Baby Back Ribs

31 05 2011

My husband loves ribs however we have not made them at home. He got a craving and decided it was time to make them. Let me just say they were amazing. Cooking in the oven first is the key to making them tender. The barbecue at the end just gives them that barbecue flavor.

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Baby Back Ribs

~ 2 lbs. pork baby back ribs

~ 1/4 cup brown sugar

~ 1 1/2 Tbsp. paprika

~ 1 Tbs. salt

~ 1 1/2 Tbsp. black pepper

~ 1 tsp. garlic powder

~ 1 tsp. onion powder

~ 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

~ your favorite barbecue sauce

1. Remove membrane from the back of ribs.

2. Mix together brown sugar, paprika, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and cayenne to make your dry rub.

3. Tear off 4 pieces of aluminum foil big enough to enclose each portion of ribs. Spray each piece of foil with cooking spray. Rub the dry rub all over the ribs and place each portion in its own piece of foil. Wrap tightly and refrigerate for at least 8 hours, or overnight.

4. Preheat oven to 300o F.

5. Bake ribs wrapped tightly in the foil at 300o F for 2 hours.

6. Let ribs cool for 1/2 hour to 1 hour to firm up.

7. Brush ribs with your favorite barbecue sauce and grill on medium heat for 5 minutes per side. Add extra sauce as needed.

*You can thin the sauce with the juice from the meat if needed.

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Baby Back Ribs





What was in those baskets on May 28th?

28 05 2011

A awesome basket this week. I was so excited to see apricots because that means that we are getting closer to summer fruit season!! Hope everyone has a great weekend and enjoys their Bountiful Basket. See you next week!

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This weeks basket included 2 cantaloupe, 1 bag of Yukon gold potatoes, 3 mangos, 3 cucumber, 5 apples, 4 tomatoes, 1 cauliflower, 1 broccoli, 1 head of lettuce, 1 pineapple, and 8 apricots.

Since we got potatoes in our basket my husband is planning on making Smashed Hot Potatoes for almost every meal. It is one of his favorite ways to enjoy potatoes. But check out Cheesy Garlic Mashed Potatoes as well. Cauliflower Fritters were a huge hit in our house so I plan on making them again this week. But check out Cauliflower with White Sauce.

Since I have been out of town for the past few weeks I am glad to be back in the kitchen and I have some great recipes to make this week. Check back and see what’s new. Plus feel free to let me know what you are doing with your Bountiful Basket! See you next week!





Favorite Recipe #9 Barbecues Zucchini

27 05 2011

During the barbecuing months we barbecue zucchini almost every time we barbecue. Who am I kidding, we have been known to barbecue zucchini in the dead of winter in the snow!

Growing up my dad always planted a garden. Zucchini was one of the vegetables grown and we always had so much zucchini that it was all we ate for the entire summer.  I was not such a fan of it except for when it is cooked two ways deep fried and barbecued.  Now lets be honest while deep frying zucchini is amazing it is not the healthiest and it is a whole lot harder than barbecuing.

Buttered Zuccuni

All you do is cut the zucchini in half length wise and pierce it with a fork. Then spread some butter on it.

Seasoned Zuccuni

Then sprinkle it with your favorite seasoning. Ours is Pappy’s Choice Seasoning which comes from our home in Fresno, California. We love it so much we get enough when we go home so that it will last us until our next trip. You can put it on anything hamburgers, chicken, seafood, and vegetables.

Grilling Zuccuni

Next throw it on the grill butter side up so that the butter has a chance to melt.  Once you get grill marks flip it to the other side.  Cook until they are tender approximately 10 to 15 minutes depending on how large your zucchini are.

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Barbecued Zucchini

~ butter

~ seasoning of choice

~ 1 zucchini per person

Cut zucchini in half length wise and pierce with a fork.  Spread inside with butter and then season.  Place zucchini on the barbecue cut side up. Turn over once you have grill marks and barbecue until zucchini is tender approximately 10 to 15 minutes.

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Barbecued Zucchini





Favorite Recipe #8 Smashed Hot Potatoes

26 05 2011

I couldn’t make a list of favorite recipes and not have a recipe that didn’t include potatoes. I have always been a big fan of potatoes cooked almost any way. This recipe is great because you can make just enough for everyone eating and not have any leftovers.

I found this recipe on The Pioneer Woman’s website.  Since I love potatoes we gave it a try and it is now a staple in our household.  The potatoes get crispy from the oven and it makes them wonderful.  Plus there are so many different ways you can make this; add fresh herbs, blue cheese crumbles, bacon, ranch. The options are endless.

