The Rising Spoon - The Rising Spoon

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Slow Cooker Pork Shoulder (For Pulled Pork & Carnitas)

Fall-apart-tender pork shoulder cooked in the crock-pot. This super easy recipe takes less than 10 minutes to prep and can be cooked in as little as 4-5 hours on the high setting. Use the delicious shredded meat for pulled pork and carnitas recipes to make meal planning a breeze, all the while fooling your loved ones into thinking you spent hours over the stove.

Slow Cooker Pork Shoulder (For Pulled Pork & Carnitas)

Have you ever eaten a pork or beef dish that was so fall-apart-tender it was like cutting into butter? Maybe you ordered it at a restaurant and with each bite of succulent meat imagined the chef painstakingly standing over the cut for two days straight, cooking it low and slow to perfection. 

The good news is you can replicate this at home with hardly any effort. The key is the buy a large cut of meat with lots of connective tissue and fat. 

This is where the magic happens. When you take a tough cut of meat that's NOT super lean and you cook it beyond well-done, all of the connective tissues breaks apart and creates the most tender, luscious, shreddable meat.

If you've ever made pot roast, you know what I'm talking about. Take a simple chuck roast, coat it with spices, slow cook it for several hours and you have amazingly fork-tender beef to serve with your favorite sides like mashed potatoes and gravy.

Well, today I'm focusing on pork shoulder, which is the chuck roast of the pork world, except better. This is the cut of pork that magically transforms into crave-worthy pulled pork or carnitas. 

You know, extra-napkins-required, barbecue-sauce-dripping pulled pork sandwiches and juicy-on-the-inside, crispy-on-the-outside street-style carnitas tacos topped with cilantro, onion, and red + green sauce. 

The good stuff.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Pan-Seared Mahi-Mahi with Pineapple Salsa

Need an easy & healthy fish recipe? Try this pan-seared mahi-mahi (a neutral-tasting white fish) topped with fresh pineapple salsa. Serve it with your favorite sides for a quick weeknight meal in less than 30 minutes. 

Pan-Seared Mahi Mahi with Pineapple Salsa

One of my go-to mid-week meals is fish fillets pan-seared in a cast-iron skillet. (I shared it recently here and here on Instagram.) I like to stock up on 2-packs of frozen wild-caught fish (usually at Trader Joe's) so I can grab one out of my freezer when I need a quick meal. Fish fillets can be cooked in as little as 10-15 minutes (depending on their thickness) and if you forget to thaw them overnight in the fridge, you can simply run the bag under cold water in your sink for several minutes.

If you've never had mahi-mahi before, you're in for a treat! It's a neutral-tasting buttery white fish, which makes it perfect for picky eaters. I like to think of it as a poor man's halibut because it's 1/4 of the price, but similar in taste. As much as I wish I could eat wild-caught halibut every week (maybe if I lived in the Pacific Northwest or Alaska), my pocketbook appreciates mahi-mahi much more.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

13 Positive, Helpful & Inspiring People You Should Follow

Looking for more inspirational people to follow online? I'm of the firm belief that you should surround yourself with positive people in both real life AND online. So, today I'm sharing my favorite 13 people who've inspired me over the years with their positive, helpful attitude. I hope you love them as much as I do!

13 Positive, Helpful & Inspiring People You Should Follow
Every few months I like to go through my physical and digital things and remove what no longer serves me. Sorting through items in my home is much less of an undertaking now that I've used the KonMari method to declutter (since I now have less stuff); however, digital clutter (like emails & files) builds so much quicker if you're not diligent about keeping up with it. 

I recently went through an email and social media follow purge, unsubscribing from lists and unfollowing accounts that I either didn't connect with anymore or was too busy to keep up with. It felt SO good!

But I realized that clearing the unwanted digital stuff also made room in my online life for more people to follow who aligned with my current goals. So, I've been seeking out recommendations for new inspirational content creators to follow. 

And in the midst of doing this, I thought it was a good idea to share some of my own favorite people that I've been following for several years now (and a few for less than that). 

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Spicy Zuppa Toscana (Potato and Sausage) Soup

An easy recipe for one of the best potato soups on the planet: Zuppa Toscana (a.k.a. creamy potato and sausage soup)! This "copycat" version is spicier and cooked longer than the original Olive Garden soup, which makes it thicker & heartier without relying on flour. Make a batch today and your belly will thank you!
Spicy Zuppa Toscana Soup Recipe

Have you ever heard of Zuppa Toscana soup? It's a super popular potato and sausage soup served at Olive Garden. People go bonkers for it, and because of this obsession, there are tons of copycat recipes floating around the interwebz. Chances are you've tried it or (at the very least) seen it.

Even though I'd never had the restaurant version, I started craving it like mad a little over a month ago. I blame it on the huge bowls of piping hot potato soup that kept appearing in my Pinterest feed! That and I was really intrigued by the idea of a creamy soup getting most of its flavor from spicy Italian sausage. 

Monday, January 9, 2017

Top 10 Most Popular Recipes On The Rising Spoon in 2016

I've rounded up the most popular posts published on The Rising Spoon in 2016! These recipes had the highest number of visitors and shares on social media in the past year, so if you haven't tried them is a good time! 

Top 10 Most Popular Recipes On The Rising Spoon in 2016

Every year when I get the opportunity to look back at what I've created on The Rising Spoon, I feel tremendously grateful to my readers. Thank YOU from the bottom of my heart for taking the time out of your busy day to read my blog, leave a comment, share a post, and a start conversation on social media. I mean it!

The positive feedback I've received in messages, emails, and comments + the online relationships I've built are what motivates me to keep learning, creating & sharing, all the while growing this community of like minded folks interested in real food recipes, non-toxic DIY products & natural living tips.

In 2015, I shared lots of DIY crafts here on the blog (I was kind of obsessed at the time), but in 2016 my passion steered back toward food again. I bought a copy of The Food Photography Book and used tips from it to improve the lighting, clarity, and composition of my shots. 

I still have tons left to read (it's a HUGE book with lots of specific & practical info), but so far it's helped me step up my photography game so I can better tell the story of my recipes in a visual medium. That's so important because y'all can't smell or taste the food through your screen! :)

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Homemade Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup

An Easy Homemade Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup made on the stovetop using simple ingredients in about 90 minutes. This recipe uses a whole cooked chicken, as well as fresh veggies & herbs, all of which add a ton of extra flavor to the soup. It's creamy, thick & hearty--perfect for any time you're craving comfort food or need a hot meal to warm your belly. 

Homemade Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup
(Just to let you know, today's post is sponsored by the kind folks at Reames®.)

I've been obsessed with creamy soups lately. It all started a few weeks ago when the temperatures dipped into the 40s, which put me into full on hibernate-and-eat-all-the-warm-things mode. The sky was gray aaaaaaaall day long and despite having cranked up the heat, I just couldn't keep warm. My body started craving comfort food, so I knew soup was in order. 

After browsing Pinterest for awhile, I settled on a homemade Zuppa Toscana (potato & sausage) soup. I then asked my real life friends on Facebook if they had any favorite ways to fix it, got some really helpful responses, and ran to the store to grab the rest of the ingredients. I made it later that night and it turned out ahhhh-mazing. Creamy, savory, and totally comforting. We ate the leftovers for dinner the next night, and then two days later I fixed it AGAIN!