Category: Food

Bacon, Bacon, and More Bacon!

Bacon, Bacon, and More Bacon!

Bacon, bacon, and more bacon!  Okay Friends… Here it is…  a compilation of bacon recipes!!  I’d put the shout out to some other food bloggers, and actually received 234 submissions!  If I had all the time in the world, I’d share them all with you […]

Instant Pot/Pressure Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage with Red Potatoes

Instant Pot/Pressure Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage with Red Potatoes

This Pressure Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage with Red Potatoes recipe is designed to offer the most perfect results for each ingredient…If you are using your Instant Pot, or other pressure cooker, because you need to hurry up and get this food on the table, […]

Bacon Wrapped Smokies with Pineapple- The best addictive appetizer

Bacon Wrapped Smokies with Pineapple- The best addictive appetizer

When I think about perfect appetizers, I automatically think of bacon, and these Bacon Wrapped Smokies with Pineapple are one of those appetizers that is hard to stop eating.  Your guests will both love and hate you for serving these, as they will continue to justify “one more”….and then “one more,” until the entire platter is gone.

The only appetizer we’ve ever made that disappears faster is our Famous Bacon Deviled Eggs, and do you notice the common theme?  It would appear that it’s all about bacon.  In fact, one of the fastest disappearing side dishes I’ve made more my family is the twice baked potatoes featuring cheese and bacon.  See? Bacon is a favorite.

All of your friends like bacon, right?

It almost feels cliche’ to be all: “bacon, bacon, bacon, bacon,”  because so many people are all about bacon these days… but there’s good reason for that, such as that bacon is amazing!  It deserves the attention it has been getting.  I’m not ashamed to be on the bacon wagon.  The only friends I know that don’t love bacon are vegetarians, and I bet bacon is the saddest part of choosing to be a vegetarian (I’m just guessing.)  In other words, we should all serve bacon wrapped smokies with pineapple.

Pineapple and little smokies, wrapped in a slice of smokey bacon. Such an amazing appetizer.

But Christina, I thought you were eating real foods!

If you’re following my journey at all, you know I’m trying (imperfectly) to eat real food for 6 days a week.  Well, I made Super Bowl my seventh day on this particular week. Little smokies don’t follow the rule of 5 real ingredients or less…but that’s why I said 6 days a week.  I love these things!

How could you not love these little smokies and pineapple wrapped up in bacon?  Here’s some more bacon photography so that we can all drool together…

bacon wrapped appetizers
Imagine putting one of these in your mouth.  You can already taste it, can’t you?  You can imagine chewing it and savoring it.  Let me tell you, we started eating these while they were still too hot, and nobody even cared that they were burning their mouths.

bacon wrapped appetizers

So without further ado,  here are the super simple instructions for throwing these bacon wrapped smokies with pineapple together.

Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
30 mins
 

Bacon Wrapped Little Smokies and Pineapple is one of those addictive appetizers that your guests will both love and hate you for.  They will continue justifying "just on more," and then "just one more," until the entire plate is gone.  

Course: Appetizer, Snack
Servings: 35 Pieces
Ingredients
  • 16 oz Little Smokies That's about 35
  • 12 slices bacon cold is better for slicing
  • 10 oz Sliced Pineapple Approximately. We used about 1/2 of a 20 oz can
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°

  2. Slice the bacon into thirds

  3. Cut the pineapple into desirable size.  We cut it into eighths.

  4. Wrap a piece of bacon around the smokie and pineapple and secure with toothpick.

  5. Repeat until all smokies are wrapped.

  6. Place all wrapped smokies on a baking sheet.  I highly recommend investing in and using a cooking stone, as it will keep the bottoms from blackening (and will do the same with bisquits!)

  7. Bake in oven until bacon is cooked.  This took 25 minutes for our thick sliced bacon, but yours may vary.  

 

Bacon, Brie, and Cheddar Twice Baked Potatoes

Bacon, Brie, and Cheddar Twice Baked Potatoes

This twice baked potato recipe happened because of leftover Super Bowl ingredients, kind of like my Creamy Avocado Dressing, and I couldn’t be happier.  They are amazing!  The brie flavor isn’t overpowering, so even the couple of people in my family who don’t care for […]

Avocado Dressing

Avocado Dressing

Do you ever throw something together and then get really excited because it turns out amazing?  That’ s how I felt last night when I tossed these ingredients into the Vitamix blender and ended up with my new, favorite, creamy, and healthy Avocado Dressing! Push the “Jump […]

20 Valentine’s Day Dinner Recipes for a Romantic Dinner at Home

20 Valentine’s Day Dinner Recipes for a Romantic Dinner at Home

Celebrate Valentine’s Day at Home?