First start off by bringing a pot of salted water to a boil.  Then add in as many potatoes as you like.  If they are small potatoes add them in whole if they are larger I cut them in half. Once the potatoes are fork tender place them on a cookie sheet.

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Then with a potato masher gently press down each potato until it slightly mashes.

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Rotate your potato masher 90o and do the same thing again.

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Once all the potatoes are smashed drizzle each one with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  You can then add fresh rosemary or any other herb that floats your boat.  Bake at 450o F for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.

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Enjoy as they are or serve with sour cream, blue cheese, ranch, bacon or a few chopped green onions.

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Smashed Potatoes

~ 6 small red potatoes, new potatoes, or any other small round potatoes

~ olive oil

~ salt to taste

~ pepper to taste

~ other toppings like fresh rosemary, ranch, sour cream, etc.

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil.  Add in your potatoes and boil until fork tender.  Once they are fork tender place them on a cookie sheet. With a potato masher gently press down on each potato and then turn the masher 90o and mash again.  Drizzle each potato with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Add rosemary, chives, or thyme if you like.  Bake at 450o F for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.  Serve with whatever toppings you like.

Adapted from The Pioneer Woman

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Smashed Potatoes





Favorite Recipe #7 Coconut Almond Bread

25 05 2011

It only took one bite of this sweet bread for me to fall in love. All I can say is AMAZING!

In the last Bountiful Basket we got 2 coconuts so I was on the hunt for some good coconut recipes.  I stumbled across a coconut almond bread recipe that people raved about.  I love almonds and coconut so I didn’t figure you could go wrong.  It made my house smell wonderful while it baked and it tasted even better!

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The hardest thing in this recipe was getting the coconut out of the coconut.  I will post pictures of the whole process when we do the next coconut.  First you take the back end of a very heavy duty knife and holding the coconut in your hand whack the coconut with the back end of the knife hard. Do this a few times and the coconut should start to crack.  Keep whacking it along the crack until the whole thing is opened up.  If you want to catch the coconut juice inside do this over a bowl.  Once you have the coconut halved place on a baking sheet and bake in a 325o F oven for about 10-15 minutes or until the coconut meat starts to pull away from the shell.  At this point there will still be some brown on the coconut meat and you can just use a potato peeler to take that off.  Then you can just grate your coconut meat with a box grater. Use the grated coconut right away or freeze for future use.

Now that you know how to get your coconut from the shell lets make some coconut almond bread.

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Coconut Almond Bread

~ 2 eggs

~ 1 cup sugar

~ 1/2 cup shortening

~ 1 tsp. coconut extract

~ 1/2 cup milk

~ 1/2 tsp. salt

~ 1/2 tsp. baking powder

~ 1/4 tsp. baking soda

~ 1 1/2 cup flour

~ 1/2 cup coconut

~ 1/2 cup chopped almonds

Topping:

~ 1/2 cup sugar

~ 1/4 cup water

~ Tbsp. butter

~ 1 tsp. almond extract

Beat eggs, sugar, shortening, and extract together. Slowly mix in milk and dry ingredients. Pour into a bread pan coated with cooking spray. Bake for 60-70 minutes at 325o F or until knife comes out clean. While baking boil sugar and water for a few minutes. Remove from heat and add butter and extract. Pour over cooked bread and let set for two hours before removing from pan.

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Coconut Almond Bread





Favorite Recipe #6 Slider-Style Mini Burgers

24 05 2011

Every since I found this recipe it has become a hit in our house. My 3 year old always ask “Are we having mini burger?”. If the answer is yes she begins cheering. I have also had people tell me you can make it with ground chicken and they turn out great as well.

My husband stumbled across this recipe on the internet and it instantly became a house favorite.  My 3 year old daughter loves this recipe and jumps for joy when she hears that we are having mini burgers.  You can use just plain dinner rolls but we have found that making them with Kings Hawiian sweet dinner rolls makes them the best.

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Slider-Style Mini Burgers

~ 2 lbs ground beef

~ 1 envelope onion soup mix

~ 1/2 cup mayonnaise

~ 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

~ 24 dinner rolls (Kings Hawiian sweet rolls or regular rolls), split

~ 1/2 cup sliced pickles (optional)

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1. Preheat an oven to 350o F. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray.

2. Mix together the ground beef and onion soup mix in a large skillet; cook and stir over medium-high heat until the beef is crumbly, evenly browned, and no longer pink. Drain and discard any excess grease. Remove from heat. Stir the mayonnaise and cheddar cheese into the ground beef mixture.

