Monday, June 30, 2014


Summer has officially arrived, and Fourth of July is right around the corner! That’s why this week I'm showing you easy and delicious recipes that will make you the star of your next backyard barbecue!

And what better way to start the week than with my recipe for Slow Cooked Pork Barbecue with Cilantro Lime Slaw.

Traditionally, pulled pork is either made by roasting it in the oven or by putting it outside in a smoker or grill. However, I personally find several problems with those techniques. First of all, I don’t want to heat up my oven for hours on end during the summer! That’s way too hot. And secondly, I don’t own a grill or a smoker. Fortunately, it’s just as easy (ehemm, EASIER) to make pulled pork in the crock pot! You achieve the same low and slow roast without heating up your kitchen. And BONUS: it’s portable! So if you’re taking the meat to a party, you can take the whole thing with you, plug it in, and keep it on warm. People can then serve themselves as they please without having to worry about reheating the meat.

What I like about this pulled pork recipe is that there’s very little prep work – which is exactly how a crock pot recipe should be!

And what’s the perfect pulled pork without coleslaw?! For this sandwich, I wanted a slaw that wouldn’t get lost in the barbecue but at the same time wouldn’t overwhelm it. That’s why I chose this Cilantro Lime Slaw. It’s very light and refreshing and adds the right amount of crunch. It’s also a bit tangy which provides a good contrast to the sweetness of the barbecue.


For the Slow Cooked Pork Barbecue 
·         1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
·         1 tablespoon chili powder
·         1 tablespoon kosher salt
·         1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
·         1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
·         2 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced
·         4 tablespoons minced garlic
·         1 cup root beer
·         4 pounds pork shoulder, cut to make sure it fits properly inside your slow cooker
·         2 cups barbecue sauce

For the Cilantro Lime Slaw
·         1 (12 ounce) bag broccoli slaw
·         4 scallions, chopped
·         1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, torn
·         1/2 cup sour cream
·         1/2 cup mayonnaise
·         1/4 cup lime juice
·         1 and 1/2 tablespoons sugar
·         Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

For the Slow Cooked Pork Barbecue 
1.      Mix the brown sugar, chili powder, salt, cumin, and cinnamon in a small bowl and set aside.
2.      Add the onions and the garlic to the bottom of the crockpot in an even layer.
3.      Pour the root beer on top.
4.      Pat the pork dry with paper towels.
5.      Rub the spice mixture on all sides of the pork and place the meat in the crock pot on top of the onions and garlic.
6.      Cover and cook until the pork is tender, about 4 to 6 hours on low.
7.      Turn off the crock pot and remove the pork to a cutting board.
8.      Set a fine-mesh strainer over a medium heatproof bowl.
9.      Pour the onion mixture from the slow cooker through the strainer and return the solids to the crock pot.
10.  Set the strained liquid aside.
11.  Using 2 forks or a sharp knife, shred the meat into bite-sized pieces, discarding any large pieces of fat.
12.  Return the shredded meat to the slow cooker, add the barbecue sauce, and mix to combine.
13.  Add to sandwich buns if desired

Recipe adapted from Chow

For the Cilantro Lime Slaw
1.      Toss the bag of slaw, scallions, and cilantro in a large salad bowl
2.      Make the dressing by combining the sour cream, mayonnaise, lime juice, and sugar.
3.      Season with salt and pepper to taste.
4.      Pour the dressing over the slaw and mix to combine.
5.      Serve on top of pork sandwiches or as a side

Recipe adapted from Tyler Florence

The ingredients for the pork rub

The spices combined

I cut the pork shoulder into pieces so it would fit in my crock pot

The finished pulled pork!

Add the slaw on top of the sandwich for an added crunch!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014


Two years ago I made enchiladas for the very first time. I found a very popular recipe on Pinterest, I bought all 18 ingredients, and I followed the directions exactly as written. It took me a solid three hours to make the recipe, and it turned out… alright. Just alright. I made the recipe several more times and got the same results. No one wants to spend $30 on ingredients and an entire evening in the kitchen just for mediocre results. So I made it my mission to make the perfect enchiladas.

I researched a variety of different recipes, and ultimately I came up with this Jalapeño Honey-Lime Enchiladas recipe. I have tested and edited this recipe numerous times, and I’m proud to say that it’s finally perfect.

These enchiladas EXPLODE with flavor! They’re a little sweet, but they still provide a spicy KICK! 

The recipe is very easy to put together. The most time-consuming part is shredding the chicken. When I make this recipe, I bake a couple of chicken breasts in the oven for about 25 minutes, and then I shred them and marinate them. However, you could always just buy a rotisserie chicken. 

And BONUS: It makes enough food for plenty of leftovers, and they reheat very well.


