Crock Pot Pork Loin Roast with Potatoes, Apples & Sauerkraut

Last fall, I cooked a delicious recipe of “Pork Loin Roast with Potatoes, Apples & Sauerkraut” in my crock pot. This was in honor of Oktoberfest, that great beer-drinking festival which is celebrated every autumn in Munich, Germany. Although Octoberfest has long since passed, my slow cooked pork roast with all the fixings makes for a satisfying winter meal. Every now and then, I’ll get out my crock pot. It is the perfect way to cook a large roast which needs moist heat and time to cook and tenderize it. And I love sauerkraut and potatoes; we usually have a jar of sauerkraut in the refrigerator — just because. This is such an easy recipe; simply add the ingredients to the crock pot, turn the setting to high, and leave it alone. In three hours, supper is ready. In the meantime, I became curious about German heritage in New Orleans after a friend shared the story of her great-grandfather. He was a German immigrant to the city in the late 1800’s and became the beer master at the Weckerling Brewing (now the site of the World War II museum). After researching the subject little further, I discovered that New Orleans was quite a German beer-brewing and beer drinking city at one time. I’ve shared my eclectic “discoveries” on that subject at the end of my blog post. It is for the folks who like history in addition to cooking!

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Instant Pot Magic: Sirloin Steak, Tomato and Cabbage Soup

Blackeye peas and braised cabbage are two foods which are typically eaten on New Year’s Day here in Louisiana. My dear Cajun next door neighbor — who was just a little suspicious — always made sure we had these foods as they represent good luck and wealth for the new year. Most grocery stores have deep cardboard containers of cabbage for sale in late December. I found a few remaining very large heads of cabbage in January. I love cabbage; who can pass up a nine-pound cabbage for 55 cents? But they need to be cooked soon as the Vitamin C in the cabbage decreases over time. And so I made several dishes with this cabbage. My favorite was a savory soup made in my Instant Pot containing very lean top sirloin steak, beef broth, cabbage and diced tomatoes. I just love this combination of ingredients.

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Cookin’ in the Kitchen: Easy Classic Coleslaw

While we are “cookin’ in the kitchen” and staying home rather than eating out in restaurants, let’s make coleslaw. This vegetable salad is very nutritious and we all need to try to boost the Vitamin A and C content of our meals to keep up immune resistance. Plus, my husband declares that this is the best coleslaw that he has eaten. We decided that this is due to a “secret ingredient.” The recipe has a couple of twists and is easy to make in one bowl without any fuss. Continue reading

A Large Batch of Colorful Brined Freezer Coleslaw

If you live in the South, tradition says you must eat boiled cabbage and blackeye peas on New Year’s day for good luck and fortune. And the grocery stores are full of bins of large cabbages. Several days after New Years, one of the bins still had cabbages–they were on sale for $.25 a pound. Of course I purchased one. But rather than cooking more boiled cabbage, I’m making a brined coleslaw and freezing the left-overs.

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Have a prosperous, lucky and wealthy New Year in 2014

A Southern tradition is to eat blackeye peas and cabbage on New Year’s day or after the clock rings in the new year at midnight. Blackeye peas mean luck and prosperity. Cabbage, reminding a person of green back dollars, means wealth.  My very sweet, Cajun/Italian next door neighbor would share her boiled cabbage greens and blackeye peas if I said I wasn’t cooking any on News Years Day. She made sure we were taken care of.

blackeye pea salsa and cabbage - 2 - IMG_1663_1

Traditionally these two foods are boiled, but they can be prepared in other ways as well. There’s no excuse not to eat these things on New Years day. And if you’re really not a cook, putting a few dried blackeye peas in your pocket has the same effect, I’m told. Coleslaw is easily found in restaurants, those chicken fast-food chains and easily made from a mix from the supermarket.

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