BBQ Pulled Pork Stovetop Mac & Cheese | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

BBQ Pulled Pork Stovetop Mac & Cheese

BBQ Pulled Pork Stovetop Mac & Cheese | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

For the past week I’ve been living the Olympic dream. I’ve been carefully honing my time management technique and training hard on my fast forwarding skills to get through about 16 hours of BBC Olympic coverage every day. At the halfway point, I’m all caught up, and I’ve taken in all the Olympic glory. I’m ready to go for the gold in week two.

My favorite is always the figure skating, and I don’t care how many time he falls down, Patrick Chan of Canada is absolutely exquisite. His performance is masterful and draws me right in. I did also love the two Japanese men. They were the perfect contrast of earth and air. Hanyu was light and ethereal while Uno is supremely grounded and powerful.  Who was your favorite on the ice?

BBQ Pulled Pork Stovetop Mac & Cheese | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

While I watch athletes at peak physical form, I am perfecting my butt groove in my couch and eating food that almost certainly would not be allowed in the Olympic village. A prime example is this BBQ Pulled Pork Stovetop Mac & Cheese. Al dente pasta is loaded up with masses of cheese and complimented with salty, sweet, and spicy pulled pork. It’s a real winner.

This dish is a great way to use up leftover pulled pork if you’d made your own, but it’s certainly not necessary. I used store bought pulled pork, or you could pick up a takeaway portion from your favorite smokehouse. Being a stovetop mac, this dish won’t dry out and the cheese stays super silky. Stir in as much of your favorite BBQ sauce as you like. 

BBQ Pulled Pork Stovetop Mac & Cheese | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I will never be an Olympic champion, and I certainly don’t want to eat like an elite athlete, but I feel like a star when I serve something as awesome as BBQ Pulled Pork Stovetop Mac & Cheese. You’ve got to try it.

BBQ Pulled Pork Stovetop Mac & Cheese

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces short pasta
  • 1/2 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 tablespoon flour
  • 3/4 cup milk (I used skim and it was plenty rich)
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 4 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
  • 4 ounces shredded swiss cheese
  • 1 ounce grated parmesan cheese
  • 4 ounces pulled pork
  • 1/8 cup barbecue sauce

Instructions

  1. Boil pasta in plenty of salted water according to package instructions.
  2. In a medium sauce pan, melt butter, then sprinkle the flour over it. Whisk butter and flour together into a paste and allow to cook for a couple of minutes until it smells nutty.
  3. Slowly whisk in the milk. Try to prevent lumps. Add garlic powder and cayenne. Let it thicken until it just starts to bubble.
  4. Stir in the cheese and mix until smooth. Remove from heat.
  5. Stir pulled pork and barbecue sauce together in a small bowl.
  6. After you've drained your pasta, return it to the pot. Pour over the cheese sauce and stir to combine. Fold in pulled pork mixture. You can add pepper if you like, but taste it before adding any salt. You may not need it since the pork is so salty.
  7. Drizzle on some extra barbecue sauce at the end if you like.
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Awesome in January

Awesome in January

January was bitterly cold and dreadfully long. We tried to stay cozy at home, and film awards season brought the perfect excuse to stay on the couch under a blanket. I especially loved season 2 of The Crown, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and The Sinner in terms of television. My favorite movies so far have been Lady Bird and Get Out, but there’s still a lot left to watch. I have to say, I don’t understand the hype around Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. I guess I don’t find rape and racism that funny. Have you seen it? What did you think?

I made Cheesy Potato Soup this month, and it was the perfect foil t the January dreariness. We got to try Pizza East which just opened up a few doors down from us. It was tasty, but I think I’ll take it home to eat next time as the seats weren’t particularly comfortable. Geoff also had the best white russian of his life at Lebowski’s West. 

I definitely want to dig into this Cheesy Tuscan Sausage Dip like now. That cheese, though!

I’m a sucker for a pretzel dog, and these Pretzel Challah Bagel Dogs are calling my name. 

I’m totally intrigued by this Oatmeal Cookie Irish Cream Cheesecake Pie. So many good things all in one dessert. Yes, please. 

Peanut Butter Fudge from Awesome on 20

Your favorites this month were peanut butter fudge, buffalo chicken pinwheels, and classic crunchy peanut butter cookies. All is right with the world.

