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. 

Wolfpack Pasta Recipe

If you read my Bachelorette Premier Party post (if not, go read it quickly and then come right back here), I talked about making meals together on Monday nights with my girlfriends. When the Bachelor/Bachelorette was not on, they were often times referred to as Wolfpack Mondays. Why Wolfpack Mondays? Honestly, the movie The Hangover came out during this period and we were slightly obsessed with it, to the point of knowing the whole movie almost word for word. Therefore we started referring to our group of friends as the Wolfpack. 

The core of the wolfpack consisted of three ladies, LV (Lauren), Bee (Brittany) and KMK (myself). We jokingly made up Wolfpack Rules, but really they are not a joke, because these are things you should really take seriously and follow. Some examples include:

                  WPR58- If offered, always choose a biscuit over toast at breakfast.
                  WPR21- Never pass up an outlet.
                  WPR102- Sometimes you have to cover AND hover. 
                  WPR8- If you're cute, it's not creepy.

Lauren and Bee wanted me to remember these so much that one of my wedding gifts was a Jenga game, where every game piece had a different rule or quote on it. We all live in different cities/states now, but I sure miss these ladies and think about them everyday whether or not we talk!

Us at our finest. 
One of our favorite go to meals, that we all still make to this day is Wolfpack Pasta. I think it came about from having an excess of pasta noodles and produce from Costco. This pasta dish is SUPER easy to make and feeds a crowd. If you are wanting to do more than just apps and serts for your Bachelorette Premier Party this would be a great option! Or maybe you do not know what you are going to make for dinner next, then try this recipe! No matter when you make it, it is always good!

Wolfpack Pasta

Serves  6-8

1 box bowtie pasta
1 jar of your favorite pesto
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 onion
2 zucchini
1  large bell pepper (red or yellow)
8 oz. mushrooms
1 can artichoke hearts (drained)
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1/2 lb. chicken breasts (optional)

Heat large pan over medium heat. Bring large pot of salted water to a boil. 

Dice and chop all veggies into small bit sized pieces that are all similar in size.

Cook pasta according to directions, drain and set aside. DO NOT rinse.

Put on tablespoon of olive oil into pan and saute onion, zucchini and bell peppers. Cook for approximately 5 minutes, until veggies are cooked but still crisp. Remove veggies from pan and set aside. 

Add remaining olive oil to pan and saute the mushrooms, artichoke hearts and tomatoes, until just cooked.

*If you are wanting chicken, place the remaining veggies with the others on a plate and cook diced up chicken breasts*

Put everything, including noodles into the pan and pour the jar of pesto sauce over the ingredients. Stir until everything is coated and cook for an additional three-five minutes to make sure everything is heated through. Enjoy! 
Successfully dice without tears. Winning. 

Handy dandy way to cut peppers.
Make four slices straight down and then chop off the bottom.
No need for seeding. 

Feel free to not discriminate and use any color of bell pepper you wish. 

Try to keep all of your veggie bites the same size. 

Please use crimini mushrooms.
The only place white mushrooms belong are in a poorly lit salad bar.

If you do not have cherry tomatoes,  feel free to sub in Romas or another kind.
You will want to see them first though. 

Artichokes packed in water are preferable.
You will get enough oil in the pesto sauce. 

You can sub in your favorite shape of pasta.
Lauren always preferred bow tie because it was the most fun. 

Be careful your pasta water doesn't boil over!

Veggie saute, round one. 

Veggie saute, round two. 

The starchiness will help with sauce stick. 

Use your favorite jar of pesto.
There are lots of yummy options.
Or be super fancy and make your own. 

Toss everything together in the pan and cook until heated.