Easy Slow Cooker Pork BBQ

Sometimes I make my own BBQ sauce, which (by the way) isn’t difficult. At all.

Easy Slow Cooker Pork BBQ

And yet, other times I use bottled BBQ sauce. Luckily it’s easy to find an organic, simple BBQ sauce (with pronounceable ingredients) these days at most grocery stores – even the “regular” chain stores like Safeway, not only specialty stores like Wegmans, Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s (all of which I love, but aren’t always convenient for everyone).

So, the other morning I had 10 extra minutes before we needed to leave for school and work – a miracle, I know. I also had a lovely pork roast sitting in my fridge from the weekend’s grocery shopping trip. And a bottle of organic BBQ sauce.

HELLO DINNER!

Easy Slow Cooker Pork BBQ

All I did was coat the pork roast with garlic powder, salt and pepper. Then I dumped about a quarter of the jarred BBQ sauce into the bottom of my slow cooker, set the roast on top (fat side up), then coated the roast with all of the remaining sauce, covered my slow cooker and set it for 9 hours on low.

That’s. It.

When I got home from work I used two forks to break the roast apart into pulled pork, and then I let it sit for a while in the BBQ sauce and juices while I prepared the other things to go along with it.

Easy Slow Cooker Pork BBQ: for those days when you need a “set it and forget it” recipe that can be thrown together in five minutes at 8 a.m.

Easy Slow Cooker Pork BBQ
 
Prep time
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Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 2-3 pound pork roast
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 jar BBQ sauce, preferably organic
Instructions
  1. Pour ¼ of the BBQ sauce into the bottom of a slow cooker.
  2. Coat the entire pork roast with the garlic powder, salt and pepper. Set it into the slow cooker, fat side up. Pour the remaining BBQ sauce on top of the pork roast, making sure it's covered on all sides. Cover the slow cooker and set it on low for 9 hours.
  3. Use 2 forks to pull the pork apart and shred it, right in the slow cooker. Give the pulled pork a stir to evenly coat it with the BBQ sauce and juices. Let it sit while you make the rest of your dinner.
  4. Serve with buns or by itself.
Notes
If your slow cooker has an automatic "warm" setting after the cooking time is up, it's okay to let the pork roast sit for a while before you pull it apart (like if the 9 hours of cooking time is up before you get home from work).

 

 

Honey Lemon Zucchini Bread

Honey Lemon Zucchini Bread

I’ve been staring at two giant zucchini in my fridge for a couple weeks now.

One came from our garden here on the homestead, and the other came from my co-worker who had no use for it. Obviously when fraught with what to do with this giant zucchini she thought, “Liza will take it.”

Because, obviously. I’m like Mikey with the Life cereal when it comes to garden bounty.

Giant Zucchini

I spent 15 minutes shredding those two suckers, and ended up with a little over 6 cups of zucchini bits. Two cups got frozen, and the rest was used for zucchini bread.

We love zucchini bread over here. It’s one of my daughter’s favorites for lunch, two slices slathered with cream cheese and eaten like a sandwich. My son happens to like his plain OR warmed up with a little butter. (YUM!)

Honey Lemon Zucchini Bread

I could eat zucchini bread any way it’s served, any time (although I do have a soft spot for a warm buttered slice).

Today I tried a new variation on my regular ol’ zucchini bread recipe: the addition of honey and lemon. It has a sweet brightness that’s both unique and mouthwatering.

Of the 4 loaves, I gave one to my parents (Hey – my mom did grow one of those zucchini, so I feel like I owe them. Plus, food’s always more fun when you can share!), saved one in the fridge for this week, and froze two to use over the coming weeks.

Can’t wait for breakfast tomorrow! Mmm….

Honey Lemon Zucchini Bread
 
Prep time
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Author:
Ingredients
  • 4 cups shredded zucchini
  • 6 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • 1½ cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 lemon, juiced and zested
  • ¼ cup honey (preferably local)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Use non-stick spray to coat 4 large loaf pans.
  2. Use a whisk to combine the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk the eggs and oil until they turn a creamy color, then add the sugar, honey, lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla and continue whisking the ingredients for 1 to 2 minutes.
  4. Fix the paddle attachment to the mixer. Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture about a cup at a time, mixing thoroughly before adding the next cupful. Once all the dry ingredients have been added, mix until it's just combined. The batter will be very thick!
  5. Add the zucchini to the batter, and using the mixer on low, gently incorporate the two. The moisture from the zucchini should loosen up the batter and make it easier to mix.
  6. Pour the batter into your prepared pans about half-way, and then bake them for about an hour (or until the top springs back when you press gently with your finger, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean).
  7. Let the loaves cool for about 15 minutes in the pan, and the remove them. Continue letting them sit on a rack until they've cooled completely.
Notes
TIP: If you plan on freezing these, wrap them tightly in plastic wrap once they've cooled, and then put them into freezer zip top bags.

