Tag Archives: Texas

Say it with me “PRESEASON!”

It’s OK to cheat a bit… if it’s preseason! Thankfully, we don’t totally consider this a cheat because shopping for our families and cooking from scratch every night can be difficult- money is tight, taste is crucial and watching the game with good food is a must! With this in mind, we want to have meals for you that aren’t just for game day, but are for those hectic weekdays, too.

We picked up some delicious, packaged marinated pork from Aldi in Mesquite BBQ to represent Texas, and it was a huge success!



Always follow the cooking instructions on your package, and we advise using a good thermometer!


Because “pre” foods are done for us, there is often a high sodium level in them. Keeping that in mind, we paired our Texas flavored meat with some simple veggies:


IMAG5170We have done a lot of “prep” and simmer and boil then bake… recipes. I hope that this meal gives you some quick, good ideas- even with one thing being partially done for you, with a few good veggies and you’ve got a meal you can be proud to serve your family. Staying healthy, happy and productive are all integral to the football (and school) season!

All-in-all, the last Eagles and Cowboys preseason games were a disappointment… But, in the words of Dez Bryant, “To be honest, it don’t matter who we play, it’s exciting just because it’s the beginning of the season. Football is back. Preseason is not the season. That football is totally different from the actual game. Everything counts. You’ve got the starters playing. We’re looking to battle all four quarters both teams.”

With that? GAME ON!!!!




All pictures and recipes are the property of Carpenter in the Kitchen© unless otherwise noted. When reproducing recipes, please share with a link and give written credit, or use your own words. No pictures can be reused without prior permission.

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East Greenwich Art Festival

Though we love our football and our food, we love our community, too. Oddly, you might not know that this Cowboys Papa and Eagles lovin’ Daughter-in-Law hail from Rhode Island (Texas family) and Philadelphia, PA- respectively… but here we are in ‘Lil Rhody and our families are gearing up to spend an amazing weekend at Festival Fete’s East Greenwich Art Festival on August 31 and September 1.


from Festival Fete’s webpage

From the site, which you can find HERE:

Festival Fete creates a one-of-a-kind community art festival featuring 100+ contemporary American craft artisans, local “festive food,” strolling entertainment, live music, free children’s crafts, and a specially-designed community art project. Our mission is to offer a platform for local artists — of various mediums and levels — to show their work. In collaboration with community talent, volunteers and sponsors, we create profitable platforms that celebrate locally grown art, food and merriment.

The festival is from 10-5pm at New England Tech in East Greenwich RI.  Featuring over 140 Contemporary American Artisans, Festive Food, Live Music and Strolling Entertainment to (YES, Big Nazo will be there), this weekend is surely not an event to miss! Come out to the East Greenwich Art Festival to bid a lasting farewell to Summer!  Best part for all the families out there? It’s FREE!


from Festival Fete’s webpage

Though Chelley (daugher-in-law) will be in Pennsylvania for a wedding, Carpenter in the Kitchen will be looking for submissions for you favorite foods and vendors to be featured in this Community section of the blog! Will you be heading to East Greenwich? Don’t forget to tell us about your plans in the comments, and don’t forget to follow Festival Fete’s Twitter updates HERE!




All pictures and recipes are the property of Carpenter in the Kitchen© unless otherwise noted. When reproducing recipes, please share with a link and give written credit, or use your own words. No pictures can be reused without prior permission.



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First and Ten…

First game of the season, or exhibition series as it were, for the Dallas Cowboys… Joe’s favorite team. Playing against Miami, a few important stats to weigh:

For Miami… Coach, Joe Philbin, is in his second season. His record is 7-9 overall. The Dolphins hold a winning record against the Cowboys in the regular season. They’re one of only six teams with this accomplishment. Out for this game are John Jerry and Rishard Matthews, while Mike Wallace, Brian Hartline, Jared Odrick, Randy Starks, Cameron Marshall, and Michael Clay are all questionable or doubtful.

For Dallas… Jason Garrett has a 21-19 overall record, and is in his third season as coach. Tony Romo is out because of coach’s decision (who plays a $108million contracted player in this game?), but these players are out with injury: Ron Leary, Nate Livings, Anthony Spencer, Tyrone Crawford, Jay Ratliff.

Enough stats… onto the cooking.

For the game we made chili to represent Texas and basil pulled pork for Miami- a little Cuban flare. The nice part about this combo was that the pork was super fast to prep- and took almost no effort. And it was delicious! Both the chili and pork can be served with tacos, chips, in sandwiches, with lime or avocado, or both, or over a bed of greens (arugula works great). We had an awesome family dinner chowing down (with a salad to off-set the heavy food and some stuffed jalapeños)- and were onto coffee before kickoff at 8.

Want to try making these great dishes?

The kitchen


Prep: 12 minutes
Cook : 2 hours (stove top)
Servings: 15 (leftovers are GREAT for freezing and saving for lunches)

2 lbs ground beef
1 large green pepper, diced
1 large onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/3 cup chili powder
2 cans kidney beans
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 6 oz can tomato paste
3/4 cup water
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 bay leaf

Brown meat, pepper, and onion together in a large pot*
After meat is browned and veggies are soft drain the liquid from the pan
Add chili powder to the pan and stir
Open cans of crushed tomato, tomato paste and add to meat mixture
Open cans of kidney beans and pour only the liquid into the pan- Save beans for adding later
Add water, salt, sugar and bay leaf and simmer for 1 and 1/2 hours.
Add beans and simmer for 1/2 hour.
Serve with sour cream, cheddar cheese and tortilla chips.

*Be sure to add meat to a hot pot- meat in a cold pat is sure to stick. Add 1/3c water to the pot to help with the browning process.


Basil Pulled Pork:

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook : 8 hours (crockpot)
Servings: 6 (1 cup)

You will need
3# BONELESS pork shoulder/butt- if you can only find bone-in, the cook time will be longer
1 1/2 T basil infused olive oil (recipe below)*
20-25 fresh basil leaves

Using a fork, stab pork about 5 times, covering all sides
Massage oil into the meat
Cover pork in salt
Place half the basil leaves in the bottom of the crock pot, put the pork on top
Put the rest of the leaves on top
Cover and cook on low for 7 hours**
Uncover and shred pork
Recover and cook at low for an additional hour

1c fresh finely chopped basil leaves
1 1/2c extra virgin olive oil (EVOO is important here)

Place chopped leaves in sauce pot, add oil
Cook on med/high heat for 5-7 minutes
Take off heat and let the mix steep for 30 minutes
Strain oil into a glass jar

This oil will keep for one month and is perfect for our recipe, but pairs well as a dressing over salads, dipping for bread, oil for croutons, on pasta dishes, and even as an oil for your nails (add just a drop to your cuticles at night)!

**Please do not try and rush the cook time! The full 8 hours at low heat will bring the juices out and make this pork the perfect center piece to your meal.

Pulled Pork

Always have a spread that offers diversity and a whole lot of fun! … and make some time to give hugs to those you love!


Gramma and AddieThank you for joining us in our first week! We hope you can try these simple recipes with your family this week!  Congratulations to the Cowboys on their win!





All pictures and recipes are the property of Carpenter in the Kitchen©. When reproducing recipes, please share with a link and give written credit, or use your own words. No pictures can be reused without prior permission.


Filed under Cowboys 2013