Sweet Mother!

Is anybody else so excited about Twilight that they might actually throw up in their mouths a little, but then quickly brush their teeth afterward because they know how important fresh breath is to Edward Cullen? Because I am. SO excited.

He’s only 17, you total child predator…gosh.


He’s a pasty Brit. My husband is also a pasty Brit. Ergo, maybe my husband is also magic?

I’ve read the books three times apiece, and am planning on reading them again before the release date (November 20th). The only tricky part is that while reading the books I get highly overstimulated and end up a touch bitchy toward my husband because he’s neither magic nor brooding, and that doesn’t seem fair. Although it wouldn’t kill him to TRY some basic magic. It’s not like I ask for much.

Speaking of sweet porking, there is a restaurant in my hometown of Parker, CO called Costa Vida. They have this thing called a sweet pork salad, which is like an amalgam of hopes and dreams from idyllic youth across the nation, all holding hands and truly BELIEVING in a world where peace is the answer, and differences are celebrated. Hahahaha, just kidding. I know today’s youth are actually too busy playing Grand Theft Auto to be idyllically believing in anything other than the achievement points you get for “completing 25 drug wars.” No, I didn’t make that up.


But the sweet pork salad is just such an unlikely and lively combination of flavors and textures that all come together in perfect harmony with one another to create a salad that says “I’m more than just a salad! I’m a LIFESTYLE.” The base of the salad is typically a flour tortilla, which I usually forgo because that’s 200 calories that I don’t necessarily enjoy that much, since it tends to get soggy at the bottom of the bowl. Then there’s a big, hearty handful of chopped romaine lettuce. Then a spoonful of cilantro-lime rice. Then this shredded, sweet but spicy pork that blows my mind with it’s sheer awesomeness, then cheese, then tortilla chip strips. Finally, you get to finish it off with fabbity fab cilantro-lime vinaigrette, which is basically the money shot of the salad.


I MISS Costa Vida like I’d miss a high-functioning kidney, so I’ve worked tirelessly (read: experimented twice) to come up with a good copycat recipe for you to try. So, without further ado, I bring you the Kristie-Vida Sweet Pork Salad recipe:

Assembly:

1 flour tortilla (homemade if you’re so inclined–it takes about 4 minutes–but store-bought is fine too!)
2 C chopped romaine
1/4 C shredded white cheese (like queso asadero or sharp jack)
1/8 C cilantro-lime vinaigrette
1/4 C cilantro-lime rice
1/2 C tortilla chip strips, if you desire

Sweet Pork
1 (6lb) pork butt, trimmed of any thick fat
1 can full-sugar Coca-Cola
1/2 C packed brown sugar
2 15 oz cans of tomatoes (with chiles, if possible. Like Ro-Tel)
1 t cayenne pepper (more or less to taste)
1 medium onion, diced
1 serrano pepper, partially deseeded (if you’re into spice)
salt and pepper to taste

Season the pork butt with salt and pepper on all sides, then sear on all sides in a very hot pan to form a crust. Place the pork into a crock pot.

In a blender, combine all of the rest of the ingredients to a puree. Pour over the pork, place the lid on the crockpot, and cook on high for 4-5 hours. Occasionally turn the pork over in the pot so it cooks evenly. Add water if the sauce cooks down at all, or if your pork is less than halfway covered.

When the pork is fork-tender, pull it from the crockpot and shred the meat. Toss in some of the sauce left in the crockpot to make a mixture that looks like barbecued pork (semi-wet, but not dripping).

Cilantro-lime vinaigrette
1/4 C fresh lime juice
1/4 C packed cilantro
3/4 C olive oil
2 T honey
1/2 t ground cumin

In a blender, blend lime juice, cilantro, honey, and cumin. Taste and adjust sweet to acidity ratio a necessary by adding cider vinegar or honey. Then, while the blender is running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Taste the mixture and add salt and pepper to taste. Again, you may want more honey for a sweeter dressing, but keep in mind that the pork is sweet, too, and loves the acidity of the lime juice.

Cilantro-lime rice

1 C white rice, rinsed until water runs completely clear
2 C water
2 t salt
1/4 C packed, cilantro, chopped
2 T lime juice, freshly squeezed

Bring water and salt to a boil, add rice and return to a simmer. Cover immediately, turn temperature down to low, and leave for 15-20 minutes to steam. When the rice is cooked to a very faint al dente, fluff with a fork, then gently fold in juice and cilantro. Taste and adjust salt as necessary.


This is a solid meal, and can be easily adjusted to your taste. Vegetarians can use the same recipe, substituting black beans for pork, with great success.

And speaking of vegetarians, how sweet is it that Edward doesn’t eat people?

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go cajole my dog into turning into a well-muscled youth. I’m pretty sure he’s a shapeshifter.