 

Wooden Spoons

Wooden Spoons

Wooden spoons.

I think at last count I probably have about 30 of them.

Okay, maybe not 30. But, easily 20.

They’re one of those staples that I can’t imagine living without. I use them daily, and for a variety of tasks! They’re one of my favorite things, just like the white dishes.

The wooden spatula is probably my most favorite. My go-to when I’m sautéing veggies or whipping up a stir-fry. The flat edge is perfect for scraping up bits, and yet it doesn’t damage pan finishes.

Wooden Spatula

My other favorites are a recent acquisition. They belonged to my grandmother and came with the house we moved into this past June.

Wooden Spoon Ladle

These kitchen shovels aren’t just any wooden spoons.

They’re substantial.

They have a deep spoon pocket.

They’re not too heavy.

I love them.

Wooden Spoons Variety

But even though the specialty wooden spoons and spatulas totally make my day, I still adore the plain Jane wooden spoons. Even the smallest of the bunch.

White Dishes

You Should Own White Dishes

Let me start by saying this is not a sponsored post.

Now that we have that little detail out of the way, I’ll start with the whole point of this post: to kick-off sharing some of my favorite things in the kitchen, beyond the pantry. To go into detail about all the kitchen staples I love so much!

I thought I’d start with one of the most simple, yet terribly critical, items: WHITE DISHES.

Let’s be honest.

Did I always have white dishes? NO.

Did I always understand the aesthetic beauty of white dishes? NO.

Have white dishes fixed all the plating problems in the kitchen? Yes. NO.

When did white dishes become so important?

When I started this blog in 2010, I knew nothing about plating and shooting food photos – aside from the few years of photography classes in high school and college (with an old – but sturdy! – Pentax K1000).

It didn’t take long for me to realize the earthy gray-bluish plates we’d gotten for our wedding in 2002 were AWFUL in photos. And they didn’t do much for the food either.

IMG00084-20100926-1955

My PHOTOS WERE TERRIBLE – not the just fault of the plates.

Cape+May+2010+017

So, it was somewhat serendipitous when my co-workers gave me a holiday gift card to Williams-Sonoma in 2010. My first thought was, “How do I spend this?” Followed quickly by, “I NEED NEW PLATES!” You can read more about that here.

Related: Williams-Sonoma hides their “pantry” sets on the website, which are both AH-MAY-ZING and affordable.

For a food photographer (even an amateur like me), having really great accessories can make or break a photo. Some food bloggers pull out all the stops, with little original touches of delicate silverware, special linens, backdrops – you name it.

I love that. But that’s not me.

I’m simple. I don’t like to fuss around much, nor do I have the time for it.

Give me a white plate, some natural light, a terrific angle and I’m good to go.

And, because it deserves another shout-out: NATURAL LIGHT.

But you’re not a food blogger….

Okay, so you’re not a food blogger.

White plates are practical for EVERYONE. They make your food the highlight of the plate. It looks more appetizing. They go with any type of color scheme you have in mind for napkins, candles, tablecloths – whatever.

And they look so clean.

White Dishes

I love these dishes. So much so, I’m going to buy another set. And so should you!

Here are the details:

Williams-Sonoma Pantry Dinnerware

A superb value, our restaurant-quality porcelain dinnerware is sophisticated enough for entertaining yet sturdy enough for everyday dining. The clean, simple lines and pristine white color coordinate beautifully with other dinnerware and serveware, so you can use the pieces as part of a wide variety of inviting table settings. Made of high-fired porcelain for exceptional durability, they will provide years of memorable meals. Oven, microwave and dishwasher safe.

Williams-Sonoma Pantry Dinnerware

And, again – it’s not a sponsored post. I just REALLY love this dinnerware set!

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