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Crispy Pork Carnitas

Crispy Pork Carnitas

2 Tbsp. Olive Oil

1 (4-5) pound boneless Pork Loin; trim excess fat and cut into 3″ chunks

1 1/2 cups Chicken Stock

1 medium White Onion; diced

4 gloves Garlic; peeled and minced

2 Chipotle Peppers in Adobo sauce; minced

2 tsp. Cumin

1 tsp. Black Pepper

1 tsp. Chili Pepper

1 1/2 tsp. Salt

Cilantro and white onion for garnish

Fresh Lime

Corn Tortillas

Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over high heat. Add pork and sear on each side until browned, then transfer pork to your slow-cooker.

Add remaining ingredients to slow-cooker and stir to combine. Cover and cook on high for 4-5 hours or on low for 6-8 hours or until  pork is completely cooked and shreds easily with fork.

When your pork is cooked; prepare baking sheet with non-stick aluminum foil and preheat your oven to broil. Remove the pork with a slotted spoon and lay on foil-lined baking sheet in an even layer. (DO NOT DISCARD LIQUID FROM SLOW-COOKER!). Pop into oven for 5 minutes.

Remove pork from oven and drizzle 1/4 cup of juices from slow-cooker over pork and toss to coat. Broil again for 5 minutes. Repeat 2 more times until pork is crispy.

Heat corn tortillas and fill with pork, top with white onion, cilantro and a splash of fresh lime juice.

You can store the pork in the freezer for up to 3 months. I save any extra juice to use when I make my leftovers. Store leftover in fridge for up 3 days.

Chef’s Note: I have also used this recipe for nachos and it was amazing!






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BLT Pizza



Don and I love BLT’s and we love pizza! So we decided to combine the 2 into one amazing dish. This works out great for company (I hate making toast!).

The ingredients are simple:

1 Pre-made pizza crust

Mayo or Miracle Whip

Fresh crisp bacon pieces

Lettuce and tomatoes

Toast the pizza crust, then top with mayo, bacon, lettuce and tomatoes. Easy as pizza pie!

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Inner Chef Members Easter Recipes


Easter Recipes from Inner Chef Members

I love Easter! Family, Easter egg decorations and hunts, the sure signs of spring and the food! Inner Chef invited its members to share their favorite Easter dinner recipes with us so that we could share with all of you. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do.



Deviled Eggs               Makes 24 deviled eggs

(Inner Chef Member; Docia Lee)

“One side dish I always make for Easter is Deviled Eggs like my mother always made them.”

1 dozen Eggs

2 Tbsp. juice from Sweet Pickles

2 Tbsp. Dijon or yellow mustard (My mother always used yellow mustard, but I prefer Dijon)

1-2 Tbsp. mayo

Salt and Pepper to taste

Paprika (optional)

Put eggs in a pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a rolling boil and set off the burner for at least 20 minutes before trying to peel them (Peel by starting at the wide end of the egg first, it peels easier).

1. Cut the eggs in half, setting aside the whites.

2. In a medium bowl, mash the yellows adding salt and pepper to taste.  Add pickle juice and mustard. Add mayonnaise and stir until it looks like the right consistency.

3. Fill the egg whites and sprinkle with Paprika (if you want – I think it looks pretty).

Be sure to taste and add more salt, mustard or mayo, to taste!!! 



Dill-Deviled Eggs        Using: 1 dozen eggs

(Inner Chef Member; Carolyn Lee)

This is one of my favorite deviled egg recipes. Using a fancy frosting tip and piping the filling into the eggs, gives it that extra eye appeal.


1 dozen hard-cooked eggs; sliced in half lengthwise


Dijon Mustard**

Fresh Dill



Celery Salt

Smoked Paprika

  1. Place eggs in large saucepan; covering with water just about 2” above eggs. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, drain and transfer eggs to an ice bath to cool; about 10-15 minutes.
  2. Shell cooked eggs and slice eggs in half, lengthwise. Remove yokes and set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl; add cooked egg yolks and mash with spoon or fork and set aside. In another bowl; add mayo and mustard and stir until smooth. Add finely chopped dill, salt and pepper and celery salt to taste. Remember to start on the low side with seasonings; you can always add but you can never take away. Mix mayo mixture with egg yolks until smooth.
  4. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a star tip or a spoon to fill cooked egg whites with yolk mixture. Top off with a dash of smoked paprika and a small piece of fresh dill.
  5. Chill until ready to serve.

REMEMBER THIS: You should never let you deviled eggs sit out for more than 2 hours! A great idea is to lay the serving platter on a small bed of crushed ice to keep them cool.

