Saturday, May 26, 2012

Cafe Rio Barbacoa Pork

 It's time for another Holiday Recipe Club, and for Memorial Day we could choose between 3 ingredients to use. Our choices are watermelon, pork, or beer. You can also choose two or all of the ingredients, if you would like. I chose pork because I love it. I love to cook with it at home, and I do so very often. I also love to get it when we go out to eat. When it comes to my favorite place to eat out, I guess I go in cycles, just like anyone else. Sometimes, it's a slice of pizza and a great salad bar. Other times it's an all you can eat sushi place. Right now it is a Mexican, stand in line and order kinda of place called Cafe Rio. I just love it! I went searching for a copy cat recipe mostly because my husband is sick and tired of Cafe Rio being the only place I want to go eat.Oh, he likes it too, but he is not obsessed anxious to have it all the time.  He doesn't say anything, but sometimes you just know. Ya know? Anyway I found one, and it is delicious. You will love it! For the true Cafe Rio experience you need to make the pork and the enchilada sauce.

Cafe Rio Barbacoa Pork
(adapted from barbarabakes.com)
2 pounds boneless Pork Ribs
12 ounce can Coke (not diet)
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
dash Garlic Powder
1/4 cup Water 

Place the pork and the brown sugar  in a plastic bag.
Pour in the coke. Marinate for a few hours
or even overnight.
Pour the meat and the marinade into the crock pot.
Add the garlic powder and the water.
Cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 8 hours.
When done, drain the liquid and shred the pork.
Now make the enchilada sauce:
Barbacoa Enchilada Sauce
1 cup Coke (not diet)
1 small can diced green Chilies
1 cup red Enchilada Sauce
1/2 cup brown Sugar

Put all ingredients in food processor or blender and blend.
 Put shredded pork and enchilada sauce in to 
crock pot and cook on high for 2 hours.
Then it is ready to serve.
I put my pork on top of white rice on a flour tortilla.
I also added sauteed onions and peppers.
At Cafe Rio their burrito is served with Cilantro Lime Rice
and Black or Pinto Beans. I have some recipes
for those that I will be posting in the near future.
I topped my burrito with the enchilada sauce
and some shredded cheddar.
So delicious! 

Thanks for joining me today! 


Stop and see what everyone else made:








 

Friday, May 25, 2012

She's A Grand Old Flag!

Today is another Cookie Journey Thursday, and we are making Flag cookies for Memorial Day! I love making cookies for special holidays!
I used a Wilton #2 tip for everything, and I used 
Wilton Royal Blue and Americolor Super Red #120 for the icing.
I cut out my cookie, and started the decorating by
outlining a circle at the top of the flag pole, and then filling it in.
Let it dry before going on to the next step.
Outline and then fill in the flag pole. 
Mark out a small square at the top for the bed of stars,
outline and then fill in. Let dry.
Here is a pic from the top of the cookie. The flag should look
like it is waving, so I brought the blue field all the way to the top,
and I made it as wide as the first scallop on the cookie.
Let the icing dry.
I made the first stripe red, and followed with 6 stripes total.
I let the stripe dry for about 20 minutes before 
moving on.
I piped the stripes freehand. It was very easy.
I made sure that the first red and the first white stripe
were equal in width to the field of blue. I was going to sketch
a line as a guide for the rest of the stripes, but instead
I estimated the width and drew the first line, like the red one above.
Then I came back along the previous white line. This was a
lot like the outlining I piped when I made the graduation cookies, 
but this looks much better. 
I guess it does pay to practice!
 (I should have listened to that advice a long time ago!)
Then I piped the line at the edge of the flag, and filled
in the stripe.
I think these turned out pretty well, but
I definitely need to perfect this, so look for these again
near the 4th of July.
Practice makes Perfect!
(or so I have heard :))

Looking for cookie cutters? 
I got a great email today from Foose Cookie Cutters,
and they have some fantastic new cutters!
Check them out!

Thanks for joining me today!
I hope someone is practicing along with me!

Have a great Memorial Day and weekend!!

