Slow Cooker Spicy Pork Pineapple Tacos

Slow Cooker Spicy Pork Pineapple Tacos -

Despite the unthinkable idea of turning on an oven in this blistering heat, a prepared meal is always appreciated in my household.  Perhaps contrary to what you’d imagine to be the most desirable summer foods; cool, juicy, refreshing dishes, a spicy Mexican-inspired meal is great anytime.

I love a good dining ‘joint’.  You know what I’m talking about; off the beaten path, rustic, serving honest, inspired food.  My husband discovered such a place while the kids and I were road tripping through Arizona over Spring Break.  He was looking at Yelp for something on our end of Boulder when he ran across glowing reviews for a Mexican food shack really, poised in a parking lot behind a small strip mall.  The abundance of reviews piqued his curiosity and he sought them out with great end results.

Slow Cooker Spicy Pulled Pork  -

When I say shack I mean just that.  It is large enough only for the two men working there and their griddle.  Patrons order at the window and wait for their affordable, delicious food to go.  We’ve gone back as a family to pick up food (everything is To Go though there are some plastic chairs for those who wait or wish to gobble up the delectable fair in the parking lot) and have loved every meal.  They make a pork and pineapple taco that is the inspiration for this recipe.  I adore the combination of the slightly salty pork and the sweet pineapple (which can also be grilled if you have the time).  The dish is simple, not over-dressed, which allows the fresh flavors to shine.

Slow Cooker Spicy Pork Pineapple Tacos 3 -

Turning on my oven is still fairly unimaginable however turning on my slow cooker is not!  Preparing the pork shoulder is a snap.  Mixing up flavorful ingredients, coating the pork then letting it slow cook all day yields perfectly succulent pulled pork.  I loved it so much I’m sharing a second recipe using it  later this week so be sure to come back for that!

Slow Cooker Spicy Pork Pineapple Tacos -


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Coconut Mint Chip Smoothie and Juice: Recipes for Juicing, Cleansing and Living Well {review/giveaway}

Citrus Juice Recipes from 'Juice' Ten Speed Press

When I was in college, one of my ‘health-conscious’ roommates (whom I realized later was more so a closeted Bulimic) was obsessed with  juice fasting and always wanted me to jump on board.  Loving something novel, I agreed to some fast fasts however with no nutritional foundation or guidance.  The Mac Daddy was an eleven day juice fast, at the end of which, another not-so-health-conscious roommate talked me in to breaking at a drive in theater drinking Screwdriver cocktails rationalizing they had orange juice in them.  Thank goodness times have changed and the benefits of juicing have come into a knowledgeable vogue, offering health, energy and immune system benefits for those who partake. Juicing, as well as ‘Juice cleansing’ or detoxing, have become wildly popular in the recent years … {continue reading}

Top Tips and Resources for Successful Gluten-Free International Travel

Top Tips and Resources for Successful Gluten-Free International Travel

When starting a gluten-free diet, the world can feel like a very overwhelming place, dietarily speaking.  Let’s face it, your own refrigerator can feel like the enemy.  It’s unclear to the gluten-uneducated where gluten can be found lurking ready to covertly pounce to sabotage one’s intent.  The good news is that once the gluten-free basics are established life is not so scary.  The pantry and fridge return to being stocked without surprises, going out to eat with some research becomes manageable and travel becomes imaginable again. Travel has been my favorite activity for my entire life.  As a child it was the thing I always looked forward to and as an adult I cannot imagine not roaming the world.  It feeds my soul.  Of course the idea of traveling as a gluten-free diner can be … {continue reading}

Cucumber Melon Spa Salad

Cucumber Melon Spa Salad -

We’ve reached the part of the summer where it’s so hot I’m not interested in eating anything!  I walk through the grocery store with my kids staring at food with no inspiration for mealtime.  I’m convinced my muse has split for her own tropical vacation. I recently bought a new kitchen gadget that has perked up my interest; a Sprializer.  The whimsical end result of the gadget is popping up all over the internet with ‘pasta’ made purely from vegetables, fruit ribbons and more.  I’m not usually one to jump on a trendy bandwagon and certainly my kitchen is bursting with niche gadgets already, however I love the idea of more easily incorporating fruits and vegetables into our family meals in unexpected ways.  It decreases cooking time (perfect for summer) and increases the nutrition we all … {continue reading}

Blueberry Mint Crumble in Jars

Blueberry Mint Crumble in jars -

I love the spontaneity of pulling together a simple, seasonal dessert in the summer; and what could be better than an individual serving in small Mason jars?  It feels like the effortless nature of summer and with these little Blueberry-Mint Crumble desserts, after cooking and cooling, a lid can be affixed to port them for a hike or picnic too. Did I mention they are ready in less than an hour?  Can’t beat that. I always love berries in the summer and candidly have trouble eating them out of season for the decrease in their natural flavor.  I suppose that has improved with international logistics whisking them to all corners of the planet once they are picked; though I still prefer them in their natural season.  Blueberries this summer have been particularly plump, juicy and sweet I’ve … {continue reading}

Lemongrass-Lavender Green Sun Tea

Lemongrass-Lavender Green Sun Tea with mint -

As summer blisters on, I find the need to be drinking water increasing and my interest decreasing.  It becomes a chore.  What I’ve learned to combat that is to add flavor.  I love infused water and tea and try to keep a supply of fresh herbs at the ready for infusing. Regular readers will know my tale of woe regarding an abundant, rampant crop of mint that haunts me at this time of year.  A brief hesitation regarding putting the tiny mint plants in a pot or stoned-in raised bed had rendered enough mint to make Mojitos for most of Northern Colorado.  The good thing is that I love mint, though I tend not to consume pounds of it at a time.  A few sprigs added to some fresh water quickly yields a refreshing drink found far more cheaply than the cool bottles found at the store for $2-3 … {continue reading}