Saturday, December 3, 2011


Our new favorite place to hike is called Sweetwater Preserve. The park named after the Sweetwater Branch of Hogtown Creek that flows into Payne's Prairie. The park itself is nice but it is adjacent to the north part of Payne's Prairie State Park, which is really nice. Its never crowded, easy to get to, and the forest and creek are really nice. We had such warm weather into December - Its been crazy to see snakes out and active in November.
TD found beautiful yellow rat snake under a log

Here it is giving TD a bite!

On the edge of the Prairie with JB and Prairie

Friday, December 2, 2011

Carnitas Gringas

The first thing I made in our new range were these carnitas. This is one of my go to meals and great for dinner parties because most of it can be done ahead (even the day before). I can remember where I got the original recipe, but it involved lots of exotic spices like achiote and mexican oregano and several kinds of peppers. But you can get awesome, authentic flavor with just 4 ingredients - chipotles in adobo (canned), orange juice, garlic and vinegar.

3-5 pound pork roast (picnic, shoulder or boston butt all work great)
2 c Orange Juice
5 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
2-3 chipotles in adobo - more to taste

Combine marinade ingredients and marinate pork overnight. Add pork and marinade to a lidded, oven safe pot - a dutch oven is great. Bake at 375 for 3-4 hours or until meat is easily pulled apart with a fork. Turn meat every hour and add water if needed - you do not want all liquid to evaporate. If cooking in a slow cooker, cook on low for 8 hours or until meat is easily pulled apart with a fork.

Once meat is cooked, discard fat and shred meat with 2 forks. Add meat with 1/4 cup of cooking liquid and fry until crispy. Serve with warm tortillas and all the fixings - especially cilantro and pickled onions.