Life. Revelation. Expectation. Disappointment. Fulfillment. Tears. Inspiration. Reality. Peace. Torture. Clarity. Love. These are some of the words I think of. I find they go hand in hand with each moment that fills the days we are given. They are alive, rhythmically shifting beneath a cover of organization, planning, and perceived control. The kind of control we all believe we have. And yet every bit of life is fragile beyond comprehension.
That's why memories and the moment are so profound. What will we make of life and the time we have left?
I was once asked if I had a “sense” of how many years I would live. Whether it is naïve or not, I have always believed it would be at least 100 years. It is a reasonable assumption since the life span of dozens on my ancestors has been well over the age of 90 over the last 300 hundred years. So after turning 60 this year, I can expect 40 more years of “life.”
What can I do to make it what I want it?
These 3 salads + 9 more recipes below = twelve mouth-watering downloads!
Ask a physicist about control. It is the most false claim of all. Called the “Observer Effect.” In physics, the observer effect is the theory that simply observing a situation or phenomenon necessarily changes that phenomenon.
Let me explain using a food metaphor: I want to see how my cake is faring during a bake. I open the oven door and … boom! I have changed the environment. So to discover what the cake was at the time I was curious is impossible, since I opened the oven door and shifted everything. But then, that's part of the dance, yes?
I have always said that food and your interaction with it is THE metaphor for life. Like a successful soufflé, you only know elation the second you take it out of the oven. And you only get to enjoy the show for about 5 minutes. Then, all of that work begins to deflate into a cavern of lost excitement leaving only the exquisiteness of the memory. So you better enjoy the moment.
I find that the way I cook changes from day to day, month to month, and circumstance to circumstance. We have moved twice since I started this blog. So my comfort zone of oven, lighting, and surroundings has changed drastically. The size of my kitchen has changed. My health has changed. And my countertop space has shrunken. This last year I have done more recipe development but less posting. More refining of technique but less concentration on hashtags or followers.
But that doesn’t matter. I still have a passion for all of it. I still feel like I can answer all of life’s questions during cooking. And I have been able to have so many, many, many more new friends around my table to nourish. And that makes life perfect for me.
Philosophy lesson is over. Now it is time to browse through and enjoy TWELVE, yes that is TWELVE new recipes. Lots of comfort food with my twist, a tasty side dish, several salads, and one terrific dessert.
#1 RECIPE: Slow Cooker Citrus Carnitas Burritos
My husbands' eyes always light up when he smells the pork slowly simmering in the crock pot since he knows his favorite burritos are on their way. The addition of lime and orange provide the perfect backdrop for cheese, and enchilada sauce, along with a cold margarita!
3 lbs. pork shoulder roast trimmed and cut into large chunks about 3” around
About 3 C organic apple cider*
2 clementines (can use small oranges) quartered
1 lime quartered
1 lime sliced for garnish
1/3 c large diced sweet onion
4 medium cloves garlic rough chopped
2 t kosher salt
1 t black pepper
1/2 t coriander
1/2 t good paprika
1/2 t ground cumin
1/2 t cayenne pepper
2-3 T oil
1 small can Old El Paso Enchilada Sauce
1 C cheddar cheese grated
Handful fresh chopped cilantro
6 small flour tortillas slightly warmed
Place meat, onion, citrus, and seasonings in slow cooker (Crock Pot). Toss all with a little oil to cover.
Cover with organic apple cider up to a level just below ingredients but not totally covering. Cook on low 7 hours. When done remove citrus, take out meat reserving juice and shred meat with fork. Put shredded meat back in juices. Heat small can of Old El Paso red enchilada sauce.
To assemble place large amount of shredded meat in center of tortilla. (Use tongs to remove meat and let it drip so meat isn’t full of juice. Ladle several T of heated red sauce on top of meat. Roll up. Put more enchilada sauce on top, then top with extra sharp cheddar cheese. Put under broiler until bubbly. Serve with a slice of lime and cilantro.
#2 RECIPE: Baked Pineapple Chicken Meatballs
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Meet the Cook...
My name is Camine Pappas and I love to create beautiful and delicious food that anyone can make. My signature style centers around a love for combining things in a way you might not expect as I work to find a hidden combination of colors, textures and flavors from the things that are in my pantry and/or easy to obtain.