3. Lay the bottoms of the dinner rolls on the prepared baking sheet. Spread the cheese and beef mixture on the bottom half of each roll. Replace the tops. Cover with another sheet of aluminum foil sprayed with cooking spray.

4. Bake in the preheated oven until the burgers are heated through and cheese melts, about 30 minutes. Start watching them at about 25 minutes making sure the bottoms don’t burn. Serve with sliced pickles.

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* For my family of 2 adults and 1 toddler I make half of the recipe but still use one whole envelope onion soup mix.

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Slider-Style Mini Burgers

~ 2 lbs ground beef

~ 1 envelope onion soup mix

~ 1/2 cup mayonnaise

~ 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

~ 24 dinner rolls (Kings Hawiian sweet rolls or regular rolls), split

~ 1/2 cup sliced pickles (optional)

1. Preheat an oven to 350o F. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray.

2. Mix together the ground beef and onion soup mix in a large skillet; cook and stir over medium-high heat until the beef is crumbly, evenly browned, and no longer pink. Drain and discard any excess grease. Remove from heat. Stir the mayonnaise and cheddar cheese into the ground beef mixture.

3. Lay the bottoms of the dinner rolls on the prepared baking sheet. Spread the cheese and beef mixture on the bottom half of each roll. Replace the tops. Cover with another sheet of aluminum foil sprayed with cooking spray.

4. Bake in the preheated oven until the burgers are heated through and cheese melts, about 30 minutes. Start watching them at about 25 minutes making sure the bottoms don’t burn. Serve with sliced pickles.

* For my family of 2 adults and 1 toddler I make half of the recipe but still use one whole envelope onion soup mix.

Click Below to Print Recipe

Slider Style Mini Burgers





Favorite Recipe #5 Mini Florentine Cups

23 05 2011

I love this recipe. I wish that I had more reasons to make it. It is a great appetizer and a fun thing to make for entertaining.

For a while I was receiving Kraft’s Food and Family Magazine until they decided to charge for it and I saw these absolute amazing looking spinach dip in turkey cups other wise known as Mini Florentine Cups.  Now the picture on the recipe looked amazing as usually and if you are anything like me your recipes don’t always look quite as pretty as the picture.  I gave them a try anyways and let me tell you, they are so simple to make and they look so fancy.  I have brought them to many gatherings and they are always raved about.  They are a great appetizer for a fancy gathering or for sitting around and watching a great game.

mini florentine cups

Mini Florentine Cups

~ 1 10 oz pkg frozen chopped spinach, cooked, well drained

~ 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

~ 1/3 cup cream cheese spread

~ 1 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese

~ 1 Tbsp. finely chopped onion

~ 1/4 tsp. garlic powder

~ 24 slices shaved turkey breast (Carl Budding works great)

Preheat oven to 350o F. Mix all ingredients except turkey until well blended. Flatten turkey slices; place 1 slice in each of 24 miniature muffin pan cups. Fill each with 1 1/2 tsp. of the spinach mixture. Bake 15 min. or until heated through. Serve warm.

* To make this more figure friendly use reduced fat mozzarella cheese and light cream cheese.

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Mini Florentine Cups





Favorite Recipe #4 Crock Pot Black Bean & Corn Chicken

20 05 2011

This is another very simple recipe since it is made in the crock pot. It takes no time at all to dump all the ingredients in the crock pot. You can serve it over rice, in a tortilla, or just eat it all by it self. A great week night dinner!

Crock Pots are one of the greatest cooking inventions ever.  You can throw almost anything into a crock pot and it will turn out tender and full of flavor.  Just be careful to have enough liquid in it or else it will be dry.  I used our crock pot at least once a week when I was working because it made dinner so simple when I got home at night.  Here is a family favorite that you can eat by itself or shred the chicken and throw into tortillas.

Slow cooker liners

Now if you are anything like me you love your crock pot but hate the clean up after words.  Nothing like 8 hours to bake everything onto the crock pot.  I stumbled upon these slow cooker liners and they are the best thing ever.  Just place into your crock pot and then add the ingredients like you usually would.  The clean up is so easy once you are done.

Frozen Chicken

Now back to the chicken.  Place 3-4 chicken breasts into the crock pot.  Frozen or thawed. Boneless or bone in.

Dump in corn and black beans

Dump in a can of drained black beans and a can of drained corn. Nothing fancy and resist the urge to stir it up, no need to. Next dump in the jar of salsa.  You make it as spicy as you like based upon the salsa you use.  Then set it on high for 4 to 6 hours.

