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Jun 24, 2016

Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork BBQ & Sweet Potato Fries

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Snapple. The opinions and text are all mine. #TrueTeaTaste


May was an absolute crazy month...we moved, we went to Disney (again), we kicked off our wedding season, and we tried to get into a good rhythm of living in our new place, cooking more often, and enjoying the start of the summer season.  

Part of that rhythm has been learning to meal plan and utilize my favorite kitchen appliance...the slow cooker! I mean, what's better than throwing some stuff together in the morning and coming home to a delicious-smelling house and meal ready for eating?  

One of our favorite things to eat any time of year, but especially in the summer, is BBQ.  We love going to our local BBQ place and sitting out at a picnic table and enjoying some home-cooked sides, delicious pulled pork, and sweet tea.  So last week, I decided to take one of our favorite meals and replicate it at home.  I got a pork roast, pulled out the slow cooker, and came home to a yummy pulled pork BBQ.  One of our favorite sides is sweet potato fries, and we've been serving up this easy and healthy baked version with everything lately.  They've got a great salty-sweetness to them and they pair so well with just about everything.

This meal just screams summer and makes me think of all of the picnics and outdoor eating we'll be doing this season!  We got to try out Snapple® Straight Up™ Tea, which paired perfectly with this delicious summery meal!  It comes in multiple varieties (including black, green, and rooibos!) with three levels of sweetness (AJ loved the Sweet while I went with Sorta Sweet!) and is made with all-natural ingredients and no artificial anything, so it's a great compliment to any meal!  

Read on for recipes for both the pulled pork and sweet potato fries, and enjoy! 


SLOW-COOKER PULLED PORK BBQ

WHAT YOU NEED // 
3lb pork roast (shoulder roast preferred)
1/3c apple cider vinegar
1/2c packed brown sugar
1/2c ketchup
1/4c BBQ seasonings (look for a bbq seasoning package in your grocer's spice aisle!)

WHAT TO DO // 
Place your roast in your slow-cooker, trim off any large pieces of fat as much as possible.  
Mix vinegar, brown sugar, ketchup, and seasonings in a bowl until combined.  Pour mixture over your roast.
Cook roast on low for 8hrs or high for 4hrs, until it easily pulls apart.  Using two forks, shred the roast and pull it apart to created a pulled pork BBQ.  Remove any pieces of fat as you shred.
Serve on toasted brioche buns!

BAKED SWEET POTATO FRIES

WHAT YOU NEED //
4-5 small-medium sweet potatoes
Olive oil
Salt
Pepper
Garlic

Preheat your oven to 425ºF.
Pierce sweet potatoes a few times with a knife or fork.  Microwave on high for 3 minutes, adding more time until sweet potatoes are slightly soft.  
Slice potatoes (we slice them into circles, but you can go for a more traditional "stick" fry shape as well) and place on a lightly greased baking sheet.  Try not to overlap them too much.
Drizzle with olive oil, and then sprinkle salt, pepper, and garlic over them.
Bake for 20min, turning over halfway, or until they reach a desired crispness.  Serve and enjoy!






You can find Snapple® Straight Up™ Tea in your local Giant Food store.  It comes in multiple varieties (we tried the standard Unsweetened, Sorta Sweet, and Sweet varieties as well as the Sorta Sweet Honey Green Tea and Rooibos new varieties!)  Look for the awesome new packaging on your grocer's shelves and stock up for summer!  




What is your favorite summer dinner recipe?

May 26, 2016

The Guys Behind the Blog // May


It's crazy that May is almost over and it's time for another Guys Behind the Blog!  If you're just seeing one of these posts for the first time, you're in for some fun!  Each month, Laura of According to Laura Jean and I host a link-up with five questions for you to ask your guy...whether that be a husband, finance, or boyfriend (or whatever guy is in your life!) 

This month is the PERFECT month to join in with us, whether you're just starting or have been a faithful Guys Behind the Blog participant because we're doing a summer edition, "Would You Rather?" style!  That means that your guy literally just has to pick his answer from the options we've given.  Of course, if he has some snarky comments about his choice, we'll welcome those as well. :)


1.  Would you rather have to wear your swimsuit to work OR have to carry around a large beach umbrella open all day at work?
Well, the swimsuit one, I guess I could wear a shirt, right?  So that's not even that weird....the beach umbrella would be tough because my office is tiny.  

2.  Would you rather play on an MLB team OR get to tour with your favorite band all summer?
Tour with my favorite band.  

3.  Would you rather go to the beach and forget your towel OR go to the beach and forget your sunscreen?
I'd rather forget my towel.  If I forget my towel I'm only wet for a little bit, but if I forget my sunscreen, I'm burned for a few days man.  

4.  Would you rather take a week-long vacation to anywhere in the world OR take a month-long vacation but have to stay within 100 miles of home?
Week-long. 

