My Go-To Pulled Pork Recipe {c/o the Ohio Pork Council}

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by the Ohio Pork Council.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Farmers’ markets have been sort of hit or miss in my neck of the woods. The variety of vendors isn’t enough to keep you coming back, the days/times are wonky or I never have cash on me. (That last point goes against me though!) What’s kept me wishing a solid market option of local offerings would pop up is the incredible products on sale by Ohio based vendors. I continue to do my best in making more informed decisions about where my food comes from, and so when the Ohio Pork Council asked me what I love about pork in particular, it gave me the chance to revisit our local farmers’ market options while getting back in the kitchen with one of my favorite proteins.

pork collage

As though the farmers’ market gods hear my prayers, a new market has popped up this year in Seven Hills. Coordinated by the city, it brings out around a dozen vendors every Thursday night from 4pm to 7pm at the corner of Broadview and Hillside Roads. I swung by last week and was introduced to Luther’s Farm Market, who happened to have just what I was looking for: an Ohio farm-raised pork shoulder.

I almost always go the low and slow route when it comes to making pork, which generally means I get to bring out one of my most used kitchen appliances: my slow cooker. It’s seen a lot of recipes over the years, but the ones featuring pork almost always have the most flavor and the most positive reviews. Plus, making recipes that leave a lot of leftovers is an extra bonus for when I’m in full meal planning mode. But leftovers can get boring, so it’s key to make something that will last you the week but can be varied with the addition of just a couple items. That’s why I make my go-to pulled pork recipe in moments like those — it’s so versatile that you can eat this meat all week long and never get bored!

My Go-To Pulled Pork Recipe


  • 3 pounds of Ohio pork shoulder
  • 1 TBSP garlic, diced
  • 1 1/2 TBSP ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 TBSP ground chili powder
  • 1 TBSP ground coriander
  • 1 TBSP of cinnamon
  • A dash of nutmeg
  • 1 TBSP salt
  • 1 tsp of pepper
  • 1 large onion, quartered
  • 1 – 14.5 oz can of chicken broth**


Place pork shoulder in the base of a slow cooker. Equally distribute garlic and all the spices on the pork. Tuck quartered chunks of onion along side the pork. Gentle pour in chicken broth along the sides of the pork shoulder.

Set the slow cooker to high and cook for six hours (or if you have more time, go on low for 8 to 10 hours).

Once meat is full cooked through, remove the meat shoulder from the cooker and place onto a platter. Shred the meat using a fork and tongs. If you’re health conscious, remove bits of fat as you shred the meat. Once fully shredding, pour a few spoonfuls of the broth on top of the pulled pork to help keep its moisture. The onions can be discarded or you can placed on the side for garnish.

** Normally, I’d suggest using a bottle of your favorite beer or cider. Under my pregnant circumstances, chicken broth worked just as well.

pulled pork recipe

This is where the Choose Your Own Adventure portion of your pork consumption comes into play. There are so many directions to take this protein from here!

  • Eating it as is is never an incorrect choice. Paired with the right sides like grilled corn on the cob and a summery potato salad makes for a perfectly balanced meal.
  • Go the pulled pork BBQ sandwich route. Grab your favorite barbecue sauce (or make your own!) and some freshly made buns and serve with a fresh salad.
  • Throw it in a soup with a ton of fresh veggies and homemade stock. My old friend Scott has the right idea with this Healthy Pulled Pork Soup recipe.
  • Place it on a crust with pineapple and your sauce of choice for a fun pizza option your family will eat right up.
  • And as my pregnancy cravings still can’t get enough tacos, put that pork on a corn or flour shell with your favorite toppings for a more Tex-Mex flair.

pulled pork tacos with corn peach salsa

A BONUS! Stay tuned to the blog — I’ll share the corn and peach salsa recipe later this week!

The Ohio Pork Council wants to hear from YOU!  
The council is interested to hear about your love of pork: where you buy it, how you make it, when you eat it.  One survey participant will be awarded with a $300 LeCreuset Dutch Oven in the color of their choice. (Could there be a better prize?!)  Fill out the survey today here at this Survey Monkey link. FYI, you do not have to be an Ohio resident to participate/win — the Ohio Pork Council wants to hear from all!

Enter now for your chance

Share your opinion at this survey and be entered to win!

Stay in touch with Ohio Pork Council via their Facebook page, and over at Twitter at @ohiopork, Instagram at @ohiopork and Pinterest at @ohiopork. For more information about Ohio Pork, visit their website. And don’t forget to visit and complete the survey for your chance to win!

