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Fall Into Cooking

Hey there W+A friends. I have to say, I absolutely love summer and warm weather, but fall is hands down my favorite season, especially since the weather has pretty much stayed warm these past few weeks, minus today's rainy cold front. There is nothing better than warming up with some Starbucks, a good read and my favorite fall scented candles, like pumpkin spiced cheesecake from Bath & Body Works.

I've totally been digging my crockpot to prepare some hearty fall meals. Everything from roasts to soups, stews to just about anything else your heart desires can be slow cooked. Its a simple task to wake up in the morning, set your food in your crockpot and come home to the delicious scents of your dinner cooking.

The other night I decided to make some slow cooker carnitas. I had a whole pork loin, so instead of roasting it in the oven, I decided to slow cook it for 8 hours. Its an easy meal to prep ahead of time and leftovers are always just as delicious if not more the next day or two. Here's everything you will need:

  • 2.5 lb pork shoulder roast or loin
  • 6 cloves garlic, cut into sliver
  • cumin
  • dry adobo seasoning (I used Goya)
  • garlic powder
  • 3/4 cup 99% fat free chicken broth
  • 1 can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (to taste)
  • 2 bay leaves 
  • limes for garnish
  • tortillas 
Season your pork with salt, pepper, garlic powder, cumin and adobo. Don't be scared to have a heavy hand when it comes to seasoning your meat, you are going to want it to have tons of flavor. After your roast is seasoned well, take your slivers of garlic and slice small cuts into your meat, stuffing the garlic into the little pockets. 

 Pour chicken broth in the crockpot, add bay leaves and chipotle peppers. Place pork in crockpot and cover. Cook on low for 8 hours. After 8 hours, shred pork using two forks and combine well with the juices that accumalated at the bottom. Remove bay leaves and adjust salt and cumin. Let it cook another 15 minutes more.

 When ready to serve, take your tortilla and scoop a nice portion of the shredded pork on top. I added a tablespoon of guacamole and a squeeze of lime. If your not into tortillas, eat your pork by itself or even on top of some cilantro lime rice for a tasty burrito bowl. 

While many of you have been enjoying fall festivities like pumpkin and apple picking, whats one to do with all of your leftover apples? Ideally an apple pie would be your best bet, but if your looking for something a bit more health conscious take a stab at my easy mini apple crisps. Here's what you'll need: 

  • 4-5 apples
  • cinnamon
  • brown sugar
  • rolled old fashion oats (I used Quaker)
  • lemon juice
  • vanilla
  • light butter
Cut up your apples into halves. In a bowl, mix 1/2 cup of lemon juice, 1/3 cup of cinnamon,  1/3 cup of light brown brown sugar and a 1 tsp of vanilla and toss into your apple slices. Once all of your apples are coated in the mixture, spoon into ramekins. In a separate bowl, mix together 1 cup of rolled oats, 1/3 cup of cinnamon and 1/3 cup of light brown sugar. 

Top your apples with the rolled oats mixture and spoon 1 tsp of light butter onto each. If you'd like, sprinkle a pinch more cinnamon and sugar for a crispy caramelized top. Place your ramekins on a baking sheet and bake on 375 degrees for 45 minutes. I love to top these off with some fat free cool whip, holy yum! They really are the perfect after dinner treat without all the guilt. 

Well I hope you all have something nice planned for the weekend. Our weekend plans got postponed due to the rain so I am hoping for some Netflix catch ups and some prep cooking for the week. Stay dry, readers! xo


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