February 18, 2010

JR Strikes Again

Oh how I love when JR comes to visit! We always have such a great time chatting. We laugh, bitch, and laugh some more. I also enjoy cooking for my single friend. It gives me a chance to try new recipes and hopefully make his tummy happy. For dinner, PE and I decided to make Barbecue Pulled Pork. That is all the help he was because he wasn't going to be home most of the day anyway. PE was playing Hunting W. that day as it was the last week of the season.

Here is how my Saturday went. JR was going to arrive around 12:00 p.m. and I didn't want to spend my time baking/cooking while he was visiting so I got out of bed around 6:30 (our cute little puppy's bladder is such a great alarm). First thing we did was eat breakfast. Then while PE rubbed the pork roast (for the Barbecue Pulled Pork) with Secret Rib Rub I made Honey Barbecue Sauce. After the sauce was complete, I poured it over the roast in the slow cooker and the roast was ready to be forgotten about for the rest of the day. Then Hunting W. left to go hunting.

While I love hanging out with PE on weekend mornings I didn't mind his early departure as I had stuff to do. I started by making Sandwich Roll dough. As the dough was going through three rises (yes, three) I made Banana-Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies (a double batch to take to parenting class on Sunday) and Bacon and Ranch Pasta Salad. Somewhere in the middle of that I separated the dough and made the rolls and let them rise while I finished baking the cookies. Once the cookies were finished I baked the rolls. While the rolls were baking I made Red Velvet Pound Cake batter and straightened the kitchen/dining area. Once the rolls were finished I placed the cake in the oven to bake and left Moo in charge of removing it from the oven while I showered and got ready for the day since it was 11:00 a.m. and JR would be there in about an hour. Moo did a bang up job of makng sure the cake was done before removing it from the oven (she is turning into such a good little (not so little) baker's helper).

Everything turned out great! I finished getting ready just in time for JR's arrival and we wasting no time departing my house to go eat lunch (I did enough for dinner, I didn't need to make lunch too). The rest of the day was relaxing and none pressured other than my no cream cheese moment I had when I went to glaze the cake with a cream cheese glaze. You cannot make cream cheese glaze without cream cheese. Once I remember that I used it all For Super Bowl recipes, I made the decision to make a Brown Butter Glaze. So delicious! Just as good on Red Velvet Pound Cake as it was on the Bananas and Cream Bundt Cake.

The Sandwich Rolls were delicious and reheated well. Even with the three rises they weren't too troublesome to prepare. I will make them again. The Barbecue Pulled Pork was fabulous! The leftovers are great and the meat even tastes quite delicious cold. The Bacon and Ranch Pasta Salad was so good that PE ate the little bit of leftovers the next morning for breakfast.

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Barbecue Pulled Pork
from Sparky
Print Recipe

3-5 lb pork roast
2-3 Tbsp Secret Rib Rub*
1 recipe for Honey Barbecue Sauce*
1/2 cup water

Rub the roast with the Secret Rib Rub. Place roast in slow cooker. Add water. Pour Honey Barbecue Sauce over roast. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours. Remove roast from crock and allow to cool for 45-60 minutes. While meat is cooling place crock in the refrigerator to solidify any fat. After 45-60 minutes shred the roast then skim fat from top of barbecue sauce in crock. Combine meat with sauce and heat in crock or in a pan on stove top and heat until warm.

*Any rub and barbecue sauce would work great.

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Secret Rib Rub
from Sparky
Print Recipe

1/4 cup brown sugar
3 Tbsp kosher salt
1 Tbsp black pepper
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1 tsp thyme*
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp coriander

Mix all the ingredients together and store in an air tight container until needed. Before grilling rub the meat (whether it be chicken, ribs, or pork chops) with the rub.

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Honey Barbecue Sauce
from Sparky
Print Recipe

1/3 cup tomato paste
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon chipotle hot sauce
1 tsp liquid smoke
1 tsp dried mustard
2 Tbsp Secret Rib Rub

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator.

