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Posts Tagged ‘recipes’

 4th Birthday Invite

Wow! I can’t believe my little girl just turned 4! She is such a sweet little girl and it has been so much fun watching her grow and learn. Ever since her 1st birthday I have put a lot of thought and time into the theme of her parties, the invitations, the food and of course the desserts. I have so much fun planning and preparing for her special day (and my younger daughter’s birthdays as well). This year Katelyn helped with the theme and one of the cupcake flavors. Her and I sat down together and looked through a cupcake book, Hello, Cupcake! , and she picked the snowglobe cupcakes and she wanted them to be blueberry flavored.

Snowglobe Cupcakes

Since her birthday is in December I thought it was a fun choice. Once I knew I was going to have a December baby, I never planned to do a Christmas theme for her birthday (unless she absolutely would like one) so with this theme I decided to just stick to a winter wonderland theme and focused more on snowflakes and snow. Now living in Southern California we really have to imagine and create a winter wonderland, but I think we did a pretty good job.

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We had so much fabulous food and I can’t wait to share all the recipes with you all over the next few weeks. Here was the menu for her fun and special day followed by some of the photos:

Appetizers:
White Bean Dip with Pita Chips and Home Made Pita Bread
Spicy Cheddar and Cream Cheese Dip with Tortilla Chips
Veggie Platter with Ranch Dip

Main Course:
Beef Sliders
Chicken Sliders
Winter Salad with Candied Pecans, Cranberries, Pears and Feta Cheese
Fruit Salad
Potato Chips

Desserts:
Blueberry Flavored Snowglobe Cupcakes
Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes
Oatmeal Cranberry and Pecan Spice Cookies

Party Favors:
Gingerbread Snowflake Cookies Decorated with Royal Icing

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All the yummy appetizers!

Lots of Yummy Desserts

All the yummy desserts!

Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes

Peppermint Mocha Cupcakes with snowflake sprinkles!

Gingerbread Snowflake Party Favors

A little “Thank You” to all our fabulous guests! We had such a wonderful time and we are so glad that everyone could share Katelyn’s special day with us!

Katelyn is 4!

Happy 4th Birthday sweet baby girl! We love you so much!

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Carnitas

 Carnitas

I am so excited about this recipe! If there is one thing that our family loves, it is Mexican food. We eat it at least once a week and it usually consists of some sort of taco. Well, this week I decided to try to make one of my husbands favorite Mexican taco meats at home from scratch. He loves carnitas and orders it quite often if we are eating Mexican food out. I had never tried it at home and was very, very pleased with this recipe and the finished product. The pork was so flavorful and juicy and the house smelled so wonderful with it roasting in the oven all afternoon. It makes quite a bit of meat, so if you would like, you can set aside some of the meat after it comes out of the oven for left over and when you are ready to eat it you can reheat it under the broiler as mentioned in step 11 below. I also reheated it in the microwave and it was delicious. You can eat carnitas in many differet ways, but we made tacos and topped them with cheese, chopped green chili, tomatoes and guacamole. They were delicious! We will definitely be making this a regular dish in our home.

Carnitas
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Ingredients

3-4 pounds of boneless pork shoulder (or pork butt) or 4-5lbs of bone-in pork shoulder
Spice Rub:
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried oregano
Braising Liquid:
3/4 cup orange juice
Water to cover (about 2 cups)
1 onion, quartered
1 jalapeno, halved and seeds removed (optional)

Directions

  1. Heat a dutch oven or other heavy bottomed oven-ready lidded pan over medium high heat with just enough vegetable oil to cover the bottom .
  2. Pre-heat oven to 300ºF
  3. Cut pork into 1-2″ cubes, trimming large sections of fat off (we need fat for the flavor, so just cut off any real large pieces). Toss pork pieces with spice rub.
  4. Brown the cubed pork well in the dutch oven, going in batches so there is only one layer of meat at a time.
  5. When all the meat is browned, deglaze the pan’s bottom with the orange juice, stirring to break up the brown bits. Introduce all of the meat back to the pan and cover with water until it’s nearly submerged. Add the onion ad jalapeno into the liquid with the meat.
  6. Bring to a simmer, cover, and place in the oven. Cook for about 3 hours.
  7. Stir the pot after one and two hours, the pork should be very tender towards the third hour. When you’re confortable with the tenderness, evacuate all the pork to a platter and begin to boil the braising liquid on the stove top.
  8. After letting the pork cool for a few minutes work through with your hands to separate and discard any fat or gristle pieces that hadn’t melted in the braise. Shred the meat into smaller pieces.
  9. Turn your broiler on to high and place a rack towards the top
  10. Toss the now shredded pork with some of the reduced braising liquid (that should have boiled down significantly by now) and spread in a single layer on a sheet pan.
  11. Broil the pork for approximately five minutes per side until the outside begins to carmelize.
  12. Enjoy!

Adapted From: It’s For Dinner

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