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Hassle-Free Holidays

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Slow-Cooked Pulled Pork
Southern Barbecue Rolls
Carolina Pork Sandwiches
Pork Carnitas

(Family Features) - The holidays don't bring "visions of sugarplums" for everyone; for some they prompt visions of huge crowds, frenzied shopping, endless parties and the stress of planning for this busy season - leaving no time to sit back, relax and enjoy the holidays.

Fortunately, it doesn't have to be that way. Joan Hanson, test kitchen director for Hormel Foods, shares these tips to help you stay grounded this holiday season.

Plan Ahead. Shop early, so there's more time to enjoy the season with your family and friends. If you do delay, avoid crowds by shopping online and using express delivery services.

Tradition! Schedule festive family activities, such as making holiday cookies. Whether you're using an old family recipe or pre-made cookie batter, this a great activity for the kids to use their creativity.

Delegate. Don't over-do it. Make a list of what must get done and keep expectations realistic about everything else. Ask for help and assign tasks to other family members.

Hurry-Up Meals. For easy, on-the-go meals during the holidays, spend a day filling your freezer with easy-to-prepare foods. Make a list of the foods your family enjoys and see which ones can be frozen ahead of time. Divide them down into small servings for easy re-heats.

Natural Decorations. Take the kids out and pick up tree or shrub branches, leaves and pinecones. Arrange them on cake stands, in baskets or bowls. Scatter inexpensive votive candles on mantels, windowsills and tables. Use candles of assorted shapes, sizes and heights for table displays.

Hanson also suggests taking advantage of versatile recipes that are easy to make and take the hassle out of planning meals around the holidays. For example, preparing slow-cooked pulled pork ahead of time sets you up to enjoy several different variations of the dish, such as the ones listed below.

Visit HormelFoodsRecipes.com for more recipe ideas.

Slow-Cooked Pulled Pork

Ingredients
  • 1 (4-5-pound) Hormel Always Tender pork shoulder roast or pork shoulder blade Boston roast 3/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Preparation
    1. Place pork in 4 to 6-quart slow cooker.In a small bowl, combine vinegar, brown sugar, salt, crushed red pepper flakes and black pepper. Pour over meat. Cover. Cook on LOW setting 10 to 12 hours or on HIGH setting 5 to 6 hours. Transfer pork to cutting board; reserve juices.When cool enough to handle, cut and pull meat into bite-size pieces. In bowl, combine pork with as much of the juices as desired to moisten.

Serves
Serves 16

Southern Barbecue Rolls

Ingredients

Preparation
    1. Arrange warm pork on roll bottoms. Top with coleslaw. Cover with roll tops.

Serves
Serves 16

Carolina Pork Sandwiches

Ingredients

Preparation
    1. In large saucepan over low heat, cook pulled pork and barbecue sauce until hot, stirring frequently. Arrange pork in buns. Serve with additional barbecue sauce, if desired.

Serves
Serves 16

Pork Carnitas

Ingredients

Preparation
    1. Fill warm tortillas with warm pulled pork.Serve with sour cream, guacamole, and salsa, as desired.

Serves
Serves 12

SOURCE: Hormel Foods


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