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Sandwich Rolls
from The Way the Cookie Crumbles
Print Recipe

4 cups (19.2 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour, plus
2 tsp instant yeast
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups water
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp milk for brushing the rolls

Stand mixer: Mix the flour, yeast, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the water and oil. Continue mixing on medium-low until the dough is elastic and supple, about 8 minutes. You may need to add a little more flour or water to get the correct consistency – soft but not really sticky. Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight. By hand: Mix the flour, yeast, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and pour in the water and oil. Stir the mixture until the dough comes together. Transfer it to a floured board or counter top and knead, incorporating as little flour as possible, for about 10 minutes, until the dough is elastic and supple. You may need to add a little more flour or water to get the correct consistency – soft but not really sticky. Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let it warm and rise at room temperature until it’s double the original volume, 2-4 hours (depending on the temperature of the ingredients you started with and the room temperature). Give the dough one turn, by folding it into thirds like a sheet of paper going into an envelope, than in half the other direction (as shown in the photos). Allow the dough to rise again, which should take about an hour. Give it another turn, then let it rise again, which will probably take less than an hour. Once the dough has doubled in size for the third time, cut it into 12 pieces. Very gently pull the edges of each dough ball around to one side and pinch them together, as shown in the photos above. Roll the dough between the palm of your hand and a board, lightly floured if necessary. Place the formed rolls, pinched side down, on 2 baking pans lined with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

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Banana-Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
adapted from Noble Pig
Print Recipe

1/2 cup mashed ripe banana (about 1 medium)
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
5.6 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1-1/4 cups)
1 cup quick oats
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup milk chocolate chips
1/4 cup white chocolate chips

Combine banana, brown sugar, butter, granulated sugar, and vanilla extract in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Add one egg; beat well. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, oats, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add flour mixture to banana mixture in bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well-blended. Stir in milk chocolate and white chocolate chips. Drop batter by heaping tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto baking sheets coated with cooking spray or on a silicone baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 15 to 18 minutes or until golden. Cool on pans 2 minutes. Remove cookies from pans; cool completely on wire racks.

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Bacon and Ranch Pasta Salad (Suddenly Salad Copycat)
from The Secret Recipe Blog
Print Recipe

2 cups Rotini pasta
1 cup peas, frozen
2/3 cup mayonnaise (Hellmanns or similar)
1 package ranch dip mix
1/4 cup shredded carrot
1/4 cup bacon — cooked crisp & crumbled (or bacon bits)
1/2 tsp onion powder

Bring water to a boil in a saucepan. Add pasta and carrot shreds, allow them to boil, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Drain into a strainer and rinse under cold water. In a medium sized bowl, mix together the peas, the entire packet of ranch dressing mix, bacon bits, onion powder, and mayonnaise. Add pasta and carrots. Stir together until everything is combined. Chill and serve.

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Red Velvet Pound Cake
from Carrie's Sweet Life
Print Recipe

1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 cups granulated sugar
5 large eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup sour cream
1 (1 oz) bottle red food coloring
1 tsp distilled white vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325. Grease and flour a 12 cup Bundt pan. Cream together the butter and sugar on medium high speed with an electric mixer until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at at time, scraping down after each addition. In a medium bowl, combine flour, cocoa, salt, and baking soda. In a small bowl, combine buttermilk, sour cream, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla. Gradually add flour to the butter mixture, alternately with the buttermilk mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Spoon batter into prepared pan(s), and bake for 50-60 minutes(30-40 for the smaller). Bake until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes. Remove from pan(s), and coll completely on a wire rack.

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Brown Butter Glaze
from Amanda's Cookin'
Print Recipe

1/2 cup butter
3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 tsp vanilla
4 Tbsp milk

In a medium bowl, add powdered sugar. Place butter in a small saucepan. Melt butter over medium heat until bubbly. Cook, stirring occasionally until golden brown. Remove from heat and pour butter into the bowl of powdered sugar. Add milk and vanilla, stir until smooth. Pour over the top of the cake and let it ooze over the sides. Use a metal spatula to help smooth it out.

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