It’s May! And it’s rainy. I guess it doesn’t matter if May is “in like a lion”. The motto for May in Colorado is “I do what I want”. Snow, rain, hail, 90 degrees, we saw it all last year. I’m looking forward to having a garden and being somewhat self sufficient with produce (as soon as our backyard is no longer just dirt – the joys of new construction). I started tomatoes from seeds indoors but now they are looking so wimpy – any guru gardeners out there??
On another note, this post is all about using those leftovers. YES! Have you made my Crock Pot Pulled Pork recently and got sick and tired of sandwiches by day 4? (me! me!) Don’t worry, I’ve got your back! Costco recently got me again! They had Pillsbury crescent rolls on sale for < $1 a tube (steal!) but did I really need 40 crescent rolls? Sigh. Probably not. It gave me the perfect excuse to continue experimenting with this recipe until I got it just right though. Five ingredients and 20 minutes will get you a fun dinner on the table. Kids will love it because it looks cool and your husband/wife/SO will appreciate it because it looks like you put effort into dinner (shh don’t tell). Have at it!
Pulled Pork Crescent Roll Ring (with BBQ + Ranch Dipping Sauce)
Reinvent pulled pork with this fun and easy weeknight dinner. Have it on the table in < 30 minutes!
Preheat oven to 375 degrees (350 degrees for dark or nonstick pans).
Open crescent rolls and place in a circle with overlapping corners (should look like a sun when you are done).
Spread the cheese around the base of the crescent rolls in an even circle.
Then add the pulled pork the same way (no need to heat the pork up first).
Then sprinkle onions over the pork followed by one slice of jalapeno at the center of each triangle base.
Fold the point of each triangle over the base and attach it to the base of the triangle next to it. It will look like a pinwheel when you are done.
Bake in oven for 20 minutes or until crescent rolls just start to turn golden brown. I baked mine on parchment paper to save with clean up.
To make the dipping sauce: equal parts BBQ sauce mixed with equal parts ranch dressing! That's it! Cut into slices, dip, and enjoy!
Get the recipe for Crock Pot Pulled Pork here.
How’s everyone doing in 2018 so far? New Year’s resolutions going well? Keep at ’em, you can do it! I’ve learned that if I call them “goals” instead of “resolutions” I’m much more likely to succeed. There’s just something about being able to check off a goal as completed that makes me feel like the “throwing money in the air” meme. I’ve also started semi-bullet journaling this year – I call it semi because let’s be honest, I will never be as talented or artistic as the examples you see on Pinterest. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, Google it. Seriously, it’s impressive) So far it has been helpful, and not just for my yearly goals but for keeping track of how often you do certain things. For example, I’m trying to keep track of how often I change my contacts – if you’re an optometrist please don’t get mad – but I’m pretty sure I have been wearing this pair for > 6 months. No wonder I never run out.
On another note, how about that Superbowl? In full transparency, I didn’t watch much of it because we had some friends over who brought their 9 month old, and I spent most of my time trying to keep my kid from using his friend’s foot as a chew toy. What do I even do with a 7 month old who has 6 teeth? All of my pre-baby reading about “what to expect your first year” did not prepare me for this stage this early.
Speaking of biting and chewing, I made this amazing pulled pork for the big game, and it totally turned out better than I expected. I was literally eating it by the forkfuls cold this morning. The spicy coleslaw paired so well with it too. If you aren’t into breaking out of the traditional coleslaw mold, your good old-fashioned picnic slaw would be great also!
Just a little PSA prior to giving you the recipe: if you have time to toast your buns – do it. Buttery toasted Hawaiian rolls + saucy pulled pork + crisp, spicy slaw = Par-tay! You won’t regret it.
Crock Pot Pulled Pork Sliders with Spicy Feta Coleslaw
Tender, juicy pulled pork (that's also very versatile and freezer friendly) paired with crunchy spicy slaw will leave you wanting to make this every week
Thaw pork and trim of excess fat.
Slice onion and place in bottom of Crock Pot (I used a 6 qt).
Place roast on top of onion and pour 1/2 can pop over the meat.
Cook on low for 7-8 hours or until cooked through.
Remove meat from Crock Pot and shred. Remove all but 3/4-1 cup of liquid from Crock Pot and return shredded meat to it. Pour desired amount of BBQ sauce in, and mix well.
Cook on low for an additional 1-2 hours.
In a bowl, mix together mayonnaise, sour cream, vinegar, sugar, and seasonings. TASTE it at this point and adjust the seasoning for your dressing as desired!
Pour dressing over coleslaw mix and mix together. Fold in feta cheese. Let your coleslaw rest in the refrigerator for 30-60 minutes to combine the flavors.
To serve your sandwiches: bun + meat + coleslaw! Done!
This pulled pork is also wonderful on its own, on nachos, on pizza, etc! It is freezer friendly with appropriate storage in a container or Ziploc bag. I really wish I would've made this to throw in the freezer before my son was born!
Summer is officially over so put away those white pants and kiddie pools. Just kidding! It’s still been in the 90s around here (with the exception of a wonderfully crisp 72 degrees today) which means it’s still summer, right?!