You could go out to a restaurant for your Valentine’s Day dinner, if you make reservations in advance and then sit among the crowd of other people who chose to do the same.  If you’re like me, you won’t be able to help but to notice the people at the entrance waiting for your table, wishing you would just finish up and get out already.  Then you’ll pay an arm and a leg for a meal that probably wasn’t cooked the way you would like it anyway…

That’s not romantic to me.

But this is sexy…

raw new york steak
Look at these beautiful things! I could eat them already!

You could stay in and have a nice, quiet Valentine’s dinner at home.  You can put on whatever music you want, make your food the way you like it, and stay at the table as long as you like.  I’m a fan of sliding off the chair onto the floor when I’ve eaten too much, which is generally a no-no at the places I’d like to eat at.

Eating at home is much better on the budget and there’s nothing like impressing your date with an amazing looking dish like the ones below, most of which are super easy and fast while looking like they take a lot of skill and effort to make.  Another option, which I find romantic, is to cook together in the kitchen.  Not like those ads that show the couple holding the knife and chopping together–that’s just plain weird; but my husband and I work around the kitchen as if it’s a dance.

Don’t be Intimidated

The following recipes are designed to help anyone get into the kitchen and create a beautiful, romantic dinner.  From delicious sea food dinners (and yes, I know that lobster isn’t really a budget food–but it is more affordable than getting it at a restaurant), to savory steaks, juicy chicken, lamb, and perfect pastas, you are bound to find something you’d love to try on this list…..

This is important: Every single one of these bloggers has given me consent to include them in this post.  I’m using their photos, with permission,  but you have to click on their link to see the recipes, as well as some great tips and tricks to making their recipes.  That’s why this is not stealing.  To make this collection any other way would be unethical, and possibly even illegal.

20 Romantic Valentine’s Dinners to Make at Home

1. Grilled Shrimp Skewers with Marie Rose Sauce

This dish stands beautifully on its own as a main course. It also compliments a surf-n-turf spread perfectly because the Marie Rose sauce is also wonderful with beef.

grilled shrimp skewers

By: baconfatte.com  Click here for the recipe.

 

2. Surf and Turf

This is my husband’s Surf and Turf, and I can tell you from experience that it is perfect.  It uses very few ingredients, yet the flavor is impressive.  It compliments the goodness of the meat and shrimp without overpowering them.  To top it off, it’s fast and easy.

surf and turf with garlic and dill butter

You’re already on my website, the link to this recipe is right here.

3. Lobster Shrimp Risotto

All you need to make a delicious plate of risotto is some Arborio rice, butter, an onion, some stock and some cheese.  This blogger is ready to step you right through the process to create this fancy looking dish for your sweetheart.

lobster shrimp risotto Get this recipe from gogogogourmet.com by clicking here.

4. Roasted Salmon Tacos with Black Grape Sauce

Of course tacos made my list!  If you’re going to make them for Valentine’s day, you should go the extra mile to make these colorful and flavorful tacos. It might sound difficult, but they’re easy to make and can even be made ahead!

Roasted salmon tacos with grape sauce

Get this beautiful recipe from www.baconfatte.com by clicking here.

5. Baked Lobster Ravioli in Lemon Butter Limoncello Cream Sauce

What if this author told you that ravioli can be made without pasta dough and without boiling. Would you believe it? Sheet pan BAKED Lobster Ravioli in a Lemon Butter Limoncello Cream Sauce can be made ahead with wonton wrappers (no pasta) plus no boiling pots of water or fuss!  You’ll have plenty of time left to do other things!

Baked lobster ravioli in lemon butter limoncello cream sauce

Get this sheet pan magic from www.delicioustable.com by clicking here.

6. Sexy Shallot Chicken

Okay all you Instant pot fans….Here’s one you don’t even have to defrost!  “Bring some elegance to your dinner table with this easy chicken recipe for instant pot or crock pot. Comes together in minutes, but tastes like you’ve been working on it all day. No defrost recipe!”

shallot chicken instant pot no defrost from frozen romantic chicken

Get this recipe from www.cooking1handed.com by clicking here.

 

7.  Ahi Tuna Poke

I have a Hawaiian recipe to share with you!  The author (and diabetic coach) says: “Whenever it has been a while since I have been to Hawaii, I start to suffer from acute ahi tuna poke withdrawal.” She goes on to say that she loves Ahi tuna, and would eat it every day if she could.  Sounds good!  I love Ahi Tuna too!

ahi tuna poke romantic hawaiian dinner

Get this recipe from diabetesstrong.com can be found here.

