A Pleasant Little Kitchen Recipes

Meet our recipe contributor, Rebecca White, of A Pleasant Little Kitchen. She's a self-taught cook, who through trial and error, has discovered what a treasure tasty and creative home-cooked food can be. Rebecca is a wife, mama and historian who delights in grocery shopping, reading food articles, talking about food and testing new recipes.

Visit her full blog or find out more about her here. 

Mini Peppermint Pancake Muffins

Author note: To make these mini pancake muffins a bit more “minty” add a drop of peppermint extract to the batter.



3/4 cup candy canes, crushed (about 7-8 candy canes)

2 cups pancake batter (use your favorite mix)

cooking spray

chocolate syrup, for topping

maple syrup, for topping

whipped cream, for topping

sprinkles, for topping



1) Heat the oven to 400 degrees.

2) Add the crushed candy canes to the pancake batter. Mix well.

3) Coat mini muffin tins with cooking spray. Fill the tins about 2/3 of the way.

4) Place in the oven and bake for 11-12 minutes, or until golden on the edges.

Pork Sugo

Author note: If you do not have a large enough pan to brown the whole pork shoulder, cut the pork into 4 pieces. Brown in two batches. This recipe makes a ton and will feed a very large crowd. You can also use the meat in sandwiches, tacos or nachos. This recipe is freezer friendly.



3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

5 teaspoons kosher salt

7 pounds bone-in Smithfield pork shoulder

2 28 ounce cans whole tomatoes

1 1/2 cups dry white wine (I prefer Pinot Grigio)

1 cup heavy cream

1 onion, diced

2 carrots, diced

2 celery stalks, diced

4 garlic cloves, crushed

5 thyme sprigs, tied with kitchen twine

fresh chopped parsley to top



1) Heat the oven to 325 degrees.

2) Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven, over medium high heat.

3) Evenly cover the pork with 3 teaspoons of salt. Add the pork to the pan brown for 8 minutes. (3 minutes per larger sides, 1 minute per smaller sides).

4) Remove the pork and set aside. Reduce heat to medium.

5) Add garlic, onion, carrots and celery to the pan. Stir well and scrape up any browned bits. Cook for 5 minutes.

6) Add the wine and continue to cook for 5 minutes.

7) Add tomatoes, cream, thyme, 2 teaspoons salt and pork shoulder. Bring the sauce to a simmer. Cover, place in the oven and cook for 3 hours.

8) Remove the pan from the oven and place on the stovetop. Remove the pork and place on a plastic cutting board. Let cool for 10 minutes and then shred.

9) Simmer the tomato sauce for 20-30 minutes. Add the shredded pork back into the tomato sauce and stir well.

10) Serve on top of pasta or gnocchi.