Saturday, February 1, 2014

Smothered Pork Carnitas Burritos (slow cooker)

Smothered Pork Carnitas Burritos
(slow cooker)
3-4 lb lean pork loin
1 packet of Campbell's Slow Cooker Sauce ("Hawaiin Luau" for a sweeter, tangier flavor which is what I used..... or Mexican Red Chile for a more traditional flavor)
5-7 tortillas
1 can low fat or fat free refried beans
1 can enchilada sauce
cheddar cheese shreds for topping (low fat or fat free)
1.)  Place meat and slow cooker sauce in crockpot and cook on low (6-8 hours) or high (4-6 hours)
2.)  When meat is done, shred lightly with a fork (personally I like to leave some big chunks though) and preheat oven to 400 degrees
3.)  In a small microwavable bowl, heat beans thoroughly
4.)  Place approximately 2 heaping tablespoons of beans on tortilla; top with approximately 1/2 cup of meat mixture; roll tightly into a burrito and place seam side down in a lightly sprayed 9x13 baking dish; repeat with remaining torillas
5.) When all burritos have been placed in dish, gently pour enchilada sauce over them carefully coating each one
6.) Top with desired amount of cheese and bake until cheese is melted and dish is bubbly (approximately 20 min)
*garnish with green onions, cilantro, avocado, and nonfat greek yogurt*

Devotional: "Remaining Watchful for His Return"
*memory verse - "Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour."  -Matthew 25:13*
I have a confession to make....our dog, Eli, sleeps with us.  He always has, he always will.  And I'm not talking about a curled up at the foot of the bed kind of sleep....I'm talking about a sprawled out, paws in your back all night long kind of sleep!  And to tell you the truth, we enjoy it as much as he does.  But there's been a change in his sleeping habits lately and I think I know why. 
        My husband travels a lot for work.  This time of year, his travel schedule is, make that ERRATIC!  When he leaves for a trip, he could be gone anywhere from two days to ten days.  We, of course, know how long he'll be gone but Eli doesn't!  And that's where it all started.
     The change occurred when Jimmy had a few back to back trips that brought him home at night after everyone was in bed.  Eli heard the garage door open and bolted downstairs, eager to greet his master.  After two of these "middle of the night returns", Eli will no longer sleep in the bed with me.  Rather, he now positions himself in the big chair in the living room or perched at the top of the stairs overlooking the entry door from the garage.  And he is VIGILANT about it, refusing to come sleep next to me no matter how sweetly I try to coax him.  Because, in his little canine mind, he wants to remain poised and ready for the return of his master which he knows could be at any moment.  To him, nothing would be worse than having his master come home to find him "sacked out", un-alert and ill-prepared! 
  As I told this story to my husband, I began to think about my own relationship with MY master.  And I began to wonder....what would it look like for me to await the return of my master with the same fervor?
    Jesus speaks about this exact principle in his Parable of the Ten Virgins in Matthew 25:1-13.  In it, he lays out a story of ten virgins; five wise, five foolish, all awaiting the return of their bridegroom.  The wise ones brought extra oil in their lamps to the designated meeting place.  The five foolish, however, brought no extra oil.  As they waited for the bridegroom, the hour grew late and they all fell asleep.  Suddenly, they were awakened by the booming voice of the bridegroom calling for them.  The wise ones quickly refilled their lamps and went out to meet him.  They were ready when he came.  The foolish, however, did not have any oil to refill their lamps and were forced to go into town and buy some.  Verse 10 states "while they were on their way to buy oil, the bridegroom arrived.  The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet and the door was shut."  By the time the foolish virgins got back, everyone was gone.  They had missed the very thing they were waiting so many...they thought they would have more time. 
"Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour."  -Matthew 25:13
      So, I asked myself, "how can I keep extra oil for my lamp?"  What would that look like?  Or, put in another way, "what would I want my master to find me doing when he returns?"  For me, personally, that means taking care of my husband and daughter with a smile and a cheerful heart, even when I don't feel like it.  It means when given the option, putting someone else....ANYONE else...before me.  It means a continual state of gratitude for the blessings that God has placed in my life.  It means asking God daily to make me more like his Son and more aware of how I can serve him by serving others around me.  And it means attacking my day with excellence, no matter how big, small or insignificant the task is on my agenda. 
       So my challenge to you is this...are you packing extra oil?  Are you living in a constant state of readiness as you go from day to day?  Or are you going through each day as if the groom is never coming back?  Remaining ever watchful for Jesus' return may look different for each one of us, but the result will be a faithful life built day by day that one day we will be proud to present before the master.  And THAT is the goal....apparently one that even my dog understands.
May God bless you this week,
"With Blonde Ambition"

*can also be seen at*

Our Three Peas

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