A Busy Day’s Dinner – Crock-Pot Pork Tacos

This Week.

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Fast & Easy Crock-Pot Pork Tacos – I’ve made these beasts before and they are delicious!

Thankfully, I’m starting to get really busy again. I start school up tomorrow, continuing to write and work on The Real Sweetheart, still exercising and working on some side projects for the Draper-in-laws. Oh, and Blair and I are dog-sitting a Golden Retriever pup for the next 10 days!

I’m pretty sure after all is said and done I’m going to be pretty exhausted! I’m still excited though. These are conditions that I work best in and I’m excited to see the outcomes!

That being said, life still continues and dinner still needs to be made. So to make my life a tad easier today, I brought out my trusted Crock-Pot!

Tonight’s Busy Day Dinner? Citrus Pork Tacos, with a big ole glass of Coca-Cola to wash it all down.

First, get some:

  • Pork – any cut
  • Grill Mates Marinade (Baja Citrus and Mojito Lime ~ I use both)
  • 1 can of chicken broth (this seems weird, but it’s purely used to add some more flavor)
  • 1 orange
  • 1 lime
  • Corn tortillas
  • The toppings (sour cream, tomatoes, cabbage/lettuce, onions, cheese)

Then:

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  1. Follow the directions on the the marinades and mix it together in the Crock-Pot ~ I omitted the oil the Grill Mates call for the second time I made this.
  2. Add the Pork and orange/lime slices
  3. Mix everything together!
  4. Put it on low for 4 hours ~ I honestly think this depends on your Crock-Pot, but this is the perfect time and temperature for me!
  5. Once everything is cooked through, cube up the pork and place it back into the “juice” to enhance the pork even more
  6. Fry up some corn tortillas, add the meat and toppings and enjoy!

Something we do here is sprinkle some Parmesan cheese onto the tortilla after frying it up. It adds a little salty taste to the tortilla and sucks up the excess oil. It adds the perfect finishing touch!

Lauren

Easy Soda Bread Recipe

Soda Bread.

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We had a combined Saint Patrick’s Day celebration and birthday dinner for my dad on Sunday. Both he and Blair loved the Soda Bread!

I don’t know about you guys, but Saint Patrick’s Day is a big deal in our household. We go all out. Corned beef & cabbage, red potatoes & carrots, Guinness chocolate cake and homemade Soda Bread. It’s seriously all too delicious.

Now I’ve been watching the women in my life make corned beef since I can remember, but it was when I was in elementary school that I can first remember having Soda Bread. I went to a private Catholic school and there was an Irish family that went there – like really really Irish! Since the school was small, we were always doing cool little activities. And this one year Alexandra’s dad, Mr. Dent, came in and told us how to make Soda Bread in his Irish accent. I must of been in first grade, but I still tell people about that day. Now married, it was my turn to make Soda Bread on my own and it was quite the daunting task!

I searched around for the perfect recipe. However, most of them had raisins or were sweet and I was just wanting a classic Soda Bread recipe. In the end, I tweaked a couple of recipes to make the perfect one for us.

Our recipe calls for these four ingredients:

  • 3 1/2 cups of All Purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon of Baking Soda
  • 1 teaspoon of Salt
  • 12 ounces of Buttermilk
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Right before I bake the bread, I like to sprinkle some flour on top to create an even more rustic looking bread!

Then you:

  1. Whisk together the flour, salt and baking soda.
  2. Create a “well” in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the buttermilk into it.
  3. Use your hands (cover with flour first!) and fold the buttermilk in with dry ingredients. *It will create a biscuit-like dough.
  4. Wash and re-flour your hands.
  5. Pick up the dough and place it on a floured cookie sheet.
  6. Going from the outside in, fold the dough together into a ball shape. *As you can see in the picture, the dough ball won’t be fluffy like other yeast risen doughs.
  7. Flatten the dough ball till it is 1 1/2 inches tall and cut a deep cross shape into the top to allow the dough to “breathe”.
  8. Cook for 20 minutes at 450°, then for another 20 minutes at 400°.
  9. Place on a cooling rack and enjoy!