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#CLEfood: Food Fanatics’ Fall 2016 magazine issue {& release party}

Through the many years of living in Northeast Ohio, planning food & wine events and blogging about anything culinary related that comes across my path, I’ve been introduced to many local chefs and food professionals. Some I see on the regular, but some not as often. Case in point: running into Chef Chris Quinn from US Foods‘ at the Autism Speaks Cleveland Chef Gala at the beginning of the month. I met Chef Quinn five years ago (!!!) as he was the featured chef at Emerging Chefs’ Mardi Gras en Mai. While Facebook has kept us in touch all that time, I was taken back when Chef Quinn offered an invitation join him and the US Foods family at the release party for their Food Fanatics Magazine Fall issue. Intrigued by a food publication I knew nothing about, how could I say no?!

us foods banner

Arriving at Windows on the River Tuesday night, it was a pleasure to see a room full of food lovers — mostly given away by the amount of chef coats being worn by guests! We all happily grazed through delicious offerings including an 20’+ antipasti spread, several chef station options (including several seafood options and an asian-inspired chicken bite that had me back for seconds) and one heck of a dessert spread (one should never miss the chance to enjoy a decadent flourless chocolate cake like the ones they had that evening!)

food fanatics event eats

Crystal from Eat Drink Cleveland pointed out that the Apple Pie Snickerdoodles { <– recipe there! } that were on the magazine cover were being served that evening at the event. How do you pass up a bite of everyone’s favorite fall flavors before heading out for the evening? Spoiler: you don’t!

food fanatics fall 2016 cover

Back home after the event, getting the chance to peruse the Fall 2016 issue the past couple evenings has been a treat. In case you didn’t know either, Food Fanatics Magazine is a quarterly publication featuring food people who share their love of food to inspire business success in their industry. Chef Quinn had shared at the release party the magazine had a POV with a bit of an edge, but without taking it too far. That was evident by the not only its slick layout but also its catchy headlines and writing style. Some of my favorites from the issue included:

food fanatics cleveland spread

Food Fanatic Road Trip: Cleveland, featuring Chef Quinn’s highlights of all that is rocking in our culinary scene these days, includes some of my favorites like Ginko.  (I’ve had sushi on the brain for the past 30 weeks… only ten or so more until I’m back at Dante’s underground spot! #pregnancyproblems)

food fanatics fusion

The New Face of Fusion: You no longer have to quiver when speaking the f-word around chefs and foodies — the fusion trend is back with strong flavors like with the roasted carrots with lentils and tamarind dish { <– recipe there! } featured in the spread and at the release party on Tuesday night (another dish in which I went back to for seconds).

food fanatics plate

As someone who works for an event decor company, the Switch Plates feature was great to see included. The concept: a boring white plate is fine, but why not add some spice to more than just your food? (Now we just gotta get those chefs to consider some linen with those fancy dining ware selections!!!)

food fanatics tabs

…and the most practical thing I’ve EVER seen in a magazine: these tabs that you can pull off and place on the pages you find most interesting. What a great idea!

You can get the Fall 2016 Food Fanatics issue free online by downloading this PDFCheck out the archives to catch up on previous issues you might have missed — I know I will.

Follow Food Fanatics on FacebookTwitter and Instagram to stay in the know about what’s going on in our culinary world via the experts at US Foods.

Disclosure: I was invited to attend the Food Fanatics Fall 2016 magazine issue release event.  My thoughts and opinions are my own.

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{event preview} Adult Scavenger Hunt presented by the Cleveland Zoo Young Professionals

Who are those attractive young professionals enjoying a recent Cleveland Zoological Society event?!

twilight 2016 1

twilight 2016 2

As promised, the annual Twilight at the Zoo earlier this month was another enjoyable, steamy, music-filled evening at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. And this year, my brother Drew joined us for the fun, getting to experience the event as a VIP including tasty bites from local vendors and plenty of beverages for all to enjoy.  Missed out on this year’s Twilight? You can check out Dale McDonald’s professional photos from the event here. Rock The House Entertainment’s collection of photos from their free photo opportunity is another chance to look back at your good times that evening!

I love how my recent memories of our local zoo have included so many great gatherings, so it’s my pleasure to share the Cleveland Zoological Society’s next event: their Adult Scavenger Hunt — presented by the Cleveland Zoo Young Professionals and sponsored by 5/3 Bank.

In case you didn’t know about their YP group:  Ambassadors’ Circle is the Cleveland Zoological Society’s young professionals group. Members represent a convening of Cleveland’s next generation of conservationists, philanthropists, and influencers in support of the shared mission of the Cleveland Zoological Society and Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.

scavenger hunt 2

Taking place on Thursday, September 1st starting at 6:00PM at the Zoo, the main feature of the Adult Scavenger Hunt will be the self-guided search including answering wildlife-themed questions, interacting with Zoo staff and uploading pictures and photo bombs using the Scavify app.

young professionals 1

Throughout the evening, earn points for prizes during your hunt. You’ll also enjoy complimentary small bites, beer, wine, water and soft drinks, plus have the opportunity to enter the event’s raffle, which supports Zoo-based education scholarships for students in Cuyahoga County.

young professionals 2

Ready to save your spot for you and your team? Reserve together with friends for the best price. A team of 6 is $195, a team of 4 is $130, a team of 2 is $65 and individual tickets are $40. Visit the event page on the Cleveland Zoological Society’s site to purchase your tickets today. Invite your friends to join you by sharing the Facebook event page. We’ll see you there!

Stay in touch with the Cleveland Zoological Society by visiting their website, and following them on FacebookTwitter and Instagram. To get involved in their Young Professionals group, email for more info.

Disclosure: I was offered two tickets to this Cleveland Zoological Society event in exchange for sharing this information. My thoughts and opinions are my own. Photos c/o the Cleveland Zoo Society / my good friend Dale McDonald Photography.

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