 

8.  Brocolli, Rabi, Ricotta, Gnudi, Parmesan Cream

An absolutely delicious recipe for broccoli rabe and ricotta gnudi (like gnocch, but made with ricotta cheese instead of potatoes), with a simple Parmesan cream sauce. Light and soft gnudi that melt in your mouth with the most amazing cheesy sauce, a special dinner without the effort.

Get this mouth watering recipe from www.insidetherustickitchen.com  by clicking here.

 

9. Filet Mignon Beef Tenderloin Recipe

a good filet mignon is one of the most expensive dishes you can get at a restaurant , but it’s so simple to make at home! “Learn how to cook the best filet mignon – pan seared in a cast iron skillet and finished in the oven. It’s unbelievably easy and takes just 15 minutes!”

filet mignonGet this recipe from www.wholesomeyum.com by clicking here.

 

10. Linguine con le Vongole (Linguine with Clams)

A classic seafood dish that’s easy enough to make on a weeknight, and can be dressed up to serve for a special occasion.

linguine with clams con le vongole

Get this recipe, compliments of www.baconfatte.com by clicking here.

 

11. Chicken Marsala

This easy, one-pan low-carb Chicken Marsala recipe is gluten-free, paleo, whole 30, and made with just six ingredients in a skillet.

Chicken Marsala low carb paleo whole30

Get this recipe from www.wholesomeyum.com by clicking here.

12. Pork Tenderloin with a Creamy Mustard Sauce

Here’s an easy way to cook ultra-tender roasted pork tenderloin with a creamy mustard sauce.  If you’ve never tried a creamy mustard sauce before, you are missing out, and need to try this right away.

 

pork tenderloin with creamy mustard sauce

This recipe is from www.savorytooth.com and can be found here.

13. Hoisin Orange Chicken

Now for something Asian inspired, and absolutely beautiful.  The author explains that housin sauce, commonly used in Asian cooking and often referred to as ‘Chinese BBQ sauce’,  is a versatile and delicious sauce; and this recipe only takes 20 minutes, so you can be enjoying it in no time!

Hoisin Orange Chicken

This recipe is from www.foodmeanderings.com, and you can get it by clicking here.

14. Grilled Lamb Chops with Spinach, Roman Style

Grilled Lamb Chops With Spinach Roman Style will certainly tantalize the senses, and is a perfect main course for your romantic Valentine’s dinner at home.”  It certainly looks delightful, and is going on my personal list of things to try.

Grilled lamb chops spinach roman style

This recipe is from beyondmeresustenance.com, and can be found here.

15. Prawn and Mussels Rougaille

A gorgeous dish is a classic Mauritian recipe.  It’s in a richly flavored tomato sauce, that combines Creole cuisine flavors like onions, thyme, garlic and chilies.

prawn mussels rougaille

You can find this recipe from www.recipesfromapantry.com by clicking here.

16. Simple Beef Wellington for Two

This dish looks impressive, but Michele promises it’s not as intimidating as it seems, and she even provides a video to step your through it.  Speaking of, you should ignore this photo and look at the video, where her beef is perfectly medium-rare (this photo was actually taken of the leftovers).

simple beef wellington for two

This recipe is from www.westviamidwest.com.  You can see the video and get the recipe here.

17. Baked Sea Scallops with Crispy, Gluten-free Topping

Here’s a gluten free, low-carb, and Keto option, that can be a main course, or an appetizer.  The carbs are reduced by using an interesting and flavorful combination to replace the bread crumbs.To reduce the carbs in this low carb version, pork rinds and cheese are used for topping rather than a bread crumb mixture.

Low car, keto, gluten free baked sea scallops

This creative and fun recipe is www.lowcarbyum.com, and can be found by clicking here.

18. Perfectly Reverse-Sear

I wanted to add this because I love cast iron. If you like your steak medium rare, you should definitely give this cooking method a try.  Even if you like it another way, reverse searing gives you more control over the end results of your steak.

How to cast iron steak reverse sear

This recipe is by www.lowcarbyum.com, and you can get it here.

19.  Chicken Pasta with Alfredo Sauce

This gluten free blogger shares flavorful chicken pasta with Alfredo sauce, and shares with us the secret to her tender and tasty chicken.  It’s definitely worth a look!

garlic basil chicken pasta with alfredo sauce

This recipe is by www.recipesworthrepeating.com, and you can get it here.

