Apricot Pulled Pork on Homemade Kaiser Rolls

Tuesday’s are my crockpot days.  Darling Hubby has his weekly gaming session at the local game store and I take the boys to the local library for the “It’s Elementary” kids club program and to check out some new books.   Darling Hubby usually gets home before the kids and I do and wants to get in and out so he can get to the store and I’m not in the mood to cook a full meal when we get back, therefore, I like to have a meal already ready and waiting for us. Tonight will be Apricot Pulled Pork Sandwiches, served on freshly homemade toasted Kaiser rolls, french fries and baby carrots with dip.  It already smells amazing in here!

Apricot Pulled Pork on Homemade Kaiser Rolls
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
1 cup apricot preserves
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup BBQ sauce
1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 Tbsps Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
4lb boneless pork roast, trimmed of fat

2 Tbsp corn starch
1/4 cup cold water
1 Tbsp ginger
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
10-12 kaiser rolls, toasted

Combine first 7 ingredients. Place pork roast in crockpot. Pour apricot mixture over roast and cook on low 8-9 hours.

Transfer pork to cutting board, cool slightly and shred with forks. Skim fat from liquid in crockpot.

Blend water, cornstarch, ginger, salt, and pepper until smooth. Whisk into crockpot liquid. Cook 15-30 mins on high, uncovered, until thickened (sauce can also be done on the stovetop if you are in a hurry.) Return shredded pork to crockpot, mix well. Serve on toasted buns.

I use this receipe for my kaiser rolls.  I use the bread machine method for the dough.  So much better than store bought and I know exactly what is in them!

Enjoy!

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White Bread – Bread Machine and Oven

I love having a bread machine since it does all the kneading and rises for you, but I just hate that once it bakes it has a giant hole in the bottom from the kneading paddle.   I looked through a cookbook I have and found a method that I could combine with my bread machine to make my dough and bake it in loaf pans to prevent that hole in the middle.  As my 2 year old would say, “Score!”

This recipe makes 2 1lb loves (or if you just want to use your machine, one 2lb loaf).

  • 1 1/4 cups water (80*F)
  • 3 Tbsp oil (you can olive oil or even apple sauce to make this soy free!)
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 4 cups bread flour (you can use AP, but bread flour works best)
  • 2 tsp yeast, warmed to room temp.   I use Fleishman’s bread machine yeast that’s in the refrigerated section.

Warm you yeast to room temperature.  Place all the ingredients into the machine in the order suggested by your bread machine’s manufacturer.  Use the dough setting.  When the machine is finished, punch down the dough and divide it into equal portions.  I use my kitchen scale to weigh them out.

Grease your loaf pans.  I use olive oil rubbed around with a paper towel to keep this soy free, but you can use spray oil.  Using a rolling pin and a floured surface, roll each ball into a rectangle no wider than your loaf pan.  Rolling out the dough squeezes out all the air bubbles that can create holes in your loaf.   Roll the dough up jelly roll style starting with the short side and place seam side down in your greased pan.  Repeat for 2nd loaf.

You want to let your bread rise in a warm place until it’s the size you want it to be (I usually go to just above the edge of the pan.)  Since we keep our house cooler in the winter and spring I end up warming my oven slightly (to about 80*) and putting my towel covered loaf pans in to warm.  It takes about 1 1/2 – 2 hours to rise completely.  I check my ovens temp every half hour or so just to make sure it’s still warm.

When the rise is complete, remove loaves from oven, if using it, and preheat to 375*F.  Bake for 30 mins and let cool in pans on wire racks.  Remove from the pans by sliding a knife around the edges and cool completely before storing.

Loaves freeze well.  I end up making 2 loaves and freezing 1.  I just use a gallon size freezer bag.  It comes out just as fresh as when it was made.  I store all bread in the refrigerator in a gallon freezer bag and cut slices as needed.

Enjoy!

Food for Friday! 4/23 – 5/6

Coupons and sales this week kinda suck, so I’m sure I’m going to spend a zillion dollars this time.  At least I have most of the meats for meals on hand in the freezer.  I’ll just have to hope for good sales so I can stock back up at some point.

MondayMonty Cristo Sandwiches
Tuesday – Baked Ziti
Wednesday – Homemade pepperoni pizza
ThursdayCrescent Chicken – still haven’t gotten to make this yet.
Friday –  Steak with sweet potato fries and veggies
Saturday – Spaghetti with homemade sauce
Sunday
– Pork Chops

Monday – Rotisserie chicken with mashed potatoes and veggies
Tuesday -Chili
Wednesday – Pancakes and sausages
Thursday – Game Night – Chicken Curry with broccoli and rice
Friday – Turkey Burgers
Saturday – Fish, picked up fresh
Sunday – Italian Sausages

Two Month Soy Update

I looked back through my old blog posts and realized that I’ve been off soy for over 2 months and haven’t had any stomach trouble since I had a reaction to the strawberry cake I made for Bug’s birthday at the beginning of February.  I think I’ve figured out what that was all about.  There was no soy involved yes, but my stomach hadn’t healed from the damage I’d previously inflicted my body reacted to the butter.  Since then I haven’t had any issues with butter.  This means that maybe I can start making cookies again (provided the other ingredients are soy free) with butter rather than shortening!  Yay!  Happy Dance!  I’ll eventually (hopefully) blog about it, but I recently made homemade crescent rolls (from scratch) with a lot of butter and eaten quite a few of them without issue.  The recipe I used needs  little tweaking, but hopefully I’ll have it right before tomorrow night as I’m making several dozen to bring to Easter dinner at Darling Hubby’s Grandpa’s house on Sunday.

