Roughly once a month, some friends from college (Nate and Amy to be specific) and I get together and have dinner.  This month, it was my turn to host and cook and their turn to bring wine.  It is a rough life we lead, having to sit down and have tasty food and good company with a glass or two of red wine.  I haven’t even gotten to the part where we have to have dessert and coffee yet either.  Really, so trying.  If by trying I mean delicious and fun.

A few months ago, during one of our normal dinners, I told them about the time I made my own pulled pork in the oven.  Nate’s face lit up.  Pulled pork was then put on the menu for the next time I hosted.  For the record, it takes roughly 1.25 hours per pound of pork shoulder to properly roast it.  For 7.5 pounds (the smallest pork shoulder I could find) that is about 9.5 hours.  So I slaved and strained over the hot stove…ok fine that is a lie, I put the marinated pork in the oven and went to bed.  Upside, I didn’t heat up my whole apartment all day and was able to leave the house and go to lunch out.  Downside, I woke up famished and was paranoid all day I smelled like roasting pork.  I was assured the smell did not waft off me during the day, I mostly believed them.  The results were well worth it, plus this meal truly belongs in the Freezes Beautifully section of my cookbook so leftovers are not a problem!

pulled pork

Dessert, now that was something I was so excited for.  I mean more so than usual, I am always excited for dessert.  Probably close to two years ago now, I pinned this idea for a watermelon cake.  Which really isn’t cake since it is just a watermelon cut into the shape of a cake and covered in whipped cream.  I had been waiting for a chance to make it but it is not in the Travels Beautifully section of my cookbook so I had to make it at home. Now Amy is more of a fruit for dessert person and this is her birthday month.  Watermelon cake is so her kind of cake.  Since Amy and I both are not able to have dairy, I used coconut whipped cream instead of traditional whipped cream.  Honestly, I think it wouldn’t have been as good the traditional way!  The coconut made it a bit more tropical and refreshing versus a dairy based topping.

 watermelon cake

My Saturday was spent being a 50s housewife wannabe, cooking and cleaning the day away.  I got to try new recipes, catch up with friends, and hang out at my house in comfortable clothes.  In short, pretty much a perfect day for me!

(Betty’s note – I used the Tyler Florence oven roasted pulled pork recipe as a base for mine.  Biggest change was that I cut down the amount of salt and vinegar.  For coconut whipped cream, there are a ton of recipes out there, just type that into your favorite search engine.  To make it more stable, I added meringue power which would be a big no no if you are looking for a vegan option for dairy.)

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