Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork

Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork

For our Aloha Team Dinner, I decided to keep the prep easy for BBQ Pulled Pork tacos by using a slow cooker, and this recipe turned out to be a keeper!

Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork


  • 1 (3-4 lb.) boneless Boston butt pork roast
  • 1 jar Kelle B Santa Fe Apple BBQ Sauce (we also sell this at Barque)
  • 6 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 white onion, coursely chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
  • 2 bell peppers, seeded and chopped into 1/2 inch slices
  • 1  32 oz. container of low sodium chicken  broth
  • 2-3 cups of water
  • chili powder
  • cumin
  • salt and pepper


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Remove the netting from the pork roast and generously rub it down with chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper on all sides.  Place it in the slow cooker and add chopped onion, jalapeno, bell peppers and garlic.

IMG_4592 smPour BBQ sauce over the top, add chicken broth and water (enough to barely cover the top of the pork).

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Cook on the high temperature setting for 2 hours, then reduce to low for 4-5 hours.  If you’re not able to change the temperature, just cook it on low for 8-9 hours.

Warning:  This pork will make your house smell AMAZING!  🙂

Once you’re ready to serve, remove the meat from the slow cooker and place it on a cutting board.  Cut away the obvious fat, and shred the meat.  If you want even more flavorful meat, retrieve some of the veggies from the pot, chop them up and add mix them into the meat before serving.

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This pork is great for tacos, sandwiches, burritos… it’s very versatile.  And for how easy it is, that’s a beautiful thing.

Shannon’s Bridal Shower

Shannon’s Bridal Shower

Over the past three years, we’ve had the pleasure of working this pretty special girl right here —> Shannon.  She’s always got a smile on her face and our customers love her as much as we do!

DSC_0217 smShe’s a great student, a hard worker, a thoughtful friend, and now – a beautiful Bride-to-Be.   Our team has watched Shannon’s relationship with Austin blossom from the beginning, and even though we’re sad to see her move on (we don’t want her to leave!!!!)… we ARE excited for this next chapter in her life!  So naturally, the Barque team wanted to send her off in style with a Bridal Shower.  I mean, parties are what we DO – of course we wanted to throw one for one for her!DSC_0084 smThe fantastic hand-lettering details were created by another talented Barque team member – Kelsey.  {find her on Instagram  @kelseylainee}.  Don’t you love this chalk sign?  She also did all the mini signs for our snacks.DSC_0050 sm

DSC_0066 smThe gorgeous strawberries were handmade by our resident Party Queen, Suzanne.  She’s pretty much a pro when it comes to party mechanics and details.  She was also kind enough to host the shower in her home – and it served as the perfect backdrop!

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DSC_0067 smWe purchased the bride’s favorite thumbprint cookies from Simply Decadent Bakery, and the Keesha made the Artichoke Lemon Pesto Dip (we carry it in the store and it’s a crowd favorite at parties).

DSC_0091 smFor the floral arrangements, we decided on a combination of simple white flowers and vegetable garden accents.  I had seen one similar to this from Southern Living awhile back, so I was anxious to try it for myself.  I made a few modifications to their tutorial here, but I love how it turned out!DSC_0087 smThe larger arrangement also had hints from the garden with various pops of color from carrots, brussels sprouts, orange beets, artichokes, kale, collard greens and radishes.

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DSC_0047 smShannon’s guests showered her with so many great things!

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DSC_0135 smDo you recognize any of these pretty ladies from the shop?  🙂

DSC_0106 smNone of us wanted to play cliche “Bridal Shower Games”, so instead we opted for something PAPER related (shocking) – Milestone Mail for the happy couple!  Guests were asked to choose a milestone event, write it on the front of the envelope, then write them a blessing or word of encouragement to read when that milestone occurs.  It should be a fun way for her to remember these guests and how much they care for her – even years down the road!

DSC_0185 smThe hostesses of the shower gifted Shannon a big basket of kitchen goodies – and we made each item special with words of well wishes.


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DSC_0224 smWe ended the shower with a sweet photo of our “Barque twins” – aren’t they the cutest?  {By the way, Emory and Kelsey did some serious wrestling to get those balloons to cooperate – it was a windy day!}

Shannon, we are proud that you’ve spent the last three years working for us and we wish you nothing but happiness in this new chapter of your life!

Love, the Barque Team

[ If you’re planning a Shower soon, you might want to download our Shower Planning Sheet – this idea came from a customer who has throwing showers down pat!  Thank you for the great idea Tomi!]

Thanksgiving Dinner Game Plan

Thanksgiving Dinner Game Plan

I love planning a holiday meal.  As new food magazine issues emerge on the shelves, I start collecting them – and scouring them – using page flags and sticky notes to mark interesting recipes.

I’m lucky that my family is laid back when it comes to holiday meals.  They usually leave the menu up to me, and I love the responsibility – it lets me get a little creative!

A decision on the protein comes first – turkey, ham, duck, Cornish game hen, seafood?  From there I plan the sides carefully… and yes, I write it all down on one big list.  (Normally I make a list of possible sides and then mark them off based on relevance to the protein.)  Once I’ve narrowed down my sides and desserts (the two hardest categories to whittle down), I make a shopping list.  I go through the ingredients in each recipe and check it with items I have on hand.  If I need something, it goes on the shopping list – with amounts needed jotted out to the side.  So, if for example, I need butter for the green beans, butter for the mashed potatoes and butter for the dessert – I might have a side note of 1/2 cup + 1 cup + 2 Tablespoons… Before heading to the store, I do the math so I buy the right amount of each ingredient.

