Pulled Pork Mac and Cheese

Welcome to the first Mitten Movie Night of Spring! We are ready to settle in and start enjoying the warmer weather.  Today I am sharing a recipe that is inspired by a wonderful meal that we had while on our Spring Break trip to Florida, Pulled Pork Mac and Cheese.

Pulled Pork Mac and Cheese | Bottom Left of the Mitten

A little more on the backstory of where this recipe originated from.  This year was the first year that we actually ventured out of Michigan for Spring Break. The Winter has been long and we were all in need of some serious Sunshine.  So we headed down to a place that I grew up going to as a kid – Venice, Florida. Right on the Gulf of Mexico we couldn’t have asked for a better place to get away from it all….well expect for the traffic with everyone else having the same idea…but I digress and do not want to complain because this was easily one of my favorite vacations we’ve ever had.  I mean look at this picture of the boys heading down to the beach.  A picture truly is worth a thousand words.

Spring Break 2018 Venice Florida | Bottom Left of the Mitten

While we were in Florida we visited my friend and her family who hosted us for Easter.  Visited the Clearwater Marine Aquarium to see Winter & Hope.  Then enjoyed lots of time at the pool, the beach and eating really good food.  On the suggestion of one of the residents at the condo we headed over to Darrell’s BBQ. It was a treat because anyone with kids and driving 24 hours to get to a location knows it means lots of fast food and we were ready for a sit down meal.  The husband had the pulled pork platter, Big A had a burger and Little A and I shared a big bowl of Mac & Cheese with piles of pork and sweet BBQ sauce.  It was so good and one that I kept note of so I could make it as soon as we got home.

Pulled Pork Mac and Cheese | Bottom Left of the Mitten

Let’s start with the pulled pork.  For this recipe I made the pork in the slow cooker.  You can easily smoke the meat if you like but I ran short on time and really didn’t feel like pulling out the smoker so the slow cooker worked just as good.  Mix the beef broth and seasonings in the bottom of the crock pot and add the pork. Set for 6-8 hours on low and the pork is ready to be taken out and pulled.

About 20 minutes before the pork is ready to come out start the macaroni and cheese. Boil the pasta according to package directions.  Once it is done remove from the pan, drain and set aside in another bowl.  To the pot you cooked the pasta add the butter and over medium heat melt the butter.  Once it has melted stir the flour into the butter until it is slightly smooth (you may see some lumps) then add the milk.  Stir until combines and you have a nice sauce appearance.  Now add the nutmeg, pepper, garlic powder then finally add the 3 different cheeses.  Make sure you stir the whole time.  See how awesome this sauce comes out. The ‘pull’ of the cheese.  Thick enough to coat all the noodles.  Another word for it is ‘cheesetastic’.

Pulled Pork Mac and Cheese | Bottom Left of the Mitten

Now add the noodles to the pot and stir to get all the sauce all over the noodles.  Now set out a plate and add the mac and cheese.  Heap some pulled pork on there.  Drizzle with BBQ sauce (I recommend my Best BBQ Sauce).  Finish off with pickled red onions and jalapenos.

Even though most of this post talks about Florida I am a Michigan girl and happy to be home because we do have some of the best craft beer in the country.  Wouldn’t you know we came back just in time for the release of Hopsoulution Double IPA from Bell’s.  And here you are….

Pulled Pork Mac and Cheese | Bottom Left of the Mitten

From our home in the Bottom Left of the Mitten to yours ~ Enjoy!

*Affiliate links are included in this post. Please read my Discloser Policy.


Print Recipe
Pulled Pork Mac and Cheese
Creamy homemade macaroni and cheese is topped with tender pulled pork and sweet BBQ sauce. The perfect meal for when your looking for cheesy decadence.
Pulled Pork Mac and Cheese | Bottom Left of the Mitten
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Pork
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Pulled Pork
Mac and Cheese
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Pork
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Pulled Pork
Mac and Cheese
Pulled Pork Mac and Cheese | Bottom Left of the Mitten
Instructions
Pulled Pork
  1. To a slow cooker add beef broth, onion powder, minced garlic and seasonings then set for 6-8 hours on low and the pork is ready to be taken out and pulled.
Mac and Cheese
  1. Boil the pasta according to package directions. Once it is done remove from the pan, drain and set aside in another bowl.
  2. To the pot you cooked the pasta add the butter and over medium heat melt the butter. Once it has melted stir the flour into the butter until it is slightly smooth (you may see some lumps) then add the milk. Stir until combines and you have a nice sauce appearance.
  3. Add the nutmeg, pepper, garlic powder then finally add the 3 different cheese. Make sure you stir the whole time.
  4. Add the noodles to the pot and stir to get all the sauce all over the noodles.
  5. To plate: Add the mac and cheese. Heap some pulled pork on there. Drizzle with BBQ sauce. Finish off with pickled red onions and jalapenos. Enjoy!

