Slow-Roasted Pork Shoulder

It is always such a great feeling when you find those recipes that are so simple yet unbelievably delicious. This is one of those. The perfect weeknight dinner.

You are the Best Thing – Ray LaMontagne

Slow-Roasted Pork Shoulder adapted from the March 2014 issue of Bon Appetit. Serves 8.

You’ll need:

  • 1 skinless, bone-in pork shoulder (Boston butt; 5-6 pounds)
  • Kosher salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh sage
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh marjoram
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 325 degrees with a rack in the lower third. Season pork with salt and pepper (don’t be shy, give it lots of both).


Mix mustard, sage, marjoram, and garlic in a bowl.



Spread all over the pork. Really get it into those crevices.


Place pork, fat side up, on a rack inside a roasting pan.


Roast, basting with pan juices about every hour, until pork is browned and fall-apart tender, 5-6 hours. Tent the pork with foil if it browns too quickly.


Let pork rest for 10 minutes after removing from oven. The meat will fall apart easily.


I served it over polenta with a small side salad.


This is one of those dishes that just feels like home. The house is permeated with the amazing smell of cooking all day. Cozy, warm and just comfort.


Shopping notes: Pork shoulder was purchased at Tip Top Meats.

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Banana Cake with Brown Sugar Frosting

Every morning, when I check my computer, I am greeted with an onslaught of subscription emails. Emails from blogs, websites and magazines I choose to follow. In an ideal world, I would spend time each day pouring over every detail, soaking up all of that wonderful information that I just love reading about. However, as you know, when you throw life into the mix, that just isn’t going to happen. I read what I can, save things for some unknown time and delete the rest.

Last week, an email from the website Food52 caught my eye. Food52, if you haven’t already heard of them, brings cooks together to exchange recipes and ideas. They are everything food; from recipes and tips to tools and products, you will most likely be able to find what you need at Food52. It is one of my favorites and I pay special attention to their updates. This email featured a Banana Cake with Panocha Frosting. I have been hunting for a recipe like this.

Last month, I was out to dinner with family. A big, multi-course dinner at a little local Italian restaurant, La Taverna in La Jolla. The very best part of the meal was dessert, banana cake. My SiL, Conni, and I each took a bite of our respective slices and looked across the table at each other. There were NO words; this cake was heavenly. I had never tasted anything like it, ever. Until now. Since that meal, I’ve been on the look-out for a recipe that will provide a light, fluffy and not overly-complicated slice of banana cake.

This recipe from Food52’s Lindsay-Jean Hard, a contributing writer and editor for the site, is THE recipe. You will not need another recipe for banana cake ever again. In fact, you won’t even need another recipe for banana bread. If you go to Food52, be sure to check out the story behind her recipe (I am making few, if any, actual changes).

 Share with You – Nashville Soundtrack featuring Lennon & Maisy Stella

Banana Cake with Brown Sugar Frosting adapted from Lindsay-Jean Hard’s recipe at Food52.

For the cake:

You’ll need:

  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • 2 bananas, crushed
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (I was out of buttermilk, if this happens to you: combine 1 cup milk & juice of 1 lemon, stir and let sit for 10 minutes)
  • 1 2/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two 8-inch cake pans (Next time I make this, I will use rounds of parchment in each pan: butter each pan, place parchment rounds in pans, butter and flour bottoms & sides).


Cream together the butter and sugar. Add egg yolks, bananas and buttermilk, mixing after each addition until combined.


In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.


Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Stir to combine.



Beat the egg whites, in a very clean bowl, until soft peaks form.


Fold egg whites into the batter.

Divide the batter evenly between the pans and bake for about 25 minutes, or until the cake is golden and the cake tester comes out clean.


For the Brown Sugar Frosting:

You’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups powdered sugar


In a saucepan, melt the butter over low heat and stir in the brown sugar. Stirring constantly, cook for about 3 minutes. Add the milk, raise the heat to medium and cook until boiling. Remove from the heat and let it cool for about 10 minutes, until the mixture is lukewarm.

Transfer mixture to a standing mixer. While beating, gradually add the powdered sugar until the frosting is smooth.

Frost the bottom layer of the cake. Carefully place the top layer on the bottom, frost the sides and top of the entire cake.


In my opinion, the perfect slice of banana cake.

Enjoy after dinner with a glass of milk.



Or in the morning with your coffee (the way I like it:)).


I hope you love this recipe as much as I do! The cake itself is amazing even without the frosting. It will definitely be a regular in my cake rotation.

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Have a wonderful holiday weekend!




Green Chili Fritos Boats

This post is short and sweet as I didn’t intend to blog about the Green Chili. But I’ve had so many friends ask me for the recipe, I feel the need to share it. These requests are one of the main reason I started blogging in the first place. Be warned, though, because I didn’t intend to post about this, there are only a few pictures.

We had a party at our house this past weekend, invited a lot of people and rolled two kegs into the kegerator. While I advertised it as a potluck, I felt it was necessary to serve something easy for me to make, that would last all day and would be great beer food. Instantly, I knew I wanted to make chili over Fritos. Such a fun party food; kind of silly, really satisfying and the perfect beer food! I started flipping through an amazing cookbook I picked up at the Great American Beer Festival this past fall. The bookstore section of the festival is one of my favorite spots and I drag my youngest brother, Blaine, there every year. The American Craft Beer Cookbook by John Holl is, by far, one of the best craft beer cookbooks I’ve ever seen. It is chock full of fantastic recipes collected from breweries, brew pubs and everywhere in between. I found the perfect chili recipe for my party: Vegetarian Green Chili from Wynkoop Brewing Company in Denver, Colorado.

Red Solo Cup – Toby Keith

Vegetarian Colorado Green Chili Fritos Boats adapted from The American Craft Beer Cookbook by John Holl.

Makes 8-10 servings. I tripled this for the party.

You’ll need:

  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 2 medium yellow onions, diced
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 pound green Anaheim chiles, seeded & diced
  • 1 pound plum tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, diced
  • 1 tablespoon dark chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 9 cups vegetable broth
  • salt

For serving:

  • seasoned, warm pinto beans
  • sour cream
  • grated cheddar cheese
  • Fritos

Heat the oil in a pot over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onions and garlic and cook, stirring, until translucent (about 4 minutes). Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until golden brown.

Add the chiles, tomatoes, cilantro, jalapeño, chili powder, cumin, cayenne, and broth to the pot. Season with salt.


Cook the chili over low heat, stirring occasionally, about 1 1/2 hours.

Layer Fritos, pinto beans, green chili, cheddar cheese, and sour cream in a bowl. Grab a spoon, and a beer, and enjoy!


So easy, delicious and fun!


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