Maedell's Black Eyed Pea Salad Recipe

I will never turn down a home cooked meal from Travis's grandma, Maedell. She is easily one of my favorite cooks and is always entertaining. Her meals are simple and no fuss, just like her. She cooks everything from memory and even if you had one of her recipes, it would never taste as good as when she makes it. 

Maedell is almost 90 years old but you would never guess it. She is feisty and says whatever is on her mind, sometimes maybe even when she should not. She grew up in the South so naturally I like the majority of her food. Travis likes to joke that she lives off of Dr.Pepper, Twinkies, salt and butter. If she is 90 years old and only has glaucoma, I am not going to feel bad about drinking an occasional Dr.Pepper and always buttering my biscuit. 

If you are eating a meal at Maedell's you can guarantee these things will always be there: veggie/relish tray, biscuits, sugar cookies, ham and/or fried chicken, and black eyed pea salad. I always have a couple helpings of her black eyed pea salad. I love it so much I decided to try my hand at making it and I think I came pretty close, although I know it will never taste exactly like hers. 

You can serve this salad with fried chicken and ham, like Maedell, with the pulled pork recipe I shared last week or just eat it by itself as a meal. 

Black Eyed Pea Salad Recipe

2 cans black eyed peas rinsed
1 c. chopped white onion
1/2 c. (heaping) chopped red pepper
1/2 c. (heaping) chopped celery
2/3 c. red wine vinegar
1/3 c. neutral oil
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper

Drain and rinse black eyed peas and place in a bowl. Finely chop onion, red pepper and celery and add to beans. Whisk together vinegar, oil, salt and pepper. Pour over salad and mix all together. Cover with saran wrap and let sit in the fridge overnight. Serve cold. 

This recipe consists of basically dicing, so it comes together quickly.
Make sure you aren't going too quickly though...
you do not want to lose a finger!
And then dice the pepper.
I love all the colors in this salad!

Red or green onions can also work in a pinch. 

Black Eyed Peas...not to be confused with the great millennial band.
I really wish they would make a comeback. 
I am pretty sure Maedell uses plain white vinegar in her salad.
I love red wine vinegar though so that is what I used. 

Toss it all together and chill in the fridge overnight.
It gets better the longer it sits!


World's EASIEST Pulled Pork Recipe

I love pork products. Bacon, breakfast sausage, ham, pork chops, pork roast. You name it and it if comes from a piggie I probably love it. (minus pig ears, feet and pork rinds, those don't even count though). Pulled pork is no exception to my list of swine favorites. Pulled pork gets it name from the way it is shredded, by taking two forks and "pulling" the meat apart. Most often it is cooked long and slow on a smoker but I make mine a much easier way and I promise you won't even miss the smokey flavoring. 

I feel a little ridiculous posting this recipe because it is so dang easy and kind of obvious. However, if you have yet to discover the magic of making pulled pork in your crock pot let me take the next couple minutes and enlighten you. From my brief guesstimations from the million times I have made this, it takes about ten minutes of your time. Everyone has ten minutes to spare to make a home cooked meal, right?!? If not, then you probably have some other things you should be focusing on than crock pot meals. 

Generally when I make this I do not put any kind of sauce on it until the very end. Sometimes I use BBQ sauce, other times I use it in tacos and top with chili verde (my favorite) or sometimes I just like to eat it plain! It is so versatil,e the options are endless with what you can do with it!

Let me know what you end up using the pulled pork for once you make it!

World's Easiest Pulled Pork Recipe

2 -2.5 lb. Pork Shoulder Roast
1 tbsp. + 1 tsp. Kosher Salt
1 tsp. pepper
BBQ Sauce of Your Choice

Place pork shoulder roast in crock pot and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Set crock pot to low setting and cook for 5 hours. DO NOT open the lid during this time, the heat will escape. Just let it do it's thang. After 5 hours, remove from crock pot, place on cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes. Once it has rested and slightly cooled, begin to pull the pork by placing one large fork in the roast to hold and using the other to shred the meat. Discard any chunks or fat. DO NOT drain any of the drippings from the crock pot. Toss the pulled pork back into the crock pot, stir thoroughly and cook for another two hours on low. Use atop hamburger buns with your favorite BBQ sauce, inside a tortilla with chile verde for a taco or any other way you may like!

This is so easy. Plug in your crockpot.  
Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. 
Set on low. 
Cook for five hours. 
Shred and toss back into pan with drippings for another two hours.  
Voila! The easiest pulled pork EVER. 

Things I'm Loving Thursday | April 16th, 2015

I know I say this a lot but this week has really flown by but thank goodness since it involved; Tax Day, the release of irrigation water for Central Oregon farmers (which equals random meal times, even earlier mornings and sometimes cranky husbands) and a gardening club project at the Kids Club that quickly went south and left me covered in peanut butter. Although this week had some negatives, I still have some favorite things!

Bip and Bop Jewelry
At the Bloom Workshop all attendees got an AWESOME swag bag. One of my favorite things in the bag was a simple gold initial necklace made by Bip and Bop Jewelry. The owners/creators were also at Bloom and are so sweet and fun. They also have an agate necklace that I have been looking for for over a year, score! You have got to check out their Etsy site!

OMG Olive Oils
My mother-inlaw bought TDawg and I a Cabernet Roasted Garlic marinade from a local food and gift show. The other night I marinated chicken thighs for 24 hours and then roasted them in the oven. They were SO. GOOD. OMG Olive Oils make marinades, olive oils, vinegars and other yummy sauces. I would highly suggest browsing their website and trying out a couple. Also, how fun is their name?

Cabernet Roasted Garlic Marinade

American Odyssey 
I love suspenseful television shows, especially if they involve the government; hence my slight obsession with Scandal. Easter weekend, a new television show in this genre started, American Odyssey. I decided to DVR it and give it a try. There has only been two episodes so far so there is still time to catch up! The jist of the story is about the discovery of an American company who has been funding Islamic terrorist groups and is also trying to cover up an attack on American soldiers who were killed by a contracted company funded by the same group. There is one soldier who didn't die in the attack, who holds the truth but no one knows if she is really dead or alive...dun,dun,dun.... 

Sauced BBQ and Whiskey Bar
While in California I had the opportunity to visit an old friend Daniel, who lives and farms in the central California Valley. We met halfway in Livermore and ate at a crazy good BBQ joint called Sauced. I love menus that keep it simple by having an entree and then you choose the sides. They had brisket ends so that was the obvious choice for me and I chose jalapeno cheese grits and cornbread (does someone like cornmeal?). I wish I could have finished all of it because it was so good. Everything that I saw people eating looked delicious. If you are in the area this is a must eat. 

Fresh Tulips
This can probably go without being said but I am loving the abundance of fresh tulips right now. Since they are in season they are super cheap, I bought three bunches for $12 grocery shopping the other day and scattered them around our house. Fresh flowers always brighten a room and make it feel homier. It is well worth the $4 and will totally brighten your day whenever you look at them.