So, what have I been eating?  Well, I’m still making my own homemade breads.  I’ve learned to make 2 one pound loaves of white bread at a time using my bread machine for the dough and then baking it in my oven.  I freeze one and slice the other for immediate consumption.  It’s so good!  I generally have 2 slices for breakfast with a cup of Rooibos (African – pronounced roy boss) tea with honey, often topped with orange marmalade or kerrigold irish butter.  Yum!  Sometimes for lunch I’ll make a Fluffernutter sandwich (made with Peter Pan PB and the original marshmallow fluff) with banana and honey.  Yum!  I’ve been eating  a lot of fresh fruit – plums, nectarines, bananas, grapes, strawberries.  We always have a veggie with dinner.  I’ve also started finding new ways to cook potatoes and I’ve been making myself sweet potato fries, too.  I’ve found a brand of panko bread crumbs that are soy free – only one of about 7 different bread crumb brands on the shelf!), so I’ve been making my own breading for chicken and fish (yes, I’ve started buying fresh fish from the fish counter rather than the dried out or greasy soy laced battered things that come in a box.)

I’m still making my own taco seasoning and seasonings for chili and all my meats. And, just cause it’s less fat, I’ve been rinsing my browned ground beef before I add seasoning or put it in my other dishes.  It cuts down on the amount of fat that my family is ingesting.  We’re still eating a lot of pasta.  It’s yummy and everyone eats it, either with homemade spaghetti sauce or plain with just butter and sprinkle cheese.  I also make my own homemade pizza dough, topped with my own seasoned tomato sauce, turkey pepperoni and skim milk cheese.  I only use olive oil or corn oil, now, as well.

Oh, we’ve even been making our own homemade bagels.  Darling Hubby usually has a bagel with cream cheese for breakfast and since I’m soy free I can’t have the bagels from the grocery store.  I found a simple recipe in my bread machine book and we’ve made several batches.  It took a bit of time for us to really figure it all out, but now it’s easy, though time consuming, to make homemade bagels.  Darling Hubby enjoys Asiago cheese bagels, so that’s what we’ve been making as of late.

I’ve found a few treats for myself that are soy free.  I found some yummy sweet potato and beet chips (I think the brand was Terra) and even some kosher for Easter chocolate chips that have no unnecessary ingredients.   The grocery store decided to no longer carry my Equal Exchange organic chocolate bars, so I no longer have those to snack on.  They were delish!  Oh, and the No Pudge! brownie mix, made with only good stuff is yummy made with Stonyfield’ No Fat French Vanilla yogurt.  Oh, and we bought an air pop popcorn popper so we can make batches of fresh popcorn for snacks and always for movie night!  Both my kids can polish off an entire bowl of popcorn all on their own!  lol  They love their popcorn!

So, there you have it.  The things I’ve figured out while on a soy free diet.  It just takes a little consistency and several days of eating the same thing over and over til you find what works, but it can be done!

If anyone has any questions about going soy free or has anything to add to my growing (thankfully) list of foods to eat, please comment!  I want to help others who may be going through the same thing I am!  Now I’m off to make soy free tacos!  lol

Early Edition! Food for Friday! 3/26 – 4/8

I got a super early start on my grocery list/menu this week.  Mostly because I listened to the Coupon Lady on WGNA this morning on my way home from dropping Bug off at school.  I’m still looking for the .75 cents off any gallon of milk coupon she mentioned, though.  She pointed out that Price Chopper is now accepting competitors coupons (like from Target and Walmart) and I went on a search to find coupons for items that I could use this week.  I’m not sure if Price Chopper will allow one competitor’s store coupon and a manufacture’s coupon like they do with their own store coupons, but I’m trying to find out.  According to the Coupon Lady, they do accept both, but the policy written on their website indicated they do not.  I’ll update when I find out.  Update: They do not accept both.  😦  I was really hoping they did cause I’ve got some Target coupons and manufactures coupons for things I’d like to use together!  I’m really trying to stay well under budget this week.  I think so far I’ve got about $20 in coupons and e-coupons, plus whatever advantage savings I get from sale items.

