February Favorites and a Giveaway!

The month of February has lots in store for my household. We had quite an eventful and sad end of January, so hopefully February will be much better! On Friday, I will be hosting another breakfast at work, and on Sunday, I will be hosting a Super Bowl party at my house. This weekend alone, has lots to prep for, so I am very thankful for yet another snow day tomorrow.

Boston has certainly received its fair share of snow this season. As of Sunday, we were already at 20 inches above the normal year, and between today and tomorrow, we'll certainly be a record year. Let's hope the snow stops soon though! My back has had enough, though this guy hasn't!

This month, Jack and I are also heading to a very good friend's 30th birthday party, and are hopefully going to get some quality ski time in at Stratton Mountain in VT. The end of the month will bring an Oscar's party at the house of a friend I met at the Boston Food Blogger event, as well as a visit from Jack's parents. In between this crazy month, I will still need to fit in cooking, and reading my new New York Times Cookbook!

Before this crazy month begins though, I wanted to host a giveaway! CSN stores has generously offered a lucky winner a $35 gift card to their stores. CSN stores, which include Cooking.com, sell everything from wall art and decor to Le Creuset and Rachel Ray cookware. Be sure to check them out!

All you need to do to win is to add a comment to this post with a good Super Bowl recipe that I should make for Sunday. The giveaway winner will be picked on Friday evening. For a second chance of entry, follow me on twitter @michellet11 and let me know you did by posting another comment. Good Luck!


  1. Fajita Pinwheel

    flat tortilla shells, slightly warm
    cream cheese, softenend
    black olives
    finely shredded cheddar cheese

    1. Spread a layer of cream cheese onto the tortilla
    2. Add a layer of shredded cheese on top of the cream cheese
    3. Finely chop black olives and sprinkle on top of the cheese
    4. For an extra kick, chop jalepenos and sprinkle on top of the black olives
    5. Roll up and insert toothpicks, about 1 inch apart
    6. Cut into small pieces, like sushi, between the toothpicks
    7. Cool in the refrigerator and enjoy!

  2. Jack and Paula DowningThursday, February 03, 2011

    Super Bowl Weekend Pulled Pork Sandwiches

    Dry Rub:

    2 T. brown sugar
    2 T. raw (white sugar gets gummy and is just generally yucky and bad for you)
    1 T. garlic powder
    2 T. chili powder (real chili powder without garlic)
    4 T. Hungarian paprika
    1 T. ginger (what goes better with pork than ginger?)
    2 T. cracked black pepper
    3 T. Sea salt (regular salt does not cut it)

    5 to 7 pound pork roast, preferably shoulder or Boston butt
    2 large onions, any kind

    2 bottles of your favorite barbeque sauce (one plain, one hickory)
    12 Kaiser Rolls

    Large Le Creuset Dutch Oven or other large roasting pan.

    Start Friday night around 9 pm. Mix the rub ingredients together. Rub them all over the pork roast and let marinade an hour in the refrigerator. (When you finish you’ll notice a red texture to the roast in the South this is called a Red Coat - it is believed Southerners have been making pulled pork since before the Revolutionary War.)

    Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Take a slice off the top and bottom of the onion and discard. Cut the onion in half and put the two halves in the pan to serve as pedestals to keep the roast out of its juices.

    Place the pork on the onion, insert a meat thermometer, cover the pan, and bake for 10 to 12 hours. Have a good night’s sleep! It is important that you not peek for at least 10 hours or you will extend the cooking time due to the loss of internal heat. Slow cooking is the goal. When the meat thermometer reads 170 degrees the roast is done.

    Remove pork roast from oven and transfer to large platter to rest. Discard the onion. The purist will recommend letting the pork rest 10 minutes and then shredding it by pulling it apart with 2 forks. We get similar results (without burning our fingers) by cooling the meat thoroughly and cutting it into small pieces with a butcher knife sometime later in the day, Not only does the pork self-shred, but it allows you to easily identify and remove any hidden fat.

    Now for the sauce: In a clean large Dutch oven combine the two barbeque sauces with 1 T. garlic powder, 2 T. brown sugar, ½ cup ketchup and 1 tsp.Worcestershire Sauce. Heat on medium until bubbly. Taste and add personal adjustments. Combine the shredded meat with the sauce and thoroughly mix. Refrigerate. On Sunday during the game, heat for about 20 minutes or until bubbly before serving on the hamburger rolls.
    Bon appetite!

