Cook: BBQ for a Crowd

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Fourth of July is days away. You have a crowd descending upon you expecting to eat. Are you ready? You may have some worries but you’ve got nothing on Paula Deen. Now she’s got some worries. Nevertheless, Paula sure can crank out recipes to feed-a-crowd! No matter what you think of her, allow her to bail you out this Independence Day with barbeque for the masses.  Purchase some prepared cole slaw, potato or pasta salad, bag ‘o green salad and sponge cake with berries and whipped cream for dessert. Now you’re ready!

Paula Deen’s Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Ingredients

2 tablespoons chili powder

1 tablespoon onion powder

1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Pinch of cayenne pepper, optional

5 pounds boneless pork butt or shoulder

2 cups barbecue sauce (homemade or store bought)

10 to 12 soft hamburger-style buns

Cooking Directions

In a small bowl, mix the chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and cayenne, if using. Rub the spice mixture on all sides of the pork. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight.

Place pork in a slow cooker. Set on low heat and cook for 10 hours. Transfer from the slow cooker to a roasting pan and shred with two forks, removing any large pieces of fat. Pour the broth into a heatproof pitcher or large fat separator, and skim off the fat. Put the pork back into the slow cooker. Combine the barbecue sauce and 3 cups of the skimmed broth. Stir into the pork and cook 2 hours. Using a slotted spoon, remove the pork from the slow cooker. Place the meat on a serving platter or on individual buns. Serve the remaining sauce alongside.

Servings: 10-15 servings

Prep Time: 5 min

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Sip/Give: Jewel of a Gift – Julibox

As most of you already know, I very much enjoy a good drink. The only trouble is figuring out what to make and executing said drink can be challenging at times. Going out is not always an option and making one at home is restricted by ingredients on hand. This is where Julibox comes in! A monthly cocktail subscription service that delivers almost everything you need to serve up a delightful drink anytime…spirits, mixers and often times the tools you need for execution! Most importantly, they take the hard part out of entertaining by sharing two cocktail recipes with you created by semi-famous mixologists from around the country. Consider it like having your own personal bartender on hand each month whispering in your ear so you can “wow” your pals.  The only things not included are fresh ingredients that you really must purchase closer to the time of mixing but certainly items that you might already have in your fridge, like lemons, limes, strawberries and the like.

Don’t you just love the adorable box lining and the fun stuff found inside even better?!?

I purchased subscriptions for two of my dearest friends (A shout out to Kara and Kelly! Love you girls!)  Since I’ve already given Juliboxes as gifts and I can tell you first hand this would be the most fabulous gift for one of the many weddings I am sure are on your calendar this summer or a delightful gift of gratitude for the friends whose home you parked yourselves in for a long weekend getaway!  I was super lucky that Courtne, one of the talented and spirit knowledgeable owners, kindly offered to send me a box so that I would be better able to share my thoughts with you. I can tell you unequivocally that Juliboxes are the bomb! They arrive gorgeously packaged, and I adore the wax sealed envelope that contains the instructions for transporting you to cocktail bliss.

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Guide to Cocktail Bliss

The month I sampled the two cocktails featured were the Strawberry Cobbler and the French 75. Both were delightful, but since I am a sucker for anything with strawberries, I think the Strawberry Cobbler was my favorite of the two. What is so cool about these boxes is that you don’t have to think about it. The boxes show up on your doorstep monthly and you are introduced to new drinks and often times new spirits that you will soon be able to purchase full size versions of on the Julibox site.

The Strawberry Cobbler…yum!

Don’t wait because the monthly collections tend to sell out especially with prices as low as $36/month! If you’d like to enjoy the July Collection, make sure you order no later than July 5. Bear in mind that an adult 21 years or older must sign for the box since there is alcohol enclosed…a small price to pay if you ask me. You could have it shipped to the office so acquiring a signature does not pose a problem; although, it may produce a problem of its own when your office mates see this cool box arrive. You may find yourselves with unwanted weekend guests. Cheers!

Depart: Routehappy

Like the Southwest ad campaign states…”Wanna get away?” Maybe to the beach perhaps or a mountain retreat? Ever been to New York City or Chicago?  How would you like to find a flight with a Happiness Score based on the size of the seats, amenities, flyer reviews and more? With Routehappy it’s possible to visit far flung locales on a flight that will make you and your wallet happy! So what’s stopping you? Book that “happy” flight now and continue that “happy” feeling while sitting on a beautiful beach sipping a scrumptious cocktail. Bon voyage!