Tag Archives: easy

Pulled Pork & Other Football Food

22 Jan

Last weekend was cold, snowy, and perfect for staying in. Although the Filthy Fowl and I did get out, we got in a good amount of lounging. On Sunday, we had a whirlwind HDTV-buying experience, just in time for football and the Lost premiere (tonight!!).

Although the Patriots weren’t making an appearance on Sunday, the Filthy Fowl loves football regardless. Our friends K & E were coming over to watch with us, and I wanted to plan something good for dinner. Plus, they were bringing their brand new baby, so I wanted to keep them here as long as possible so we could play with little Levi!

On the menu: artichoke dip, ranch oyster crackers, pulled pork, and coleslaw. I have to say – all were delicious. Recipes are below.

Unfortunately, as the first game started, so did the snow, and they had to leave a little early so they weren’t driving in a snowy mess back to Connecticut with the baby in the back (responsible, aren’t they?). We packed them up with some pulled pork and coleslaw, and they left us with some addicting ginger-chocolate chip and sugar cookies (I want both recipes, by the way!).

Anyway…here goes.

It started with cheese, crackers, chips, salsa, and artichoke dip. This was another Cooking Light recipe and it was so good! Unfortunately I don’t have any pictures, but trust me, it’s good.

Creamy Artichoke Dip

Recipe from Cooking Light/My Recipes


  • 1/2  cup  (4 ounces) block-style fat-free cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4  cup  reduced-fat mayonnaise
  • 3  tablespoons  grated fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 2  teaspoons  minced garlic
  • 2  teaspoons  fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2  teaspoon  hot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco)
  • 1/4  teaspoon  kosher salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
  • 2  (9-ounce) packages frozen artichoke hearts (about 2 cups), thawed and chopped
  • Cooking spray


Preheat oven to 350°.

Combine the first 8 ingredients in a large bowl; stir until well blended. Stir in artichoke hearts. Spoon artichoke mixture into an 8-inch square baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until artichoke mixture is hot and begins to brown. Serve warm.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 72 (30% from fat)
Fat: 2.4g (sat 0.8g,mono 0.2g,poly 0.0g)
Protein: 5.7g
Carbohydrate: 8.3g
Fiber: 4.1g

The strangest thing on today’s menu were the Ranch Oyster Crackers. I know, it sounds kind of nasty to mix oyster crackers with powdered ranch dressing. The Filthy Fowl thought I was crazy and I know he had low expectations. Well, these were so good. SO good. It was hard not to inhale them by the handful!


Ranch Oyster Crackers

Adapted from Allrecipes.com (link is to original recipe, which had more spices and oil than I used)


  • 1 (1 ounce) package Ranch-style dressing mix
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed
  • 1/8 cup vegetable oil
  • 5 cups oyster crackers (I used one box from Trader Joe’s)


  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F (120 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl, combine the dressing mix, dill weed, and vegetable oil. Add oyster crackers, and toss to coat. Spread evenly on a baking sheet.
  3. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, stirring gently after 10 minutes. Remove from oven, and allow to cool before serving.

And on to the main dish. We now have 3 crockpots, and have used one, once. I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to try it out, since it’s all make-ahead. I’m not the hugest fan of pork, but this was so good that I wanted to make it again the next day. And it’s just so easy! Enjoy…

Crockpot Pulled Pork

Recipe from The Way The Cookie Crumbles (go there for amazing pictures!)

In the slow cooker

In the slow cooker

Note: I used a 5-lb pork shoulder and this fit perfectly in my 3.5-qt slow cooker. It took about 8 hours to become very tender. I wouldn’t recommend a bigger shoulder in this size crockpot.

Spice Rub:
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
1-2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon dried oregano
4 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons table salt
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon ground white pepper

1 (6-8 pound) bone-in pork shoulder
½ teaspoon liquid smoke (optional – I omitted)
2 cups barbecue sauce

1. Mix all spice rub ingredients in small bowl.

2. Massage spice rub into meat. Wrap tightly in double layer of plastic wrap; refrigerate for at least 3 hours. (For stronger flavor, the roast can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.)

3. Unwrap roast and place it in slow cooker liner. Add liquid smoke, if using, and ¼ cup water. Turn slow cooker to low and cook for 8-10 hours, until meat is fork-tender.

4. Transfer roast to cutting board; discard liquid in liner. “Pull” by tearing meat into thin shreds with two forks or your fingers. Discard fat.

5. Place shredded meat back in slow cooker liner; toss with 1 cup barbecue sauce, and heat on low for 30-60 minutes, until hot. Serve with additional barbecue sauce.

With coleslaw and extra barbeque sauce

With coleslaw and extra barbeque sauce


Pita Bread

19 Jan

I know, I know it’s been a few days since I last posted. Sorry…I know you were all waiting on the edge of your seats to see what the City Girl would cook up next. My new job has been very exhausting, especially because I haven’t worked full-time since May. I’ve been so tired that just cooking dinner has been a challenge, let alone blog about it. I do have to give a shout out to the Filthy Fowl, who has also been working very hard and late this week and still managed to help with cooking even more than usual. I think he was feeling extra loving because it was our three-month anniversary last weekend. Or he secretly ruined a favorite article of clothing in the wash or something. Hmmm…

Anyway, I have a few things that won’t disappoint – and a few that will. I’ll start with my favorite, though…pita bread from another blog, Loves to Eat.

