Friday, May 31, 2013


I actually started writing this post a few months ago; but hadn't published it until now because I didn't feel I knew enough about the subject matter. I didn't want my ignorance of the issue to be misleading to someone else. I still do not have all of these answers; but this is where I am now.

My marriage is very important to me; I have been striving to make it the best I can. Over the last few months, God has really laid it on my heart to make changes in my attitude toward my husband. He really convicted me of the "secret" dishnor I harbored toward my husband. We don't often fight, and our marriage is a good one. However, when we do fight, I tend to become very defensive and stubborn. A few months ago, I realized I had started to become hurtful and disrespectful to him during disagreements. I had also begun picking his every action and word apart in my head, and occasionally out loud. I am so ashamed when I think of some of the things I was saying. God really put it upon my heart that I wasn't being the wife I am supposed to be and that I needed to make some changes.

So, I began re-reading what the Bible has to say about marriage. I realized that part of my struggle was that I wasn't adhering to God's plan for marriage and his design for a married woman. I know I'm about to embark on a subject that is very taboo in our society and even amngst the Christian body, but this is the conviction of my heart. You know the passage, the one we sweep under the rug.

Wives, submit yourselves unto your husbands, as unto the Lord. - Ephesians 5:22

*** I am in NO WAY suggesting that this verse be used to encourage women to stay in abusive relationships. If you or your children are being abused, please seek help.***

I don't always know what it means to "submit". Like most people, the word usually brought a sense of subserviance to my mind. I don't believe that is what the Bible intends for it to be at all. Through reading my Bible, connecting with other like-minded Christian women, and reading a few blogs who have a lot of Biblically-supported information and opinions on the matter, I am discovering what it TRULY looks and feels like to submit. I had only known a few women in my life who seemed to model this, and I never had a first-hand view of what it looked like on a day-to-day level.

While I have not perfected my role as a wife, I have discovered that, as with all other aspects of life, when I am acting according to God's direction for my life, I feel more at peace. Everything is not easy peasy, we still have our problems, this is not a cure-all. What I have discovered is that when I submit to God's will, and what I know He says is right, it makes it much easier to submit to my husband. I also feel that God is blessing my efforts and prayers by pulling my husband closer to him. When we have a decision to make, we do it together. We discuss it, and the outcome is usually some sort of compromise, a collaboration of both our opinions. When we can't come to a mutual agreement, I trust that God had my best interests in mind when He told me to submit. I trust that He is guiding my husband where He wants us.

I know this won't be as easy for some as I make it sound here. I know there are many husbands who are over-bearing, or aren't following God's will for their own lives. I know many husbands have done things that make it very difficult for wives to trust or submit to them. The one thing God has laid on my heart more than anything else is that I need to pray for my husband and my marriage. We have our share of problems and issues, some that we have worked through; some that haven't been resolved. I may write about them one day in hopes of helping others who may be going through the same things. Through these things, I have learned to rely on God. When I have felt desperate, like there was no light at the end of the tunnel, He is the one who held me, led me out, and turned things around. He has made good from all of the ugly situations. In those moments, I never think it is possible; but He does. He is right now.

If anyone is in a difficult situation, or even if things are going great, I urge you to pray for your husband and your marriage.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Italian Pork Roast & Uses for Leftovers

I love using an economical cut of meat to make something spectacular. This recipe is a great way to prepare an expensive pork roast, with a little twist on the traditional. It is great sliced and served with veggies and mashed potatoes, in a sandwich, and so many other ways. I'm going to show you how I prepared it, and the various ways I served it.

One of our local grocers had boston butt on sale for .99/lb, so of course I had to get some. Boston butt is usually sold in 3-5 lb packages. I sent my hubbie to buy two. He called me very perplexed and asked where I planned to store so much meat. "Uh, in the freezeer" I replied. "I'll bring you one, if you still want more, I'll pick another one up tomorrow". I said "OK"; but I was a little confused, until he got home five minutes later. These suckers were being soldin 20 lb packages. It was huge, two would NOT have fit in my freezer, I wasn't even sure about one. Luckily, Hubbie was able to cut it into four 5lb roasts and pack them in the fridge.


