Saturday, May 21, 2011

We're celebrating 7 month style

So I knew that time would fly by...but I really had no idea it would go this incredibly fast.  My little bugaboo is 7 months old today, that is equivalent to turning 27 in my eyes.  It seems when you reach 27 there really is no turning back to your early twenties, you are officially considered an "adult" and more so expected to act as one.  6 months was a big milestone...but for some reason 7 months seems like such a leap in months.  We are no longer in that little bitty baby stage, he can no longer be called an infant or newborn....instead he just keeps growing, growing, and growing.  (Someone please tell my back to get the memo that it needs to buck up because my baby aint getting any smaller!) So it is with mixed emotions that I celebrate 7 amazing months with my mini man.  I feel like I can already see a glimmer of what he will be like in 20 years to come.  SWEET.  No doubt in my mind he is going to be one sweet, darling man...just like his daddy.  But before I get all teary eyed thinking of my baby being old enough to drive, date, and be independent....I want to relish in who he is now and where we have come in the blink-of-an-eye 7 months ago today.  Cole bug I love you more than you will ever know.  Happy 7 month to you!

Minutes Old...
1 day old...
2 weeks old
1 month
2 Months
3 months...nope, not happy at all.
4 1/2 almost 5 months
5 1/2 almost 6 months
6 months!!!!
 We just had pictures taken by my talented little sister, so I will post his 7 months pics as soon as I get them! I can't wait, they turned out really good!

So since today is all about celebrating 7 months with my little bug.... what would a celebration be without good food and dessert?  Well, no celebration at all.  And we can't have that

If you need good party food I have the easiest and tastiest suggestion,  BBQ pulled pork. Oh, how I love a good BBQ, in fact both my husband and I love it so much we served it at our wedding.  This recipe is a gem that will knock your socks off. And the best part, your crockpot does all the work. I will be honest,  lately I have had a love-hate relationship with my crockpot.  The past couple times it has decided to cook the bejeebies out of my dishes turning it into more of a jerkey-like substance.  It reminded me of the Griswold's Christmas where they were all gnawing on the turkey in good spirits while "snots" was "hacking on a bone".   After that whole episode, and visions of "snots" in my head...I was a bit reluctant to try it again, that is, until I saw this recipe:  Baking Bites: Slow Cooker Pulled Pork. Boy, am I ever glad I did.  Crockpot, you have redeemed yourself.

Here is the recipe, I modified it a little from the above site to what I had on hand. I wish I had a picture to show you, so you could drool with me....but I was too hungry and scarfed my dinner down that night. But if you must need a picture go to the above site and you will be hooked-- line and sinker just like I was.

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork:
(Original recipe from Baking Bites)

2 lb pork tenderloin, mine was also frozen solid (original recipe called for 5-6lb pork shoulder/butt)
1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 cup ketchup
2/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup tomato paste
3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
3 tbsp mustard
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp garlic powder
pinch cayenne pepper ( I left this out, as I have to be careful with the spice in my life)
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
3/4 cup water

Place onion on the bottom of your slow cooker. Place pork shoulder, trimmed of any obvious excess fat, into slow cooker on top of onions.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together all remaining ingredients to form the barbecue sauce. Feel free to adjust salt and pepper to taste, if necessary. Pour half of the sauce over the pork and cover. Set remaining sauce aside.
Cook over low heat for about 8 hours ( Because I was using a smaller and leaner cut of meat that was frozen, I first cooked on high for 1 1/2 hr, then turned to low for 3 hours...checked it, and then put it on high for one more hour until the meat fell apart to the touch).
Remove pork to a large bowl and shred with two forks. Transfer meat back into slow cooker and cook for a few more minutes, until meat has soaked up the sauce. Pulled pork can be held on the “warm” setting in the slow cooker for serving.
Serve over brown rice topped with remaining BBQ sauce, or top it off with a little Sweet Baby Rays to kick it up yet another notch.  Also great served on rolls.

I paired the finished dish with corn and creamy, whipped sweet potatoes. Yum. 

Serves 10-12

And please don't forget about dessert.....we're celebrating here....
This recipe holds a special place in my heart, and I find it perfect that I am sharing it with you on Cole's 7 month birthday.  See, before I even knew that the little baby inside my belly was a little man....I had a horrifying scare.  At 18 weeks I called my doctor around 10:00 AM in hysterical tears.  I thought for sure I had lost my baby. I remember in sheer panic trying to listen to the nurse as she told me to remain calm (um, yeah right.), go home, lay on my left side and they would fit me in for an ultrasound asap. Kyle picked me up and I cried.  I pulled myself together right before walking into the waiting room and then breaking into tears as soon as I checked in.  They whisked us into the room to get ready for the ultrasound ( I think more so I wouldn't give the other expectant mother's anxiety watching me ball my eyes out).  Let me tell you this, never did a heart beat sound so refreshing and refined as it did in that was heavenly.  Bottom line, they couldn't find anything wrong and the little man was growing stronger by the minute...wait, what? Yep, the little stinker decided to spread his legs showing us his goods.  So what started as started as a terrifying trip to the doctor ended in joyful celebration of our sweet baby BOY.  With such an emotional day I knew one thing for sure.....ok, two things...we were having a boy and we needed cupcakes.  So I whipped up a batch of these bad "boys" (ha ha) and had a fun "gender reveal party" by hiding blue peanut butter M&M's in the middle for my family to find.
The big BOY reveal

Peanut Butter Cup Cupcakes:

2 c sugar
1 3/4 c flour
3/4 c unsweetened cocoa
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 c buttermilk
1 c strong black coffee or instant espresso with 1 c boiling water
1/2 c vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla

In large bowl stir together first 6 ingredients until mixed. Add in remaining ingredients and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.  Fill lined cupcake pans 3/4 full and bake 18-25 minutes. If making mini cupcakes bake 9-11 minutes. Cool completely.

Peanut Butter Frosting:

2 c powder sugar
2 cups creamy peanut butter
10 tbls unsalted butter; room temperature
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2/3 c heavy cream

in medium bowl mix all ingredients through vanilla on low speed until creamy. Add cream and beat on high until light and smooth. Frost cupcakes.

You will think you died and went to Reese's heaven.  Enjoy!

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