·         1 (4 ounce) can jalapeños
·         1/3 cup lime juice
·         1/3 cup honey
·         1 teaspoon garlic powder
·         1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, shredded
·         1 (16 ounce) can green enchilada sauce
·         6-8 tortillas
·         2 cups Monterey jack cheese
·         1/2 cup sour cream (low-fat or regular)
·         1 tablespoon chili powder
·         1/4 cup chopped cilantro

1.       Whisk jalapeños, lime juice, honey, and garlic powder together in a bowl and dump in a Ziploc bag.
2.       Add shredded chicken to bag, and let it marinate in refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
3.       Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenehit.
4.       Spread 1/2 cup green enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking pan
5.       Take 1 tortilla and place it on a plate.
6.       Fill it with 1/2 cup of the marinated chicken and sprinkle with cheese.
7.       Roll up the tortilla and place it seam-side down into the baking pan.
8.       Continue to fill up the tortillas with chicken and cheese and place into baking pan until you run out of chicken. I usually am able to make 6 enchiladas.
9.       Mix remaining enchilada sauce with sour cream and chili powder.
10.    Dump the enchilada sauce / sour cream mixture on top of the enchiladas in the baking pan.
11.    Sprinkle remaining cheese on top of enchiladas.
12.    Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
13.    Remove from oven and sprinkle with cilantro.

Dump the shredded chicken in the Ziploc bag and let it marinate for at least an hour (but the longer the better!)

Scoop 1/2 cup of chicken mixture out of Ziploc bag, put on tortilla, and sprinkle with cheese.

Mix the leftover enchilada sauce with 1/2 cup of sour cream

Dump the enchilada sauce / sour cream mixture over the tortillas in the baking pan and sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Crispy, cheesy enchiladas fresh out of the oven!

Sprinkle enchiladas with cilantro because cilantro makes everything better.

Take a bite and repeat.. and repeat and repeat and repeat!

Friday, June 20, 2014


Starting in early September everyone begins obsessing over pumpkin and pumpkin flavored treats - especially Starbucks pumpkin spice lattes. But two months later this delicious drink and all of its pumpkin treat friends are already out of stores. For a pumpkin lover like myself this is very depressing! That’s why today I'm letting it become known that it is perfectly acceptable to treat yourself to pumpkin anytime of the year. And I'm reiterating that fact by sharing these recipes for a copycat Starbucks pumpkin scone and pumpkin spice latte!

I have wanted to try out a scone recipe for quite some time. I love scones. They’re more filling than a doughnut and not as sweet as a muffin. They’re the perfect treat to enjoy with your morning cup of coffee or tea. I was planning to try a blueberry or strawberry scone recipe, but then I saw a can of Libby’s Pure Pumpkin in the store this week and I immediately started craving Starbucks pumpkin scones.

Since this was my first scone experience, I wasn’t quite sure how they would turn out, but I was pleasantly surprised. They’re very moist and dense with just the perfect amount of cinnamon and spices. I also added two different glazes to the scone to make it a little sweeter. I added a simple sugar glaze and a cinnamon glaze. You have the option to either add both, one, or none of the glazes.

And of course, if you’re making pumpkin scones, it’s completely necessary to make a pumpkin spice latte to go with it.


For the Pumpkin Scones:
·         2 cups all-purpose flour
·         1/3 cup brown sugar
·         2 teaspoons pumpkin spice
·         1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
·         1 teaspoon baking powder
·         1/2 teaspoon baking soda
·         1/2 teaspoon salt
·         ½ cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter
·         1/2 cup pumpkin puree
·         3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
·         1 large egg
·         2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the Simple Sugar Glaze:
·         1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
·         3 tablespoons heavy cream

For the Cinnamon Glaze:
·         1 cup powdered sugar
·         2 tablespoon heavy cream
·         1 tablespoon pumpkin puree
·         1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

For the Pumpkin Scones:
1.       Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2.       Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat; set aside.
3.       In a large bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, baking powder, and baking soda and salt.
4.       Add cold butter, using your fingers to work the butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside.
5.       In a large glass measuring cup or another bowl, whisk together pumpkin puree, heavy whipping cream, egg and vanilla.
6.       Pour mixture over dry ingredients and stir using a rubber spatula until a soft dough forms.
7.       Working on a lightly floured surface, knead the dough 3-4 times until it comes together.
8.       Using a rolling pill, roll the dough into a circle, about 1-inch thick.
9.       Using a large knife or a pizza cutter, cut the circle like a pizza into 8 triangles
10.   Place scones onto prepared baking sheet.
11.   Place into oven and bake for 10 minutes.
12.   Cool for 10 minutes
13.   Spoon on simple sugar glaze
14.   Spoon on spiced glaze

For the Simple Sugar Glaze:
1.       Combine confectioners’ sugar and milk.
2.       Whisk until smooth. If the glaze is too thick, add more milk as needed; set aside.