Then again, maybe not. A shapeshifter would have reverted back to its human form and refused to wear a lobster Halloween costume

All of our pets have gotten into the spirit of things for Halloween. I have mostly just gotten into the spirit of eating candy corn and pumpkin spice Hershey kisses, which are responsible for everything good in the world that happens while they’re on shelves.

10 thoughts on “Sweet Mother!”

  1. Three times? Now I feel a little better about myself, only having read them twice, and then with great difficulty put them back on the shelf and started another book that I just can't seem to get into.

    Your pork salad looks great. I love texture/temperature variations in my meals…and I love pork.

    One last thing, are you a seasonal decorator??

  2. Yumm-o. Again. I seem to say that amde up word of mine quite often while visiting your blog. While you seem to say douchebag quite often while reading mine. hmmmmmm I believe I should change the content of mine so I can get yumm-o comments, also. hehehe

    But, back to the point, of your post. I would love this pork salad – if pork just didn't make me sick. But, I might eat it anyway and deal with the consequences later. Sometimes, you have to just do that. I am just saying.

    As for Twilight, can we still be friends if I tell you I have never read them? I did see the first movie and I was not as impressed with it as I wanted to be. I tried really hard. But it just seemed so much like a teenage soap opera that I couldn't get all into it. Maybe if I read the books I would be more into it. And since I am the only woman I know who hasn't read the books, I am beginning to believe that I must do this. As a tribute to my womanhood. Very similar to liking chocolate. Oh yeah, I don't so much like chocolate. Hmmm….good thing I know I am a woman FOR SURE or I would have to question myself.

    And by the way, I love all the recipes you have been including lately. I thought you had a separate blog for recipes, though?

  3. Brooke–Not really a seasonal decorator. I always thought those type of people were douchy (like Sandra Lee). Unless you have kids, at which point it's totally okay because kids like to have valentines stickers on windows and such. But I do usually put a holiday-appropriate centerpiece on the dining room table for Christmas, Easter, Halloween, and Thanksgiving. Also, sometimes the fourth of July because it pisses Chris off by reminding him of the military.

    I do decorate a ton for Christmas, though, because I love Christmas, and as long as the decorations are up, I'm allowed to drink spiked eggnog without shame.

    Charisse–I thought Yumm-o was a Rachel Ray thing? I do say douchebag a lot when I read your blog, but only because I disapprove of your boyfriend's antics. I think you are delightful.

    And yeah, you have to read the books. Trust me–you'll get it.

    I tired of the separate food blog. I like having it by the pictures :)

  4. Three out of 4 of these pictures were amazing… the first, however, needs to burn. I am so excited I just might pee myself. Have you already purchased tickets for the midnight showing?

  5. I do not care for Rachael Ray. Did not know Yumm-o was her word. I may have to get a new one now.

    And I know douchebag is not for me. :-)

    PS – why is my word verification thingie BRING – hmmmm

  6. yeah, it totally makes me feel like a dirty old man that Taylor Lautner is so damn hot.

    But I also freely admit that I don't care for the aspect of the books that basically says "It's okay, in fact ROMANTIC, if a guy stalks you. It's also perfectly fine for a guy to think that when you say 'no' you really mean 'yes'"

    Also. Hootlec.

  7. Ive read them 4 times since June alone. Edward and I have a secret relationship. I was reading number 4 when I was in the full throngs of morning sickness and I kept looking at Andrew and wondering if he was infact a vampire who had impregnated me with his vampire/human span since I felt like I was dying from the inside out.
    On the topic of Costa Vida – which I believe if you translate correctly means "Taste of Heaven" – the sweet pork salad is the best and I have a near purrrrfect recipe for it and their other dressing – the lime-cilantro ranch version. Mine has Dr. Pepper in it and a few different things than yours. I'll email it to you so you can see if you like it. Im interested to try your version as well.

  8. I like your sweet (pork) butt.

    Twilight: I refused to read the books, even when second hand copies were coming at me from all angles via well meaning friends. I also refused to see the movie. I mean, sparkling vampires? Seriously? Then one day Mike made me watch some horrible but utterly forgettable action movie, so to punish him (and just him – I had too much vodka in my system to care what we watched) I downloaded Twilight.

    And fell in love.

    And started to cry when it was over out of a keen sense of loss that there was no more to see for months.

    Oh yes, and tortillas! How do you make tortillas? I tried once and they ended up either too thin (crispy and burnt) or really…doughy. Advice?

  9. I forgot to mention: I AM a seasonal decorator, but only for Hallowe'en. Because it's like Christmas to me. Christmas, which is like…uh…Christmas for Mike, gets some pre-emptive decorating as well but it's more out of necessity. But you know how some people leave their Christmas tree up until the middle of January? I leave my Hallowe'en decorations up until Dec 1 if nobody takes them down when I'm away….

  10. jesus, would that guy turn 18 already so I can feel like less of a gross sweaty old bitch?

    And speaking of pork, Yum. Seriously. I am so many different types of hungry right now.

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