Tuesday, August 12, 2014

This is one of our favorite meals.  I'm reposting the entire recipe, word for word, because I'm terrified to lose it.  Heidikins did a phenominal job.  Here's the link to the recipe.  I repeat, THE FOLLOWING IS NOT MY WORK.  I JUST WANT TO MAKE SURE I ALWAYS HAVE ACCESS TO IT.


  • Total Prep-Time: 18 hours, technically. But most of that is just waiting for the pork to cook. I’d say active cook time for the entire meal was perhaps an hour, maybe 1 hour 15 mins. Lots of this meal (dressing, pico) can be made before-hand and kept in the fridge until it’s time to eat.
  • Was the recipe easy to follow: Extremely easy. It’s mostly chop, dump and marinate. Easy-peasy.
  • Are the ingredients easy to find: It took me a bit of searching in the Mexican Food section to find Chipotle Chilies in Adobo Sauce, and also a bit of googling to figure out what, exactly, a tomatillo looked like. But I found everything at my grocery store.
  • Do you need special equipment: Large-ish crock pot and a blender. A food processor would make quick work of the pico, although I chopped mine by hand.
  • Does the end result taste delicious: Oh. My. Freaking. Laws. YES! Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. This was the best meal I have ever made, hands down, no questions. And there were enough leftovers for my neighbors, and my room-mate, and a couple of meals for me. This makes a ton of food, but it will be eaten quickly. Try it, taste it, and you’ll understand why. Fan-tabulous!
  • Cafe Rio Pork Barbacoa
    5-6 lb. pork roast
    21 oz. Dr. Pepper (or Coke, do NOT use diet soda)
    1 cup brown sugar
    3/4 cup white sugar
    1 clove garlic, minced
    7 oz. can chipotle chilies in adobo sauce
    6-ish oz. red taco sauce (I used hot)
    1 tsp dry mustard
    1 tsp cumin
    1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
    Place roast in crock-pot, cover half-way with water and cook on low for 12 hours. (I started my Pork Adventure at midnight and everything worked out perfectly for Sunday dinner at 6:00 pm.) After 12 hours, drain pork (retain liquid if you want sauce for burritos, simply mix with a can of verde enchilada sauce and away you go).
    Mix remaining ingredients until sugar dissolves. I didn’t keep the actual chilies, I dumped the can into a bowl and added enough Dr. Pepper to get all the sauce off of the chilies, then I tossed them. I also rinsed out the can with Dr. Pepper for more adobo goodness. My version had a fairly good kick to it, but if you LOVE hotness, then blend everything + 2 or 3 chilies in the blender. (Also, the adobo sauce tends to stain plastic, using a glass or metal mixing bowl will make your clean-up of adobo sauce considerably less frustrating).
    Add Dr. Pepper mixture to the roast and cook on low an additional 4 hours.
    Take out roast and shred, add back into sauce and cook for 2 more hours. At this point the meat was so tender it practically shredded itself.
    ***** ***** ***** ***** *****
    Cafe Rio Tomatillo Dressing
    Do not skip this part, the dressing is my favorite part of the salad! Creamy and spicy and zesty, it is absolute heaven. I actually use leftover dressing for a tomatillo-cilantro salsa, this stuff makes regular, everyday corn-chips taste like exotic, savory treats. (Because we all know, corn is not exotic on it’s own.) If it can transform corn chips, just IMAGINE what it will do for your salad! Besides, it takes 3 minutes to put together.
    1 pkg. Ranch dressing mix
    3 tomatillos (remove papery skin), rough chop
    1 cup mayo
    1 cup buttermilk
    1 cup (or more) cilantro, rough chop
    3 cloves garlic
    1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
    2 tsp green Tabasco sauce
    juice from 1 lime
    Dump everything in a blender and blend until smooth. Refrigerate in air-tight container (or your entire fridge will smell like garlic and cilantro).
    ***** ***** ***** ***** *****
    Easy Pico-de-Gallo
    3 tomatoes, diced
    1/2 bunch of cilantro, minced
    1/2 sweet onion, minced
    1 section of green pepper, minced
    3-4 cloves garlic, minced
    about 1/3-1/2 cup vinegar (use your best judgement)
    salt and pepper
    Mix it up really well and refrigerate. I put my pico in a Tupperware and shook it up really well right before serving to re-mix.
    ***** ***** ***** ***** *****
    Now, invite some people over and get cooking! Do you remember how to put together the salad?
    • Tortilla – you can make your own, mine came from a package.
    • Cheese -it is a good idea to warm these two up so the cheese is a little melty.
    • Beans – black or pinto (mine came straight out of the can, warmed in the microwave with a little garlic powder and green Tabasco sauce).
    • Rice – don’t be stingy now!
    • Pork - I am actually salivating while writing this post…
    • Lettuce – Shredded Romaine, you want small enough pieces to get a little of everything on your fork
    • Pico de Gallo – I like extra pico, so I give myself an extra scoop.
    • Tortilla Strips – slice a corn tortilla into strips, brush with olive oil and salt and pepper and bake on a foil-covered sheet for 15-20 minutes at 350-ish.
    • Creamy Tomatillo Dressing – I like to keep mine on the side so my lettuce doesn’t get too slobbery.
    • This is really best served with a cold Dr. Pepper with a few slices of lime squeezed into it, but if that seems like Dr. Pepper overload, your beverage of choice will probably be fine.
    Enjoy a little ginormous taste of the Utah original, Cafe Rio Pork Barbacoa Salad.