The Freshman Cook can be found at the following parties:
Sweet Tooth Friday
Friday Favorites 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Apple and Raisin Bread Pudding

 I got the best Mother's Day present ever last week, when my son surprised me by coming home from school earlier than I thought he would! I really did not expect to see him until sometime before school starts again in August. I miss him terribly, and he is so far away, but I know he has his own life at school and with summer school and working, I never get to see him enough! So, imagine my surprise when he walked in the front door around 5 pm on the Friday before Mother's Day. BEST MOTHER'S DAY EVER!  I had such fun cooking all his favorites, and spoiling him with treats while he was here. One of those treats was bread pudding. Bread pudding has long been a favorite of mine, but my son likes his a little different than I do. So, I made it two different ways, making small personal servings. I made mine and my husbands with apple chunks and golden raisins. My son likes his plain, no apples or raisins, and we all like it topped with ice cream. I used some bread that I bought a while ago. It is called Kings Hawaiian Sweet Sliced Bread. Now, I love the rolls, but the bread was way to dense for our taste, so I just froze it because I thought it would make great bread pudding. Plus, I have a hard time throwing something away that I just bought.!

Apple and Raisin Bread Pudding
I used 6 ounce ramekins, and this recipe makes 4.
I also made it with 8 ounce ramekins, and the recipe makes 2.

Kings Hawaiian Sweet Bread
2/3 cup Sugar
1/4 cup Butter
2 Eggs
1 cup Whipping Cream
1/2 Granny Smith Apple
3 tablespoons Golden Raisins
2 teaspoons Vanilla
Dashes of Cinnamon
Cut 2-3 slices of bread into cubes.
Fill the ramekin to the top with the cubes.
Cut the 1/2 apple and cut into small bite size pieces.
Place into each ramekin.
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
Beat the sugar and butter till creamy.
Add your eggs, and beat until fluffy.
Stir in the whipping cream and vanilla.
Distribute the raisins evenly over the bread and apple.
Pour the egg mixture into each of the ramekins, filling
to the top. Push the bread, apple, and raisins
down into the mix, so everything is covered.
Sprinkle cinnamon over each of the mixtures.
Make a water bath, also called a bain marie, to cook the 
 bread pudding. This is a french technique designed to cook delicate dishes
 such as custards and sauces without breaking or curdling them.
 It can also be used to keep cooked foods warm.
To do this, place the ramekins into a 
baking dish that will hold all 4, or 2 if you are 
making the larger servings. 
Boil some water, and pour the boiling water into the baking dish,
so you end up with approx. 1" of water in the dish.
Bake for 40-50 minutes. Check the puddings at 35 minutes by
placing a toothpick in them. If it comes out clean,
they are done. Carefully remove the dishes from the hot water.
Serve warm with a scoop of ice cream, or....
serve plain.
Warm or cold, it is delicious!
Enjoy!

Thanks for joining me!

The Freshman Cook can be found at these parties:
Sweet Tooth Friday
Friday Favorites 


Monday, May 21, 2012

Slow Cooked Carnitas

Today is reveal day for Secret Recipe Club. Yay! It's always such a fun time. This month my assigned blog was Cooking in Stilettos! What a wonderful blog! Aly has lots of recipes, but as soon as I saw her Slow Cooked Carnitas, I knew I had my recipe. These carnitas are full of flavor, easy to make in the slow cooker,  (no hot kitchen!) and so delicious! I will definitely be making these again and again.

Slow Cooked Pork Carnitas
printable recipe
3-4 pound Pork Roast
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
1 teaspoon Cumin
1 teaspoon ground Coriander
1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
1 tablespoon Brown Sugar
1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1-15 ounce can Tomatoes
1/4 cup Orange Juice
Zest and juice of 1 Lime
2 Bay Leaves
Salt and Pepper
The recipe said to cut the roast into 4 pieces, but because
I used a bone in roast, I cut it into 2 pieces.
I heated the olive oil in a pan , and browned the pork pieces
on all sides.
I placed the pork in the slow cooker,
and added all the ingredients. The original recipe said to use 
fire roasted tomatoes. Because the hot stuff does not always go
over well in my house, I used a can of crushed tomatoes. They 
worked out great! 
Cook on low for 6-7 hours until the pork is tender,
and can be shredded with a fork.
Preheat your broiler. Line a baking sheet with foil,
and set aside.  
Shred the cooked pork, and set aside.
Remove the bay leaves from the tomato mixture.
Blend the tomato mixture with an immersion blender,
or pour it into a stand blender and blend until smooth.
Set some sauce aside to put on your carnitas in the tortilla.
Mix the rest of the sauce with the shredded pork 
and place on the baking sheet.
Broil the shredded pork, turning once, until brown and 
carmelized around the edges, about 5-7 minutes.
I sauteed up a few red and green peppers and some onions
to add to my tortilla.
Fill your tortilla with the carnitas, sauce, peppers, and
onions. Top with avocado slices and a scoop
of sour cream.
Enjoy!

