Groovin' in the kitchen, dancin' in Missoula.

Tag: Holidays

Cinnamon Twist Bread

Cinnamon Twist Bread

You guys!! I did it!! I made pretty bread! Actually, I’m going to say that this bread is beautiful. Not even sorry about bragging here, because if you guys know me, you know how much I struggle with bread. I have cried, laughed, given up, […]



Ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you My KitchenAid Stand Mixer: (The folks at KitchenAid have no idea I exist, and I’m not getting paid or perked in any way. I’m just seriously in love with my mixer, and my amazing husband who gave […]

When the holidays are over

When the holidays are over

Pork Roast
You put away the decorations. Take down the lights.

Pork Roast
Pack up the tree shaped cookie cutters,

Pork Roast
and tuck away the red sprinkles.

Pork Roast
It’s kind of sad.
More than kind of.

Pork Roast
Just taking down all the Christmas lights leaves me feeling a bit dim.

Pork Roast
It’s important to find something warm and comforting to look forward to.

Pork Roast
Something to make your spirits bright, even as you stack the last of the storage boxes in the garage.

Pork Roast
Knowing that dinner’s waiting in the crock pot when you get home is pretty darn comforting.

I know, I know. “Pork roast? Come on, Jo; two weeks ago I was gorging myself on honey glazed ham and pierogies.
Roast is so…not festive.”

I hear ya! I do. But I think what I need now is comfort food. And the added luxury of not having to come up with a full dinner menu is so nice. It makes the transition out of the holiday mindset just a little easier.

So. Merry…happy…Thursday.

Pork Roast in the Crockpot
Serves 4 with leftovers

I have to admit, I did not use a recipe or write down what I was throwing into the crockpot, so this is an estimation to the best of my memory. Feel free to add or subtract whatever spices you prefer.

2 pound pork shoulder (or other cut of meat suitable for roast)
1 quart beef or vegetable stock (enough to cover the meat in the crockpot)
1 medium onion, sliced into big chunks
1 or 2 large turnips, sliced into half-rounds
6-8 red potatoes, cut into evenly sized chunks
1 bay leaf
1-2 tbsp freshly grated ginger
Rosemary, basil, salt, pepper, oregeno and thyme to taste

Pour the stock into your crockpot and add all the seasonings. Stir gently to combine. (If you like a thicker, more gravy-like sauce at the end, add 2-3 tbsp of cornstarch to the stock with the rest of the seasonings.)
Cut the pork in half, or smaller, to ensure that it’s covered almost completely in the stock. Then add the vegetables on top of the roast.
Cook on low for 8-10 hours, or on high for 4-6 hours. You just need to make sure the internal temperature of the pork reaches 160F.

Be a Good Cookie — Winner!

Be a Good Cookie — Winner!

And the winner is… Susan Scalise!! Her favorite kind of cookie is homemade peanut butter cookies. Congratulations Susan! Please email me your address at mommajo28 {at} gmail {dot} com Thank you to everyone who entered, and Happy New Year everyone!

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

It’s been pretty quiet around here lately.  Let me explain. My laptop died.  You know, the one I’ve had since 2007?  My beloved, solid as a rock, ancient-but-still-totally-usable 2007 Mac Book? One day it was totally fine, and the next, gone.  Just gone!  It was […]

Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Pie

How do you know when something’s deliciously awesome?

When there are no leftovers.

Remember the homemade pumpkin puree?
I mixed it with this stuff

Then added more stuff

And then poured it into a pie crust.


It became something serious.

Something warm and seasonal.

Just in time for Thanksgiving!

Pumpkin Pie
Adapted from Eating Well

1 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp salt
14 oz can low fat sweetened condensed milk
2 eggs
1 unbaked pie crust

First prepare your pie crust. Did you know: If you roll out your pie crust between two sheets of plastic wrap, you don’t have to flour your rolling surface and rolling pin? It also sticks together and won’t crack!! Why didn’t I know this?!

Preheat your oven to 425F.
Mix the pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cardamom and salt together in a bowl. Add the sweetened condensed milk and eggs, mix until smooth. It will be pretty runny, but that’s perfect. Pour the mixture into the pie crust and bake for 15 minutes.
After the 15 minutes, lower the temperature of your oven to to 350F and bake until set, 35-45 more minutes (my oven gets tired partway through and stops baking. It might only take your pie another 30 minutes to set, so just keep an eye on it).
I had to cover the crust with foil pretty early on to keep it from burning, but after that it was just a matter of letting the center bake completely. You’ll know it’s done when the entire top of the pie has darkened and the center isn’t very jiggly. You can also do the knife/skewer test, but I didn’t want to put a hole in the top of my pie.

Serve this still slightly warm, or chilled if you’re baking this ahead of time. Make sure to whip some cream to go along with your pie!

P.S. What are you doing for Thanksgiving? Do you go totally classical and have turkey, mashed potatoes, etc? Or are you a rebel and do something like lamb-stuffed squash? How about the vegetarians–any mint quinoa or paella? Help me plan my Thanksgiving!

Say you have a pumpkin…

Say you have a pumpkin…

A cute one, much like this 6ish pound sugar pumpkin. What would you do with it? Carve it? Roast the seeds? You could do that, but here’s something else you could do… Cut off the top Cut it in half Scoop out the seeds and […]

The Best BBQ Garnish

The Best BBQ Garnish

Tasty, easy, fast, and cheap! Plus, people seem to really enjoy it. I get requests for this recipe at just about every summer function with my family. It’s macque choux! (Pronounced mock shoe) My sister and I cooked at her house on the 4th of […]






Yep.  Mmmhmm.



I’ve made cakes before. Delicious, moist, fluffy cakes. Sometimes with frosting, sometimes glaze, sometimes with just a dusting of powdered sugar.
But I’ve never made a layer cake.  And we all know that presentation isn’t my strong suit.


I’ve always wanted to do it–try my hand at making things look as pretty as they are delicious.
I’m getting better at it, but when it matters, when all the money’s on the table, I call in the master.

The man with a vision (and that whole spatial-awareness thing that I never got).

The man who can freehand the Bat Signal.

The man who can take my lopsided, haphazardly frosted (but delicious) cake wreck and turn it into art.

So that when it matters,

When it’s important,

No one remembers that it tilted to one side.

They remember the sweet Batman cake. And the even sweeter birthday boy.

Thanks for working on Father’s day, Nick. You make Batman proud.

Super Bowl (or Valentine’s) Wings

Super Bowl (or Valentine’s) Wings

So, Valentine’s Day doesn’t exactly conjure up images of Cupid and a plate of wings, but since when have I done anything the traditional way? Plus, my Valentine appreciates these kinds of foods way more than heart shaped sugar cookies. Probably because I never make […]