    Saturday, February 13, 2010

    Happy Birthday Jennifer!

    It all began with her. From there my mom would have 9 more children, but Jennifer set the bar!

    My oldest sister Jennifer is one amazing woman! She has always been a good example to me, in every aspect of her life. She was a good girl, obedient to her parents, helpful to her siblings, and the best example of a disciple of Christ. I have so many fond memories of my friendship with my sister.

    I loved dancing around the "pretty room" while Jennifer played the piano.

    Jennifer let me go to a sleepover for our cousin Debra with her, even though there's a good 7 year gap in our age. It was there I received my first (and ONLY) perm. Jennifer taught me the running man and the rodger rabbit dances that night as well, changing my life forever!

    One time Jennifer let me stay up and watch Far and Away with her and her friends. I still remember sitting really still and quiet so that she wouldn't want to send me away. I didn't want to ruin the good thing I had going. You know it's special if it got me to sit still and quiet!

    I also remember when Jennifer came home from college once and took me, just me, to go see Forrest Gump in the movie theatre. When you have 9 siblings, going anywhere alone with someone is pretty special.

    While I remember these few moments, there are countless more experiences with Jennifer, experiences where she gave of herself, sacrificed time and energy for my sake. I love you Jennifer. I'm so grateful to have you as a sister and friend.


    Jennifer: Click on this link birthday to watch your Birthday video.

    Monday, January 04, 2010

    New Year's Resolutions

    I had a great year in 2009. I was able to compete in a national service competition in Kansas. I had a lead role in a professional play. I graduated culinary school! I went on a cruise. I lived by the Atlantic Ocean. I got pregnant, which was a big dream come true. I completed a culinary internship. I moved to Utah Valley to join the rest of my world. Tom and I have of course had loads of fun together, as we always do. For 2010, I'm hoping to keep the ball rolling and check some other things off the list. You know, it's a shame it's in list form because the journey really is half the fun. But lists have their place in the world. I LOVE lists. Plus, I'm hoping that if I write them down, and send them out to the blogging universe I will have a better chance of accomplishing my new year's resolutions. So here are some things I plan to do this year:

    1. Book at least 12 catering/craft services gigs this year. I'd like to average one a month, but I know some will have more than others and January's going to be busy, what with having a baby and all.

    2. Have a baby. I like to put a few things on my list that I know I'll be able to cross off.

    3. Learn the entire Beyonce's "Single Ladies" dance and perform it for whoever will watch. I wanted to learn it last year and never did. I don't think people would have enjoyed watching me perform it pregnant, though.

    4. Be healthy enough to perform Beyonce's "Single Ladies" dance in the customary leotard and high heels.

    5. Read 6 novels. I'm not usually a slow reader, but I know I'll have a lot on my plate with the new world of being a mom, so I'm trying to be realistic.