Boston Butt (pork shoulder) - 3-5 lbs
Garlic - 2 cloves
Fennel Seed - 1 TBS
Salt - 1 TBS
Dried Rosemary - 3/4 TBS
Pepper - 1 tsp
Ground Cloves - 1pinch

Grate garlic with a microplane, addthe remaining herbs and spices and mix together. Place the meat in a roasting pan, fat side up. Score the top in a criss cross pattern. I go through the fat and maybe 1/4 inch into the meat. Rub the spice mixture into the meat, pushing it into the score marks as you go. Cover with foil or plastic wrap and let it sit for at least a few hours. I seasoned mine about 11:30 Monday night and let it hang out until 7:00 Wednesday morning. Then I put it in the Crock Pot on HIGH for four hours, then switched it to low for about four hours.

These are some sandwiches I have made from the leftovers this week:
Pork roast, onions that were cooked with it, romaine pepperoncinis, and mozzarella on a focaccia roll, drizzled with oil & vinegar.
Pork roast, grilled zucchini, grilled onions, grilled bell peppers, spicy bread and butter pickles, pepperoncinis, mozzarella, and feta on a focaccia roll, spread with Dijon mustard. I made this into a panini since I already had the panini maker out to grill the veggies on.
We also made Pulled Pork Sandwiches, BBQ Pork Pizza, and sliced pork roast with gravy made from the juices.
So, next time you see Boston Butt or Pork Shoulder roasts on sale, pick one up. It's an economical cut of meat that can be made into several delicious meals. For more inspiration, check out my Boston Butt post.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Focaccia Rolls

We love bread in this house. I made a batch of these on Wednesday morning and they were gone this morning; so I made another batch today. These are super simple to make and though we've only used them for sandwiches or eaten them by themselves so far, I think they would go well with pretty much any meal. For the dough, I just used my basic pizza dough recipe.

2 1/4 tsp yeast
1 1/3 cups warm water
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 TBS salt
2 tsp sugar
2 1/2 TBS Olive Oil

1 clove garlic
2 TBS olive oil

Proof the yeast in the warm water. You want the water around 110 degrees F. Too hot and you'll kill the yeast.

I use a stand mixer, but you can do the mixing and kneading by hand if you want to. I use the dough hook attachment for my KitchenAid. Mix everything except the water/yeast mixture in the bowl, then add the water/yeast mixture. Combine them on medium speed, about 4. As soon as a ball starts to form,  switch it down to 1. Set a timer, and let it go for 10 minutes. Unless you have one VERY large bowl, find two large bowls, and grease them well with olive oil.

After the dough is nice and kneaded, place it onto a lightly floured surface and divide it into two equal parts. Form each one into a nice, tight ball and place in the bowls seam side down. Brush the tops with more olive oil and cover with plastic wrap. Put them in a warm, draft-free place to rise for about 45 minutes. I use my oven for this.

After the dough is nice and risen, punch it down. Lightly flour your work surface, sprinkle flour on each side on the dough. I actually just drop each piece into my flour bin. Then place the dough on your work surface and pat or roll out into about a 10-12 inch circle/oval shape. Cut into four equal pieces. I just cut it in half vertically and again horizontally. Place on greased baking sheet. Do this for both dough rounds. Note: this is the size I used for sandwich buns, and they are pretty large. When I made them today, I cut one ball into 8 pieces, which would be more appropriate for a dinner roll. I also recommend using 2 baking sheets, as these rise quite a bit.

Using a microplane-type grater, grate the garlic into a small dish, stir in the olive oil. Brush this mixture over all of the rolls, then sprinkle with rosemary and salt. I didn't put rosemary on half of these since I wanted to use them for Cuban sandwiches.