Hot Chocolate and Toast

Well now that Thanksgiving is over let’s get cozy and ready for Christmastime.  That also means here in the Bottom Left of the Mitten at any moment we can be visited with the dreaded 4 letter word: S-N-O-W.  Now don’t get me wrong I love snowy days until about January then I’m done with it.  However Michigan does not listen to me and the last few years it can snow March-March I say!  So why not cozy up with a warm bowl of soup.  Or go out and play it then come home to a piping hot cup of homemade hot chocolate.

Hot Chocolate and Toast | Bottom Left of the Mitten

As a kid Winter was racing down the biggest hill in our area, Kincheloe Hill, on a bobsled that had *gasp* real metal skis on it.  My brother and I would build igloos brick by brick and then sit in it for hours.  No matter what the wintertime activity was when we were finally forced to come in and peel off the wet layers full of ice balls we would then sit down with one of my favorite treats.  The best way to warm up was a big mug of hot chocolate brimming with gooey marshmallows and buttery toast on the side to dip in it.

Hot Chocolate and Toast | Bottom Left of the Mitten

This hot chocolate could not be simpler.  Forget ever buying a packet again all you will want to make sure to keep on hand is some sugar, milk and really good cocoa powder.  In a medium saucepan add the milk and turn it on to medium heat.  Now to the milk whisk in the sugar, cocoa powder and vanilla.  Keep whisking and cook the cocoa for 5 minutes.  Turn off heat.

Now it’s time to toast the bread.  Slather on LOTS of butter.  Split the milk between 2 cups.  Top with marshmallows.  And here you are…..

Hot Chocolate and Toast | Bottom Left of the Mitten

From our home in the Bottom Left of the Mitten to yours ~ Enjoy!

Adapted from Gimme Some Oven

*Affiliate links are included in this post. Please read my Discloser Policy.

Hot Chocolate and Toast | Bottom Left of the Miten #hotchocolate #toast #cocoa
Print Recipe
Hot Chocolate and Toast
A big mug of hot cocoa topped with marshmallows. Dip in warm buttered toast for the ultimate winter comfort drink and snack combo.
Hot Chocolate and Toast | Bottom Left of the Mitten
Course Beverage
Cuisine Beverage
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Beverage
Cuisine Beverage
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Hot Chocolate and Toast | Bottom Left of the Mitten
Instructions
  1. In a medium saucepan add the milk and turn it on to medium heat. Now to the milk whisk in the sugar, cocoa powder and vanilla. Keep whisking and cook the cocoa for 5 minutes. Turn off heat.
  2. Now it's time to toast the bread. Slather on LOTS of butter. Split the milk between 2 cups. Top with marshmallows. Enjoy!

Asparagus Soup #SundaySupper

When my husband and I got married we went to Riviera Maya for our honeymoon.  Where we stayed at had the best Asparagus Soup.  I would order it every night for a late night snack…and I’ll admit that I would order a steak with it too.  Hey we were on vacation!  So when this weeks Sunday Supper theme came out, Easy Spring Recipes, I knew I had to finally try and recreate this soup recipe with one of my favorite Spring vegetables.

Asparagus Soup | Bottom Left of the Mitten

I looked up the hotel to share with you only to find out that now it’s totally under a different name.  When we went it was the Adventura Spa Palace but now it’s Hard Rock Riviera MayaI was kind of sad finding out about this because it was always a hope that we would go back one day.  I guess though change is inevitable.  It has been over 13 years and it would give us an opportunity to try out a new location.  Until then though I can try to make this soup and reminisce about the wonderful time we had.  And I’m glad I took the challenge to try to make my own because it worked out perfectly!  Now on to the food.

Asparagus Soup | Bottom Left of the Mitten

One thing that is plentiful throughout the Spring & Summer in Michigan is asparagus.  I actually grew up next to a field of it when I was a kid and you can find it at roadside stands for cheap!  A great tip is to buy it in bulk and freeze it so when it goes up to almost $5/pound in the Winter I don’t have to worry about it when I have a craving.  Thinking about this got me interested in knowing when fruits and vegetables are at their peak growing season in Michigan.  I found this great resource from PickYourOwn.org with all the fruits and vegetables and when the crop will become available.  Check it out to see what goodies are coming soon to a farm near you.

Asparagus Soup | Bottom Left of the Mitten

This asparagus soup recipe ended up being so simple.   Chop off those pesky hard ends on the asparagus and throw them out.  Then chop the rest in equal pieces.  Heat up some oil in the bottom of a large pot over medium/high heat.  Add the asparagus and 3 cloves of minced garlic.  Sautee for 3-4 minutes then sprinkle 1 Tbs of flour over the top, stir to coat all the vegetables evenly with the flour.  Add chicken stock then set to a low/medium simmer and let cook uncovered for 25 minutes.

Making this soup ‘creamy’ is a two step process.  One is to use a little tool called an ‘immersion blender’.  This is actually something my Mother-In-Law gave me and I don’t use it too often but always glad I have it as part of my kitchen.  If you do not have one I would suggest taking most of the soup mixture and putting into a blender.  Should give the same exact effect with just a little more work.  For the second part of adding creaminess, take a small bowl add the milk, remaining flour and cornstarch.  Stir to combine then add to the soup mixutre.  Finally the last part of making this soup ‘Wow’ is adding the thyme, nutmeg and Parmesan.

