Slow cooker Pork Carnitas

Tired of your boring roast? Try this recipe for Mexican pulled pork (pork roast) – slow cooker pork carnitas.

slow cooker pork carnitas

Yummy pork carnitas – it is one of my favorite Mexican dishes. I particularly love them too because there is always enough leftovers for another meal and any night I can get out of cooking is a happy accident! Carnitas literally translates to “little meats.” But if you’ve ever wondered what it is, it’s basically just Mexican pulled pork.

Ingredients

Making Slow cooker Pork Carnitas

Here in Texas, because of the large Hispanic demographic, it’s super easy to find pork perfectly trimmed for carnitas. But don’t fret, all you need is pork shoulder or pork butt roast. Normally it weighs about 2-4 pounds. Some of that will cook down due to the high fat marbling. You will place it whole in the slow cooker, no water needed.

Juice your orange. You can substitute with store bought orange juice. About a half cup to a cup is fine. Pour over your meat. Add your spices and chopped onion.

Now to add your jalapeño If you want it more on the mild side, I recommend deveining the jalapeño. To do this, chop off the top of the pepper. Slice the pepper in half while on it’s side. Pull out all of the seeds and thinly slice the vein of the pepper off and discard both. Then chop your jalapeño as normal. Don’t be afraid to use a whole jalapeño. The pepper heat reduces a lot as it cooks.

Pro tip: Use gloves to stop the pepper oils from getting in your hand, Remember, never touch your face or sensitive areas while handling peppers.

Juice of One orange
Slow cooker pork carnitas

Serving and Storing

Your pork roast will cook on low for about 8 hours. You’ll know it’s ready when you can pull apart the meat with a fork. That’s right. Pork carnitas should be melt-in-your-mouth, fork tender when they are done.

Personally, my favorite way to serve pork carnitas is in soft tacos. There is nothing quite like warm, homemade flour tortilla tacos. I love topping them with cilantro and onion. I prefer to serve them with traditional spanish rice (yup, I have a recipe for that too) and charro beans. During the summer, I’ll often switch it up for a side of Mexican street corn. So yummy!

Store slowcooker pork carnitas in the fridge for 3 days in an air tight container.

Slow cooker Pork Carnitas

Mexican pulled pork with fresh onion, jalapeño, and orange flavors.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time8 hrs
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: carnitas, crockpot, crockpot recipes, mexican main dish, mexican recipes, pork, pork roast, pork tacos, pulled pork, slow cooker, tacos
Servings: 8

Ingredients

  • 2-3 Pounds Pork butt or Pork Shoulder
  • 1 Large Orange Juiced
  • 1 Large Fresh Jalapeno Deveined, deseeded, and chopped
  • 1 Small White Onion Chopped
  • Salt. Pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbsp Ground Cumin

Instructions

  • Place pork butt or pork shoulder whole in crock pot.
  • Juice one large and orange and pour over pork. May substitute ½ cup to 1 cup of store bought orange juice.
  • Season with salt, pepper, and cumin. Scatter chopped onions.
  • Prepare jalapeño by cutting the top off and slicing lengthwise. Remove seeds. Cut out the pepper vein and discard. Chop remaining pepper and scatter in crockpot.
  • Cook on low for 8 hours.

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Cajun Bean Soup

This easy slow cooker Cajun Bean Soup is delicious on cold days. A blend of 15 different beans it has diced country ham and andouille sausage.

Cajun Bean Soup

There is just something about cold wintery days that make me want a hot, steaming bowl of soup! Come on, I know I’m not the only one. So today, I’m sharing my recipe for Cajun Bean Soup. Admittedly, it’s my own take on Cajun Bean Soup.

My husband is a professed “bean hater.” For someone like me who is Hispanic, the thought is incomprehensible! Haha. But this soup wins my husband over every time. It’s full of juicy ham and sausage which adds a lot of flavor to every bite!

