Balsamic Vinegar & Honey Pulled Pork Sliders

Pork that’s slowly roasted in the crock pot until it’s so tender it falls apart, and is then mixed with a sweet and tangy balsamic vinegar & honey barbecue sauce, makes for a crowd-pleasing platter of pulled pork sliders. Not only are they great party appetizers, but the sons tear them up when we have them for either lunch or dinner, and the left overs are just as yummy. I know, I know, the name makes them sound pretty fancy, but they couldn’t be any easier. Let the pork cook during the day and when it’s done it’s a snap to mix in the homemade sauce, making them a perfect option for any day, including those busy weekday meals. Got leftovers? This freezes beautifully to save for a later meal. Or you could always make up an entire batch and freeze that if you’re looking to have meals stocked on stand-by.

Balsamic Vinegar & Honey Pulled Pork Sliders

Balsamic Vinegar & Honey Pulled Pork Sliders

recipe adapted from Better Homes and Gardens

2 1/2 pound boneless pork shoulder roast
1 cup chopped onion (1 large)
3/4 cup chopped green sweet pepper (1 medium)
1 tsp crushed dried thyme
1/2 tsp crushed dried rosemary
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 cup balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup ketchup
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 tbsp Worcestershire
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp salt
20 slider buns
coleslaw, optional
sliced sweet or dill pickles, optional

Directions

1. First remove any excess fat from the meat. Place the trimmed meat in the crock pot, cutting to fit if necessary. Add in the onion and pepper, and sprinkle the vegetables and meat with the thyme and rosemary. Pour broth over the meat.
2. Cover and cook on low for 9 to 10 hours or on high for 4 1/2 to 5 hours.
3. Meanwhile, we’ll be making the bbq sauce. Combine vinegar, ketchup, brown sugar, honey, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, garlic, black pepper, and salt in a medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Let the sauce simmer, uncovered, for 20 to 25 minutes, or until slightly thickened, while stirring occasionally.
4. Transfer meat to a cutting board. Use two forks to pull meat apart into shreds, discarding any fat, or use a stand mixer to do the job for you. Strain the peppers and onions and discard the liquid. Return shredded meat and vegetables to the crock pot. Stir in barbecue sauce until fully incorporated. Cover and cook for 1 more hour on low.
5. To serve, spoon the bbq onto the slider bun bottoms. Top with coleslaw and pickles, if desired. Cover with bun tops. Eat & enjoy!

Crockpot Chicken, Sausage, & Rice

An easy Cajun-style dinner, this Crockpot Chicken, Sausage, & Rice is quickly assembled in the bowl of your slow cooker, and comes out a perfect savory dinner that can easily feed a hungry crowd without any extra calories.
Crockpot Chicken, Sausage, & Rice

This easy Cajun and rice dinner is chock full of meat, making it the perfect low calorie meal on a family budget, especially since it’s bursting at the seams with flavor.

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Caprese-Style Italian Sausages

Things have been a little quiet around the dinner table here lately. So when I came across this idea I thought, why don’t you get a little conversation going, you conversation starter, you. They definitely did the trick. Everyone had something to say, and all opinion were unanimous. These were delicious, and a nice change up to our normal way of eating Italian sausages, which was smothered with caramelized onions and peppers.

Caprese salad makes the perfect topping for Italian sausage. The hubs and I prefer a more traditional Caprese salad (‘relish’) with chunks of creamy, melt in your mouth fresh mozzarella, but the sons like their cheese melted on top… so, melted it is! They make a great addition to any cook out or get together, and they’re great for an easy lunch, or even dinner.

Caprese-Style Italian Sausages

 4 Sons 'R' Us: Caprese-Style Italian Sausages

recipe adapted from Lemons For Lulu

5 Italian sausage links
2 roma tomatoes, chopped
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1-2 tsp dried basil
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

Directions

1. Let your grill preheat on medium. Before putting the sausages on the grill, use a fork to poke a few holes in each one to allow steam to escape and a quicker cook time. When the grill’s ready, grill the sausages for about 10 minutes per side, or until cooked through.

2. When sausage is done, put them in buns and top with the shredded cheese and basil. Drizzle each sausage with a little oil and a little vinegar.
3. Place the assembled sausages on a baking sheet. Put them in the oven under a broiler until the cheese is nice and melted.
4. Top with tomatoes and serve!