For the Cinnamon Glaze:
1.       Combine confectioners’ sugar, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and milk.
2.       Whisk until smooth; set aside.

Recipe adapted from Inspired Taste

Cut the cold butter into pieces so it's easier to cut into the flour mixture

I use an OXO Good Grips Dough Blender to cut into the butter

This is what your mixture will look like when tit's combined

The wet ingredients

Once combined, pour the wet ingredients onto the dry ingredients

Stir with a rubber spatula until just combined. Do not overmix.

Remove your dough from the bowl and form into a ball

Roll out the ball and form a circle

Cut the circle like a pizza into 8 triangles and add to a baking sheet

Cooked scones before the frosting

Simple sugar glaze

Cinnamon glaze

Use a knife or pastry brush to coat scones with simple sugar glaze and then cinnamon glaze


·         1 cup milk (any kind)
·         1 tablespoon white sugar
·         1 tablespoon pumpkin puree
·         1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
·         ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
·         6 ounce strong coffee

1.       Whisk 1/2 cup milk, sugar, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla extract in a small saucepan over low heat.
2.       Simmer on low for 5 minutes.
3.       Whisk in remaining 1/2 cup milk.
4.       Pour milk mixture through a fine-mesh sieve to remove pulp.
5.       Return milk mixture to saucepan and simmer, whisking, 2 minutes.
6.       Add coffee and whisk until foamy, or about 1 minute.

Pumpkin Spice Latte

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Sweet and Tangy Red Velvet Cupcakes

Red Velvet is one of the most popular flavors for just about everything. From Pop Tarts to pancakes to ice cream and even tea, everyone seems to love Red Velvet.

The past few years I’ve definitely partaken in the Red Velvet craze. I order Red Velvet cheesecake and eat Red Velvet frozen yogurt. But up until recently, I never really understood what "flavor" I was eating.

A co-worker of mine had a birthday yesterday, and she requested Red Velvet cupcakes for her birthday treat. I had never made Red Velvet cupcakes from scratch before, but I’m always up for an adventure. So I did some research online.

It turns out that Red velvet is so much more than just vanilla or chocolate cake. The main ingredients are cocoa powder, buttermilk, and vanilla. Together those ingredients give it a mild taste that’s not quite as sweet as a vanilla cake and not as rich as a chocolate cake.

I also learned that when making Red Velvet cake, the frosting is just as important as the cake itself. The tanginess of the cream cheese frosting complements the sweetness of the cake. And the bright white cream cheese frosting provides a beautiful contrast to the red cake.

I already had a classic cream cheese frosting recipe in my repertoire, but I had no idea where to begin as far as Red Velvet cupcake recipes go. I sorted through dozens of recipes and experimented with two batches before I came up with the best one.

Sweet and Tangy Red Velvet Cupcakes
Makes about 30 cupcakes

For the cupcakes:

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (to make buttermilk, add 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice to 1/2 cup milk, stir, and let sit for at least two minutes)
  • 4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 ounce red food coloring (this is typically 1 whole bottle)

For the cream cheese frosting

  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoons salt, or as needed

For the cupcakes

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Mix flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in medium bowl. Set aside.
  3. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed 5 minutes until light and fluffy.
  4. Beat in eggs, one at a time.
  5. Mix in sour cream, buttermilk, vanilla, and food coloring.
  6. Gradually beat in flour and cocoa mixture on low speed until just blended. Do not overbeat.
  7. Spoon batter into paper-lined muffin cups, filling each cup 2/3 full.
  8. Bake about 18 minutes or until toothpick inserted into cupcake comes out clean.
  9. Gently remove from oven.
  10. Cool in pans on wire rack at least 5 minutes.
  11. Remove from pans and cool completely.
  12. Frost with cream cheese frosting once cooled
For the cream cheese frosting

  1. Beat the softened butter and cream cheese together on medium speed for 3 minutes until light and fluffy
  2. Add 3 cups of powdered sugar and beat until combined.
  3. Add 2 teaspoons vanilla extract.
  4. Beat on medium speed for 2 more minutes.
  5. Add salt to taste.

Happy birthday to my Fox59 morning co-worker, Vanessa McClure!

Friday, June 13, 2014


Today’s post is dedicated to all of the fathers out there! Well actually it may be more appropriate to say this post is directed toward everyone who doesn't know what to get for their dad for Father’s Day.

Everyone always says the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Although a new sports car or brand new set of golf clubs would have your dad drooling, the perfect gift is usually found right at home. Personally, nothing says Father’s Day quite like BBQ ribs. For as long as I can remember, we’ve always eaten ribs on my dad’s special day. Usually we make the trek out to Texas Roadhouse, but last year I decided I wanted to make them for my dad all by myself.