Since I doubled the amount corned beef and cabbage we had, I knew we were going to have leftovers. The great thing about this bread is that it takes practically 5 minutes to throw together. So even though the first loaf disappeared on Sunday, I could quickly whip up another one for leftovers on Monday. Definitely a “must keep” recipe that will be added to the rest of the Draper household traditions!

Lauren

DIY Entry Table

The Entryway.

entrypostWhether you have a huge house or a small apartment, the entryway is what first makes it feel like home. So shortly after moving up North, it was our entryway that I got started working on ASAP.

At the time we didn’t have a single piece of furniture in the apartment and it was going to be over two weeks until we were, so you can say that it was this project that kept me sane! Being quick, easy and beyond budget friendly, this entry table still makes me smile when I stop and look at it. It is the perfect lil’ something that finishes the entry!

For this DIY, you’ll need:

  • 2 brakets – The ones I bought were $5 each and came with two wall screws and two top securing screws.
  • Piece of wood – I bought mine at Home Depot for only $4.01 from their “Cull Lumber” selection. Great buy and they will cut it for free!
  • Electric screwdriver – When I did this, we didn’t have ours up here so I used a good ole old-fashioned one. It worked perfectly, just took a little longer.
  • Measuring tape and pencil
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1. Screw the brakets into the wall – I measured 30 inches from the floor to the ceiling and marked the section lightly with a pencil. *Spacing between the brackets depends on how large of an entry table you are making. 
2. Center the precut piece of wood on top of the brakets.
3. Screw the tops of the brakets into the piece of wood to secure it.
4. Decorate! Make sure you have contrasting heights, knick knacks and a photo. This makes it even more personable and feeling like home.

Using our military discount at Home Depot (it’s 10% off), I was able to make this for less than $15. Not only was it budget friendly, but it also adds a unique touch to our entryway!

And, yes, we do keep a baseball bat by the front door… We’re old souls like that. 🙂

Lauren

A Nevada Sunrise Breakfast

Breakfast.

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Blair and I both love breakfast. Give us some pancakes, hash browns, scrambled eggs and sausage and we are set for the day. But after a fun night out with some friends, we woke up Saturday morning not in the mood to hang out by the stove flipping pancakes.

Insert: baked potatoes, eggs, bell peppers, tomatoes and some cheese. And Bam! – these things made the delicious breakfast dish we decided to name the “Nevada Sunrise”. Influenced by the recipe for an “Idaho Sunrise”, our version comes with different toppings than what is traditionally called for. I’ll be the first to tell you that I’m not too sure I’ll ever make the traditional recipe now that I’ve had ours. This bundle of breakfast goodness is the equivalent of home fries and a fried egg all in one. Make a couple extra potatoes on a baked potato night and you’ll be ready to go the next morning for a delicious and fast breakfast.

You’ll need:

  • Baked potatoes
  • 1 Red and Green bell peppers (chopped up)
  • 1/2 cup of grape tomatoes (halved)
  • 1 red onion (sliced)
  • Eggs (1 per potato)
  • Mexican cheese blend
  • Butter (1 tablespoon per potato)
  • Dried Parsley
  • Tabasco *optional, but you’re crazy if you don’t put it on. Seriously, I don’t know what I would do with Tabasco. I love it!
  • Spicy breakfast sausage if you’d like!

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  1. Create a baked potato “boat” – cut out a semi-circular section and hollow the inside enough for you to place the egg and fillings inside
  2. Start frying up the the chopped red and green bell peppers, halved grape tomatoes and sliced red onion till soft
  3. Place a tablespoon of butter on the bottom of each potato bowl
  4. Crack 1 egg on top of the butter (I wouldn’t break the yolk) and season to your liking
  5. Top the egg with the rest of the fillings
  6. Sprinkle cheese and dried parsley on top
  7. Cook for 15-20 minutes at 350°

Simple, fast and delicious. Sounds like the perfect breakfast to me… and, trust me, it was!

Lauren