Carnitas de Julia

I found this recipe on Mark’s Daily Apple.  I had been wanting to try for a couple weeks now.  The challenge with trying a new recipe is that you need to “watch” it to ensure it’s coming out okay.

Take 2-4 pounds of Pork Shoulder and cut into large chunks.  I did mine about 2x as large as normal “stew” meat.  Since I purchased the large cryo pack at Costco, I used the vacuum sealer and ended up freezing the other 1/2.Pork SholderNext, get your spices together & pre-heat the oven at 350 degrees

  • 1-2 tbs salt
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ancho chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • lots of garlic
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 bay leafs
  • 1 chopped yellow onion

mix the dry spices together.


Dry Spices

Place pork into roasting pan and mix thrououghly.  Because I am cooking with chili’s I use disposable rubber gloves to protect my hands.  Once the meat is well spiced, then add the garlic and mix again.

Finally, add the chopped onion, 2 bay leafs, and 1 cinnamon stick on top and cover with water nearly so the pork is just peaking over the top of the onions.

Spices & onions

Place into the oven and let the roasting begin.  Plan on setting your timer for 90 minutes and then pull the carnitas out and mix up with a heavy durable spoon.  At about this time mark, nearly 1/2 the water will have been cooked off/absorbed into the meat.  Place back in the oven to let the meat finishing cooking and get crispy.  After a minimum of 3.5 hours total cooking, your Carnitas will be nearly ready.  All the water should be gone, and the juice carmelization will be evident around the meat and the edges of the pan.

Remove from the oven, take out the bay leafs and cinnamon stick.  Then break up the meat into shredded pieces.  Let sit or serve immediately.  Sunday’s meal was finished off with corn tortillas (for the men- I had mine over salad), guacamole, salsa’s, lime and tequila.Carnitas

The carnitas will keep a couple days in the fridge.  Be sure to use the left overs up.  Eat cold over salad or heat up in a pan and cook with fresh eggs.


Porterhouse Porkchops

As you all know, we do a lot of fresh cooking at Chez Day.  The challenge with this is both fun/rewarding, but that you do end up making frequent trips to the grocer.  I really prefer the days that I head out with my list, moving deftly from one side of the store to the other, efficiently avoiding the center aisle’s like the plague.  But sometimes, it doesn’t strike me what’s for dinner until I start into the vegetable section and end up chatting with the butcher asking “what’s good today”.

Thursday’s dinner followed the latter.  Bare butt cold in Kansas, I trot into Hen House wondering what I actually need to buy for dinner.  My.  Those mushrooms look tasty.  I know, lets do up my famous garlic mushrooms and onions.  I get to the butcher counter and realize I don’t know how many I am actually cooking for.  I offer the next person to go ahead while I try to call the teenager to see if he is home or working that night.  Darn. No Answer.   Oooooooohhhhhhhhh those Porterhouse Porkchops look tasty.  I’ll take 4 of those, please.  Oh and what would be the best meat to make carnitas.  thanks!!!!

So home I get and let the cooking begin.  This delicious meal starts with my blue Le Cruset pan.  I add butter to the pan and then brown the pork chops

Porterhouse Chops


Once they are brown on both sides, remove from pan and let sit.  I just put mine on a kitchen plate and turn on the burner to low to keep them from chilling.

Next add a bit more butter, garlic and onions to pan.



Finally I add in the mushrooms.  let everything cook down to a yummy goodness.



Add a little wine . . .(some to your glass) . . .



Sautee sautee sautee         IMG_1608and presto!

Sorry.  I forgot to take a “plated” picture of dinner.  But take my word for it.  was excellent.


Power of the Puppy Pile

Scout has been in the family now for just a little over a month.  One thing for sure, this kid is a snuggle dog, have to touch you, can i sleep right here, Puppy Pile’er.  Buck has always been happy to be right next to you or in the room, just where he can see you.  But Scout, he needs to be with the one he loves, and make it so he is “actually” touching.

The first time I saw Scout “pile in” was a couple weeks ago.  Buck and he had played hard and Buck plopped down right in front of the fire place.  Scout had started his snooze at my feet and then promptly got up and tucked right in with Buck.

Buck & Scout

I think Buck was so surprised as he looked up and like he was creeping out. “eeewww the kid is touching me again Mom!!!!”.  But now they seem to tuck in automatically

IMG_0135I see them do it, but don’t quite understand it. How can you touch that long and still relax to fall asleep.  Is it the touching that is relaxing or simply the warmth they get.  Or perhaps it is the breathing. While I am not sure about the reason, it has been interesting to watch the pile progression.

Scout with Rob

He knows what he wants and consistently puts him self where he is most comfortable.


On Rob's butt


Just happy to rest on and by the one he loves.


don’t wake me.  I’m comfy now!


Roasted Chicken

Well the boys left yesterday to do a skiing night at Snow Creek with the Boy Scouts.  Unfortunately, Scout is too young to board.  The little tyke got his last set of puppy shots yesterday and his official rabies license.  27.3 pounds (oh yes I had that marked correctly for the bet pool).

Bad news for me, is thinking that I may be getting the flu that has been going around.  As of this morning, I think it was just an upset tummy.  YEAH!!!!  But I did make early preparations just incase it was going to be full on flu with only the dogs to back stop me.

Roast Chicken to the rescue.

Roast ChickenBring home 1 roasting chicken.  Rinse is and pat dry with paper towels.  Put chicken into roasting pan and slover all over with olive oil.  add salt, pepper and rosemary.  Pop that puppy into the over at 425 degrees for 70 minutes and you have tasty roasted chicken.

Save all the bones, and plop into the pressure cooker to make chicken broth.  Don’t for get to add some vegetable to the broth to tasty it up.  Bring up to pressure and cook for 10 minutes and then let temperature drop naturally.  Strain and save for your sick day.

Feeling much better today.  The puppies let me sleep until 6:18 before rustling and needing to get up.  I feel a ton better, so I can’t wait for all my boys to get home and tell me about their ski adventures.




Potosi Brewery

Last weekend, we stopped for lunch at the Potosi Brewery. Potosi is definitely a one horse town, missing the horse. But they have a lovely brewery to be proud of.
Walking in, they have a window looking down to the spring that feeds the brew. I saw the window, but wasn’t expecting water. So when I first saw the movement I startled as I thought it was a rodent moving. Hahahahahaha. Just water.

Their menu was delicious. I went for their double cheese burger with bacon and blue cheese, sans bun. The poor dude looked very confused on how to present. With a straight face I said, ” all the same fixins just stack it without the bun.”

While I don’t do beer anymore, I did partake in a rare soda. Homemade root beer. Yum! I would highly recommend a pint if ever you stop in.





Yes it was truly cold that day. Brrrrrrrrrr

Casseville WI

After our assault on Duluth, we continued west to go see Sharon’s property near casseville wi. Very rural area. Lots of fields under snow and cows huddling outside their barns. We even saw a couple quilt barns on the way.

We finally got out there by 11:30. Clear and cold the view from the property was amazing.