Blizzard Essentials

Ok, so it is not blizzarding in Chicago, BUT this wall to wall snowmaggedon coverage has me thinking about what I would do with a couple of house bound days. I feel like I would just cook. And eat. A lot. And probs drink lots of red wine. Ugh that sounds real nice. For those of you that are actually stuck inside (I can't believe this blizzard is actually happening btw, east coast blizzards are so hyped) here is some recipe inspo for your days as a shut-in. 

CHEESY TRUFFLED POPCORN

via James Beard 

via James Beard 

I feel like if there's a blizzard, it's a foregone conclusion that at some point you're going to be watching a movie. If by any chance you were obsessed with Making A Murderer like everyone else that I know including myself, The Covetuer gathered up some similar who- done- it documentaries to fill that void in your Netflix cue. In any case, movie, Netflix and chill, or whatever, you're going to want to make this popcorn ASAP. 

1/2 c popcorn kernels popped. Click here if you want to know how to do that without a microwave. It's worth it.

1/2 stick unsalted butter melted

2 T truffle oil

1 c freshly grated Pecorino cheese (Parmesan is fine too)

2 T chopped, fresh parsley

Salt and pepper to your liking

Pinch of sugar

Toss popcorn with butter and oil. Add cheese and chopped parsley. Add your salt, pepper, and pinch of sugar and mix it up. 

CROCKPOT CARNITAS 

via Pinch of Yum

via Pinch of Yum

I made these for my husband's bday party a couple of years ago and they were a major crowd- pleaser. I feel like you can't really screw up pork in a crockpot. It just has to taste good. If you have no crock, these can most definitely be done in a dutch oven on the stove. Just an FYI this makes A LOT of pork. Could probably serve 10 so def feel free to half this recipe. Adapted from a Pinch of Yum recipe.

4-5 Lbs. pork shoulder

7 garlic cloves 

1.5 t cumin

1.5 t chili powder

1 t black pepper

1/2 t cinnamon

1.5 t oregano

1/2 t - 1 t cayenne pepper (depending on how hot you like it)

juice of 2 limes

1/2 c orange juice

12 oz beer 

1/2 c salsa or alternatively if you're feeling very motivated, you could add a chopped jalapeño, 1 chopped onion, and a 14 oz can of tomatoes.  

Place your meat in the slow cooker and cover with the garlic and seasonings. Rub all of the seasonings into the meat a little bit if that doesn't freak you out. Now add your oj, lime juice, and salsa. Cook on low for 8 hours or let it hang on low on the stove in a dutch over for about that time. After the meat has cooked through, shred it with a fork in the slow cooker or put it on a cutting board and shred it,  adding it back into the sauce when you're through. It should fall apart super easily. Preheat the broiler on the oven. While that's preheating, spread your shredded meat out on a foil lined baking sheet (easier clean-up). Put it in the oven and let it get crispy around the edges, about 4 minutes. Ready to serve either by itself, in tortillas, over greens (think taco salad), or I think over rice with the juices would be super good too. 

BREAKFAST QUINOA

via Cup of Joe

via Cup of Joe

This is such a warming winter breakfast and a unique use of that good old super food quinoa. This and some coffee make for a fantastic leisurely breakfast. Adapted from A Cup of Joe recipe.

1/2 c quinoa

1 c unsweetened nut milk (I used cashew milk when I tried but almond is great)

1 chai tea bag

1/2- 1 T coconut sugar, maply syrup, or honey

1/2 t vanilla 

Pinch of salt 

Sprinkle of cinnamon

Your choice of nuts for topping but coconut flakes, pecans, walnuts, or sliced almonds would be great. Toasted or un-toasted, your call. 

Rinse your quinoa and then put it in a small sauce pot with your nut milk and chai tea bag. Bring to a boil. Remove the tea bag, add your sweetener and vanilla, and reduce the heat to low. Cover your pot and cook for about 20 minutes. Off the heat and sprinkle with cinnamon, salt, and nuts. 

BEST (GRAIN- FREE) CHOCO CHIP COOKIES

Yeah, yeah I get it deserts without gluten don't taste as good. Zero chill (really hope I used that appropriately. I've been dying to get in somewhere). These are great cookies and there is plenty of butter and sweeter in these to make up for the lack of flour. Fat + sugar > Gluten. Eat up my friends. Adapted from an Elana's Pantry recipe. 

2 c almond flour

1/2 t sea salt 

1/2 t baking soda

1/2 c SALTED butter @ room temp

1 T vanilla extract 

1/2 c maple syrup

1/2 c chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 and line a cookie sheet with parchment. Combine flour, salt and baking soda in a food processor (or mix by hand). Add in the butter, vanilla, and maple syrup and continue to mix until your dough is formed. Off the food processor if you are using and mix in the choco chips by hand. With a tablespoon, scoop dough on to sheet pressing down lightly. Bake for 7-10 minutes. YOU MUST LET THESE COOL. If they don't for at least 15 minutes they will fall apart. No bueno.