Elevated grilled cheese sandwich has pulled pork and California avocado with Cabot tomato basil cheddar.

May 16, 2016
by Mimi Holtz

Tomato Basil Grilled Cheese with Pulled Pork & Avocado

Elevated grilled cheese sandwich with pulled pork and California avocado with Cabot tomato basil cheddar.Here’s a grilled cheese sandwich full of flavor  for The Farmer’s Monday morning breakfast!   Pulled pork,  Cabot Tomato Basil Cheddar Cheese, and sliced California avocado on grilled sourdough bread.  I’m calling this the Tomato Basil Grilled Cheese with Pulled Pork and Avocado, and it’s a mouthful!

slow cooker pulled pork

Making Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

I put my pork roast into the slow cooker early on Sunday evening so it would be ready on Monday morning. It’s so easy to make a big pot of pulled pork.  Just buy a pork shoulder roast,  brown it in a skillet,  chop up a large onion and put it into the slow cooker.  Add the browned pork roast  with 1- 2 cups of water and let it cook on high until bedtime.   Turn it to low and let it cook all night.   In the morning, use a ladle to get most of the liquid out of the pot before you pull off the fat.

Some pork shoulder roasts come well trimmed,  and when they do there is a little less work.   If they are not trimmed,  I like to make sure that the big piece of fat on one side of the roast is on top.  That was I can remove it before the meat starts to fall apart.   I pull off the fat with tongs, and remove the bones from the roast. They should fall right out of the meat.   Once the fat and bones are discarded, just pull on the meat with tongs or two forks — it will fall apart easily.

  Since it’s breakfast time,  I made the grilled cheese sandwich for The Farmer. It’s hearty and just enough food that he’ll be back in the house at lunch time.  Another day I might cook an egg over easy and serve it on top of the sandwich,  letting the yolk ooze all over that grilled sourdough bread.

Baked Idaho potatoes with all the fixings for Mother's Day

Baked Idaho Potatoes Too!

This year we served Idaho baked potatoes with all the fixings for Mother’s Day.  Butter, sour cream, green onions, chives, bacon bits, ham, salsa, ripe California olives and CALIFORNIA AVOCADOS!  What more could we want!  I love to have baked potatoes left over so I can cut them up and brown them in butter for breakfast!

Pulled pork served over country fried Idaho potatoes and topped with Cabot Tomato Basil Cheddar, avocado on the side.

That’s what I did for my own breakfast today!  On top of that country-fried potato I added a pile of  the pulled pork,  melted some creamy Cabot Tomato Basil Cheddar cheese on top, and sliced up the other half of avocado on the side.  Brunch for The Farmer’s Wife!

Fried Egg Flower and Butterfly Bush are blooming in May here at the ranch

Matajilla Poppies

It’s the middle of May here at the ranch, and the Matajilla poppies are blooming!  Spectacular native plants that are nicknamed “Fried Egg Flowers”,   these huge blossoms are so cheerful on a typical gray May day here in Southern California.  The colors look so pretty with the reddish purple Buddleia,  also called “Butterfly Bush”.  What’s blooming in your garden this month?

Graduating from CSULB

Music To Our Ears

This week our youngest daughter is graduating from college with a Bachelor of Music in flute performance!   Do we have any  music lovers here?   Enjoy  Rachel’s senior flute recital — we are proud parents indeed!

Disclosure:   Cabot Creamery Cooperative sent me a gift box of their World’s Greatest Cheddar cheeses because I’m a  member of their Cabot Blogger Cheese Board.  I grew up near Cabot, Vermont — have you seen my post on the Cabot Cheese tour?  If you’re ever in Vermont, this a place to visit!

My friends at Idaho Potato Commission sent me a beautiful box of Idaho Russet Burbank potatoes.  I love them so.  I’ll never forget my visit to Idaho for the Idaho Potato Harvest.  Read about it HERE.    Do you know that they have a recipe photo contest?  Just make the recipe from their site and snap some photos.  You might win $500 and have your photo placed on their site.  Give it a try!

Carnitas Tacos with Avocado from MimiAvocado.com

May 4, 2016
by Mimi Holtz

Homemade Carnitas Tacos with Avocado for Cinco de Mayo

Carnitas Tacos with Avocado from MimiAvocado.com

When I think of comfort foods,  I remember coming home from school activities to a house filled with the delicious aroma of roasting pork.  As soon as the weather turned cool,  we could look forward to roast pork with apple sauce.  In those days,  roast pork meant a nice tenderloin roasted in the oven.  Now that I live in California,  I’ve learned to make a different kind of roast pork for tacos or burritos called Carnitas.

Carnitas means “little meats” and usually refers to braised pork that melts in your mouth.   Traditional Carnitas is a Mexican dish that originated in the state of Michoacan, where the pork is simmered in lard with salt, chili, cumin, oregano or Mexican oregano, marjoram, thyme, bay leaf, and crushed garlic cloves.

I’m going to share how I make Carnitas for these tacos,  seasoned  with a homemade tomatillo sauce.  You won’t believe how easy it is to do, and how tasty it turns out!  Just in time for Cinco de Mayo too! Continue Reading →

Tangerine Blondies with Chocolate and Pecans

April 25, 2016
by Mimi Holtz

Tangerine Blondies with Chocolate and Pecans

Tangerine Blondies with Chocolate and Pecans

Today I’m excited to share these Tangerine Blondies with you,  and the story about how they happened in my kitchen.  I don’t usually bake with citrus fruits, but after this latest discovery I’ll be doing more of it!

Are you a tangerine lover?  It’s so hard to wait until those gorgeous little oranges are perfectly sweet and ready to eat!  The Tango mandarin oranges that we grow here on the ranch are in season, so I have been looking for ways to use those sweet, seedless beauties in recipes. Continue Reading →

cheddar, avocado, and onion patty melt

February 18, 2016
by Mimi Holtz

Chipotle Cheddar, Avocado, and Onion Patty Melt

cheddar, avocado, and onion patty melt I was thinking about our dating days this week, after our 35th Valentine’s Day together.   We used to go out to Bob’s Big Boy when we were dating, and one of our favorite meals was the Patty Melt.  The nice thing about a patty melt is the lack of the big bun,  so a little extra cheese is easily justifiable.

How to Make a Chipotle, Avocado, and Onion Patty Melt


Start with good beef,  lean but not the very leanest.  This is ground round, with 15% fat.  Nice and flavorful when there’s a little fat!  I shaped the patties to fit perfectly on a piece of sourdough toast.  Season with salt and pepper.

cheddar and avocado

While the burgers are cooking,  cut some good cheddar cheese and perfectly ripe avocado.  Tonight I used Cabot Chipotle Cheddar to add a little kick!  Those slices are just the right size for my custom-shaped patties. Continue Reading →

avocado toast

January 24, 2016
by Mimi Holtz

Avocado Sunshine on Toast: Winter Fun

avocado toast

We were thrilled to get 3 inches of rain earlier this month,  and equally thrilled to be able to  take a week off from irrigating the avocado groves to do some local touring with friends who were visiting us from Vermont.   Today I’m sharing some of our Fuerte avocado deliciousness and some fun places to visit when you’re in the San Diego area.

As much as we love our winter rains,  it’s great to have some sunshine on our toast for breakfast!  With Fuerte avocado season in full swing, we’ve been enjoying creamy avocado slices every morning with our  eggs and on toast.  Fuerte avocados are known for their characteristic full nutty flavor.  Come to think of it,  I think they are my all time favorites!

Fuerte avocados

How to Enjoy Fuerte Avocados on Toast

Continue Reading →

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