Yes – I made pita bread! It was so good and so surprisingly easy. I don’t know why pita bread seems harder to make than regular bread, but to me, it does. I made it with Italian Wedding Soup (another entry) and I have to say, I enjoyed the pita more than the soup itself. I just have to say it again because I’m so amazed – I made pita bread!



Here’s the recipe…

Pita Bread

Recipe from recipezaar.com via Loves to Eat

Makes  8 rounds

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons quick-rising yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups hot water (but not boiling)
  • 1-1 1/2 cup flour
  1. Combine first four ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Beat well about 1 minute.
  3. Then mix in the remaining flour, using just enough to make a soft, sticky dough.
  4. Turn out on floured board and continue to knead for 5 minutes.
  5. Divide into 8 balls.
  6. Roll out each one to about 1/4 inch thick and 6 inches in diameter.
  7. Place on very lightly greased cookie sheet sprinkled with cornmeal (although cornmeal is really not necessary if you don’t have it).
  8. Let rise in warm place for 25-35 minutes .
  9. Bake at 450 for 4 min, and then turn over for 4 more minutes or until lightly browned.
  10. Wrap immediately in a dishtowel for 3 or 4 minutes.
Fresh from the oven

Fresh from the oven

Enchilada Casserole

13 Jan

Tonight was Mexican night in the City Girl kitchen! It was slightly unusual because I generally don’t love Mexican food, but the Filthy Fowl was away for the weekend and got back this morning, so I wanted to make something I knew he would like. However, since his weekend trip included a hot dog-eating contest, I wanted something that was pretty healthy (although not light). And, adding to my challenge was the fact that today was my first day at a new job (!!!) so I wanted something easy that I could just throw together when I got home. This recipe fit the bill. With only 249 calories and 5.7 grams of fat, it’s amazing that it tastes so good. I did make some substitutions which may have affected the calorie/fat count, but I don’t think it changed TOO much. Also…I didn’t even have to throw this together…because I made it yesterday! I assembled everything then put it in the fridge (covered in foil) uncooked. When I got the call that the Filthy Fowl was on his way home, I threw it in the oven. It doesn’t get easier than that!

I assembled last night

I assembled last night

I found this recipe from a link on cookinglight.com. I think the site, myrecipes.com, puts together recipes from several different magazines. It’s a great site for lots of healthy recipes. This originally called for turkey, but since 97% lean ground sirloin was on sale at Whole Foods (and I had a gift card), I used that instead. Oh, and did I mention that it was DELICIOUS? We both loved it. I served it with a vegetable salad of cucumbers, tomatoes and celery tossed with lemon juice, salt and pepper. The Filthy Fowl added a little olive oil, but I liked it with just the lemon juice. Here’s the finished product…it tasted better than it looks in these pictures! Cooked casserole It wasn’t light, but it didn’t leave you feeling gross like a lot of Mexican food. You can’t tell that you’re eating healthy with all this gooey (low-fat) cheese. blog-pics-029 I noted my adaptations in italics…

Enchilada Casserole

adapted from MyRecipes Makes 8 to 10 servings


  • 1 1/2 pounds ground turkey breast (1 lb 97% lean ground sirloin)
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh oregano leaves or 1 tablespoon dried
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin (mix of cumin, coriander, chili powder)
  • 1 teaspoon salad oil (olive oil)
  • chopped pickled jalapenos – the kind that come in the jar
  • 1 can (29 oz.) red enchilada sauce
  • Salt
  • 12 corn tortillas (6 in. wide)
  • 2 cups shredded reduced-fat jack cheese (8 oz.)
  • Chopped fresh cilantro (omitted, by accident)


1. In a 5- to 6-quart pan over high heat, stir turkey, onion, garlic, oregano, and cumin in oil until turkey is crumbly and no longer pink, about 4 minutes. (At this point I did have to drain the mixture a little. I’m not sure if this would also happen with turkey.) Stir in 1 cup enchilada sauce. Add salt to taste. 2. Meanwhile, cut tortillas in half. Arrange a fourth of the halves evenly over the bottom of a shallow 3-quart casserole, overlapping to fit. Sprinkle a fourth of the cheese evenly over the tortillas, then top with a third of the turkey mixture, the chopped jalapenos, and a fourth of the remaining enchilada sauce, spreading each level. Repeat to make two more layers of tortillas, cheese, turkey mixture, and sauce; top with another layer of tortillas and sauce, then cheese. 3. Bake in a 425° regular or convection oven until cheese is melted and casserole is hot in the center, 18 to 20 minutes. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 249 (20% from fat)
Protein: 27g
Fat: 5.7g (sat 3.1)
Carbohydrate: 23g
Fiber: 1.7g
Sodium: 1048mg
Cholesterol: 58mg