I’m still continuing to make dinners without soy, which, I’m sure I’ve said before, makes my grocery bill higher.  It’s been nearly 2 months that I’ve been off soy and I haven’t had even the slightest twinge of my usual stomach pain and I’ve even found that I wake up in the morning without that queasy feeling I so often had.  There are still the occasional things that I’ll make for the boys or for Darling Hubby that contain soy, but I just avoid them.  I mostly do this since we still have the things in the pantry or the freezer and I want to use them up.

I’m trying some new recipes this time.  A few weeks ago, I made the Skinny Chicken Parm and it was delish!  Definitely a keeper recipe!  The Italian Chicken Bake, on the other hand, left a lot to be desired in my book.  It took longer than necessary to cook and just wasn’t what I was expecting…well, they can’t all be keepers.

This time around I’m trying (and modifying) a Cheesy Pot Pie recipe to be soy free and making it into a shepherd’s pie.  I’m going to make the Velveeta filling with the ground beef and instead of using the canned crescent rolls, I’m going to use mashed potatoes instead.

I’m also trying out a Pinterest recipe called Crescent Chicken which is chunks of chicken and cheese rolled up in a crescent roll.  I’m going to make my own crescent rolls (hopefully I’ll have the recipe down as I’m making several dozen to bring to Easter Dinner this weekend so I know I’ll be able to eat one thing at the family gathering.  lol) and I’ve found an organic cream of chicken soup that is soy free.  And, speaking of making my own bread, I’ve still got to make the homemade hamburger buns.  Fingers crossed they come out well!

Monday – Rotisserie Chicken with mashed potatoes and veggies
Tuesday – Chicken Ceasar Wraps
Wednesday – Spaghetti with homemade sauce
Thursday – Homemade hamburgers with homemade buns, tater tots (for the boys) and sweet potato fries for me and Darling Hubby.
Friday –  Crescent Roll Chicken (made with homemade crescent rolls)
Saturday – Homemade pancakes
Sunday
– Steak and potatoes

Monday – Ham, mashed potatoes and veggies
Tuesday – Cheesy Shepherd’s Pie (modified from Cheesy Pot Pie)
Wednesday – Homemade macaroni and cheese with ham
Thursday – Game Night – Bacon and eggs
Friday – Chicken Curry, rice and veggie
Saturday – Fresh Fish (I’ll pick up some fresh when I go shopping this day)
Sunday – Cheeseburger Roll-up

Food for Friday! 3/26 – 4/8

Welcome to the late Saturday edition of Food for Friday.  lol  Trying to come up with a grocery list was kinda tough this week since there was really nothing that we buy on sale.  I hate when that happens…cause I usually end up spending a lot more than normal.  I ended up spending almost $270 when my budget is between $200 and $250.  Before coupons and sale discounts I was up over $300!  Course I did end up buying things that we normally don’t like $33 in flea drops for the dogs and cat, $18 for a huge container of olive oil and $16 for a big container of real maple syrup.

It’s even tougher now that I’m still avoiding soy…I have to make changes to recipes or buy more expensive items.  I’m making due, though.  I’ve been soy free and low fat for over a month now and I haven’t had any stomach pain, which is nice.  I have been branching out and trying a few things with soy lecithin in it and so far that hasn’t bothered me.  I’m convinced it’s an oil thing as some people can handle lecithin and not the oil.  Either way, I’m feeling a lot healthier now that I’m eating more homemade things without preservatives and giving up the junk food.

Monday – Homemade pancakes with fresh strawberries
Tuesday – Cheeseburger Roll-up
Wednesday – Chili
Thursday – Chicken Curry (either mango or korma – depends on my mood) with broccoli and basimati rice
Friday –  Spaghetti with fresh homemade sauce
Saturday – Sausages
Sunday
– Leftovers/FFY

Monday – Rotisserie chicken with mashed potatoes and veggies
Tuesday – Homemade pepperoni pizza
Wednesday – Chicken and dumplings
Thursday – Game Night – Steak and potatoes
Friday – Tacos with homemade taco seasoning
Saturday – Easter dinner with my parents
Sunday – Easter dinner with Darling Hubby’s family

Food for Friday! 3/12 – 3/25

Monday – BLT’s on homemade bread and homemade sweet potato fries (or bacon and eggs for the kids)
Tuesday – Craft Night -Leana’s Turn to cook – Hamburger Helper for the boys
Wednesday – Homemade pepperoni pizza
ThursdayItalian Chicken Bake with roasted potatoes, carrots and green beans and side salad
Friday –  Spaghetti with homemade sauce and homemade meatballs
Saturday –  Skinny Chicken Parm over Angel Hair pasta
Sunday
– Leftovers/FFY

Monday – Homemade chicken cordon bleu with mashed potatoes and corn on the cob
Tuesday – Craft Night – Rose’s turn to cook – Mini Meatloaves for the boys
Wednesday – Turkey Burgers, homemade fries, and veggies
Thursday – Game Night – Coconut curry with rice and broccoli
Friday – Pork Chops, rice and mixed veggies
Saturday – Leftovers/FFY
Sunday – Leftovers/FFY