Breaking in the Crock Pot for Fall

It’s a busy time in the life of the Walls family.  With 3 of the 4 of us returning to school in the next week or two and the fourth one starting to book gigs again (thank GOODNESS), we’re in a flurried state of “getting ready”.

Tomorrow morning will mark my first day at Le Cordon Bleu.  I’m not nervous (yet).  Tomorrow is simply orientation.  I’ll get my uniforms and tool kit and hopefully be ready to hit the ground running (or should I say chopping) on Monday morning.  My first two classes will be Food Sanitation and Culinary Foundations I.  I have little real idea of what to expect but I’m ready.

Collin and Camden start a week from Monday.  Collin will be going into the 9th grade (HIGH SCHOOL… EEK!) and Camden gets one more year in Intermediate school as a 6th grader.  We’re on a short baseball break and Collin is already chomping at the bit for it to begin again.  With the crazy heat this year, I’ve not missed it the way I expected to but I think he’s oblivious to the soaring temps when it comes to his passion.  Camden is now participating in the First Lego League.  It’s a robotics competition.  I think he’s very well suited for this and am excited to see him learn things that will interest him.

Ty had a very dry summer work-wise but things are picking up.  Tomorrow night, he’ll be painting Dirk Nowitzki for a big event at the Crescent Hotel.  He then has gigs on Saturday in Marlin, Texas and on Sunday in Dallas.  Next weekend, he’ll head to Grand Junction, Colorado, then back to Southfork and, before he has a chance to catch his breath, Odessa.  We’re busy and breathless but glad things are looking up.

With all of this going on, I’m obsessing over being able to get everyone where they need to be and also finding time for things like homework and sleep – not to mention getting everyone fed.  Last night I pulled out the crock pot.  I’ve decided it may be my best friend for the next year.    I took a pork roast and plopped it in the slow cooker with onions, garlic, seasoning and some salsa verde.  I paired it up with a slaw that was dressed with citrus and the result was beyond delicious.  I’ve included the recipe.  So easy, fairly healthy and everyone in my family was happy.  We actually can’t wait to get to the leftovers today.  It was that good.

Slow Cooker Carnitas with Citrus Slaw

1 pork shoulder (butt) roast, trimmed

1/2 yellow onion, chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 small can chopped green chilies

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon mexican oregano (or marjoram)

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 jar salsa verde

Place everything in a slow cooker, cover and cook on high 6 hours or until pork shreds easily.  Shred pork.  Serve with corn tortillas, shredded cheese and Citrus Slaw

Citrus Slaw

1 bag slaw mix (I used one from Kroger that is broccoli, carrots and a little purple cabbage)

1 red bell pepper, julienned

1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped

1/3 cup frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed

juice of 1/2 lime

1/3 cup rice vinegar

1 teaspoon cumin

1/4 cup olive oil

Combine slaw, red bell pepper and cilantro in a bowl.  In a separate bowl combine all dressing ingredients except olive oil.  Then slowly drizzle in olive oil while whisking.  Chill for an hour or so to allow flavors to blend.

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