I am thrilled that the editors of Nicole’s new cookbook asked if I would be interested in getting a copy of her new cookbook, and a second one to give away, and I didn’t have to think twice about that – yes please!

This is Nicole’s third cookbook – I’ve already made the Italian Bolognese sauce which was so delicious and nearly zero points.  

I have to admit though is that I rarely use my slow cooker.  I think of it as a middle of the winter beef stew kind of kitchen appliance, but guess what?  When it’s 97 degrees outside and it’s too hot to either turn your oven on, or stand outside and grill, your slow cooker can be your BFF in the kitchen on those days.

I asked Jacob to flip through the book and pick out a recipe, and one that jumped out to him was her Citrusy Mexican pulled pork.  Yum!  While her recipe calls for a pork tenderloin, I did opt for a pork shoulder -mainly because while it has fat, fat has flavor and I picked most of it off after the pork cooked, and well, it’ just a cheaper cut of pork.

Can you believe your eyes that I added the onion?  Well, Jacob loves onions, so like the best MIL I am, I kept them in and chopped the onions back into his portion of the pork when everything was done.

My slow cooker tends to run super hot unless I put it on the 10 hour mark.  I cooked this for 6 hours though.  After 4 hours I kept putting a knife in the pork every 30 minutes until it had the tenderness I was looking for.  Look at all that gorgeous citrusy juice in the bottom of the crockpot.  #flavortown

After it cooled for an hour, I took it out and started slicing the roast – omg, so tender and juicy!

Because I grew up on chopped pork sandwiches, I chopped the pork with the garlic cloves and jalapeno (and onion for Jacob!) and put that on a bun with rainbow slaw mixed with a tablespoon of fat free ranch dressing.  So good.  This was a meal prep meal for me – it will be dinner one night for me and a lunch as well.  The rest Jacob will probably just heat up and eat with a fork and BBQ sauce. šŸ˜€  I forgot to ask Nicole if it was okay to post her recipe so I’ll keep you posted.

Here is a chance to win a copy of Nicole’s cookbook!  Simply leave me a comment telling me your favorite dish you use your slow cooker for – I’ll pick a winner on Friday’s post – good luck!

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I had a wonderful weekend.  The kadults are loving their 9-5 jobs – and not having to work on weekends and I enjoy spending time with them on the weekends.  I had the perfect balance of productive and lazy – I took a nap both Saturday and Sunday!  #love

My Momma came over for Memorial Day BBQ and Jacob’s grandpa joined us for dinner as well – he served in the Army so I was so happy to have a serviceman at my dinner table – what better way to say thanks then with good food!

No get together at my house would be complete without some sort of charcuterie board – or what I also like to call “use up the stuff you have and make it look pretty!”  I made the shrimp cocktail from frozen shrimp I had in the deep freeze, and I made my first batch of baja fresh salsa – one of the first recipes I put on this blog nearly 10 years ago, and that made Hannah very happy – its her favorite.

charcuterie

I went to a meat packing plant in the West Loop after work on Friday afternoon.  I’ll have to add some pictures of it to this post tonight – the prices were insanely good.  I bought 5 pounds of pork spare ribs for $10!  I always cook my ribs in the oven for 3 hours at 250 before grilling.  Perfectly tender every.single.time.  I used a dry rub and on Saturday I dry marinated the ribs and wrapped them in foil and let them sit overnight.  Sunday I cooked them for 3 hours, let them cool, and then put back in the fridge.  Yesterday, I removed them from the fridge about an hour before I grilled them.  I made a batch of my copycat Rudy’s BBQ sauce and finished them off on the grill with the BBQ sauce – check out how tender they are!

I also cooked polish sausage, smoked sausage and my Mom brought corn on the cob.  Yes, I realize I was only cooking for 5 people.  šŸ˜€

Hannah came up with a great side dish – Portillo’s Chopped Salad.  If you live in Chicagoland and haven’t tried this salad, you are missing out.  The only alterations I did was skip the chicken since we had enough grilled meat, and Hannah doesn’t like blue cheese so I subbed in mozzarella cheese.  I found a copycat recipe here.

Although we aren’t sure about the dressing – I made the dressing from the link above, but Hannah said the chopped salad at Portillo’s is a white creamy sauce – anyone have a copycat of that recipe??

My plate:  

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Shall we catch up on my Weight Watchers journey?  Inquiring minds want to know šŸ˜›  I hadn’t weighted in in three weeks – I was at my Mom’s for Mother’s Day weekend, then in Michigan at my cousins last week.  Not surprisingly, I was up.

So you’ll see I am up 3.2 pounds for the YEAR.  Yes, I am shouting that because that is still a victory in my book.  Considering how half heartedly I’ve given the new WW Freestyle program, I get back what I put into it.  That being said, if I wasn’t following the Weight Watchers plan even a little bit, I could easily be up 20 pounds or more since January. 

But being in the 180’s is not good.  When you are 5.2 inches tall, every 10 pounds is a pants size, and well, I am teetering on the 14s being a bit snug and I refuse to go buy size 16 pants.  

So I’ll begin again for the 1 millionth time.  And that’s okay.  365 days ahead of me with each day a new beginning.

But I did have to laugh at this meme:

When I posted my WI on Instagram on Saturday, I appreciated all the pep talks and people telling me they are in the same spot – nice to know I am not alone.

How was your holiday weekend?!  Good luck on the cookbook giveaway.  Make it a great day!