Top this creamy soup off with some homemade croutons.  And here you are…..

AspargurusSoup_Final

From our home in the Bottom Left of the Mitten to yours ~ Enjoy!

Thank you so much to this weeks Sunday Supper host Anne from Simple and Savory.  Check out all these wonderful Spring recipes from other taste makers:

Breakfast

Cakes, Pies, and Sweets

Cookies and Bars

Main Courses

Pastas

Seafood

Veggies and Sides

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board. Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

 

Asparagus Soup | Bottom Left of the Mitten #SundaySupper #asparagus #spring #soup recipe
Print Recipe
Asparagus Soup
Asparagus is cooked until tender then made creamy with milk and Parmesan. Top with crunchy homemade croutons to complete this delicious and light meal.
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Soup
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Soup
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Chop off the hard ends on the asparagus and throw them out. Then chop the rest in equal pieces.
  2. Heat up some oil in the bottom of a large pot over medium/high heat. Add the asparagus and 3 cloves of minced garlic. Sautee for 3-4 minutes then sprinkle 1 Tbs of flour over the top, stir to coat all the vegetables evenly with the flour.
  3. Add chicken stock then set to a low/medium simmer and let cook uncovered for 25 minutes.
  4. Use an immersion blender or regular blender to cream the vegetables.
  5. Take a small bowl add the milk, remaining flour and cornstarch. Stir to combine then add to the soup mixture.
  6. Add the thyme, nutmeg and Parmesan.
  7. Top this creamy soup off with some homemade croutons. Enjoy!

Cheesy Pierogi Casserole

My 9 yr old’s will readily say that his favorite meal is “Pierogies.”  This casserole was born from the fact that I was really getting tired of the same pierogi with butter while it is good it really needed some jazzing up.  The first time I made this for him within the first few bites he was in heaven and thus the Cheesy Pierogi Casserole’ became a keeper in this house.

Cheesy Pierogi Casserole from Bottom Left of the Mitten

Getting creative with some of my families favorites is so much fun for me.  Yes, I am boring and you know I’m okay with that!  I wanted a unique dessert so I came up with this Chocolate Bottom Strawberry Cheesecake. How could I make my husbands favorite appetizer a little different? Boom Wing Sauce Sliders!  Thankfully my family is up to the task  of trying out the end results.

While I have attempted the homemade version of pierogies, honestly the time & effort were not nearly as good as the boxed version.  I was kind of sad about this because I usually say that homemade anything is better than boxed.  What I did was make the same roux I use for Macaroni & Cheese and add ham.  It really takes an average side and makes a meal out of it.  Not only is this delicious, it’s quick to make.

Cheesy Pierogi Casserole | Bottom Left of the Mitten

Cook the pierogi according to package directions.  This typically takes 8-10 minutes in boiling water to cook all the way through once cooked, add them to a strainer while the roux is made.

Cheesy Peirogi Casserole Preperation

Now it’s time to make the ham & cheese mixture or ‘roux’ if you prefer.  Gather the ingredients…..

Cheesey Casserole with Ham ingredients

Using the same pan start melting 4 Tbs. butter.  Add the diced ham.  Cook for about 1-2 minutes.  Add 2 Tbs. flour & pepper to the mixture and stir then add 1 cup milk and half the package of cheese to the sauce and cook for about 3-4 minutes or until thickened.  Once the sauce is thickened combine the cooked Pierogies with the ham & cheese sauce.

Cheesy Pierogi Casserole from Bottom Left of the Mitten
Add to a 8×11 greased serving dish and top with remaining cheese.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.  All this cheesy goodness is a perfect quick weeknight meal the whole family will love.  I served this with a bagged Fresh Express Bacon Caesar Salad & roasted Brussel spouts to round the meal out.  And here you are…..

Cheesy Pierogi Casserole from Bottom Left of the Mitten

From our home in the Bottom Left of the Mitten to yours ~ Enjoy!

*Affiliate links are included in this post. Please read my Discloser Policy.

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Cheesy Pierogi Casserole from Bottom Left of the Mitten

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Print Recipe
Cheesy Pierogi Casserole
A cheesy dish with potato & cheese stuffed pierogies combine to make a delicious and quick meal the whole family will love.
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Casserole
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Casserole
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Cook the Pierogies according to package directions. It typically is 8-10 minutes in boiling water. Once they are done drain in strainer.
  2. Using the same pan start melting 4 Tbs. butter. Add the diced ham. Cook for about 1-2 minutes. Add 2 Tbs. flour & pepper to the mixture and stir. Add 1 cup milk. Add half the package of cheese to the sauce. Cook for about 3-4 minutes or until thickened.
  3. Combine the cooked Pierogies with the ham & cheese sauce.
  4. Add to a 8x11 greased serving dish. Top with remaining cheese.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

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