20. Bacon Washed Bourbon Champagne Cocktail

This isn’t technically a dinner, but it does have bacon in it, so it could be an entrée in my book.  Or you could just have it with your dinner, if that’s your style.

bacon washed bourbon champagne cocktail   This  recipe is by www.suchthespot.com and you can get it by clicking here.

Surf and Turf – A Romantic Dinner at Home on a Budget- In time for Valentine’s Day

Surf and Turf – A Romantic Dinner at Home on a Budget- In time for Valentine’s Day

This surf and turf is simple, yet absolutely mouthwatering.  The few ingredients compliment it wonderfully, rather than competing with it.  It only takes a half hour to make, at most, but is an impressive plate that really says “I love you.” If you are looking […]

Creamy Dill Chicken Salad with Grapes and Bacon

Creamy Dill Chicken Salad with Grapes and Bacon

  Every now and then we crave a creamy chicken salad around here, and every time I try to make it better.  I just can’t help it. This recipe is the best yet; it is creamy and has the perfect set of flavors….but I already […]

Best Shredded Pork for Tacos

Best Shredded Pork for Tacos

Enough for a crowd, or to freeze some for later

When I try to do a Taco Tuesday, we end up with a taco week, as I’m sure you can imagine when you see this recipe!  If you’re not cooking for a crowd, you can reduce this shredded pork for tacos recipe, but I would recommend you make it all and then freeze some for later.  It’s nice to be able to grab some meat that’s already cooked up for nights that you are busy…or even nights that you aren’t busy, because you could be reading a book!

Remember that you can use the “Jump to Recipe” button above to skip right to the recipe.

This is easier than it sounds

This recipe calls for some pretty fresh ingredients, but don’t be intimidated, it’s really not hard to squeeze some juice out of an orange and lemon, and since you’re going to be using a blender, you don’t even have to chop the garlic and onion, so it’s pretty quick.  These ingredients are worth it if you want the best shredded pork for your tacos.

If you have some older kids, like I do (13 and 11), you wont even have to clean out your own blender when you’re done!  It’s their job!  Since my 13 year old wont follow my blog, we probably wont get to see a “Mom!” comment.  Bummer.  If you do have to clean your own blender, here’s my trick:  Put some soap and water in it, and blend it for a bit.  Then just rinse it out and you’re done!

I added the cocoa powder to my recipe when, years ago, I discovered that it was one of the secret ingredients in the “gravy” at my favorite Mexican restaurant that I had been trying to replicate.  I just couldn’t get the flavor right, and then I did some massive research, and discovered that cocoa powder gets used in a lot of recipes that aren’t dessert!  It really adds a dimension to the flavor, so I recommend you try it!  I also recommend you put it in your enchilada sauces and chili as well.

Cutting Up the Roast for Smaller Chunks

I started out with a 10 lb pork roast.  If yours is smaller, you can easily adjust the recipe below,  just select a smaller size and watch all the ingredients adjust themselves. Such a cool gadget!

I cut the roast off the bones into chunks, because it increases the area that I can sear in the pan.  Searing it will add a depth of flavor to the recipe, making the best shredded pork for your tacos.

pork roast cut up

 

The Remaining Meat on the Bone is for Broth!

I wasn’t worried about a little bit of meat being left on the bone, because I intended to turn it into a nice pork broth for later.  Pretty awesome when you can make shredded pork for tacos, and a broth, all off of one roast.  You can see that there was still quite a bit of meat on there, which is just fine.

leftover bone with meat for pork broth
This is the bone that was left over, with a lot of meat still on it. This will make an excellent broth later.

 

Searing the Meat for Added Flavor

For best results, you’ll want to sear these chunks just 2 or 3 at a time.  Putting too many in at once will cause them to steam, which isn’t as good as the sizzling, carmelized, slightly crispy edge you’ll get if you sear them right.

Here’s what my meat looked like once I had it all seared.  It can be tempting to just throw it right in the pot, but trust me, this step is worth it.  Since you’ll be making a lot of shredded pork for tacos, you want that shredded pork to be good!  It’s worth it.

seared chunks of meat for shredded pork for tacos

This is what the pork looked like coming out of the oven. I love using my cast iron dutch oven for recipes that goes from the burner into the oven.  You see all the juices?  We will definitely be keeping that!  I stole about a cup of it for cooking my rice (I added it to the cooking liquids, and it gave it a wonderful flavor), and poured the shredded pork right back into this pot and tossed it, to moisten it back up.

cast iron pork roast for pulled pork for tacos

You’ll take those pork chunks out and begin shredding them, and then put them in the oven on a baking sheet if you want them a little crispier.