**The mayo and mustard combo is really a taste-as-you-go thing. Some people like more mustard than others. Start with ¼ cup mayo and 1 tsp. mustard, taste it…wait for it…let your taste buds work for a few seconds and then decide if you need more of one or the other. If you add more mayo; do it by teaspoons or your yolk mixture will be too wet and runny.

deviled eggs







Lime Jell-O Salad

(Inner Chef Member; Bob Bacon)

This is a dish that had to be made every Easter at my mother-in law’s. I’ve always liked it and this last year even my grand kids asked if we were going to still have the green Jell-O even if we didn’t have dinner at great grandpa’s. So I made it and everyone was glad we are going to keep the tradition going.”


1 (3 oz.) package lime Jell-O gelatin

1 cup boiling water

1 cup evaporated milk

1 cup small curd cottage cheese

1 cup crushed pineapple; drained

¼ cup diced celery

¼ cup chopped nuts; optional


Dissolve lime Jell-O in boiling water, add evaporated milk and mix until Jell-O is completely dissolved.

Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until blended.

Pour into 9-inch square pan and chill until set.


Jell-0 Salad

(Inner Chef Member; Docia)

This is a jello recipe from my mother-in-law called Cucumber Salad. I always really liked it.

1 pkg Line Jello
1 cup boiling water
salt to taste – touch
l tsp grated onion
1 tbsp vinegar
1 scant cup cottage cheese (draned)
1/2 cup mayo
1 cup chopped cuke-drained
4 oz pkg cream cheese

Melt creem cheese with chives in hot jello and add vinegar. Cooled and beat in mayo and fold in cottage cheese. Combine cucumber and onion with jello mixture. Refrigerate for several hours.



Mustard & Fruit Glazed Ham

(Inner Chef Member; Lisa Reinhard)

“A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, I was a young Army spouse who had no idea how to cook up a holiday meal that was presentable enough for company. My sister-in-law sent me a recipe card box with all these recipe cards in it. This one gets peoples attention at the table every time, and the presentation is impossible to goof up because not every ham you buy looks like the one pictured and keeping it colorful is key.”

Ingredients:10 to 12 pounds fully cooked, bone-in ham 1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed ¾ cup light corn syrup

⅓ cup prepared brown mustard

1 can (20 ½ oz.) sliced pineapple, drained

1 can (1 lb. 1 oz.) pear halves, drained

8-10 preserved kumquats, drained

8-10 maraschino cherries, drained

2 small limes, thinly sliced

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Place ham, fat side up, on rack in roasting pan. Insert meat thermometer in the thickest part of ham, away from bonePreheat oven to 325°. Place ham, fat side up on a rack in a roasting pan. Insert meat thermometer into thickest part of ham, away from the bone.
  2. Bake uncovered, 2 to 2 ½ hours.
  3. Meanwhile, combine brown sugar, corn syrup and mustard. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture comes to a boil.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine fruit (except limes) with mustard mixture. Let stand at room temperature, basting fruit several times, about 2 hours.
  5. Remove any skin from the ham; score ham fat in 1-inch diamonds. Brush with ¼ cup syrup from fruit mixture over ham. Bake for 15 minutes. Arrange 3 each of       pineapple slices, pears, kumquats, and cherries on ham; secure with wooden toothpicks. Brush ham with about ¼ cup more syrup. Bake for 15 minutes or until nicely glazed and meat thermometer reads 130°. Decorate with lime slices as pictured. Pass remaining mustard-fruit. 1/3 cup prepared brown mustard One can (1pound, 4 1/2 ounce) sliced pineapple, drained 1 can (1 lb, 1 oz) pear halves, drained 8-10 preserved kumquats, drained 8-10 maraschino cherries 2 small limes, thinly sliced 1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Place ham, fat side up, on rack in roasting pan. Insert meat thermometer in the thickest part of ham, away from bone. 2. Bake, uncovered, 2 to 2 1/2 hours. 3. Meanwhile, combine brown sugar, syrup, and mustard. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture comes to boil. 4. In medium bowl, combine fruit (except limes) with mustard mixture. Let stand at room temperature, basting fruit several times – about two hours. 5. Remove any skin from ham; score fat in 1 inch diamonds. Brush about 1/4 cup syrup from fruit over ham. Bake 15 minutes. Arrange 3 each of pineapple slices, pears, kumquats, and cherries on ham; secure with wooden toothpicks. Brush ham with about 1/4 cup more syrup. Bake 15 minutes, or until nicely glazed and meat thermometer registers 130°F. Decorate with lime slices, as pictured. Pass remaining mustard – fruit.