5.  Would you rather get to have as much ice cream as you want this summer, but only be able to get vanilla OR only get to have ice cream three times this summer, but you can have whatever flavors you want?
Vanilla.  That's a dumb question.  (for what it's worth, his favorite flavor is vanilla, so for him, this one was obvious.)


Link up below and join us this month!  We will be releasing questions for next month ASAP! 

May 3, 2016

Blackberry Punch

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BlackberryAffair #CollectiveBias


I first discovered Canada Dry® Blackberry Ginger Ale last spring and instantly fell in love. Ginger Ale easily tops the list of favorite bubbly drinks for me, and adding in that subtle blackberry flavor makes it even better.  

One of my favorite things to do when the weather gets warmer is to eat outdoors and have friends and family over to enjoy the weather and some grilled food! These types of gatherings tend to just pop up in my family...someone will decide in the afternoon to have everyone over for dinner, so it’s great to have a quick go-to beverage recipe up my sleeve to whip up at a moment’s notice.  

I love making these little casual gatherings a little bit fancier just by serving something special and unique, so this Blackberry Punch is perfect (and impressive) for whipping up at any time, but it’s also a great addition to any bridal shower, birthday party, or even an impromptu girls’ day! In fact, my mom and I also served this punch at my brother and sister-in-law’s rehearsal dinner last year and it was a huge hit!  


WHAT YOU NEED //
+ Canada Dry® Blackberry Ginger Ale (12-pack or 2 liter)
+ Fresh blackberries
+ Cranberry-Lime seltzer
+ Fresh or frozen cranberries
+ Raspberry sherbet
+ Rosemary sprigs

To make this easy punch, simply combine the Canada Dry® Blackberry Ginger Ale (one can will make one 16-oz glass, or you could combine the entire 2 liter bottle with other ingredients in a punch bowl), 1/3c seltzer, and a generous scoop (one per glass) of the raspberry sherbet.  Be careful...the sherbet will cause the soda to foam and may overflow the glass, so add it slowly!  Top with a few blackberries and cranberries and a sprig or two of rosemary, and Voila!  You have a beautiful, unique drink that’s sure to wow your guests!




Doesn’t it look delicious?

I easily found Canada Dry® Blackberry Ginger Ale at my local Giant Food Store! It’s available in both a 12-pack of cans and 2 liter bottles, both perfect for making this delicious Blackberry Punch!  Made with real ginger, Canada Dry® Blackberry Ginger Ale is only available for a limited time between March-May 2016, so grab it and bring feel-good refreshment to your next gathering before it’s gone!



HAVE YOU TRIED CANADA DRY® BLACKBERRY GINGER ALE?  WOULD YOU SERVE THIS PUNCH AT YOUR NEXT GATHERING?

Apr 28, 2016

Guys Behind the Blog // April


I can't believe it's been two whole months since AJ and I last participated in Guys Behind the Blog.  Life has been absolutely crazy while we've dealt with some medical stuff these past two months, so a HUGE (like, ginormous!) thank you to Laura for carrying this banner solo as I've completely slacked!


But I'm happy to say that we're back...so here we go!


1 // In what ways are you the same as your childhood self?

I still like to sleep, I'm still laid-back to the point where people think I'm dead (and actually, that happened when I was little at a Thanksgiving once).  

2 // What does family mean to you?

Family means not having to pretend.  You should feel at home and like you don't have to keep up appearances to make you look better.  Just to be able to relax and let your hair down (get it....cause I'm talking to mostly girls...I don't have long hair, but they do!)

3 // How would your family or closest friends describe you?

Probably perfect.  They'd say he's perfect in every way and makes no mistakes ever.  (Don't write that) (Oh, I'm writing that.) (You're a jerk...I was just kidding, man.)

4 // What’s your fondest childhood memory?

Probably when I was little, on a Sunday after church we'd go to my Grammy's and the whole family would just lay around the house watching the Eagles.  And we'd all take naps wherever we were.  And now I do that all the time!

5 // What words of wisdom would pass on to your childhood self?

Maybe....be smarter with your money and save money.  In high school, I had a job and spent all my money, like every doofus with a high school job does.  And now, if I would have saved it I'd have more of it, so....yeah.


So for May's questions, we thought it would be fun to do something summery to kick off the start of summer!  As we got to brainstorming, we thought it would be super fun to do a Guys Behind the Blog with a little bit of a twist!  

So here's Summer at Guys Behind the Blog....Would You Rather style!  Link up with us on May 26!

1.  Would you rather have to wear your swimsuit to work OR have to carry around a large beach umbrella open all day at work?
2.  Would you rather play on an MLB team OR get to tour with your favorite band all summer?
3.  Would you rather go to the beach and forget your towel OR go to the beach and forget your sunscreen?
4.  Would you rather take a week-long vacation to anywhere in the world OR take a month-long vacation but have to stay within 100 miles of home?

5.  Would you rather get to have as much ice cream as you want this summer, but only be able to get vanilla OR only get to have ice cream three times this summer, but you can have whatever flavors you want?


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