Well, we officially survived moving into our new house – phew! It is wonderful and spacious and new – meaning I cringe every time something gets dropped on the hardwood floors or someone accidentally hits the wall with a box. I’m sure with a dog and a baby I will get over that quickly. Have you ever had to move with a newborn? Wow, definitely don’t even try to make a to do list or a schedule because, well, it’s pointless. I feel like I contributed very little besides holding the baby, wearing the baby, entertaining the baby, or feeding the baby in between pointing to boxes and doing a lot of “no that goes in there”. The bonus – extra cuddle time with the little guy while everyone else did most of the hard work. Biggest regret – not doing more squats and core exercises prior to this move! Yikes – I didn’t realize carrying my 14 pound baby (yes, he is big for his age) in a carrier for 2-3 hours would be so killer on my back, but he sleeps like a baby (literally) in it so WIN for me. Speaking of the baby – I am already starting to have the “my baby is growing up too fast” sadness. He’s almost 11 weeks old, and I feel like I am almost to the point of having to say “he’s ___ months old” instead of “he’s ___ weeks old” which is making me oddly teary-eyed. My only saving grace is that he is starting to talk all the time, and his baby jibber jabber momentarily sweeps away any of my mommy emotions because it is so darn cute.
With all of the chaos of moving, it was nice to get a little bit settled into the house the past few days and actually MAKE food here as opposed to “hey let’s just get insert quick sub, fast food, pizza place here“. Needless to say, it’s nice to have some quick and easy recipes up my sleeve that allow for leftovers and little clean up. Sliders have been making the circuit for awhile now, so I started making my own version with ingredients I always have on hand – hello turkey + cheese + ranch = winner! If you’re feeling even more daring you could toss on some bacon. These are also good cold the next day, and they are the perfect size when you are trying to multi-task (i.e. unpack with baby on the hip). For those of you with kiddos in school, these are a great after school snack to give them a little bit of protein to tide them over until supper.
Happy unofficial start of fall everyone! FYI – I heard that Starbucks PSL came out today 🙂
Simple Turkey Ranch Sliders
These simple little sandwiches will please everyone. Perfect for an after school snack, potluck dish, or weekend lunch!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Slice the entire slab of rolls in half (do NOT take them apart; just slice them all together) using a serrated bread knife. Set top slab aside for now.
Place bottom bun slab into a 13 x 9" baking pan.
Layer turkey in a single layer on bottom buns. Follow this with a layer of cheese, and then another layer of turkey.
Place the top bun slab on top of the sandwiches.
Melt stick of butter. Add Worcestershire and ranch seasoning to the butter. Brush or pour over the sandwiches, making sure that every bit of the top buns is covered. It's okay if there are some small clumps of ranch - this makes it more tasty!
Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes or until the buns start to turn golden and most of the butter is absorbed.
These are great hot, reheated, or cold! You can substitute a different cheese if you would like - I would recommend something mild and similar to Havarti such as swiss.
Happy Tuesday everyone! We survived Monday, and now that it is over I can say that it wasn’t that bad after all. Before I jump into the details behind the mouth watering pictures below, I’ll give you the short and sweet version of the how and why of Midwest Mash.
Colorado newbie and Iowa native. Those are the basics. My husband got his dream job out here in Boulder so we jumped ship from West Des Moines and planted roots here in the beautiful foothills about a month ago. We also recently got married on May 21, so we have had a wild ride the past few months – wedding, honeymoon (Turks and Caicos – I highly recommend), job quitting, job getting, selling house, sleeping on air mattresses, and fitting 1700 sq ft of
crap totally necessary things into a 2 bedroom apartment. I am a physical therapist waiting semi-patiently on my lovely license to get transferred, so in the meantime I am grateful to finally be able to spend time doing things that I have neglected since graduate school such as writing and cooking. Commuting 2 hours every day for work the past two years left me with gobs of time to day dream about cooking and exercising but very little time for the actual execution unless you count doing kegels and glut squeezes in the car while reaching for a bag of Chex Mix. Bear with me while I brush off the cobwebs on the writing and cooking fronts.
Our crazy fun wedding party. Professional Wedding Photography by Creative Concepts Photography
So my husband really wanted this blog to be called “Serve on Buns” so this first post is an ode to him. Plus, who doesn’t love a juicy, cheesy, makes your house smell like a restaurant, French Dip sandwich? We are lucky enough to get our beef directly from my grandparents’ farm in Nebraska which in my opinion always wins against store bought. The only downfall is having to blindly pick a roast from a stack of white paper lumps in the freezer. The odds were in my favor today because I picked an excellent, low fat hunk of meat. I’ll be honest, all it said was “roast” on it, so I have no idea what type of roast this is, but really, any kind will do for this recipe. You can even use sirloin steak if that’s all you have on hand.
(Recipe for Hidden Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes coming soon!)
Please head over to my about me section to get to know me and I would love for you to follow along with me on this crazy journey of food, exercise (when the motivation hits), and any other project or traveling venture I decide to take you on. This is my outlet for sharing my ideas and adventures as I get acquainted with my new Colorado life, so enjoy!
French Dip (Serve on Buns)
Meaty, cheesy, onion-y goodness on a bun
Apply olive oil generously to outside of roast. Coat with your seasoning mixture (feel free to ad lib here with flavors you enjoy).
Sear roast in a skillet on all sides 30-60 seconds until a nice brown crust forms.
Place your 2 cups of hot water and the onion soup mix into the crock pot. Transfer browned roast to crock pot.
Cook on low 4-6 hours or high 2-3 hours. NOTE: check the temperature often if able - you do not want to overcook your roast. For a medium roast, take it out when at 135 deg and let it rest until 145 deg. Thinly slice the roast against the grain OR pull apart with fork.
In a skillet over medium heat, caramelize onions and mushrooms in 2 Tbsp of butter. Once finished, place a serving of meat with a serving of the vegetables and cover with a piece of cheese. When cheese is melted, transfer to your hoagie.
For an added twist I use a red pepper mayo on the sandwich. It adds a nice kick of sweetness. (see recipe above)
Your au jus should be waiting for you in the bottom of the crock pot! No additional work needed for this. Indulge and enjoy!