Mustard and fruit glazed ham








Easter Bunny Cake

(Inner Chef Member; Evelyn Collins)

This is from my mom and I remember being so excited when it was time for this cake. This recipe came from a Betty Crocker “Cake and Frosting Cookbook”. My mom used white cake mix with this recipe.

1. Bake any flavor Betty Crocker Layer Cake Mix in two round layer pans, 8” or 9×1 ½” as directed on package. Cool. Prepare Betty Crocker Fluffy White Frosting. Mix as directed on package. Cut one layer of cake in half, put halves together with frosting. Stand cake upright on cut edge.

2. With a sharp knife, cut a notch about a third of the way around the semicircle, forming the rabbits’ head. Save cutout piece for the tail. Secure in place in a wooden pick. Frost rabbit with remaining frosting. Sprinkle generously with shredded coconut.

3. Make ears of white paper, color inside with pink crayon. Use pink jellybeans or gumdrops for eyes and nose. Coconut tinted green or paper grass and a few jellybean form an attractive nest around the bunny. Freeze the other layer of cake for future use.



How to Cut Your Cake

How to Cut Your Cake



Betty Crocker Cake & Frosting Cookbook

Betty Crocker Cake & Frosting Cookbook










Easter Egg Nest Cake

(Inner Chef Member; Docia)

1 box of cake mix, any kind and flavor

Bake in a Bundt pan (I used a jello mold circular pan with a hole in the middle-back then, there wasn’t such a thing as  a Bundt pan).

Unmold on a cake plate. Ice with dyed medium green icing (any kind) and cover the outside of the cake with medium green dyed coconut spilling over on the plate (making it look like grass).

Fill the hold with hard-boiled eggs-different colors. You could use Jelly Beans if you wanted-whatever you preferred

I took Docia's idea and ran with it!

I took Docia’s idea and ran with it! 



Coconut Cake

(Inner Chef Member; Carolyn Lee)

My mom started the tradition of the coconut cake at Easter and I have kept that tradition flowing over the years. I did put my own spin on it a couple of years ago and here it is.


Duncan Hines Classic White Cake mix

Duncan Hines Classic White Frosting

Shredded coconut

Edible Easter basket grass

Sparkle Jelly Beans

Green food coloring


1. Prepare cake mix as directed on package for 9” layer cake.

2. Add a few drops of green food coloring to about 1 cup of shredded coconut and set aside.

3. Let cake cool completely. Frost and add white coconut to inside layer of frosting, sides and top of cake. Put green coconut on cake to represent grass. Use edible Easter grass for stem and leaves of flowers and then create your flowers using the sparkle jelly beans.




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Pulled Pork and Strawberry BBQ Sauce

Pulled Pork and Strawberry BBQ Sauce        Makes: 8 Servings


2 ½ -3 pound boneless pork sirloin, shoulder, or butt roast

1 tsp. salt

½ tsp. ground black pepper

1 Tbsp. cooking oil

4 cups strawberries, halved or quartered

½ cup ketchup

¼ cup cider vinegar

4 Cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp. dried rosemary, crushed

Bottled hot pepper sauce (optional)

8 rolls or buns, split

Fresh parsley leaves (optional)

Green tomato wedges (optional)


1. Trim fat from pork. Sprinkle pork with salt and pepper. In large Dutch oven over medium heat brown pork in hot oil on all sides. Add half the strawberries, the ketchup, vinegar, garlic, rosemary, and several dashes hot pepper sauce. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, 2 hours or until pork is tender. Remove pork from Dutch oven; loosely cover with foil. Let stand 10 minutes.

2. For strawberry BBQ sauce, skim fat from cooking liquid. Return liquid to Dutch oven; bring to boiling. Reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, 8 minutes or until reduced to about 2 cups.

3. Using two forks, shred pork; discard fat. Stir 1 cup strawberry BBQ sauce into pork. Stir remaining strawberries into BBQ sauce.

4. Serve pork on buns. Top with additional sauce and parsley. Pass remaining sauce. Serve with tomato wedges. Makes 8 sandwiches.




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Low-Country Boil


Low-Country Boil

This recipe was taken from Food Network June 2013 magazine. I altered a couple of things to make it work with what I had and what I found at the market.
It wasn’t bad; needed salt before service and could have used some crab or mussels for added flavor.

Note that I cut the recipe down by .75

Below is the actual recipe and what I altered is in bold and italics.


