This week has been absolutely, positively no good at work. The amount of stress I’ve been feeling has me feeling physical effects – my shoulders ache, my chest gets tight, and my appetite is in the tank (that’s when I know things are really bad! 😉 ). Driving change in a department can be difficult and as HR reminded me, “No one ever said leadership was easy, Nicole.”
At that point, I could’ve cried. Screamed. Thrown something.
Repeat, Nicole…You love your job…this will pass. You love your job…this will pass. You love your job…this will pass.
I’ve been coming home, to an empty house, staring at a wired bulldog. Wednesday night, she was literally bouncing off the walls as she scampered after her toys, chasing them around the hardwood floors.
I looked at her, she stared back. “You want to go to the beach, Lil?” I asked.
I think the dog JUMPED (bucked?) she was so excited.
I grabbed a ball and we headed that way, and she jumped up every 3 steps to try and release the ball from my grip. We got to the beach and I was trying to send a text in the bright sun. Of course, I couldn’t see the screen well and continued trying to create some shade to see the screen. Before long, all I heard was panting and I realized that Lily was 20 feet out in Lake Michigan…without her life jacket, chasing a volleyball through the water.
As it would end up, the dog can swim…rather well, in fact.
I wore her out and headed home to give her a shower with her pina colada scented dog shampoo and make dinner. And by make dinner, I really mean retrieve my sweet potato from the oven, defrost some of this Slow Cooker Beer Pulled Pork and toss it with my favorite BBQ sauce before stuffing it in my sweet potato and collapsing onto the couch to catch up with American Idol and Cops.
Up side to this week? Definitely these stuffed potatoes. Definitely.
1 Tbsp olive oil
5 lb center cut, boneless pork loin roast, trimmed (4 lb after trimming)
12 oz of your favorite beer
1 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
2 tsp liquid smoke
2 shallots, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp cumin
4 medium sweet potatoes
3/4 cup BBQ sauce
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once oil is hot, sear the trimmed roast on each side, 2-4 minutes or until slightly golden; remove to crock pot.
To the crock pot, add the beer, soy sauce, liquid smoke, shallots, garlic, onion, salt, pepper, and cumin; rotate meat to coat.
Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 6 hours.
Before serving, preheat oven to 400 F. Scrub potatoes under cool running water and pat dry. Roll each potato in tin foil and bake for 60-75 minutes or until an inserted fork can be removed without resistance.
Drain most of the liquid from the crock pot, leaving 1/2 to 1 cup. Using 2 forks, shred the meat to desired consistency – it should tear apart with little effort. Remove all but 16 ounces of cooked pork from the crock pot; add the barbecue sauce, stir, and cover to warm through for 5-10 minutes.
Cut a large slit into the tops of each potato and loosen the flesh with the prongs of a fork to create space and an opening to stuff the potato. Add 4 ounces of cooked meat to each potato and serve hot.
Yield: 4 stuffed potatoes with 3 pounds reserved pork (I love freezing it for later use!)
Nutrition Information (per serving): 389 calories; 4.3 g. fat; 55 mg. cholesterol; 888 mg. sodium; 63.3 g. carbohydrate; 5.8 g. fiber; 25.3 g. protein; 28.8 g. sugar
Result: Who knew pulled pork stuffed in a sweet potato could be so heavenly? I was 100% prepared for Mr. P’s request to have his pulled pork served on a bun…imagine my surprise when he 1. ate the sweet potato meal and 2. loved it. This recipe makes meat for lots of leftovers…enjoy!
TGIF!!!!!!!!!! Mother’s Day Weekend!