If you’d prefer the more traditional Caprese style, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. We’ve had it both ways, but the sons prefer their cheese melted. To make a Caprese relish, use 1/4 cup diced fresh mozzarella in place of the shredded. And 2 tbsp coarsely chopped fresh basil instead of the dried. When sausages are ready, sprinkle with the cheese, basil and tomatoes.Drizzle with the balsamic and oil and serve.

Herbed Pork Chops in Mushroom Gravy

These pork chops will melt in your mouth. They are so good and easy to prepare and assemble. They are first sauteed in butter, then baked, before being served smothered in a creamy mushroom gravy. Doesn’t that sound fantastic? My mouth’s already watering just typing up the recipe. These pan seared chops come out tender and juicy. Mmm, pork chops and gravy… it certainly doesn’t get much more southern than that. Wherever you’re from, this dish is guaranteed to ‘south’ your mouth. Serve them with some creamy mashed potatoes so you can be sure to savor every single drop of gravy, too!

Herbed Pork Chops
in a buttery, garlic, & mushroom gravy

4 Sons 'R' Us: Herbed Pork Chops in mushroom gravy

recipe adapted from A Mom’s Take

3-4 thick cut pork chops, or 6-8 thin cut, boneless pork chops
½ stick butter
3 tsp minced garlic
¼ cup all purpose flour, or cornstarch
¼ cup milk
1 cup mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1 tbsp oregano
1 tbsp thyme
salt & pepper, to taste

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large skillet over medium high heat combine butter, garlic, mushrooms, salt, pepper, oregano and thyme.
2. Once butter has melted, add your pork chops and seer on each side for 1-2 minutes until golden brown.
3. Once both sides of the pork chops are a golden brown place in oven and bake for 35 minutes or until centers are no longer pink. *Time may need to be adjusted depending on the thickness of your pork chops.
4. Remove skillet from oven and remove your pork chops and sit them aside to rest.
5. Whisk flour and milk into your pan with the remaining liquids after removing the pork chops. Whisk until all lumps are removed. Simmer for 3-4 minutes.
6. Serve over the top of pork chops.

 

 

Healthy Ham & Lentil Soup

A hearty soup that incorporates those holiday ham leftovers you just might have lying around, this Healthy Ham & Lentil Soup is simple, savory, slurp-able Winter weather comfort food. Ladle it into bowls for a filling dinner, pack it into a thermos for a delicious guilt free lunch, or even take a batch to a friend.

Healthy Ham & Lentil Soup

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Italian Sausage, Potato, & Balsamic Vegetable Casserole

One dish dinners are all the rage, for obvious reasons. This Italian Sausage, Potato, & Balsamic Vegetable Casserole is a simple meal that’s bursting with flavor. Everything gets cooked in a single casserole dish, meaning every veggies is infused filled with flavor.

Italian Sausage, Potato, & Balsamic Vegetable Casserole

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Chicken Cordon Bleu Soup

Are you wondering what you’re going to do with the abundance of leftovers after Easter dinner Sunday? Ham sandwiches or biscuits can only go so far. Dice that ham up and save it! This soup is delicious and is a perfect way to make use of those saved leftovers. I loved that it gave us the chicken cordon bleu taste we were craving, in a cheaper and easier form. I served it with some oatmeal pull-apart rolls, and every one of my guys had two bowls. There were no leftovers!

Chicken Cordon Bleu Soup

4 Sons 'R' Us: Chicken Cordon Bleu Soup

  •  2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, about 1 cup diced
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 1/2 cups skim milk
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 5 medium russet potatoes,washed, peeled, and diced into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 cup shredded swiss cheese
  • 1 cup shredded chicken, cooked
  • 1 cup ham, diced

Directions

  1. Place washed, peeled, and cubed potatoes into a large pot and add the chicken broth. Cover.
  2. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are fork tender.
  3. In a separate pot, or pan, melt butter. Add onions and saute until soft.
  4. Add garlic, and saute 1-2 minutes.
  5. Add flour to the pan and whisk together with the onions and garlic. Let the mixture cook about 1 minute.
  6. Slowly add the milk, a 1/2 cup at a time, whisking constantly. The only lumps you should see should be the onions.
  7. Continue adding milk and whisking constantly until all the milk has been evenly incorporated.
  8. Bring the roux to a simmer and let it heat until thickened, about 5 minutes, whisking often.
  9. Add the thickened roux to the potatoes and chicken broth in the large pot.
  10. Using a potato masher, mash potatoes in the pot until there’s minimal chunks.
  11.  Turn the heat to low, and add the chicken and ham.
  12. Add salt and pepper to soup to taste.
  13. When heated through, add the swiss and stir until melted and evenly incorporated.
  14. Serve.