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Archive for February, 2012

BBQ Pulled Pork

YUM!

Tonight’s supper was our first ever homemade BBQ pulled pork sandwiches, and it was absolutely delicious! Mmmmmm!

I used Clubhouse BBQ Pulled Pork seasoning for the slow cooker. All you have to do is mix brown sugar, ketchup, and cider vinegar with the seasoning packet, and pour over the pork roast in the slow cooker. Cook for eight hours on low, then shred the pork and pop it back in the slow cooker for a few minutes to coat everything with sauce. The result is amazing! Our house smelled soooo delicious all day today!

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We topped ours with French’s Fried Onions to add some crunch!

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The only thing I would change for next time is that I would do it on a nice crusty kaiser bun, because the regular hamburger bun got a little soggy. That was the original plan for this time, but our grocery store was all out of kaiser rolls. Even with the slightly soggy bun, it was still fantastic!

This is a recipe is definitely a keeper! Mmmmmm!

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This morning marked my attempt at making heart-shaped chocolate chip cookies for my husband for Valentine’s Day. As I stated last night, we don’t ever make a big deal of Valentine’s Day, but I usually always bake him something. Most often it’s a cake or some pretty cupcakes, but this year I decided to make his favorite cookies in heart shapes! This would have been a muuuuch easier task if his favorite cookies were, say, sugar cookies or shortbreads. But, no, they are Nestlé Tollhouse Chocolate Chip Cookies. The only adjustment I make to the original recipe is that I use milk chocolate chips instead of semi-sweet, and I don’t add in the nuts.

Ingredients

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
1 cup chopped nuts

Directions

PREHEAT oven to 375° F.

COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

BAKE for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

If you’ve ever baked chocolate chip cookies, you understand my dilemma – they get all puffy and don’t hold shape very well. Hence, my first batch…

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Epic cookie fail!

So, I gave up on making heart-shaped ones and just made a couple of dozen regular cookies. However, when I got near the end of my dough, I had an idea! I added in some extra flour to make the dough more the consistency of shortbread dough, and I rolled it out as thin as if I was making sugar cookies. I cut that into heart shapes with my cookie cutter. I was a little worried that the top of the heart would rise together and not look like a heart, so I used the handle of a spoon to make the indentation more exaggerated, and popped them in the oven. I watched them very carefully. When they were about half baked, but still a bit gooey, I took them out of the oven for a second and reshaped the tops of the hearts. Again, I used the handle of a spoon to shape out the little indentation at the top. Then put them back in the oven to finish baking. These ones didn’t turn out too bad!

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At least they actually look like hearts!

Now I’ve just got to get them cooled and hidden away in the freezer before hubby sees them, so I can take them out Tuesday morning as a Valentine’s surprise!

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I realized when reading my last post that I had forgotten to mention one of February’s happiest events – my birthday! I had an absolutely amazing day! My hubby had to go to work for a couple of hours in the morning, but returned home with a “wife” birthday card for me and a dozen red roses! 😀

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Later that afternoon, he bought me tickets to go see Bryan Adams in concert in a couple of months. They went on early-bird advanced sale on my birthday! We never get decent concerts around here, so I’m really pumped for April to come!

That evening the two of us went out to supper at one of my favorite restaurants. Then we met up with some friends to go to a hockey game, where I got a team jersey to wear!

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And, of course, no birthday would be complete without birthday cake! So I ended the night off by blowing out my candles!

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So February definitely started off on a positive note! A few days after that, we both got our approval to have the first weekend in March off, and booked a weekend getaway to visit hubby’s brother and his wife who recently moved away.

Valentine’s Day is coming up, but we never celebrate that in a big way. We’ll probably just snuggle up together with some take-out and watch a movie. We hate all the hustle and bustle of trying to go out somewhere. And we prefer to show our love to one another throughout the entire year rather than cramming our affection into one day that’s predetermined. Though I may attempt to make some of hubby’s favorite chocolate chip cookies into heart shapes if I can get that to work out! I’ll be sure to post them if I do!

Anyway, I’m off to putter around the Internet and waste some time! I found this blog (STFU, Parents) earlier today and am hooked! Haha!

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So long, January!

Well January went out on several rather discouraging notes.

First off, my hours at work got cut more than anticipated. Our store hasn’t been meeting its weekly sales goals, therefore less staff are required to fill the available hours. As one of the last people hired, my hours were the first to be cut. It sucks because, for a crappy minimum wage not-what-I-want-to-be-doing job, it’s not a bad job. But if I continue to get as few hours as I have been getting, it looks like I’ll have to look for employment elsewhere.

Secondly, my period came. Earlier than anticipated. Which meant two things – #1) I wasn’t pregnant, and #2) the time between ovulation and the beginning of my next cycle was shorter than it would be in an ideal world, which could indicate a progesterone deficiency. And a progesterone deficiency could make it difficult for me to carry a baby without hormonal supplements. But there’s no way of knowing just yet what it means. I have to keep doing my basal body temperature and see what my next cycle brings. My body could just be messed up from the miscarriage. And there’s no way of knowing which is the case this early in the game. *siiiiigh*

But, in better news, I did very well with my January goals…

Hubby and I managed to have at least one uninterrupted date day/night each week, and even squeezed in a few extras throughout the month. 🙂

I only ended up buying lunch at work once for the entire month. And that wasn’t because of poor planning on my part, but unexpected circumstances – I was supposed to get off work at 5:30 and was asked to stay until 10:30. So it was either buy supper or starve.

Overall, I’m impressed with myself and ready to take on a new month with new goals!

So, for February…

I plan to continue with bringing lunch to work every day. That’s not in reasonable at all. I did really well with it in January, and there’s no reason not to continue on with it for this month. Plus, with my shifts being cut, I’m rarely at work for a meal. So there’s no excuse not to prepare in advance for the few meals that I do have to eat there.

In addition to not buying meals at work, I’m going to cut my snack-buying down to once a week for a treat. Lately I’ve gotten into buying hot chocolate or snack foods at the coffee shop right next door. Honestly, I don’t need the sweets, and I can bring hot chocolate from home if I want hot chocolate that badly. So treats are being cut back to once a week – probably during my usual nine-hour shift with the boss. :S

And my final, more personal goal for February is to not freak out about ovulation and baby making. I was obsessed and, as a result, intolerable this past month. I feel bad for my poor husband. So I’m really going to try not to be so bossy and emotional about the whole thing this month. It’s going to be hard, because I think about it every.single.day. But I’ve got to try not to stress so much about it.

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