)

One of my sweet friends, Amy, made a dip similar to this for one of my wedding showers and it was a huge hit. I asked her for the recipe afterwards and she sent it to me and I somehow lost it! Oh, the tragedy! So, I had to come up with my own version and here it is! Mine is a little different than Amy's so maybe I can get her to send it to me again and I'll post it for her (and for you!)

This dip, like my Spicy Artichoke Dip is good hot or cold, so take your pick!

1 lb. bag of frozen yellow corn, thawed (or 2 cans of corn)
8 oz. package of cream cheese (non or reduced fat is fine), softened
1/2 cup of mayonaise
1/2 cup of sour cream (non or reduced fat is fine)
1 jalepeno, seeded and finely chopped (leave the seeds if you like it spicier)
4 oz. can of chopped green chilis
4 oz. pepper jack cheese, shredded (about half of a small block and equals about one cup shredded)
1/ teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Combine all ingredients in a bowl until well incorporated. Chill at least two hours.

To Serve Hot: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spoon dip into an oven proof dish and bake for 35-40 minutes until warmed through and slightly brown on top. Serve with Fritos or tortilla chips.

To Serve Cold: Spoon into serving dish of your choice and serve with Fritos or tortilla chips.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Celebrity Sighting! Tre Wilcox, Top Chef Season 3

This past weekend, my sister got married in Dallas! Congratulations Katherine and David! The weekend was busy busy and was a complete blast from start to finish.

Friday night was the rehearsal and the rehearsal dinner which was hosted by the Helffrichs at Loft 610 where top Dallas Chef and Top Chef Season 3 contestant, Tre Wilcox, is the head chef. Naturally, I was super excited for the dinner! Not only for the fun night with family and friends and the delicious dinner but also for because I was secretly hoping to meet Tre.  

Now, normally I would not even think about this being a possibility but I thought it was more likely since we were at a private event as opposed to just regular diners. You see, Tre used to be the Chef de Cuisine at Abacus, another amazing Dallas restaurant, and I went there several times while he was there and never even considered going to meet him because I would be too embarrassed! But that's where my sweet husband came in...I told him about my now not-so-secret desire to meet Tre, so being the good husband that he is, he got up and asked him to come over to the table to say hi! What a good husband I have! 

Here are a few pictures....
Me and Tre Wilcox from Top Chef, Season Three and Chef at Loft 610

I had to let Steven into the picture since he was the one who asked Tre to come over! ;)

Jealous? Yes or Yes? 

Tre is not only an extremely talented chef, but he is a very very nice guy. If you're in the area, you should definitely stop by Loft 610 for dinner, it was DELICIOUS!

Tre is going to be on Bravo's upcoming Top Chef Allstars which starts December 1st! There are a ton of awesome people coming back for the All Stars season including other favorites of ours like Richard Blais and Casey Thompson (another Dallas chef), but you know who we'll be cheering for! 

Friday, October 8, 2010


Jambalaya is definitely one of the standard cajun cuisine dishes; however, just like many other cajun favorites, when it comes to recipes there is probably nothing standard about it! There are probably thousands of variations for jambalaya and I am sure every Cajun family has their own "perfect" recipe, but the following recipe is how I make it and I think it is pretty darn good...for a Texas girl! So give my variation a try, but to all you locals, please go easy on me! Afterall, I am just a Texas girl in a Louisiana world!

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
1 lb. andouille sausage, casings removed, cut into bite sized pieces
1 large yellow onion, diced*
1 large green bell pepper, diced*
6 celery ribs, chopped*
2 cloves of garlic, minced*
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon cajun seasoning
2 cups uncooked white rice
4 cups chicken broth (2 cans)
1 dried bay leaf
1-2 tablespoons Worchestershire sauce

Heat oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Brown chicken and sausage until lightly browned, about five minutes. Add onion, bell pepper, celery, garlic, cayenne pepper and cajun seasoning. Saute until onions are translucent. Pour in chicken broth and add the rice and bay leaf to the pot. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat and simmer for approximately 20-25 minues or until the rice is cooked through. Check the liquid level towards the end of cooking, adding additional water or broth if the mixture is getting too dry. Stir in worchestershire sauce and serve.

Although it is probably not the proper cajun way, we like it with cornbread. Jiffy, of course.


*For those in Louisiana, feel free to use Guidry's Fresh Cuts if you don't want to/don't have the time to chop the onion, bell pepper, celery and garlic.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Kidd's Kids!

Good morning!

If you didn't already know, today is a special day. It is Kidd's Kids Day! Kidd's Kids is a wonderful charity started by Kidd Kraddick of Kidd Kraddick in the Morning. The charity raises money to send chronically and terminally ill children and their families from across the country on a five day, all expenses paid, trip to Disney World. This is a trip of a lifetime for families that don't otherwise have the time, means and ability to take a trip as a family due to the struggles they face with a sick or disabled child.

The trip is first class luxury all the way and it is fully paid for by donations that are only requested one day a year, TODAY! Southwest Airlines even donates an entire airplane and the time of their employees to take the families from Dallas to Orlando. But the trip can't happen without donations, so if you have a few extra minutes and a few extra dollars, I encourage you to visit the website to learn more about Kidd's Kids. It is a wonderful charity that we love to support every year.

It is days like today and the stories of the deserving families that have been chosen for the trip that make me realize how very blessed I am in my own life. I hope, after visiting the website, you will feel the same!

I hope everyone has a wonderful day! May God Bless you today and everyday!
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