How to Make Cajun Bean Soup

I add ham and andouille to the mix. If you’ve never had andouille, it’s delicious Cajun double smoked sausage. It is originally from France and was brought over to the New World by French immigrants. Today, it is a staple in Creole cooking.

Jump to Recipe

Hurst’s HamBeens 15 Bean Soup includes the following beans:

  • Northern
  • Pinto
  • Lima
  • Blackeye
  • Garbanzo
  • Baby Lima
  • Green Split
  • Kidney
  • Cranberry
  • Small white
  • Pink
  • Small Red
  • Yellow Split
  • Lentil
  • Navy
  • White Kidney
  • Black
  • Yellow Eye
Cajun Bean Soup

If you aren’t accustomed to cooking with dry beans, they can take a very long time to cook. Typically, if you are stove-top cooking them, you either soak them overnight or slowly cook them for many hours on low heat. I highly recommend using a slow cooker. It makes life a lot easier. Additionally, you could probably use an Insta-pot or Pressure Cooker, though cooking times vary.

Serving & Storing

Once cooked, bean soup is hardy, especially if you add meat. I love to serve Cajun Bean Soup with either sweet cornbread or buttermilk biscuits. Hey, I’m from the South! We love our scratch breads.

I have found that bean soup stores well in an air tight container for 2 days in the fridge. After that, I would discard any left overs.

Cajun Bean Soup

This easy slow cooker Cajun Bean Soup is delicious on cold days. A blend of 15 different beans it has diced country ham and andouille sausage.
Course: Main Course
Keyword: andouille, beans, crockpot, ham, jimmy dean sausage, kidney beans, pinto beans, slowcooker, soup, split pea, white beans
Servings: 8

Ingredients

  • 32 oz Chicken Broth
  • 2 cups water warm
  • 16 oz Cubed Ham
  • 1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 Tbsp Cajun Seasoning
  • 1-2 Cloves Garlic Minced
  • 14 oz Andouille Sausage Sliced
  • 16 oz Hurst’s HamBeens 15 Bean Soup

Instructions

  • On a low setting, add 2 cups of warm water and the chicken broth
  • Slice sausage and ham, add to slow cooker 
  • Add 1 package of Hurst’s HamBeens 15-Bean Soup. No need to soak if you’re using a crockpot.
  • Add garlic, lemon juice and cajun seasoning. Give a quick stir and let it cook on low for 7-8 hours.

Hot Chocolate Bar

A Hot Chocolate Bar is a fun way to entertain and feed your guests at the same time. It’s always a huge hit at my holiday parties. Today, I’m sharing how to create an awesome hot chocolate bar your guests will love. 

Hot chocolate bar

I love entertaining. I love creating a warm, welcoming atmosphere for family and friends to flock to. But even more specifically, I love when people are actually excited to come. When they start asking me months in advance if I will be hosting something, I know they enjoy it. For the last 6 years or so I’ve done a hot chocolate bar during the holidays. I’ve been shocked to learn how much guests love this. They’re talking about it even weeks after the event. So today I’m going to share how I create a hot chocolate bar.

I will share all the things I’ve learned through (mistakes and) the years. Guests naturally want something to do. They enjoy being entertained. Guests also typically wait to be served and even being the first one to slice into a dish can be awkward. So giving them something that they can’t wait to dig into is a great ice breaker. The hot chocolate bar also get your guests to serve themselves and be happy about it! It takes the pressure off you to constantly refresh drinks. I have found the hot chocolate bar is a total win all the way around! Let me show you how to do it!

How To Set Up Your Hot Chocolate Bar

Slow Cooker Recommendations

I recommend using a slow cooker to keep your hot chocolate warm over several hours. The size of the slow cooker is dependent upon how much you are serving.

There are 4 cups to a quart. Consider that one cup is about 8 ounces. Most mugs and disposable coffee cups are typically around 12 ounces which is greater than a cup. Also consider that guests may have more than one cup. Here is what I recommend:

  • 3-4 qt slow cooker for 8-12 cups
  • 5-7 qt slow cooker for 12-20 cups
  • 8 qt slow cooker for 20 or more cups

The slow cooker can hold more than I’ve recommended, but when the contents are piping hot, it is best not to fill the slow cooker to the rim. Always use caution when leaving hot appliances around your guests.

