Monday, October 25, 2010

Successful Day in the Kitchen

Last Saturday was one of the most successful days I've had in a while - in the kitchen that is. While living at my sister and her husband's house for a week, watching their absolutely adorable mini doxin, I decided I would do some stuff I was deprived of at school - bake & cook - oh, and carve a pumpkin!

Apple picking last weekend left me with a ton of crispy, delicious apples and I was ready to make my first apple pie of the season.
My sister made a pie last weekend that was incredible, so I used her recipe. I will keep this apple pie recipe forever. Chris - who claims apple pie is the key to his heart - looooved it, so that must say something, right?!

For dinner, we decided on bbq pulled pork and corn bread. Chris picked up a 7 lb pork shoulder and a box of Trader Joe's corn bread mix (which I modified to make sun-dried tomato and smoked gouda corn bread - recipe to come soon!). I looked up a quick, simple, and delicious pulled pork recipe and stuck that sucker right in the cooker.

While the meat was cookin' we carved our pumpkins. Earlier that morning, Chris and I hit up a local farm and each picked out our pumpkins. They were about 20-25 pounds and they were perfect :)

We had a kit handy, but drew our own, personalized, face stencils. I'm pretty sure this was my first time carving my own pumpkin, and it was definitely harder than I thought it was, but so much fun! These are the end results:

So after two Paulander Oktoberfest Biers and two goofy jack-o-lanterns, our meat was almost done. I whipped up the corn bread and stuck that in the oven for 25 minutes while we pulled the pork and smothered it in Sweet Baby Rays BBQ sauce.

We all know not everything we make comes out perfect, and we all have kitchen blunders - trust me, I've had my share - but my friends, this dish was perfect. The meat was so tender and juicy. The bone pulled out easily and the meat tore effortlessly. There was just enough sauce - not to
overwhelm the flavors of the meat itself. We added Munster cheese, but it really didn't even need it. I even had some of the left-overs for lunch the next day, and it was just as good, if not better!

The corn-bread was yummy, too. I used a box of Trader Joe's mix, but added a few ingredients from a recipe I found in my recent purchase, Things Cooks Love. The bread fluffed up in the pie pan and kept so moist I didn't even think it was done cooking. It was the perfect side dish to the sandwich.

Needless to say, by the end of the night we were stuffed! It was a very successful cooking/baking day, and those days always make me happy :)

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