The Beautiful Results

shredded pork for tacos

I think you’ll love your shredded pork tacos.

Best Shredded Pork for Tacos-Braised and broiled
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
2 hrs 10 mins
Total Time
2 hrs 30 mins
 

This recipe will make enough for a crowd, around 40 tacos or so...but I love to freeze some for later when it's just for the family.  You can always get a smaller roast and reduce the recipe.  It's braised in fresh, real ingredients, and gets braised and then broiled, rather than fried, so that it's healthy for you while still being crunchy and juicy at once.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 40 Tacos
Calories: 259 kcal
Ingredients
  • 10 lb bone in pork roast
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
Into the blender:
  • 1 onion, peeled and cut into quarters I used red
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 8 cloves garlic peeled
For in the pot
  • 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 oz tomato paste
  • 3 cups broth, beer, or combination 12 fl oz=1 1/2 cup
  • 2 tbsn chili powder
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder Adds depth to the flavor
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 cup broth
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°

  2. Cut meat off the bone into large chunks.  (Don't worry if you don't get it all, that bone will make a great broth later.)

    raw pork roast cut off bone
  3. Heat oil in large dutch oven, I recommend cast iron, until the meat sizzles when it touches it.

  4. In batches of 2-4, sear the meat chunks on all sides to seal in moisture.  

    seared pork chunks
  5. Meanwhile, place the onion, garlic, honey, orange juice, and lemon juice into the blender and blend until smooth.  

  6. Once all meat has been seared and removed from the pan, add the vinegar and deglaze (scrape a little at the bottom of the pan, and allow the vinegar to pick up the browned food for flavor).

  7. Add the broth and/or beer, tomato paste, and bay leaves.  Simmer and stir until tomato paste dissolves.

  8. Place meat back into the pot, and cover with the blended mixture, all the seasoning, and then pour the broth over the top.

    shredded pork ready to cook real food
  9. Place lid on pot and bake for 2 hours, then remove the lid and bake for 30 more minutes

    braised pork roast for shredding tacos
  10. Remove pork from pot and let cool until you can handle it (I speed the process by putting it in the fridge for a minute). Keep the pot with the juices to put the meat back into.

  11. Once you can handle it, turn the oven to broil (HI) and shred the pork with two forks on a couple baking sheets.

  12. Broil the shredded pork until it has the desired crispiness.  Stir half way through. 

    fresh out of oven pulled pork
  13. Put shredded pork back into the pot with the juices (I stole about a cup out of mine to cook rice with), and toss it until it's covere.

    shredded pulled pork for tacos
  14. Use it with all your favorite taco ingredients!

    shredded pork taco
Recipe Notes

Nutrition Facts
Best Shredded Pork for Tacos-Braised and broiled
Amount Per Serving
Calories 259 Calories from Fat 135
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 15g 23%
Saturated Fat 6g 30%
Cholesterol 71mg 24%
Sodium 302mg 13%
Potassium 496mg 14%
Total Carbohydrates 4g 1%
Sugars 1g
Protein 23g 46%
Vitamin A 9.8%
Vitamin C 4.8%
Calcium 3%
Iron 7.5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
 
The nutritional information is figured as though you chose all beer in place of any broth, because it's probably the highest calorie and carbohydrate option, and I want to be as honest as I can.  Also, this information isn't precise.

Nutrition Facts
Best Shredded Pork for Tacos-Braised and broiled
Amount Per Serving
Calories 259 Calories from Fat 135
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 15g 23%
Saturated Fat 6g 30%
Cholesterol 71mg 24%
Sodium 302mg 13%
Potassium 496mg 14%
Total Carbohydrates 4g 1%
Sugars 1g
Protein 23g 46%
Vitamin A 9.8%
Vitamin C 4.8%
Calcium 3%
Iron 7.5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

 

Homemade Mayonnaise, real food ingredients- It’s white!

Homemade Mayonnaise, real food ingredients- It’s white!

I am so surprised at how white this mayo is!  Normally homemade mayonnaise is more yellow in color, and I thought this recipe was going to turn out even darker because I used apple cider and red wine vinegar instead of the white wine vinegar that normally […]

Beef Stew- A flexible recipe

Beef Stew- A flexible recipe

I am trying to stick to real food (for at least 6 days a week), stay on a budget, and reduce the food we waste around here.  This stew is really good for this.  It’s very flexible; You can substitute for whatever you have on […]