Happy New Year, Everyone! I hope you all had an amazing NYE with the people you love most! I know we did!
Today we are taking it slow, hanging out as a family, and tackling some of the projects that we have for the house this year. Namely – we are turning our eat-in kitchen into our formal dining room, and we are turning our formal dining room into a big play room for the kids and their friends. If you know me, you know that my home is my favorite place on earth, and I always want my kids to enjoy it as much as we do! So I am very excited for these new changes.
Which brings me to my resolutions. 2018 was an amazing year, but it was extremely busy. I feel like it flew by without us even realizing it. Here we are, January 1st, 2019 – Caroline is already 6 months old – and to be entirely honest, feel like I’ve missed so much of it. That being said, my goals for 2019 are : 1.) To be more selfish with my time. 2.) To do more of the things that I truly love and that bring me happiness. And 3.) To spend more time with my family.
I know all of these goals are attainable – I am just going to have to make some conscious changes. As with any resolutions – the changes aren’t always comfortable – but you know you’re going to end up a better person as a result of it.
When Joe and I first got married – one of my favorite things to do was to cook. It brought me so much joy to make a huge meal and entertain for our family and friends. As we’ve had kids, and as life has inevitably gotten busier, I stopped cooking altogether. It happens. Life just gets busy. But lately (the past 2 weeks) I’ve been making an effort to make one good, homemade meal a week, and I am absolutely loving it. I made a huge turkey dinner for Christmas, and this week I made these slow cooker carnitas.
So many of you asked for this recipe on Instagram, so here it is! I hope you take as much joy from making these Slow Cooker Carnitas for your family as I did. Be sure to tag us on Instagram when you do!
**** Also – we had SO much of the meat leftover from these carnitas that I made an appetizer out of them last night. I finely diced the meat, added in some mild green chiles, and cheddar cheese. Then I filled some store bought phyllo cups with the mixture, baked them at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, topped them with some green Chalula. Boom – Chile Verde Supreme Cups! They were a huge hit! I will do a post on these another time! Just sharing in case you find yourself with some leftovers!
Slow Cooker Carnitas
- 5-6lbs pork shoulder
- 7 cloves garlic
- 1/2 yellow onion diced
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1.5 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper – if you are making this for kids, I omit this. It definitely gives the meat a kick at the end
- 1 bay leaf
- juice of 3 limes
- juice of 2 oranges – or a half cup if you are using regular orange juice
- 1 cup salsa verde or 2 small cans of mild green chiles
- 12 ounces of beer – if you are making this recipe gluten free, you can substitute a can of coca cola or chicken broth too! I know coca cola sounds weird – but it really is amazing!
- Fresh Lime Quarters
- Cotija Cheese
- Sour cream
- Green Salsa
- Anything you want!
- Throw everything in the crock pot – done. Hahahaha – just kidding, but seriously it is almost THAT easy!
- Mix all your seasonings together – salt, chili powder, cumin, oregano, cinnamon, cayenne, bay leaf
- Put all the wet ingredients in the bottom of the crock pot – lime juice, orange juice, salsa, garlic, onion and beer
- Add in the seasonings – salt, chili powder, cumin, oregano, cinnamon, cayenne, bay leaf
- Stir together – just to incorporate everything
- Place the pork shoulder on top
- Cook on low for 8 hours – or if you need it to cook faster, we cook on high for 3 hours and then on low for another 3.
- When the meat is done, it should fall apart.
- Discard the fatty pieces, pull apart the meat with a fork and place the meat in an even layer on a baking sheet
- Drizzle some of the juices from the crock pot over the meat – this is where you make the meat crispy – but you don’t want it to dry out
- Set your oven to broil
- Broil meat for 5-10 minutes. Keep a close watch on it. You don’t want any pieces to actually burn – so I constantly turn the baking sheet. I rotate it every 2 minutes, but this is just because our oven sucks and I have to babysit everything.
- Once the meat is nice and crispy, remove the meat from the oven and I like to give it a good sprinkle of kosher salt. I am a salt fiend – so you can omit this step if you would like.
- Assemble your tacos as you would like. You can serve with rice, black beans and a salad – or you can just serve alone, street taco style.
Spicy Grapefruit Margaritas:
- Grapefruit juice
- Grapefruit slices – for garnish
- Lime Juice
- Sliced Serrano Peppers
- Chili Lime Seasoning
- Combine the chili lime seasoning and salt on a plate
- Run one of the quartered grapefruit slices around the rim of your glass
- Dip the glass in the seasoned salt – let dry
- Pro Tip: I put on kitchen gloves for the pepper part. The pepper oils tend to linger on your hands and if you touch your face/nose/eyes after cutting up the peppers it can/will burn. If you have young children I especially recommend doing this.
- Slice your Serrano pepper into rounds. If you like your margaritas especially spicy – you can keep all the seeds in. I do not love SUPER spicy margaritas, so I take some of the seeds out.
- I use about 5 small rounds per margarita. Dice two of the rounds and keep 3 rounds intact for garnishing
- In a martini shaker combine – ice, diced peppers, 2 oz tequila, 1 oz lime juice (the juice of 1-2 limes), 1 oz grapefruit juice – and shake well.
- Pour over ice cubes in the rimmed glasses
- You can add Grand Marnier or Cointreau to top if you like. I love to add a little grapefruit Spindrift on top for effervescence. Totally up to you!
- Add in the additional 3 rounds of peppers and a grapefruit wedge for garnish
- Enjoy with your Slow Cooker Carnitas!