**My Holiday Grocery Shopping Trick – Buying in bulk (especially when everyone else is) can be a waiting game.  Instead, plan out your shopping list early and conquer it by making more frequent, quick stops during the week leading up to the holiday.  Plan to buy 10 items or less so you can go through the Express Lane – it’s a breeze and you’ll have all you need in no time, without having to wait 30-45 minutes in a long register line! **

I’ve made TWO free printables to help you with your Thanksgiving Dinner planning and shopping – just click on these links to download a thanksgiving menu planning and a thanksgiving shopping list.

Another clever idea for your holiday (and everyday) entertaining is to keep a Cooking Journal.  I got this one years ago at Anthropologie, but any journal or notebook will do.  In my food journal,  I keep track of menus for holidays and other special get-togethers.  It’s kind of like in the movie High Fidelity when John Cusack’s character reorganized his record collection in chronological order.  If I remember that we loved the potatoes from last Easter but our favorite turkey was from Christmas 3 years ago, I can mix and match to create a better menu for the next holiday.  It’s a good way to keep beloved recipes close at hand (if they’re well received I jot down the recipe in the book) – and I love to look back on what went over well and what didn’t.


Here’s a peek inside my cooking journal.  I make notes of the event, date of the meal, who was in attendance and where the dinner was for future reference.  I also include a rating out to the side of experimental dishes – stars if we loved the dish and X’s if we hated it… keeps us from repeating culinary mistakes.  In this journal, I also experiment on recipes I’ve had and want to duplicate or recipes I’ve thrown together and liked.  It’s where I keep track of my culinary adventures (and misadventures too).



I would recommend a cooking journal to any aspiring foodie… in fact, if you know a foodie who doesn’t have one, it might be a great Christmas gift idea.

It’s back to Thanksgiving dinner plans for me.  Happy Thursday!

Pineapple Plates

Pineapple Plates

While in Costa Rica for my brother’s wedding, my family took a half day fishing tour. When the young local fisherman presented us with a gorgeous pineapple snack – we were really impressed with his presentation skills! He used no fancy plates or utensils – just a pineapple, a cutting board and a knife.pineapple plate

Basic. Beautiful. Delicious. And I’ve never cut a pineapple this way.

Of course I asked him how he did it (so I could share with you). Wouldn’t this be fabulous at a Luau or backyard summer party? The best part is there’s virtually no clean up (aside from washing your hands and the knife)!


First, cut off the top of the pineapple.  Then cut off the bottom.

pineapple plates how to

pineapple plates how to

Then cut the pineapple in half.

pineapple plates how to

Next, cut out the core of the pineapple by slicing a “V” shape in the flesh.  Then cut again to create four equal pieces.

pineapple plates how to

pineapple plates how to

Carefully use the knife to separate the inner flesh from the outer skin.

pineapple plates how to

Slice the pineapple into ½” sections.

cute pineapple plates

Position the slices so they alternate on the pineapple “plate” and serve.

pineapple plates - how to carve your own

pineapple plates make for easy serving

This was my first time cutting a pineapple like this, so it isn’t as pretty as the fisherman’s, but it DID work.  And I’ll definitely be giving this technique some practice in the warm months!

{Did you know pineapples are ON TREND right now?  You can read more here.}

Balsamic Honey Glazed Grilled Carrots

Balsamic Honey Glazed Grilled Carrots



One bunch of carrots

1/2 cup Savannah Bee Company’s Grill Honey

1/3 cup balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary (or any other fresh herb you enjoy)


Wash and peel the carrots, removing the both ends.  Put carrots in a large baggie and evenly coat with the grill honey/balsamic mixture.  Refrigerate and let marinate for 30 minutes.

Fire up the grill to medium heat. Grill carrots for 15 minutes on one side, then flip the carrots, drizzle with more grill honey and grill until cooked through (approx. 10-15 more minutes).  Remove from the grill and toss with the rosemary.  Enjoy!

The Watermelon Keg

The Watermelon Keg

It’s summer – and that means that picnics, backyard barbecues and outdoor get-togethers are happening NOW! For your next summer party, use a watermelon keg – it’s clever, useful and a fun way to delight your guests (for only $24.99, plus the cost of a watermelon).

IMG_7459To start, if your watermelon will stand up straight on its own, then can slice off the top and start scooping out the flesh.  If not, you’ll need to trim approximately 1 inch off the bottom so that the watermelon will stand up securely.


Use an ice cream scoop to hollow out the inside, reserving the watermelon flesh in a large bowl (or two).



Stop scooping when you get about 2-3 inches close to the bottom of the watermelon.  (If you scoop too far down, you run the risk of piercing the outer skin and causing a leak.)  Next, assemble the keg dispenser and use the included coring tool to create a hole for the tap.

IMG_7452Attach the keg dispenser by placing it in the hole, and tightening from the inside.  If you tighten enough, it will naturally create a “seal” with the watermelon flesh and rind.

IMG_7454Once the dispenser is secure, you can fill it up with the beverage of your choice (I recommend something fruity flavored, because it’s still going to taste like watermelon).

If you want to utilize the watermelon flesh, use an immersion blender to liquify it.

IMG_7449Then strain the mixture, using a spatula to push the flesh through the strainer.  When you’re done, you’ll have a pitcher of watermelon juice, to which you can add whatever you want – club soda, lemon lime soda, vodka, gin, etc.  Want more ideas?  Check out our Pinterest board with Watermelon Drink Ideas.

IMG_7455No matter what you put IN the watermelon keg, it’s sure to be a hit at your summer get-together – it’s just so darn cute and… summery!