The Hot Chocolate

You may have your favorite hot chocolate recipe. However, if you’re struggling to find a good one, look no further. I have the best hot chocolate recipe you will ever find! It’s creamy and decadent. It’s absolutely delicious and always has rave reviews from my guests. I’m always asked for the recipe, so I’ve shared it here.

I’m going to give you a great tip: Reynolds Slow cooker Liners are the best invention ever! Okay, maybe not the best like electricity or running water, but still amazing. I don’t use a lot of disposable things, but I highly recommend these. They make cleaning your Crockpot a 30 second chore. They fit all slow cookers. No scrubbing or soaking your dirty slow cooker. Just put the liner in like you would a trash bag on a trash can. When you’re done, gather and toss in the trash. Easy! You can find the in the store near the Reynolds wrap and sandwich bags.

Cups and Mugs

For small get-togethers I recommend using glass cups or mugs. In an intimate setting, actual dishes create a cozy, personal atmosphere. Don’t be afraid to pull out your beautiful china that rarely gets used. If you’re saving it for the Queen, I hate to tell you this, but she’s never coming. Don’t save it. The time is now.

Disposable cups are great for large parties. Otherwise you will need to keep a constant supply of fresh cups. If you don’t have many, you’ll end up spending the evening chasing down used cups for washing. After many years of hosting I can tell you, people set their cups down and can’t remember which one was theirs, so they simply grab a new cup. It creates endless work for you if you’re hosting a large party.

If you’re hosting, particularly a large party, prepare yourself for spills. They can and will happen. I highly recommend doing what you can to minimize spills and the ensuing damage they cause. That means, getting disposable cups with lids! They actually do help. I also recommend getting sleeves for cups, because even though everyone knows hot chocolate is hot, burns still occur. Do your part as a host to make things safe. I’ve inserted a link on this page to the ones I use. They aren’t fancy, but the neutral color means I can use the unused cups for any other parties during the year.

Toppings

This is where the fun begins. For whipped cream, I just put the can of spray whip in a bowl with ice. The really fun part is watching your guests pile on chocolate mints, peanut butter, or marshmallows. Cherries, nuts, butterscotch and caramel are all great additions. Adults love when you provide liquors along with the toppings. Great options are rum, coconut rum (Malibu), Irish Cream (Baileys), Raspberry (Chambord), Hazelnut (Frangelico) and Coffee (Kahlua). In my Hot Chocolate Bar Printable, I’ve included different pairing recipes!

Here is a tip: I put the toppings in mason jars. This is especially helpful if you’ll be using your hot chocolate bar for several events. Fill your jars with toppings. Label them, so people don’t have to guess or taste test. Make sure to provide spoons or some utensil for serving and to avoid cross contamination. When not in use, pop the lid on and put it away or just leave it on the set up (if it doesn’t need refrigeration).

Decorations

The theme you do is totally up to you. My personal favorite is galvanized metal, buffalo plaid, and kraft paper, but feel free to try things out. If you are super uncreative and have no idea how to pull it together, look no further. I’ve made a Hot Chocolate Bar Printable to help you! Buy it and follow the instructions. Print the sign on photo paper and put it in a document frame or trim it down to size and put it in an 8×10 frame. Print out the labels on full sheet sticker paper. Then cut out and stick them to your favorite container. Pair with red napkins and accessories.

In the Hot Chocolate Bar Printable, I’ve included

  • A Buffalo Plaid Hot Chocolate Bar Sign
  • Labels for Toppings
  • Adult and Child-Friendly Recipes (to encourage creativity)
  • Shopping List

Other Stuff

  • Use a spoon rest to minimize sticky counters. (If you don’t have a spoon rest, a bowl or bread plate works just fine)
  • Always place napkins at your bar. Spills and drips happen.
  • Place coasters where your guests congregate to minimize damage to furniture. (Liquid and heat damages wood)
  • I suggest using stirs for people to stir their mix-ins. They create much less waste than disposable spoons.
  • Paper straws or wooden spoons also add a special touch.