 Let the rolls rise again for 45 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and bake for 18-20 minutes.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Boston Butt

Photo courtesy of

Boston butt is a delicious and economical cut of meat. Prepared properly, it makes a delicious feast. It is not from the butt of the pig as the name implies, but the shoulder. You may see it sold as "Pork Shoulder Roast". Every few months, I find it on sale for about .99/lb. With Memorial Day being so close, there are lots of meat sales to take advantage of. This is an easy cut to prepare for those of us who aren't grilling, or in addition to the grilled food. Here are a few ways I have prepared it in the past. I'd also love if anyone would share their favorite recipe or way to prepare it. I am trying a new recipe now, which I will share later this week. I like to prepare enough to have leftovers for sandwiches and fried rice later.

Photo courtesy of
Pork Roast can be made in the oven or the crock pot. I do prefer the oven method; but there's no way I'm going to run my oven that long during the summer in the south. It's been 90+ degrees all week.

Just marinade or season, then prepare using your method of choice.

Oven Method: Put the oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
Place the roast on a rack in a roasting pan, fat side up, and put the roast in the 450 degree preheated oven. Roast for 10 minutes, then RE-SET THE OVEN TEMPERATURE TO 250 DEGREES.
Continue cooking for about 50-90 minutes or until the meat registers 150 degrees on a meat thermometer. Remove the roast from the oven and set on a cutting board. Cover the meat with tin foil and let it rest for about 15 minutes before slicing it.
Adapted from: Joy of Cooking

Crock Pot Method: Place in a large crock pot on HIGH for 6 hours or LOW for 8-10 hours. Please ensure that the meat reaches 150 degrees.

    This one is probably my favorite. The las time I made it was on a cold day, so I used my oven instead of my Crock Pot. I sliced 3 onions and an orange and placed the roast on that instead of a rack. After 3 hours at 250 degrees, I removed most of the fat and chopped the meat. I rendered a little fat in a large cast iron skillet and then heated the meat in batches to "crisp up" very slightly then added the broth and a little more cumin and simmered. My favorite Mexican restaurant back home does something similar on a flat top, and this yields a similar result.
    Pork Carnitas - I am from Southern Cali, so I have had some of the best carnitas available. This recipe came from a friend's mom. It is on par with any restaurant. 2 pounds pork shoulder 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (about 1 large orange) 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (about 1 large lime) 7 cloves garlic (whole intact) 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt 1 tablespoon cumin 1/2 cup beef broth The Directions. Use a 6 quart slow cooker. In a small bowl, combine the salt and cumin. Rub mixture all over the pork, then plop into the slow cooker. Add whole garlic cloves. Squeeze on the citrus, and pour the beef broth evenly over the top. Cook on low for 8-10 hours, or until the pork shreds quite easily with a fork. If your meat is still fully intact after 8 hours, remove and cut into chunks, then return to the crock and flip to high for about an hour or two. Shred meat fully and serve on warmed corn tortillas with desired toppings. Asian-Inspried Pork Roast
    • 1 whole 2-3 Lb Pork Sirloin Roast
    • ¼ cups Olive Oil
    • ¼ cups Teriyaki Sauce
    • Juice Of 1 Lemon
    • Zest Of 1 Lemon
    • 2 cloves Garlic - Smashed Or Chopped
    • 1 Handful Chopped Cilantro
    • 1-½ teaspoon Salt
    • ¾ teaspoons Pepper
    • 1 teaspoon Chili Powder
    Combine marinade ingredients, add to large bag with roast. Let marinade a few hours or over night. Super Yummy (I couldn't thinkof a name for this, it was DELICIOUS though)
      2 TBS cranberry sauce
      2 TBS prepared coarse ground mustard
      1 tsp Cayenne
      2 tsp Paprika
      2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
      1/2 tsp liquid smoke
      1/2 cup pineapple juice
      I mixed up the marinade in a bowl, kinda smashing the cranberries as I went. Put the roast in a large bowl, sprinkled it with pepper and a dash of cayenne, rubbed it in, then spread a thin layer of coarse ground mustard over it. Then I poured the marinade over the meat. Covered it and refrigerated it for 24 hours, I turned it a couple of times during that period.
    Also, check out my post on Pork Roast Leftovers.