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. 

The Only Guacamole Recipe You Will Ever Need

My cousin Michelle (Big Cous) and I (Lil Cous) often like to refer to one of our college terms as, Winter of 08, in a not so loving way.

Winter of 08 was a little rough. For starters, it was winter. Neither one of us enjoy winter, especially in Corvallis, Oregon. Winters at OSU can get downright gloomy, especially when you come from an area who's slogan is, "Over 300 days of sunshine a year." 

Secondly, we were both getting over severally broken hearts, which I think know, contributed to most of our hatred for the term. 

To get through the term we would watch a lot of Food Network and cooking shows, sometimes on mute. Don't judge, it is actually very relaxing, just try it. In turn, we discovered a lot of great recipes but also gained some poundage since we were eating our emotions and not partaking in much physical activity. Just add that to the list of something else we would have to deal with once we pulled ourselves out of our funk.

One morning, as we were leisurely lying around, drinking coffee and watching Martha Stewart, we discovered two things on her show that would change our lives.

  1. Ironing your bed linens before putting them on your bed.
  2. Eva Longoria's guacamole recipe.
For the record, I do not always our iron bed linens, ain't nobody got time for that. However, I have ironed my pillowcases on occasion and it sets the feeling of getting into a freshly made bed, over the top. Take five minutes and try it the next time you are changing your bed sheets.

Moving on to more important things though, mainly Eva Longoria's guacamole recipe. Now, I do not remember if this is the EXACT recipe she shared that morning, but Big Cous and I have been making a version of this since Winter of 08. In my opinion it is the only guacamole recipe you will ever need and if you are currently using the powder pouches of guacamole seasoning to make this dip, please stop doing so and replace it with this recipe.

Keep the Cinco de Mayo celebrations going this week and try out this recipe! What are you doing today to celebrate Cinco de Mayo?

Winter of 08 Guacamole

4 ripe avocados (or 2 large Hass Avocados)
2 jalapenos
1/2 small red onion
2 tomatoes
1 bunch of cilantro
1 lemon
2 tsp. kosher salt

Before you start, DO NOT mix anything until instructed, this is a secret to guacamole making. 

Seed and chunk avocados and jalapenos, place in a medium size bowl (save one avocado seed/pit to place in guacamole once you are finished, this helps prevent browning). Dice onion and tomato and add to bowl. Dice tops off of cilantro, also add to the bowl. Sprinkle one teaspoon of kosher salt over the ingredients in the bowl. Cut lemon in half and squeeze the juice, of both halves, over ingredients, being careful to not let any seeds fall into mixture. Stir all ingredients together. Take a tortilla chip and taste, adding more salt if necessary. Plop avocado seed into bowl, cover with saran wrap and let chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving. 

Simple and fresh ingredients.
Notice there is no powder packet?
Creamy avocado, mmmmm.
To get easy chunks, slice diagonally one way and then diagonally the other way.
Then just scoop out with a spoon!
I like to live life on the edge so I leave the seeds and membranes in for extra heat.
This is the part that the spiciness comes from. 
If you look really closely you can see a heart, awwww.
Do not seed your tomatoes, the juice adds to the guacamole. 
Some people are opposed to cilantro, I think they are crazy.
Just kidding, but seriously.
I would not suggest leaving it out in this recipe.
To catch the seeds while juicing the lemon, cup your hand and use it as a strainer.
If you do not have kosher salt you will want to only use 1/2 tsp. of table salt.
Table salt has a much stronger, harsher taste than kosher salt. 
Once it has chilled, serve in your favorite chip and dip bowl...
Or just eat it straight of the mixing bowl.
No judgement here.