That’s it! I hope this post inspires you to do something fun! I’d love to hear what fun things you do at your parties!

Learn more about the Best Hot Chocolate Recipe you’ll ever find!

If you’re looking for other tools to help you at Christmas, try my Christmas Planner Printable
Continue reading “Hot Chocolate Bar”

Slowcooker Pumpkin Spice Latte

It’s fall, y’all! It’s pumpkin spice season and I’m sharing my favorite, natural, super easy slow cooker pumpkin spice latte.

slow cooker pumpkin spice latte

Living in Texas, we don’t have much of a Fall here, but that doesn’t stop me from enjoying all things Autumn (Check out my Fall Bucket List here). Today I’m sharing one of my most favorite recipes of all time. Slowcooker Pumpkin Spice Latte.

I’m not a huge fan of pumpkin spice stuff. I mean, seriously, can we all agree that pumpkin spice tortilla chips have gone too far? So when I say I love this pumpkin spice recipe, you can trust me.

Serving & Storing

Its divine. I make it for all occasions, but it’s espcially good for entertaining. Guests can serve themselves. Best of all, because you are making it in a slow cooker, it stays hot. Did I mention the house smells delicious too?  

I make it for playdates (mommies love pumpkin spice). Its perfect for dinner parties and Thanksgiving so coffee is always ready with dessert.

I love serving it in beautiful mugs with whipped cream, pumpkin pie spice on top and a cinnamon stick, but you can make it as fancy or as casual as you want. I have found this does not store well. So I recommend making a fresh batch instead of warming up again.

Ingredients

My favorite thing about this recipe is that it calls for fresh pumpkin. I discovered this recipe about ten years ago and I wasn’t a huge fan of pumpkin spice because I had always had it with artificial flavoring. This recipe uses natural canned pumpkin so it isn’t overpowering. Just a lovely, subtle taste of pumpkin. I also prefer using cinnamon sticks to ground cinnamon. If you use too much ground spices, too much of it floats on the top of your coffee.

I prefer using whole milk even though I’m a typically 2% girl. I think the texture just seems to be better. If you’d like it richer, you may use half and half. If you are serving for a dinner party or if you plan on having several cups of it, you can always brew decaffeinated coffee or do half-caff.

Slowcooker Pumpkin Spice Latte

This recipe is great for everyday entertaining. It’s a simple fall recipe you make ahead of time for a crowd. It combines hot coffee and milk with fresh pumpkin and fall spices. 
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time2 hrs
Total Time2 hrs 15 mins
Course: Drinks
Keyword: autumn, coffee for a crowd, crockpot, drinks, entertaining, fall, latte, pumpkin, slowcooker, spice
Servings: 10

Ingredients

  • 12 Cups Coffee Hot, Strongly Brewed
  • 6 Cups Whole Milk or Half and Half
  • 3 Cinnamon Sticks
  • 1 Tbsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 2 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Cup Pumpkin Puree Canned

Instructions

  • Add milk and vanilla to warm crockpot 
  • Add strongly brewed coffee ( I use a French press to control the strength)
  • Add sugar, stirring well
  • Add pumpkin puree and stir frequently until fully incorporated
  • Cover and cook on high. It reaches peak temperature within 2 hours. 
  • (Optional) Serve with whipped cream, pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon stick

Notes

Notes: For a sugar-free option, Splenda does well in lieu of sugar. For late night serving, you can use decaffeinated coffee. 

Looking for other great fall recipes? Try Zuppa Toscana Soup Don’t forget to subscribe to my blog for other easy recipes!

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Slowcooker Pumpkin Spice Latte first appeared on My Beautiful Mess