Life lessons learned over the weekend.

Light Slow Cooker Sweet Pork Barbacoa,

1. Living with all boys means I will never have a clean bathroom.
2. My boys inability to keep their urine stream in what I might point out is a rather large hole in the bowl of the toilet will baffle me to the day I die.
3. Cleaning said bathrooms hurts my back. And, unfortunately only reminds me of point #1.
4. In effort of all my hard work, I may or may not have encouraged my boys to “go” off the back deck for the rest of the day.
5. Even if only for a few hours, I love a clean bathroom.

Slow Cooker Sweet Pork Barbacoa, #slowcooker #crockpot #recipe

6. I dream of lazy weekend days that don’t include cleaning bathrooms.
7. I’m still dreaming.
8. The slow cooker is my best friend on days I don’t feel like cooking.
9. Or on days I’m too busy doing something else. (Refer to #3)
10. Having a clean house and it filled with the smell of slow roasted pork slightly eases the pain of #1.

Lighter Cafe Rio Sweet Pork,

11. I lie. The smell of slow roasted pork doesn’t ease the pain of dirty bathrooms one bit. They have nothing to do with one another.
12. But I do love the smell of this sweet pork cooking in the slow cooker and I’d much rather talk about pork than my dirty floorboards. (Yes, floorboards. Somehow they manage to hit those too. Again, refer to #2.)
13. Traditional Sweet Pork recipes call for entirely too much sugar. And too much fuss.
14. This is a drop and go kind of recipe.
15. And it’s the bomb.

Lightened Up Sweet Pork Barbacoa


  • 1- 3 lb organic pork roast such as the butt or shoulder
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3/4 cup chicken stock
  • 3/4 cup naturally sweetened cola soda (such as Zevia)
  • Corn tortillas
  • Avocado, cilantro, pickled onions and cotija cheese for garnish


  1. Trim the pork roast of any excess fat. Leaving a little on is fine but try to clean it up as much as possible.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and black pepper. Mix it with your fingers to create a rub. Rub the mixture all over the pork roast and place in the bottom of slow cooker.
  3. In another medium size bowl, combine tomato paste, chicken stock and natural cola. Pour over the roast.
  4. Put lid on slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
  5. Remove roast from slow cooker and shred with two forks. Put shredded pork back into slow cooker to absorb the juices. Keep warm until ready to serve.
  6. Place desired amount of pork into tortilla and top with avocado, cilantro, pickled onions and cotija cheese.
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21 Responses to Lightened Up Sweet Pork Barbacoa

  1. I love everything about this (and I could have written this verbatim I’m in the same boat sigh) Dare to dream ; )

  2. Maria says:

    Josh will love this recipe! And the joys of living with all boys:)

  3. Hi Kelley! Can I use regular Coke instead of Zevia? I’m sure Zevia is better, but the thought of trying to find it gives me a headache 😉

  4. Karista says:

    Although I only have girls, they too have a difficult time keeping their bathroom clean. cluttered with make-up, hair tools, lotions, potions and all kinds of girly stuff usually never put back in it’s place. But I have to say this Barbacoa would make everything better! Fabulous Kelley. I made a barbacoa last week but your’s looks much more delicious. 🙂 Hugs! Karista

  5. Kalyn says:

    Love this! And my condolences on the bathroom. I manage to mess things up pretty well myself, but I’m sure it’s not the same!

  6. Damn boys. At least they’re good huggers. Love the drop and go.

  7. Mike Morgan says:

    Your comments make me laugh. I have a family of all girls (5 daughters), and even before makeup, our bathrooms were plenty dirty, just in different areas. But I grew up with 4 younger brothers, and I was one of the few who seemed able to properly clean the bathroom. When my mother couldn’t stand the lack of cleanliness any more (which never seemed to bother my brothers), she would look at me with those sad eyes and say, “it’s your turn.”

    When I married my wife, I told her that I would clean anything in the house, but I don’t clean toilets any more (I have learned how not to make messes). We’ve kept that arrangement for 29 years. I do a lot of cleaning, even in the bathroom, I just don’t do toilets any more. Sorry. 😉

  8. I know just what you’re talking about with boys. I wish I could say it gets better when they get bigger.

    I’d love to smell this cooking all day.

  9. Annalise says:

    Love the sound of this! I love me some sweet barbacoa. And thanks for the heads up on what I’ve got coming! 🙂

  10. Yummmmmm! This sound wonderful!

    Ha, I grew up with only my sister and I. If I someday live with boys, I have a lot to learn. 🙂

  11. Deborah says:

    I am not looking forward to my boys getting older… But I am looking forward to trying this – it sounds fabulous!!

  12. Karen says:

    So true. Boys!

  13. I’m with you on the bathroom cleaning…ugh. My teens clean there own bathroom and I try to avoid it at all costs because of course their idea of clean and mine are 2 totally different things!

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