  3. I have two that are really easy:

    Cheese Dip:

    1 block Velveeta Cheese
    1 jar of your favorite salsa
    1/2 - 1 cup milk

    Melt the cheese on the stove. Add milk slowly to achieve desired consistency. Add in the jar of salsa and heat through. Serve with chips

    Taco Dip:

    1 16 oz tub sour cream
    1 packet taco seasoning
    1 can black beans, drained
    1 jar of your favorite salsa
    Shredded Lettuce
    1 bag shredded Mexican cheese
    1 jar black olives, cut up (optional, I don't use them)
    1 bag Tortilla Chips

    Mix the sour cream & taco seasoning together. Spread on bottom of 9 X 13 casserole dish. Add the next layer of black beans. Add layer of salsa. Add layer of shredded lettuce. Add layer of cheese. Top with black olives, if desired. For best results, chill for several hours before serving. Serve with tortilla chips

  4. Erica's Def Leppard Wings
    "They're hot...sticky sweet."

    Family pack of chicken wings, split & tips removed
    2 cups honey
    2 cups soy sauce
    garlic powder
    ground ginger

    - Wash and split wings.
    - Put on paper towels to absorb excess water
    - Put into large metal bowl
    - Sprinkle liberally with garlic powder and little bit of ground ginger.
    - Toss well to be sure all wings are coated
    - In small pot, put honey and soy sauce just until the honey dissolves and pour over wings
    - place small plate on top, weighted down to keep wings submerged in marinade. (I use can of beans.)
    - Refrigerate overnight
    - Preheat oven to 400
    - Coat cookie sheet with oil and arrange wings
    - Bake for 30min or until golden brown

    I make these for so many parties and they are always a huge hit!

  5. -From Pat Quinn of Malvern, PA

    Decadent Brownies

    The hardest part is taking the wrappers off the caramels!

    1 14-oz bag caramels
    1 box German Chocolate Cake mix
    3/4 cup melted butter
    2/3 cup evaporated milk
    1 cup chopped pecans
    1 6-oz bag chocolate chips

    C-ombine the cake mix, melted butter, chopped nuts, and 1/3 cup of evaporated milk. Press 1/2 of mixture onto greased 9 x 13 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 6 minutes.
    Meanwhile, melt caramels with remaining 1/3 cup evaporated milk in microwave for 4 minutes. Pour over the baked half of the cake mixture, spreading as easily as possible.
    Sprinkle chocolate chips over top. Then crumble the remaining cake mixture over top of all.
    Bake at 350 degrees for 17 to 20 minutes more.

  6. Our favorite is chopped vegetables with guacamole.

    We make a simple guacamole with avocados, onions, jalapeno, and lime (to taste) all mashed together. Mango makes a great addition if you're so inclined.

    I cook by taste, so don't have exact measurements.

    lovelydomesticdiva (at) gmail (dot) com

  7. King Ranch Chicken Casserole

    Prep Time: 30 minutes
    Cook Time: 2 hours, 19 minutes
    Other: 40 minutes
    Yield: Makes 8 to 10 servings

    * 1 (4 1/2- to 5-lb. ) whole chicken
    * 2 celery ribs, cut into 3 pieces each
    * 2 carrots, cut into 3 pieces each
    * 2 1/2 to 3 tsp. salt
    * 2 tablespoons butter
    * 1 medium onion, chopped
    * 1 medium-size green bell pepper, chopped
    * 1 garlic clove, pressed
    * 1 (10 3/4-oz.) can cream of mushroom soup
    * 1 (10 3/4-oz.) can cream of chicken soup
    * 2 (10-oz.) cans diced tomatoes and green chiles, drained
    * 1 teaspoon dried oregano
    * 1 teaspoon ground cumin
    * 1 teaspoon Mexican-style chili powder*
    * 3 cups grated sharp Cheddar cheese
    * 12 (6-inch) fajita-size corn tortillas, cut into 1/2-inch strips


    1. If applicable, remove giblets from chicken, and reserve for another use. Rinse chicken.

    2. Place chicken, celery, carrots, and salt in a large Dutch oven with water to cover. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer 50 minutes to 1 hour or until chicken is done. Remove from heat. Remove chicken from broth; cool 30 minutes. Remove and reserve 3/4 cup cooking liquid. Strain any remaining cooking liquid, and reserve for another use.

    3. Preheat oven to 350°. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, and sauté 6 to 7 minutes or until tender. Add bell pepper and garlic, and sauté 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in reserved 3/4 cup cooking liquid, cream of mushroom soup, and next 5 ingredients. Cook, stirring occasionally, 8 minutes.

    4. Skin and bone chicken; shred meat into bite-size pieces. Layer half of chicken in a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Top with half of soup mixture and 1 cup Cheddar cheese. Cover with half of corn tortilla strips. Repeat layers once. Top with remaining 1 cup cheese.

    5. Bake at 350° for 55 minutes to 1 hour or until bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

    *1 tsp. chili powder and 1/8 tsp. ground red pepper may be substituted for Mexican-style chili powder.

    Lightened King Ranch Chicken Casserole: Reduce butter to 1 Tbsp. Substitute reduced-fat cream of mushroom and cream of chicken soup for regular and 2% reduced-fat cheese for regular. Prepare recipe as directed through Step 4. Bake, covered, at 350° for 50 minutes; uncover and bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

    Note: For testing purposes only, we used Cracker Barrel 2% Milk Natural Sharp Cheddar Cheese.

    Quick-and-Easy King Ranch Chicken Casserole: Substitute 1 (2-lb.) skinned, boned, and shredded deli-roasted chicken for whole chicken, 3 cups coarsely crumbled lime-flavored white corn tortilla chips for corn tortillas, and 3/4 cup chicken broth for cooking liquid. Omit celery, carrots, and salt. Prepare recipe as directed, beginning with Step 3.