Thanks so much Aly, for this delicious recipe! 
I will be back soon, as I have my eye on your 
Pork Tinga!

Check out what everyone else cooked up today:



Saturday, May 19, 2012

Strawberry Coulis

I used to work in a high end restaurant, and raspberry coulis was a staple in the dessert pantry. We used it for garnishing dessert plates and as a topping for brownies, cheesecake, and many of our wonderful treats. I wanted to make a strawberry coulis, so I used the same recipe, just a different fruit. It is so very tasty. I thought it would be nice, as the heat is upon us here is Las Vegas, to have some strawberry coulis ready to go, as an ice cream topping. It would  make a delicious strawberry shake, and  I used it to flavor and color my Cream Cheese Cookies w/ Strawberry Coulis Icing also.

Strawberry Coulis
1 pound Fresh Strawberries
2-3 tablespoons Sugar
1/4 cup Water
Chop the leaf off of your strawberries, and cut berries into 
small pieces.
Add the sugar and water.
If your strawberries are really sweet, or sweet enough for
 you, then add only 2 tablespoons of sugar. If not, then add three.
Bring to a boil.
 Let it boil for 5 minutes. 
Puree in blender.
Run the pureed sauce threw a strainer or cheesecloth.
I ran mine through cheesecloth to get rid of any
strawberry seeds. It got most of them.
Place the coulis in a jar and refrigerate for up to a week.
Enjoy!

Thanks for joining me!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Strawberries, Cream, and a Cookie Journey

Today is reveal day for the Improv Challenge! This challenge is always fun and this month our two ingredients are strawberries and cream. Does anything say summer more than that? So I went with cream cheese cookies covered with frosting made with strawberry coulis for taste and color.
 Here's to a Happy Summer!

Cream Cheese Cookies w/Strawberry Coulis Icing
 Cream Cheese Cutouts
 (from allrecipes)
1/2 cup Butter, softened
3 ounce Cream Cheese
1 cup Sugar
1 Egg
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla 
2 cups Flour
1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
Cream together your butter, cream cheese, and sugar until
light and fluffy.
Add your egg and vanilla. 
Combine your flour and baking powder and 
spoon into wet mixture. Mix. Divide your dough into
two pieces and cover and chill until firm; about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 
On a lightly floured surface, cut out your dough.
Bake for 7-0 minutes until done.
Cool completely.

Strawberry Icing
(adapted from Antonia74-Cake Central.com)
6 oz warm Water
5 tablespoons Meringue Powder
1 teaspoon Cream of Tartar
2.25 pounds Confectioners Sugar
1/4 cup Strawberry Sauce

Pour the warm water in a mixing bowl.
Add the meringue powder.
Whisk for 30 seconds. It should be thicker and frothy.
Add your cream of tartar and mix for 30 seconds more.
Pour all the confectioners sugar in the bowl at one time.
Mix on the lowest speed for 10 minutes.
Icing will get thick and creamy.
Cover icing immediately.
Tale about 2 cups of icing out of the bowl.
Slowly pour in just a little at a time of the strawberry sauce.
Mix well.
Icing should begin to turn color and take on the taste
of a strawberry. Add more as needed.
Start by outlining and filling in the leaves on your 
strawberry cookies. The leaves on real
strawberries are never perfect or the same, 
and mine aren't either. (That sounds like a good excuse
to cover a mistake, doesn't it?  :))
 Let all the leaves dry. I made 2 dozen of the cookies, so 
I just outlined and filled in all the leaves first.
Then I outlined the rest of the cookie in the strawberry icing.
I went rather low on the top outline because of the danger of
getting the strawberry icing on the green leaf.
Fill in the body of the strawberry, then go back to the top where
the leaf is and push the icing gently with your paintbrush.
There you have it.
When I made my frosting, I used a homemade
strawberry coulis that I made last week, instead
of a store bought sauce.(I'll be posting the recipe for the
coulis tomorrow) The fresh sauce gave the cookies a
true strawberry look because of the flecks of strawberry.
(you can barely see it in the pic)
However, the store bought sauce
might give a more intense flavor.

Check out what everyone else made!

The Freshman Cook is stopping by these parties:
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Tasty Tuesday
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