Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Slow Cooker Pork BBQ

Slow Cooker Pork BBQ

One of my favorite go-to recipes is for Slow Cooker Pork BBQ.  It's quick, simple and there isn't a lot of work involved.  I have to admit though, I am a little weird...I eat mine with potato chips instead of on a bun. This is also an easy recipe to make and take to the guys if they are in the field.  I simply make their sandwich up, wrap it in aluminum foil to keep it warm and deliver it with some chips and a cold drink and they are happy little farmers!  You can also find this delicious recipe on the McCormick website!


3 pounds boneless pork shoulder roast
1 package of McCormick's Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork Seasoning
1/2 to 3/4 cup of ketchup
1/2 to 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/3 to 1/2 cup of cider vinegar

Place pork in slow cooker.  Mix seasoning mix, ketchup, brown sugar and vinegar until blended.  (We like ours with a lot of sauce, so I usually use 3/4 cup of the ketchup and brown sugar and 1/2 cup of cider vinegar).  Pour over the pork.  Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours.  After the pork has cooked, remove it from the slow cooker, and shred it using 2 forks.  Put the pork back in the slow cooker.  Mix and heat it with the sauce before serving.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Basic Baked Beans

Basic Baked Beans

Baked Beans can go with just about any meal and is a staple at most summer cookouts.  I admit that I have no tried and true recipe for them.  I've tried several and honestly, I think it boils down to how you are used to them being made.  That being said, here is a basic recipe that you can adapt easily and call it your own.

Basic Baked Beans

1 large can of baked beans (any variety)
1/2 c chopped onion
2 T mustard
2 c ketchup
1 c brown sugar
3 to 4 slices of bacon

Mix all ingredients together.  Pour into a casserole dish and place bacon strips on top.  Bake at 350 degrees for 1 to 1.5 hours.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Beer Simmered Smoked Sausage and Potatoes

Beer Simmered Smoked Sausage and Potatoes

I could eat smoked sausage every day.  There is just something about it that my taste buds like.  After surfing the Internet the other day, I came across this new favorite recipe from Hillshire Farm.

It was very easy to prepare on a night that I came home late.  I didn't have a few of the ingredients, but it still turned out delicious.  The flavor was addicting.

The only thing that I might do differently next time is to add some peppers to the recipe.  If you are looking for a quick evening go to meal, this would be perfect.  Thank you Hillshire Farm for a yummy meal!

Beer Simmered Smoked Sausage and Potatoes


  • 1 pkg. Hillshire Farm® Smoked Sausage
  • ¼ cup butter or margarine
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bottle (12 ounces) regular or non-alcoholic beer
  • 2 lbs. red potatoes, cut into 1” cubes (about 6 cups)
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley


  1. Cut sausage into ½”slices. Melt butter in a 4-5 quart pan over medium-high heat. Add sausage, onion and garlic; cook 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently until onion is soft and sausage is lightly browned.
  2. Add beer and potatoes; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover and cook 15-20 minutes or until potatoes are just tender.
  3. Stir in green onions, salt and pepper. Increase heat to medium-high and cook uncovered for 4 minutes or until liquid thickens slightly. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

Sadie Girl

My beautiful Sadie!

I admit it!  I am a pure sucker for fur babies.  Sadie, our lab-chow mix, who has never (in the eight years we have had her) left home...until April 15th.  On this particular day, Sadie was there in the morning when I left for work, but when I came home that evening, she was no where to be found.  Bill didn't want to jump to conclusions and said she would probably be back later. 

When the next morning came and there was still no Sadie, I was concerned and so was Bill.  He spent most of that day driving around the farm and up and down the roads, checking the ditches, looking for her.  No luck. Wednesday, April 16th came and went with no sign of Sadie.  On Thursday, April 17th, Bill enlisted the help of a friend and searched the woods and neighboring fields.  Nothing.  By this point, I am beside myself.  Where did she go?  What happened to her?  I had Good Friday off, so I was determined to find her.  Libby, my other lab, and I took the Gator and went on a 5 hour search...still no Sadie.  By that evening, I had given up hope and started to accept the fact that something tragic had happened to my precious pup.  

Saturday morning came and Bill had gone into town.  Libby and I were sitting on the front porch when he came home.  As he came up closer to the house, he was pointing in the back yard.  I thought he was nuts UNTIL I figured out that Sadie must be back there.  I ran to the backyard and there she was.  A bloody mess.  She had been hit. Her back right leg appeared to be broken, her front left paw was split wide open, there was a huge gash in her side and part of her right arm pit was hanging down.  She looked awful and all I could do was cry and tell her I loved her as I tried to comfort her.

Bill got the truck and pulled it up in the yard to where she was, I got a blanket and a towel to wrap her in so she wouldn't get blood everywhere and Bill lifted her in the truck.  She never made a sound, but I could see the pain in her beautiful brown eyes.  My baby had come home, but she was hurt.

The next few hours were so stressful.  We took her to Country Acre Animal Clinic where Dr. Nathan Rich said he would check her over and call me.  We were sent home.  Within the hour Dr. Rich called and gave me a detailed report of her injuries.  Bill and I talked and discussed putting her down...but she was our first pet together as a couple and we love her so.  No, that wasn't an option.  We would do what we could to save her.

I urge anyone who hits an animal to STOP and tell someone.  If we had known Sadie had been hit, we could have provided care for her wounds a lot sooner.  Accidents happen, but driving off and doing or saying nothing is not acceptable.

I must warn you that the following pictures are a little gross and little ones should not look at these.  When I was finally able to visit Sadie, this is how my poor baby looked (but she was alive)!

Sadie, with the cone of shame.  She hates that thing.

This is the huge gash in her side that they had to stitch up.
The thing that looks like bone sticking out, is actually a drain tube.

This is the leg she had surgery one because it was broken.
She now has a splint on there as well because she keeps trying
to put weight on it.

This photo shows her armpit and again the things that look
like bones are actually drain tubes.  You can see they have
wrapped the left front leg with a wet/dry bandage.

This is my baby once she finally came home.
She needs a bath, but that will wait until she is better.
She likes for us to rub her belly while she lays on the floor and snores!
Sadie will have several long months of recovery but for now she is doing well and healing nicely.  She will be 11 in October and we are thrilled that we will still have her around with us.