Recipe: Sweet Pork and Cilantro Lime Rice Buddha Bowls with Cilantro Ranch Dressing

If you’re from the midwest than surely you’ve been to or at least heard of the glorious Cafe Rio!  This recipe is not a copycat for that but is inspired by it.  And delicious!!!  I tried to keep each recipe as simple as possible with as much flavor payoff as possible, so this is a dish you could throw together way faster than all the other Cafe Rio recipes floating around the internet.  We had it for Sunday dinner and had the leftovers for a few days after.  Enjoy!!

Sweet Pork and Cilantro Lime Buddha Bowls
Serves 6
A delicious sweet pork paired with the best cilantro lime rice and topped with a creamy cilantro lime ranch dressing! Add your favorite taco fixings and you've got a bowl full of flavor.
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Cook Time
8 hr
Total Time
8 hr
Cook Time
8 hr
Total Time
8 hr
sweet pork
  1. 3 lb pork roast
  2. 1 packet dry onion soup mix
  3. 1 can Coke or Dr. Pepper, not diet
  4. 1 cup brown sugar
cilantro lime *brown rice
  1. 2 cups brown rice
  2. 4 1/2 cups water
  3. 4 1/2 tsp chicken bouillon
  4. 4 tsp garlic powder
  5. 1 Tb canola oil
  6. 1 Tb dried onion
  7. 1/2-1 bunch cilantro, chopped
cilantro lime ranch dressing
  1. 1 packet ranch dressing mix
  2. 3/4 cup mayo
  3. 1 cup butter milk plus more as needed**
  4. 1 bunch cilantro leaves, chopped
  5. 1/2-1 Tb lime juice, to taste
toppings
  1. shredded lettuce
  2. 1 can black beans, drained and heated
  3. avocado/guacamole
  4. sour cream
  5. favorite salsa
  6. favorite cheese to top
  7. favorite tortilla chips
sweet pork
  1. Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
  2. Before the last hour, shred pork and stir in in with the sauce in the slow cooker. Cover again and finish cooking.
cilantro lime rice
  1. Bring water to a boil, add chicken bouillon, garlic, oil, onion and rice; stir around.
  2. Return to a boil and let boil for 3-5 minutes.
  3. Cover, turn to low and simmer for 45 minutes.
  4. Turn off burner, keep pot on heat and covered and let sit for 15 minutes, undisturbed.
  5. Remove lid, stir in lime juice and cilantro and fluff.
cilantro lime dressing
  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender. Thin with more buttermilk if needed. Chill before serving.
assembly
  1. Arrange all ingredients in a bowl and enjoy!
Notes
  1. *Can also use white rice, adjusting cook time to package directions
  2. **I used 1 scant cup milk plus 1 Tb white vinegar, sat for 5 minutes to make buttermilk
Hopes and Dreams http://cherishinghopesanddreams.com/

Recipe: KATSUDON!

Katsudon is one of the few dishes I equate with my magical childhood.  My dad served his mission in Japan back in the seventies and when my parents got married, my mom would make this for us for fancy Sunday dinners or other special occasions.  It was one of our little grasps of Japan in our family culture.  My mom made it with pork but I make it with chicken (JW prefers chicken) and it has now become a special dish in my own little family culture as well.

Katsudon
Serves 4
A delicious Japanese dish, perfect for fancy occasions.
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
40 min
Ingredients
  1. Four chicken breasts- boneless
  2. 6 eggs (dad likes 8)
  3. -two will be used in breading the pork loin
  4. 1-2 c flour for breading
  5. 1 large yellow or white onion sliced into thin rings
  6. bread crumbs - non seasoned (panko is best for this recipe)
  7. oil for frying
  8. 1/3 c. soy sauce
  9. 1/3 c plus a little of sugar
  10. 2 cups water
Instructions
  1. Heat one inch deep oil on medium high.
  2. Cut extra fat away from chicken. Mix two eggs in a bowl and put flour and breadcrumbs in two separate bowls. Coat pork in flour then eggs and then breadcrumbs.
  3. Fry in a one inch depth of oil til very brown, it doesn't have to be completely cooked through but at least very close. Set chicken aside on a paper towel-lined plate.
  4. Mix water, sugar and soy sauce thoroughly in a fry pan and bring to a boil.**
  5. Place onion rings around pan. Boil onions for about 5-7 minutes (7 was perfect for me), or until tender.
  6. When chicken breasts are cooled a little, cut them into slices and place on top of onions. Bring to a boil.
  7. Whip the remaining 4 eggs and pour over boiling mixture. Put lid on and let eggs cook for about two minutes. Serve over rice immediately.* Itadakimasu!!
Notes
  1. **I like to double the sauce.
  2. *The longer eggs cook they will turn a gray color from mixing with the soy. Serve when eggs are still yellow.
Adapted from Gramma Jac
Adapted from Gramma Jac
Hopes and Dreams http://cherishinghopesanddreams.com/