½ cup concentrated Louisiana-style shrimp and crab boil seasoning (I used a 4oz. sachet of shrimp boil seasoning)

4 pounds medium red potatoes (All I had were large so I did cut them in to halves)

2-3 medium sweet onions; peeled and quartered

2 ½ pounds cured, smoked pork sausage links, cut into 3 inch pieces (I used smoked sausage like polish sausage)

8 ears of corn, cut in half (I cut my corn into thirds)

4 pounds of medium raw shrimp


  1. Fill a 7-gallon stockpot halfway with water (or use 2 pots and divide ingredients equally). Add the seasoning and bring to a rolling boil. Add the whole potatoes to the pot. Allow water to return to a boil and cook for 5 minutes. Add the onions and sausage. Bring  to a boil and cook for 15 minutes. Add the corn, return to a boil and cook or 10 minutes or until potatoes are done.
  2. Add the shrimp, bring the water back to a boil and cook until the shrimp turn pink, about 3-5 minutes. Drain through a colander; discard the liquid. Serve on newspapers or platter.


Inner Chef Notes: This makes quite a bit; I divided the recipe by ¾ and still had so much food. I used 1 pound of medium shrimp in my recipe and that was plenty…maybe too much.

Don’t forget to peel your shrimp before you eat them….I should have told Don this earlier…

Photo: Food Network

Photo: Food Network

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Grilled Pork Loin Rolls (Pig on Pig)

Don and I thought of something for dinner that while it may not be too heart-healthy…it sure was tasty!

BACON WRAPPED PORK LOIN! I call it “Pig on Pig” (until I can think of something better that is).

It’s easy, tasty and depending on the type of bacon that you choose; it can be smoky or fruity or savory. The directions are simple to follow and you only need a few things (and a grill).

Pig on Pig

DSCN9516Boneless pork loin and your favorite bacon. I also used sweet yellow peppers in between (you’ll see what I mean).

DSCN9517 DSCN9518                                                       Slip 2 or 3 pork loins into a ziplock bag and with the smooth side of a mallot; pound until about 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick.

DSCN9520  DSCN9521 Season lightly with salt and pepper (remember that the bacon will also give it salt, so go easy on it). Lay pork loin on a cutting board, and beging to roll lengthwise; starting with the smallest side.

DSCN9525   DSCN9527Lay out a strip of bacon and lay rolled loin as shown. Begin to roll or wrap the loin with bacon.

DSCN9528 Using 2 skewers (I prefer the steel ones; less chance of wood shards in the food), skewer at points where the wrapping starts and stops with the bacon.

DSCN9529 DSCN9530 Add up to 3 per skewer, about 1/2 to 1 inch apart. If you like, you can add slices of sweet pepper in between each pork loin roll. (I just thought of this..PINEAPPLE chunks in place of the sweet peppers would be amazing!)

Low and slow on the grill (about 250°) until the bacon is crisp and the loin is done. You can go higher if you prefer…this was my first time with these so I went low and slow.

Next time we do this, Don and I are going to add a spear or two of aspargus to the center of the loin before we roll them…..yummy!

DSCN9532  DSCN9531

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Ham Steaks with Grilled Pears

Ham Steaks with Grilled Pears                  Serves: 4

(Weber’s “Time to Grill”)

“Ham steaks develop nice, crispy edges on the grill in about 10 minutes. By themselves, the steaks might taste a little dry, but you can assure yourself of juiciness by adding some grilled sweet pears and spooning a tangy vinegar glaze over the top.”


2 ham steaks; about 1 pound and ½ inch thick

2 ripe pears; such as Bosc, peeled, quartered and cored

1 Tbsp. vegetable oil


¾ cup packed brown sugar

6 Tbsp. cider vinegar

3 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

Dash of crushed red pepper flakes


  1. Prepare the grill for direct cooking over medium heat (350°F-450°F)
  2. Pat the ham steaks dry and then brush the ham and pears with the oil.
  3. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the glaze ingredients. Bring the mixture to a boil, and then reduce the heat to maintain a steady simmer. Cook until a syrupy glaze forms, 8-9 minutes.
  4. Brush the cooking grates clean. Grill the ham steaks and pears over direct medium heat with the lid closed as much as possible, until the ham is hot and the pears are tender and nicely marked, about 8-12 minutes, turning once. Remove from the grill as they are done. Cut the ham steak into individual serving pieces. Arrange pear quarters alongside the ham and serve hot, drizzled with the vinegar glaze.

glazed ham-001