Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas Salad

Here is a confession. I love trashy TV.

Housewives? Yep. All cities.

Bachelor/Bachelorette? Every season. Back to Season One.

Jersey Shore? Seen every episode. Teeeee Shirt Tiiiiiiiiiime!

Nip Tuck? Watched the whole season on Netflix. Oh, Sean and Christian, how I miss you.


This weekend, I found a new trashy TV show that I am now hooked on: Gossip Girl. I know I should be ashamed to admit it, but...I'm not. I figure that since I am reading 3 professional books about teaching right now, it cancels each other out intellectually.

I know what you're thinking. "What does TV have to do with pork carnitas?"

Well, that's one of my dirty secrets. And so is this. When I get home late after teaching a hot and sweaty Zumba class, it's really hard to spend time cooking. So sometimes I just throw a bunch of stuff on a plate and hope it works well together. Tonight, it really did.

Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas Salad

I have been thinking about making this ever since a friend shared this recipe with me. Every time I make one of Melissa Joulwan's Recipes from her website or from her cookbook Well Fed, it is always delicious! I made a couple of changed to the recipe (click to view the original).

First, I used a 2 lb pork loin because it was what I had on hand. I prepared the spice mix as written except I left out the coriander. I rubbed the spice mix into all sides of the pork and then placed it in the slow cooker. For the marinade, I used 1/2 cup of fresh squeezed lemon juice, juice from 1 lime, and 1/2 cup of Orange juice, and about 1/2 cup of water. I poured this over the pork and set the slow cooker to low for about 8 hours.

Let me tell you... When I came home, it smelled soooo good in this house. And the pork? Tender and falling apart! It was so delicious. I decided to serve it salad style on a bed of lettuce and topped with salsa, Wholly Guacamole, diced tomatoes, and crumbled plantain chips.


I wish you could try a bite. You'd love it.


Next week I plan to make this again, but as it is written in Melissa's recipe with stovetop preparation. I will let you all know how it goes!


Ok friends... it is growing late and I am pretty sure there is time for one episode of Gossip Girl before bedtime. So.....




Confessions Girl...


Monday, February 18, 2013

Millstone Pizza and Taphouse: Rock Hill, SC

I have been so excited for Millstone Pizza to open. First of all, I love pizza, but I also love to see new LOCAL restaurants appear in Rock Hill. We have plenty of chain restaurants, but there is something special about locally-owned unique eateries. The City of Rock Hill is trying to revitalize its downtown area, which also is really exciting.

For you local readers, Millstone Pizza and Taphouse is located on Caldwell Street downtown and it is in the Old Town Market area.

The restaurant is very cool on the inside with high ceilings and a semi-open kitchen. I like the sleek look of the silver tables with the rustic floor.

There are tons of craft beers, and I had no idea what to choose, but eventually went with the Blue Moon Spring.

I love how they use these old bottles for water at the tables! I am a huge fan of chilled water with no ice, so I loved this!

We decided to split the Millstone Salad and the Meat Pizza. (I figured if the husband would eat a salad with artichokes, I would pick out a pizza full of meats for him.)

Both were delicious! Sadie had meatballs and a fruit cup.

I couldn't turn down the cannoli for dessert. The three of us split one. It was soooooo delicious! I wish I had another one right here, right now!

So friends... If you are local, you need to go try Millstone out! We've got to support these great local spots!


Millstone Pizza and Taphouse on Urbanspoon


Cheers to the Weekend!

Happy Monday! Are any of you out the celebrating President's Day? I am celebrating by eating breakfast n my couch at 8:30 a.m. (As opposed to at work.) Yay for holidays and Mondays off! We ended up having quite the busy weekend, so a Monday off was just what we needed!

On Saturday morning, we headed down to Columbia to see my family for the weekend. We started off with Lunch at Thirsty Fellow, a local pizza restaurant and taphouse.

We split a couple of appetizers: Gorgonzola Potato Chips and calamari (not pictured but delicious!) Adrienne, Sadie, and I decided to split a pizza and I also got a wedge salad.

Pizza toppings: pepperoni, mushroom, and basil

Lunch was delish! Loved the pizza and everything else!