February is bringing the Winter Olympics a bit more daylight, and a big change at work. Let’s make it awesome, friends.

Spicy Chicken Chili | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Spicy Chicken Chili

Spicy Chicken Chili | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

The gravity seems to be increasing lately on my downward spiral of self-loathing. I’ve been quietly beating myself up over my job, my appearance, my weight, my blog, my Instagram game, just about everything. I’m horrible for comparing myself to others, but that’s sort of how I ended up here in the first place. Frustrated by looking at the seemingly perfect lives of comfortably middle class women who seem to have it all figured out, I decided to create my own space for people who are always broke and a bit of a hot mess. I still can’t seem to look away from their perfectly manicured lives. Even their vulnerability seems to be more perfect and beautiful than mine.

Where am I going with this? I have no idea. I guess I need to thank you for going on this journey with me. Chances are, you’re not here for the journey. You’ve skipped over all this self-exploration and gone straight to the food. If you’re digging into this mess, though, let’s hug it out and comfort ourselves with something delicious while we dig deep to remember our own self-worth.

Spicy Chicken Chili | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I made you everyone’s favorite, Spicy Chicken Chili. I make this for guests all the time, and they all want to go home and make it again fr themselves. In fact, I’ve made this dish for this blog before. Maybe I’ve gotten better at this whole food photography thing in the past five years? Still a long way to go.

Any dang ways, if you’re at all fond of the smoky, spicy flavors of chili, you absolutely must try this recipe. It’s hearty and packed with layers of flavor and textures. You can pretend like it’s healthy because of the chicken, but there’s also a healthy dose of cream in this pot of goodness, so I’m not sure it’s diet friendly. I super don’t care. Spicy Chicken Chili is worth every calorie. It’s ridiculous.

Spicy Chicken Chili | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Maybe you’re having a hard time finding the awesomeness in your life today. It’s out there somewhere. Spicy Chicken Chili will definitely bring the awesome to you and everyone who eats it.

Spicy Chicken Chili
Serves 4
Everyone knows that Spicy Chicken Chili is completely awesome.
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 Tbsp butter
  2. 1-1/2 to 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-size chunks,
  3. 1/4 cup flour
  4. 1/2 onion, diced
  5. 1/2 bell pepper, diced
  6. 2 cups chicken stock
  7. 1 cup heavy cream
  8. 2 Tbsp chili powder
  9. 1 tsp ground coriander
  10. 1 tsp ground cumin
  11. 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  12. 15 grinds black pepper (1/2 Tbsp)
  13. 1/2 Tbsp salt
  14. 2 cans cannellini beans, drained
  15. 1 7 oz can green chiles
  16. sour cream to garnish
  17. shredded cheese to garnish
  18. tortilla chips
Instructions
  1. After you’ve cut up your chicken, don’t forget to season it a bit with salt, pepper, and chili powder. Sprinkle it in and give it a toss.
  2. In a large pot, melt your butter over medium high heat.
  3. Add chicken and cook until browned on all sides and just cooked through. Remove the chicken to a plate to hang out while you get on with it.
  4. Sprinkle in the flour and stir it with the melted butter to make a roux, or thick paste. Sometimes the chicken gives off a lot of liquid when cooking, so you may need to add a bit more flour. If you don’t make it pasty, the sauce won’t thicken later. Cook for about one minute or it starts to smell nutty.
  5. Stir in the onion and pepper. Let it cook for a few minutes to soften.
  6. Add in about half of your chicken stock slowly, scraping up any bits that have stuck to the pan. Stir out any lumps before adding in the next batch of stock.
  7. Stir in the heavy cream. Allow the mixture to come back to a boil, then simmer for about five minutes to thicken.
  8. Add your spices and seasonings and make sure they’re incorporated. Don’t leave any clumps of cumin behind.
  9. Next, stir in the beans and green chiles.
  10. Add your chicken back in, give everything a good mix, and allow to simmer for about 10 minutes before serving.
  11. I like to crush some chips into the bottom of the bowl, then spoon over the chili, and top it with some sour cream and cheese. Make it awesome.
Notes
  1. If you live in a place where you can't easily buy canned green chilis (such as Scotland) just throw in a couple of extra fresh green or red chilis, diced, with your onion and bell pepper.
Adapted from How to be Awesome on $20 a Day
http://awesomeon20.com/
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