Day 31 – Cooking

Today’s project – cook up storm.

Originally the plan was to only make pulled pork and lentil soup, but then I decided to add jalapeno cheddar beer bread and an apple tart to the list. The pulled pork is supposed to cook for 8-10 hours in the slow cooker. I am hoping to serve to for dinner tonight, so I woke up fairly early to start cooking.

Pulled Pork

Step 1 – assemble and measure the ingredients.

Step 2 – add all of the ingredients (including the pork) into the slow cooker and turn it on.  Easy as pie.

Out kitchen is outlet challenged and most of the outlets in my cooking area, which I would need, so I took the slow cooker into the office, plugged it in and set the timer. I was in the office off and on all day, at one point the smell of the pulled pork, while delicious, was very overpowering and I had to open the window.  Thankfully the weather is extremely mild today so I didn’t freeze.

Jalapeno Cheddar Beer Bread

Next I made jalapeno cheddar beer bread. Last week I tried plain beer bread – which was delicious, but today I thought it could use some extra zip. I had half a block of old cheddar and a jar of jalapenos in the fridge which I thought would make an awesome combination. I also thought it would make an excellent combination with dinner. This week I used Heineken in the bread. It was either that or a Guinness and I thought the lighter beer would be nicer with the extra ingredients.  

Beer bread is one of the simplest things I know how to make. Grating the cheese and cutting the jalapenos took more time than mixing the ingredients and putting the bread in the oven. Next time I want to try dill in the bread – I think it would taste amazing.

Lentil Soup

Next I made soup. I can’t tell you what a life, lunch and wallet saver soup has been for the past month. Making soup every sunday, or every second sunday and then freezing it has given me enough soup for 1 to 2 weeks worth of lunches. I used to eat out for lunch 4 to 5 times a week and now I rarely eat out at all. I am super excited by how much money I am saving.

First I cut up and measured all of the ingredients. I find that this helps a lot when I am cooking, so that I can toss things in when they are ready instead of scrambling to chop or measure while I go. It also serves as a double check that I have all of the ingredients before I start cooking.

I made 3 substitutions to the original recipe (which can be found on The First Mess blog). I used red onions instead of white because I had red onion in the house, chicken broth instead of vegetable broth because of preference, and paprika instead of smoked paprika because I couldn’t find any. I visited 3 stores looking for smoked paprika and nothing.

Otherwise I followed the recipe and instructions to a tee and everything turned out perfectly. I followed the recipe and instructions and I think everything turned out perfectly.

Now back to the kitchen to start prepping for dinner and the apple tart. Depending on when I have time, I will post more pics tonight or tomorrow.

Update: recipe and pictures of the apple tart just posted. Ps. the tart was delicious and super easy to make.


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