I find it funny that Groundhogs day was just last week… a day I continued to make jokes about all year long. In a month it will be a year that I stopped going into the office for work. What little maternity leave I had during the months of January and February…Work was so busy I didn’t let myself just be at home with my sweet baby and trust others to do my job. When I was ready to go back full time, God thought it would be fun to give me a whole year off instead. In my mind, as most of us thought, this would be just a few months… alas, that has not been the case. I think the hardest part for me in all this is the challenge of time. How did a whole year go by??? How was I at home with my littles for an entire year without working…? What did we do? Where did we go? How did I do that? I think I’ve worn yoga pants for 365 days straight. No joke. My hair has been in a bun for a year. My eye brows?? They are like uni-brows. Now that’s no joke. My skin looks pretty good… except the wrinkles my kids have given me. My toes are pretty gross… nails too. But my kids, they are big. They have grown. Like literally right before my eyes. One talks non-stop about purple dinosaurs and the other is running from me with 7 teeth in her mouth. Both are stubborn. Both whine a lot. Both laugh a lot. Both are demanding. Both are adventurous and loving and stressful and exhausting. And both are pretty much perfect. And I have been with them every single day. Every Single Day. Whoa. (Insert deep breath here)
Every day is a challenge. Yet every day brings me so much joy. I’ve tried to get adventurous in my cooking and baking with them when time allows. From chicken pot pie, to meatballs and meatloaf, to spaghetti and lasagna, to ribs, omelettes, homemade pizza, and even grilled cheese sandwiches. One of the house favorites is the pulled pork set up which makes for great leftovers the next day either with tacos and/or sandwiches. I had to share this easy recipe I’ve been using and each time I make it I tweak it just a little bit to find that perfect flavor. A little cabbage slaw and baked beans make great pairings for sides. YUM!!
INSANT POT PULLED PORK
· 1 Tablespoon Packed Brown Sugar
· 2 Teaspoons Paprika
· 2 Teaspoons Garlic Powder
· 2 Teaspoons Onion Powder
· 1 Teaspoon Salt
· 1 Teaspoon Pepper
· ½ Teaspoon Cumin
· ¼ Teaspoon Cayenne
· 3 Pound Boneless Pork Roast (I use Pork Shoulder)
· 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
· ⅓ Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
· 2 Cups Barbecue Sauce, Divided
· 1 ¼ Cup Chicken or Beef Broth
· 1 Teaspoon Hot Pepper Sauce,
1. In a small bowl mix together the brown sugar, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, cumin, and cayenne.
2. Season the cubed pork with the spice mixture and set aside.
3. In a medium bowl whisk together the apple cider vinegar, one cup of the barbecue sauce, the hot pepper sauce if using, and one cup of the broth.
4. Turn your instant pot to the saute setting. Add the olive oil and allow it to get hot.
5. Add half of the cubed pork to the hot oil and saute for 5 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Remove the browned pork to a plate and repeat with the remaining half of the cubed pork.
6. Turn the instant pot off. Use the remaining ¼ cup of beef broth and a wooden spoon to deglaze (scrape the brown bits) from the bottom of the pot.
7. Add all of the meat along with the barbecue sauce mixture to the instant pot.
8. Close the lid and set to sealing.
9. Cook on manual high pressure for 40 minutes. Once the cooking time is up, allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes, then do a quick release.
10. Remove the meat from the instant pot and shred. Stir in the remaining cup of bbq sauce and serve on buns as desired.
I started writing this blog with a song in mind because it has officially become my son’s favorite. From scrolling through the Spotify Radio stations like we do… I can get screams from him in the car about songs that he absolutely hates. “Mommy! I don’t like this song! Turn it off!” But one Saturday my husband played him Queen’s infamous hit “We Will Rock You” and oh my goodness… this kid flipped. Like in a good way. Apparently when I was in the car, it was the second or third time he had heard it from dad… but to my surprise he says, “Mommy!! Wait for the guitar!” As he stomps his feet and claps. I about died. So this is it. This is the song we play in the car to make him happy. And I won’t mention that he loves “Fat Bottom Girls”… too. (No shame here) I mean who doesn’t ??
Time can seem daunting. Can’t it? If it’s too slow (some may think this year has gone) or too fast (when you see your children go from babies to very capable children). Either way it’s not always a good thing. Nor a bad thing. I look back at this year and I made so many memories with my children. So many moments that I had the time to embrace… and although each day seemed like a Groundhogs day. It wasn’t. I thank you Queen for indulging my son and teaching him during a pandemic what real music is. And I thank my kitchen… for all the incredible meals I’ve been able to prepare my family this year. I wouldn’t trade any of these Groundhog days for the World.