It is so peaceful out right now. Even with the wind, there’s something about the quiet right before a storm that’s both eerie and relaxing all at the same time.
This weekend was one of those weekends that somehow miraculously ended up being the perfect balance of work and leisure.
Friday was zoo day with all four kids. The weather was amazing for it! We went the opposite route we usually take, which put us by some animals that we rarely take the time to see (wolves, kangaroos, and bears. Oh my!).
Saturday will go down in infamy as the day that I single-handedly fixed the dryer. All by myself! If you follow me, you may already know that a few days ago, my dryer stopped heating. I woke up feeling particularly determined and capable that day, and decided that instead of calling my dad (my usual SOS call when anything breaks), I would fix it myself. Pulled up a video online, dismantled the entire thing, and found the problem- a blown heating element. So, after many a call to local stores to discover the part out of stock, I gave in, ordered it online, and hung a clothesline in the yard. In retrospect, I had been meaning to hang the line for a while. So it’s good that it’s finally up. I love the smell of line dried linens, don’t you? Anyway, the piece came on Saturday. So I installed that bad boy, put everything back together, and turned it on.
Like new for $25 and a diet coke. Not too shabby.
This weekend saw lots of bumming around in between yard work and laundry catch up. We took a ride out to Elegant Farmer for cheese curds and their caramel apple pie in a bag (it’s THE best), and ended up down by the lakefront today. Enjoyed the weather and a picnic lunch.
I love it when a weekend falls into place.
So this upcoming week brings two of my personal favorite holidays.
First up – Star Wars Day.
I’m a huge nerd at heart. Always have been. Always will be. Needless to say, May 4th, Star Wars Day, is one of my favorite unofficial holidays. Right up there with Pi Day (3/14…get it?) and Talk Like a Pirate Day (that one’s some time in September). A Star Wars movie marathon will be in order, likely with drinks from Hans Solo cups and snacks like Death Star-fruit, wookie cookies, and light sabers (chocolate dipped pretzel rods. Easy peasy).
Immediately following Star Wars Day is an excuse to eat my favorite kinds of food: Cinco de Mayo. Ole! Since my kids are little, we’ll be celebrating in this year, complete with margaritas after bedtime. And churros. Can’t forget those.
So today, in honor of Cinco de Mayo, I thought I’d share my recipe for crockpot carnitas. Since this year’s celebration falls on a Tuesday, this slow cooker version will be the perfect way to celebrate when you finally make it home from work. Low-maintenance and delicious.
I used just a small pork tenderloin to make this recipe. Because the meat is shredded, a little goes a LONG way. Hubby and the kids and I ate ourselves full, and I still have enough leftovers to make taquitos tomorrow. If you think you’ll want more though, you could easily just buy a bigger tenderloin and not have to change anything about this recipe.
A word about shredding. There are two ways you could go about this. You can use the tried and true fork method. Pull the meat with the two forks. It’ll shred nicely since it’s been slow simmering in that delicious citrusy broth. Or, if you’re like me and think that’s tedious…throw it in you KitchenAid mixer. Paddle attachment. Low speed. 20 seconds. Boom. Done.
This pork is great in anything- tacos, taquitos, enchiladas…I even like it on Tex-Mex salads or just on buns as a sandwich.
So enjoy the next two days. Nerd out. In Spanish. Then relax on Wednesday. Revenge of the Sixth…you’re allowed.
1 to 1 1/2 pound pork tenderloin
2 small yellow onions, quartered
3 peeled garlic cloves
1/2 can frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
1 cup water
1 Tablespoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
salt and pepper to taste
Place all ingredients except pork tenderloin into crockpot. Stir until mixed. Add pork tenderloin.
Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Shred with fork or in mixer. Serve warm.