Monday, June 25, 2012

Slow summer days

While I'm not a fan of retro-blogging, I do have to say, we had a nice weekend from my Monday evening vantage point. This blogger has published a book, has a strong following and is thin and pretty, and I still like her. I appreciate her love of family and friends and her positive outlook on life. Anyways, she has been doing more with video on her blog and has provided a tutorial on YouTube. She, along with the new desktop computer Jeremy bought us, inspired me to make this video from our visit to the Chicago Botanic Garden Saturday afternoon with a little something added to the end.  I literally followed the tutorial step-by-step; more creativity to come as I get more comfortable with my movie editing skills.

June 2012 from Jennifer Mullman on Vimeo.

Sunday was a day to rest and be lazy for my family. We thought it might rain; it didn't. We treated the day as if it was a rainy day anyways, reading books and doing inside things. Jack got into the cozy, lazy spirit of things by wearing a long-sleeved shirt and pants (while it was nearing 90 degrees outside, mind you), and Roscoe the cat is always ready for a good snooze.

Jeremy and I tried a new slow cooker recipe from this blog Sunday night.

Easy slow cooker carnitas
2 pounds pork shoulder
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (about 1 large orange)
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (about 1 large lime)
7 cloves garlic (whole intact)
1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon cumin
1/2 cup beef broth
corn tortillas
sour cream, salsa, sliced avocado, limes (optional)

In a small bowl, combine the salt and cumin. Rub mixture all over the pork, then plop into the slow cooker. Add whole garlic cloves. Squeeze on the citrus, and pour the beef broth evenly over the top.

Cook on low for 8-10 hours, or until the pork shreds quite easily with a fork. If your meat is still fully intact after 8 hours, remove and cut into chunks, then return to the crock and flip to high for about an hour or two.
Shred meat fully and serve on warmed corn tortillas with desired toppings.

One of our favorite appetizers is the guacamole from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, which went perfectly with our pork tacos.

4 ripe Haas avocados
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (1 lemon)
8 dashes hot pepper sauce
1/2 cup small-diced red onion (1 small onion)
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 medium tomato, seeded, and small-diced

Cut the avocados in half, remove the pits, and scoop the flesh out of their shells into a large bowl. Immediately add the lemon juice, hot pepper sauce, onion, garlic, salt, and pepper and toss well. Using a hand mixer, blend avocado mix to your liking. Add the tomatoes. Mix well and taste for salt and pepper.

And for anyone who thinks I edit my life for my blog - well, okay, sometimes I do - and now I'm getting into video! Just to keep things real, here's a picture of my life taken by Jack.

Here's to slowing down to enjoy our happy, messy lives, gentle readers.

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