Tag Archives: Hosting and Hostessing

Pork Carnitas That Will Make Your Mouth Sing (Also Known As How To Feed 10 People In 1 Hour With The Help Of A Crock Pot)

In the early years of our marriage it was not at all unusual for my precious INTP husband to have the fabulous idea of hosting a lot of really hungry people approximately 15 minutes before the suggested meal would need to be on the table. Clearly, I married him because he’s fun and  spontaneous like that, but the ESFJ in me is also rather fond of a plan.

These days, we still enjoy hosting people in our home, but know that it takes a bit more forethought, so we’ve tried to get it down to a science so that with a day’s notice we can feed the hungry people something other than Little Caesars.

By far, the best thing that’s come out of my crockpot this week was the pork carnitas we made on Monday. This recipe is simple to prepare and has flavor for days. So, next time you need to prepare a meal of the masses, or just want leftovers to freeze, here ya go.

Pork Carnitas That Will Make Your Mouth Sing

(Also Known As How To Feed 10 People In 1 Hour With The Help Of A Crock Pot)

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Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons salt, or more, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2.5-4 pound pork shoulder, excess fat trimmed
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 onions, quartered
  • 2 oranges
  • 2 limes
  • 1 jalepeno seeded and diced

Instructions

  • Rinse and dry the pork shoulder.
  • Salt and pepper liberally.
  • In a small bowl, combine olive oil, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper. Season pork shoulder with spice mixture, rubbing in thoroughly on all sides.
  • Place seasoned pork shoulder, garlic, onions, orange juice with orange peels, lime juice with lime peels, jalepeno and into a slow cooker. Cover and cook on low heat for 8 hours or high for 4-5 hours.
  • Once the meat is tender, remove pork shoulder from the slow cooker and shred the meat then return to the pot with the juices; season with salt and pepper, to taste, as needed. Cover and keep warm for an additional 30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to broil. Place carnitas onto an aluminum foil lined baking sheet and broil until crisp and crusted, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Serve immediately with avocado, *lots of lime juice* (key to making your mouth sing!!) and crumbled goat cheese. These also make UNBELIEVABLE quesadillas. We ate them as leftovers and were delighted that the next night they were even yummier!

1 Hour Timetable:

Enlist helpers to cut these times and delegate dessert to a guest! People love to bring something.

Prep meat and have cooking in crockpot by noon (only takes about 10 minutes)

  • Tidy living space + wipe downbathroom-10 min. Shauna Niequist has a wonderful keynote talk about hospitality that you should totally listen to! In it, she says her main advice for cleaning before company arrives is to grab the baby wipes and a laundry basket then fry a pound of bacon. In other words, wipe away anything sticky or icky, toss anything that would trip or injure a guest (LEGOS!) and create a wonderful aroma in the air that says, “oh, I’ve been planning on you coming for days…” So tidy! And make it quick.
  • Set out chips, salsa and cheese dip-3 min People will want something easy to much on because though they are excited, often they are a tad nervous to come over.
  • Pull meat-2 min
  • Slice limes + slice and peel avocados-5 min
  • Crumble goat cheese-2 min
  • Warm beans + Rice-5 min Any can of refried beans will do and if you want my opinion the Seeds of Change 7 Whole Grain microwavable rice pouches from Walmart are amazing.
  • Mix salad-5 min I use the “Kale Yeah” pre-prepared salad bags from Walmart. The Southwest Salad Kit is amazing with these carnitas. It’s more of a slaw than anything and it’s so good!
  • Warm tortillas-5 min
  • Prep drinks-8 min 
  • Broil Meat-3 min
  • Set table + put food on serving pieces-10 min 

If you want to get real fancy you could have a jar filled with conversation starters or you could play our favorite dinner party game. The sky is the limit, but if you have an hour to make it happen (and you had enough warning to get the meat in the crock pot!) Then you can make it happen!! Woot!

If you’d like a printable shopping list just sign up here and I’ll send it to ya!



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Flatter Me…

I just returned home from a yummy little Pampered Chef party that’s got my nesting juices flowing… who knew you could use their products to cook an entire chicken in 30 minutes? A Chocolate Lava cake in 10 minutes? Who knew?

I DID stick to the budget Joel set for me as he left town yesterday… However, I AM looking on ebay for the same miraculous piece of life-changing cookware that I saw at the party! :)

All that silly fluff to say, that hospitality has been a topic I have thought a lot about over the past year.

Since college, I’ve enjoyed trying to come up with creative reasons to host parties at my house.  When I moved to Charlotte, I discovered that so many girls my age felt isolated and nomadic during their post-college years.  My hope has always been to help people connect and become friends. Whether it was a “Southern Charm Party” a “Tacky Christmas Sweater Party” or a VERY silly “Valentine’s Day Party”, my roommate Alison and would always have such a blast at these mixers! (Need to go dig up some hilarious photos from these shindigs…)

Now that Joel and I have settled into our life in Columbia, (and thankfully Joel loves to host), and my desire to have people in our home has really begun to blossom. What stands in my way is our very abnormal/psycho schedule…a food budget…and my love of “downtime” when we aren’t “on”. These barriers were highlighted when I attended a seminar about hospitality. A staff woman who wrote the book and blog titled, “Entertaining for Eternity” shared the difference between Entertaining and Hospitality. Do you know what the difference is?

She explained that an entertainer says, “Come, let me impress you with me, my house and my domestic skills.” While the hospitable one says, “Come, see how we live real life and how we worship the King amidst the craziness of life.”

She told some hilarious stories of life on staff with Crusade in DC where they minister to ambassadors, prime ministers, etc. and how her husband would bring people over unannounced all the time…and how this was a wonderful entry way to the Gospel engaging people’s hearts and minds!

It’s given me a lot of “food for thought”, pun intended, as I think through how I can use our home to be a haven for the world…from the world.

My friend at Reluctant Entertainer has mentored me via her blog as she daily shares about giving the gift of hospitality to others. She quotes the great writer Henri Nouwen, as he describes hospitality as “a central attitude of the minister who wants to make his own wounded condition available to others as a source of healing.”

So, flatter me…leave a comment on how you find ways to overcome schedule, financial and energy limitations to offer healing to the outside world!

Also, I’m going to try RE’s index card idea…if you’ve ever come to our house for a meal, what did we serve? I’m trying to recall some sweet memories!