    6. I have a cookbook idea. I should at least be able to get a rough draft written. Plus, there's a lot of at-home research I can do to make sure the recipes work, etc. So, I will write the rough draft of my cookbook. More details to follow on the actual idea.

    Tuesday, December 01, 2009

    Merry Christmas!

    It has begun! Well, to be honest, it began for me a week before Thanksgiving, but I can officially shove all my holiday cheer into your faces! Here's something to start the season off!

    Try JibJab Sendables® eCards today!

    Saturday, October 24, 2009

    Halloween Movie 2009

    For your viewing pleasure, I made this movie yesterday for a friend's Halloween party. Everyone was invited to make a little music video and submit it at the party. Here's what I came up with last minute, 'cause that's how I roll!


    Here are our costumes for the party. Tom was Speed Racer. Doesn't he look awesome?! He put that together in an hour!

    I went as a stay-at-home mom, cause soon I'll have time to wear pearls, make sure I look nice all the time. I was barefoot since I'll have no where to go, right? Mainly, it's what I wore in the video and didn't have time to come up with something else. But I'm wearing false lashes so it's a costume.

    It was a really fun party. Lots of good food, spontaneous improvisational singing. Isn't that what you guys do at parties? Make up songs with a pianist who can create songs on the spot?

    (The Queen of Hearts is Jewels, the hostess with the mostest!)

    Thursday, October 22, 2009

    Tom's latest movie and QUINN FAMILY PHOTO SHOOT

    We had one of the best family photo sessions of all time! It really captures the Quinns. Laurel, Ma Quinn, wanted us to dress as if we're trying to be fancy, but because we're Quinns we just miss the mark. The files are too large to post so here's one and I'll resize the others so you can see the whole family.

    Also, Tom filmed a little short this summer. It's really funny and short, so take a moment and watch it.


    It also involves our adorable nephew, Cash, telling a joke.

    His mom's blog is Kat, the link on my page.

    Friday, October 16, 2009

    Our Own Home

    Here are a few highlights of our new home. We moved down the canyon to American Fork. Tom finally exclaimed one night that he couldn't handle the commute anymore so I wasted no time finding a place.

    I almost didn't call on this home, and here's why:
    The ad simply stated "$400, 2-bedroom Mother-in-law apt. in exchange for some daycare." It had no pictures, so of course I assumed some small basement dump and daycare meant to me 9-5 all the live long day and I wasn't interested with the new baby coming. I finally decided to call just to see. I figured I owed it to Tom to see if there was a way I could help us financially since soon I won't be providing any income. Coincidentally, the home owners weren't going to interview anymore people but decided to interview us. When we went by to interview and see the apartment I finally understood why they didn't show pictures. They would have received ridiculous amount of applicants. The house is just that, a house. We have our own 4 walls. There is a hallway with two locking doors that connects us, but even through that hallway you can't hear anything.

    As for the daycare: The children are adorable and good kids! Plus the daycare consists of a couple hours a day, a few days a week, and only during the school year. Dad is a lawyer and Mom works for UVU so I won't be working during the holidays, etc.
    It has turned out to be a huge blessing. With the money we spent commuting each day and maintaining our storage unit, we'll probably break even in our budget each month by living here, if not save money!

    It was like Christmas moving in. First, because you're actually unwrapping things. Second, I had been in storage for so long I forgot what I owned. I forgot I owned a vacumn, a washer and dryer. It was so much fun!

    There is plenty of twirling room, which is a must!

    We're so excited to invite everyone in the world over for dinner and not ask them to drive up the canyon!

    Our bedroom has a door connecting to the bathroom. That's been nice through the night as I get up several times now.

    This will become the nursery, but for now, it's our guest room.

    The bathroom has double sinks! I don't know why I love it because I've lived just fine without them, but I love it!

    Walk-in shower. Aren't all showers technically walk-in? It certainly isn't a squeeze-in shower, though.

    Let me tell you, I've used the tub. It is wonderful. It comfortably fits two adults. We can just lounge and the jets are so relaxing. So, bring your suit, we'll have a party!

    I love my little laundry room.

    I have no fear for winter. Winter's got nothin' on me! There's a bunch of stuff in there to go to DI, but it has plenty of room for my storage around the cars and we won't have to squeeze in.