My mother was very skeptical of the idea and suggested that we just buy cooked ribs instead. I think a big part of her skepticism was due to the fact that I had never used a grill before. But you know what I learned? YOU DON’T NEED A GRILL TO COOK DELICIOUS RIBS! You can make mouth-watering ribs right in the oven. This is a big deal for anyone like me who wants to make barbecue but doesn’t own a big fancy grill or smoker.

So after plenty of research and countless trials, I have discovered the best method for making tender, juicy, fall-off-the bone barbecue ribs in the oven. I plan on making these ribs for my dad on Sunday, and I suggest you do the same!

Also, since this is a post dedicated to dads, I thought I would share the recipe for one of my dad’s favorite cookies: Chocolate Peanut Butter No Bake Cookies. 

Since they’re “no bake” it seems like they would be super easy, but I’m forewarning you now there’s one step that can be tricky if you don’t pay attention. The most important part of this recipe is bringing the mixture to a boil. As you’ll see  in the directions below, I talk about bringing the first four ingredients to a rolling boil for a minute and a half. Do not start timing the minute and a half right when you turn the heat on the stove. Do not start timing the minute and a half when it starts to simmer. Wait until you start seeing big rolling bubbles, and then starting timing the minute and a half.

If you take the mixture off the heat too early, the ingredients won’t bind together. And when that happens, the cookies won’t set and you’re left with globs of oats and chocolate stuck to wax paper (been there, done that). If you let the mixture boil too long, it will burn. So take out your stopwatch and time it!

Other than that, it’s a pretty easy recipe to make. And I have yet to meet anyone who will turn down this chocolatey, peanut butter delight.


For the rub
  • 6 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
  • 6 tablespoons cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons cumin
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary powder
For the ribs
  • Slab of ribs
  • Salt
  • Vegetable oil
  • Your favorite barbecue sauce!

For the rub
  1. Mix all of the ingredients together
  2. Save any leftover rub in a sealed bag for next time
For The ribs
  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Remove slab of ribs from packaging and rinse off in cold water 
  3. Pat ribs dry with a paper towel
  4. Sprinkle salt over both sides of the slab, and if you have time, let it absorb into the meat for an hour
  5. Coat the meat with a thin layer of vegetable oil. The oil will help make the bark, the desired crust on the top. 
  6. Take your rub and sprinkle it over the slab so the entire surface is coated
  7. Massage the rub into the ribs with your fingers
  8. Repeat on the other side of the slab
  9. Lay two layers of aluminum foil on a baking sheet
  10. Go ahead and spray the aluminum foil with non-stick cooking spray, just in case
  11. Place the slab on the aluminum foil, meaty side down
  12. Lay two layers of aluminum foil on top of the slab
  13. Roll and crimp the edges of the aluminum foil tightly, edges facing up to seal
  14. Put the ribs in the oven for four hours
  15. Remove ribs from oven
  16. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  17. Take off the top layer of aluminum foil. At this point you'll see that the ribs are sitting a pool of fatty red juices. Drain the juices the easiest way you can. I personally tip the ribs over the sink and let it drain that way.
  18. Once the juices are drained, flip the slab over so it's now meaty side up
  19. Smother the ribs in barbecue sauce
  20. Stick the slab of ribs back in the oven for 30 minutes. The purpose of this step is to let the sauce bake onto the ribs.
  21. Take ribs back out of the oven
  22. Let them cool off, find a stack of napkins, and enjoy!

Pat the ribs dry

Salt the ribs, and if you have time let the salt soak into the meat for an hour.

The ingredients for your dry rub.

Massage the dry rub into the meat.

Place ribs on aluminum foil, meaty side down.

Wrap up the slab in aluminum foil

Pull the ribs out of the oven after about 4 hours.

Drain the juices

Smother ribs in barbecue sauce

Enjoy! P.S. It's very difficult to take good pictures of ribs, but trust me, they're delicious!


  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 heaping cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 cups quick-cooking oats (make sure you use quick-cooking!)
  1. Dump the sugar, butter, milk, and unsweetened cocoa powder into a large saucepan
  2. Heat the mixture on medium high heat and wait until it comes to a rolling boil (not simmer!)
  3. Once it starts the rolling boil, time it for one and a half minutes
  4. When the time is up, remove the mixture from the heat
  5. Add the peanut butter to the mixture and stir until it's completely combined
  6. Add the vanilla to the mixture and stir
  7. Add the oats to the mixture and stir until combined
  8. Roll out a sheet of wax paper, and drop the mixture by tablespoons onto the wax paper
  9. Let the cookies cool until they've set

Dump the first four ingredients into the saucepan.

This is not a rolling boil, this is a simmer. Do not start timing yet.

THIS is what a rolling boil looks like. Start timing as soon as you see this!

Mix in the peanut butter and vanilla

Mix in the oats

Let the cookies cool until they're set

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