Headshot Project 2017: June

Auggie!! He eats dirt and sand like it’s sugar and butter, has his dad’s dimples (they appear high up on his cheeks under his eyes when he smiles, just like JW–he’s our only baby with this) and is just the dreamiest of all the dream boats that ever dreamt.  He got a black eye this month, with none to blame but himself.  I was gone for the night up at girls camp and when John put him in his crib for bed, he threw such a fit that he hit his face on his crib and ended up getting a shiner!  He had also fallen earlier that week and had skinned his knee up pretty bad, so he looked like a mess.  He’s also not sleeping that great anymore, probably because he’s getting too big for his little closet crib.  We talk about getting bunk beds for James and Charlie and moving Auggie to a teepee but he still seems so little to me and I feel like those three being together in one room would just make mornings even more rough than they already are.  But he’s starting to talk like crazy and always exclaims, “DID YOU SEE THAT?!” Whenever he does something he thinks is amazing.

Charlie!! He is at the stage where pretty much everything that comes out of his mouth is hilarious or precious.  He and James were playing monsters in their room and James was the monster and Charlie was the person.  I overheard Charlie play-yelling, “Please!! I’ll be your hungry servant!”  I died.  Then one time, out of nowhere, he tells me, “Mom, you are my true love princess.”  I also heard him yelling in the night one time, “That’s not yours!”  And when he gets grumpy and starts kicking and hitting people out of frustration, he tells me, “Mom, I cant’ control my body, but food helps me to.”  He also has an insatiable love for the show Planet Earth.

James!! He continues to be a noble and true oldest brother and son.  Each week, the boys go to running club where they set a goal to run a certain amount of laps around a little track at a park and if they reach their goal they get a little prize.  James and Charlie had both set a sort of lofty goal and almost decided to throw in the towel.  But James went up to Charlie and said, “Let’s do it together, Charlie.”  And they held hands and ran around the entire track together for their very last, hardest lap.  It sort of changed my life when I saw that.  On June 12, the anniversary of Uncle James’ death, we decided to put up some pretty twinkle lights around the boys’ room in his honor, and we called Grammy to tell her about it.  When we were talking to her and telling her about the lights, James said, “I’m so sorry about Uncle James, Grammy.  We are here to comfort you.”  Another time, I was going to surprise the boys with making cookies or something like that.  I told them, “Boys! I have a surprise for you! We are going to make cookies!”  James replied, “I thought you were going to say we were going to adopt a baby.” Ha!  I mean, John wasn’t even home.  Like I was just going to casually announce it was time to adopt a baby, haha.  Last of all, we were getting ready to go swimming at Aunt Mary’s pool and Charlie was having a bit of a hard time in the “controlling your body” department and ended up throwing a rock at James.  As his consequence we decided that he would have to wait for 10 minutes to get into the pool once we got up to Mary’s.  This upset Charlie and James said, “Mom, can I take some of Charlie’s punishment?  A little rock could never break my love for him.”  And he did take part of his punishment.  He sat on the side of the pool for a few minutes in Charlie’s place while the rest of us swam.

Recipe: Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas

I’m not huge into enchiladas, but these are one of my very favorite meals!!  They have a surprising taste that isn’t your typical enchilada taste—and everyone who’s had them LOVES them.

Honey Lime Enchiladas
Serves 4
A surprisingly fresh and light tasting enchilada that puts the rest to shame.
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Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
1 hr 30 min
Prep Time
1 hr
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
1 hr 30 min
Ingredients
  1. 1.5 lbs chicken, cooked and shredded (I bake my chicken at 350 for 35 min then shred)
  2. 2/3 c honey
  3. 1/3 c lime juice
  4. 1/2 Tb chili powder
  5. 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  6. 2 (10 oz) cans green enchilada sauce
  7. equal parts mixed together of shredded mozzarella cheese and shredded cheddar cheese
  8. flour tortillas
Instructions
  1. Mix together sauce ingredients then add to shredded chicken. Let the sauce soak into the meat for about 30 minutes, if you have time. If not, don't worry about it.
  2. Lightly spray 2 pans with non-stick baking spray.*
  3. Pour green enchilada sauce into pans to coat the entire bottom. Fill tortillas with shredded meat and desired amount of cheese. Roll and place in dish.
  4. Pour remainder of sauce over enchiladas and sprinkle more cheese on top - don't be stingy!
  5. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
  6. Then turn on broiler and place enchiladas nearer the top of oven. Let it broil until cheese is slightly brown and crispy.
Notes
  1. *I usually use one 9x13 and one 9x9 but it may vary with how thick you stuff your enchiladas
Adapted from Sisters Cafe
Adapted from Sisters Cafe
Hopes and Dreams http://cherishinghopesanddreams.com/