Cream cheese on top

About 30 minutes before your ready to eat drop a brick of cream cheese on top.  Then put the lid back on and let sit.

All mixed up

Once you are ready to eat mix it all up while you are shredding the chicken.

Black Bean & Corn Chicken

Serve with tortillas on the side.  Enjoy!

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Crock Pot Black Bean & Corn Chicken

~ 4-5 boneless chicken breasts (frozen or thawed)

~ 1 (15 1/2 oz.) can black beans, drained

~ 1 (15 oz.) can corn, drained

~ 1 (15 oz.) jar salsa, any kind

~ 1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese

Place the chicken breasts into the crock pot.  Add the corn, black beans, and salsa on top. Don’t worry about mixing. Turn crock pot on high for about 4-5 hours or until chicken is cooked. Add cream cheese (just throw it on top) and let sit for about 1/2 hour.  Stir and enjoy!

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Crock Pot Black Bean





Favorite Recipe #3 Italian Mini Meat Loaves

19 05 2011

Ever since I found this recipe we don’t go a month without making it for dinner. It is one of the few recipes that my husband asks for. It is full of flavor and even my daughter loves it. Try it out and you won’t be disappointed!

This is a great meat loaf recipe that is a go to in our house.  I have adapted it from Rachael Ray’s 30 minute meals.  Always a fan favorite in my house and it is something that my daughter asks for quite often.  It cooks fast since you make individual loaves and is full of flavor.  Not to mention it pulls together quickly.  I hope you enjoy.

Italian Mini Meat Loaves

~ 1 1/3 pounds ground beef

~ 1 large egg, beaten

~ 2/3 cup Italian bread crumbs or Panko

~ 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano

~ 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped

~ 4 cloves garlic, chopped

~ 3 Tbsp. tomato paste

~ salt & pepper

~ extra-virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 425o F.

Place meat in a bowl. Add egg, bread crumbs, Parmigiano, onions, garlic, tomato paste, salt and pepper. Mix meat and breading and form 4 individual oval meat loaves, 1-inch thick Coat loaves with extra-virgin olive oil and arrange on a baking sheet. Roast 18 to 20 minutes.

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Italian Mini Meat Loaves





Favorite Recipe #2 Crock Pot Pulled Pork Sandwich’s

18 05 2011

This recipe is so good and simple that after I made it for my mom and dad when they were out visiting my mom took the recipe home and makes it her house all the time. Hope you enjoy!

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This is an easy and very yummy sandwich that is packed full of flavor.  The crock pot makes the meat so tender and juicy.  I hope that your family will enjoy it as much as mine.

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First thing you do is take your boneless pork shoulder or roast and rub it with brown sugar, cumin, Pappy’s seasoning (or Cajun seasoning), garlic powder, onion powder.

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Next in your crock pot add apple juice and cider vinegar.  Don’t forget those life saving crock pot bags so you don’t have as much to clean up.

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Then add your pork to the crock pot.

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Then add a little bit of liquid smoke to the crock pot.  This is the brand that we have but you can find it on the barbecue sauce isle of your grocery store.  It gives a great smoky flavor to the pulled pork that you wouldn’t other wise get since it is being cooked in the crock pot.  After every thing is in coo for 10 hours.

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Once it is done cooking drain off most of the liquid and shred up the pork with a fork.  Then add your favorite barbecue sauce and cook on low for about another 30 minutes.

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Our favorite way to eat it is to pile it on a great bun and top with some coleslaw. Nothing fancy just some cabbage tossed with some store bought coleslaw dressing.  You can add extra barbecue sauce or pickles if you like.  A great and super easy meal.

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Crock Pot Pulled Pork

~ 2 1/2 pound boneless pork shoulder or roast

~ 3 Tbsp. brown sugar

~ 2 Tbsp. Cajun seasoning (or your favorite like Pappy’s)

~ 1 Tbsp. onion powder

~ 1 Tbsp. garlic powder

~ 1 Tbsp. cumin

~ 1/2 cup apple juice

~ 1/2 cup cider vinegar

~ A few drops of liquid smoke

1. Combine the rub spices and coat the pork.

2. Put apple juice and vinegar in crock pot and add the pork.

3. Turn on crock pot to high for an hour and then turn down to med and cook for about 10 hours.

4. Remove the liquid from the crock pot and shred the pork.  Add your favorite barbecue sauce and cook for another 30 minutes.

5. Place the pork on a bun and add your favorite barbecue sauce, coleslaw, or pickles.  Enjoy!

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Crock Pot Pulled Pork








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