Sweet BBQ Pulled Pork Mac & Cheese

This past weekend we had a group of friends over from our church small group. The seven of us filled our tiny apartment and we even managed to sit at the same table to eat dinner! One of the girls suggested that we try a mac and cheese pot luck so we ended up having four amazing varieties of mac and cheese to choose from. We were full all the way through church the next day! So much cheese… The four varieties were pepper jack, Cajun, and chili-mac along with my sweet bbq pulled pork mac and cheese. I wish I had pictures to share with you but it’s all gone. This recipe is a little involved and was taken from three different recipes and then improvised but let me tell you, it’s worth it!

Pulled Pork (Step 1) Ingredients

1 Medium-sized Pork Roast (Frozen or Defrosted)

2 cups Water

1 tbsp Olive Oil

1 tsp Onion Powder

1 tsp Garlic Salt

1/2 tsp Pepper

Pulled Pork (Step 1) Directions

Combine all ingredients in a small crockpot and cook on high for about 5 hours or until you can pull the pork. Pull the pork and reserve the broth in the crockpot for the sauce.  Once you pull the pork, add it back into the crock pot with the broth.

Pulled Pork (Step 2) Ingredients

1 cup Ketchup

1/2 cup Brown Sugar

2 tbsp Cider Vinegar

2 tbsp Lemon Juice

4 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce

1 tbsp Mustard

1/2 Onion (chopped)

Pulled Pork (Step 2) Directions

Combine all of these ingredients in the crockpot with your broth and pulled pork. Stir it all up and let it simmer on high for the next few hours. It doesn’t really matter how long you let it simmer, just make sure it’s all warm and combined. Plus it gives you a chance to start on the mac and cheese part…

Mac and Cheese Ingredients

1 16oz box Pasta (you can use whatever kind you want)

4 tbsp Butter

4 tbsp Flour

2 1/2 cups Whole Milk

1/2 tsp Onion Powder

1/2 tsp Garlic Salt

Salt and Pepper to Taste

1 1/2 cups (ish) Cheese shredded or cut into little cubes (we used Marble Cheddar)

4 oz Cream Cheese

1/4 cup Panko

1 tsp Paprika

1 tsp Olive Oil

Optional Toppings:

Several pieces of bacon torn into “bacon bits”

Crispy Onion Strings

Mac and Cheese Directions

1. Cook pasta according to directions on package. Add salt to the water for added flavor and less stickiness. Drizzle with olive oil to prevent sticking and set aside.

2. Melt butter in skillet on stove top over low-medium heat then add flour and stir to combine. (A wisk helps).

3. Add milk to skillet and stir well until smooth. Add onion powder, garlic salt, salt and pepper. Once slightly thickened, turn heat to lowest setting.

4. Add cheese and cream cheese and stir until mostly combined. (It doesn’t have to be perfectly smooth since it will be baked soon after).

5. Combine the pasta and cheese sauce until pasta is thoroughly coated and then pour it into a greased baking dish.

6. Strain the pulled pork in the crockpot so you have the pork but not very much sauce and then top your mac and cheese with the pork.

7. Combine panko with paprika and 1 tsp Olive Oil and sprinkle on top of the pork. Now is the time to add bacon and onion strings or any other toppings.

8. Cover and bake at 350 for about 35-40 minutes or until the top is getting crispy. Remove from oven and serve immediately. For extra BBQ taste drizzle some BBQ sauce (like Sweet Baby Ray’s) on top as you serve this dish!

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Homemade Cinnamon Nutmeg Apple Sauce

My apartment smells sooo good right now! I’m making super easy apple sauce in the crock pot. I cut up 20 small-medium size apples, peeled and cored them and put them in my new, smaller and more efficient crock pot. I then added about 1/4 cup brown sugar and cinnamon and a dash of nutmeg. (You can add the spices to taste). I also added about a tsp of lemon juice because as I was peeling the apples they were getting brown really quickly – this seemed to help. I was wondering if I needed to add water – because you usually do in the crock pot – but the apples actually give off their own water. I just checked on it and there is a lot of liquid in the bottom, so no need to add any water. Just cook on low for about 6 hours and enjoy warm chunky cinnamon spice apple sauce! Mmmm…