Since it was cold and rainy outside, we decided to spend the afternoon at EdVenture, a Children's museum in Columbia. Sadie had a blast and did not want to leave. At first, she was terrified of Ed, but after we carried her in kicking and screaming ENCOURAGED her to go in, she loved climbing and sliding all through his body. (Inside there are slides and ladders so that you can see all of Ed's insides.)

I think we will definitely go back because Sadie loved all of the fun play areas!

We had lots of fun with family Saturday night and had "Taco Night" that I did not take pictures of at all. Oops!

Saturday morning, we headed home quickly because we had gotten word that Rock Hill had received about 3 inches of snow! I can't believe that the end day we got snow in 2 years was the one day we were out of town. But luckily we made it home in time to play with the last little bit of snow.


Today we have plans to see friends, visit a new local restaurant, and cook dinner at home. Hope you all are having a great day!


Monday, February 11, 2013

Local Dish: Fort Mill, SC

Yesterday I wrote about the kiddo and her 5th birthday! Today... I want to tell you about my special birthday dinner...which turned out a little bit differently than I thought it would!

But let's start at the beginning...

First of all, I got to work and found a fabulous bag of surprises left in my chair by my wonderful coworker, Barbara!

How well does she know me?! K-Cups, Cherry Pie Lara Bars, Justin's Almond Butter, and Kombucha (in the fridge)! Best birthday bag ever! Thank you, Barb!

After work, the hubby, Sadie, and I headed out for my birthday dinner. We picked out a newer local spot to try, Local Dish. This restaurant actually opened about 6 months ago, and I have been wanting to try it after hearing rave reviews.

Local Dish is located on Main Street in Fort Mill, SC. The inside is so colorful and cheerful. I especially loved all the pictures of local farms on the walls- from places like Springs and Bush n Vine. Local Dish serves lots of local ingredients (hence the name)!

We decided to start with scallops.

These were... So. Good. Like melt in your mouth good. There were so many choices on the appetizer menu that I wanted to try, like the pork belly and the deviled eggs. I will have to go back to try those. ;)

For dinner, I chose meatloaf, collards, and a mushroom risotto.

Again... I was torn between several options, but I LOVED my dinner! The meatloaf was huge and there was actually enough for lunch the next day. The collards were delicious (and I am very picky about collards) and so was the risotto.

I couldn't resist dessert, since it was my birthday and all... So we got the Krispy Kreme Doughnut Bread Pudding.

This was another hit! I would take this over any birthday cake! It wasn't soggy at all- and it was kind of like eating a warm cinnamon bun! Highly recommend!

If you are in the area, you should definitely take a trip over to Local Dish for lunch or dinner. I cannot wait to go back. We need more places like this in our area!

Now... You may remember yesterday that I mentioned that my birthday ended up with a police chase. Yep, we like to keep it exciting here in the Confessions House. Well, as it turns out, as we ate dinner, a furniture truck (of a well known company!) hit our car and ran! Luckily, there were good Samaritans who saw the collision, chased down the truck and helped us to locate the drivers. Everyone ended up at the police station and thankfully, I believe the company will pay for the repairs (fingers crossed)!

How about that for an interesting birthday??? Reminds me of the time our car was stolen and the hubby chased down the thieves. But that's a story for another day. ;)



Sunday, February 10, 2013

Birthday Celebration!

Hello friends! I have missed you! We have had a little bit of a crazy week or two, and I just couldn't seem to make time to blog. But I am back tonight!

Guess what has happened... my baby is now FIVE years old! how did that happen?! She grows and changes so much every single week. It just astounds me. I cannot believe she will be starting kindergarten in August. Where does the time go?

For her birthday, she chose to go to the Red Bowl for dinner. She enjoyed her chicken and fried rice and really did an amazing job using chopsticks!

Afterwards, we headed home for presents and cake.

Two days later, it was time to party. She had her birthday party at Thomas Gymnastics, where she takes lessons. All the kiddos had lots of fun jumping on trampolines and into the foam pit!


Later that evening, we treated her to dinner at her favorite spot: Fuji Steakhouse...a.k.a. "The Cook In Front of You Restaurant!"

She showed off her chopsticks skills once again, and enjoyed the special attention when the employees sang to her!

Now, that's a serious birthday celebration! It was so much fun to experience it all with her. Happy birthday to my baby!

Preview: tomorrow I will tell you about MY birthday dinner which was just two days later... and ended up with a police chase. Yep. Coming soon...